Last night two geckos were outside clinging to my kitchen window mating. This may be the best gecko porn I have ever photographed! I wondered how they pulled off their gravity-defying feat.
A little research led to the discovery that geckos can stick to surfaces because their bulbous toes are covered in hundreds of microscopic hairs called setae. Each setae branches into even smaller hairs called spatulae.
When the tiny hairs contact a wall, ceiling, or glass surface the van der Waals force kicks in. This physical bond happens when electrons in the molecules of the tiny gecko toe hairs interact with the molecules in the surface, like the glass. They create an electronic attraction. Who knew?
The balance of the forces and the angle of the hairs allow them to scurry across surfaces quickly. So, they really don’t have a sticky substance in their toes, it is all due to the physical forces of nature. Isn’t Physics amazing?
Tzintzuntzan was the capital of the Purépecha Empire when the Spanish arrived in 1522. Situated on Lake Pátzcuaro, Mexico the characterof the indigenous people is clear in every archeological remnant and rock of this fascinating archeological site.
The main attraction is the five yácatas or semi-circular pyramids that are well organizedand face out over the lake area. Continue reading →
For seven years I have tried to bridge cultural gaps in Nicaragua. One of the most difficult gaps to connect is the lack of reading for pleasure in Nicaragua. So, three years ago I started a children’s library in my small La Paloma Elementary School.
One day, I delivered office supplies to our local police department, and in turn Juan Carlos asked what he could do for me. I had just the thing! “Juan Carlos, how would you like to come to my library and read to the preschool class?” I asked. He was thrilled! And so were the preschoolers. Bridging the gapof reading is fun!
El Castillo on the Rio San Juan River in Nicaragua is literally a horse town. No cars here! Boats, horses, donkeys, canoes, and a few foot bridges tie the communities along the river. To market to market to buy a fat pig!
Yesterday, I traveled to Managua on the mainland, and caught aglimpse of the clouds surrounding our island volcano. It was stunning, as if our sleeping beauty was hovering in air. It reminded me how fleeting our lives on this glorious planet are. Continue reading →
I know some of my readers wonder why I include posts about our travels to other countries besides Nicaragua. After all, my blog is supposed to be about living in Nicaragua.
Yet, my gypsytoes ache for travel. Because we live in a country where the cost of living is low, we can afford to travel, especially during the most brutal and oppressive heat of March through May.
Currently, we are in the mountains in Patzcuaro, Mexico. We were in Cuba in March and are headed to the states next week for the month of May. No matter where our wanderlust takes us, it is always great to go back home!
“The Wanderlust has got me… by the belly aching fire”
― Robert W. Service, Rhymes of a Rolling Stone
Driving the dead! Cuba’s car culture fascinated me. They have the most resourceful drivers and mechanics who defy the odds and break all the rules to make sure that the American 50s classics…really never die. The four-wheeled zombies are alive and well in Cuba!
Before visiting Cuba, I thought that only Havana’s streets would be like a 1950s Hollywood movie. However, the old classic cars are everywhere, used for everything from taxis to tourism novelties, and incorporated into daily life in every aspect of Cuba’s culture.
The four-wheeled zombies rose from the dead on February 8, 1962. With a stroke of President John F. Kennedy’s pen, the noose was dramatically tightened on an existing trade embargo that prohibited most Cubans from buying brand new cars after Castro took the reigns in 1959.