EEE watch

N. Hampton avoids EEE

NORTH HAMPTON — With the region entering the “peak week for EEE (Eastern equine encephalitis) activity,” the town has so far avoided any sign of the disease, as well as West Nile virus, according to a mosquito control expert who briefed selectmen Monday night.

School!

Bell rings for Winnacunnet’s new freshmen

If it’s any comfort as summer vacation ends, Winnacunnet High School students and staff this year will get an additional 25 minutes before the morning bell rings at 7:45 a.m. School began at 7:20 a.m. last year.

That was very nice this morning. No more arising at 5:50 to beautify and catch the 6:50 bus. The senior’s boyfriend picked her up at the civilized hour of 7:25.

I had homework last night. Filled out the usual ton of first-day paperwork for the eighth grader.

Abermommie and Twitch

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Fashion, to me.

I have been to the Newington mall more times in the past few weeks than any crowd-avoiding 44-year-old shopaphobic woman should.

First of all, the eighth grader won’t stop growing and caring what she looks like. Harrumph. Unfortunately she can’t drive yet. She’s still 12, for a few more weeks.

Second, I did a story on back-to-school shopping style trends, in print on Friday. That was sort of fun because I approached the mall scene like an anthropologist.

(Skinny jeans are in, for example, despite those well-reported rising rates of obesity and the crap food shoppers shove into their faces in the mall food court.)

Anthropology (not to be confused with Anthropologie) was my first college major and still a habit of mind. I am by nature a curious outsider looking in. This translates pretty well to writing and reporting.

In this culture, among youth in particular, there is a tendency to wear clothing adorned with words.

This may be a testament to the high rates of literacy in North America, or perhaps a manifestation of the desire to express individuality within the boundaries of accepted convention.

HatPerhaps it is a wish to identify with popular brands or concepts and adopt the prestige and distinction of that colophon, label or trademark.

When I was younger and more sensitive I had such an aversion to malls I invented a special word for the bad feeling I had there – multipliciphobia, the fear of the multiciplicity of things. Too much and too many of every thing.

With the exception of books. You can never have too many of those.

I was influenced by the culture of my family on that one. My father bought lots of new books (and still gives stacks of them as Christmas presents) and never got rid of old books, just deforested the local building supply store and built more bookshelves.

Here’s what I read at the lake camp last week, all good, all recommended from me to you: The History of Love, Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House, and The Navigation Log.

The two more modern novels, not the Cather, kind of dropped off at the end, deliberately mysteriously fill-in-the-blanks-yourself unresolved.

I think this is a current trend among novelists. Nobody writes a good ending anymore. Bye!

Bonus. Antique David Bowie videos: Fashion and Blue Jean

Almanac forecasts cold winter

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Almanac forecast calls for lots of shivering this winter

The almanac’s reclusive forecaster, Caleb Weatherbee, predicts frigid weather this winter from the Gulf Coast all the way up the East Coast.

But it’ll be especially nippy in the northern plains states — up to 20 degrees below seasonal norms in much of Montana, the Dakotas and part of Wyoming, he writes.

And, he says, it’ll be especially snowy across the nation’s midsection, much of the Pacific Northwest, the mountains of the Southwest and parts of eastern New England.

Farmer’s Almanac including Winter Weather Forecast Map

Mystery beast tale wags (dead) dog

Man’s ‘beast’ friend ID’d; DNA tests prove animal a canine

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TURNER – If the Maine woods are haunted by a creature of unknown species, that beast remains out there alive and running wild.

A dead animal found last week in Turner was stripped of its “mystery creature” title after results of DNA tests Friday revealed that the carcass was that of a dog.

But do not despair:

Coleman, the cryptozoologist, does not believe the animal found in Turner is connected to earlier sightings of Maine’s true mystery beast.