(Image credit: Allen Stein)

Posted by Ellen

For this fishy selfie, Al went to a fish spa in Singapore, where he soaked his feet in a tankful of Garra rufa, a species of toothless fish native to the Middle East that have long been used for medical and cosmetological purposes.

Garra rufa, sometimes called doctor fish, nibble away at dead skin to exfoliate people's feet. The nibbling is said to offer some temporary relief to people with certain skin conditions, including psoriasis. But mostly, people let the fish nibble on them as part of a pedicure, removing dry patches of dead cells and exposing fresh, new skin.

Al spent a week in Singapore recently as part of his work protecting the brick and mortar that surrounds the digital cloud. By coincidence, his New Zealand Aunt A. was in Singapore at the same time, and the two of them went together to get their feet nibbled.

Posted by Ellen

Somewhere in the eastern Pacific, a Harrier jump jet prepares to drop down onto the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard.

Posted by Ellen

 

Somebody is sitting on top of the nuclear submarine Toledo while it's tied up in port. Allen recently spent a couple of weeks aboard the Toledo for a training cruise; he took this picture with his cell phone.

Posted by Ellen

At low tide, you can paddle a boat out into Machias Bay, way downeast in Maine, to get a look at Native American petroglyphs that are hundreds or thousands of years old.

Passamaquoddy and Maleseet Indians drew pictures on bedrock outcroppings near the bay by pecking at the rock with sharp pieces of harder rock. About 500 drawings in 9 sites are known today.

Some of the meanings are obvious, such as the drawing of a deer at a spot near Machias Falls where deer can often be seen to this day. Other images are believed to reflect visionary experience, in which birds, for example, may be interpreted as messengers from afar.

Cultural style and probably age of the petroglyphs seem to vary. Some may be only 400 years old, while others are thought to have been created more than 3,000 years ago.

Most of the Machias petroglyphs are now under water except perhaps at lowest tide. The petroglyphs were probably created on land near the shore of the bay and its islands because that's where the largest exposures of bare rock would be found; unfortunately, sea level has been rising ialong the Maine coast ever since the end of the last Ice Age.