This is a dandelion on the campus of UC Irvine. It took a while to find one that was just right. I was looking for a location where the angle of the light and the nearby ground would put the dandelion in bright afternoon sunlight while the grass underneath remained in shade. This one was almost perfect, but there was a little bit of sunlight on the grass at the bottom. An artfully placed foot fixed that, though I almost fell over doing it. Anything for my art.

By the way, have I mentioned lately that anyone who cares even a little bit about the sharpness of their screen should buy a 4K monitor? Well, you should. They cost about $200-300 these days for a low-end display, but even the low-end displays are great. Mine is, by a long way, the best $300 I spent last year. The picture below is an excellent test image if you want to compare a 4K monitor to a normal “high resolution” monitor.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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