Thursday, May 29, 2008

Slate grey mornings and spots of blue peppering the sky in the evening

Things that I am excited about:
Aquaponics; combining fish farming and hydroponics to remove the barriers to each while increasing productivity.

Vibram Fivefingers: This will be my next shoe purchase.

The Phoenix Lander on mars.

"In this sweeping view, the 10 kilometer-wide crater Heimdall lies on the north polar plains of Mars. But the bright spot highlighted in the inset is the Phoenix lander parachuting toward the surface. The amazing picture was captured on May 25th by the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Though the lander looks like it might be dropping straight into Heimdall, it is really descending about 20 kilometers in front of the crater, in the foreground of the scene. The orbiter was 760 kilometers away from Phoenix when picture was taken, at an altitude of 310 kilometers. Subsequently the orbiter's camera was also able to image the lander on the surface. The parachute attached to the backshell and the heat shield were identified in the image, scattered nearby. Of course, the Phoenix lander itself is now returning much closer views of its landing site as it prepares to dig into the Martian surface." from Astronomy Picture of the Day and NASA.

Mom and Meg on Kauai:

Zola and Tippie:

Saturday, May 24, 2008


This is just a brief update, a few things on my mind lately.

Firstly, this article explains how the military has concealed the magnitude of suicides among active duty soldiers and veterans since 2001. They found that up to 15,000 soldiers (not a typo) have killed themselves in the past 7 years.

Second, this article explains that between 25% and 33% of the world's wildlife has died since 1970, the greatest period of extinction in millions of years. Worst hit are marine species.

Lastly, here is a shot of my dad, taken on our recent Kauai trip. I like this one.
Hello father

Monday, May 12, 2008

It all comes together...

Its very easy to be pessimistic about the state of the world these days. Its easy to unload the problem on other people, and blame the Chinese, the rich, or the neighbor for the environmental crisis. But the fact is, every one of us is contributing to the problem, to some degree or another. It is supposed to be the job of the government to mobilize the people from all walks of life to take action, and thats why I am so excited about this guy.

On a bad side note, the oceans are being rapidly depleted of fish, and destructive techniques used in modern industrial fishing are ripping entire ecosystems to shreds.
This article details the problem, and this article tells you how to help.
If the current fishing practices continue, the world's major fish populations will be extinct within 40 years.

To quote Mother Teresa, from an interview with Time Magazine:

Q: Is materialism in the West an equally serious problem?

A: I don't know. I have so many things to think about. Take our congregation: we have very little, so we have nothing to be preoccupied with. The more you have, the more you are occupied, the less you give. But the less you have, the more free you are. Poverty for us is a freedom. It is not a mortification, a penance. It is joyful freedom. There is no television here, no this, no that. This is the only fan in the whole house. It doesn't matter how hot it is, and it is for the guests. But we are perfectly happy.

Q: How do you find rich people then?

A: I find the rich much poorer. Sometimes they are more lonely inside. They are never satisfied. They always need something more. I don't say all of them are like that. Everybody is not the same. I find that poverty hard to remove. The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.

And a few of the latest photographs.

seen at WWU.

Whatcom Falls, Bellingham
seen at Whatcom Falls Park.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


I am taking a class this quarter on Religions of China and Japan. Its a pretty good class, and we are currently studying Buddhism, which is quite interesting. My teacher made an offhand comment today that caught my attention; he said that Monasteries and Churches were essentially the first corporation. That is, no one person held control of the property of the corporation, but it rather belonged to "the Church" as a rather amorphous entity, and the dominant institution of that age.

For anyone who has not heard of it, you should check out a movie called "The Corporation" (link). It is a documentary which psychoanalyzes the corporation as a human being, which it is under the law. The conclusion that is reached is that the corporation is a psychopath, an entity which is incapable of self-recrimination, and is by definition a blame-mitigating device.

This has some interesting parallels to organized religion... what do you think?

Uncurling for spring

Sunday, May 04, 2008


It is here. There are telltale signs everywhere, for those that care to see. The canada geese hatch their young, and are leading them out on longer and longer forays. The snow peas in the earth outside unfurl and even now climb to the sky, hungrily. In the north, chalk floats in the air among the rocks as the climbers dust off their bodies. Dandelions bloom in their tens of millions, yellow strokes across yards and parks. Vitamin-D deficient people emerge from their homes, squinting up at the sky.

Time passes so quickly. It was my twentieth birthday on Thursday. Unfortunately, I was caught in the depths of a phlegm-filled sinus, from which I just emerged. Today was quite nice, I went for a refreshing two hour kayak on Lake Whatcom, which borders Bellingham to the east. I made the first spring pilgrimage to the world-class climbing destination of Squamish, B.C., about an hour and half north of here, just last weekend. It felt great to stretch the muscles a bit, and to feel some solid, unyielding granite again. I've got a busy schedule coming up; hiking this weekend, kayaking the next, and then Otis is visiting May 22-25th. The lucky guy has no class Thursday or Friday...

Meanwhile, I pray for Obama on a daily basis. Lets just hope that Hillary's business-as-usual politics doom her as they should, and that Obama lives up to some of the hype.

The latest out of the lens: I have a backup of about 6 rolls of film that I am too poor to get scanned, mostly from Kauai but a few random rolls as well. The advantages of digital... I hope to get a place next year with a space for a darkroom.
Old Main
Old Main, the original building of WWU.
These guys are sprouting up everywhere.
These too.
Vancouver Skyline
The Vancouver skyline, on the way to Squamish.
Baba Hari Das
My new friend Brian took this one, that is me on top. Not to be confused with Bryan, the climber who I went to Garfield with.
This is Art climbing, a firefighter in Kirkland and a cool guy. Bryan is the hatted one on the right, and Daniel is spotting left.