So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Cherry Hills Vil, CO
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The Link To Zanzibar's Past
This is my page in the beloved art community that my sister got me into:
Extra points for people who know what Samarinda is.
The Phases of the Moon Module
The Tree and the Telephone Pole
I Do Not Know Their Names
Today I am Young
A Night Poem
Siren of the Sea
If I Were a Dragon
To the Dreamers Leave the Sky
The Honor of the Oyster
Return From San Diego
A Late Summer's Night
Of Dragons and Men
The Edge of the World
The Snake's Terror
Metaphysics and the Middaymoon
Of Adventures in Foreign Lands
The Rogue Wave: The Unedited Version
Adventures in the PRC
Voyage of Discovery
Drinking the Blood of Goats
Ticket for a Phantom Bus
Os peixes nadam o mar
Three Villages Far Away
The River Weser
Children I Should Have Kidnapped, Part I
Let's Get You Out of Those Clothes
If Underwear Could Speak
Croc Hunter/Combat Wombat
Only My Favorite Baseball Player EVER
Aw, Larry Walker, how I loved thee.
M: Science and Exploration
T: Cook a nice dinner
Th: Parties, movies, dinners
F: Picnics, the Louvre
S: Read books, go for walks, PARKOUR
Su: Philosophy, Religion
The Reading List
This list starts Summer 2006
A Crocodile on the Sandbank
Tales of the Alhambra (in progress)
Dark Lord of Derkholm
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
The Lost Years of Merlin
Harry Potter a l'ecole des sorciers (in progress)
Atlas Shrugged (in progress)
A Long Way Gone (story of a boy soldier in Sierra Leone- met the author! w00t!)
The Eye of the World: Book One of the Wheel of Time
From Magma to Tephra (in progress)
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Harry Potter 7
The No. 1 Lady's Detective Agency
Introduction to Planetary Volcanism
A Child Called "It"
Is Multi-Culturalism Bad for Women?
Americans in Southeast Asia: Roots of Commitment (in progress)
What's So Great About Christianity?
Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits
The City of Ember
The People of Sparks
When I was in Cuba, I was a German Shepard
The Golden Compass
Clan of the Cave Bear
The 9/11 Commission Report (2nd time through, graphic novel format this time, ip)
The Incredible Shrinking Man
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
Animorphs #23: The Pretender
Animorphs #25: The Extreme
Animorphs #26: The Attack
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
To Sir, With Love
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Hunger Games
Shadows and Strongholds
The Jungle Book
Beatrice and Virgil
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
The Name of the Wind
Tao Te Ching
What Paul Meant
Lao Tzu and Taoism
Sand and Sandstones
Lost Christianites: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
The Science of God
Great Contemporaries, by Winston Churchill
City of Bones
Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Old Man and the Sea
Flowers for Algernon
Au Bonheur des Ogres
The Road to Serfdom
De La Terre à la Lune (ip)
In the Light of What We Know
Devil in the White City
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
How to Be a Good Wife
A Mote in God's Eye
want to read: Last Hunger Games Book, Honeybee Democracy, The Bell Jar
Thursday. 12.7.06 10:08 pm
Spectroscopy of GRB 051111 at z=1.54948: Kinematics and Elemental Abundances of the GRB Environment and Host Galaxy
Journal-ref: Astrophys.J. 646 (2006) 358-368
We present a high-resolution, high signal-to-noise optical spectrum of the afterglow of GRB 051111 obtained with the HIRES spectrograph on the Keck I 10-m telescope. The spectrum exhibits three redshifted absorption systems with the highest, at z=1.54948, arising in the GRB host galaxy. While the Ly-alpha feature is outside the range of our spectrum, the high column density of weakly-depleted Zn suggests that the host is a damped Lyman-alpha system with N(HI)>10^21(Z/Z_sun)^-1. The bulk of the gas (>80%) is confined to a narrow velocity range of |v|<30 km/s exhibiting strong dust depletion of refractory elements such as Fe and Cr. The depletion pattern is similar to that observed in warm disk clouds of the Milky Way. We also detect absorption from all ground-level fine-structure states of FeII, the first such example in a QSO-DLA or GRB-absorption spectrum, which indicate conditions that are consistent with the "warm disk" depletion pattern. The absorption profiles of FeII and MgII extend over several hundred km/s, with a depletion pattern that more closely resembles that of QSO-DLAs, suggesting that the sight line to GRB 051111 probes the halo of the host galaxy in addition to the dense disk. Thus, detailed diagnostics of the interstellar medium of GRB host galaxies continue to provide insight into regions which are generally missed in quasar surveys.
Wednesday. 12.6.06 6:59 pm
Well, the day came and went. Exhausted from staying up late last night writing my remote sensing of planetary surfaces paper for next Monday (mine was on all the clever ways people have gone about discovering the surface of Venus), writing the presentation for it (which was today) and putting together grades for the class that I TA, I stumbled through the day with a sick feeling in my gut, not aided by the fact that I had to actually give my presentation. Public speaking normally doesn't bother me too much, but since I liked my Venus project so much and I was so excited to share what I had learnt with my class and professor, it was a little tense because I hoped they'd catch on to my enthusiasm.
So I showed up very late to my last class with my S.C.,
Guess what! This weekend I'm goin' on VACATION! I'm going to visit my friend Route 66 in her secret underground biology lab in Washington DC. She's the one with the secret government job. Not really. She actually just manipulates kitten DNA or something. Don't ask me. Then they find homes for the kittens. That's a lot better than some labs... there was that one lab that got in serious trouble a while ago because they'd been dumping baby chicks by the hundreds into an old dumpster out back, but they weren't dead... so there was just this huge dumpster full of dirty, starving, dying crowded baby chicks like a mass grave.
My friend Seth, I shall call him simply Esophagus Boy, he has a mouse problem in his room (which is basically a basement). Since it just got cold here all the mice came indoors. His roommates caught seven before he even knew of the problem. They put out these traps where the mouse gets caught to a sticky pad. However, once the mouse gets stuck, it absolutely can't get off. They tried to pull one off because they felt sorry for it, but they almost pulled its legs off in the process. So Seth found his first mouse, a little tiny mouse with delicate little legs and arms, and he didn't know what to do with it... it's still alive, still wriggling, a little furry guy.... he wasn't exactly going to bash its head in with a shovel, so he threw it in the dumpster. I reminded him that instead of having a quick, shovel-death, the mouse was now going to slowly starve together, or freeze, or both. He was distraught. The next day (today) the exterminator came, and they found that the other sticky trap had caught pretty much a whole hill of ants, who were stuck extremely densely to the sticky trap. Seth put them outside, where over the course of the day, they froze to death, lithified in the very throes of death, trying to escape sticky oblivion.
Seth, gentle soul that he is, has had quite a time of it, having his apartment flooded and then molded over, having practically his whole wall removed as they redid the pavement to try and fix the flooding, having his esophagus burned through, having his apartment invaded by mice, then ants... becoming a cold-blooded animal MURDERER, etc.
All this talk is making me hungry, I'd better go eat. Or fall asleep. When will my paper about the reversals of geomagnetic poles get written? Well, sometime before Friday, that's all I know. Maybe not tonight.
Wednesday. 12.6.06 6:28 pm
I'd like to take this moment, at the end of a semester of cratering classes, to admire my planetary cratering professor. I really like him. He thinks the same way I do, and this is how...
He was in Hawaii for some conference or something, and he was watching a field of pineapples being watered by sprinklers. He suddenly wondered why the sprinkler is designed so that it doesn't water continuously, but that it is designed to shudder, thuk thuk thuk shrrrrrrr thuk thuk thuk shrrrrrr... the reason it does that is because if you had water coming out of the sprinkler head continuously, it sticks together due to the surface tension that water has and would follow an arch as a cohesive column of water. The effect of a column of water is to jettison the water droplets further than they would normally go (because they are effectively being pushed from behind) and to get a ring around your sprinkler where the water does not land. To stop this from happening, the sprinkler sends out spurts of water, a jerky jet, and is continuously moving. This causes the column of water to be interrupted. Then, depending on the size, angle and velocity of the drop, it follows an independent ballistic trajectory and comes down at any radius from the sprinkler head, from right next to it all the way out to its farthest extent. A single drop can't water as far out as a stream of water, but it does water so that you don't get huge dead circles of grass or pineapples right around your sprinkler head. My professor likens this to trying to throw a single drop of water to a window on the 10th floor of a building. You can't do it. The kind of energy that would have to be applied to the drop would simply vaporize it, or the atmosphere would pull it apart. However, you've seen firemen's hoses that can reach up to the 10th floor.
Anyway, after communing with the pineapple field, it occured to him that the spray of the sprinkler was not unlike the outward moving ejecta curtain that forms when a meteor impacts a planetary body. The curtain goes from being one, solid stream of rock with tremendous energy, to suddenly becoming thin enough for air to flow through, causing the curtain to suddenly be porous enough that the solidity of the curtain is ruined and each piece of rocky ejecta suddenly acts as its own body and falls to the Earth ballistically.
Pete sees science (particularly cratering) in everything. He watches waves, beating against a shore. He once dug a crater in the ashtray at a hotel and then tapped gently on the side to see how a crater could be made to subside over time on a planetary surface.
When I walk along the streets of Providence, I see that the sidewalks are totally broken up into all kinds of crazy jagged pieces. No one ever fixes the bricks, the cement, anything. But the cracks!! Each one tells you something both about the stress that the sidewalk has been under and the structural weaknesses of the cement. When I look at the clouds, I see how two air flows of different densities have made the clouds form waves, long sets of parallel linear clouds like sets of waves at the beach. There is a bulge in the linoleum on the way to the restroom at work. I know if I could dissect it I could learn something about planetary wrinkle ridges, I just know it.
The way Pete thinks, it reminds me of that quote from Life Of Pi (best book ever) which says, "Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims."
The part of the quote that reminds me of him is the "The way they see God in everything" part. Because seeing order, structure, patterns and similarities between all types and scales of life, people and the natural world is my way of seeing God in everything.
Peel back the layers of God's elegant creations, and all you will find are additional layers of elegance therein.
The Last Day
Tuesday. 12.5.06 11:19 pm
Tomorrow is the last day I will have a real excuse to see my secret crush.
Will our nominally one-sided pretend relationship last after we can no longer see each other for 50 minutes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday?
Stay tuned to find out.
Sunday. 12.3.06 7:42 pm
Let me tell you about the time when I became full of rage today.
Well, how shall we begin this quaint tale of mankind's uglier emotions, unfolding suddenly like an out of practice yoga participant on this second of two bitterly cold jours d'hiver?
Well I suppose it can begin with the grading of exams, the more difficult part having been left to two-thirds of our tidy trio by He-Who-Chose-First. I bear him no more ill will for this decision than I normally bear him, the quantity of which grows more substantial daily. Un joke!
In the course the mindless repetition brought about by such tedious activities, I came across two papers that were exactly identical. In fact, one seemed to be simply the typed version of the other, and they were turned in right next to one another. Furthermore, the written paper happened to be the paper of one of our brightest students. Further furthermore, the paper which was typed was of a student whose grade in the class is more than 10% less than that of our hero. In her facebook picture she can be seen kissing the cheek of none other than her apparent magnanimous geology-class helper. GET A CLUE, GEOLOGY STUDENT OF HIGH STANDING! YOUR LIFE COULD BE RUINED BY SUCH A JEZABEL! Do the students who thusly take their futures in their hands stop to think what a grave manner of sin they are committing? For it takes two willing parties for this sort of connivery, and my anger is fueled more by he who allows another to cheat from his work than that lazy and ignorant fool who cheateth by him, for his or her ignorance and subsequent failure of future life will be punishment enough.
What price, student, is your honor?
How large or small must the point value be before it is worth its weight in integrity?
May I borrow your work, says the corruptor, the "friend"?
"NAY!" sayeth the student of mighty righteousness, "I worked hard upon it, and thou shouldst complete it thine own damn self!"
That's really all you have to say. Any friend worth having will not sever the bonds of friendship over such a statement as outlined immediately above.
But lo, revenons Ã nos moutons. This was the first step toward the ever-spiralling emotions of rage.
Second in this toppling torrential tumid tower of terrible RAGE came when I, aware of how desperately I needed some cookies to cheer my darkening mood, opened the drawer wherein my Reynolds Wrap normally lies, only to discover that my ROOMMATES (DEMONS!) had USED ALL of my Reynolds WRAP! Alack! how many times had I used this wrap? But few! How many times had I assured my roommates that they were welcome to use my Reynolds Wrap? But NEVER. I had in fact my Clingwrap hidden as they seemed particularly inclined toward its use when they spied it newly bought among my grocery bags. GAH! But why buyest one her own box of Reynolds Wrap if not so that when she wishes to make cookies there the Reynolds Wrap lies, awaiting its purpose?? Had she but known that the Reynolds Wrap had been perniciously purloined she would have bought a new box the other day at the Stop N' Shop!
So what, may you ask, stopped me from flying into a most unstoppable rage, not unlike a hurricane of catagory 5 about which I recently learned from Dialated's hurricane project? Well, as it so happened, the evil roommates about whom I've spoken just now and previously, make it their aim to use everything up to the very last morsel... but not the last morsel. In doing this, they attempt to make it my folly to use the last of whatever we have, making it then my implicit responsibility to replace it (see: the plaintive wisps of toilet paper that cling to a half-naked cardboard roll which greets me each week in our common bathroom... as an aside, I had a social experiment whereupon I did not replace the toilet paper at all, instead shuttling my own roll back and forth from my bedroom... at the end of two weeks, the empty roll still remained perched upon the dispenser, leaving one to wonder at both the sanity and the sanitation of my coinhabitants). SO, the roll around which my full and seeming endless sheet of aluminum foil used to coil had a scrap still clothing it which my roommates had left for me to use up, which just barely covered enough of the pan to make my cookies after all.
In my blind anger, I did something drastic......
...I tossed the empty box and roll in one motion into the trash barrel, with slightly more force than was necessary.
...may the Lord forgive me my momentary loss of control.
Lost and Violent Souls
Friday. 12.1.06 9:54 pm
Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.
-- T.S. Eliot
I really like this part of this poem. Actually I like most of this poem, "The Hollow Men"
But I really like the idea that we could be "trembling with tenderness". Sometimes I feel like that. Trembling with tenderness, forming prayers to broken stone.
The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.
ahh. what a poem this is.
Think about how many of us like to think of ourselves as lost, violent souls. Ah, but how shall we be remembered... if at all? As hollow men... headpieces stuffed with straw.... leaning against one another.... how amazingly depressing is that, non? We can't even be granted the vanity of thinking of ourselves as lost and violent souls.
Friday. 12.1.06 12:05 am
Yesterday I got to talk to my secret crush for hours. go. me.
Sam said, "So, it seemed like you two were getting a lot of important classwork done...."
In other news, I have sooo much work to do! And for some reason my work station smells like some kind of pungent bread, if bread can be pungent.
I only have two ballet classes left, and it's sad because I feel like I was just getting the hang of this ballet thing. Almost... today in my post-ballet euphoria I tried to do a little sous-sous on the sidewalk but it's Providence and I tripped on a crack and almost ate it. Hahaha. I'm trying to decide what I should take next semester. Right now I'm deciding between hip-hop dance and breakdancing. I used to take breakdancing and I liked it. However I really like working out in the middle of the day, and breakdancing and hip-hop are likely at night. But then I won't have to miss it all the time because of my planetary-responsibilities like I've had to do with ballet this semester.
You know what's a great word? Syzygy. It's the alignment of planets (I think usually it has to be at least three). Generally it just means the alignment or correlation of anything, but it's used most for planets. It's also a great hangman word, and the shortest word in the English language with three y's. That one goes out to sjcswank, who appreciates words.
My friend Seth was little sick over the break so they gave him some anti-biotics. The night before Thanksgiving, he swallowed one of these pills and then went to bed...
The pill did not go all the way to his stomach. Instead, it got stuck in his esophagus part of the way down and opened there. Whatever was inside began to burn its way through the wall of the esophagus. He awoke to intense pain that he thought must be heart burn or something, but it didn't go away and it was suddenly incredibly painful to eat and drink. Good morning, Thanksgiving. Seth forced himself to eat Thanksgiving food, but the pain did not subside, and only got worse as he returned to Providence and got back to work. He went and saw the doctor who refered him to another doctor, who told him he had to get an endoscopy, where they put him under and feed a little camera on a long hose down his throat. They found FOUR ULCERS. FOUR HOLES in his ESOPHAGUS. Apparently the sides of the pill had burned two holes in his esophagus and then shifted a little bit (perhaps when he woke up?) and burned two more holes in the esophagus before finally becoming dislodged and going to his stomach. He has pictures.
But luckily they're getting better already, so he should be able to eat soon. Not soon enough, considering he hasn't eaten a real meal since Friday of last week. He's been surviving on a diet of pain and Ensure. He's been flying high on pain meds since Tuesday but he made Wednesday's test today anyway so he wouldn't get behind.
Aren't you glad that you aren't Seth?
Moral of the story:
1. Take your pills with enough water.
2. Don't take your pills directly before bed.
3. As the sunscreen song says, "The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday." Yeah. Like who is going to lie awake hoping that his anti-biotics don't burn holes in his esophogus? But it happens.
Ugh, I just looked up "ulcer" on google image, and that is just gross. Thank heavens Seth's is inside his body where we can't see it.
The Balancing Act
Tuesday. 11.28.06 9:06 pm
Wouldn't it be cool if you had a room that rested on one central pivot point, and you had to arrange all of your furniture (with no two pieces the same) perfectly so that it would remain balanced but still be aesthetically pleasing, and in order to walk through it you had to control a weight (or bring another person to enter from the other side) and perfectly counterbalance the whole time to get whatever it was that you wanted from the room?
I wonder what would happen if you failed? There should be some way to set the room aright again. At least, while you were still practicing. Maybe you practice and then once you were really good you could create the "real" room on a pinnacle in the middle of a vast abyss only accessible by one really skinny pathway on either side and you could put your precious jewels or computer chips or ancient artifacts or deadly viruses in there and no one could get them out besides you. (and the hero, of course, who has been studying center of mass problems in physics class... you didn't think of that, did you! You fool! ALgggh! your beautiful wickedness!)
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