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
A Solution to the Energy Problem: The Miracle of Microwave Heating
Friday. 1.30.09 8:26 am
So the way your microwave works is to speed around electrons in a magnetic field so that they give off photons (i.e. electromagnetic energy). The frequency at which the photons travel is in the microwave range, which is why it is called a microwave. They tune the frequency very carefully so that it matches a prominent energy absorption of the water molecule. So basically your microwave heats up all the water inside your food, but not actually the food itself. The hot water molecules do that. Instead of letting the heat slowly seep through your food from the outside in, all parts of the food get cooked at once! That's why adding some water to your rice or vegetables helps do the job.
Back in the 70s, during the last time that everyone was freaking out about energy issues, some people decided that it would be a great idea to heat peoples' houses using microwave technology. Think about how much energy we would save if instead of heating all the molecules in the entire house, we just heated the molecules inside the people in the house, who are ~70% water! Brilliant!
Well, it turns out that among other things, microwave radiation is very bad for your eyeballs, which are a huge percentage water and which don't have very good schemes for getting rid of excess heat. So microwave heating can unfortunately make you go blind. After all, cooking yourself from the inside isn't exactly what God had in mind when he retrofitted your body for warm-bloodedness.
My professor: "One time I was able to experience microwave heating myself-- they gave me a pair of protective eyewear and I stuck my arm in a microwave chamber..... that was back before microwaves were bad for you."
My professor: "I don't know if I have drawn the Earth's magnetic field lines in the right direction... well if not, we can just wait a few thousand years and the field will reverse and my diagram will be right."
Thursday. 1.29.09 11:44 am
me: I think everything looks so much more official when you change it from a .doc to a .pdf
Ranor: Yeah, that's why I always do that.
me: it changes my work from speculation to fact
Ranor: It's alchemy.
Monday. 1.26.09 9:58 am
Some people you know make delightful friends, but you would never trust them to be responsible, or to take care of things that are important to you. Perhaps before you marry a guy, you should ask him to babysit your pet, or take your favorite poster on an airplane trip. At the end of the experiment your pet might be lost, or in ill repair, or perhaps even on the brink of death. Your poster might be folded, or bent and torn around all the edges. A laid-back guy who is slightly careless with his own things isn't such a terrible thing, but you'd like to believe that he was capable of taking care of things you think are valuable at the level he knows you would like them to be cared for.
Thursday. 1.22.09 10:40 pm
Today my advisor "lassoed" me with his scarf as a way of telling me that he was ready for our meeting.
Sometimes I wonder about that guy.
Advice: Lassoing your employees is never appropriate.
I wish my whole life were like this
Wednesday. 1.21.09 4:23 pm
Tuesday. 1.20.09 2:32 pm
Edward’s expression was tense, his skin taught against his features. We were all gathered in the cool warehouse that we called home, ever since the appearance of Scott and his team of vampire slayers several weeks before. Scott wasn’t the type of person you would imagine to be a vampire slayer; his large frame and stocky build would make him look more at home coaching football. I could imagine him with a whistle around his neck, yelling at players until his face turned red. The abilities of the vampire slayers had been growing in subtlety, and Scott’s recruitment effort had been fruitful. Normally we could be invisible to them on a whim, now they seemed to be conscious of our movements.
I became aware of the presence of my sister, jinyu. She was watching Ceiji, who was sleeping on a makeshift cot inside one of the many chainlink compartments that filled the center of the warehouse. Why was she here? She was still human, and it was very dangerous for her to be here, especially around violent and unpredictable Ceiji.
“I made him Japanese,” she said reaching down suddenly and hugging him. I flinched, but Ceiji did not stir, seeming to be oblivious of her presence. "I've always liked Japanese guys." She turned to me, her eyes sparkling with mischief.
“I also made him a heroin addict.” she added. As if on cue, Ceiji woke and dragged himself from the bed to a table which held the articles of his addiction. His eyes were bright and wild, and I knew heroin wasn’t his only addiction. I knew little about Ceiji, and Edward saw me eying him with interest.
“He’s a particularly dangerous type of vampire,” Edward whispered so that only I could hear. His addiction to heroin makes normal hunting difficult for him, so he developed another approach.” He moved closer to me and took my hand in his.
“There is a type of wasp,” he continued softly, “which subdues tarantulas and lays its eggs inside them. It doesn’t kill the spider, but paralyzes it so that it will be fresh when its young finally hatch and eat their way out of its body. Every year, Ceiji collects enough human victims to feed his thirst for an entire year. He paralyzes them, keeping them in a state of partial consciousness until he wants to feed. Before they die they return to full consciousness just long enough to realize what is to come.”
He gestured to the chain link compartments, which suddenly took on a much more sinister aspect in the dim warehouse light. My dim human memories recalled violently the time before I was a vampire, and the images of a hundred victims, each face unique, impassive but for their eyes which mirrored the horror of their realization. A cold shudder ran through me. I could have been one of them if Edward hadn’t saved me.
Ceiji looked up from his needle. “I always go hunting on Earth Day,” he said, “because there are so many people out in the woods.”
Earth Day. That was coming up soon- no wonder the compartments were empty. In a hazy way I remembered my old friends from the office, remembered that they were planning to pitch in and help clean up the old highway on Earth Day. No.
Edward and I left the warehouse at a run, but a short time later we were being followed by one of the vampire slayers, Nancy, who used to be my Christian fellowship leader in another life. Before I became a creature of the darkness. If only she knew that Edward and I were trying to save the humans, not destroy them! She was new to the trade, but she was a quick learner. Behind Scott, our group feared her most for her potential. I became invisible as I ran past her. She took a quick sniff of the air and seemed to catch my scent. As I ran past she put her hand out and it ran along my cold skin. She wasn’t supposed to be able to do that. She was learning too quickly.
The chase was on. I was running from her, no longer towards my friends but in any direction, feinting, charging, circling, anything to lose her. Edward and I had split up to confuse her; I had no idea where he had gone. I circled back towards him, wishing that he could read my mind but knowing it was impossible. I was getting tired—I wasn’t supposed to get tired. Raggedly I called up to the sky. “jinyu,” I said impatiently, “There is no way she would be able to run that fast. I should have outrun her a long time ago.” From the firmament I heard an uncertain sound.
I had realized that this was one of jinyu’s stories—jinyu had created Ceiji, jinyu had brought the vampire slayers down upon us… jinyu had made Ceiji a heroin addict, and the rest of Ceiji’s twisted attributes had fallen out in a natural progression a result of this flaw. She was The Author, and it was she who was making Nancy fast enough to stay with me now. All of my problems were the result of some outgrowth of my sister's twisted imagination. But I was not only a character, in my role as jinyu's sister I was also an Editor, which is why I had been able to see her in the warehouse but no one else had reacted to her presence. In my opinion as character and Editor, this drawn-out chase scene needed some trimming. As jinyu mulled over the logic of Nancy’s inhuman speed, I kept running. I had to, there was no respite. I entered an old barn to see a machine like a cross between a mini-cooper and a ski slope groomer. I ran out again; that thing looked too slow and there was a possibility that it wouldn’t start. I ran around a pond and up a hill, all the while feeling helplessly slow despite what should have been supernatural speed. I reached another building, and inside was the exact same vehicle as before.
“You want me to drive this, don’t you?” I asked the sky. “You’re basically DMing me into this, aren’t you?” My tone was accusing. In the manner of a Dungeon Master, she had planned something for this car, and if I didn’t choose to explore it the first time around, she would just move the event so that eventually I would get there. “Well,” she reasoned, “I worked really hard on this part. It would be a huge waste if you didn’t drive it.”
Only seconds ahead of my pursuer, I jumped into the vehicle and fired it up. As I suspected, the tank-like treads of the machine made it drive very slowly. I could run faster, I thought. Nancy had started up another of the same vehicle and was chasing me again.
“Too much chasing,” I said critically, “I should have definitely gotten away by now.” There was no answer from the sky, and I became suddenly terrified that the intent wasn’t for me to escape at all. Was jinyu forcing me into bad decisions so that I would fail? That can’t be fair—wouldn’t that be out of character for me? Or maybe it was in character for me to make bad decisions….
I realized that jinyu had made me no guarantee that I would live through this story.
Then I woke up. Clearly I'm the one with the twisted imagination.
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