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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.


The Profile


Zanzibar
Age. 33
Gender. Female
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Altadena, CA
School. Other
» More info.
The World









The Link To Zanzibar's Past
This is my page in the beloved art community that my sister got me into:

Samarinda

Extra points for people who know what Samarinda is.
The Phases of the Moon Module
CURRENT MOON
Croc Hunter/Combat Wombat
My hero(s)
Only My Favorite Baseball Player EVER


Aw, Larry Walker, how I loved thee.
The Schedule
M: Science and Exploration
T: Cook a nice dinner
W: PARKOUR!
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
Looking Backwards
Wild Swans
Exodus
1984
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)
Uglies
Pretties
Specials
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"
Pompeii
Is Multi-Culturalism Bad for Women?
Americans in Southeast Asia: Roots of Commitment (in progress)
What's So Great About Christianity?
Aeolian Geomorphology
Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits
The City of Ember
The People of Sparks
Cube Route
When I was in Cuba, I was a German Shepard
Bound
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
Twilight
Eclipse
New Moon
Breaking Dawn
Armageddon's Children
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
Animorphs #23: The Pretender
Animorphs #25: The Extreme
Animorphs #26: The Attack
Crucial Conversations
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Dandelion Wine
To Sir, With Love
London Calling
Watership Down
The Invisible
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Host
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Shadows and Strongholds
The Jungle Book
Beatrice and Virgil
Infidel
Neuromancer
The Help
Flip
Zion Andrews
The Unit
Princess
Quantum Brain
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
Delirium
Memento Nora
Robopocalypse
The Name of the Wind
The Terror
Sister
Tao Te Ching
What Paul Meant
Lao Tzu and Taoism
Libyan Sands
Sand and Sandstones
Lost Christianites: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
The Science of God
Calculating God
Great Contemporaries, by Winston Churchill
City of Bones
Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne
Divergent
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Old Man and the Sea
Flowers for Algernon
Au Bonheur des Ogres
The Martian
The Road to Serfdom
De La Terre à la Lune (ip)
In the Light of What We Know
Devil in the White City
2312
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Red Mars
How to Be a Good Wife
A Mote in God's Eye


want to read: Last Hunger Games Book, Honeybee Democracy, The Bell Jar
The Juanes Module


Juanes just needed his own mod. Who can disagree.
bleh
Monday. 3.19.07 7:53 pm
So it's almost 8. I'm at work. Outside is a blizzard. I stopped by to pick up some work I have to do for LVS and CFD on the way home from the grocery store. ughhh CFD why did I have to miss you two weeks in a row? Stupid conference in Houston, putting me so far behind. Gotta get home before my fever kicks in again. Hopefully it won't, seeing as I slept for like 18 hours in a row today and I've been feeling a mite better.

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GHOSTS
Sunday. 3.18.07 9:55 am
So seriously, there is a ghost in my house.


The creepiest thing EVER happened to me last night. The combination of the late hour, my active imagination, and the mild fever I had last night make me almost want to write the experience off as a dream, but I cannot.

I woke up at 6 in the morning (5 according to my clock which has not yet sprung forward), which I do not often do, and I had to go to the restroom, which hardly ever happens. It is a skill of mine that I've been working on since I was a baby to always sleep soundly through the night.

I slipped on my slippers over my feverish feet and crept into the dark hall. I could hear the sound of a rushing faucet coming from the kitchen. I knew my roommate, Chris, often woke up during the night and went into the kitchen to eat food or use the restroom, and likely as not he would not have turned on the light for fear of waking me, so I figured his presence must account for the rushing water in the kitchen. I made my quiet steps louder so that I wouldn't startle him in the darkness.

The kitchen was empty; empty but for the sound of the kitchen sink, which was pouring gallons and gallons of water down the drain in the night. A mild annoyance akin to the one which had swept over me earlier in the evening, when I finally took it upon myself to replace the batteries in the fire alarm on the second floor (even though it isn't my floor and I JUST replaced the ones on the third floor) swept over me now. Those second floor fools would have let that damn thing chirp intermittantly until the house burned down. Anyway, I supposed that somebody had left the water running and forgotten about it. I hoped that they had woken up and done this, because if they did it before they fell asleep that's something like 5 or 6 hours of water down the drain. I reached over and shut off the water.

That task finished, I went into the bathroom, turning on the dim light as the one yellow warmth in the now-silent kitchen. I sat there for a while, the fever burning through me against the cold porcelain. I had just finished washing my hands at the sink when I once again heard the sound of running water, only now much closer at hand. I turned around and the shower, which was right behind me, had begun to spill trickles of water down the face of the shower head. As I watched, the trickle became a flow and the flow became a roar and suddenly the shower was on full power. Without even thinking I reached past the flow to the opposite side of the shower and turned it off. I only had to turn it the slight amount that sometimes I had to when Chris has left it dripping. The handle was not turned so much that the shower should have been on full power. Still, even though I only turned off the hot side (how did I know it would be the hot side?) the shower immediately lapsed into silence, with several drips of protestation. I retreated immediately to my room and closed the door. I got under my steaming covers and thought for a long time about how I wanted a drink of water from the urn in my room. But I also thought about how I didn't want to get out from under my covers. I also thought about the sound of running water over my shoulder, and how I hadn't believed in ghosts in a really long time.

It was a long time before sleep could put my troubled mind once more to rest.


::update:: I told my roommate the tale of the running water, and he said the times have not been few when he's risen in the middle of the night and come into the hallway at the sound of someone taking a shower. He is confused because it is the middle of the night, and when he checks it out, there is no one in the shower at all, just the hot water on at full power and he turns it off- same thing as me, just a little turn shuts it off even though usually it take a large turn to turn it on full power. But he said that he's never seen the kitchen sink on and he didn't leave it on, and nobody but the two of us live on our floor.

Could this be the same ghost who frightened me so much last semester when my broken ceiling fan turned on suddenly above me at 11:30pm, raining bit of plaster on my head and wobbling madly, ready to fall out of the ceiling (which is why I never turned it on). That time I reached up quickly and turned it off. I since asked my landlord to fix it, and he has since sent a man to do the job, who took out the on/off cord to the fan and that's it. So now I can't turn it on.... or off, should it turn on by itself.

All this in a newly remodeled home... but in a house that's over a 100 years old.......

Wasn't I talking about moving earlier? ::end of update::

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A little whitesnake
Saturday. 3.17.07 4:41 pm
HERE I GO AGAIN ON MY OWN

>>>GUI!<<< >>>>>TAR!<<<<<

GOING DOWN THE ONLY ROAD I'VE EVER KNOWN

>>>GUI!<<< >>>>>TAR!<<<<<

LIKE A DRIFTER I WAS BORN TO WALK ALOoOOooNE

>>>GUI!<<< >>>>>TAR!<<<<<

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I'm immune to mono! YAY!
Wednesday. 3.14.07 3:12 pm
So I went to the doctor and they ran a bunch of tests and they finally got back to me and they determined that I've had mono before. That means that that sickness I had first semester senior year (fall 2005) was definitely mono. I went back and found the entry:

"Oh, I am so sick. Such a sicky.

The stupid doctor's office won't take me til tomorrow morning. I don't know if I can wait that long. I'll probably have Scarlet Fever by then. Stupid doctor. Nobody wants to be around me because nobody can afford to be sick. I bet I caught it from that dumb girl in dance class that I had to dance with. Who comes to dance class when you are sick, right? That's just not considerate. Well, I probably had whatever I had before that.

I'm supposed to write the beginning of my thesis and observe all night tonight. I don't think that's going to happen. My prof was like, "don't observe" and that's great, sure, happy, but that means I have to observe all night on Saturday. :( "


haha. Funny how you can look back like that. It would have been REALLY nice if they had told me that I had mono back then. Then I could have told my professor that I couldn't observe at the observatory because I had MONO not because "I feel really sick and tired" which just doesn't sound like a good excuse. Mono is like an awesome Get-Out-of-Work-Free-w/o-guilt card. Nothing else about it is awesome, of course, except for its ability to cause pain, if you use the word "awesome" in the sense of "awe inspiring". Having mono while you are writing your thesis, observing all night for your final astronomy project, doing your analysis homework, fitting carbon II* curves, learning how to use linux, TAing intro physics, going out in the desert for a mapping project every single weekend, and applying to grad school is definitely the opposite of awesome in every way. Maybe it was good that I didn't know; I would have thrown a very large and unhelpful pity party for myself if I did. Looking back, that semester sucked pretty heinously. In addition to having mono, I barely finished my observational astronomy project, almost destroyed a multi-million dollar telescope, floundered in Analysis, broke down crying in front of one of my professors, fell behind on my thesis, almost fell off a cliff, was almost bitten by a rattle snake, had to deal with some awkwardness having to do with roller-blading people..., my fish died, my dog was going crazy (turned out to be a cancerous tumor that later killed her)... yeah. That semester sucked. At the time it didn't seem so bad because I had a new Juanes CD. And luckily there were a lot of "almosts" in there that had they not been almosts would have made the semester quite a bit worse.

The other good news is that I don't have mono right now. haha. yay!

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An entry about my actual day
Wednesday. 3.14.07 12:07 am
Today turned out to be a pretty good day for me. I went down just on time to leave for the conference, Lillian had picked up a blueberry muffin for me before they ran out so that I wouldn't starve and fall asleep during morning session (and it worked!--- plus morning session was actually interesting...) It was about the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter, which is our sort of newest Mars orbiter. It has a really amazing camera which gets down to like 30 centimeter resolution. That means that if you were to lie out like you were making a snow angel on the surface of Mars, we'd be able to see you in our images (from ORBIT!). We've been targeting it at different places and finding little pieces of spacecraft all over the place (the Voyager landers, Mars Pathfinder, the two MER rovers Spirit and Opportunity, all of their heat shields and air balloons). We still can't find the lost European rover the Beagle, poor dear, but the Europeans insist that we aren't looking in the right place.

Then I got an email! yay! For lunch we ate mexican for the third time in three days, then we went to the afternoon session. Here my advisor was going to present some pretty gutsy interpretations and we didn't know how the community was going to react. He finished his talk and he always talks for too long so there wasn't any time for questions but there were tons of people lined up to ask questions because everyone was really riled up about the talk. My friend Joe had the talk immediately after, and his was short enough so that people could ask questions, so people addressed one question to him and then this really respected Caltech modeler got up to the mic and we didn't know what he'd say, and he said he had not really a question but a comment, and we waited in suspense and then he said that he was absolutely so impressed with Joe's talk and my advisor's talk and that the results were stunning and our interpretations were great and that he'd been looking high and low for a good Earth analog for these features on Mars and he'd asked everyone he knew and that these were the most amazing and persuasive analogs he'd seen and that we should be proud. And we were accordingly very proud.
Then I got another email! :D

After that we were riding high on a cushion of beaming praise and some of us went and ate ice cream for dinner and I had double dark chocolate with crushed oreos and then we went back for the poster session. At first I wandered around, meeting some people and looking for a spot out of the way where I could read my book, but then I got distracted talking to this charming old British modeler guy whom I'm hoping to collaborate with on some Mars volcanism stuff. We talked about jet engines and various kinds of turbulently convecting plumes. I'd sent him some comments and questions about the draft of his paper and he'd corrected his paper to include some of my suggestions (MY suggestions! someone cares what I suggest!!?). He said that at one of my questions he'd been puzzled because he could have sworn that the answer to my question was already in the paper. Turns out he'd done the whole calculation and written it out, but he'd put it in a folder in December and forgotten to type it into the paper at the last minute! I guess not even the reviewers had mentioned that, eh? So he put it in and he and my advisor acknowledged me at the end for my "valuable input" or something (I haven't read exactly what they said yet, my advisor just told me that they'd put it in).

Then I went around, talking to people, feeling smug because I was part of "my advisor's group" who knew all about the crazy martian features when everyone else was just trying to collect themselves off the floor after the implications of my advisor's talk had been realized. Sometimes I purposefully turned my nametag around so that they would tell me how they were sure the problem hadn't been solved and that my advisor couldn't possibly have the answer, without knowing that secretly I was like, "but ohO! What if he does?! What if I have been talking about this for weeks?!!"

I also ran into my planetary hero: B. Lucchitta, who is this amazing Italian woman who discovered every single thing like 20 years before everyone else did. I mean, everything. She mapped Ganymede, she talked about wrinkle ridges on the moon, she invented lineated valley fill on Mars from extremely coarse resolution viking data... she's amazing. I agree whole-heartedly with pretty much everything she ever wrote. Whenever I think to myself, "Man, this person really knows what they're talking about" then it always turns out to be her. And I met her!! Yay! I told her that I admired her work and how I kept reading these papers that people did in the 80s saying exactly what she did in the 60s only acting like they figured it out first. She told me that that was exactly what happened, and the fact that I knew that meant that I was a good researcher and that it meant that I actually read books and went to libraries instead of trying to find everything online. She said recently she'd reviewed a paper and told the person a bunch of references and they had the audacity to write back and ask her to send them all the reference-links online. She was like, "GO TO THE LIBRARY!!!! AGHHHH!!!" Wow. So cool. She's a real person!!

Then I talked to Debra and Sylvan for a really really long time, especially Debra because she's thinking about coming here and working with my advisor. My advisor kept drifting over to hear what we were saying and then putting his hands up and saying, "Oh! don't mind me I won't interrupt, I don't want to stop your conversation!" and then he would drrrift away. He wants Debra to come and work for him. She's scared to hell of him of course, as anyone would be, seeing as he's rather famous and also a little famous for being a character. She said that he seemed so nice and down to Earth and didn't seem at all like people made him out to be. I remember when he made me nervous. I wonder if people like that are aware at how nervous they can make prospective students. I also got to see my old undergrad advisor who was a former student of my current advisor, and the current advisor of Debra.
Then I came home and I'd gotten another email!! :D

Tomorrow we're getting doughnuts for breakfast and getting there early so we can get good seats for the Mars Exploration Rover talks which start at 8:30. Can't wait to see what kind of interesting data those crazy martian rovers have collected! I think they might have another session on Saturn's moon, Titan, too. Titan is pretty amazing because it is the only planet besides Earth (and maybe Mars in the distant past) that has active fluvial processes. It appears that Titan has a whole mess of lakes that are full of liquid... and rivers, and seas, and clouds and rain... but the liquid would be methane-nitrogen instead of water!! All the rocks on Titan are made from water ice and hydrocarbons (which could run your car for a month!) instead of silicates like all the rocks on the Earth!!!

Anyway, all together a pretty amazing day. I only almost fell asleep in lecture once, and I saved myself by leaving the room and checking my email. :D
Cheerio!

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I ain't never been to Texas
Thursday. 3.8.07 7:20 am
guess what, y'all?

I'm comin' to Texas on Friday for the big planetary conference and I'm stayin' for a week and a day! Hi-ho, warm weather!!! Houston, here I come! yee-haw!

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Working at the olfactory
Wednesday. 3.7.07 11:44 pm
So apparently they've previously done these studies on Drosophila (the typo de fruit fly) which indicate that if you constantly keep them on the edge of starvation, they live longer than their well-fed counterparts. Interesting.

Well, a little more recently they did a study that says that if you let them smell food, say, in the next room, or through a mesh, then most of the benefits that they get from being starved all the time are lost. They still live a little longer than well-fed flies, but much less long than starved flies who can't smell food. Just to be consisent, if all the flies live in the same room with a room with food adjoining, the flies with their olfactory organs disabled or removed will live longest.

So I guess there are two questions to be asked here: First, would you let someone keep you almost starved all the time if it meant that you would live a longer life?

For me the answer would be a resounding no.

The second question might be a little harder. Say that it is a given that you are kept at the brink of starvation. Nothing can be done about that. Would you give up a little bit of your longevity to be able to smell the smell of food in the next room? Maybe you wouldn't, because smelling the food and not being able to eat it would just be like torture. But think about it- you wouldn't be able to smell the little bit you would be able to eat, either. What if you had to give up taste, too? Would you give up your senses of smell and taste for longevity? What if you were 40 you were suddenly dying of a mysterious ailment and you obviously have many years yet ahead of you and somebody gave you the chance to escape by death by trading your senses of smell and taste (even if you weren't starving)? Would you do it?

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Where the Wind Blows Forever
Tuesday. 3.6.07 8:14 pm
There are times I can’t stand this world anymore
Like a prisoner I watch the birds fly
There are times I can feel I could reach out for more
Then I lay in the grass and I stare at the sky

If I could fly away over the fields
I wouldn’t stay in this place any longer
And if I could fly away over the sea
In my songs I would write how it is to be free

Where the wind blows forever
I’d try to go
Where nothing else matters anymore
That’s where I belong
To the places unknown
There is my home

When I open my eyes the dream is gone
I will never be able to fly
Then I raise my head to the place that’s my home
And I lay on the ground and I start to cry

****

And then again I can see
All this beauty around
I will stay in this world
With my feet on the ground
Like the other ones (everybody else) and I’ll never be
Like a bird flying over the sea

~Papermoon~

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