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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

Age. 36
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:


Extra points for people who know what Samarinda is.
The Phases of the Moon Module
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
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
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 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
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
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
The Help
Zion Andrews
The Unit
Quantum Brain
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
Memento Nora
The Name of the Wind
The Terror
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
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 � la Lune (ip)
In the Light of What We Know
Devil in the White City
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Red Mars
How to Be a Good Wife
A Mote in God's Eye
A Gentleman in Russia
The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism
Seneca: Letters from a Stoic
The Juanes Module

Juanes just needed his own mod. Who can disagree.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Friday. 12.15.06 12:53 am
My favorite Christmas carol, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"

It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men,
From heav'n's all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing;
And ever o'er its Babel sounds
The blesséd angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song that they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.

And yet, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Take heart, for comfort, love, and hope
come swiftly on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing.

For lo, the days are hastening on,
By prophets bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

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Upside Down
Thursday. 12.14.06 6:05 pm
Sometimes you just have to take a break from work and stare up at the ceiling and think about what it would be like if suddenly gravity pulled you in the opposite direction as it does now (or the entire local world were turned on its head). For the love of heaven, don't do this outside, or you will fall into the sky and you may never return. A stairwell is a good place, though. And it's usually a good idea, for the sake of neatness, to assume that everything that is on the floor or shelves is fixed to it, so that you are the only thing suddenly on the ceiling.

Or are you? Look at the ceiling! What an odd shape it has. If it's made of ceiling panels you're going to have to be very careful or you're certain to fall through. You might need to climb up the bookshelf until you can grab onto a chair or a table so you can start swinging across along the floor. You might think the best way out is to leave the room and seach for a more sturdy ceiling, but if you'll notice, the bottom of the door is more than three feet from where your feet are right now. You'll have to climb through, and then maybe hang by your arms to reach the ceiling on the other side. Lord help you if the other side is a foyer. You might have to jump, and the whole thing's covered in dust and at an extremely inconvenient angle for walking.

Now to get from the top of the stairs to the bottom. Good Lord, who made the stairs this way??? You'll have to climb up using the floor-to-ceiling pipe and jump and grab onto to the railing (thank goodness there is a railing!) and then you'll have to climb, inch by inch, legs dangling down toward the ceiling or woven through the banister railing to make your position more secure. Oh, but you are tired! who ever knew going "down" the stairs would be such a lesson in hardship. If only this were that type of staircase where you could see the stairs in relief on the bottom of each set!

Finally, you reach the end of the banister. But what now? The foyer rises below you. There are some five to ten feet of vaulted ceiling and a door before the ceiling from this floor comes in. Look, over there, on the other side of the foyer. There is a "ledge" comprised of a short ceiling right before the door to the outside. You have precisely the time it takes to fall through the y-distance from first-floor floor to the first-floor ceiling-ledge (minus the length of the banister) to cover the x-distance between the banister post and the outside wall. Can you do it? Can you muster that much of a swing after that long and treacherous climb from the third floor? Do it! It's your only chance to figure out what's going on here! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

That was reallly close. The dust made that ceiling slippery, and you didn't even think about whether or not that ceiling was a flimsy ceiling panel before you jumped, you just jumped! But luckily the ceiling was made of wood backed with stone, because it is part of the fancy entrance way into the building. You can jump for the door handle, but you're going to need some leverage so that you can push the handle up while you're hanging from it, because it's one of those doors you see when you exit public buildings with the bar handle that goes all the way across the door width-wise. And you have to push it, which isn't easy either considering you don't have any floor to push off of. Maybe you can swing back and get it all done at once. Ready?

Oops. You forgot about what I said about not going outside.


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he's baaaaaaack
Wednesday. 12.13.06 11:04 pm
So the big news of today: my advisor is coming back this Friday instead of next Tuesday. This is even bigger news than the whole "we just found flowing water on Mars" thing from last week. At least for us in the department.

As Sam so succinctly said, "I think it could be worse... I just can't think of how right now."


As PI said, "So... one more... maybe one and a half more days of peace and quiet... and then all hell breaks loose. Son of a bitch. Don't tell him I said that."

A little ditty keeps running through my head, it goes a little bit like this: "My advisor's back and you're gonna be in trouble (hey-yah, hey-yah, my advisor's back)"
hmm... I don't think those are the original lyrics... hmmm....

Accordingly, upon the completion of my remote sensing term paper this afternoon I turned my attentions not to my cratering term paper nor my geophysics final but to Wrinkle Ridges.

Don't know what a wrinkle ridge is?

These are wrinkle ridges.
Got any idea how they form? Cause I would sure like to know. Preferably before Friday but really any time in the next 5 years would do.

Some folks think that wrinkle ridges are formed when you have a sheet of lava pouring out and it kind of folds over itself or bunches up or whatever and ta-da, a wrinkle ridge forms. Other people think that they're caused by the whole globe shrinking just a little bit and the surface contracting in response (meaning that the ridges themselves are reverse (thrust) faults that don't quite reach the surface). Still others think that the ridges are indeed blind thrust faults, but that they are caused by a huge change in the atmosphere, which, instead of causing the planet to shrink, causes just the surface layer to expand a little bit because it's warmer. Once again the crust is a little too big for the planet, and faulting occurs. My leading theory right now is that the lava layers laid out on the planet were so thick that they didn't cool right away, and they were sort of flowing downhill ever so slowly, and as they did they bunched up and froze. That would kind of mean they were buckling like thick rug rather than faulting, but they could fault too, if they wanted to. I'm not going to stop them.

You see a lot of times wrinkle ridges come in sets, they look like sand dunes almost, only they're made out of the crust as opposed to sitting upon it. They're parallel and evenly spaced. That would suggest some kind of geophysical mechanism like buckling, rather than volcanism or something like that. But the volcanism could be evenly spaced because the surface cracked evenly and then the lava just took advantage of the cracks!

Obviously I've been focused on wrinkle ridges way too much today. As Sam was holding out a card to me I found myself watching his arm and thinking about how his criss-crossing veins looked very much like anastomosing wrinkle ridges on the surface of Mercury. Point of fact they actually called wrinkle ridges some crazy word in latin or greek that mean "vein" because they look like veins protruding beneath the surface.

Well, t-5 days til All Hell just became t-1 day, so I guess I'd better get my act together, which means for the moment cranberry juice, colby cheese, wheat thins, and a bit of repose.

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Tuesday. 12.12.06 12:20 am
The Moon too has its awkward transitions
From slender crescent to beaming gibbous
The half-moon intervenes, geometric.

A Dream, still wet from his midnight swimming
Is dripping moonbeams upon my dark floor
It forms pools in squares beneath my windows.

My eyes spy by the mirror's reflection
His footprints that I will mop by daylight
Careless dream, he whirls away with the sky

And myself, dark-eyed observer of night
Reflected: Here, not safe in starless void
Once full, hoping to be made new again

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Hypothetical Question Time
Sunday. 12.10.06 10:35 pm
If you woke up tomorrow morning

and everything was totally as it had been

only that everyone in the world had disappeared...

how much time would have to go by before you stopped locking your door?

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My other abstract
Friday. 12.8.06 1:57 am

Although most commonly applied to Phanerozoic orogenic belts, U-Pb age analysis of detrital zircons has great potential for illuminating the sedimentary evolution of cratonic regions. Here we report preliminary results of U-Pb dates of detrital zircons from Paleoproterozoic, Mesoproterozoic, Neoproterozoic, and early Paleozoic sedimentary rocks from Minnesota and Wisconsin. U-Pb analyses (n = 120 grains per sample) were conducted using laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) at Washington State University.

Pre-Animikie (>1.85 Ga) sediments (Denham Fm.) contain zircons with two age populations (3.5–3.4 and 2.8–2.5 Ga). Basal sandstones of the Animikie (Pokegama) and Marquette (Palms) Supergroups (~1.85 Ga) contain mostly Neoarchean zircons (2.9-2.6 Ga). In contrast, overlying basin sediments (Rove, Thomson and Tyler Formations), deposited in a migrating foredeep north of the Penokean orogen, consist mostly of zircons with ages from 2.05-1.80 Ga; few Paleoproterozoic or Archean grains are present. Sediments deposited during the early stages of Midcontinent Rifting (Nopeming and Puckwunge Sandstones) have three zircon populations (2.8–2.5, 2.1-1.8, and 1.2-1.1 Ga), whereas those from interflow sediments of the North Shore Volcanic Group are dominated by zircon ages of 1.15-1.0 Ga. Post-rift (<1.09 Ga) sediments, including the Jacobsville, Fond du Lac, and Hinckley Sandstones (Mesoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic?); Franconia Fm. (Late Cambrian); and St. Peter Sandstone (Middle Ordovician) contain zircons that are mostly 1.5-1.2 Ga, or less commonly 2.0 - 1.5 Ga. Archean populations (>3.2 Ga; 2.8-2.5 Ga) are poorly represented in the Mesoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic(?) sediments, but become increasingly more abundant in the Late Cambrian sandstones.

Many of the observed zircon ages can be correlated with known source rock ages in the Lake Superior region. Some zircon populations (e.g., 2.5–2.1 Ga, 1.6–1.5 Ga, and 1.4–1.1 Ga), however, have few obvious local sources and must have been derived from more distal sources or from regional sources with unrecognized multicyclic components. In particular, most of the post-Midcontinent Rift sediments that we studied have abundant ages between 1.5 and 1.1 Ga that might have been derived from Grenville Province sources.

Just so you know, the Paleoproterozoic was between 2.5 and 1.6 Ma, so all of my samples (from the Tyler and Rove Formations) actually have zircons that are almost ALL in the paleoproterozoic, not "few".... there aren't any that are NOT in the Archean or paleoproterzoic!!!! AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

it's cool, I didn't write this one, I just worked my ass off getting data for it.

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My abstract
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.

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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., . I tried to write a little bit about Venus on my laptop while I listened to the summary lecture for the class, but it was useless. Eventually I closed the laptop and stared blankly ahead for the rest of the class period. I didn't notice when Sam left. At the end of class I had to deal with a bunch of ridiculous people, who completely filled my time and attention for about 7 minutes. At the end of the 7 minutes, with those who must be dealt with still following me around, I looked up to find that SC had gone.... gone gone.... I didn't even see him leave.... Gone.

oh well.

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.

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