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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. 34
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 à 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

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

Juanes just needed his own mod. Who can disagree.
Dancing in the Dark
Friday. 6.1.07 12:34 am
I get up in the evening
And I ain't got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain't nothing but tired
Man I'm just tired and bored with myself.

Comment! (3) | Recommend!

Wednesday. 5.30.07 11:45 pm
Dilated said yes.

Comment! (6) | Recommend! (1)

This burrito story would have been way too long
Wednesday. 5.30.07 11:08 pm
Young Johnny Everall leaned backwards over the fence, stretching back until the whole world was upside down, and all of his burrito-y insides began sliding toward his head.
It was a hot day, and the dry air played tricks on his eyes, smearing objects in the distance like a mix of nacho cheese and hot sauce. Watery, shimmering blurs... that is all there was far as the eye could see across the Old Tortilla Flats.

“Now Johnny B. Everall, you git yerself off that ol’ fence afore you tear yer aluminum foil, young burritito!”
It was his mother, her foil shining dully in the harsh noon light. She was always such a pain, worrying about useless things. Still, he slid off the fence and all that was burrito goodness inside him slithered back towards his feet. On the front of her frock she had a garish F written in black marker. That meant that she was a fajita-burrito, with notoriously spicy peppers. Johnny often asked the Great One why he had to get the only mother in town with spicy peppers, but he never got an answer. The only thing he got was hell from all the other burritos in town, especially when she called him “my little burritito”. She said that where she came from, it was a diminutive term. He sure felt diminished when she said it. Sometimes he wished someone would eat her.

Suddenly the family taco, Dog, came running up the gravel drive, weaving erratically from side to side, spilling shredded cheese all over the road.
“What’s wrong, thar, Dog?” asked Johnny, steadying the taco and gently scooping some of the cheese back into the shell. The taco didn’t answer. Instead it fell over on its side, panting and leaking beef juice all over the drive. The dry sand drank it up, leaving barely a spot. Johnny noticed that the taco’s shell was badly cracked. With each breath the crack grew larger, an evil spindly line growing along the axis of the taco. Soon it would break in half. What had happened to sweet, crunchy Dog? Who had done this?

Dog had gone out with Dad and the other Burritos this very morning on his usual rounds to collect taxes from all the other creatures on the Earth. It was part of his new position as Imperial Treasurer to go down to the Rio Grande at least quarterly to collect the taxes and offerings paid by the rest of the Earth to the country of Mexico. The last couple of years the offerings had been sparse. No one knew if it was because those beyond the Rio Grande had suffered overmuch the last season, and had nothing to give; or if indeed they had become surly, forgetting why the Burritos ruled the Land and failing to pay them the homage they so richly deserved as the Lords over All Things.

Note: This was originally in response to this challenge. However, it was going to be WAY too long. So here it is. If you want to see what I actually submitted, you can follow the link. :P You should submit one for yourself!!

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Olde English Font
Tuesday. 5.29.07 8:19 am
When I was a lass, I used to be obsessed with Olde English Font from the Macintosh. So I printed out an entire alphabet with capital and lowercase letters and I carried it in my binder and during every class I would slip it under the page on which I was taking notes and I'd trace it, moving it around to make whatever words I wanted. Usually they were words like, "Olde" "English" or "Font". Just kidding. Eventually it got to the point where I could almost write in Olde English Font without tracing at all.

I was such a good student.

That reminds me, it seems high time to print myself out another alphabet.

Comment! (4) | Recommend!

And Today Will Be No Exception
Monday. 5.28.07 11:36 am
So my friends are gone now. The best part of the weekend had to be when I woke up randomly from where I was sleeping on the inflatable mattress with Joanna and I looked over and saw Justin asleep in my bed with my stuffed loaf of bread in his arms. It's just so... squishy and lovable!

In other news, how do Enrique Iglesias be so fine?????

You call me on the phone
I act like nothing's going on
We're driving in my car
I pretend that you don't turn me on

In other other news, everyone seemed to like my presentation on the nucleation of bubbles in magma chambers leading up to explosive eruptions. You see, when you boil water, there are three ways that it can start turning into a gas. First, it can just start evaporating off the top, coming up as steam. This only happens at the interface between the water and the steam.

Second, bubbles can form homogeneously throughout the water. This is difficult because not only must the water gain enough energy to turn to steam, it must also gain enough energy and pressure so that the bubble can push and hold back the water once it is formed (it has to overcome the viscosity of the water in order to push it). Thus water has to be at way more than 100 C in order for this to be able to happen. They call that "overheated" or "superheated".

The third way is that bubbles can be nucleated inside tiny cavities in the container (or in anything floating in the liquid) that are due to imperfections in the surface. This is because the pressure and temperature inside the cavity may not be the same as in the liquid in general, allowing a bubble to form without as much energy required. Eventually it grows enough in this environment and fills up with enough gas that it can escape the cavity into the liquid. As it rises, the pressure decreases and the bubble grows, finally reaching the surface and popping. So you'll increase the size and number of the bubbles if you decrease the pressure confining them (see: popping the cork on a champagne bottle).

Once you have a lot of bubbles, the way to make the mixture explosive is to let all the bubbles coalesce, so that instead of having some bubbles floating in a liquid, you suddenly have liquid suspended in a gas. Sometimes you'll get really strong bubbles and they'll be touching but they won't coalesce. You can speed along the process if you want by reducing the surface tension on the bubbles. Organics are very good at doing this in water. For example, have you noticed that when you're cooking pasta, at one point the pasta, which was nicely boiling just a minute ago, suddenly goes crazy and boils like nuts gets frothy and spills all over the stove? That happens because the organic molecules in the pasta have been leaching from the pasta and they reduce both the surface tension of the bubbles, as well as the surface tension at the surface of the water, allowing all of the bubbles to break through it and froth over. An ingredient with a similar effect is present strongly in Mentos, which means that if you drop one into a beverage with a lot of bubbles waiting to be exsolved, it will cause them to exsolve and coalesce... and become explosive. See: YouTube videos.

When they make champagne flutes, they blow the glass for the flute and then they pull it off at the base of the bowl. This means that most of the imperfections will be in the center of the bowl at the bottom. So when you pour champagne in the class, the bubbles nucleate there at the bottom and tend to spiral upwards to the top. They actually care to construct these flutes in this way so that you'll get a classy bubble pattern when you pour your champagne.

So what am I saying? If you have a flawless pot then it will take a lot longer for your water to boil? If something takes a long time to boil, it's going to be much hotter when it finally does? If you're very flawed and under pressure you're more likely to explode?


I think I'm saying that it's not your fault that every time you make spaghetti your pot boils over.

And also that sometimes having a few flaws here and there can make for a gorgeous glass of champagne.

Comment! (3) | Recommend!

Saturday. 5.26.07 10:50 am
WAAaaHH I was making hot fudge and I made it way too hot and then I accidentally touched the side with my finger and then my finger had burning hot fudge on it and I couldn't get it off because hot fudge is so sticky and viscous and so I finally washed it off and OWWWWW that's hot and now I have a gigantic blister on my finger the size of a roly-poly. ooooowwwwww

Comment! (6) | Recommend!

80s Parties and Working
Thursday. 5.24.07 10:09 pm
Here I am, it's 10:09pm on a Thursday, during the summer, and I'm at work. I was at this 80s party but there was nothing really to do and then my friend needed a ride to the train station otherwise she wasn't going to be able to get home tonight so I drove her there. Hopefully she made the train, it hadn't occurred to me that my car's clock is a little slow. She was all glammed out, with a fuchsia sequin dress with these gold sequin criss-cross holes on the sleeves. She has really curly hair so she blow-dryed it and it was biiig. She said that she'd gotten the dress from her mom, who had worn it to a formal sometime in the 80s. Her mom was getting rid of some stuff and she asked Leah if she wanted to have any of it. Leah was like, "wow, I definitely need this for this party I'm going to in a couple of weeks". and her mom looked really hurt and said, "You want to wear my dress to a costume party?" and she was like, "hahaha, mom, let it go... just let the 80s go."

Anyway, because she was late, she had to wear this ensemble HOME... like... she was going to have to look like an 80s glam rocker all the way home on the 30 minute train ride. HAHaHA.

But I'm here because I have all this work to do, sort of. I have to make a power-point presentation about bubbles in magma, and how they make their way to the surface, and how that played a pretty big role in determining whether or not the eruption is violently explosive or not. It's pretty interesting, but for once I'll spare you and not go into it now. I also have to write a little ditty about how my last semester went, which should go pretty quickly if I ever just sit down and do it. Maybe I'll just do this all tomorrow.... but I have to do it before lunch because that's when Justin comes and I have to pick him up at the train station (and it's all due in the afternoon). And I have to clean the floor, because when Chris did it last week (for the first time EVER... he had to borrow all my supplies and ask me how to do every step), he left all of the sticky cleaner on it and every fleck of dirt known to man just stuck to it.

Forget this noise, I'll do tah-mah-row. oooo ::shiver:: that's my worst fear... picking up the Rhode Island accent. But... I can't help it... it's happening already.

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Tuesday. 5.22.07 9:31 pm
During the Planetary Science conference this year, one of the main headline makers, one of a pair of scientists who rocked the community by discovering that the gullies in the craters on Mars may have had running water in the last six years, was unable to come to Houston to present his results because he had the flu.

Another presenter couldn't be there because his aunt was dying.

And as I sat there in my chair near the back of the auditorium, my notebook covered in doodles and sleep heavy in my eyes, it occurred to me that no matter how famous you are, no matter how many Phd's you have, no matter how many people have to kowtow to you on a daily basis, your carnal self, your body, still has the ability to trump every other concern. You are still a veritable slave to your health. Like that quote that I put in here before from Marcel Proust:

"It is in moments of illness that we are compelled to recognize that we live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom, whole worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body."

And wrapped up in our mortality is the fact that you can gain as much knowledge as you would like during a lifetime, and stack up degrees all you want, but when you die, all of that work that you put in learning all of that stuff, is gone. For nothing. I wonder if parents feel that way, if they have the terrible misfortune of losing a child. What if they've just put this kid through college, through law school maybe. All that money, all that time and effort, 24 or so years of worrying about the little guy, building him into a balanced, capable, employable human being so that he's ready to take control of the rest of his life and in an instant it's all for nothing. Of course that isn't true. Think of all the lives you've touched, just in the short years you've already lived? Sometimes I think the noblest ambition is to seek to be at least a mostly happy memory in the minds of all you've met. Everybody, even random people on the street or in the bank or at a restaurant. You can't make everyone happy, usually if you try to do that you eventually make the people you love much more sad. That's why it's a 'mostly'. Because if you make someone sad temporarily because you love them and it's best, they will eventually see that. As far as all this knowledge that you're gaining... perhaps if you have long been a professor and you've published dozens of papers, then all that knowledge was for something and it will live on. But most of the time we aren't professors who publish in the field or industry innovators who release a world-changing product on the market. All of that knowledge seems to serve to make us money so that we can get by. Just get by. Is that enough? I think in the end, the most important thing that you can do with knowledge is pass it on to someone else, keep passing it on, generation after generation, so that it will never die.

Can you imagine how much faster our civilization might have progressed if instead of dying, we lived for hundreds of years and just piled knowledge on top of knowledge? As it is it's like trying to get out into the ocean, with every five steps you take forward you are washed four steps back. However, there is that old saying... "Science progresses one funeral at a time."... that is, you sometimes need people to die so that other people with new ideas can explore them without being crushed by The Institution. This is why children are important, even if at first they don't seem to be a financially sound endeavor. You'll never make your money back on them, that's for sure, but money is another one of those things that you just can't take with you when you go.

In other news, I've been playing some crazy soccer, I might join the rugby team, and I am now one of two department representatives to the Graduate School Council. ::the EVIL coun-cil!::

mood: sore
watching: About a Boy
listening to: Keith Urban- Live to Love Another Day

Summers come and summers go, and I keep walking down this road
It's all right, it's ok
I'll live to love another day.

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