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 Altadena, CA
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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 ï¿½ 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
A Gentleman in Russia
The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism
Seneca: Letters from a Stoic
Friday. 10.27.17 1:53 am
Thursday. 10.19.17 3:04 am
Thursday. 10.12.17 5:34 pm
One of my friends lives on an island in the Caribbean, where his activities consist of running on volcanoes, surfing, and scuba diving in the sea. He works for Météo France studying hurricanes. This year has been a good year in that respect-- though everyone else in the Caribbean might not agree. He is thinking about moving to Tahiti, where his cousin helps out running a tour outfit. His cousin says that he could use my friend's amazing photography skills for the business.
Him: But it would mean that I would have to end my ten-year relationship with research.
Me: But research kind of sucks.
Him: Yes it does! I don't want to kill myself writing papers just to get a job killing myself writing papers.
Me: Wouldn't it be nice to sell people something that they actually wanted, instead of having to beg all the time? If you were showing people the beauty of Tahiti, the people would say, "THANK YOU!! This has been the best day of my life!" And you would say, "Every day if my life is like this."
Me: Hmmm... maybe I should move to Tahiti...
Him: Think about it. Tahiti is a direct 8-hour flight from LA.
Me: I will go to work, and while I am slaving away writing grants that will never get funded, I will buy a ticket to your island and rethink my life plan.
Him: Ok :)
Now I am at work, and it's pretty hard not to reconsider my life plan. : /
On the one hand, a life planning Moon missions and Mars colonization (and making good money), but filled with the stress of the rat race and the depressing prospect of living in a shanty house in LA forever; on the other hand moving to Tahiti... maybe becoming an adventure outfitter... or a geology guide... or a destination photographer... or maybe just a novelist. I could even be a freelance scientist, and only work on science when I had grant money. I would probably be pretty poor, depending on how my schemes panned out, but most of my activities on the island would be free!
And if it didn't work out, I could probably come crawling back to NASA.
Friday. 10.6.17 1:23 am
I asked my email list at work if anyone knew where I could find some lunar regolith simulant (fake Moon dust). In less than a half an hour, I had 21 responses, and in less than two days I got access to about 5 tons of fake Moon dust. Many of the responses were, "We used to have some and then they threatened to take it away so I put a bunch in a Ziploc and it's in my office."
Saturday. 9.16.17 6:13 pm
I have a three day weekend this week... So as usual I planned a luxurious weekend full of working. Working working Working!
At 3 am Friday morning we all went down to Caltech for a big party to celebrate crashing the Cassini spacecraft into Saturn. Getting out of bed at that hour was BRUTAL, but once I drove down through the silent streets and made it to party central, I was awake and ready to do some serious Saturn crashing. And crashing I was, as I was not on the mission team in any sense of the word, despite having been in copy on all of the Cassini radar team emails for the past year.
After we let Cassini slip the surly bonds of space and touch the face of Saturn, I slept for a few hours and headed to work. I was supposed to be catching up on 8 hours of backlogged bureaucratic crap that I have to do to clear my plate for writing a proposal this weekend, but I got distracted, as usual, by the Moon mission that I am planning. Next week I get to have a trade study on my Moon mission, and I'm trying to gather as much information as possible about every aspect of it ahead of the study. One of the critical things that I have to do is to craft the "story" of the mission in such a way that it can sell to people who are not scientists. Then I can pitch the mission to people and convince them to give me their support.
Today I was supposed to go back to work to once again attack the 8-hour pile bureaucratic crap... but I got distracted again. They were having an open house at the New York Film Academy, where I have been eyeing a 12-week night-time filmmaking course. I figured I'd stop by for an hour. Four hours later... I was still there. They had a tour of the school, followed by a lecture, followed by miniature break-out courses, followed by a lunch. One of the courses that I went to was on "The art of pitching". They taught us how to take our enormously complicated stories and winnow them down to one-liners so that we could pitch them to executives and get them to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into our projects...
...turns out that even when I am at film school open houses, I am still working on my Moon mission!
I had lunch with a bunch of the professors afterwards and told them about my quest, and my sincere belief that film and the space industry are a match made in heaven. They all enthusiastically agreed, and revealed that they all wanted to be astronauts as kids, and that they still dreamed about going into space. Now I'm going to give them all a tour of NASA, and I'm probably going to take the plunge and sign up for the film school. It will completely dominate my life from January to March, but by the end I will learn how to write a screenplay, direct, frame shots, and edit... for not one, but *four* of my own short films! Wow! :O
I can tell that these classes are kind of nuts... very demanding and rigorous... but when you are paying your own tuition, that's the kind of attitude you value. You have to attend class four days a week from 7-10 pm and then actually film your projects on the weekends. Since most of my current craziest activities end at the end of September, that means I will have three months to "relax" before it begins. [Relaxing includes flying to France to give a TED talk about colonizing Mars to a crowd of 1200 people. :O ]
It struck me that almost all of the people on my tour of the film school were from abroad. Apparently students come from some 70 countries to the institute to learn the art of filmmaking. If those people will travel from across the world at great personal and financial sacrifice to come here to learn film, would it kill me to drive 20 minutes from my house in the city next door for the same education?
Time to go to the gym, and then settle down for 8 hours of bureaucracy.... unless I get distracted by a party that's happening tonight. #partytilyoudrop #governmentbureaucracy #moonshots #LosAngelesLiving
My Dog's Personal Friends
Tuesday. 9.5.17 10:20 am
One Small Step
Saturday. 8.12.17 3:10 am
Tuesday. 8.8.17 7:27 pm
Woo-hoo! I got a bonus! They gave it to me because of the stuff I've been doing with my professional development group. I totally didn't expect it. Maybe this will help offset the money that I've been spending on ostentatious trophies and taco dinners for my group. XD
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