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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. 37
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.
Falling Out of Love
Saturday. 3.28.09 4:37 pm
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

If you know it, enter it; or, ask me for it.

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Thursday. 3.26.09 1:06 am
Honorable Ladies and Gentlemans,

I beg to put before you, the moon Iapetus:

Here is a close up of the ridiculously long ridge, many times the height of Mount Everest:


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Out standing in his field
Monday. 3.23.09 11:23 pm
I'm in Houston. Deep in the heart of Texas.

Saturday I gave a talk about the interior of the planet Mercury. I was talking mostly about the biggest and coolest volcano on Mercury, Caldo Mon$ (disguised so it can't be googled) Ok, it doesn't technically have a name yet, but I suggested it be called "Caldo Mon$" after our good friend elessar257. Every mountain on Mercury has to be named something that means "hot" or "heat" in some language. "Caldo" means "heat" in Italian. And "Aldo" means "Elessar" in Italian. Or something.
I didn't suggest it at the talk, though, just through my secret contacts who have some say in these things. Too bad there isn't a famous artist or composer named "Zanzibar". Apparently in order to get a crater on Mercury named after you you have to be a really famous artist or composer and dead by at least 50 years. According to people "in the know", this guarantees that all the craters on Mercury are named after people that nobody actually cares about.
My famous and infinitely knowledgable coauthors subsequently mentioned me in their talks and I abandoned all reservations and gave my frank opinion to the 100+ people in the room about things as varied as how the crust of the Moon was formed to whether or not there was graphite on Mercury during the discussion period. When it comes to public speaking, the only thing you have to fear is fear itself, I've come to think. Now random people have been coming up to me and asking me to explain things to them. I tell them my name and they say, "Oh, I know who you are." Very strange.

For my next trick I will be presenting a poster on volcanic ash distributions on Mars. For my third and final trick I will be giving a talk about the age of a particular unit on Mars. It is a contentious issue so you may be sure that I will be yelled at by at least one German. Right now I am trying to muster my support.

Until later then,


A geologist who is out standing in his field:

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What I really think of every Nutang Member, starting with di-di and Ikimashokie
Saturday. 3.14.09 11:16 am
Y'all are awesome.

No complaints here.

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Saturday. 3.7.09 9:30 pm
For my next trick, I will simulate a solid becoming a liquid using the power of Computational Physics:

First, we will start with atoms arranged in a triangular lattice (crystalline solid!). They have some thermal energy, so they move around a little bit:

Turning up the heat, we see that the atoms have started to slide past each other to different lattice positions (dislocation!):

As the heat goes up again, the lattice points become less distinct:

Finally, the substance becomes a liquid:

Yes, no legerdemain here, ladies and gentlemen, we simulated the melting using the real atomic energy well!

Well, we approximated it with a sweet function, anyway.


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Don't Leave Me, Thalweg
Thursday. 3.5.09 9:55 pm
I was trying to remember how clean I was, so I could put it into words for my prospective roommate. I tend to live a chameleon existence, only just slightly neater or messier than whomever I live with. My cleanliness is a function directly proportional to the cleanliness of my roommate. I thought back to senior year in college, when there was constantly a layer of clothes and magazines and balloons and papers on our floor at least a foot thick. Small lilly-pads of carpet allowed us to hop from place to place.

Rhodes is not concerned with clutter, she tells me. It is the kitchen and the bathroom that she cares about. She detests grime. I think back to the bathrooms of my past. Senior year there was a shower. I must have spent at least 15 minutes every day for a year inside that shower, but I could barely remember what it was like. Was it clean? Someone else cleaned it. I couldn't put together a single cogent memory about a specific instance in that shower. As I thought back, I couldn't remember any specific moment from any of the bathrooms I had used senior, junior, or sophomore year. It made me sad to imagine all of that time just disappearing into nothingness, all of those living minutes during which I did mundane things when my mind was somewhere else, forgotten completely.

There was one time, junior year, when ranor and I pretended that gravity had changed direction by 90 degrees and suddenly we had to grasp at the fixtures in the bathroom to stop ourselves from hurtling against the walls.

One time there was a cricket in the radiator, and it would chirp loudly every time we switched out the light.

Senior year there was a dead spider that no one ever cleaned up that hung suspended between the back of the toilet and the sink. I used to stare at it without focusing, stare right through it, every time I went into the bathroom. I used to think about mortality, and the way that the spider's legs would feel, breaking like straw, if I ever decided to sweep it away.

I do not relate this story to Rhodes. I do not think it reflects well on my propensity for tidiness.

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First Sabbath
Sunday. 3.1.09 12:32 pm
For Lent I decided to give up two things: checking Facebook at work and working on Saturdays. I think these two should dove-tail very nicely because hopefully I will be more productive during the 6 days I do work.

So I resolved to take a "Sabbath". The only rules of my Sabbath (suggested by the people at the retreat I went to) is that I can't do school work of any kind or show up in the lab, and that whatever I do has to be something restorative and renewing. This would rule out what I usually do on weekends when I'm not working, which is feeling guilty for not working while I lie around my apartment surfing the web.

I mean, the Pharisees would say that my Sabbath should be just for going to church, and that in addition to not doing school work I shouldn't be allowed to do laundry, clean the floor, rescue people's oxen from canals, or use a power drill. But according to Mark Jesus says, "The Sabbath was made for Man and not Man for the Sabbath", so we know that you are allowed to amble through fields of grain and idly munch on seeds and collect a lost sheep if that's what makes you feel renewed for the coming week. You can imagine that as part of resting on the 7th Day, God probably baked a pie and went for a walk and built a sweet fort out of clouds with some of the Archangels. It just all fit under the category of rest because he didn't have to do any of it.

So I shall record here to what use I put my Sabbath days, and hopefully the Sabbath can become a permanent habit.

Well, it was Nepal's birthday, so we decided to drive all the way across the entire state of Rhode Island from top to bottom (<45 min). We ate delicious New England Clam Chowder and fried sea scallops at a restaurant in Newport. We went on a seal-watching tour in Narangassett Bay and witnessed a seal vs. seal slapping fight. Later we went to Chili's. Still later we went to my house where I had a party for Nepal, complete with a make-your-own cupcake bar, Indian poker, Spoons, Spazz-Uno, domino rallies, singing, flamenco clapping, spoon-castanets, folk-dancing, "They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard", watching youtube, more singing, and some domino dream-house building.

After everyone had left we ended the night with Thalweg composing a sea-shanty about our cat while I danced a jig and accompanied her on the harmonica.

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Friday. 2.27.09 6:27 pm
So I just applied to lead a group of high school students on an expedition to study glaciers in Iceland for two weeks this summer with National Geographic. Freakin' sweet.

I don't know if I'll get it, but I guess I'll find out soon enough. The requirements were:

1) Recent college graduate/graduate student
2) Experience traveling in Iceland
3) Knowledge of geology/climate change/glaciers

That's like

1) Me
2) Me
3) Me

In addition to geology, they bring along experts in photography and filmography, so the kiddos can get the full National Geographic experience. Naturally it costs an arm and a leg for them, but not for ME! Bwahaha! I love geology!

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