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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.
I Miss California
Monday. 6.2.08 10:40 am

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Moving Day
Sunday. 6.1.08 7:50 pm
Moving Day. Had to help three of my friends move. I don't look forward to these days because it's like taking a trip back into my early days at the warehouse. Not because I didn't like my work at the warehouse but because every guy says, "Can I help you with that?"

I've noticed American guys aren't as bad. Is this because chivalry is dead? No, I think it is because equality has finally triumphed. Which would you prefer, ladies? Chivalry or equality? I'll take equality.

[Note: I won't get angry with a dude who asks me a question like this or does a chivalrous act, because I know that his intentions are good, it's simply a reflection of how he was raised, and he has no way to know that I am strong like She-Woman and in need of no help. If he sticks around long enough, I will prove it to him.]

But more angering and equally damning are all the girls who say, "Let's wait til the boys come back so they can lift the heavy stuff" Or, "We need boys for that one." etc.

Is this because girls are weak? Or lazy? Or both?
I know for at least one of my friends it's because she had a bunch of older brothers and she did nothing while they lifted all of her heavy objects as if she were a princess.

Truth be told, in the sport of moving boxes, there isn't a magical divide between girls and boys. There are strong people, and weak people. They can be of either gender. Many girls assume that they are weak when in truth they are lazy, and any physical weakness they may have is probably a side effect of low expectations.

So, just to sock it to the Man, I carried all of Crater Girl's things upstairs while "the boys" were driving around the U-Haul. I carried the mattress by myself, and I enlisted the "weaklings" to help me with the big stuff like the couch. "The boys" were like, "Wow, you got all this stuff up there??" and we shrugged, as if to ask why they would be surprised.

Now my legs are sore from all that lifting. But it was worth it! Bah humbug!

Comment! (3) | Recommend! (1)

Descent of the Phoenix
Saturday. 5.31.08 9:52 pm
As you probably already know, the Phoenix Lander has finally landed on Mars, after a journey of many months through the depths of space. I'm not as involved on this mission as I am on the Mercury Mission, but the Phoenix team was here a couple of months ago to get our opinion on what they should be looking for during the several weeks they spent in Antarctica last winter (Antarctic summer) as a trial run for the mission. One of their labs was also located across the hall from the lab of my friend's boyfriend at Tufts in Massachusetts.

We have one of the most spectacular telescopes ever built in orbit around Mars, that's the HiRISE camera, which sends back pictures of the surface at a resolution of about 35 cm per pixel. That's way better than the resolution we have for the Earth from orbit (at least publicly available...) and you can see way more because there isn't so much pesky vegetation in the way. Because the Phoenix Lander's descent was such a special event, they skewed the HiRISE camera to a crazy angle and took a high resolution shot of where the engineering team thought that the lander would be. Turns out the engineering team was spot-on, and they caught the lander in the act of parachuting through the Martian atmosphere.

How freakin' sweet is that. Plus, we've all been really worried because the whole point of the lander is to dig for ice, but if the lander happens to land in an area where the ice table is really deep, the mission is sol because it doesn't have any wheels. [The robotic arm can dig maybe ~30-40cm or so. Its goal is to find ice and then heat it up in an oven. The gases that come off of the sample can be analyzed in a miniature mass spectrometer, which can tell us if there are any organics present. It also has a bunch of other experiments that are designed to look for signs of life. I have my own theories about what else we could do with these ovens, but there are only four of them and they can each only be used once.]

But luckily for the Phoenix, it seems to have landed right on top of very thinly covered ice...!

They aren't totally sure yet that this is ice- but the jets on the spacecraft blew away a substantial quantity of dust, and it's possible that this has exposed an ice table lying just below the surface. My friend Joe's job is to study this landing area and the processes that are going on here. He's been to Antarctica several times to study similar landscapes. He's going to give us an update on Monday about the mission and whether or not this is really ice. I will, in turn, pass on the update to you.

For more information, check out the Phoenix website.

Exciting times in space science!

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Old Friends
Thursday. 5.29.08 9:04 pm

Having graduated, it's funny to realize that my so-called "new friends" have been slyly transforming into my "old friends" over the course of two years. I shall never forget all of the things we went through that brought us closer, whether it was that time it took us more than 24 hours to get from San Francisco to Providence, while my eye swelled shut, the time I offered to examine what my roommate thought might be an intestinal worm to allay her fears of infection, or the time that Thalweg smashed her face skiing and instead of accompanying her to the ski shop I went and bought a chocolate-covered candied waffle for myself, and the ski patrol told me I was a bad friend.

Then there was the time that I scared the Welshman half to death by magically entering the building when all of the doors were supposed to be locked. Or that one time we stayed up for almost a week straight on chocolate-covered expresso beans, just to get a trip to San Francisco. (The same trip where it took us more than 24 hours to get back, ironically)

Yes, there were dark times. There were bright times. There was the time we got invited to a rave by a bunch of people on drugs that we met in the woods and then they helped us with our rock climbing and made us write on them. There were muskrats. And wasps. Cat asthma. Visiting Lil after she got appendicitis. Building a gigantic zen garden for one of our professors in a corrugated metal tub. Finding a huge metal poster of a man's ass behind one of the filing cabinets in Thalweg's office. Meeting Gunther, the Pleasureman. There was that one time when I was really sick last year and my roommate let me drag my mattress into his air conditioned room and crash there. And the one time I ran all the way to my house to get my car because the zebo had a wicked migraine and she needed to be driven home. They were there to make me feel triumphant after my first talk at a conference.

Some of them are gone already. Many of them will be leaving next year.

I'll miss them.

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Time to get personals
Wednesday. 5.28.08 7:16 pm
I decided that I needed to take a more active approach to my dating life. So I joined Chemistry.com.

Here is my profile:

Hmmm, yes

Hmm, yes... I enjoy summering in the Hamptons, my stable full of hundreds of Arabian stallions, fine cheeses, and motoring along the information superhighway any Sunday afternoon.
I appreciate a good monocle and a man who says, "Oh, ho!" when he laughs, and then, "oh, my sides." Some Chester A. Arthur sideburns and a fancy cumberbund wouldn't hurt either.

I have traditional Victorian values and a weakness for collecting pencil sharpeners.
I hope to find the man of my dreams so that we can take accordion lessons together. Would that you were he!

So far I have three people interested after two days. But they said that I'd get 8 times as many if I added a picture. I was thinking maybe this one would do:

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Wednesday. 5.28.08 9:43 am
He's ENGAGED?!?!?!?!

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The River Weser
Tuesday. 5.27.08 9:05 pm

The sun was already well along its downward arc as we sped along the banks of the River Weser, passing the round, white shapes of the naked Germans amid the grass. It was Bremen, so there was no need to chain our bicycles; we just parked them next to a bench and shed our over-clothing. In the spirit of adventure in foreign lands, Gina shed her top and leaped quickly into the murky, neck-deep water. Jeff and I had been planning this trip for a while- we wanted to swim out to the little island in the middle of the Weser, perhaps to found a new island kingdom. The water had more duck waste in it than we were expecting, and the sharp corners of the invasive zebra mussels cut into our feet near the banks. We donned our flip-flops for protection and set out for the island, ducks swimming past us curiously. The river became deep and cold, but still we paddled on, awkward in our protective footgear.

We reached the island and Jeff and I ran ashore. Gina was hesitant. She hadn't realized that we were going to explore the island... she'd expected to have her toplessness confined to the safety of the water. But not one to miss out on an adventure and too far to swim back, she wrapped her thin brown arms about herself and scurried after us. She looked like a wild thing, loping about with her arms protectively around her body and her leopard-print swim-suit bottoms. The island was hardly an island at all, as the water permeated all of the soil and pooled at the roots of the trees. The underbrush was impenetrable in most places and the sun struggled to shine through the brambled canopy. Not exactly the best place to establish a new kingdom, especially considering the amount of bird excrement lying about. Plus, Gina was starting to shiver.

So alas, we returned to the river, startling the wildfowl. We swam about for a bit longer and then returned to shore, somewhat loathe to return our scummy bodies to our clean, dry clothes. But for Gina, who hurried back into her swimming suit top, we stayed as we were. We rode quite unabashedly back into town in the golden light of afternoon in our swimming gear with our towels around our necks, a picture of summer.


Turns out that Jeff is one of the ~8 new grad students coming next year to our department! What are the odds?

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Monday. 5.26.08 11:17 pm
So I graduated.

I am a master of science!


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