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Friday, December 19, 2008

Favorite Pens

So, I recently started using my Waterman Phileas fountain pen again, and I am hooked. It writes beautifully. I also bought a vintage 1930's dip pen from a local variety store, as well as some cool ink from Dick Blick, and I love that one, too. I think I have discovered a new passion.

Here are some other pens that like:

1) Pilot Fineliners

2) Flair Felt Tips

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Today is third day in a row in which I will have carrots and hummus for lunch. Tomorrow, I shall have something different.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Why am I not getting any gigs through MediaBistro yet? Arrrrgh!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Today is Friday.

I am pooped. Now I am looking forward to a weekend of laundry, buying _The Watchmen_, and walking around.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hawk, Again

This morning, there was a hawk perched outside my apartment window. Sweet!


I have begun studying for the GRE. Fortunately, I am finding that I know more math than I thought I did! Now, I have to start asking for letters of recommendation. Here I go....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Science Writing

I think I am going to begin applying to science writing programs this month. I'm a little scared, since I don't know what the job market will be when I finish -- assuming I get in somewhere -- but I think I have to try.

Monday, November 10, 2008

North by Northwest, and Art Deco

This past Friday night, I saw _North by Northwest_ at the Paramount Theater in Oakland. First, I love that theater. Being around art deco stuff makes me happy. Second, the movie was great! I haven't seen many Hitchcock movies, but now I would like to see more.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Soon To Be Published

My first article is ever so much more closer to being published! I am so excited.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Today, while walking to work, I saw a man get out of his car holding a foot-long model of a velociraptor, complete with base. He then started walking towards Industrial Light & Magic. That made my morning.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Steven Pinker!

Last night, I went to a Steven Pinker lecture at San Francisco's Jewish Community Center. He spoke about his latest book, titled "The Stuff of Thought." I had read his book titled, "The Language Instinct," years ago, and loved it, so I was very excited to see him in person. And, as I expected, the talk was amazing. I especially enjoyed the psychological and linguistic theories of swearing. What a night...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cool Clock

I have been eye-ing a very cool wall clock in local hardware stores for a few years now. Maybe I should just get it, and hang it in my room. It's just so beautiful....


After watching some of the rowing events in the Olympics, I was inspired to try to row again (on an ergometer at a YMCA). Usually, when I row, my lower back gets very sore, and tend not to want to row again for a few months. But, last week, I tried rowing without using my lower back as much (that is, without leaning back as far as I used to on my rowing stroke). Problem solved! If I just concentrate on pushing with my legs and pulling with my arms, my torso moves back on its own: I don't have to focus on moving it at all. And, because my lower back isn't (as) sore, I can row for longer periods of time. One of the best parts about rowing on an ergometer is how doing so completely loosens all of my muscles. I imagine the feeling might be similar to what yoga practitioners feel after doing yoga. (Of course, I could be way wrong.) Anyway, the feeling is pleasant.

Poplin Suit

About two weeks ago, I bought the first suit I have ever bought on my own. It is poplin, and it's fantastic. I have been wanting at least a poplin sport coat for many years, and now I have it, and pants, to boot!

Sunny Day

Wow: today really is sunny. I am oh, so glad I now have a sun hat. I burn too easily not to have one.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Unusual Names

I have been coming across some cool, unusual names lately. Does anyone out there have any favorite names?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bacon and Chocolate

I finally did it: I finally tried a chocolate bar that had bacon bits in it. All in all, it wasn't bad.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Exploratorium Total Solar Eclipse Webcast

I am looking forward to the Exploratorium's total solar eclipse webcast, happening on July 31st. I am not sure I will actually go, since I usually can't stay awake past 1:00 A.M., but the programs seem excellent.

Here is more information:

Red Lobster

I have never been to a Red Lobster restaurant, so I have decided to go sometime in the next few weeks. It's time for me to experience the Red Lobster phenomenon!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

David Addington

I recently read an article about David Addington's appearance before a Senate committee, and I am about to blow my top. I just don't understand how an attorney who has studied American jurisprudence could support the unitary executive theory, or believe that, somehow, vice presidents are not members of the executive branch because they perform a function in Congress. (After all, the president has a legislative function, too: he can sign and veto bills. Is the president, then, also not a member of the executive branch? Is he not a member of his own administration? And, if the unitary executive theory is correct -- and I believe it is not -- and *all* of the country's executive power is concentrated in the office of the presidency, yet the president is not a member of the executive branch, then who, exactly, is running the country?) I hope somebody close to Vice President Cheney -- like Scooter Libby -- writes a memoir, and soon. Our country needs it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Foul Mood

Wow: I am in a foul, foul mood right now, and I don't know why. Maybe I have been reading too much news about politics. Yeesh.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fistful of Clown Noses

Mick LaSalle is the San Francisco Chronicle's movie critic, and I really love his reviews. I especially like two of the sentences in his review of Get Smart: "And like the worst comedies, 'Get Smart' is about as funny as a gently smiling mime. It couldn't buy a laugh in a nitrous oxide factory with a fistful of clown noses." Wow. That is truly brilliant.

New Writing Opportunity

I may have an opportunity to write science articles for a very cool science-y institution. I won't say more until I have more information, but, in any case, I am excited!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This car makes me jaw drop. I want one. (Well, I want to at least look at one.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Green Apples and Mathematics

Well, I recently learned that San Francisco's Green Apple bookstore recently opened a new and improved philosophy section. Arrrgh! There goes another portion of my paycheck. Maybe I will go to the library instead. I also came across a new book on symmetry and mathematics. The library is just beginning to buy copies, so I expect to read it in a month or two. Libraries really are fantastic resources. Hooray for them.

New Camera, Continued

The one down-side to owning a digital camera, I am discovering, is that I will most likely have to either upgrade my personal computer's operating system, or get an entirely new computer. In general, I don't like accumulating lots of stuff, so the notion of my having to get another whole computer rubs me the wrong way. On the other hand, I would like to post photo's to Facebook, send them to friends, and especially send photo's to magazines and newspapers, to go along with my articles. That, after all, is the primary reason I got the camera. So, I will do what I have to do. And, hopefully, I will become a better photographer along the way.

Santa Cruz

I was in Santa Cruz with my girlfriend this weekend, and had a great time. I saw the first card-playing room I had ever seen in my life, and I enjoyed walking along Pacific Avenue (Street?). All in all, there was too much direct sun for me -- I prefer the fog and chill of San Francisco -- but I had fun anyway.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


So, I watched _Bloodsport_ again yesterday, while I was exercising. It definitely is a little cheesy, but I really like it.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Well, I just bought a digital SLR camera. I needed it so I could take photographs to go along with my freelance articles. I am pretty excited: I haven't owned a camera since I was in the fourth grade. Also, I like having to learn something new. While I will most likely be taking mostly headshots and still indoor pictures, I would like to someday take nature photographs like Walter Kitundu does. He's amazing.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Pork Rinds

Any thoughts?


Yesterday, for lunch, I had a spinach-and-tomato salad. Not bad.... Today, I think I will have soup.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Chef Boyardee

For my mid-morning snack today, I had one of my all-time favorite foods: Chef Boyardee meat ravioli, in meaty tomato sauce. I added some Tabasco sauce this time, which made the ravioli even better. Fantastic.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Today, I had a bottle of carrot/beet/celery juice. It really wasn't bad: I like carrot juice anyway, and carrot was the main flavor of this combined juice. Ha.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Logic, Arguments, and Fallacies

I like this web-page:

Garlic Noodles

I recently had the garlic noodles at PPQ Dungeness in San Francisco, and wow, they are amazing. If anyone is wondering what to get me for my birthday, I would definitely accept the noodles.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I have decided to plant dandelions: I know that they, at least, will be hardy and grow in my apartment.


If you owned a boat, what would you name it?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Glass Water Bottle

After all of the recent hoo-ha about water bottles made out of plastic with BPA in it, I started searching around for a new container for water. I'm not going camping anytime soon, so I don't need an indestructible water container. I just wanted something I could put in a refrigerator, so the water would get cold. Anyway, after researching stainless-steel water bottles -- which sound very cool -- I decided to use a glass Snapple bottle. So far, this plan has worked out well. The water tastes better, and I think the glass cools faster than plastic does.

Peanut Butter Knife

I recently bought a wide, spreader knife for my peanut butter, which I keep on my desk at the Exploratorium for an extra kick of protein now and again. The knife works well; I no longer yearn to test the peanut-butter stirrer, built into a jar cap, that I saw in a catalog. So, if anyone out there is debating whether they should get a wide spreader knife, I say, go for it! It is the king of peanut butter knives.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Lunch Today

Today, I am going to eat a spinach salad with cranberries on top. It's been too long.... I also have some chocolate-brownie macaroons. Ba-dao!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Hipster PDA

This is absolute genius, and one of the funniest articles I have ever read:

Hipster PDA

Louis Brandeis

And now, here are some quotes from former Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis:

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

"At the foundation of our civil liberties lies the principle that denies to government officials an exceptional position before the law and which subjects them to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen."

"I abhor averages. I like the individual case. A man may have six meals one day and none the next, making an average of three meals per day, but that is not a good way to live."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Night Sky Over Flagstaff, Arizona

Has anyone seen this photograph of the night sky over Flagstaff? I would love to see a sky like that.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Lunch Today

Today, I am eating peanut butter, prunes, and pea soup. Top that!

Mangroves in Eritrea

I just read a story about how Eritreans are now planting mangrove trees on their coast. By doing so, they create a food source for themselves (the mangroves roots shelter small fish and shrimp, which are then eaten by larger fish, which the Eritreans then catch and eat), and for their goats (which eat the mangrove leaves). The Eritreans also use mangrove wood for firewood. I really love stories like these, in which many problems -- lack of food, deforestation -- can be solved by a simple procedure.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Difference Engine

A model of Charles Babbage's difference engine has now arrived in Silicon Valley. I think I want one of these in my room.

Cool Science Toy!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My Lunch Today

Today, I went to the Exploratorium's cafeteria, and had mashed potatoes, turkey meat loaf, and some salad. Ta-da!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Bianchi Milano

Good grief: I can't stop looking at this bike:

It's gorgeous. I can't stand it. If anyone out there wants to buy me a big present, this is my first choice.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Well, I just learned that the BART system is going to replace the current, ratty-tatty cloth seats on the BART trains, with, well, *new* cloth seats. Does anyone else think that the BART trains would be cleaner if the seats were hard plastic, like the seats that are on MUNI buses? Wouldn't BART employees be able to clean BART trains more easily if they didn't have to clean fabric?

Friday, February 29, 2008

Ray Harryhausen

I am a huge fan of Ray Harryhausen's special effects work, and apparently, he recently visited Industrial Light & Magic here in San Francisco. In the San Francisco Chronicle, one of his "disciples," Phil Tippett, was quoted as saying the following about stop-motion animation:

" 'It's just a very weird surrealistic kind of collage that has an aesthetic appeal to me,' Tippett says, moments after watching some of Harryhausen's animated skeletons. 'It has this weird, arcane, almost monk-like meditative state of mind that you get in where you close down time. It's a performance that starts here and ends there and lives in another time scale ultimately.' "


Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I just bought a pair of Eddie Bauer binoculars. I am very excited: I finally get to observe the hawk that has been resting in the tree outside my apartment close-up. I will also get to observe the moon! Ha.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What the Fuck!

Oversight is important, and so is a respect for the law and the Constitution. The president does not get to make his own laws. If he signed a bill into law, he is bound to follow it. Either he understands this principle, and is choosing to ignore it, which is foolish and dangerous, or he doesn't understand this principle, and is a dangerous fool.

"Bush eliminates FOIA ombudsman"
By Rebecca Carr | Monday, February 4, 2008
The Austin American-Statesman

Noticeably absent from President Bush's 2009 budget is funding for the job of
overseeing all Freedom of Information Act disputes.

The ombudsman job at the National Archives and Records Administration was
seen as the centerpiece of legislation passed by Congress last year and signed
by Bush on Dec. 31 to overhaul the beleaguered law.

The president eliminated the job at the archives in his proposed spending plan
and transferred the responsibility to the Justice Department.

After hearing rumors of this for the past two weeks, the open government
community responded in full force, saying there is a conflict in interest in having
Justice oversee complaints about FOIA responses.

"The Bush administration "repealed" a section of the new law," said Patrice
McDermott, executive director of, an umbrella
organization of conservative and liberal groups concerned about government
secrecy. McDermott said the administration hid its actions deep in the Commerce
section of the budget.

"The public should be shocked, as we are, that the president has attempted to
use his budget to repeal a provision of a law he just signed," McDermott said.
"The OPEN Government Act creates an ombudsman office for the public in the
National Archives and the president is not only ignoring this law, but attempting
to re-write a statute-to legislate without Congress. This is an affront to all of us
and it is time for Congress to restore the balance of powers."

The Sunshine in Government Initiative, a coalition of ten media groups dedicated
to open government issues, wrote to lawmakers today objecting to the action.
"Asking the Justice Department to perform the responsibilities creates an
inherent conflict of interest," the letter to lawmakers states. "We encourage the
Congress to fully fund the Office of Government Information Services within the
National Archives. This reflects the plain language of the statute and intent of
Congress in passing the OPEN Government Act. The money should follow the

"For the first time, Congress created an independent ombudsman in the federal
government to help the public," said Rick Blum, coordinator of SGI. "Why quit the
experiment after only 35 days?"

The ombudsman would be an important advocate for the public to better
understand how open government works, resolve disputes and avoid
unnecessary lawsuits when seeking documents from our government, Blum said.

Daniel J. Metcalfe, who ran the Justice Department's Office of Information and
Privacy before retiring to run the Collaboration on Government Secrecy at
American Univeristy's Washington College of Law, found the president's action

"Ironically, this is so transparent: OMB and Justice seek to avoid complying with
this FOIA amendment by instead merely proposing its alteration, and through an
appropriations process that of course won't conclude until near the end of the
year, if even by then," Metcalfe said. "Meanwhile, existing law is flouted, a terrible
example is set for FOIA implementation, and 'the clock is run out' by this
administration. Congress should see through this and not tolerate it."

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., who authored the FOIA overhaul with Sen. John
Cornyn, R-Texas, vowed to restore funding for the job at the National Archives.
Leahy suspected that the administration would make this move and said so on
Jan. 24 on the Senate floor.

"Once again, the White House has shown they intend to act contrary to the intent
of Congress," Leahy said.

"The president has repealed part of the law he signed just over a month ago,"
Leahy said. "I will continue to work through the appropriations process to make
sure that the National Archives and Records Administration has the necessary
resources and funds to comply with the OPEN Government Act."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What Should I Write Today?

Well, I am trying to write more on my blog, so now I have to think of something.... One bit of news is that I am researching MBA programs a little more. I think having an MBA would help me stay at the Exploratorium, or, if I can't stay, work at another science museum or comparable non-profit organization. I really like the people at museums, I think, and would love to stay in that kind of environment.

I was riding my bike this morning, and rode past a gigantic Great Dane. Those dogs really are fantastic: from a distance, they look like they almost could be small horses. And speaking of my bicycle, I still have to get some new pedals and toe clips. I am slowly, slowly upgrading....

Today, the sun is out in San Francisco, and I am very glad I bought a wide-brimmed sun hat a few months ago. What a great purchase.... I feel silly wearing it, but it helps a lot.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What Am I Doing?

Well, I am now thinking about what I might want to do if I leave the Exploratorium. I love the Exploratorium's staff, programming, and general atmosphere, but I have been thinking more and more lately about my financial future, and how I will most likely have to earn more money soon. There aren't many opportunities to advance at the Exploratorium, so I will probably have to leave (though I would like to return at some point). So, what am I going do? I like the idea of applying for a science writing masters program: I enjoy writing, science, and explaining complicated topics. I also recently began considering an MBA program, which would be widely applicable, and most likely allow me to have more opportunities to work at nonprofits, including museums like the Exploratorium. And, I am still thinking about applying to law schools. On the one hand, I keep hearing horror stories about how current lawyers are depressed, don't like their work, and wouldn't recommend their jobs to other people. On the other, I think I might enjoy studying and working in the field of law anyway. I like that style of thinking, and I like logic, argumentation, and especially constitutional law. Plus, for all I know, most of the lawyers in the surveys I have read only become lawyers for prestige, or job security, or family pressure, and were never really interested in law in the first place. Thus, they are unhappy. Those statistics can be interpreted in many ways. Arrrrgh!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Paul Ekman Lecture

This past weekend, I attended a lecture by renowned psychologist Paul Ekman, held at the Exploratorium. He was truly a fascinating person: confident, though a self-admitted curmudgeon.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


The Exploratorium has recently unveiled a new exhibit collection on the human mind. This topic is one of my favorites topics to think about, so I am very, very excited. Here is information about the collection: