Thursday, December 11, 2008

Berkshare$ Currency

Steffen Root tells you why you should buy local with local currency.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Maine Marine Ecology field trip

Chucky slaying the ladies again.

Reflection in the water of a student holding a crab.

A non-interdimensional wormhole

A translucent worm plucked from his non-interdimensional home.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

the mind boggles...

The 65 mpg Ford the U.S. Can't Have
Ford's Fiesta ECOnetic gets an astonishing 65 mpg, but the carmaker can't afford to sell it in the U.S.


It can't afford NOT to sell it in the U.S.
Read the full story.

In other news... Michael Moore has a new movie out... and it's free!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Cycling Obsession

This here blog is liable to turn into a cycling journal primarily.

"If one is approaching a convex hill, applies power early, and powers over the hill, the speed is much greater than if one simply gears down as one approaches. You may think, but surely this is a tactic for racing alone! But the truth is, I use it often in touring. Sometimes I am crossing a bridge, so I need to keep my speed high, to get off of the narrow bridge as quickly as possible. But I have another strong reason for using these tactics when touring: I can save energy over grinding up the hill. However, the extra weight of the bike and also the fatigue of a long day do create limits to these strategies." --

I am racing on Sunday in a 22 mile very hill race. check out the hilliness:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Schule auch vertig los

uhh... my German isn't what it used to be. Translate as: all done for the summer. I'm predicting a 3.5 for the semester. But I really don't know how I did on my last two papers.

Someone needs to learn them when they're young how to hypermile, because that right there is gonna net him nothing but bad FE.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Easter and Other shenanigans

I never did the Easter Update. Photos taken with dad's camera of the Easter walk, before Leslie and I had arrived....

From top down: Aaron, Zane, Nadia and Gillian

John and Gillian

Doug and Gil

I arrived late to the Easter Walk because I had to wait for Leslie to get dressed. By the time we arrived, everyone was numchuckles near ready to pack it up. I didn't realize this at the time and wanted to do some hiking behind the falls, so Tobias and I set off. We both took pictures of the gushing falls still encrusted in ice. On the way down I told him I wanted to get more pictures from a vantage point I suspected to be a ways to the left of the steep wooded slope we were hiking down. He couldn't be bothered and continued down. Easter Sunday 2008 is a story in pictures.

When we reached the top, everyone had gone.

Nad had waited at my car with Leslie and Zane. When we got back I realized I had left my green cashmere sweater at the falls. Steffen had brought it up while Tobias and I were behind the falls. He left it on the railing, assuming I'd see it on my way out, but I think someone else saw before I got back down. Tobias and I drove back to Bash Bish later that evening at dusk. The last dull glow of the sunset the only light hovering on the horizon. I looked where my brother said he had left it but it wasn't there.

After I had scoured the area and didn't find my sweater, I walked back up to the road but the car nor Tobias did I see. Perplexed, I started walking up the road. After a short while, the probing beam of the flashlight spotted a shape laid out on the pavement. I squinted and upon approach, made out that it was Tobias.

What was Tobias doing lying on his back in the middle of the road? Was he dead? As I puzzled through the possibilities he suddenly came to life.

Switching Gears

Doug is one cool dude.

Doug gets a kiss from Christina

I'm no guppy!

"Hey Bucky"

Ben's gym nearly done.

A lady at Ganga Extravaganza was walking around with a pet python. Ganga Extravaganza is a festival of young, stoned, students campaigning to legalize marijuana. Really it's an excuse to get stoned without being harassed (not really sure how that works.) There were a few live bands playing, but otherwise it was pretty low key.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tick Season means Lyme Disease

Well, Seekonk seems to be tick heaven as half the people living in that low lying wooded area seem to have contracted Lyme Disease. I went for a very lovely stroll through the woods and, no surprise, when I woke up early this morning before the light to get a glass of water felt an itchy sensation near my bum and when I drowsily went to scratch it noticed that little tell tale flap of tick attached to me. After unsuccessful attempts with small medical scissors to remove the tick (they only served to cut off part of its backside) I tried the other method I was most familiar with: trying to burn it off with a burnt chopstick. But when that didn't work either, I went online to find out the best method for tick removal. I found one unsubstantiated claim that rubbing soap on it encourages it to leave, so I tried it but the tick didn't respond. I then found recurring websites that stated the following:

1. Do not use petrollium jelly, nail polish or nail polish remover, soap or other ointments to get the tick bothered enough to give up its host (you). While these methods may work, they may also incite the tick to regurgitate its meal, increasing the chance of injecting you with disease, even if it hasn't been 24 hours since it became so attached to you.

2. Do not try to burn the tick out. For the same reason. The stress of being burned can cause the tick to regurgitate saliva or gut contents, besides the fact that more often than not the tick will not remove itself... and the risk of burning yourself.

3. So how DO you remove a tick? The best way is to use good old fashioned tweezers. Get as close to the skin as possible and grasp the bugger firmly and pull straight out. Avoid jerky movements or twisting the tick. A firm, steady hand is all that is needed and is the best method. Jerking the tick or twisting it will only increase the chance of having mouthparts being left attached to your skin. Two reasons for getting as close to the skin as possible: one, you'll be less likely to upset the tick, and thus incite it to regurgitation, and secondly, it will remove easier the closer to the skin you grasp it.

Alternatively, a method used by fishermen may be employed which does not risk squeezing the tick's thorax. Use 18 inches of fine weight fishing line. The line is tied in a simple overhand knot that is tightened slowly around the tick's head. If the line is pressed against the skin while being gently pulled, the knot will tighten around the tick's head. Slowly pulling the ends of the line will then dislodge the tick from the bite site with a reduced chance of leaving the head attached. This method also works with sewing thread.

4. Once tick is removed, disinfect hands and site of bite and put the tick in a plastic bag and note the date on the bag (or on a piece of paper in the bag) and place it in the freezer. If you get sick later, you'll know precisely how long its been since you were bit, and you can have the tick analyzed later to see if the tick is really the cause for your flu like symptoms.

5. Its best to remove the tick less than 24 hours after being bit as this reduces the likelihood of contracting Lyme Disease or other tick caused illnesses.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My devour is the same as your devour

So a student told the professor during lecture. Just about everyone in lecture agreed that they had the same devour as the professor, except for one student who really didn't see anything wrong with saying "The children and adults from mars told Klem that the cat might devour."

The professor was saying that without saying what the cat might devour, the sentence is incomplete. The student who raised her hand and said "my devour is the same as yours" was stating that she agrees that it doesn't sound right to leave no object after devour. Most the rest of the class also agreed. The professor told the student who didn't agree that his devour must be different from the professor's. You can't say "Tomorrow the world will devour" but you can say "Tomorrow the world will eat." So the question is, what is the difference between the two verbs "to eat" and "to devour" that make this difference? 'Ts interesting.

Elsewhile when the professor sees the students might not be entirely enthralled with the material being taught he writes on the board: "The large dog has shat on the elf" to get their attention. The effect works. This isn't a random sentence though. We have been studying ambiguity in sentence syntax. Most of the time the former pupil of linguist Noam Chomsky has the class laughing--part teacher, part comedian. A couple classes he actually brought in a pet elf a former student had given him to demonstrate the subtle syntactic differences in meaning in a given sentence: "Some angry guy smashed the elf on the table." What does this sentence mean? Well, it actually has several meanings. To demonstrate, Kyle climbed up onto the table/podium in front of lecture to differentiate that "some angry guy smashed the elf on the table" and "some angry guy smashed the elf on the table." See the difference? No? It's okay, I didn't either at first. I'll explain. So in the first, some angry guy smashed the elf while he was standing on the table. Whereas in the second, some angry guy smashed the elf that was on the table. We draw syntactic trees in class to differentiate between all the meanings a sentence like this has. Adjectives and prepositional phrases introduce ambiguity of meaning into sentences we take for granted as having one meaning, when they actually could have many. To show the difference in these two, Kyle climbs up on the podium (which he has a little bit of difficulty doing) and then, standing on the podium, starts smashing the elf. He then gets down from the podium and puts the elf on the table and then starts smashing the elf again. Then the elf starts singing a crazy tune about having no friends because it's a misfit... do you think the student who gave it to Kyle was trying to give him a hint?

Here's a picture of the fine professor:

They don't call it ZooMass for nothing.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Soul - Yael Naim

You've all probably heard the new MacBook Air ad. Well, if you haven't, you haven't missed anything but a great song. I thought I'd post the song by Israeli Yael Naim on here blog.

Better yet, go to and sign up if you haven't already. Then create a new station called "new soul" -- very nice, chill music.

Speaking of notebooks. I'm typing this blog on my new laptop! Very cute little portable. I feel like I've suddenly been launched into the future. No more chicken scratch while taking notes in lecture anymore.
Also: stay tuned for the Easter walk update coming soon.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Break... just a little bit

Approaching the end of my spring break. Not quite as fun as Fraser Island in Australia I'm afraid....

Lake Mckenzie, Fraser Island, Australia, 2006? Yeah, good times those were.

Rather posthumous photos to be surfacing now, but one of my friends from my Australian trip just posted these on Facebook.

setting up camp.

getting slammed against the rocks--not sure what the appeal of this was now, but at the time it looked like a great idea.

Another one of Champagne Cove

whose the dork with his shirt on? Afraid of a little sun are we? Well, yes I am, thank you very much.

Fun times indeed! We all went sledding, running and tumbling down the sand dune.

we had a race at one point, but I think I ended up faceplanted in the sand somewhere... I don't quite remember. Dave was just happy not to be last.

A dingo. In numbers they can be a threat to humans.

wayward ship.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Devil's Arcade

so apparently (according to Shauana, my roommate whom I went to the Bruce Springsteen concert with) Bruce Springsteen covered a song by the Arcade Fire. Not sure if the title of this blog post and song is an homage to The Arcade Fire or not, but at any rate, a great song by da Boss on his latest album "Magic".

So it turns out I like large concerts. Never really knew I did, but definitely would like to see him again in the summer. Was one of the biggest natural highs liberated by a little alcohol I've experienced--good times dancin' in the dark. So after the superlative performance by Bruce an' company the radiator hose on my car came loose as we were driving out of the parking garage (a 20 minute episode in itself) and overheated. No biggie, went to a bar and borrowed a pitcher of water to replace the missing fluid and put the hose back on; finally found a gas station and bought some coolant and a flathead screwdriver and tightened the hose down good; problem fixed; no exploding engine on the ride home.

let's hear it for the good samaritan

What do you do when you leave your lights on and come back to your car? Don't panic. Well, if you are in the middle of town on a busy street with a lazy red light keeping traffic at a crawl, just hook up the jumper cables and stand next to your car. You don't even have to wave; two minutes later someone will stop in the middle of the street, and hopefully the cables are just long enough; and 30 seconds later you're on your way. If you're me, you learn early on to keep jumper cables in the back of the car. Uhh.. maybe someday I'll buy another camera, until then it's edge of your seat exciting moments like this to dazzle and entertain.

Friday, February 29, 2008


The writer's job and challenge is to take two dimensional words; to arrange a bunch of squiggles that make up language in a way as to illicit in the reader's imagination and stores of experience a visceral, three dimensional understanding of something they may have never actually experienced themselves. This is obviously not easy and I have class in a few minutes so all I'll say right now is the Boss is still the boss and Bruce Springsteen is a Living Legend. The concert was Magic.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm giong to a Bruce Springsteen Concert!

Tomorrow I'm gonna see the Boss perform live in Hartford with the E Street Band!! Somehow I know not how, I scored two free tickets valued at over $100 a piece. I've invited one of my roommates along who has a similar opinion of the Boss as myself; not a raving fan, but definitely not going to pass up an opportunity to see a living legend rock out only the way the Boss knows how. VERRY ROCKIN' Check back soon for an update on the show! In other lucky news, I picked up a nearly new $100 printer/fax/scanner for $20 because some lady was moving and didn't use it much. I also scored a circa $2000 88 key electric piano that sounds like a real high quality piano (but has great functionality for hooking up to a PC) for $600. I'm just all sorts of scoring lately.

2009 Auto Show

Cars are fun. So couple weekends ago I went down to Philadelphia with mein bruder to visit my cousin Jonathan and his wife Allison. We threw the football in the park and I jumped the fence Jacky Chan style. The highlight of the show was when my car was featured! Yes, I'm not kidding! Same generation, same model, same color! But all blinged out with 617 horsepower or something ridiculous like that which is Mclaren F1 territory.

First, another photo that needs a caption. Come on, people, I know who most of you are that look at this blog and most of you are clever and smart and I'm sure you could come up with some good captions.

OMG Britney Spears having sex in public with 50 cent!

Still the best tuner car ever made:

Steffen checks out a stylish crossover Bimmer. Or was it the M5?

That's Jonathan in the background with the carrot colored hair and brown jacket.

This car had interesting seats. Kind of like how Miller High Life is the champagne of beers (the stuff you learn at college) this car is the champagne of ... cars.

The exterior:

Jonathan showing the camera some love

Jake in front of an American Revolution. Sorry, this revolution doesn't involve overthrowing Dick Cheney.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Porsche Cayman. Go on, you can drool with me. Just don't get any on your keyboard.

Lotus Exige. Very interesting name. I wouldn't recommend trying to say it ten times fast.

This Mercedes starts at $495,000. I think it might be overpriced. Granted it carries the Mclaren badge.

Audi's flagship sports car. I think it costs less than 1/6th of the above Merc.

Somebody wrecked this one but they couldn't be bothered to remove it from the show.

Umm... sexy.

That is what I call a fine caboose.