Thursday, August 19, 2004

Happy Birthday Gene

Today is Gene Roddenberry's birthday.

A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.
---Gene Roddenberry

Time is the fire in which we burn.
---Gene Roddenberry

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Already filled with waste

From Daily Grist, an environmental newsletter from Grist Magazine:
Bush's Small Tweaks to Regulations Carry Large Consequences

In the third installment of its in-depth three-article series on Bush administration regulatory changes, The Washington Post today focuses on the way the administration circumvents public debate and legislation in favor of making small changes in regulatory wording that carry huge consequences -- removing the word "hazardous" from mercury emission regs, reclassifying nuclear waste from "high-level" to "incidental," and perhaps most portentously, changing the name of debris from mountaintop-removal coal mines from "waste" to "fill." The latter change -- the "fill rule" of 2002 -- has led to a boom in a practice that is loathed not only by enviros but by a growing majority of rural Appalachians, who object to the irremediable destruction of landscapes where their families have lived for generations. Some 700 miles of headwater streams have been buried in "fill" and more than 240 species of fish adversely affected. As it happens, the coal industry has raised $9 million for Republicans since 1998.

straight to the source: The Washington Post, Joby Warrick, 17 Aug 2004
Well I know something about coal mining. I grew up in the coal region of PA. My grandfather started 'picking' coal (sorting the smaller pieces of coal from rock) as a young boy. Friends and family earned their living and started their dying (black lung, emphysema) in the mines. My hometown of Shamokin has huge culm banks, mountains really, made from discarded coal waste.

Glen Burn Coal Mine Breaker, Shamokin, PA

And not far is the famous burning town, Centralia, where underground mine fire made the entire town unfit to live in. I think it is very clear, we don't need less environmental protections we need more! Let's not go back to the 'good old days'.

Smoldering hillside near Centralia, PA

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Pictures vs words

I have been spending a lot of time taking photographs and fussing with them using Photoshop. Hence, not much time for writing or reading. It is a really interesting change for me. I am starting to think more visually, more colorfully. Sometimes it drives me crazy to be constantly looking for something to photograph, even when I don't have my camera, but my dreams are more colorful. I was doing a little bit of yoga and stretching tonight and I could even relate the feeling in my body to color and form. Here is one of my latest creations.

Taken from north shore of Long Island near sunset.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Dream: The Gifted Table

I was at a work function, a dinner with other scientists. We were discussing something about a protein with which I work, something about if there were three arginines at the C-terminus. I couldn't remember if there were (and I felt I should know this information). Another scientist (someone visiting whom I didn't know) knew the answer and did some complicated calculation in his head to solve the problem. I was embarassed. I also felt like I was 'hooked' or physically connected to one of the scientists, like our belts had got tangled. We sat down for dinner but when I looked up from my plate everyone had left to another table. Some waiters came and told me I had to move because they were moving the table. I picked up my plate and carried it to a table with people I had attended high school with. One was Kevin Wetzel. He looked at me and said, "Welcome back to the gifted table." He looked different than I remembered. The girl/woman across from me was drawing my picture and/or taking notes on what I was doing. I didn't recognize her. I felt embarassed and relieved to be back at this table rather than the one with all the scientists.