Thursday, December 25


"These taste like old nuts" -Mom

called by Luke

Tuesday, December 23

Climate Soap Box

Because climate change will effect everyone.

This image comes from a post on one of my favorite blogs, Climate Progress. It demonstrates the 4 possible scenarios we face with climate change.
Because it seems hard to read, let me summarize the 4 scenarios:
  1. Early and rapid decline starting in 2010. 47% decreases in current emissions levels. 2.1-2.8C temperature rise by 2100. NOTICE: this still results in a global rise in temperature
  2. Early but slow decline starting in 2010. Emissions to 1990 levels by 2050. 2.9-3.8C temperature rise by 2100.
  3. Late and slow decline starting in 2030. 76% increase in emissions by 2050. 4-5.2C temperature rise by 2100.
  4. Business as usual. 137% increase in emissions by 2050. 5.5-7.1C temperature rise by 2100.
And as it is so eloquently put:
The consequences of 5.5°C warming by 2100, which Hadley says is "likely" on our current emissions path are all but unimaginable — mass extinction, devastating ocean acidification, brutal summer-long heat waves, rapidly rising sea levels, widespread desertification. But they are rarely studied or articulated by scientists who can’t imagine humanity would be so stupid as to let this happen. I have tried to piece them together from the scientific literature.
More to come!
[Climate Progress]

Shame, shame, shame

So in an effort to not only have posts about weed, masturbation, and sex in my first ten posts, my next... let's say... at least 4 posts will not contain such vulgar material and will instead steer towards the true direction of this blog.

I hope millions of Californians are out there questioning their vote on Election Day to ban gay marriage in our state. In an all to predictable move, the "Yes on 8" group has moved to nullify the 18,000 marriages performed during the short time they were legal. It makes me sick. I can't even begin to wonder who thought this was a good idea. If lines weren't drawn in the sand already -- they are now.

The Courage Campaign (if you live in CA and even if you don't and support gay marriage please sign their growing petition) collected and posted a number of pictures to put faces to the people whose rights will be violated should this legal maneuvering succeed. Check it out here.

Also, because he is much more articulate than I am, if you haven't seen John Stewart spar with Mick Huckabee on the Daily Show, check it out here.

[Courage Campaign]

Target Acquired

Too funny not to post:Because it seems difficult to read, it says "Help reform marijuana laws."

Monday, December 22

Overheard In DC

While a full update of my trip DC will be following shortly. Here is a brief snippet. This is in the same vein as "Overheard in NY", but it was too good a quote to pass up.

Tough looking black dude to his smaller, nerdier black hipster friend:

"You know what really sucks, when you think Lollipop is coming on but then it's the Lollipop Remix"

Sunday, December 21

Drunken Ramblings

Watching The Dark Knight on Blue-Ray is like watching God masturbate!

Thursday, December 18


I just want to take a moment and say something positive about the Wii Fit. Being unbelievably lazy this morning, I reset my 8am alarm, for 9am, which I then reset for 9:15. After attempting to get going, including actually leaving bed -- I said screw it, I am not going to the gym this morning, and went back to sleep until 10. This is the very gym membership I bought last night for $49, and promised I would get the most out of.

After my alarm finally woke me up, I headed downstairs and started up the family's Wii Fit. After the set-up I did some yoga and general aerobics. Let me be specific -- I played the Hula Hoop game, knowing from previous experience the intense ab workout that comes with it. I am not joking. Intense ab workout. I then moved to the yoga position. Now for someone who has thought about joining a yoga group (for two reasons: 1) I am not a body builder and like the idea of yoga as an agent for toning muscle groups, and 2) to meet the women who participate in yoga) it was a nice introduction to starting positions and something I will continue to use while I am home. Especially if I am this lazy every morning.

Now off to DC!

Wednesday, December 17


Female G spot found!!! That's probably all I need to say.

Last Joshua Tree Post

To round out the day, we traveled from Arch Rock, on one side of the park, as the sun was setting, to the far side of the park and Keys View. The temperature dropped precipitously after the sunset and by the time we reached the top it was 35F outside, with a biting 30 mph wind. Keys View has a viewing area that sits at 5,185 ft and overlooks the Coachella Valley, specifically the city of Palm Springs. I didn't know this, but Palm Springs is the gayest town in America, with the highest percentage of "out" people in the country. Keys View also overlooks the San Andreas Fault -- in the full dark, it was visible as a black area that lacked any development.

Looking to the east and south you could see the whole of Coachella Valley shimmer and sparkle. Just like LA. I have never seen cities on the East Coast sparkle, have you? East Coast cities seem to just glow -- emanating light constantly, like a light bulb -- while LA, and now the Coachella Valley, truly sparkle. Interesting...

Tuesday, December 16

*Skeet, skeet*

Also, scientist have shown, that if you happen to have one good trait about you, ex. healthy heart, height and longevity, your chances are better for having other good traits. Add to this list-- quality semen.

It seems that tall people, who will live to be very old and have strong hearts, now can add having good semen to online dating profiles. Hurray science!

*Glug, glug*

Melting glaciers are bad. Especially for people who hate the shore, beach, coastline, or whatever you are comfortable calling it. NASA released data showing that since 2003, 2 trillion tons of ice have melted from landlocked glaciers. That's 2 followed by this many zeros 000,000,000,000.

For one last number-- this has added 1/5 of an inch to the world's ocean. THE WORLD'S OCEAN. Like the 71% of stuff that covers the planet, the whole thing, increased by 1/5 of an inch in 5 years.

Joshua Trees

This is going to be a harder task than I thought it would. I have been telling myself for the last few days that I wanted to write something about the types of personalities Joshua trees convey. But now looking back over my pictures, I've realized that many of the best examples of Joshua tree personalities are either not on my camera or occurred later in the afternoon, when I had exhausted my attempts to document every tree in the park. But I will give it the old college try.
This picture occurred early in the day and was taken from the car. Look at how the tree in the foreground seems so regal -- sprouting all those extra branches, laughing at the other trees further from the road. I really don't like the snotty attitude I am getting from the tree, but it's a good example of the diversity. Look at the scrawny tree with no branches in the background just to right, now there is a tree I can relate to :)
And this one. It looks a mommy and a baby Joshua tree. I might stop right here, with my attempts to personify the pictures I have and outsource this to Ben K. He is much better at it than I am. And has some much more inspired pictures. But for one last picture from the day --
Now while it may be hard to see. This is the view to the Northeast from the top of Ryan Mountain. Each one of those small smudges between the base of the mountain and those so climbable rock piles is a Joshua tree. They must love it so much up there in the high desert.

Monday, December 15

Rock Memories

So a word to the wise. If you are looking for Skull Rock in Joshua Tree Natl Park, do not stop at the first sign you come to claiming "Skull Rock", get out of the car and head south of the road towards a rock the could possibly be Skull Rock, but might not be. Unless you want to stumble across a collection of rock sculptures. This is what we did. Seeing the first sign, Andy, Ben and myself pulled to the side of the road and walked into the wilderness. Probably the best thing we could have done.

After meandering along a dried riverbed, we came upon an area that had clearly been frequented by people. Along the normal outcroppings of Joshua Tree rock formations, people had collected and began placing loose rocks into patterns and designs. I wish I had captured more on my camera. But suffice it to say, there was the standard "L 'hearts' T", "FREINDS" [sic] and then some not so usual ones, including a smiley face, a rock snow man, and then these two shapes which I do have pictures of: This was so perfectly done. It must have taken ages.
The stone this person used for the head was just so perfect. The shape is exactly like a birds head. We all marveled at the site of collected human creativity. Ben was humbled by the number of people who had obviously spent many hours collecting and designing these rock patterns. He was even jubilant at the thought that so many people came and left permanent memories that could be so easily removed and had no negative impact on the ecosystem. We continued to the rock that might have been Skull Rock, and collectively decided it definitely wasn't. Taking another route back to the car, still looking for the elusive Skull Rock we came across this formation:
From there we covered some great terrain - including a deep gully cut into the rocks after eons of torrential rains and flash floods. The view from the bottom was breath taking and I immediately snapped a picture.
And of course, because life is filled with irony, this route back to road, dumped us directly next to the actually Skull Rock. You can see it from the road and it has a sign that can be seen from the roadway that points directly to it -- in case you happened to be blind and missed it. While it did resemble a Skull, at that point I didn't feel like taking a picture of it. The view from the top was nice though--
Ben, Andy and two fellow adventures looking for not so elusive Skull Rock.

Sunday, December 14

So Glad I live in California

After a late night of spreading holiday cheer and drinking copious amounts of alcohol, I dragged myself out of bed for an amazing Sunday adventure. Ben K., Andy, and myself left sunny Santa Monica this morning at 9am heading east.

We traveled to one of California's prolific national parks, Joshua Tree. Yes, this morning I started out a Joshua Tree virgin, and this evening returned smiling and satisfied.For those of you who have never traveled through California, this state never ceases to amaze me. The number of different ecosystems and unique geography seems endless, and sometimes I think it might be. Here the landscape seems so starkly lunar and martian, appearing barren and lifeless.
And yet here in this harsh, high desert environment spanning from mountain range to mountain range, is home to some amazing wildlife, including the Joshua Tree. Now don't let it's short stature fool you, just because it is vertically challenged doesn't mean it is without wisdom. Joshua trees can grow to be THOUSANDS of years old and have been growing to such old age in the park unmolested. Here you can see Ben and Andy posing with our first Joshua tree friend.
These trees have such rich character. Each one striking a different pose, varying their branches and their heights and their girth. They all look like they are trying to tell you a tale and be your friend.

The day was intense. Of course we immediately climbed the first giant pile of rocks we came across.
And stood like immortals overlooking our domain.
And the landscape was so epic. With these boulder structures ranging in size and form. From "loosely" gathered piles to solid rocks that had been shaped by wind and water.
We walked the Ryan Mountain trail - a trail that only covers 1.5 miles horizontally, but climbs a 1,000 ft vertically simultaneously.
Yes Ben is shoeless. It's a thing he does. I will have to post more about our specific adventures tomorrow. But I will leave you with two photos summing up the end of the day.
Arch Rock. Me. No big deal. :)
And the last picture, as the sun dipped below the mountains.

Saturday, December 13

Dirty Thunderstorm

Just wow!
This is a volcano in Chile erupting, this past year, and causing a lightning storm.
[National Geographic]

Miss World 2008

I can see why this 20-year old Russian won. Schwing!

[Russian News Website]

Did you know...

that the Earth is slowing down. Slowly, but surely. This year time-keepers will add an extra second to keep the atom clock in sync with the Earth's rotation. The second will go in between 6:59:59 PM EST and 7:00:00 PM EST. Crazy.

Friday, December 12


"That's what Venice is, just shady little holes."
"That you line up for to get in"
"That's what she said"


the moon does look bigger than usual tonight

So not only will it be full tonight - it will be the closest to Earth it has been for the last 15 years. Hope it's clear and beautiful where you are tonight.

All I want for Christmas

Oh green nerd gear how I love you!


First post!

I don't know about you, but I think this may be a new buzz word for our times: transparency

This is a good thing. Definitely a good thing. Only a few people cared enough to look for bad policies and then had no one to inform. But as the blogging/Internet revolution continues, it is going to get harder and harder for bad policies to exist. Take a second to monitor your Digg or Twitter and you can see what I am talking about. People reporting claims to and then having 1,000s of people view it. Single handily turned me off Best Buy.

Wednesday, December 10

The View From the Ivory Tower

DISCLAIMER! In no way do I think that any of my opinions expressed in this blog are absolutes. Please feel free to disagree and feel even free-er to express your disagreements in the comments section. With that said, on with the show---

To get started, a brief history --

I am a 23 year old, PhD student at the University of Southern California and I currently live 12 blocks from the ocean in Santa Monica. I graduated from Rutgers U. in 2007 with BAs in Biology and Marine Sciences. My PhD will be in marine biology, but not the publicly-exciting dolphin training type of marine biology, but the general-conversation-yawn-fest field of microbiology. I study bacteria in the ocean.

So while I am busy most of the time being a good student and working towards future career goals, I do have my unproductive moments. This is my attempt to make my unproductive moments quasi-productive. Put some thoughts down on paper. Keep those friends of mine farther afield up-to-date and maybe get some new folks interested too.

I am sure I will post a ton of different, incoherent topics throughout our time together. I hope to keep topics to the growing gay rights/marriage equality issue, climate change, interesting news posts of the day... things of that nature. But I can guarantee I won't keep to these topics exclusively --

Living in Southern California has made me rather outdoors-y, so expect posts about trails, hikes and camping trips.

And in the same vein look for bike routes and adventures, as I love that too.

Absurd life stories! Always a must.

Rants about the injustices of the USC education system AND graduate schools in general.

And because I am straight, single male in LA, expect to hear stories of rejection and frustration because I am terrible at those first meetings with the opposite sex!

So let the fun begin!