During this month of May, I’ll turn this blog over to observations on our trip to Yap. Yup, Yap. One small island among others within the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). I’ll be there for 3 weeks, part of a class from Queens University (Charlotte, North Carolina). I’m accompanying my grad-school friend Reed Perkins, an environmental science faculty member. And his colleague Greg Pillar, and their 12 undergraduate students. Reed takes a group of students *every* May term to Yap; this is his 11th trip. They do a range of different environmentally-oriented projects, often focusing on watershed dynamics and sustainable agriculture. This year in particular they’re beginning a GIS-based project that aims to mitigate issues of sea-level rise affecting the outer Yapese islands.
My part in all of this? Being another “adult” on the trip, contributing GIS expertise, learning to scuba dive, and some weeks of off-work time.
To travel from Ithaca (NY) to Colonia (Yap, FSM) required me first to pass through EWR to CLT on day one. Then about 27 hrs ago we left CLT for IAH, then HNL (where I’d never been before, but an hour in the airport doesn’t count for crossing the state off my list), and now Guam (GUM).
Guam, enough part of the US to still have my cell phone plan work, but still 15 hrs of combined flight time from Texas. The touristy part of “downtown” of Guam City (?) looks like one gigantic Duty Free shop. All neon, all luxury stores. Cartier, Tiffany, Rolex, Louis Vuitton. Not where the Guamese hang out. But with our 5-hr layover, close enough to find a sushi restaurant for dinner (breakfast, EDT). Dee-licious.
Almost time for the short flight over to Yap. We found a wall of free wifi leaking through from the United Club. Fifteen people, thirsty for their internet stream after a dry day of travel.
From my favorite fabric store, Spoonflower, check out the winners of the earth science contest. Can’t wait to quilt with some of these!
Does anyone else out there have stories to share of managing a lifetime of dual academic careers? Here are some statistics about our phenomenon in a study by the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford (pdf). Not too surprising that the proportion of academic marrying other academics is high. We’re meeting each other during the years most likely to be seeking mates and the years mostly likely to be in grad school.
I’ve been an exception to the trend of men’s jobs coming first. We’re just doing a tango. It takes two.
A NYT story about students from Harvard documenting locations and types of toilets available in a Mumbai slum.
“The act of naming streets, counting citizens and mapping facilities turns information into an advocacy tool.”
But what was unexpected, that using toilets lowered some rates of sickness, or that even the poorest of people would pay 2-3 cents to enjoy a cleaner site?
Two years ago, I completed the Rock & Roll marathon in San Diego in just over 4 hrs. Fast forward to the present, and I’m in a state of recovery, from a year of cancer and its treatments, and 18+ months of on/off plantar fasciitis. But a few days ago I went about 2 miles with my Vibram 5-toe shoes, and today I’ll head out for another few miles in my new low-profile Brooks. My goal is to be running 1/2 marathons in a year, pain and injury free.
I love xkcd’s cartoons, especially on National Running Day.
A post from somewhere recently (the Atlantic?) keyed me into the work done by John Nelson at IDV User Experience, such as Thiessen polygons of Craig’s Lists boundaries. Then I wandered onto a similar approach for Massachusett’s Dunkin Donuts regions by PasteInPlace. Soon the indefatigable Seth Dixon had pointed me towards the US Personality map. Next thing I knew, I was back to John Nelson’s production of the US according to its Google Autocompletes. (Which reminded me of the Google Making us Dumber site, which I see has become stale, or maybe it was this Oddee list I was remembering.)
Just a few bookmarks after a Sunday night hour of procrastination…
Media Oversimplifies New Study Linking Alcohol and Breast Cancer. Cabernet may be the smoking gun, but it may not. Is there anything the media doesn’t over-simplify? Isn’t that what we pay them to do?
Can the human body’s reactions to what it ingests and what it’s exposed to over its lifetime be linked to its responses with any certainty? You could spend a bunch of time looking up diseases that you or your neighbor might possibly one day contract, or you could rely on statistics to tell you what’s more likely. Know what I love about this graphic from the National Safety Council? That “Total, Any Cause” is still 1 in 1. Hah, I knew it! Pass the cabernet.
Like my friend Phil always quotes, “If the brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn’t. ” Emerson Pugh.
The LA Times hosted a health chat with Richard Louv last week, known for describing “nature deficit disorder.” I’m a big fan of his ideas. It’s an ongoing challenge to keep nature, in all its forms, an active part of the lives of our teenagers. We’re in the midst of one success story: the 13- and 14-yr-old are hiking for a week with their grandparents, at the Grand Canyon and in southern Utah (Zion NP, and elsewhere). We didn’t force them to leave their phones here, and my daughter stays remarkably aware of wi-fi zones in the hotels where they stay. But I know that at least their days are spent hiking and phone-free, and this journey with John and Wendy will certainly be a life-long memory for them. If they just survive the 24-hrs/day they’re spending with each other right now…
And look, even cats know the fun of roaming outdoors.
Stop reading this blog. Go outside and walk around the block, or if you’re lucky, up in the woods.
Thanks, Janet, for the hat tip on Louv’s interview.
I’m finding my life a bit overwhelming lately, with way too much happening and too many unanticipated things to manage. Yet somehow I’ll get through it all, and I’ll survive, literally, and these days too will seem like a blur.
Then what’s left at the end of the day (week, year, life) is fragmented memories that you piece together. I’ve been watching this video clip on life’s moments that my friend Theresa shared with me. And listening non-stop to the new album Rome by Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi. And loving them both.
The location-enabled form of navel-gazing. Wear a GPS for 200 days and then categorize all of your activities. Someone has a lot of time on their hands… But from an anthropological perspective, I appreciate the curiosity of it – http://www.tlclark.com/atlasofthehabitual/index.html.