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Here is one final thanks to all of my readers, especially for all of your wonderful comments over the last week. I know I'll miss blogging here. In fact, I doubt I'll be able to stay gone for too long. I promise, (barring any truly chaotic circumstances) that I will return. I may start a new blog then, since I was ready to change themes anyways. I'll find a way to let you know when I return to blogging, even if it isn't under the same "Chaotic Utopia" banner. In the meantime, you can find me in any of the following places: Facebook (though I warn you, I'm just barely starting it--it'll be a…
This is a little unexpected, I'm sure. I sat down last week, on my three-year blog-anniversary, to put together my banner and start the updating that I've been talking about for a month, but I couldn't do it. I wanted the creative juices to flow, to get excited about blogging again, but instead I hit the same stagnant block that I've been running into for months. The ideas are here, collected on a sheet of graph paper that I keep by my desk, so it isn't really the content that is lacking. Rather, I'm missing the will to do it. And so, I sit, staring at my ideas without the will to bring them…
Well, here it is the first Monday in 2009, and judging by my inbox, which suddenly jumped to life, it is definitely time to get back to this poor site update. I was ready to dive in, anyhow, since the holidays are finally past, and my son returns to school tomorrow. (Yay!) Besides, tomorrow is Chaotic Utopia’s birthday--my first blog post was January 6, 2006. So, as a present to my blog, I’ll be giving it that much needed facelift. (I’ll admit, I was stymied by a few design choices, but I’ve finally moved past that and know what I want to do.) In the meantime, check out this series of…
I always get plenty of books for Christmas--more than I’ll ever have time to read, certainly. So, this year, when I started to tear the paper from the corner of another heavy and flat rectangle, it was hard to get excited. But underneath the paper, I caught a glimpse of a cracked cobblestone. The surface of cobblestone was scratched white, as if the pale scratches were emanating from the crack in the stone. The crack seemed to extend to another scratched cobblestone, gently curving like the beginning of a gentle spiral. Ooh! Oooh! Oooh! Could it be? I tore the paper, revealing the cover. YES…
Anyone remember this song? Well... Santa got in the Christmas Spirit (or was that into the Christmas Spirits?) and now he needs your help to play connect the dots. Yup. It's just what you think: (flash required) Ho! Ho! Ho! Yellow Snow! For more Holiday games, check out the Holiday Link Dump over at JayIsGames, written by yours truly. Yes, I've spent a bit more time playing games over the past few days than I have updating my website. (That's still coming.) When you see these adorable treasures, you'll understand how I got distracted. Here is one gift that didn't make it into the holiday…
Humans!A film by Three Legged Legs This snarky little film is my way of saying: I’m back, but I’m still busy--you know, being a human, consuming resources, yadda yadda. Since Christmas is only a week away, I’m going to use this time to post nonsense filler (hopefully some of it holiday-themed) and work on the style changes that are now long overdue. Stay tuned for more!
Mumble, mumble, stupid holidays... mumble mumble, final exams... mumble, grumble, not enough time in a day... mumble, curse, mumble... There must be some corollary to Murphy’s law that states every time I want to do something nice for myself, I will be swamped with other things. That seems to be the theme for the entire autumn of 2008. I want to update my blog and home site, but thanks to family issues, computer problems, and class work, this fix-up keeps getting postponed. I’d like to say that I have the solution, that I’m finally free, but the fact is, even this note is on stolen time. I…
Happy Turkey Day! Shoot your own dinner! via Southbank Thanks to my pal, Sara, who recommended this manic turkey shooter for Thanksgiving Day. I know it doesn't make sense, but then again, most holidays don't anymore.
Ok, this is just bizzarre. If you’re easily freaked out, don’t read this. It might start off nice and pretty... This story begins sometime in the mid-1990s, when I was still young enough to do stupid things with friends who had too much to drink. It involves a sort of tradition for those of us who grew up in the Front Range of Colorado, a world famous natural amphitheater, and a close encounter with the local flora. It was late on a warm summer night. A group of us had decided, just on the spur of the moment, to go over to Red Rocks Amphitheater, and see who was playing. Now, this didn’t…
So, I’ll be the first to admit it. This blog is dead. I’ve noticed it happening to a number of sites I used to read on a regular basis, as the authors found themselves overwhelmed and occupied with many other things--school, work, life--chaos. Yet, what I’m facing is a little different. This blog was always about chaos. And now, my trouble isn’t being overwhelmed with many things, but the exact opposite. I’ve been struck with focus. It was inevitable that my blog would follow. It has been a strange road. When I first started writing in earnest, developing my ideas and going back to school to…
Surely, you don’t need me to remind you to vote today. Everywhere we turn, there are little reminders. But what would happen if you or I didn’t vote today? Here’s an example: If you know someone who says they don’t need to vote, you can customize this video and send it to them. Finally, if you are, like me, going to drop off your ballot today (there is something pleasant about doing it the old fashioned way, on election day, at the polls, with the old-style non-computerized ballot!) bring a good book for those long lines, and enjoy! See you after we’ve elected someone!
I promised one more comic before getting back to more serious research, and here it is. Sluggy Freelance is usually a serialized comic, but one instance last week stood out on it’s own: "Don’t doubt my scienceness!"From Sluggy Freelance by Pete Abrams If you are curious about the story leading up to this scene (ie, why the storyline is titled "Little Bacon Bots" or why they are in an underground lab or who the dude in the helmet is or why they are debating the ultimate food) you could always go back to the beginning of the story. However, that might raise even more questions, like: why is…
You might have noticed, this blog has been as still as tomb over the past few weeks. It isn’t as if I was waiting for Halloween to write again--on the contrary, midterms were keeping me frighteningly busy! But, while I did manage to completely bomb one test, this semester has been quite insightful so far. (I finally see how this interdisciplinary approach I’ve been on will lead to a career. Yey! I’m not just wasting all my money on tuition!) So, all of this insight should, eventually, translate over to my blogging. It’ll be wicked, I promise! For now, I’m still trying to de-stress after a…
Better late than never, I guess. We shot this video a few weeks ago at our local ScienceBlogs bash. We had martinis and hors d'oeuvres, played with balloons, and had some interesting conversations on science. Some of them were deep and insightful. None of those were filmed. We leave you with the rest: Thanks to everyone who came, and to my husband Alan for his fascination with video editing.
American Progress by John Gast Take note of the bison in the painting above, fleeing from America’s angel of death, a now-fallen angel named Manifest Destiny.Take note of the bison, fleeing alongside horseback-riding natives and dwindling wildlife.Take note of the bison, pressed ever-more westward towards a finite boundary, towards the Pacific Ocean. Now, notice the complete lack of fences. Destiny, in the painting above, carries a reel of telegraph wire, but I can’t help but see it as barbed wire. Sure, this picture was trying to depict civilization as this beautiful, progressive thing,…
Barbed wire stretched across the prairie, the slaughter of animals (and people)... the founding of the old wild west wasn’t so beautiful. Despite that, of the classes I’m taking this fall, titled "Don’t Fence Me In", has gotten me to take a closer look at the Western genre in literature and film, and the commentaries they have made on our history. So, I’ve been turning back to the history of Church Ranch (my own pet wild west story,) watching Clint Eastwood films, and reading books by Cormac McCarthy. The latter really caught my interest... about halfway through Blood Meridian, (which is…
This poem seemed really fitting with the last post, yet I couldn’t fit it in anywhere. So here it is, all by itself, with some strange guy reciting it next to an egg cart: Buffalo Bill’s defunct who used to ride a watersmooth-silver stallion and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat Jesus he was a handsome man and what i want to know is how do you like your blueeyed boy Mister Death -- E. E. Cummings
Some folks say that bison belong here, not the ’burbs. The great herds once covered the plains, shaping the prairie in their nomadic graze. They were a keystone species, holding the ecology of the plains in a state of equilibrium. Native Americans who lived on the plains depended on the bison for survival, using the animals as a primary source of materials and food. Hides were used as clothing and shelter, bones were used as weapons, tools, and farming impliments. It may have been the most healthy lifestyle on earth at the time, at least nutritionally, if height is a judge of health. These…
Time passes and the universe expands... but not so much locally. Here, something else happens altogether. Time passes, the amount of space stays the same, but the amount of information contained within grows increasingly dense. We may be products of this, or we may produce it. As we are driven to explore the world around us, we carve it up with boundaries and divisions, categorizing any information we can get our hands on. Our categories get smaller and smaller, each more specific and detailed than the last. In a sense, our drive to divide and label at increasingly smaller scales seems…
The ScienceBlogs party here this past Sunday was a blast. We had about half a dozen people stop by, altogether. We ate and drank, talked science and politics, and did silly things for the camera. On the latter note, I now have about a half hour of footage that we shot at the party that is waiting to be edited. I estimate two minutes of it may actually be usable!* *Note...at future parties, don’t put the helium-filled balloons next to the martinis. The combination is apparently too tempting. So, I’ll have more party news later this weekend, when I’ll have time to sit down and look at that. In…