30 April, 2008

The Endless Animal

This is hard to believe, but, theoretically, a jellyfish could live forever. It can change back and forth from maturity to a polyp state. But individuals have never been tracked properly and there is no way of determining one's age. Shocking. Click the title bar for the article.

The Marvel of Trees

It is almost a marvel that trees should live to become the oldest of living things. Fastened in one place, their struggle is incessant and severe. From the moment a baby tree is born -- from the instant it casts its tiny shadow upon the ground -- until death, it is in danger from insects and animals. It cannot move to avoid danger. It cannot run away to escape enemies. Fixed in one spot, almost helpless, it must endure flood and drought, fire and storm, insects and earthquakes, or die.
-- Enos Mills, The Story of the Thousand Year Pine

the Oldest and the Biggest

Are you interested in lists? For whatever reason I am. I like to know what the biggest, oldest, smallest, farthest, coldest ,tallest, fastest. . . I don't read Guiness or anything, but sometimes I wish I had one around.

For instance, years ago, when I studied dendrology (trees) I learned some interesting things about the natural world. Example: What do you think the oldest living thing is?? (I used to whip this one out at bars and parties and stuff. I've never gotten a correct answer, as far as I knew, according to my information. One guy came close once.)
Anyway, isn't it an interesting question? It brings in the the scope of the world, everything (living). Don't you think that somehow the answer to this question would make the world more beautiful, more amazing and unfathomable?? I think this why I love random, arcane facts--they make the world more magnificent, the breadth of life more limitless.

What about the largest living organism???. . . huh. What does the world look like to you? What is truly huge in your estimation. . . and how does that stack up to 'huge' in our greater human mind?

What is also interesting is that nether of these questions have one single answer--it isn't black and white. What exactly is "one single organism"?? What does "old' mean"? Who cares. . . lets answer all the varieties.

Are you interested??????

I decided to go to the internet and check what I thought I knew. According to Wikipedia, I was close, close enough. I at least made both lists, with several variation as well. I just had a few places wrong, and a few years on the age thing. Here they are:

Largest living organism:

Oldest living organism:

Strangely, yesterday I was interested to determine the largest city in the U.S. I had always thought it was L.A. Someone this weekend had said it was N.Y. So I checked and found that, indeed, NY was the larger, but its population was WAY lower than I would have thought. (Gauging population, again, is apparently a very realitive thing.) So then I did a search for "world's largest cities" and was shocked to find that I was fairly off the mark on these facts as well, at least sort of.

I've always thought that the largest cities in the world were Mexico City and Sao Paulo at around 20 million, and LA and Bejing close behind with 18. I suppose I was pretty close on the numbers, but that there are other areas, such as Seoul and Tokyo that are even bigger. Tokyo is estimated at 32 million!! Come on! How can that not be an astounding realization? We have created a city with 32 million people! There is a city in the world with 32 million people in it! I had never dreamed of such a thing. My world just grew a few clicks. My sense of wonder has been expanded.

As a side note, it was amazing to see the population densities of these cities. Some, like LA and NY are relatively low, but with sprawling size; where others, like Karachi, Calcutta, and Manilla, are compact and overflowing. Again, these arcane little tid-bits of data add a splattering of color to an otherwise blank map, if we havent' been to Calcutta.

I am growing to love wikipedia_

25 April, 2008

Jiveen Lal


Hey man, thanks for introducing me to Blogger. We were staying in a guest house in Kathmandu, Nepal. . . what?? 2002, I think. You changed my life. My blog is my creative outlet. For years I thought of it in black/white: a simple tool to communicate with family and friends, a way for me to share my writing with them.
Now though I see it as something much more. I always figured one day I'd find something that inspired me to write a book about it. (Maybe I will.) But now I see a book as being something much more two-dimentional. It tells a good story, it is mostly linear. A website however is dynamic, is multifacited, it is wooven into the internet with strings of ideas and images. I can write about a pod of whales I saw, then you can click on a link and see photos of those whales, or video, or maybe read an article describing there behavior. You can click on a map and not see a description of my port, nor a chart--but an actual satelite image of the exact location. You can see exactly where in the world I am or have been.
What book could possibly accomplish this.
I am learning to cherish this site. I hope to fill it with who I am, and what I love and hope for, what I have seen and believe it. I want to give something to those I love.

I thank M.I.--for your constant and unconditional support.
And for my friends who visit and who care. It means more to me than you know. Thank you.

I promise to do a better job. I will be more diligent. I will learn, I hope what it means to do a good job. Please offer me your advice.
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22 April, 2008

Large countries

Some one tried to tell me that Brazil was larger than the U.S.  I thought not.  He told me to look at a map.  I told him I look at maps everyday!
Here is a list of the world's largest countries, pretty cool list.  Not what you would expect (ie--Greenland is much smaller than she looks).  Where do you think the US ranks?  Who do you think is the biggest??  The smallest??  Check it out.


On a personal note, my dad has had a great few days.  His voice is completely back.  He is walking with great confidence and stability.  He is often clear and willing to talk and be social.  He has started eating dinner with us in the kitchen, something my whole life he never done.  Very special. 
We have found a routine in the house that is working for everyone--everyone is doing a part and having time to do other things.  I have found an EMT class that I am going to take in the evenings a few nights a week.  Pretty excited about that.

19 April, 2008

a lost poem. . . lost to me


Into My Own


One of my wishes is that those dark trees

So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze

Were not as twere the merest mask of gloom

But stretched away unto the edge of doom


I should not be withheld but that someday

Into their vastness I should steal away,

Fearless of ever finding open land

Or highwhere the slow wheel purs the sand.


I should not see why I should 'ere turn back

Or those should not set forth upon my track

To overtake me, who should miss me here

And long to know if I still held them dear


They would not find me changed from him they knew

Only more sure of all I thought was true.


                                                -Robert Frost

To Live By

I just found this is an old journal.  Amazing

My Symphony

To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to the stars and birds; to babes and sages with open hearts; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasion, hurry never, in a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common.  This is to be my Symphony.

                                                                                    -William Henry Channing


14 April, 2008

Family gathering at Uncle Richard's

This Saturday my brother's and I got away to go down and see my mother's family, the Holidays. It has been years since I've seen them and we've always been very close. The weather was fine and everyone showed up. My cousin Rick showed us around the place and we saw some of the biggest dogwoods I've ever seen. Rick's sister, Christy, and I paddled a john boat across the lake and up wind. Kids fished along the dike. We all admired John's fine masonry-work in building an outdoor fireplace by the shed. So we all sat and grilled salmon and ate sausages and beans and drank sweet tea. There were some great old structures on the place, including an old tobaccoo drying shed.
All and all is was a great trip out of town. Good also to have us three brothers together for a day.

Kids in a Corn Field

These are my nephews, Preston and Samual, 9 and 7 in the E-Z Go.

Seven Year-Old Sam after his first Mud Bog

07 April, 2008

great cloud over N. Pacific

Zeke's Boatyard, Cebu, Philippines

This is where Araby is currently and will be for some time.


Added a bunch of little videos...nothing too great...some or sort of funny though.


Check them out.  At least you can see my boat underway...and Brian sleeping.   Sorry the wind is so loud.  Need to find a way to dampen it out a bit.