Monday, August 30, 2010

Have you read 'Tragedy of the Commons'?

Neither have I actually. Yet.
It's a book by Garrett Hardin on ecological issues, and has extremely impressed me. In fact, it may just be the most impressive non-fiction book I have EVER come across, due the sheer density of important ideas that need to be said. I heard about this scholarly work in an environmental health class in college, and finally looked it up.

What I found on Ebay was "Managing the Commons" which is a anthology of collected works dealing with this subject, but includes 'Tragedy of the Commons' and is edited by Hardin and partially written by along with another impressive scholar-editor Baden.
This paperback was a mere 73 cents plus $4 shipping. I am floored by that.

Anyway, I'm only though the introduction and first chapter, and already I have such a terribly high opinion of the book. I feels like ecological issues risen to the level of high philosophy or even theology. In fact, I have decided to apply those labels to this blog, out of respect for the authorship.

As far as I can best explian it, the book is a mediation on the overexploitation of unprotected natural resources and related issues, such a population growth, human nature, and even political systems.

In other news, I finally bought "Hey, That's My Fish" last weekend. I am so happy with it! I played it repeatedly with my family Saturday night, and it was a rousing success. It's described on one website at least as "abstract strategy" which I feel is an appropriate and fun label! Now, onward.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

classic radio book adaptations

I just saw this post, and if I had Internet access I'd really enjoy this I think. I really think people should attempt to simplify their lives. I've really enjoyed news over radio, NPR, BBC, etc, and considered it a much better way of getting my news versus any television news.

If I had my technological ducks all in a row, I'd really enjoy listening to some of these old radio adaptations while in the car. (haha, I just had this mental image of crazed mechanical cyborg ducks on a rampage...haha...I watch too much scifi sometimes)

Oh, speaking of scifi, I just finished "Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Echos and Refractions" I have comments. I loved the first two novellas, but I am increasing displeased by the third. The author of the third seems not to understand his Trek characterization, and above all that bugs me. Otherwise, his story seems pretty good. However, I don't know if I will read the ending (it's that lousy) so I'm not sure I am appropriate to judge the story. I have been a fan of KRAD for years, ever since Diplomatic Implausibility and Demons of Air and Darkness. Geoff Trowbridge is an author I'd not read before, but I am going to be avid about looking for new works by him. The author I didn't like I will consciencously look for and avoid.
Overall though I'd highly recommend this book, because 2 out of 3 were a VERY good read.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jennifer Aniston on 'The Daily Show'
August 19, 2010 - Jennifer Aniston
Team Mohammed debates Team Jesus, and Jennifer Aniston remembers her date with Jon.

This came as a surprise, and confound it I don't have enough computer access to watch it!

Apparently, Jennifer Aniston makes a comment (or joke? I dunno) about her having had dated Jon Stewart once upon a time.

I am rather suprised to find this available simply point-and-click on the web. I missed the whole rise of uTube type videos. I was first in college, and otherwise occupied, then buried in the near poverty of an internship in which I "gave up" most media for a while.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Field ecologist for macroinvertebrates this summer

My job is winding down swiftly, so I thought I should toot my horn while I still had something to toot about. My seasonal position ends Sept 3, in just a couple weeks. I've gotten done pretty much all of my immediate assignments, and now I'm just finding useful things to do. But, with macroinvertebrates, they breed so fast, that the job is never done and always changing.

It's time for a reality check. I work for the local county's Public Health Dept as seasonal help in their Mosquito Control Program. We're not even a Control District. Just a Program. But I feel pretty validated in describing myself as a field ecologist for macroinvertebrates. I observe and study much more than mosquitoes, but these are my primary concern. As is appropriate, considering why I get paid. I crawl through creekbottoms and trudge through wetlands, as well as urban environments such as junk yards and residential neighborhoods. I collect specimens and bring them back to the lab for identification, in addition to applying larvicidal treatments.

Some people would approach this job as simply a job, or as public service, or as healthcare, or even sanitation. I chose ecology, and in fact I am pretty sure that's why I was hired. Because I am willing and eager to get out there and observe what is going on and take action if need be. I'm no expert at this, and hope that I don't sound like I claim to be. But, what I do do is go out into the feild and get my hands dirty. Or muddy, as the case may be.

This job has been a major success for me, even though I admit that it is merely seasonal and not highly paid. It is my first paid position in any ecological field. I was all volunteer with the Tulsa Zoo and Earth Team. Once I had concluded my time at the Tulsa Zoo, I did some introspection, and realized I had no "field experience" volunteer or otherwise. Now, guess what? Bingo.

I certainly don't have everything accomplished that I want. In fact, I can name a number of factors in my life that are very disappointing. But, for now, I am glad about this part of things. Looking ahead, this is a very positive step.

This may not be of interest to anyone, but it's useful for me to get these thoughts out of my head, and typing this is helping me wake up this morning.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Eat Pray Love

Saw this online today. Hmm, if I am in the right mood, this might be a fun movie to see. Might. I dunno.

But anyways, I found a really cool woman's hat I'd like to give as a present. What do you think?

Hey, That's My Fish!

As many of my devoted readers would know (who am I kidding?) I enjoy well-played board games. I have lately found a few of note. Well, some from before, but more recently.

Here's a bit of a wish-list, not showing the games I already own, but ones that I want and plan to buy, when I have a good opportunity because they are simply games worth pursuit to buy, in my opinion.

Hey, That's My Fish!
Risk: Godstorm
Pit (How could I have forgotten Pit!)
Nuclear War
maybe Risk: LotR

Nuclear War is from the 60s, as I recall, and I played it in Tulsa.
Citadels, Carcassone, the two Risks, and Smallworld are newer games I first played in Tulsa, but I have also played them here in Carolina.

Since moving I have seen many games for the first time, but among those the most attractive to me at Hey, That's My Fish, Pit, and Ubongo

I saw a hummingbird

A few days ago, I saw a hummingbird on my back deck. It just flew up, stared at me for a moment, and then darted off again. I wonder if the former tenant fed them. I'm going to start feeding them, I think, especially since I know they are indeed in the area. I know a lady who said she put up a feeder for a year in urban Chapel Hill and never saw one. Maybe I will also plant some flowers they especially like.

Working as I know do as a feild ecologist of sorts for out mosquito contol program here, I've observed at what I had always more or less known: that in the countryside, birds and bats basically nullify many airbourne pests. Certainly not all (see: horseflies), but many of the smaller ones.

I had read somewhere how hummingbirds ate huge amounts of flying invertebrates, and I looked it up via google:

One thing that especially fascinated me when I first learned it (after graduating college, during my Oklahoma days) is that hummingbirds are unique to the Americas. When Europeons first saw them, during colonial times, I can only image their astonishment. Question: what do hurricanes and hummingbirds have in common? I mean BESIDES the letter H. Haha.
I've had a few friends from the Old World, born and raised. One Russian friend I knew was telling me about the first time she saw a humminbird, and my friend from China had never yet seen one. I wonder if he has now...I should ask him.

I also found this recipe for "hummingbird nectar" to put in a hummingbird feeder.