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Month: September 2010

conserving what?

conserving what?

The above photograph is a five year study of the globe in regards to unhealthy particles in the air.  Click on the photo to read the article at NASA and see the dramatic difference between US air quality and Chinese.  I have cropped and modified the original image to show the United States only.  That yellow spot there about 150 miles south of Lake Erie – that’s where I grew up.  Apparently with more than twice the amount of air pollution as Los Angeles.

Washington County Ohio votes republican the majority of the time.   Is the correlation between supporting corporate profits over people and lousy air quality just a coincidence?   Nothing to see here, you folks better get back to worrying about those terrorists in rural Appalachia – there’s your real problem!  Don’t worry about how your children are being used as test subjects to see just how much metal they can inhale before it causes problems…. just keep on worrying about “them sand people” or “that socialist agenda” and you’ll be fine.

Perhaps the most striking example of the correlation between politics and air quality is the divide between coastal southern California and the conservative voting inland areas.

Another funny correlation is the big yellow dot hovering just west of Salt Lake City – one of the most conservative areas in the world.

One of the parts of the article noted that these particulates seem to cause, or at least aggravate, asthma.  Guess who had to be hospitalized and medicated as a child for asthma in Ohio… and doesn’t even use inhalers after moving to California… ME!

(I’ll post something else that isn’t political within the next seven days – I promise!)

the end of an era

the end of an era

I hadn’t been truly sick since July 4th weekend 2008.  After that trip to Disneyland with the late night water ride Sam and I both”came down with something.”  Making my longest dash without a sick day two years and nearly two months.  Supposedly Sam hadn’t been sick for five years, but now we’re both back at zero.

By this past weekend we were both nearly back to normal.  On Sunday we stopped by the Soap Factory to see the Nathan Ota show.  How the heck does that guy make such tiny lines in acrylic?  I also noticed that all but one painting had lots of eye-holes but no eyes.  In fact, the one painting that had a pair of eyes sunk deep into the character’s head may have been the only painting I’ve ever seen from Ota that had eyeballs in the sockets.  I wish I could learn to control the paint like him.  He is a teacher at two different art schools in LA, so maybe when this MBA stuff is over with I can take his class…

From there we headed to Griffith Park. We discovered a “secret” path through the brush up the side of the hill at GriffithPark leading to the rocky point with the fence that can be seen from the merry-go-round area.  We intended to find the hillside hike that has steps and ends in a little garden at the top.  The internet only lists places for the sierra club to start this hike – but not the trail head.  I knew the trail started somewhere after the old zoo.  As we walked by the old zoo we saw a party with the Ukulady:

Further along we saw people hanging out on the upper level of the old animal areas.  We decided to try to hike up the stone stairs inside (clearly made for tigers or gorillas, not humans).  To our surprise after going through a few small holding rooms we ended up not at the top of the animal area, but behind the whole complex.  We never did figure out how those people got up there.

We had several options along the path (I’d hiked this stairstep trail four years ago) – but we evidently chose the wrong one.  What we ended up on was probably one of the most dangerous and least used “trails” in the park.  It was clearly a trail because in most parts the path (only about a foot wide) had been used – but there were a few spots, like where the soil had started to slide after a fire, that didn’t seem like the trail was very safe.   Once getting to the top of the hill this tiny trail connected to a much larger dirt trail going back down and an even larger fire road that goes through the park.  We took the fire road back down, but Sam unfortunately got scraped when I decided to lead her through a vertical shortcut.   These photos are 1) looking back at the jutting cliff we climbed to and 2) Sam yawning (?)

We had planned to go to the Observatory afterwards – but when we got there the parking was backed up all the way down the road almost to the Fern Dell (just up the street from the Greek Theater) parking lot.  We decided to just go home and watch a movie instead. Monday was a dedicated study day.  We took a break from studying at home to try it at the new Santa Monica mall – but it was too packed, loud and annoying to really study.

School is back in session and this will probably be the hardest term of the program.  I’m so busy that I didn’t even notice today was the art walk.  I don’t think I’ll be going as time is running out for my entry at the Hive for October.  I need to come up with a piece that fits their theme and is 11×14 or under.  My work is typically much larger so this is quite a challenge.  I’m nearing completion on the “spacegirl” painting – but I’ll have to put that on hold to see if I can complete this smaller piece to get it delivered to the gallery by the 26th.

Like most of my classmates I think I’m developing what used to be called “senior-itis.”  I caught myself getting deeply involved yesterday in planning a hypothetical trip to Asia (multiple countries) for 2011.   There are probably several places I should go before going there – but I think I just wanted to start imagining a life beyond schoolwork.   I’m really not looking forward to another 13 weeks of 45 minute presentations, 80 page group papers and endless case analysis (at least 4 a week at minimum).