Archive for October, 2008

Last View…

October 31, 2008

For a while. It’s all good.


October 24, 2008

“Administration is the pure form of domination.”

Ah, the tyranny of bureaucracy! Some pointed wisdom by way of Marcuse.

From Joel Kovel, “From Reich to Marcuse,” Social Text 9/10 (1984): 258-261; 261.

Wicked Academy

October 22, 2008

The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco just opened its new building, and it looks totally wicked. Apparently there’s also a state-of-the-art planetarium there too. The Academy’s website alone is worth checking out…

Tipped off by way of io9.

Beauty and the Beast

October 19, 2008

Statue reminds of this. GM’s lovely Renaissance Center sits in the background.

California Dreamin’

October 18, 2008

Ensconced in a southern Ontario university as fall comes too quickly, I’m moved to recall a wonderful summer trip. From the travelogue archive…

24 July, 2008, San Francisco, USA

What a whirlwind. Should have been obvious by the name, but San Francisco is brimming with Spanish influence. So is all of northern California once you hit the Sacramento Valley. It’s different — the rainy, wet woods of the Pacific Northwest give way to a dry palette of browns and beiges that remind of droughts and wildfires. First day in California was marked by heat — winding through sparsely wooded mountains (Shasta appearing like a hazy mirage), rolling brown hills and flat fields of olive trees interspersed with dry creek beds. All laid over with a light sprinkling of palms. Then suddenly off the beaten path, up into the winding roads of northern Napa, a shifting swath of flora and form. Like no place else on earth (except what one imagines Greece to be…).

Sonoma is the ultimate multi-faceted simulacrum — every European clime reproduced in this still authentic reserve of the wine country. Authenticity a touch more elusive at the mushrooming vineyards, but beauty abounds in and among overtly commercial enterprises. In a few cases, they also make some damn good wine.

Heading west through the pseudo-urbanity of Petaluma to the coast is another revelation — Marin county a mix of rocky highlands and groves of huge, seemingly ageless Cypress trees. Hitting the back bay near Reyes Point is like remembering an old sea shanty — dotted as it is with old oyster shacks and hippies who’ve decided to put up the “gone fishin'” sign — permanently…

Feels far away now, though transcribing this I can almost smell the ocean.

Science as Culture

October 16, 2008

A brief but incisive review of a new book by Richard Holmes about romanticism and the sciences in Literary Review, entitled The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science. This a subject near and dear to me at the moment, as I am trying to make my own contribution to the discussion. Wish me luck…

Thanks to the folks at Arts & Letters Daily for the awesome heads up.


October 14, 2008

The southernmost point in Canada, Point Pelee.


October 7, 2008

The first meteoroid impact anticipated from earlier observations occurred today. Named 2008 TC3, the smallish rock was tracked in space a day ago before it plowed into a remote location in the Sudanese desert. There’s an article about the whole thing on the Bad Astronomy blog over at Discover. I’ve also mentioned this sort of stuff before.

Astronomy with a clear purpose.


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