Monday, June 30, 2008

Contemplative Mood

Driving home from Emporia today I took Highway 150, one of my favorite roads in Kansas. It's a real taste of the prairie.

I will confess, it took me a long time to appreciate the prairie, but it has a beauty all its own. It's much different than the verdant hills of Kentucky where I grew up. Those early years seem to shape us in multiple ways... they are always with us.

I was in a contemplative mood today and the scenery suited my thoughts. I'll have more to say later, but for tonight I want to go to bed and dream of the new life I'm making for myself.
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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Found Story Writing Exercise

I'm attending a writing workshop this weekend. Yesterday one of the exercises resulted in some of us reading a short piece. Of course, as usual, I volunteered to read. I don't intend to be a busy-body - it just seems natural to me, what can I say?

The assignment was to use a "found story" and write about it in the present tense, then moving into something personal in the past tense.

Here's mine...

In the midst of accidental eavesdropping - at least that's how I like to think of it - I am listening to a tale of woe from the Applebee's booth behind me. The 26 year old man with the curly brown hair is lamenting the breakup of his seond marriage. His soon to be ex-wife is letting him continue to live with her and her two kids, as well as the most recent addition to the family - her lesbian lover.

He is heartbroken over the loss of his marriage, and talking about how much he loves being a husband and father. Twenty-five minutes in, his up-til-now quiet buddy says, "Jason, a man who wants to be a goat farmer oughta have either some land or some goats. You ain't got neither one. Boy, you ain't got nothing - no woman, no kids, no family. You better go find you a woman - one that wants a man - if you're gonna have what you say you want."

After I had nearly done an accidental spit-take as a result of my accidental eavesdroppping, I realized what great wisdom there was in the goat farmer analogy. Although I've never wanted to be a goat farmer, at one time I had wanted to be a singer. I went off to a college known for its music program, where I quickly realized my previous singing successes had been a result of the big fish/little pond phenomenon. Now I was with kids from Julliard and Eastman School of Music.

I knew ten minutes into my college career I was out of my league. But I persevered. At least for awhile. Then one day I realized I had neither the dedication nor the talent. In the band I was singing with I was one of the two people holding back the other three really talented folks. Looking back, I realize I was trying to be a goat farmer, with no land and no goats.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Writing More on the Novel

I'm attending a Writing Workshop this weekend. Just being able to focus on writing the novel is great. I've spent a little time tonight writing and hope to be able to do it some more throughout the weekend.

I was listening to a Sonic Theater podcast where a writer being interviewed said she learned to write anywhere, under any conditions. I need to develop that skill. I find it hard to write the novel without some extended time to focus. It would be so handy to be able to write at any time. Something to work on.

This is what I spent a few days amassing that I needed for my meeting yesterday. I don't really have a sense of how things went. I'll find out eventually. Hopefully all went well.

This sort of detail work hurts my brain. But, I got it done.

I'm taking tomorrow off and going to a writer's workshop. I haven't actually had a day off in quite some time. I haven't even done my laundry in over a week. Tonight I'm trying to catch up. I would like to have clean clothes to wear to this workshop - I know, I can be so picky.

My house is just a disaster area. I'm not sure how I can mess it up when I'm hardly in it. But, it's a gift, what can I say?
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dr. Vreeland Coming Back to Hutchinson

Dr. Russell Vreeland, one of the scientists who discovered an ancient bacteria still living in salt in New Mexico, will be conducting similar research in Hutchinson, according to Linda Schmitt, Director of the Kansas Underground Salt Museum.

Vreeland was here a few weeks ago for the opening of an exhibit at the Kansas Underground Salt Museum featuring his work. The bacteria he and his colleagues discovered is the oldest living thing on Earth.

Vreeland recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to sample salt in several mines to look for fluid inclusions that might contain bacteria. He will be coming to Hutchinson about once a month to research at the Kansas Underground Salt Museum.

The salt under Hutchinson is about 270 million years old, about 20 million years older than what was sampled in New Mexico. So, if bacteria is found here it would be even older than what was discovered earlier.

The exhibit at the Kansas Underground Salt Museum includes the original piece of salt from which the bacteria was taken and the petri dish in which it was "revived." If you're in the area, I urge you to go see the exhibit if at all possible. It's fascinating just to lay eyes on such things.

In the weeks since I interviewed Dr. Vreeland after his lecture here, and have had more time to think about it, I have come to appreciate him even more as I remembered him saying,  "The feeling we had when we saw it was humility. ... That is the oldest living thing on earth. Here's an organism that was alive 100 million years before the dinosaurs, you've got to respect it."

It's wonderful to see someone who still has a sense of awe about their work. I'm so thrilled he will be conducting research in Hutchinson. What a great opportunity for this community to have the chance to interact with a mind like his.

Museum staff are also talking to Dr. Vreeland about hosting some kid's dig camps next summer. They will probably be 3-5 days long and would entail mine safety training, digging for salt samples underground and classroom and lab instruction. 

Details are still being worked out, but it would possibly mean 1-2 days in class covering safety and mine layers, one day to examine crystals to see what they're looking for, and then a day to dig and another day to break the rocks and select some for samples.

Oh to be a kid... I wonder what the age limit on that is going to be...

(Photos from - taken during Vreeland's visit a few weeks ago)
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Stick a fork in me... I'm done... at least for today. Thirty-one hours so far on this project that was supposed to take a day. I think they must have meant a "week." Unfortunately, I'm not done yet. So, I'll get up early in the morning to do more on it before my noon meeting. I knew this was more than a day's worth of work. Admittedly, I'm slow on detail stuff, but I can't be *this* slow compared to everyone else.

I'm so bleary-eyed I can barely focus on the screen. And exhausted. So I just have to sleep a few hours and get up and start again. Keep a good thought for me... I need it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Working at My Desk

I spent the day hunched over my desk, working on a project that's due Wednesday. I'm not a detail person so this sort of work actually hurts my brain. I mean, physically, it's like my brain aches.

It also just wears me out. How using your brain sitting in a chair can make you physically tired is a mystery, but that's how it works, anyway. At least for me. This is one of those times I wish I could just pop a pill that would take care of my ADD for a few hours so I could focus. Then it would wear off and my brain would go back to jumping from one thing to another like it does naturally.

This afternoon I was so exhausted I took about 30 minutes to go walk in Carey Park. I intended to take some pix, but will next time.

I do so love my office. It's downtown, and those windows you see face Main Street, which is great. I think I've shown pix out the window before, but it has been awhile. I think the last time was during December's ice storm.

I took some pix inside my office when I was essentially living there for a few days during the ice storm. I thought I'd do my own survival guide for office living - hint: a coat rack can double as a clothes dryer - but I never got it done. Maybe before ice season, although I hope I never have need of this info again.

Well, I need to get some sleep. I have much I need to do tomorrow to finish up this project so I need a fresh mind..

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The Wind and The Pain

My friend, Jason, wrote the following on his blog the other day, and it really struck me. Jason will be graduating high school next year, but he's an old soul. He's a thinker. When you meet folks like that, you just know it, instantly. Such was the case when I met Jason at the first peace demonstration. We don't know each other well yet, but we've had a few conversations, and it's always interesting to talk to him.

"I feel as if my life should be lived in black and white. I should be in my twenties, living in a loft apartment. I am none of these things. I should smoke a pipe or cigars, and drink. I would drink something dark, straight from the bottle. I should look tired all the time. I should wear a wrinkled stained old brimmed hat. I do not do any of these things. ...  I should feel discontent with my life. I should have a wonderful story about the girl I love or once loved or thought I loved or something, and how I lost her. And how it hurt, and still hurts, every day of my life."

When I read this it struck me how much of this is still true for me today, even though I'm many years further down the road of life than Jason. Maybe this just speaks to my general lack of maturity, and lack of wisdom gained in those years. Or maybe it's because this is the essential nature of a creative soul.

Creative sorts are always searching, thinking, longing. For what? We're not sure. That changes practically daily, hourly. But we're longing. Aching. Wanting.

What do we do about this? Sometimes we wallow in the wanting. It feels right. We're big on going with our feelings. So, that's what we do. Sometimes we try to address whatever we think is making us miserable today. It's in those moments when we paint pictures and write letters and create businesses and dream. We always dream. Big dreams.

Sometimes, those dreams come true. And sometimes they fall apart, even as we try, desperately, to hold them together. They just dissolve and run through our fingers like fine sand.

Who among us hasn't felt the pain of a lost love that hurts every day? Well, I guess some people haven't. I know people who have only been in love once in their lives. But, the rest of us who didn't get married to our high school sweethearts (would have been hard for me since I didn't have one) can relate to that.

I've been in love more than once and it was love, not just like, not just lust, it was love - deep, abiding, soul-intensive, love. And then it was over. And since then it has hurt every day. At least every day so far. How long has it been since the first love? More years than I want to count. It was back in college, that first love, all those years ago...

Most of us, while in that state of raw pain, have drank straight from the bottle - dark or light or both - whatever was handy. Some also engage in other mind-altering substances to make it through. I suppose if you've lived your life so that you've never felt that longing, that aching, that you can't relate to needing to dull it on occasion.

In some ways I envy that. In other ways I pity that.

Somehow, we all make it through, without nearly as much discontent as one would expect, aside from the longing for something we can't identify that never goes away. But the raw pain of a lost love fades to a manageable level and eventually just becomes a part of who we are. We fold it into our selves. It's part of our being. We don't let it go because it's part of what shapes us as humans. The human we are. The human we're meant to be.

Eventually, the black and white becomes color, and we love again. In the meantime we're thankful for the dreams lived. I've been lucky. Oh, so lucky. I've gotten to live a lot of my dreams, some of which I couldn't even have named until I was in the midst of experiencing them. I've done things. I've met people. I've gone places. I've given into my whims. I've relished in the moment. I've laughed in the darkness and whispered in the morning light. But it all comes with a price.

The sweetness of a brown-eyed man holding me close while we faced into the wind blowing over us from the Mediterranean sea led to a bittersweet goodbye a few days later. But would I trade that moment of standing there on what I considered holy ground, his arms wrapped around me, to avoid that feeling of loss when we parted? No. It was worth it. No question about it. At least for me. I'm not sure he would say the same.

He was sweet. He thought he was in love. He wanted it to never end. But we both knew it would. For once I was the one more realistic about that. He wrote me long letters for many months after I came home, and each one had a bit of his soul poured out on the page. I always wrote him back, but mine were just letters. And he knew it and eventually stopped writing. Of course, then I missed it

I wonder if those days we spent together still hurt him. I hope not. If they do, I at least hope he thinks they were worth the pain.

I have these fantasies of seeing him again, meeting his wife and kids (surely he's married by now), and just witnessing his life in the future. Nothing more. Just to see what it looks like from the other side as you carry those moments of pain with you into the future, less raw but still real.

Some of us need intensity. We need to feel everything. We go full force all the time, and never look back with regret. We feel the wind and the pain, and we appreciate them both.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thoughtful Conversation

I went to the peace demonstration today and enjoyed seeing everyone. That's Jon, David, Mason and Jason. Not only is it an opportunity to be visible for something I believe in - pointing out that we all need to strive for peace in our world - but it's also a chance to have thoughtful conversation.

Today Jon and I were talking about the art walk the other night and he said something that really resonated with me - one of the things that makes a city the kind of place you want to be is that they're doing things they don't have to do. That's so true. It's simple. It's straightforward. It's perfect. That, in a nutshell, is a hallmark of a city where you want to live.

In this community, as well as many others, there's much discussion about growth. The reason, of course, is simple. You want your taxes to go down? Get more people to move to your town to divide out the costs of your roads, schools, libraries and other services. Yes, you'll see some increase as you increase population. But there's a lot of room to grow before that becomes a losing proposition. Some towns are desperate enough they're giving away free land. We aren't  that desperate here. At least not yet.

Ultimately, towns are growing or they're dying. There really isn't an inbetween. "Static" means you're dying - costs are going up on all kinds of things and yet the number of people you have to pay for them is remaining constant. It doesn't take a Harvard economist to figure out that's a recipe for disaster in the long term.

I've been in multiple meetings and casual discussions where this topic comes up. Always, always, always, someone will say - we need to attract young people. Well, here's a young person - Jon is in his 20s - telling you exactly what you need to do. The problem is not knowing what to do, the problem is getting anyone to actually do it. And, for the record, Jon and I didn't talk about this beyond that original statement. The rest of this is just out of my brain and I don't want to besmirch his good name with any of it.

Part of that is having a community where innovative ideas can flourish. That requires a mindset that is sorely lacking in most institutional settings from cities to colleges to any other thing that is likely to involve a committee. It's not necessarily the fault of the individuals, it's the fault of the system. We have created a system that discourages creativity. Why? Because it's darned messy compared to the rote way of doing things. Budgets are made up of rows and columns of numbers that create line items. We like it that way. It's very straightforward. The last thing you want is some wild card coming in and suggesting doing something that doesn't fit neatly into a line-item. And, therein lies the problem. Because innovative ideas don't happen within line items. Well, not unless you're working for Enron.

Traditionally, I find innovative ideas follow this basic trajectory.
person a: Why don't we ......?
person b: Wow... that's an interesting idea... really innovative... that would certainly accomplish what we're talking about...
person c: Yeah... that's a great idea. But... it's too complex/expensive/difficult/political/fill in the raison d'etre of your choice
person a: I thought you were looking for innovative ideas... they're likely to be a little riskier by definition...
person d: Look, it's a great idea, but it's just too "out there" for the board/committee/council/organization/government/fill in the group of your choice to sign off on it
person c: Yeah, you're right... it will never work... it's a great idea but there's no point in thinking any more about that... Any more ideas, person a?
person a: Nope...(read: what is the point in wasting my breath to speak?)

I suppose part of the answer in this equation is that person a needs to work harder to convince people of the value of the idea. But after this repeats a few dozen times, person a simply stops having the conversation, much less repeating themselves. I've seen this happen over and over again.

Eventually, persons b, c, and d come to the mistaken conclusion and state for the record in yet another meeting, "oh, person a lost interest in the project..." No, person a gave up on you. Person a has moved on to another project, in the hopes that they will be interested in actually doing something. And eventually person a gives up on your community and moves on. And the cycle starts over again... we have to attract young people...

Ultimately, even the logic of "we have to attract young people is flawed," as almost every issue that involves the word "young" is, but that's another long blog post. I'll just sum up by saying that age is very rarely the real issue in any topic where it's used as the answer - from newspaper readership to technology usage - and as long as you keep saying age is a factor you won't ever discover the real issue and address it. Obviously, age is not something you can change. But, in those cases it's not age - it's attitude, which you can change, but no one ever works on it because they stopped at an answer that is the symptom not the cause. Again, a lack of innovative thinking.

But... back to this topic...

Innovative thinking isn't the difficulty for many people. I know lots of innovative thinkers. I could call a half dozen people together who could brainstorm some brilliant ideas for any town about how to get people to move there. The difficulty is in making them happen. Every innovative idea was impossible until someone did it. I'll be the first to admit that those of us who are given to coming up with off the wall ideas are not likely to be the ones that can make them happen. Everyone has strong suits, that's not generally a creative person's bent.

But, somewhere, there are innovative people with business minds who can make them happen. Unfortunately, we've created a system that beats them down so much that they give up. They're the ones who are pointing out why it won't work because they know the system. We have to find a way to open up the system so people can have the flexibility to allow creative ideas to flourish. That is the real problem. I wish I could fix it, but I don't have the mind to even understand it. I long for the day when someone who does have the mind for that can address it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Of Grain Elevators and Harvest... of zucchini

I decided to spend part of my Friday night doing errands before everyone else is doing them this weekend. Does it seem to you that keeping track of daily life takes a lot of energy? It does to me. Just keeping things like food, toilet paper and other essentials within the four walls of my home requires attention.

As I was leaving the store tonight I noticed the sky was really interesting. It wasn't a particularly colorful sunset, but it was interesting cloud cover. I wanted to get a photo but there was nothing but stoplights and electrical wires where I was. However, as I approached the A Street exit off K-61, turning to come home, I noticed the grain elevator was make a nice silhouette against the sky. The cloud cover had changed a bit, but it was still pretty. Fortunately, there was no one behind me so I stopped to get a nice photo of it.

I'm incredibly thankful that I can locate, buy, and carry home all the essentials, as well as non-essentials, I want in my house. It's worth remembering that millions of people around the world would love to have the "problems" I have, and that I would be well advised to keep my whining to a minimum.

Speaking of essentials, I got my first "harvest" today - a zucchini plant from my little backyard garden. I couldn't really believe it was there since when I looked a few days ago I swear it was only about three inches long. Anyway, I pulled it off trying to investigate it. Generally, I don't like to pick vegetables until I'm ready to use them. I love the idea of getting dinner from the plant to plate in less than an hour. But, that's not the case this time.

However, I'm pretty impressed the zucchini looks good. I've never grown them before, but I knew they grew fast. Fortunately, my neighbor LaVonda told me the other day when I asked that she loves zucchini. At the rate they're going, they'll be growing over the fence into her yard in no time at all.

Much like the raspberry bush I planted a couple of years ago that's now in Bob's garden and very little of it on my side of the fence. I feel awful that it crawled over onto their side. But, nothing I can do about it. I didn't realize that was a problem when I planted it near the fence. Now I know.

Not sure how I'm going to enjoy the first fruits of the garden this season. Considering I only planted this less than a month ago I wasn't really prepared to be thinking about it what to do with zucchini. But, the time has arrived. Maybe I'll see what I can pick up at the farmer's market tomorrow that will go with it.

I also have quite a few green tomatoes on my plants, and I noticed tonight I've got a few volunteer tomato plants coming up, too. I am looking forward to having fresh tomatoes out of my own little patch.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happiest Day of the year is today

June 20th is the happiest day of the year. So, if you're not happy, get happy! You don't want to mess with academia's expectations, do you?!?!?!?

Cliff Arnall, a psychologist and former tutor at Cardiff University, was commissioned by Walls Ice Cream to carry out the study. He came up with the equation O + (N xS) + Cpm/T + He. O stands for being outdoors and outdoor activity, N is connection with nature, S is socialization with neighbors and friends, Cpm stands for childhood positive memories, T is the mean temperature which is now usually warm, and He is holiday expected.

The fact that June 20 is a Friday helps. I think all of the "happiest days" since he came up with his "formula" have been on Fridays. This one almost slipped by without my notice. Thank goodness I caught it before it was too late to enjoy the happiest day. I could have missed it, what with being completely overwhelmed with work. Good thing it's the happiest day. Otherwise I might be upset. Can't do that now, I suppose.

This formula also allows for calculating the most depressing day of the year which usually falls around the end of January. But, why dwell on this sort of unpleasantness and mar the Happiest Day of the Year?

Now, go forth and be happy!
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Downtown Art Walk in Hutchinson

Tonight was the first (hopefully annual) Downtown Art Walk in Hutchinson, Kansas. That's Don Fullmer explaining the process he used to create these really wonderful curtains he had hanging up. That's Teresa on the left.

Don and I are on a board together, but  I had not been to his studio before. It's a lovely open space. I couldn't resist taking some pix around the place - with his permission, of course.

After Don's Teresa and I both went to the far end of main, to Jennifer Randall's studio. It's a great space. Jon Dennis was scheduled to play tonight so I got a chance to chat with him while he was on a break and to hear him play.

Hopefully I'll be able to go to the peace demonstration on Saturday. That's where I first met Jon and also Mikaela, who I got to say hello to tonight. I didn't get a chance to visit with her. Frankly, I'm a little out of it. I slept three hours last night - literally. I worked all night, going to bed at 7:30 this morning and then got up at 10:30. So, I wasn't exactly at my best tonight.

I wanted to go to more of the locations, but I needed to come back home and work on things for the garden tour.

I had lunch with Jade, and then Teresa and I went to get a bite tonight. I wanted to do more of the art show. It was fun to run into a lot of people I knew. Pity I didn't get to chat with all of them. But, even I am sleep deprived at only three hours - so it's probably best I focus on getting my work done.

Next year I'll try to be better prepared for the tour. It was a lovely evening - cool enough that it was pleasant to be outside. There was live music at various spots downtown and lots of people out enjoying the event. I didn't even go to Jeanette's studio, which is next door to my office, because I was just out of time to have fun. I only did the two studios at opposite ends so I didn't get the full effect because I wasn't walking, as the name "art walk" would imply. I missed out on some fun because of that. I'll remember that for next year. At least I did get to enjoy some of the experience.

Read to Save the World

SciFi channel's Visions for Tomorrow initiative asked fans to pick the "Top Things You Must Read, Watch and Do to Save the World." Wired reported that the "top three planet-saving activities were reading, recycling and registering to vote."

And what should you read?

  1. 1984 by George Orwell

  2. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

  3. Dune by Frank Herbert

  4. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

  5. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov   

  6. The Stand by Stephen King      

  7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury   

  8. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

  9. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  10. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
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Tea Set from Korea

A few weeks ago I had a lovely email from my cousin Mike. Mike told me he was going to send me a tea set he bought while he was in Korea. He had bought it for his mom, but she died before he had a chance to give it to her. He said it was just sitting on a shelf in his closet and he didn't know what to do with it. He knew from reading my blog that I love tea, so he said he wanted to send it to me.

When I got a slip in the mailbox that I had a parcel I couldn't imagine what it was. When I went yesterday to pick it up and saw the return address I knew what it was.

My inclination was to just rip it open, but I put it on the dining room table, to wait until I had a moment where I could savor the unpacking. Something bought for a mother should be treated with respect.

So, late in the day, I sat down and cut open the package to find a shoe box carefully packed to cushion this box with its delicate cargo.

I love the graceful lines of this teapot, as well as the beautiful green color. It's a gorgeous set and I'm honored Mike sent it to me. He warned me I might not want to drink out of it since it was made in Korea and the lead content might be high, particularly since I'd be drinking an acidic beverage from it, which makes the danger of lead worse. However, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it. It's a lovely curio and I'm so thankful to have it. What a lovely surprise.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What do you do when you're upset

What do you do when you're upset?

I tend to take a drive - well, I did - before gas was $3.83 a gallon. I may have to rethink that one. Sometimes I go out and take a long walk, particularly if there's sunshine but it's not too hot or two cold. Sometimes I take a long bubble bath. There's something magic about washing away the residue of whatever has upset me.

These would probably fall into the category of "self-soothing techniques." Isn't that a fancy way of explaining what you do when you're upset? Why must everything have a sophisticated name that doesn't really say anything? I've become convinced every field has its jargon that serves no purpose other than to exclude others, and make divisions within a profession. Who's "in the know" and who's not.

One of the best ways to deal with anything that upsets me is to take action to address whatever it is. Unfortunately, in some cases, that's just possible for one reason or another. And sometimes I can't even figure out what to do, much less do it.

I'm in that position tonight. So, I'm just pushing through what's on my plate since I can't figure out anything brilliant to do to address the root problems. Maybe I'll dream the answer. Or maybe tomorrow life will present a solution I could never have foreseen tonight as I sit here typing. That would be lovely. I'm ready for a happy solution.
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Monday, June 16, 2008


I had lunch with Teresa today and one of our topics of conversation was Tim Russert's untimely death. Teresa loves politics and, like me, appreciated Russert's insight. It was interesting that we felt the need to process it. It seems everyone does.

Later today I had an email from Susan, who was in DC visiting family when Russert died. Her brother works at NBC and often worked with Russert, but was on vacation that day to attend a family graduation. Susan said right after graduation his phone started ringing with the news. She said she drove by NBC on Sunday to see the memorials, finding at least 10 cars parked on the street with people getting out to read the memorials or to place a remembrance on the spot.

Some time ago when I was at Susan's farm, the subject of Meet the Press came up. I didn't know her brother worked on the show. At the time, Susan told me that when her mother was celebrating her 80th birthday that Russert visited with her after the show and posed for a photo with her. He was the gracious soul to her that everyone describes him being. How many times have we heard that story in the last few days? And yet I never tire of hearing it, in whatever permutation it shows up.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the six degrees of separation and how the experiment showed it was more like 3.7 degrees of separation. It occurred to me this is a perfect illustration of the principle. I had absolutely no connection to Russert, and yet there were two people connecting us - Susan and her brother. It serves to point out to me again just how much of a small world this is. And maybe that's why this public mourning can be so intense for us, why we feel a loss even though we have no personal connection to the person. It's interesting to think about, isn't it?
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What Will People Say About You When You're Gone

I've been thinking a lot lately about what people say about you when you're gone. It's spurred on by the remembrances of Tim Russert, of course. People have wonderful things to say about him. Although people are usually hesitant to speak ill of the dead, when this many people are saying similar good things, you know there's truth in it.

His friends, colleagues, former rivals and others have told wonderful stories of his kindnesses professional and personal. Rick Sanchez told a story the other night that in a former job, when he really didn't know what he was doing, Russert was the one well-known journalist who never gave him a disparaging look or anything other than respect when he was trying to learn. Many colleagues, including Campbell Brown, have told stories of Russert being very generous professionally, giving them tips that would make them look good to the higher-ups. Numerous people have mentioned personal notes arriving at just the right time - after a parent's death, a child's recuperation from an illness or the celebration of an accomplishment. 

This public grief is a fascinating thing. I thought of it when Gerald Ford died, and also when Reagan died. It's almost as if we get to truly know the person after they're dead. Why is that? Doesn't that seem backwards? How do we learn to appreciate the people in our lives now, today, while we can still interact with them?

Aside from remembering the person who is gone, this mourning process gives us an opportunity to think about ourselves in this context. What would people say about us? While most of us are not going to have many hours of network news time devoted to us, or The Boss dedicating a song to our memory, its nonetheless valuable to consider what people would say about us based on the lives we're leading.

Facebook has an app now called "Honesty Box," where people can leave anonymous comments saying what they think about you. It's a great idea. Unfortunately for me, few people I know are actually on Facebook so I don't think it would be very helpful.

I guess the other question is do you want to know what people think about you. I think the answer to that is "yes." It gives you an opportunity to increase the positive things you're doing and to change some of the less desirable ones. It also would give you an opportunity to see if there are perceptions of you that are untrue, which may mean you're not expressing yourself well. That may or may not be worth addressing, but it's valuable to know.

This season of mourning has left me questioning what people would say about me if I were suddenly departed. Would anyone have anything positive to say? How would they remember our interaction? Would there be remembrances of times spent together? What would people say?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Long Term Career

I had a note from a friend - well, more of an acquaintance - tonight, saying she was honored at a national convention recently for being in her position for more than 25 years. She was questioning whether or not that was a good thing. I'm not sure, myself.

Being in a job for a long time means you have a depth of knowledge a newcomer just can't profess. But someone new to the job comes in with the idea that anything is possible. They're not bound by the awareness of what hasn't worked in the past. That's especially true for people starting in a completely different field who are learning from the ground up and can incorporate information from their previous careers. But, they also have to learn the basics.

I've been in both positions - staying in a job for a long time, and being new to a field and completely clueless. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

I guess, to some degree, it comes down to the approach of the business. Do you want to stay the course or find new ways of doing things?

If it's a place where innovation is desired, it's worth the cost of the newbies learning what they're doing. They'll bring a fresh perspective. They'll experiment. They'll bring in ideas from other fields where they've worked. If it's a business where keeping the status quo is desirable then you want to hang onto those employees who will finish out their careers with your company. They have the knowledge. They can do most of the job by rote. They will do what they do well for years to come.

It's interesting to think about.
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert Dead at 58

Tim Russert is dead at 58. Russert was the host of NBC's "Meet the Press," and collapsed while working on material for the show, and died at the hospital afterwards.

More important than being the host, he was the managing editor of the show, which meant that he was making decisions about what would be on it.

For anyone who has been a journalist, you appreciate seeing someone do it so well. Russert did it well. Very well.

He had a gift, and it is truly a gift, for interviewing people. It's a little appreciated skill these days. Current TV "journalists" would have us believe that interviewing is little more than trying to talk louder than the other person to get your viewpoint across.

A good interviewer listens. They listen hard. And they listen more. Then they wait. Then they listen some more. THEN they talk. It's a hard skill to develop. One of the greatest compliments anyone has given me in recent years was relayed by Mark when I sent the Greensburg story audio last year. He said one of his experienced colleagues remarked, "She's good... She can listen and wait... It's rare... She's good." 

Tim Russert was far more than good, he was extraordinary at interviewing. He brought a depth of knowledge to political discussions that's unmatched. That voice and that mind will be missed.

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Quote of the Day

You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with.
~ Wayne Dyer

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Someone Should Supervise me at Stutzman's

This is Stutzman's Greenhouse, which is a spectacular place to go. It's just a few miles outside of town. This afternoon, I intended to go to Stutzman's, as well as a couple of other spots out that way, to drop off flyers for the garden tour. Greg decided he would go along and we'd eat at the Dutch Kitchen.

So, we went to Glenn's Bulk Foods and left a flyer, then had a late lunch/early dinner at Dutch Kitchen, and then over to Stutzman's. Somewhere along the way, someone mentioned Stutzman's was having a big sale. Now, bear in mind, I'm a person who has already planted everything I intend to plant. I'm done.

That's why I bought another full flat of plants today. Really, seriously, someone should supervise me better.

Although you have to understand, when we asked what was on sale, the lady replied, "every living plant in here is half off." Half off? Everything? Those purple things and the blue things and white things? Yes. Everything. Half off.

In about 12 seconds I had gone back up front to get a cart and returned to wander the aisles.

I got two blackberry bushes, and some more flowers. I wanted a dill plant but they were about four feet tall and I didn't think they would survive the transplantation. I got a couple of really cool foilage things. I'll take some pix once they're planted. Of course, I don't really like to plant. I just like having it done. Unfortunate, that. However, as of yet, there is no gardener to do it for me so I believe it will be me getting them in the ground.

Greg picked up a couple of things, too, but he got tired of waiting for me. Stutzman's has forseen this problem and provided a bench for such occasions. It's quite the environmental portrait.

And, yes, those are real petals on the ground.

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McCain Girl

OK, this is funny... regardless of your political leanings and/or interest.

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Quote of the Day

Life is sweeping by; go dare before you die.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Preservation and Why it Makes Good Economic Sense

In the town where I live there's a great deal of discussion these days about a large downtown building and what to do with it. It's the large building in the background of this photo Greg took in May. An absentee owner has let it deteriorate to some degree, but it could still be preserved. A suggestion has been made to move our city hall to it because we also need to build a new city hall.

This makes good sense to me. It keeps a historic building extant. It solves a problem for city hall. It is good for the environment to use a building that's already here instead of building a new one and also prevents sending a ton of stuff to the landfill if it has to be demolished. And, to top it off, it preserves something that is a significant part of our downtown landscape.

Okay, so, there's the backstory.

The trick is getting other people to realize the benefits of preservation. I ran across this information from a speech the other day and just loved how he sums up the whole situation. This is from a seminar by Donovan D. Rypkema on the Economics of Preservation, given at the University of Miami in 2006.

"I cannot identify a single example of a sustained success story in downtown revitalization where historic preservation wasn't a key component of that strategy. Not a one. Conversely the examples of very expensive failures in downtown revitalization - Detroit leaps immediately to mind - have nearly all had the destruction of historic buildings as a major element. That doesn't mean, I suppose, that its not theoretically possible to have downtown revitalization and no historic preservation, but I haven't seen it, I haven't read of it, I haven't heard of it. Now the relative importance of preservation as part of the downtown revitalization effort will vary some, depending on the local resources, the age of the city, the strength of the local preservation advocacy groups, and the enlightenment of the leadership. But successful revitalization and no historic preservation? It ain't happening."
to read more of his presentation

My frustration with such things is that it's so obvious and yet people ignore it.

Facts play such a small part in changing anyone's mind about any topic. I know this, and yet it still surprises me.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Peach Crisp for Creative Sisterhood

Laying out a pile of forks reminds me friends are on their way. I love that feeling. There's an anticipation of friends coming by and sharing wonderful conversation with them, as well as something tasty.

Tonight was Creative Sisterhood. I was eager to take a break and enjoy some restorative time with friends. Four of us were here and it was a wonderful night. Martha got us started with a thoughtful question and things just mushroomed from there.

As I often do, I tried a new recipe tonight. The Creative Sisterhood members are sometimes my guinea pigs for new recipes and they're so gracious about it. I had a cookbook lying on the desk and picked it up and almost immediately flipped to a recipe for peach crisp. It sounded good. I didn't have any peaches on hand, but since I needed to go pick up a prescription anyway that was easy to remedy.

I just walked across the street and down the block to the grocery after leaving the pharmacy, and picked some up. I also popped into a store I'd not been to before, and found some regionally grown popcorn. I may not have previously mentioned my unnatural love of popcorn. I love to try different kinds. When I was in Ohio I bought a number of different kinds at Lehman's.

I have dubbed the Peach Crisp recipe very tasty, and very easy on top of that. I have a feeling this will become a staple.

Peach Crisp

1 large can sliced peaches
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup margarine

Drain peaches, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Place those in greased 8 by 8 pan. Mix remaining ingredients, cutting butter into mixture with pastry blender. Sprinkle over peaches. Bake 30 minutes or until done in 375 degree oven.

I made a double batch in a 9 by 13 pan.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Peace and Politics

Saturday I participated in the peace demonstration downtown. There were about a dozen of us off and on. Only three of us were there the last time, so we had some additional interest. It feels good to participate in something I believe in.

Overall people were pretty positive. We did have one guy slow down and stick his head out the open window of his pickup and yell, "Get a life." Here a couple of days later I'm still puzzling over what that means, exactly. It seems an odd thing to yell at people demonstrating in support of peace. I didn't get the connection, but I suppose it made sense to him.

I've been watching the various polls about Clinton supporters who say they won't vote for Obama unless Clinton is the VP, or will vote for McCain. Please, don't make me write a blog post titled, "Don't be an Idiot."

I do not understand this. We had a deep field of candidates this time. I would have felt very good about casting my vote for Richardson, Edwards, Clinton or Obama. I chose Clinton because I thought she had the best chance of getting into the White House. Of course, happily, Obama has gained tremendous support over the months and I think people of all political persuasions see that he has great potential to change our world for the better. I'm excited by him.

The night of the caucus here, I was talking with Sean and he was teasing me I was on the wrong side. I told him I would wholeheartedly support whoever won and he assured me he would, too. Now, there's the voice of reason.

It's not like we had one good candidate and one horrible one. We had two fabulous candidates. Now that Obama has won the nomination, lets all get behind him and work to get him into the white house so we can turn this country around.
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Monday, June 09, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Why not go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is."
~ Mark Twain

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Heart of America Press Award

Saturday night in Kansas City I was given a Gold Heart of America Press Award from the Kansas City Press Club. Journalists from Kansas and Missouri enter in various categories, and Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are given. I was not there, but Mark called to give me the details.

This was the top award given in the Business to Business category for a series of reports about the Greensburg Tornado done for the XM Satellite show, "Landline Now." The award was given to five of us who worked on the series. My contribution was doing the reporting, including interviews, writing and voice work, on site in Greensburg.

In the comments the judges wrote, "This moving and intense series captures the human experience of a terrible tornado that demolished Greensburg. This is the bar for in-depth radio reporting that matters. Bravo."

It's incredibly flattering to be chosen for this honor. It reminds me of how amazing it can be to work with other professionals who do incredible work.

I did interviews the first day on the ground and then wrote and voiced the first piece in a Pratt hotel room. I did one more day of interviews and finished those in my home office. I ftp'd the pieces to Landline Now, and their sound engineer, Barry, who is obviously a genius when it comes to sound, made it all flow together and added the music.

Thanks to Mark and Barry for seeing the potential in the series and submitting it for an award.

Click to hear:
Truck Driver Kenny Smith and his Tornado Experience
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JK Rowling on Failure

“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.”
J.K. Rowling during Harvard Commencement Address

When I ran across this quote today it really spoke to me. I'm at a place in my life where I feel like I've failed at many things. Most of those are things I feel don't really matter much, anyway, even though the world gives other indications. At the same time, there are some things I feel I'm very good at that I think are important. But, alas, the world doesn't seem to value those things.

It's curious to think about "failure" and what that means. I think it just means learning. I've learned that "failure" is something others want to attach to individuals, when the failure may actually have more to do with the environment in which you and others are working than it does with anything any one of you might do or not do.

It seems the world - at least in this country - values only money. Making money. Then making money from the money you made. So you have more money. The next step, it seems, is to spend that money on foolish things. I guess because you don't have time to do something interesting with the money, because you have to use your time to make more money, people squander it on $6000 sunglasses and other idiocy.

I like money, really I do, but I want to make it with my soul intact. Money is a wonderful thing. It buys me freedom, and that is what I want most desperately. I want enough money to buy my freedom to live, and once I have my freedom, the rest of the money can go to charity. But I need enough to buy my freedom. My sweet, sweet, sweet freedom.
The last few months I have been putting my energy into projects that feel "right" to me. This quote makes me feel that is the correct course. It's difficult to do that, sometimes, when the world is telling you you're making the wrong decision. Of course, the world hasn't done much to steer me right so far, so I'm not sure why I should pay any attention now.
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Bobby Kennedy Funeral Train June 8, 1968

It was on this day in 1968 that Bobby Kennedy's funeral train traveled from New York to DC to lay Bobby to rest next to JFK. On the train was photographer Paul Fusco, hired to do a story for the now defunct "Look" Magazine.

As the train traveled the route, Fusco saw people gathered along the way to watch it pass. The resulting photographs are part of an exhibit at Danziger Projects Gallery.  They also offer this link to a New York Times audio visual project.

Although I was far too young in 1968 to understand what was going on in the world, I'm all too aware of it today. Forty years later we're still fighting some of the same battles. We're embroiled in another war that seemingly has no end, just like we were in 1968. Although racial issues are better than in '68, racism is still alive in this country. On a bright note, we have a politician who offers hope. I hope Mr. Obama can deliver on the change we all want.
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Friday, June 06, 2008

WKRP in Cincinnati

I flipped on the TV tonight and WKRP in Cincinnati is on. I loved this show. It's probably one of the reasons I went into radio. And, after I worked in radio I learned that WKRP was a beautiful example of what it was like to work in broadcasting. Dr. Johnny Fever is found across the country, as are Venus Flytrap, Herb Tarlek and Les Nessman. You just hope, hope, hope there's an Andy Travis where you work.

I worked at one place where it was on the log to call the morning guy to wake him up for his shift. One morning at 5:38, I placed the call, and John (his real name - maybe Johnny Fever was patterned after him), who had been to a Rolling Stones concert the night before and probably indulged in - well - indulged, fell asleep holding the phone. So, picture me sitting in the studio, screaming into the receiver, hoping I would get his attention. This was before the days of cell phones, so that was my only option.

Well, John's first break was at 6:08 because we were doing national news until then from the network. At 6:07 he would arrive on his bicycle (license lost due to indulging at other times). This morning when 6:08 rolled around I did the break, hoping he would show up soon. At 6:25 the program director called, wanting to know why I - the least experienced person on staff was doing the highest listenership timeslot. I explained and he got up, drove over to John's house and pounded on the door until his wife answered. Then the program director drove John to work. It was my first time doing Morning Drive. Fortunately, nothing horrible happened.

John arrived unshaven, unkempt and unruffled. He reeked of... well, I don't even know what he reeked of... but it wasn't pleasant. He did his usual morning routine of sucking down coffee, when his mouth wasn't wrapped around a cigarette. And, turned on the mic, and sounded fabulous. I wonder where he is these days. That was a long time ago.

When I flipped on the TV tonight, it was one of my favorite episodes - you know the one - "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." And it was followed with my most favorite one of all time - "Ferryman, Ferryman he's the man with a plot, he's the man with a plan." Nice little jog down memory lane.

I also remember going with a friend to see Gary Sandy, who played WKRP program director Andy Travis, at an appearance in Lexington, Kentucky, when the show was at its height. I don't remember the specifics, but I remember the kiss.

We were in a throng of people in a large auditorium and he was saying hello and shaking hands with people and when he got to me I was shaking his hand and he leaned in toward me and gave me a little peck on the lips. He looked at me and at my friend and said, "My goodness, there are sure some pretty women in Kentucky."

I'm guessing he repeated that whenever he was, with the appropriate substitutions, and that he either kissed every 32nd woman, and/or we looked like the only ones that were over 18. Regardless, I didn't take it to be anything too personal. Good thing, because Mr. Sandy continued to make his way through the crowd, shaking hands as he went - and I was never again to see him. But, it is a nice memory. My friend was mighty jealous of the kiss, although, frankly, it barely qualified as such.

I'm sure that sort of thing would not happen today. Rather a pity. Someone could be writing on their equivalent of a blog - whatever that will be then - and talking about their unexpected kiss.
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Hail in Hutchinson Kansas

Yesterday I had a Horizons board meeting and got caught in a rain/wind/hail storm as I pulled into the parking lot. It was about 5:15 and it was intense. Since I had the camera with me, I couldn't resist capturing the sound of the hail hitting. When the car was moving in the wind I was getting a little concerned but there were no tornadoes in the storm. At the end of the video you can see the trees bent over. I understand there were 80 mph winds, with very large hail in places. Of course, as usual, parts of town had no hail, and other parts had tons of it. I just happened to be in that part of town. .

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Quote of the Day

Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment - the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.
-Jorge Luis Borges

Working on my Attitude

I've been working hard on my attitude the last few days. It needs an adjustment. I feel like I've made some progress on that. But, good grief, I can suffer setbacks so easily.

I did take time today for some wonderful conversation, which is always inspiring. I had plans to meet Jason downtown to talk a while and I ended up going a little bit early and having lunch. It was a very late lunch by that point, but it all worked out. We chatted for a bit and then Jon came in and he and I talked for awhile after Jason had to leave. It's wonderful to visit with people who are thinkers. I love that. Absolutely love it.

I met both of them at the peace demonstration recently. There's another one this Saturday at noon. Anyone is welcome to join in. I'm planning to go, barring unforeseen events.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Quote of the Day

Don't let yourself be paralyzed by fear, which prevents so
many people from living out their dreams.
-Mark Fisher

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama is It

Obama has enough delegates for the nomination the experts say. I hope we will be referring to him as President Obama in a few months. Although I have been a Hillary supporter, Obama now has my complete and full support.

I hope that other Hillary supporters will also support Obama wholeheartedly. And I hope they will do so regardless of who he chooses for Vice President.

I suppose Obama/Clinton would be a dream ticket for many, but Obama is entitled to choose the VP he wants - not necessarily the one people think he should choose. This is someone he will be working closely with for four, maybe eight, years - he needs to choose the person he wants as his second in command. That is a privilege he has earned.

I am impressed that Clinton has said she's open to the VP slot. It seems so often at this stage of the game there is bad blood and the one on the bottom cannot swallow their pride enough to accept the number two slot. It's not like being VP is a bad job. And, obviously, Hillary is a politico. I'm sure she would have something to offer, but so would others.

At this point, Obama has the nomination, and we all need to give him our full support as we go forward. And we need to support his VP choice, whoever that may be. I think it was wise of him to say he wasn't going to talk about it until after he had enough delegates for the nomination. That's the classy thing to do.

I was glad he acknowledged Hillary's contributions to health care, as well as other things. I wish she had been a bit more conciliatory in her speech. I'm not a political expert and don't understand the reasons for these things.

This is an historic occasion in our country's history - something school children will be looking back on in amazement at some point. That was the FIRST woman running? That was the FIRST African-American? We are living this momentous occasion, lets relish in all it means.

Of course, we're some time from the convention and who knows what could happen there. But, for the moment, lets just start practicing saying, "President Obama."
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Oldest Living Thing on Earth

Three scientists who discovered a 250 million year old bacteria still alive in an inclusion in a salt crystal were in Hutchinson Saturday afternoon for a lecture at the Kansas Underground Salt Museum.

Dr. Russell Vreeland and Dr. William Rosenzweig from West Chester University in Pennsylvania were the biologists. They worked with geologist Dr. Dennis Powers to look at the layers of salt and make sure the area where they were collecting from had not been penetrated before they gathered it. As Vreeland said, "he reads layers like I read a book."

In an inclusion in a salt crystal from a site near Carlsbad NM, in less than a drop of water (12 microliters), they found a bacteria that was alive but essentially in hibernation. Bacteria have an ability to form spores and be dormant for a long time, but no one had an idea they could be dormant this long.

As Vreeland explained, the bacteria could not reproduce in the water where it was because the waste generated would have killed it.  They put it into fresh nutrients, including a 20% salt solution, and Vreeland said they, "woke it up." It took four months for them to see growth in the bacteria.

"The feeling we had when we saw it was humility," Vreeland said in an interview after the lecture. "We're in the presence of an organism that has survived 250 million years in a crystal. You've got to respect that."

Their research was published in "Nature" in 2000. Before they published the research, "Nature" required even more stringent verification than usual. The researchers isolated the organism in 1998 and published in 2000. The museum here now has an exhibit about the discovery, including the crystal the organism was found in.

The scientists were surprised by the initial interest in the project. Vreeland said that "Nature" put out a press release on the wire and fifteen minutes later the college switchboard was getting calls for interviews, and was almost instantly jammed. The two biologists did interviews every half hour for the next two weeks. Vreeland said he started at 7:30 in the morning and was doing his last one at 11:30 that night on the BBC Coffee Talk Show. He joked, "Here it is eight years later ... and I'm a museum artifact."

He said one of the great things about the experience was that it has "given us a chance to give science back to the people who paid for it."

Prior to this, the oldest bacteria discovered was in a piece of amber and it was 25 million years old. Before that the oldest was a 10,000 year old spore found in a mummy.

Minerals can be dated radiometrically, and the ones where this sample was taken are 253-254 million years ago, right at the end of the Permian Period. They looked at 100 crystals, and found two organisms.

The dating of this has been one of the breakthroughs of this research. As Vreeland said, "You can only date an organism based on geology, not on DNA." This was dated like any other fossil.

"The key to the exhibit is the techniques, not the organism." They combined microbiologists, a geologist and a high level of sterility.

All of their work was done in very sterile conditions. Vreeland says that "sterility is never a given, it's a probability." The protocols they were working under produced a sterile environment that is 1000 times better than that of an operating room. The chance of contamination for Vreeland's system is 1 in a billion. By comparison, the Mars Rover's chance of contamination was 1 in million.

Vreeland said the crystal is a great preservative. Oxygen would kill the organism, but none gets to it in the crystal. Also, when the crystal is forming, the heavy metals that would kill the organism are being pushed away. Then, it gets buried where it's dark and cool, creating an ideal, stable environment.

They are also  working with 400 million year old samples, as well as 125 million year old ones.

Vreeland said we know that microbes can withstand the acceleration to get off planet Earth, and they can survive the deceleration of meteor hits, so it's likely microbes from Earth are on Mars. "When man goes to the stars, our microbes will be waiting for us," Vreeland said during the lecture.

A surprise with this organism has been that when the microbes are exposed to an environment where salt is forming, first thing they do is look for an inclusion and then recruit others. They then allow themselves to be closed up.

Vreeland said in an interview after the lecture that while there's no proof the organisms are affecting crystallization, there are indications of it. The higher the microbe population there is, the faster crystals form and those crystals are slightly different than those that form without microbes present, including the shape and rate they grow.

Vreeland says, "Somehow they are doing things we don't expect them to be doing." They've proven that microbes can navigate mazes, and the mazes the organisms pick are the same size as the inclusions in the salt.

Other work looking at microbes in volcanic glass says it looks like they create openings in the glass.

"It's a fascinating idea and it's an idea that we as humans really need. We've bought too much into our own propaganda saying we're the pinnacle of evolution, that we're complex and they are simple," said Vreeland in an interview after the lecture.

"The feeling we had when we saw it was not pride. It was humility," Vreeland said in the interview. "We've given it its opportunity and that's all. I feel humble everytime I look at it."

"I don't care what your beliefs are, there's no way we can look at ourselves and thump our chests looking at that. That is the oldest living thing on earth. Here's an organism that was alive 100 million years before the dinosaurs, you've got to respect it."

Photos courtesy of

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Blogging Good for Your Health

Scientific American has published an article about how blogging is good for you. It's what you would expect - writing is good in general. Of course, blogging is another way people write.
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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Unheard Of

I am heading upstairs to bed - at 9:15 p.m. I know, it's something unheard of for me. But I don't feel good. I can't say I feel bad, but I don't feel good. I guess it's more that I just don't feel normal. I haven't for awhile now, but it is worse today than usual. I feel worn out and strung out, even though I've done very little today because I just haven't felt like it. I'm not sure what the deal is but I think it's stress manifesting itself physically. I'm just not sure how much more of it I can take.
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Sex and the City (no spoilers)

I capped off a very full Saturday by going to see Sex and the City. I really enjoyed it. I'm going to refrain from saying anything much about it since it's the first weekend it has been out and I'm sure some folks haven't had a chance to see it yet.

I'm not a big movie person and I have only seen the show on TV. I never saw the racier HBO version. But, I could always relate to the girls, even though I've never lived in New York.

Andrea, Kate, Amy, Greg and I went, so we had a little group.

If you're a fan of the show, the movie won't disappoint, which is a rarity when dealing with movies from TV shows. It was good. Very good.
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