About Me

My photo
I'm a consulting geologist for a small company in the Denver area. I study problems related to active tectonics, using geomorphology, structural geology and remote sensing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Inmates have too much time on their hands

I know it sounds like a headline from The Onion... a man in a U.S. prison is suing the county which runs the facility for "literally being starved to death". First off, no one has been named as having died from malnutrition in this case. Secondly, the guy who is bringing the suit weighs over 300 pounds, but complains that he doesn't receive enough food and lost 100 pounds (meaning that when he was committed to prison he weighed over 400 pounds). The best part is that he complains about feeling dizzy and having blurry vision when he tries to exercise... not to appear callous or prejudiced, but come on!! --DUDE-- YOU ARE MORBIDLY OBESE, I would be shocked if he DIDN'T feel light-headed and short of breath when trying to exercise.

So, I would hope that this 'plaintiff' realize that he could probably stand to lose another hundred pounds, and that even with an intake of 3000 calories a day he's experiencing the benefits of expensive and dangerous surgeries like Ring Gastroplasty without having to go under the knife. I'm not saying he should be happy he's in jail, I'm just saying it's ridiculous for him to be suing over 'starvation'.

Article from the BBC


Friday, April 25, 2008

"The beauty of asymmetric warfare"

Hacker attacks on governments and countries are going to become much more common and much more severe in the coming years, according to the world's elite hackers who met in an international conference on the future challenges and foci of hacking recently.

From the BBC:

Roberto Preatoni [is] the founder of the cyber crime monitoring site, Zone-H. He told the audience that the attacks in Estonia were a harbinger for a new era of cyber warfare. "Even though Estonia is one of the world's most advanced countries in IT technology, the whole economy was brought to its knees... That's the beauty of asymmetric warfare. You don't need a lot of money, or an army of people. You can do it from the comfort of your living room, with a beer in your hand."


Hmmm.... this guy sounds like a moron in my opinion. The "beauty of asymmetric warfare" he talks about is surely lost on the ethnic and/or political minorities of nations like Darfur or Zimbabwe. In the mind of a hacker, it seems, the intellectual triumph of the individual over the establishment is the pinnacle of war... but no matter how "beautiful" they perceive such attacks to be, I'm sure that any hacker would change their tune if they ever found themselves on the losing side of asymmetric warfare.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

physical humor

As I was walking to my office this morning, I passed through the physics department and paused to read a comic that some grad students had put on the door to their basement-dungeon-office... I thought it was funny enough to share:


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

just weird

...how would you feel if a creepy replica of your head was affixed to a walking robot body? It kind of reminds me of Matt Groening's cartoon, "futurama" where the disembodied heads of famous politicians and actors live on in big jars and interact with people from the 30th century. ..kind of gives a new lean to "heads of state".


Thursday, April 17, 2008


hahaha... I have a meeting with my advisor tomorrow and I have tons of work to do tonight!! I had a peek at what my existing cross section looked like after not working on it for quite a while and I spent most of the morning hours deleting things from it. Then I spent most of the afternoon hours double checking data and then finally re-entering corrected, reprojected, carefully selected and newly collected data. Basically I started over and kept a template. It's surprising to me how much time I can spend taking care of details in preparation for work... I just hope that all that prep time translates into efficient and productive work-time. Take a gander at the gaping white space on the section, and realize that by tonight I aim to have it filled with the somewhat calculated structures that I (hope to) constrain with a host of corroborating data from geodesy, geophysics and geomorphology.


pics below

Hey everybody,

Snow... it just won't leave us alone here! The pics below are all from the last week, but what you don't know is that it was 80 degrees and sunny on tuesday, then snowed all day wednesday. Snow also fell this past saturday, so all in all the thermometer has been getting a workout over the last week; up down up down.

I'm kind of fed-up with snow, I wish spring would hurry up and get sprung...it's pretty though.


some pics


Friday, April 11, 2008

phlaauggh... snow

ok, I'm ready for it to end. Today I checked the weather before riding to school. The website said 50 and partly sunny. I looked out the window, a ray of sun was shining through patchy clouds. I headed out and it started to snow. it was 37 degrees.

Unlike some lucky folks, who get thunderstorms and 70 degree days with sun in April, I get stuck with snow and gusty winds... I am jealous.



Thursday, April 03, 2008

spring morning

rain drops, mist, patchy clouds hang low around the sandstone slabs that form the flatirons. light snow peaks through the clouds there, barely dusting the slabs but a mere few hundred feet lower we get rain drops. the sun occasionally shines through, cutting the chill of the wet morning for a few seconds. early spring. more snow will fall, but from here on precip will mostly be rain. the chance for another verdant april and may is on the horizon but no one knows for sure whether the fire hazard signs will be dialed to green or red. only one month left to catch up on things that have eluded my scholastic focus (or lack thereof) over the last three. plans for taiwan in may, completing incomplete works from december, revisiting what I was supposed to be doing all semester. Somehow the last couple months have just slid by, practically unnoticed; now I find myself feeling lucid and aware but still questioning wtf happened during that time and how. was I so far out of it that I was just here in body?

Periodically I disappear. my thoughts unravel and I'm left with base yearnings for escape, idyllic and various indulgent experiences outside of time. grad school seems to provide a major barrier to experiences such as these, at least in the real world. the last few weeks have seen me spend inordinate amounts of time on introspection: wants and desires, fears, plans, etc. So many of these are manifold, complex in their designs and some might even say pie-in-the-sky, but worth working towards - fighting for. Pure academia appears less and less attractive and public work, policy work, private sector consulting on affairs of human risk, etc all seem more worth everything I am putting myself through here now. What is the real benefit of spending more than a hundred thousand dollars of tax-payers money (yes you are all paying for my education) to pursue a lifetime career of personal mental mollycoddling?

For now I resign myself to doodling cross sections, extracting channel morphologies from digital elevation models, and waxing cerebral about four-dimensional orogenic kinematics.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

dumb wall

there's a wall that I like to ride on near campus. one who wishes to ride the wall must hop from a parking lot, up onto the wall, then jump off the end onto the sidewalk below it. this is of course on a bike, just in case that wasn't clear. my riding style is much more about linking objects and keeping rhythm and less about sessioning single tricks. so, check out the wall:

...for some reason I decided it would be a good idea to go ride aggressively immediately following a week of sitting in a car, no mind the fact that I was exhausted and a little off-balance. I made a half hearted attempt at the wall (weak effort, not really committed) and what do you know, it kicked my ass. Luckily I guided my face away from the stone walls edge (I was wearing a helmet) but plenty of other parts got hung up on it, I was ejected, flipped and unceremoniously dumped on the sidewalk. Lots of people driving by were treated to the rare sight of a 28 year old man eating it hard. below is a diagram, made with google's free 3D sketching software.