Sunday, August 30, 2020

Burning Wood, Paper and Books

My childrens' book "Redwood Tree and its Friends" was written from China Grade Road in the Big Basin State Park. 

  • This road was on fire last week.
  • The park headquarters got gutted (the gift shop carried this book for sale).  From here: " Six of seven employee-housing structures burned to the ground. Many wooden bridges over creeks are damaged. Wooden stairs and steps have been torched to coals. Ablutions blocks look like they’ve been bombed. Big trees are still thundering to the ground regularly on their own, and countless others are partially burned and will pose a deadly threat until they’re taken down. Small fires still burn in stumps and fallen trees. Steep hillsides are bare of vegetation and will be vulnerable to landslides. A utility building was cloven virtually in two by a felled fir. Power poles burned and lines are down into the park.  And an oft-photographed attraction, a sawn section of an ancient redwood, with tags pointing to growth rings from the tree’s birth in 544 AD log through the birth of Mohammed in 570 and the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, has vanished into blowing ash."
  • Neighbor Bradley's vineyard (Big Basin Winery) has been impacted.
I hope friends  and colleagues remain protected from the fire and its aftermath. My thoughts are with the Redwood tree friends who have stood for many hundreds of years, and I hope will stand for many hundreds more.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Covid Times

Darth Vader "I find your lack of faith in masks disturbing" with his choking fingerhold. Covid times, thanks to Disney+, we are all rediscovering Star Wars.

To my Facebook friends, please do not buy more drones for kids. Facebook is showing me drone ads incessantly. 

At troubled times, I look to Jazz. NY Jazz is alive on streams. Jazz is still wafting but hasn't nailed the Covid moment and human response to it. 

Sunday, June 07, 2020

COVID times

Yesterday I had NY-quality bagels made by neighbors in Mercer Island.

Artichokes and flowers in the garden.

Older: Daddy working on a piece of art: 5 year old says, "You are mysterious!"

Daddy in COVID times: the little one says "Chewie!" No longer, now more like Picard. 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

John Conway

I managed to join a zoom meeting yesterday to honor John Conway. Peter Winkler paid tribute with a story about the brick-stacking puzzle (was interesting to hear "skintle" in context of puzzles). Roger Penrose paid tribute with tilings but also an old classic,  Morley's Trisector Theorem. Others like Don Knuth appeared in the pre-meeting chat room, but I could not stay for the entire 3 hrs+ homage. Thanks to everyone!  JHC, RIP.  I was reminded that we are the math, friends and puzzles we leave behind.

Friends Ada and Phillip have created a short hardware tribute to JHC, video embedded below. Ada and Phillip, thanks for repurposing your NYC manufacturing line to produce face shields and PPEs.  Loved the blog on the scientist who discovered the first coronavirus and the handsanitizer made in Detroit.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

On Progress in Science

Cyril Connolly said, "the greatest impediment to Science is the stroller in the hallway" (he said Art, but Science fits as Graham commented), but greater impediment is kids staying at home from school and greatest is kids staying at home doing Art.

Saturday, March 14, 2020


Here are questions in my mind:

Today I went to a grocery store and saw they were discounting nonessential items in an attempt to monetize the foot traffic.

Thoughts on my mind are for victims.

PS: Here is the NYT article on what Italians can accomplish.

"ROME — It started with the national anthem. Then came the piano chords, trumpet blasts, violin serenades and even the clanging of pots and pans — all of it spilling from people’s homes, out of windows and from balconies, and rippling across rooftops.

Finally, on Saturday afternoon, a nationwide round of applause broke out for the doctors on the medical front lines fighting the spread of Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak."

On Representations of Love

The universal symbol for love should be the brain, not the heart. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

On and Off Travel

On why I don't like to travel to Hawaii in winters: It is basically Seattle West.

On why mice and birds don't like Cats: bad reviews!

I saw the Harlem Nutcracker in Seattle. The story centers around an African American family in Harlem at Christmas, highlighting the centrality and significance of the grandmother in African-American culture, the resilience of Black American families, and Harlem as a center of the African Diaspora." It is nutcracker, not classical music but Jazz, not ballet but liberating, reverbating and pulsating dance.  I didn't have tickets. I walked in. The ticket folks asked me to "hang around" and found a back stairs way for me to fill a seat in the rear. A man in front of me leaned back and gave me a program. No words needed. At the intermission, I paid for the ticket. When the show was over, I stood outside the theater. Well dressed people were leaving the performance, they walked by, smiled, offered a smart quip or two, and it was true NY in Seattle.

I am in travel through the incomparable New Mexico right now, but in the crisp winter mountain air are NY wafts.