India Travel Log and Photos

October 31, 2007

From 2/4/2005 – 26/2005, my wife and I went to India on a World Wildlife Fund trip. This was our first trip with a digital camera. We had replaced our two film camera bodies with a single Canon EOS 20D. We also replaced our wide angle lens, due to the 1.6x conversion factor of the camera body. We began using our current wide angle lens, a 17-85mm EF-S Image Stabilized lens.

Obviously, we hoped to see tigers on this trip but were trying our hardest not to get our hopes too high. It is very possible to go all the way to India on a trip specifically designed to maximize tiger viewing and still not be lucky enough to see one. So, we tried our hardest to prepare ourselves for the possibility of poor luck. Of course, we also hoped to see a lot of other amazing wildlife that exists throughout India.

Our total counts for the trip were 180 bird species and 21 mammal species. Even those impressive stats do not do justice to this truly wonderful and very different trip for us. Surprisingly, even many of the human aspects of the trip were incredibly interesting. The culture of India is truly unique. We saw evidence of the early Jain and Hindu culture, as well as the later influence as the Muslims and Christians came through. Many aspects of this even caught the attention of this misanthrope.

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Greenhouse Gases Already Worse Than Worst Predictions?

October 27, 2007

I’ll keep this post short. I usually try to do more than just current events on my blog. In this case though, I’d just like to make sure everyone is aware that we may have already silently crossed a major greenhouse gas level without even noticing it right away. It’s pretty scary stuff. Note that this is not yet considered peer reviewed, AFAIK. It is merely a comment about what is likely in the next IPCC report. I count IPCC as more than just peer reviewed, personally.

Greenhouse gas levels ‘far worse than predicted’

Thou Shalt Kill

October 19, 2007

I am an antitheist primarily because of the violence in the Bible and other religious writings, regardless of how much of it actually happened, and because of the violence directly caused by people’s reading of the Bible and/or other religious writings. Many modern members of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion (deliberately singular) believe that the people that have caused such atrocities are misinterpreting the written words of this religion. Many even claim that religion is inherently peaceful; I believe quite the opposite. I believe religion, or more accurately the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion, to be inherently violent by design and purpose.

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Onion Articles

October 11, 2007

I’ve been reading The Onion since about 1996 and love it!! Here are a few classic onion articles that never fail to amuse me no matter how many times I read them.

Dolphins Evolve Opposable Thumbs: ‘Oh Shit,’ Says Humanity

Pope Admits: ‘God Ain’t Said Shit To Me’

Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Finally Over’ — Too true to be good. And, quite prescient as well; check the date.

Voice Recognition Software Yelled At — This one is short and not politically or religiously charged. Just plain funny.

That’s probably enough for one day. I have to keep reminding myself to add humor to my blog. I keep getting too serious.

AAA is Pure Evil

October 10, 2007

First, I must make something clear. The AAA to which I refer in this article as pure evil is the AAA formerly known as the American Automobile Association. I have no problem with the good folks at the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, a group whose members are nice enough to come to Hayden Planetarium lectures on clear nights with their own telescopes and allow people to look at the stars. Please assume all references to AAA going forward refer to the former American Automobile Association, known simply as AAA now.

If you are a member of AAA, please answer for yourself whether you joined for roadside assistance and travel services or whether you joined to become part of a powerful lobbying organization. I’m going to assume the former. If I am incorrect, please reply and let me know that there truly are grass roots members of the AAA that intended to further the causes lobbied for by the AAA in your name.

Second, I’m going to assume that the vast majority of AAA members, when asked the generic, “what are you?” will likely NOT respond with the first thought, “I am a motorist.” Yet, that is precisely how AAA claims you would respond. They would also claim that as a motorist, you want certain things. And, they will lobby for those. Check that list carefully and see whether you are OK with AAA lobbying using your name as one of its many members, the largest grass roots organization in the country.

Third, you have a choice. There is a better roadside assistance club. Read on please.

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Tanzania Travel Write Up

October 9, 2007

For the three weeks from 8/26/2004 through 9/19/2004, we went to Tanzania. This is a large country and takes a while to see any appreciable portion of the great locations there. This was also our last major trip using film. We exposed 157 rolls of 36 exposure during our time on the ground there.

This was our longest trip to Africa to date and had some very interesting sightings. I may add one or two more photos later, possibly a rock hyrax and the twin vervet monkey babies. If you have specific interest in either of these, feel free to request them. I missed them on my first scanner pass. If you have enjoyed my photos thus far, please check these out and let me know what you think. Thanks.

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Valdez — A Deliberate Act by Exxon and BP?

October 9, 2007

The first thing to read in this post is an article entitled A well-designed disaster: the untold story of the Exxon Valdez. If that fails to make you physically ill, read on.

Here is an article from The Nation in 2004 entitled Whatever It Takes, detailing the actions ExxonMobil had taken up to that point in time. I was hoping to find something more current. Still though, 15 years of doing nothing is not a reason to hope that they’ve done anything in the last 3 years.

I read both of these articles in a book that is a collection of articles entitled The I Hate Corporate America Reader. There are many other great and depressing articles in that book as well.

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