10 November, 2012

Jabba the Snow Hutt

We decided to make good use of the snow we got overnight

17 October, 2012

What am I?

I'm that guy you know who is decent at doing a lot of stuff, but never pursues anything to the professional level. Fear of rejection has always been a part of me. It is the reason why I have been in college for so long. It is the reason why I refuse to sell my work. I always wonder where my fear of success came from. How do we find where we stand? How do we accept our abilities and take that next leap?

Am I an artist?

A mechanic?

An amateur astronomer?

A photographer?

A writer?

A performer?

A travel documentarian?

13 September, 2012

The Moon is Looking Back

        When was the last time you looked up at the Moon? When was the last time you had a real close up view of its surface? 50 years Kennedy delivered his historic Moon speech from Rice University in Huston. The quest for the Moon didn’t necessarily start out as a peaceful effort. Peaceful efforts do not receive the type of funding necessary to plan a Moon mission. NASA’s current budget is too small to even go beyond low Earth orbit. We were at war with Soviet Russia and our pride was far superior to our quest for peace. Still, Kennedy’s Moon speech gave hopes of a greater future in space. "For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the Moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace…We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding."-John F. Kennedy 
(Watch my latest iReport, a tribute to Neil Armstrong, published by CNN )

        Since that date presidents have made promises in spaceflight that reside outside of their potential time as president. Many of those promises have a vision with ambition, but not the funding to back that vision. This is the struggle of NASA. This is why the agency is fading away in the eyes of the public, just as the Moon fades into the morning skies. 
        I am constantly watching for the Moon at night, and even in the day when it is faint, almost blending in with the pale blue sky. The excitement of seeing the Moon even with the most amateur equipment, such as a small telescope, binoculars, and even a camera lens, can inspire anyone who gets their first view of a crater with their own eye. The other day I captured a photo of the Moon in a cosmic dance with Venus. Our closest neighbors look back on us, floating through space…just out of our reach. I wish to share some photos I have taken of the moon over the years. Enjoy.

06 August, 2012

If a rover lands on Mars and there isn't anyone around to witness it...

I think of the Curiosity Landing on Mars and how no one was there to witness that awesome event. In my mind I tried to imagine the image of a small craft coming out of the red martian sky being slowed by a giant parachute, and then the parachute detaches. As the craft falls 8 engines ignite and bring it down to suspend in mid air just 40 meters from the ground. Slowly a 1 ton rover is lowered to to the ground with the help of a cable system. As the wheels touch the ground the cables detach and the craft accelerates away and crashes somewhere far in the distance. The rover sits there and no one is there to see it.

18 June, 2012

I may do this. Stay Tuned

There are 30 different... categories(?) that I do each day. So, here is what I will be writing about for the next 30 days.

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misundertand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

07 June, 2012

Ray Bradbury: Influencing and Preventing Possible Futures

This week Ray Bradbury passed away. I decided to write an article on how his stories influenced and prevented possible futures. CNN picked up my I Report. You can view it here. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-799884

10 April, 2012

Four Comedies You Must See

Obscure, Slapstick, Absurd, Witty, these are all comedies that may change your perception on what the hell you've been watching all of these years. Not everyone will love these comedies, but they may grow on you over time.

Brazil-Love does not always conquer all.

Rushmore-About the person you wish you were in high school.

Young Einstein-What if Einstein's theory of relativity could make bubbles into beer?

Top Secret-Ever wonder what would happen if the German government was still evil in the 80's and Val Kilmer was a singing popstar and was the only one who could stop them?

09 April, 2012

Working on a poem

So, I've got this poem I am working on for my brother's movie. It has to be about space and a robot is reciting it. It is still a work in progress, but this is what I have so far.

Ticking time’s piece fills the void that is reason
Curving space and light play games, it’s all within the season
Round we go on orbit slow
This spaceship Earth has given birth
And through the solar winds she’ll hold her spin
And when she dies the journey will begin

It’s not the dark of night that’s blind
But seven billion souls that sleep
And in their dreams the sun is red
The air is green, the roses dead
Loss of limb, it’s not the same
You wakeup living, blood in veins
And in the flight of grace they hold their pain
And in the cosmic rain they wash away.

19 March, 2012

SpaceX on 60 Minutes

Elon Musk is the founder of SpaceX, a privately owned spaceship company from California. SpaceX is the first company to send a capsule into orbit and successfully retrieved the capsule after reentry. Their Dragon Capsule will most likely be the space craft that helps the United States eliminate its dependence on the Russian built Soyuz Capsule to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX claims that the Dragon Capsule will also be the most cost effective and safest space vehicle in the market.

There are a couple of veteran Apollo astronauts, Niel Armstrong and Gene Cernan, who disagree with the Obama administration's decision to contract flights with private spaceflight companies for the transportation of American astronauts to the International Space Station. They suggest that it is safer and more efficient for the government to develop, own and operate its own fleet of space vehicles. They have yet to accept Elon Musk's invitation to visit SpaceX's facilities in California, a gesture he was hoping could clear up their concerns. But SpaceX has its own former NASA astronaut, Garrett Reisman, working on making the Dragon capsule ready for human space flight. Reisman likens Elon Musk's space flight endeavor to that of Howard Hughes and TWA.

Take some time to watch the 15 minute interview with Elon Musk on 60 minutes to see what drove this man to use his personal fortune to start a privately owned space company.

04 March, 2012

Winner of Life, the Universe and Everything

Ok, so my poem tied for first place in Life, the Universe and Everything's poetry contest. This is the first time I have submitted my writing to anything. Maybe I should do this more often. Life, the Universe, and Everything is a speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) writers conference. They have guest speakers and authors who conduct writers workshops. Here is the poem I submitted that won the competition. It is written in Iambic Pentameter but there is one line off that doesn't have the stressed and unstressed syllables perfect. Shakespeare didn't always get it right either.

Where the Gold lay.

The beast is dead, his claws now cracked, no breath.
In fight he fell, one victim for the proud.
On fields men kill, the great, the bold, till death
and climb the dead with woe. Knight takes a vow,
a token of true fondness. Gazing blind,
death’s stare is but a day, a week, a year
and still love keeps the fake of powdered mime.
In dreams she peers in crystal balls. No cheer,
no sound, she screams, his beat of heart is wrought.
In time the scars of dreadful past will stitch.
The day is far she keeps him close in thought,
in breast. Her bones now ache the burning itch
of tells when rock with stone are forged and crushed.
To stop a crown the Gold lie down in dust.

07 February, 2012

Understanding Electricity

 I am reading the book White Noise by Don DeLillo and I came across a passage that gave me quite a wake up call. The scene takes place after an airborne toxic event. A family has evacuated to a shelter and the son is talking to the father about individual knowledge and how much we don't understand about the technology around us.

"It's like we've been flung back in time," he said. "Here we are in the Stone Age, knowing all these great things after centuries of progress but what can we do to make life easier for the Stone Agers? Can we make a refrigerator? Can we even explain how it works? What is electricity? What is light? We experience these things every day of our lives but what good does it do if we find ourselves hurled back in time and we can't even tell people the basic principles much less actually make something that would improve conditions. Name one thing you could make. Could you make a simple wooden match that you could strike on a rock to make a flame? We think we're so great and modern. Moon landings, artificial hearts. but what if you were hurled into a time warp and came face to face with the ancient Greeks. The Greeks invented trigonometry. They did autopsies and dissections. What could you tell an ancient Greek that he couldn't say, 'Big deal.' Could you tell him about the atom? Atom is a Greek word. The Greeks knew that the major events in the universe can't be seen by the eye of man. It's waves, it's rays, it's particles."

I think this is the reason why I am so interested in taking things apart. I want to understand how they work. I think I only try to understand things half way because I get tired or it is beyond my comprehension unless I have someone right there to explain it to me. I know a little about a lot of things. These include astronomy, engines, computers, radios, solar panels, rockets etc. I think the least any of us could do is to try and understand how electricity works. I want to learn how to build a crank generator from scratch. I actually found a site that gives you instructions. Here is the link.

25 January, 2012

Tucson Mexican American Studies Banned

 It is now 2012 and people are still afraid of books and certain subjects in school. The Tucson Arizona school district is banning Mexican American studies and banning certain books that have to do with the curriculum in the course. These books wont even be offered in the school library for students to read on their own. Are people afraid of loosing their whiteness or something. The ability to understand another culture is how we gain respect for and from others. Arizona is a border state and should be a lot more sympathetic to the diversity of cultures it has. Ignoring it is only going to break up its community. Here is a link to one article.Tucson Mexican American Studies Banned. We also went over the list of banned books in my Contemporary American Literature class. Go read history from another perspective. I'm finishing up a book called George Washington Gomez by Americo Paredes. It is about the transition that border families had to go through shortly after Mexico lost its North American lands. Mexican families had their lands taken away and were forced to move to a near by state across the border, a place that was foreign to them because culture is different form state to state, town to town, family to family.

20 January, 2012

A Purpose for Everything

Brown paper napkin,
to you I write my balad.
Too corse for my nose,
but not the sandwich infront of me.
Her greens wet your edges.
Transparent becomes your center.
You're tearing at the fold.
Where else will I place you,
but in the plastic depths of hell?
Why do I write this?
You deserve a proper burial.
Your history now recorded.
I leave you to decompose.

13 January, 2012


Jesus served others and lived a humble life.

11 January, 2012

I'm Always Behind on Music

So I'm not always the cool and hip, up to date person on new music. This last year I found a few bands that were either introduced to me by friends, or came up through surfing Pandora or channels on youtube.

Vampire weekend was introduced to me by my good friend Colin Jennings while vacationing out in California. He knew I would like Vampire Weekend after hearing me listen to The Spinto Band. I compare Vampire Weekend to a cross between Paul Simon and The Clash.

I found White Lies while watching a Quick Silver surfing video of Kelly Slater. It was the background music and it was just perfect for the moment. I even used it in my own California trip video this last summer.

When Mandi introduced MGMT to me I thought, "What a bunch of smelly hipsters." You can't judge a book by its cover and I feel dumb for doing so. They deserve a lot of respect.

On my drive to Washington, we got the chance to take turns playing our music. Tyler put on Girl Talks album, "All Day." I was blown away at how well the music was mixed. 70's and 80's pop and rock blended with hip hop to make a dance album. Just awesome!

09 January, 2012


I had a bit of time for some leisure reading over winter break. While school is in session I don't really have a lot of time to read books of my choice. All of my reading time is taken up by the books that are assigned to me by my professors.

I love science fiction and there was one trilogy that kept coming up on the greatest science fiction sagas of all time: Foundation by Isaac Asimov. By chance, I picked up the first book at savers for 50 cents a few years ago and it had been sitting on my shelf collecting dust. I  bought the book because I knew that Isaac Asimov was an important author in science fiction and  I thought I would get around to reading the book some day.

The first book was a little hard to get used to. There were sometimes 100 year gaps in the stories. It was hard to follow who was who because there were so many characters for each time period. This is not to say that the character development was lacking. In the second book I found a greater emotional attachment to the character called "The Mule." He was a "mutant" who despised all of humanity for treating him different. Because of this, he used his mind control power to dominate the galaxy.

It made me think of how we are all a product of our environment. We need to be very careful with how we treat others. I think a lot of this development happens early on, like in grade school. I think of how much can change in the world because of how one person is treated. There is a lot of talk about anti bullying laws. People do not realize that these laws not only protect the individual, but also society as a whole. Once again I find science fiction literature to be a leader in preventing harmful futures by playing out possible scenarios. Science fiction helps us think and change for good and bad. It is a genre of understanding and deserves respect.

04 January, 2012

My Question for the Crew of the International Space Station

This week I saw that Space.com was looking for questions to ask the crew of the International Space Station. I submitted about four, hoping that one would be chosen out of the many that were submitted for the ten minute time slot they had to talk to the astronauts. I got my wish. I asked about the research the Astronauts were doing in order to prepare us for missions beyond low Earth orbit. You can hear my question at 6:33 on this video.

I care very much for space exploration. If you want to get anywhere in the future you must start now or the future will never come.

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