Yearly Archives: 2009

Yucatan Trip 2009 – Uxmal Ruins

Just back from a short vacation in the Yucatan with my brother and sister-in-law. We started and ended our tip at Merida, which has a delightful old city center to explore. [photo gallery] First on our list was Uxmal, my personal favorite! Located in the gently rolling Puuc Hills, it is one of several significant Late […]

Yucatan Trip 2009 – Chichen Itza Ruins

Next on our tour was Chichen Itza, perhaps the most famous Mayan ruin of all. [photo gallery] Most of what we see today is a combination of Terminal Classic Maya and Post-Classic newcomers such as the Toltecs. The site is dominated by the iconic El Castillo Pyramid, which was dedicated to the feathered serpent god […]

Yucatan Trip 2009 – Coba Ruins

On our drive to the coast we stopped for a few hours to see the ruins at Coba. The site sits between two lakes and is divided up into groupings several kilometers apart. These are much more rustic with less restoration. [photo gallery] One exception was the Ball Court which was very small an intimate compared with the others […]

Yucatan Trip 2009 – Tulum Ruins

Our final stop was Tulum on the east coast. [photo gallery] While the buildings may be less elaborate, the setting is certainly spectacular. A thick wall surrounds the site on three sides with the ocean on the fourth. The site has its own small cenote as a source of fresh water. There is a guard house of sorts just […]

Frontline – The Warning

This is essential listening/viewing for anyone concerned about the current financial crisis, how and who got us here, and who’s still trying to “fix” the problem! PBS Frontline Site Frontline Podcast Audio-Only MP3 Version

Cassini Mission to Saturn

Many new wonders on the Cassini Website starting with this new portrait of Saturn at Equinox. Notice that the ring shadow cast on the planet has diminished to a fine line. The tangential lighting brings out shadows of various moons and ring features. There are also amazing new movies of aurora and the hexagon at […]

Visit to Wisconsin – Photos 2009

This was the view out my hotel window in downtown Madison! My brother Bruce came down for an evening and we toured the capital building. Discovered that the iPhone 3G has a pretty decent camera! I drove back to Iowa through southwestern Wisconsin on a grey, rainy day. Fortunately there was already a bit of […]

Iowa Roadside Flowers and HDR Scenes

Made a brief visit to Iowa over the week-end and took some new roadside flower photos, plus a few rural HDR scenes, including the historic Hurstville Lime Kilns near Maquoketa. Most of these flower photos were taken along a 150 ft stretch of median where I-74 joins I-80 West. The sheer number of blooms was impressive! The mostly purple […]

Norman Borlaug Dies at Age 95

Just a brief post to mark the passing of a true American hero, Norman Borlaug. Here are several links of interest… New York Times Obituary 1997 Profile in The Atlantic “Why Famines Still Exist” Video Interview from My 2008 Posting

The Neuroscience of Seeking Behavior

I found this recent article in Slate fascinating. It draws on the research legacy of James Olds, who did some of the seminal experiments with electro-stimulation of the brain. He referred to certain reward centers for basic drives such as hunger and sex. These became known collectively as the “pleasure centers” of the brain. Fine […]