Independence Day

•July 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

In honor of Independence Day here in the United States, I am seceding from WordPress.com. I’ll still use WordPress as a framework because… you know… it rocks, but from now on the Journal of his Delights will be hosted at (appropriately enough):

http://journalofhisdelights.com

Okay, so it’s not the most original domain name, but I figured it was probably a good idea to keep things simple. Also, probably in a couple of weeks, I’ll delete the posts here and just hang a pointer to the new site.

Please remember to bookmark the new site. Thanks!

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Name, Name — What’s in a Name?

•July 2, 2008 • 2 Comments

So I’ve got a dilemma…

I have a site host all picked out, but before I can sign up, I need to come up with the domain name, and I’m stumped. The obvious choice is to use my name, but something about that puts me off. I’d consider using 3seed, except that someone’s squatting on it.

Colleague and friend, Emily, advises something easily searchable and/or unique, but I’m totally drawing a blank. And I can’t move the site until I nail this down.

Are there any suggestions from the gallery?

Two Articles

•July 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I have a couple of news items for you. Neither article may sound all that interesting from their description, but each in their own way is compelling.

Lost Promise for Rape Victims
The first is an account of all that goes into putting together a rape kit. It’s written by a researcher at Human Rights Watch, and it’s downright damning given the effort involved.

Can Weeds Help Solve the Climate Crisis?
The second article is a New York Times piece about the effects of global warming on weeds. It’s long and often more about the researchers than the research, but it’s a potential glimpse into the future–one where we can’t take for granted the ability of agriculture as we know it to feed humanity. Although, it may be that the weeds save us in the end.

Check ’em out.

Two Super-Cool Finds

•June 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The title says it all.

The first is from a nonprofit working on development issues. It’s an education/promotion piece about the Girl Effect. Check it out – it’s a wonderfully creative approach to educating about the benefits of helping women and girls in the developing world.

I saw the other piece on Emily’s blog, and it really is amazing. People are so creative! You have to be patient though — its coolness doesn’t manifest till about 1:08. Trust me though, it’s worth it.

Yes, the machines really are playing Nude by Radiohead.

It’s a Meme Thing

•June 24, 2008 • 5 Comments

I’ve been tagged by Kim for a meme. Specifically, it’s to pick up the nearest book, flip to page 123, go to the 5th sentence, and read the next three sentences.

I have next to me The Journey from the Center of the Page by Jeff Davis.

“By day’s or week’s end, you may recognize patterns of our culture’s flotsam that may give you fodder for creating a fiction or nonfiction scene. Weaving in and twisting these speech bits also can give a poem texture as it comments on the nature of our daily language. One student wrote a short story in which one of the characters spoke almost entirely in commercial jingles and sound bites.”

I’ll tag CC, Lowie, Emily, and Carrie.

Where to Next?

•June 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

It’s been too long since I last updated. Mea culpa.

To be honest, though, the blog was suffering from an identity crisis. I wasn’t sure what I should focus on now that I’m not traveling around the world. My life? My writing? Making a difference in the world, the mundane, the absurd, all of the above, none of the above?

I didn’t have an answer, and I felt the blog needed a framework — some kind of structure to give it meaning. Or if not meaning, then at least a guiding principle or theme. Otherwise it was likely to become an incoherent mess and collection of random perceptions.

So I let the blog lay fallow; to give its landscape a chance to rest and become fertile once more. The result? I still don’t have a proper answer, but I do have the seeds of something; a sense of what I’d like to focus on next.

In the last few years, I’ve been interested in exploring human suffering. That’s one of the original reasons I went to London for the Masters in Development Studies. It’s one of the reasons I worked for over a decade with AI. But, consistent with all the changes in my life, it’s time for something new. Or not really new — more of an evolution.

Timelessness and change. That’s what I’m interested in exploring. I know they’re big topics, but then human suffering wasn’t exactly small either. And I don’t have much more beyond that — just the two seed words. But it’s enough for a start.

Of course, you’ll still get random perceptions, posts about food, photography, geekiness, and the like, but there’ll be a tendency to head in particular directions. And there will also be some changes, including moving the site to my own domain. I’d like to post some of my poetry, and I’d feel better if I had more control over the site.

I’ll also be focusing more on writing; one of the ways I’m changing my life. Also expect to see more posts about advocacy and issues of concern; to help with changing the world for the better. As for the timeless, well… that’ll be harder, but I’m willing to go looking. *grin*

So, I’m sorry for the lack of posts, but I needed to figure out where to head next with the Journal. I hope you stick around and enjoy the ride.

Phoenix

•May 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

When I was a child – maybe nine or ten – I mailed the Jet Propulsion Laboratory a request for pictures of the solar system. When the package arrived, I was so excited. Inside were images from the Voyager and Viking spacecraft. Pictures of Jupiter, Mars, and other planetary bodies. There was something extraordinary about the fact that I was able to see such things – pictures of other planets!

A couple of days ago, the Phoenix Lander touched down on Mars. It’s mission is to drill down into the planet’s north pole, see if there’s any water, and check out the chemistry of what’s to be found. It’s also sending back pictures.

Now, the Martian landscape isn’t that interesting. It’s just rocks. But the fact is, they’re rocks on another planet, and that we are able to see them, I find that just as astonishing now as when I was younger. We can do that! We can go to other planets and see what’s to be seen. Granted, right now it’s through robotic eyes, but that won’t be for forever

The Phoenix Lander

We are capable of this much and so much more.