Archive for May, 2009

I have put a gnat in the giant’s ear, and he doesn’t like it

May 26th, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized

Some time ago I visited the creation museum.  I summarized my experiences there in a blog post meant to be seen by friends and family.  Intentionally, I did not make the post into a rigorous refutation of the museum, but rather shared my emotional reactions in order to communicate with friends. I really didn’t want to spend months writing a learned treatise on the museum.  It was not meant to be a formal or professional debate; certainly I can provide one, should it become necessary.

The worm has turned, and has plowed up something unexpected.  It seems that the museum’s founder, Ken Ham, has found my post, and has responded to it on his own blog, quoting extensively from my original post.  He essentially categorizes me as a mud-slinger without a logical leg to stand on.  It’s getting hotter in here guys… do I sense a flame war about to begin?

But no, that will not be the way of things.  I now have a decision.  Should I engage, or will that only wind up with me being used to help their agenda (as it may already have done).

In the meantime, I urge you to read the two posts, and enjoy.


Miscellaneous things here in flagstaff

May 26th, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized

The natural beauty here continues to delight me.  Here are a few images of the stormy weather we’ve been having lately.

Rainbow over the slipher building at the Lowell Observatory:


Flower in the rain.  I just love the complexity of the inner spiral at the yellow center.


Mountain light is a different species than flatlander light in Maryland and New Jersey.


From Mars Hill – the mesa where Lowell observatory sits – you can see all of Flagstaff laid out before you.  To work up here is to feel like the feudal lord of a baronial estate.  Flagstaff is a very pleasant town with a lot of cultural resources.



My favorite youtuber

May 25th, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized

It’s old news by now, but this guy is fantastic.  He’s got dozens of videos on youtube satirizing the whacko religious right.  I watched most of them and ended up laughing so hard I cried.  He also has a blog.

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A few leftovers from the creation museum

May 23rd, 2009 | Category: Travel

These are both from Holly’s pictures.  The picture below was taken in the museum store.  Look at this book title, and my face.  “Taking Back Astronomy” indeed; as if they ever “had” it in the first place.  The subtitle is “The heavens declare creation and science confirms it.”

For more on the creation museum, see my earlier post.

The image below has nothing to do with the creation museum except that it was taken in the museum’s garden.  The state of my finger attests to the construction I was doing in the weeks before we left.  But the cool thing was this amazing bug we found.  A couple of people passed by and asked what we were looking at, but when we told them, they were disinterested.  Looking for dinosaurs, they moved on.  I guess big things are more interesting.

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Our temporary digs

May 23rd, 2009 | Category: Lowell

I still haven’t processed the pictures from the trip, but here’s a few of where we are living temporarily.  The observatory has put us up in the Slipher apartment, which is in the historic Slipher building (more on that in a post yet to come).  We are going to be completely spoiled when we have to get our own place in a few weeks.  We have a sizeable chunk of this beautiful building to ourselves:

We are on the second floor, which has a screened-in porch just above the lower peaked roof:

Here’s the view from the windows on the west side; that’s the volcanic Humphreys peak on the horizon.

Here’s the porch, where we sit and eat, read, and enjoy the scenery. The air smells like pine needles, and you can hear the birds singing on most afternoons.  The sound of distant trains filters through the pines occasionally, but most of the time, it’s very still.  Deer come out of the woods to graze in front of the building.

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elvis + accordion = good time

May 20th, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized

I know that a lot of friends are looking forward to photos and stories of our cross-country trip.  You’ll have to wait, but in the meantime…

Tonight, despite the fact that it’s a work night, we went to the green room to see the red elvises with our new friends Fred and Nancy.  The red elvises rocked the house with violent accordion polka!


Monument Valley

May 15th, 2009 | Category: Travel

Cruising through the desert on our way from Arches National Park down towards Flagstaff, we came over the horizon and saw this:

Nearby, actually a little north of this view, is the precariously balanced formation known as “Mexican Hat:”

The sun changes constantly as the clouds drift overhead, making the scenery undulate as shadows crawl across the incredible landscape. Sometimes the rocks are redder than red, the plants greener than green; sometimes everything is covered with a dusty pall that drains all color from view.  Long stretches of desolation can stretch to the horizon at one hand, while at the other, a stunted forest grows:

The monuments have a presence that comes partially from their size, as well as the contrast between the red rock, green plants, blue sky, and white clouds.

I’ll just throw a bunch in here, they need no descriptions.  I took pictures throughout the day as the light changed, all the way until the sun went down.


Bug splatter

May 15th, 2009 | Category: Travel

The impressive bug (and bird) splatter on the car attests to our long journey.  It took a long time and some serious elbow grease to wash!


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Cross-country drive – day 12 – the finish line!

May 15th, 2009 | Category: Travel

After spending a day and a half at Arches national park, we drove south to Monument Valley, and then on to Flagstaff.  We are finally here and I can’t believe it!  We didn’t get a single speeding ticket, and didn’t lose anything, although a hotel in Kansas had to mail me a battery and charger that I left in the room.

Today we drove 316 miles, for a total drive length of 2909 miles.  Now, the processing of pictures begins in earnest.  There are many thousands, which I have to boil down to just a few.  I’ll post as soon as I get them picked.

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Cross-country drive – day 11

May 12th, 2009 | Category: Travel

Today we drove 105 miles through some of the most breath-taking scenery yet (I’ll have images up in a few days).  100 miles of driving is not the same everywhere; in Kansas it might take 90 minutes, but here it can take all day.  It’s not only a matter of elevation changes (which can really slow you down) but also because the scenery is so intense that you have to keep stopping to look at it and take pictures.

We are now in Moab, Utah, right next to arches national park.  Total to date – 2600 miles.  moab is a happening place, with plenty of restaurants, shops, and tourist services.  It isn’t a “roadside” kind of place – it has more of a resort town feel.


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