Archive for May, 2003

Good points

Saturday, May 31st, 2003

Andrew Sullivan responds to the heterosexism of a reader, who wrote, “Heterosexuality is normal and it’s about life. Homosexuality is about sex.”:

99 percent of a gay relationship is about life when sex isn’t happening. It’s about waking up together, getting to know each others’ friends and family, getting into a fight on vacation, or complaining about the weak coffee your boyfriend just made. That’s what I think of when I mention the boyfriend. I wouldn’t dream of talking about our sex life, which is as private as any heterosexual’s. And part of the trap gay people are in is that we don’t even have a vocabulary to describe our lives. Imagine trying to describe your relationship with your wife or husband without being able to ue the terms ‘wife’ or ‘husband.’ Would ‘girlfriend’ do? Or ‘partner’? Or some other either infantilizing or euphemized term? Without the right to marry and the vocabulary of marriage, gay people will be permanently, rhetorically and culturally marginalized, shunted to the side of families into which they are born, uniquely unable to participate in the rituals that bind families together and keep them intact. That’s why marriage is so important an issue.

Eclipse live!

Friday, May 30th, 2003

There is a partial/annular solar eclipse in progress in Europe right now.

I just downloaded the above image from a live Norway webcast. For more coverage, check out SpaceWeather.com.

The retirees

Friday, May 30th, 2003

My parents both retired from their State of Connecticut jobs today, taking early retirement. Upon arriving home, they were greeted by a stuffed-animal welcoming committee:

Here’s a shot of my dad getting out of his car as he arrived home from work:

Blue Devils vs. Sun Devils

Friday, May 30th, 2003

Central Connecticut State University, the Division I college in the next town over from Newington, is playing Arizona State University, where Becky is going to graduate school, in the opening round of the NCAA baseball regionals tonight at 10:00 PM Eastern time.

The game is at Tempe, Arizona, and the ASU Sun Devils are heavily favored over the CCSU Blue Devils. Which means, if Central pulls off the upset, I can talk some serious trash to Becky. :)

UPDATE: Oh, well. Arizona State 14, Central Connecticut State 2.

UPDATE: Oh, wait… I assumed that was a final score. I guess it’s only in the top of the eighth. Uh, go Central! You can do it! Pull the comeback! Heh.

UPDATE: Okay, now it’s over. Same score: ASU 14, CCSU 2, final. D’oh!

Geomagnetic storm warning

Thursday, May 29th, 2003

The big aurora storm that I promised yesterday is underway! They’re getting Northern lights as far south as Virginia — but unfortunately, it’s cloudy here in Connecticut, so I can’t see the light show even if there is one! :(

UPDATE: Here’s a website with cool maps of where the auroras are right now. It includes an archive of recent aurora maps.

And here’s the latest Planetary K index chart. If it’s 8 or above, there’s a good chance of seeing auroras in my neck of the woods… and right now, it’s at 8. If only the sky was clear!

They’re expecting another burst of geomagnetic energy later this morning, when a third coronal mass ejection (CME) in three days is expected to hit Earth. The resulting solar storm, in addition to further intensifying the auroras, could “adversely affect satellite operations in Earth orbit and power grids on the Earth’s surface,” according to this article.

Here is NASA’s space-weather page.

UPDATE: Bob Sandy of Roanoke County, Virginia, took this picture of purple Northern lights on the horizon shortly before 10:00 PM last night. Pretty cool:

Check out more aurora photos in the SpaceWeather.com gallery.

The K index is back down below storm levels now, but we’re still waiting for that third CME, which could boost it again.

Hire me

Thursday, May 29th, 2003

I just updated my résumé, and the finished product is online.

Nature’s fireworks

Wednesday, May 28th, 2003

Some strong thunderstorms moved through the area this afternoon. I managed to get one photo of a lightning bolt, though unfortunately, it was mostly obscured by a tree.

I also got some cool dark-sky shots as the line of storms moved in.

Forecasters are predicting more of the same tomorrow and Friday — scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

Meanwhile, Space Weather forecasters are calling for the possibility of a major aurora storm sometime in the next two days. It may even be visible from middle latitudes (e.g., where I am). Stay tuned!

Final road trip update

Wednesday, May 28th, 2003

I finally got those last two road-trip photo galleries online. Here’s the full library of photos that are online:


Day One:
Cities, deserts, and snow-capped mountains


Day Two:
From the mountains to the prairies


Day Three:
Wide open spaces


Day Four:
Visiting Notre Dame, then shuffling off to Buffalo

Here are the overall trip statistics, not including our detour to and from Notre Dame last Wednesday:

Sun., May 18: 690 miles, 9:11 driving time (avg. speed: 75.1 mph)
Mon., May 19: 711 miles, 9:02 driving time (avg. speed: 78.7 mph)
Tue., May 20: 734 miles, 10:55 driving time (avg. speed: 67.2 mph)
Wed., May 21: 436 miles, 6:53 driving time (avg. speed: 63.3 mph)
TOTAL: 2,571 miles, 36:25 driving time (avg. speed: 70.5 mph)

Our route took us through 12 states (California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York), and that wrong turn en route to Notre Dame gave us our lucky 13th state, Michigan.

(more…)

Cum laude

Wednesday, May 28th, 2003

My final undergraduate semester was a bit of a letdown — I got my lowest grade since sophomore year (a B-minus in the Journalism Honors Seminar) and failed to make the Dean’s List for the first time since, again, sophomore year — but my 3.42 GPA for the semester only lowered my overall GPA from 3.55 to 3.53, which means I still graduated with honors.

Cum laude. That’s kinda nice.

Way to go, Irene!

Wednesday, May 28th, 2003

I already knew that USC’s women’s golf team had won the NCAA championship, but I failed to notice previously that freshman Irene Cho — one of the athletes I tutored last semester at Student Athlete Academic Services — finished third in the country! Congratulations, Irene!

Here’s Irene with what I guess must be her third-place trophy. Her’s a nice picture of the whole team (Irene is the second girl from left). Here’s the whole team again, with their team trophy (but, uh, what’s that guy in the background doing?).

And here’s the Summer Trojan article about the Women of Troy’s victory.

Aw, nuts

Tuesday, May 27th, 2003

Hung like a… president?

Back east

Tuesday, May 27th, 2003

I’m back in Connecticut, having driven here from Buffalo yesterday with Becky (well, she did all the driving, actually), and having visited the Boston University law school today.

Blogging will probably continue to be light for the next few days, however, barring sudden inspiration or procrastination (or breaking news in my life or the world). I expect to be fairly busy trying to get my life in order — applying for jobs, sorting out law-school options, responding to e-mails, etc.

National champs!

Sunday, May 25th, 2003

The USC women’s golf team won its first-ever national championship on Friday! Hurrah! Fight on!

Nebraska craziness

Saturday, May 24th, 2003

Interstate 80 in Nebraska, which Becky and I were driving on just a few days ago, has been closed due to a bridge collapse. Tragically, one person was killed in the accident.

The timing is impeccable, of course, right during the Memorial Day weekend.

Crazy stuff.

UPDATE: Just checked my photo library, and no, I don’t have any pictures of the bridge in question. I also determined that I was driving when we passed through that area (which happened sometime around 2:00 PM Mountain Time on Monday).

Technical difficulties

Saturday, May 24th, 2003

I am now having some technical problems FTPing (i.e., uploading) my photos to the website, so there may be a bit of further delay. D’oh!