Sunday, January 31, 2016

Topophilia... Sounds strange, feels about right.

I'm hitting the books this weekend, so no documents or sketches tonight. Only a qoute from a book:

"Tuan coined the term topophilia, which is the love of the land and the title of one of geography’s best-selling books." Urban Geography, Kaplan, p. 12

All oif my little doodles and plans shows that I have "topophilia". It's interesting to learn new terms and words for things you have already experienced but didn't have a name for. Cool.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Textbook Reading Log Template

As I start the semester, I have a couple of challenges.

I am working full time and taking 12 credit hours. Second, I have 9 textbooks across 4 classes and some books are physical copies and some are ebooks. Needless to say, I will be reading a lot.

Today, there was a freakout moment when I couldn't find a text. It happened to be an ebook and I was looking for a physical book. It was before my coffee, so cut me some slack.

To keep myself organized, I adapted a writing log to a book log to keep me on track.

Click to enlarge image
There is space to enter Class, Author, Title, Book Format, the starting page, end page, assignment start and end date, and the completion date. Additionally, the sheet will track how many days you have to complete those pages and how many pages per day you have done.

Go ahead and give it a try.

Pumped up for Spring Semester in the City of Lights

I'm taking Urban Geography this semester. It's an excuse to get all pumped up about our City of Lights. Buffalo's enlightening history in 5 minutes.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Blue Earth Remembered

I had high hopes for Blue Earth Remembered by Alastair Reynolds. This book is atypical for Reynolds normal interplanetary, interstellar romps. It is based in Africa and revolves around Geoffrey Akinya, desire to be free of his family's business ventures and intrigues. It is not to be so, a death in the family puts a blot on the family name and Geoffrey is off to the moon to clean up and prevent further damage to the clan. 

Geoffrey is in a race against time to prevent is grandmother's secrets from coming to light after her death. 

This novel is refreshing, breaking many of the science fiction tropes that are so common today. Africa is the hotbed of politics, power and science. Family politics puts the crunch on Geoffrey's dreams of studying elephants on Earth. From a very humble start, this novel kicks into high gear the interstellar journeys and technological implications that Alastair Reynolds is known for and thrives on. 

The Martian by Andy Weir

Yesterday, I started reading The Martian by Andy Weir.

This is a gripping novel about biologist and astronaut Mark Watney surviving Mars after an accident leaves him alone and stranded. Watney must overcome challenge after challenge, none of which seem contrived to hold on until... What?

No one back home knows Watney is alive, there is no rescue coming. He has supplies for a 50+ day mission for six, machinery that isn't designed to last more than 30 days and no hope. Watney has to make his own way, with only his know-how and the equipment left behind.

Watney comes to us via logs and down to Mars first person narratives, which are heart pounding, humorous and chilling by turns. No hands are waved on this techno-thriller, the story is pack full of details and observations that could right from NASA. No surprise here, Andy Weir is a life long programmer for a national laboratory and space enthusiast.

Pick up a copy today.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Doodles again

A few years ago, I was asked to come up with a new design for a logo. Here is a page from the brainstorming process.

Monday, January 11, 2016

On Bowie

This morning, I awoke to the news of David Bowie's passing. I initially, I was sad because we have lost another wonderful and unique human being.

And then I was happy.

The reason for joy during somber times is reflective. I have to say that I enjoyed David Bowie's work because of my mother. She and my father exposed me to every facet of music from David Bowie to Brahms, Bing Crosby and The Irish Rovers. My sister threw great 90's music at me. Our Lady Peace and School of Fish. My grandmother listened to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

As sad as I was about the passing of Mr. Bowie, moments like these give us time to reflect on the people who enrich our lives. We all can't project to millions of people like Mr. Bowie, but when you influence a child, be it with music, art, science or sports, the positive impact lasts a lifetime.

Thank you, all.

From left to right, Madia, Bowie, Sinatra, me and Bing.