That Maytagged feeling

If you’ve ever been surfing you may be familiar with the term, Maytag. If not, hopefully you’ve done laundry once or twice and can make the connection. To be Maytagged is to be tumbled about as if you were in a washing machine. You don’t know which direction is up and you feel utterly powerless to fight the ocean. When you find yourself being Maytagged, the best thing you can do is relax and let it happen. Save your energy,...

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Ripples to Rocks on Mars

I began my career as a geologist, and in 2006 I was working at the US Geological Survey in Santa Cruz, CA. My specialty was geomorphology – the study of the processes that shape the landscape – rivers, glaciers etc. At the USGS I worked with sedimentologist David Rubin. We made numerical and visual models of sedimentary structures, aka ripples and dunes, aka bedforms. Ripples and dunes are not all alike. Depending on the wind or...

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Design Ideas from Things That Stink

@neonmauve and I have been interested in design and the senses for quite some time. With both of us having tackled this topic in various ways in the past and in aspects of our current work, we decided it would be neat to congeal what we have and submit a proposal for a SXSW presentation. We won’t know if we’re selected until mid-October, but this deck gives a high level overview of the questions we’re aiming to answer. Hope it...

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I’m so angry at (insert free service)

Every time facebook decides to update itself, folks around the world throw up their arms in disbelief. “How dare you change the look of this free service that I opt into!?” I had this today when I opened an email from my good friend Delta Airlines to find: How dare you tell me you’ll give me free internet for 15 minutes in a place where I would have otherwise had to pay for it but shouldn’t!? On the other hand, we have...

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Fifteen years online – images included

It was lime green, all text (some flashing), and included a personal shout out to everyone I knew. Yes, fifteen years ago I launched my first webpage and since then I’ve maintained an online presence.  The third iteration of my site coincided with the start of the Snowflyzone name in 2002, and I’ve stuck with it since. Through the years I’ve kept up a range of blogs. Actually, I started blogging before blogging was a word...

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Meetings congealed

Congealed isn’t the right word, but I wanted to write it. I once worked at a place that was overrun with meetings. Every hour of every day was scheduled by someone for something and more often than not we barely accomplished anything. Now that I run my own show, I’ve been able to be very deliberate about my meetings. I’ve found I like consolidating them into one day. Meeting day becomes a day I look forward to, and the energy...

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Hopefully Space X can push us towards science

With the successful launch of Space X today comes the wave of privatization of space travel. Space X is making a simple delivery of meals and clothes and student science experiments to the International Space Station, but what’s coming next? As we’ve cut NASA’s budget to peanuts we’ve (unwittingly?) stopped inspiring students to study sciences. Space used to be such a magnificent quest for our country. A Space Camp alum...

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Gressing

My friend @scaevolae recently suggested introducing the word gress into the language of work. To gress is to chug along, slog through, spin wheels, feel like you’re spending all of your time working but without directionality. Add in the prefixes pro or re and you have a vector that indicates something is happening, but gressing on its own is without movement. Now that I’ve been working for myself for about six months I notice my...

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