Saturday, January 26, 2008
I went for an early morning run around 6:30. Many of these yellow-jacketed men pushing wheelbarrows....
An early morning market.
This was the norm in this up-scale neighborhood: Cars behind locked cages.
And finally: a waterfall in the calm, relaxing Spyrogyra Butterfly Jungle with many of the species of Butterfly found in this country.
All of today's pictures are here.
Friday, January 25, 2008
First impressions… It would seem that few visitors to Costa Rica return home with gasp-inducing tales of the beauty of San Jose. Why? Frankly, it is not particularly beautiful, and any sharp intake of breath will probably have more to do with an attempt to avoid the exhaust pollution. Downtown, streets are packed with traffic as heavy buses barely moving beyond second gear crawl through the streets and kamikaze taxis double dare pedestrians to try and cross the streets. At street level the general theme of clutter and chaos prevails with vendors selling fruit, cigarettes, lottery tickets, and other daily necessities.
I arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica this morning after a redeye flight from Denver last night, and after Rebekka and I watched the numbing play "9 parts of Desire", where Karen Anderson played nine different Iraqi women, at the Curiosity Theatre.
I couldn't check into the hotel until this afternoon, so I took a taxi downtown to the Mercado Central, then walked around. San Jose is packed with people on the streets and crazy drivers trying to mow them down. The mercado was alive and thriving, with leather belts, backpacks, pottery, spices, all kinds of meats and fish, beans, a dozen or more small eateries, bakeries, etc.
From there I meandered down Avenue Central and found the collection of Museo del Oro and other Museums. I knew about the obscure (to Americans) southerner William Walker who came down to Central America before the Civil War attempting to bring the Central American states under the Confederate orbit. I didn't know that Costa Rica considers this the most important struggle of their history. William Walker made several attempts at taking over Central America before meeting his executors in 1860 at age 36.
I consulted Footprint Costa Rica for a vegetarian-friendly restaurant, settling on Tin Jo, where I enjoyed a fine glass of Zinfandel along with Thai vegetarian green curry. I hopped into a cab with a very friendly driver who helped me with my fractured attempts at Spanish for the return to the hotel Best Western Irazu.
Day after tomorrow I'll be heading out for the NW province of Guancate for the six-day stage race: The Coastal Challenge.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
"Through the quarter-century in which China has been opening to world trade, Chinese leaders have deliberately held down living standards for their own people and propped them up in the United States. This is the real meaning of the vast trade surplus—$1.4 trillion and counting, going up by about $1 billion per day—that the Chinese government has mostly parked in U.S. Treasury notes. In effect, every person in the (rich) United States has over the past 10 years or so borrowed about $4,000 from someone in the (poor) People’s Republic of China. Like so many imbalances in economics, this one can’t go on indefinitely, and therefore won’t. But the way it ends—suddenly versus gradually, for predictable reasons versus during a panic—will make an enormous difference to the U.S. and Chinese economies over the next few years, to say nothing of bystanders in Europe and elsewhere."
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
This morning's run was from Starsmore Discovery Center to Stratton Open Space, Cap'n Jacks to the top of High Drive, Buckhorn Trail, return to Gold Camp Road, then Columbine Trail back to Starsmore. Two and a half hours and about 14 miles. The temperature at our 0700 start was 13F -- much warmer than on Thursday morning's run up Cheyenne Canyon when it was -5 F. More pictures from this morning's run here.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Sierra Club: Frontier Justice—in a Good Way: The lawyer who took on Enron goes after companies that poisoned the Navajo Nation
High Country News: A political speech the West needs to hear
Firedoglake calls out Jonah Goldberg on "Fascist Liberalism"
The Self and Consciousness: a photo album
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
With God on their side
The Guardian's Gary Younge is in the most Republican county in South Carolina looking at the role of religion in the election. He finds out devout Christians have already decided who they're going to vote for.
DailyKos: Visionary Al Gore had it right in 1998: 21st Century Green Transport. Imagine the last seven years under an Al Gore presidency.
Nir Rosen: Al Qaeda in Lebanon: the Iraq War Spreads
Iranian gunboats and a timeline of How the Pentagon Planted a False Story By Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
TP: Former Attorney General: Ashcroft’s No-Bid Contract Was ‘As Wrong As It Can Be’
Little bit of Internet Sleuthing led me here. Jane Mayer in the New Yorker in 2004 revealed:
Additional evidence that Cheney played an early planning role is contained in a previously undisclosed National Security Council document, dated February 3, 2001. The top-secret document, written by a high-level N.S.C. official, concerned Cheney’s newly formed Energy Task Force. It directed the N.S.C. staff to coöperate fully with the Energy Task Force as it considered the “melding” of two seemingly unrelated areas of policy: “the review of operational policies towards rogue states,” such as Iraq, and “actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.”
And this from the book Crude Dudes by Linda McQuaig: "Think of Iraq as a military base with a very large oil reserve underneath .... You can't ask for better than that."
Monday, January 14, 2008
Scienceblogs: Top 50 Atheist T-Shirts and Bumper Stickers
Scienceblogs: Openlab Winning blog entries for 2007
Digby has more on Iranian Speedboats and Filipino Monkeys: The Not so Innocent Abroad
Mysterious Crowd suddenly stopped Bhutto's Car: Two new reports on the assassination last month of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto suggest that the killing may have been an ambitious plot rather than an isolated act of violence and that the government of President Pervez Musharraf knows far more than it's admitted about the murder.
The Germans are driving toward a sustainable renewable energy grid: Kombikraftwerk (German), The Combined Power Plant (English). Why can't we?
I like Jim Rogers for investment advice. Recently read his book "A Bull in China" and found innumerable insights into China's emergence.
NYT Mag: Steven Pinker: The Moral Instinct
Chris Mooney wrote a valuable book, The Republican War on Science, here is an excerpt
Fascinating forum available on podcast from CBC Radio one: The Physics of Information: What the Universe Doesn't Want You to Know
Sunday, January 13, 2008
onegoodmove: Dead elephants
Matt Taibbi is the author of Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire, and a contributing editor for Rolling Stone Magazine and the eyes and ears for Real Time on the campaign trail.
Richard Dawkins has Scarlet Letter of Atheism T-Shirts for sale on his web site
NYT DotEarth blog: Greenpeace is Hunting the Whale Hunters
Comedian Marcus Brigstocke interviews Richard Dawkins on The Late Edition, BBC Four on Thursday 18th October 2007.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
Digby says: Close Guantanomo
The Guardian Profile: Darwin's natural heir: Edward O. Wilson
DailyKos: Young Voters overwhelmingly Democratic
Juan Cole: Iran Speed Boat Affair: Fabrication ... and this: Official Version of Naval Incident starts to unravel
Mitt Romney is a BIG MAN!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
Asia Times: The Best of Pablo Escobar
Asia Times: Henry Liu: Pathology of debt: Banks as Vulture Investors
Shocking Allegations From London: Corrupt U.S. Officials Sold Nuclear Weapons Secrets
RationallySpeaking.org: Truth Springs from Arguments among Friends: David Hume
Dr. Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET) and a Wall Street Financial Analyst : Michael-Hudson.com
I made his acquaintance from a Lewis Lapham Podcast
Jackie and Dunlap have the secret audio of the historic moment in the ABC/Facebook debate in New Hampshire when moderator Charlie Gibson brought both the Republican and Democratic candidates together on stage.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Sibel Edmonds Speaks Out (to a foreign newspaper since American media is in truth blackout) More from one of my favorite journalists, the always eloquent Larisa Alexandrovna: Huff post piece
Susan Faludi exposes myths related to 9/11 and the American Frontier. Read her book "The Terror Dream". Watch her interview on C-Span After Words.
Old piece (2005) from James Fallows, Atlantic.com has even greater relevance: Countdown to a Meltdown
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
TomDispatch: MUST READ: How Bush took us to the Dark Side Why America will never be America land of the free home of the brave ever again. Kiss it away. We are now no longer the champion of human rights. We are the trampler of human rights. We are now as bad as the worst. Thanks America. Dumbest fucking nation on earth for voting for Dubya TWICE!!!!! If I were a believer I would hope that anyone who voted for Bush twice should be relegated to the lowest rungs in Dante's Hell.
How do you think the rest of the world sees us now? How about this Icelandic woman who thought she was going to enjoy some Christmas shopping in New York? (Find entry 307 for the English translation of her nightmare with Fortress America)
Meanwhile: American Republicans get to choose their favorite fearmonger in Iowa (Huffpo blogger Bob Cesca)
Are we crazy? I feel like I am living in Bizarro World. Get these crazies out of my government!!
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Washington Monthly: The Army's other Crisis: Why the best and brightest young officers are leaving.
HuffPo: Jane Smiley: Muddle-Headed, Fear-Mongering, Bushco Shills still have a right to shout "Fire!" in a crowded Theater
Treehugger.com: Solar is the World's fastest growing energy source