this week i

updated our estimates of high drug spending among america's senior citizens.  track the dotted line


wanted dessert at eight thirty, circle k it was.  despite its market capitalization, google cannot walk diagonally across a rectangle


slept in paonia nearby bmw biker rally, three in a one-person tent.  colorado: soulless urban areas, unparalleled wilderness, hummingbird overload




read gabriel garcia marquez's memories of my melancholy whores

when i was left on my own, at the age of thirty-two, i moved into what had been my parents' bedroom, opened a doorway between that room and the library, and began to auction off whatever i didn't need to live, which turned out to be almost everything but the books and the pianola rolls

among the charms of old age are the provocations our young female friends permit themselves because they think we are out of commission

rosa cabarcas gave her employees a different name for each client.  it amused me to guess their names from their faces, and from the beginning i was sure the girl had a long one, like filomena, saturnina, or nicolasa

we already are old, she said with a sigh.  what happens is that you don't feel it on the inside, but from the outside everybody can see it

don't let yourself die without knowing the wonder of fucking with love



this week i

bivouacked along the st. vrain.  erin touted her generic drug savings research, answered c-span callers.  i saw my pulse in my wrist, perhaps altitude?


read the royal tyrrell museum book.  mammals before dinosaurs, birds before flowering plants.  snake with turtle shell.  prickly pear acupuncture


read the sixth extinction by elizabeth kolbert

 i sought a career in herpetology because i enjoy working with animals..i did not anticipate it would come to resemble paleontology

diminishing population density may have made survival less likely for the remaining individuals, a phenomenon that's known as the allee effect

even a moderately competent stratigrapher will, at the distance of a hundred million years or so, be able to tell that something extraordinary happened at the moment in time that counts for us as today.  this is the case even a hundred million years from now, all that we consider to be great works of man - the sculptures and the libraries, the monuments and the museums, the cities and the factories - will be compressed into a layer of sediment not much thicker than a cigarette paper  "we have already left a record that is now indelible," zalasiewicz has written
one of the ways we've accomplished this is through our restlessness.  often purposefully and just as often not, humans have rearranged the earth's biota, transporting the flora and fauna of asia to the americas and of the americas to europe and of europe to australia.  rats have consistently been on the vanguard of these movements, and they have left their bones scattered everywhere, including on islands so remote that humans never bothered to settle them.  the pacific rat, rattus exulans, a native of southeast asia, traveled with polynesian seafarers to, among many other places, hawaii, fiji, tahiti, tonga, samoa, easter island, and new zealand.  encountering few predators, stowaway rattus exulans multiplied into what the new zealand paleontologist richard holdaway has described as "a grey tide" that turned "everything edible into rat protein."  (a recent study of pollen and animal remains on easter island concluded that it wasn't humans who deforested the landscape; rather, it was the rats that came along for the ride and then bred unchecked.  the native palms couldn't produce seeds fast enough to keep up with their appetites

ocean acidification is sometimes referred to as global warming's "equally evil twin"

if you spend much time wandering around the arctic, you eventually realize "that you are standing on top of a forest"

at various points in earth history, the sorts of creatures now restricted to the tropics had much broader ranges.  during the mid-cretaceous, for example, which lasted from about 120 to 90 million years ago, breadfruit trees flourished as far north as the gulf of alaska.  in the early eocene, about 50 million years ago, palms grew in the antarctic, and crocodiles paddled in the shallow seas around england.  there's no reason to suppose, in the abstract, that a warmer world would be any less diverse than a colder one; on the contrary, several possible explanations for the "latitudinal diversity gradient" suggest that, over the long term, a warmer world would be more varied.  in the short term, though, which is to say, on any timescale that's relevant to humans, things look very different

people speak of the "fishbone," a pattern of deforestation that begins with the construction of one major road - by this metaphor, the spine - that then leads to the creation (sometimes illegal) of lots of smaller, riblike roads

army ants - there are dozens of species in the tropics - differ from most other ants in that they have no fixed home

holy shit, there's dead bats everywhere



this week i

published a decade of health coverage trends by race and ethnicity

drove to the front range in the shadow of the state capitol, but the real fun was to be had impersonating ghengis, romulus, remus, at horsetooth


feel grateful no two meals the same.  artisanal nachos

visited the colorado school of mines museum.  death may come to us each, but climate change comes for us all


packed again.  me-fucking-ow

read the prehistoric exploration and colonisation of the pacific by geoffrey irwin

experience has shown that theories that are closely data-driven change as quickly as the data.  much can be gained from considering wider possibilities as well

the geographical circumstances of eastern melanesia provided an ideal nursery for learning, because the first voyages into remote oceania left the widest safety-nets behind and thereafter the general trend was for both target islands and safety-nets to become smaller and farther apart.
according to a general theory of search and return, a typical east-bound voyage would leave with the first signs of a favorable wind and go until the resumption of the trades arrested further progress.  at this point the canoe could return or reach across the wind generally north or south, waiting for another favourable wind shift.  when the endurance of the outward voyage was running out, the onset of settled trade wind weather would signal the end of the search and provide a fast return.  the experience of small-boat sailors in the pacific suggests that it would be safe to allow approximately a week of return for every two or three weeks out

the relative difficulty of finding aceramic settlement

new zealand is anomolous in being close and late, but it is nearly 900 sea miles farther from the equator than hawaii.  explorers had to manage more testing weather conditions in the higher latitudes outside the tropics and find new ways home in the event of not finding land

it can be seen that if people went the safe way, and paid attention to geography, they could colonise most of the pacific islands, using an upwind strategy of search and return.  however, this does not reach hawaii or micronesia across the wind or new zealand outside the tropics, which require different strategies.  but it does reach america

if two islands are separated by a voyaging distance involving a single night at sea or less in traditional craft, their dialects will be mutually intelligible.  the maximum distance is about 100 miles in micronesia



this week i

found nothing online near the missouri.  pricey motel where fishermen take wives booked its last room minutes ago, gary at the texas college football fan motel where fishermen take one another handed me last key for eighty nine dollars.  we ordered a large at charly's, received a pitcher, ate out of styrofoam back at the motel while pike hunters drank themselves to sleep.  sunrise, we spent our five dollar video slot winnings on gas station coffee and a central dakota times, although the best way to wake up remains the family dog tearing about above one's blankets egged on by one's father

crossed into mdt.  the badlands cameth: you and me and the devil makes three.  a/c through black hills like putting the elements in the friend zone

asked how are you doing to cowman on andrew carnegie's library steps: 30%, how about you?  carsick from microfiche, scrolling to guiteau's launch

hiked geographic center, sylvan lake noncitizens sated by six minute eggs, shower surprise carrot rhinoceroses cleansed by cathedral spires downpour