Hanging on the Wall: The Naive Art of John Danger and Friends

I have visited Papua New Guinea (PNG) several times, entering and departing through  the noisy, disorderly airport at Port Moresby, the capital. I generally do not care much for Port Moresby – it is a grimly depressed and somewhat menacing town. But, my visits in 2003 and 2004 were brightened when I met some local artists who displayed their work by hanging it on the fence wall surrounding the Holiday Inn. The paintings are generally colorful; I suppose art experts call them primitive and naive, many of the artists being self-taught. Continue reading

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Form 1D

I heard a jolting, funny answering machine message today. Do listen to it. It was prepared by frustrated schoold teachers at a school in Australia. I have a lot of admiration for school teachers – I was a part-time teacher for a while. And for 13 years I was a pupil,; perhaps as you were, too? But, were you mischievous, like the Little Horrors of Form 1D? Continue reading

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Random Leaf

random leaf and I

histories intersected

in  mindful present

During quiet time, some may whisper into the ears of dried grass; or listen to the wafted murmers of zephyrs passing by. During quiet time this morning, I shared a few moments with fallen leaves –  thinking about the momentary intersection of their histories and mine: a random connection, prompting a snapshot and poesy. Yes: I must have way too much quiet time…

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Traveling with Barbara

Barbara and I courted  in 1972 under painful circumstances – my body was healing from a fall down a mountain. Bone knitting and affection were helped by us being kindred spirits and we became close quickly. She wanted adventure, and I was an adventurer. So, in early 1973  we set off for a several-month wander in Europe and North Africa. Continue reading

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Senior Moment

I had my first official Senior Moment today. I went by train to Davis, California to see an old friend at the university there. Buying the tickets at a kiosk I had the choice of Adult, Child or Senior tickets. I am the first generally, the second too often. But the third- a Senior? Continue reading

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Soul-Soaring (Fract)Elation

A young man in a faraway dominion of my life told me the other day that this website was full of my “self-elations”. Although puzzled at his choice of words, I did not correct him, since I think I knew what he was trying to say. Because the tang of his words was bitter, I assumed that he did not mean my scribbles are a measure of my light-heartedness or happiness; by “self-elation” he criticised me for writing “self-adulations” –  self-serving, self-inflating pieces. Anyway: with “self-elation” fresh in my mind, I had an Aha! while trawling this afternoon through my draft posts.  I came across this title, the provenance being from the Q&A session after one of my Jahns Lectures at California State University at Fresno last year.  Continue reading

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Upon Meeting Miss Maggie

Miss Maggie is Maggie Antoinette Suzanne Grau Medley (Gredley); our dog. Maggie is almost 14 now; a puppy disguised as an elderly dog. But nowadays she wears her disguise more and more. Right now she appears very elderly, very asleep, with her nose very inches from the rollers of my office chair. She loves to be close to the action. 

We met Maggie in a manner most curious. Continue reading

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The Motley View: On Geonudity and Some Benefits of Your GeoEngineering Education

“I’m OK, I know what I am doing. I picked up enough geology to get by…” (Kipahulu lava flow, Hawaii, 1987; photo: A. Klein)

 About the time that this issue of the Motley View will be published [April 2008]  the 2008 class of UC Berkeley GeoEngineers will be finishing the Spring Term, soon to graduate. They will work through the night to complete the CE270L report for Prof. Seed, attend the Distinguished Lectures, party at the Banquet, listen to the speeches, and then get a Rock. Having been there, done that, I warmly congratulate this year’s GeoEngineering Graduates on completing their grueling adventures. But having got this far, what have you learned? What are the benefits you won from the considerable cost of spending between 1 and 5 years or so in the GeoEnginering Graduate program? What prompted you to put up with the pain anyway? Continue reading

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Motley View: On the Rewards of Being Fired and Other Career Road Blocks

Some road blocks will stall your career for a while… (Kipahulu Lava Flow, Hawaii, 1987: E Medley)

You are driving along your well-planned career track en route to the next success. You are being considerate of others, following the Rules of the Road, when suddenly an unexpected career road block forces you to detour. Career road blocks are like that – they spoil your career plan, the highway that you had designed to connect your Cal Geoengineering degree to your Successful Career. Once detoured, you are perhaps lost in a countryside you never knew existed and had no intention of ever visiting. You try hard to get back on track. You worry that you shall miss your next scheduled achievement. And you fret that your career is now ruined.   Continue reading

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The Motley View: On Seeking Dirty Work and the Value of Shoveling S–T*

*A dirty mind would read this as SILT  

 I started work in 1959, delivering groceries by bike in West London. By the time I left my teens, I had worked part-time as a sales clerk in grocery, food and book shops, and also had stints as a bookkeeper, a laundry man, a TV Special Effects technician. I later washed dishes on a cargo ship to travel to Canada and by age 25 had spent a few years as a prospector. None of these jobs would likely be considered “professional” by the standard of today’s graduate geoengineer. All of them required me to perform much dirty work; hard, often physically demanding work that sometimes felt demeaning, was often boring, and which too often left me tired, hot (or very cold), wet, and bruised.  Continue reading

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