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The sea donkey came out the best oddly; my mask was so fogged up on that dive that I almost couldn't see the damn thing. Dove w/ Dockside divers, Sea Sports Belize, and Nomad divers.



Sorry, LJ is bugging out on me, you can see the rest here
"Poetry and Revolution before Breakfast!"
~Ed Abbey

Fall 2010

I guess this will be my last post on LJ, moved over to Facebook finally. If you want to keep in touch, you can find me there ;)

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More photos from Fall 2010
"Poetry and Revolution before Breakfast!"
~Ed Abbey

Ask me if I regret quitting law school...



For pictures of the trip see: here
Daily journal for the tripCollapse )
"Poetry and Revolution before Breakfast!"
~Ed Abbey

Camping 8/14

We went up to Woodstock, NY for our annual camping trip, and hiked Overlook Mountain to see the ruins of Overlook Mountain House, and then dashed to set up camp at last year's spot only to find it infested with bros. These were the kind of bros that bring air horns camping for who-the-fuck knows what reason. We moved down the road to a much better site and watched the Perseids meteor shower.

P.S. Watch out for rattlesnakes if you're hiking around here!!
(A nerdy side note- rattlesnakes are losing their rattle! The ones that warn with a rattle before they strike are the ones that get killed by humans, so we're selecting out their rattle and they're evolving into silent attackers!)

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"Poetry and Revolution before Breakfast!"
~Ed Abbey

Diving Key Largo

So I'm not sure if this is a happy or sad post. I finally got to dive Key Largo, and it was awesome, but with the oil spill going on and so near, it's kinda a bittersweet experience. Although the coral in Florida/ Bahamas is extremely bleached and thus 10x less colorful than the Caribbean, the sea life is still amazing. I saw a school of giant eagle rays, four reef sharks, a goliath grouper... and naturally these were all encountered on the dive where my camera fogged up! I tried to take some video of the eagle rays even though the camera went completely opaque, I'll post it later if I get a second to edit it. I swear uw photography is the most frustrating hobby on earth, and I barely get to practice it- thus I barely get to improve. Anyway, it was a fun trip until the flight home- Xero got explosive diarrhea all over himself, his travel bag, my hoodie, the airplane seat, and my copy of Cat's Cradle. I managed to get it all cleaned up, except my book is... stained. It smelled so bad that people were moving to the back of the plane. It was pretty awesome.

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scorpion fish is not amusedCollapse )

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"Poetry and Revolution before Breakfast!"
~Ed Abbey

Does the end ever justify the means?

So I have exchanged my free labor at VBS.TV for free labor at the New York Aquarium. I will no longer bring Santogold her dry cleaning, but instead will bring smelly pinnipeds their frozen fish. I can't wait for the subway rides home when I'm covered in fish guts. I'm going to be working in the animal husbandry department with sea lions and fur seals. They're really cute, but I can't help but feel unsettled working with such intelligent animals that are held captive in these teeny tiny pools. You may remember my earlier post about my disdain for zoos and aquariums, and my opinion has not changed a bit, but apparently I have sold out in order to fluff my resume with the Wildlife Conservation Society. Although WCS does do a lot of wildlife conservation work (which is why I need to get tangled in their network), there is no research being done at the aquarium- and I noticed during my short tour two poor walruses displaying their repertoire of stereotypies. I have a bad feeling this is going to end up with me doing my thesis on captive enrichment for marine mammals- which may prove useful, and yet I don't see it fit to waste time fixing problems that really don't need to exist in the first place. And can you do much anything about an explicit lack of space? I think there are some animals that should never be in zoos and aquariums. I want to be positive about this, and yet I know that I'm going to have to get used to biting my tongue for the next six months...

Edit:I already quit. 2 weeks is a new record. Sigh. The sea lions are covered in sores from performing their stereotypies and the sex ratio is all fucked up. Sea lions lives in harems- one hot shot w/ many ladies. While "Sea World" even recognizes that this is their normal social climate and keeps all females, all of the sea lions at the NY Aquarium are males because they're "larger and more impressive to the public". Great, so no one cares that this causes them to get into dominance fights and may be causing them a good deal of constant stress. Nice. I just can't be a part of that.

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"Poetry and Revolution before Breakfast!"
~Ed Abbey

Conservation is not a new concern

So classes started this week- today was conservation bio/psych- we went over the history of the fields- I was shocked to see how far back our problems go considering conservation biology didn't get it's start until the 1980's.

"...what now remains compared with what then existed is like the skeleton of a sick man, all the fat and soft earth having wasted away, and only the bare framework of the land being left. But at that epoch the country was unimpaired, and for its mountains it had high arable hills, and in place of the “moorlands,” as they are now called, it contained plains full of rich soil; and it had much forestland in its mountains, of which there are visible signs even to this day; for there are some mountains which now have nothing but food for bees, but they had trees no very long time ago, and the rafters from those felled there to roof the largest buildings are still sound. And besides, there were many lofty trees of cultivated species; and it produced boundless pasturage for flocks. Moreover, it was enriched by the yearly rains from Zeus, which were not lost to it, as now, by flowing from the bare land into the sea; but the soil it had was deep, and therein it received the water, storing it up in the retentive loamy soil and by drawing off into the hollows from the heights the water that was there absorbed, it provided all the various districts with abundant supplies of springwaters and streams, whereof the shrines which still remain even now, at the spots where the fountains formerly existed, are signs which testify that our present description of the land is true".

Who said this?Collapse )

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"Poetry and Revolution before Breakfast!"
~Ed Abbey

Trip Report

So I'm back from the cruise- the weather was terrible (the coldest on record!), and we had a very limited amount of time at each port, so I only got to dive five tanks :sadface: but the dives I did get to do were awesome and have totally ruined Florida diving for me. I got a new camera and strobe (sadly, I didn't have a strobe on my last dive), so I tried to take a few pics for you guys, but it turns out that underwater photography is quite difficult, and due to the water conditions (currents or visibility) and time restraint- they only came out so-so. My strobe accidentally got switched to overexpose for the first half of my first dive, and the currents in some places necessitated me trying to take the pics while fining in the wrong direction which ended up with me shooting upside down so that I didn't crash into the reef. Ah well, enough excuses, what I really need to do is go on a few shallow shore dives with just one dive buddy to get a better feel for the equipment without being rushed. I guess I'll just have to plan an actual dive trip for April. Anyway...

Grand Cayman 1/11:
Due to rough water conditions, my dive was cancelled! Poop. Oddly, the water looked awfully smooth
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Roatan, Honduras 1/12:
Did one and a half tank shore dive at Cocoview (my first dive in a year). It was raining, but I can tell this place is probably unbelievable when the sun is out. Great dive, but I wanted to spear our guide. I was down to 500psi and was giving the thumb up signal- he signals back a "no, no, don't worry" gesture. I then gave two thumbs up w/ an urgent motion when I was down to 250psi. I got the same reaction again. I literally surfaced with an empty tank and snorkeled back to the dock.
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^Doctorfish^... and MoreCollapse )

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"Poetry and Revolution before Breakfast!"
~Ed Abbey

Trip 2 to the Catskills

So this year we've done Summer in the Catskills, and now we've done Autumn. The weather in New York is so frustrating- it seems like it's beautiful all week and then rains every weekend. Don and I headed up to see the colors before all the leaves dropped, but the nicest day we could get there was still 100% cloudy. Oh well, it was still really pretty!

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Bastion Falls and moreCollapse )
"Poetry and Revolution before Breakfast!"
~Ed Abbey

The Dorkiest Show on Earth

Don met Richard Dawkins years ago at Barnes & Noble before he was all famous from The God Delusion, but I hadn't seen him in person yet, so we went to his lecture promoting his new book The Greatest Show on Earth at the 92nd Y. I'm happy to report that Don didn't hump his leg, but I forgot my copy of The Selfish Gene to get signed. This post is probably boring the hell outta you, but Dawkins is like our version of a rock star.
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Too dorky to liveCollapse )
"Poetry and Revolution before Breakfast!"
~Ed Abbey