The nation’s top colleges are turning our kids into zombies.
Really interesting read. Relevant, insightful, and energizing and inspiring to live life courageously and freely regardless of any and all benefits/factors/disparities one has to deal with in this life!
Some intrepid biologists at the University of Southern California (USC) have discovered bacteria that survives on nothing but electricity — rather than food, they eat and excrete pure electrons. These bacteria yet again prove the almost miraculous tenacity of life — but, from a technology standpoint, they might also prove to be useful in enabling the creation of self-powered nanoscale devices that clean up pollution. Some of these bacteria also have the curious ability to form into
There’s something charming and slightly awkward about Iceland. We were reading the paper the other day and it summed it up rather well: Iceland’s people seem to be in a perpetual state of ‘survivor mode’-Everyone is friendly, courteous, and will lend you a helping hand if you ask. Otherwise they can seem stand-offish and even a little cold. Part of our sensitivity to this, is of course, to do with the fact that we are from America where charisma and overt friendliness are in abundance. We also just are always wanting to make new friends, and perhaps we come off as a little desperate? Ha. It is perhaps true. The other quality that we seem to find everywhere is what the newspaper described as “an unfuriating lack of panic”-they deal with everything in stride.
So far, our Icelandic experience has been:
Sheep, ponies, staring old Germans, being inept at saying everything, lots of oats, Skyr, feta cheese, flat bread, stalling in awkward high-pressure situations, extraordinary vistas, viking beer, over-priced everythings, swimming pools, geothermal ‘hot pots’, rain, hot dogs (they love them), hamburgers (it’s all they eat?), surrealness of always going to bed when it’s light out, waterfalls (just hundreds of thousands of them), a drunken german world cup parade, rain, always being hungry, syrian chicken schwarma, watching Lord of the Rings in Icelandic, singing late at night with new friends, performing an air guitar jazz solo at the bar, sulfur water, riding a scooter in the middle of the night in Akureyri, alcoholic vikings buying us drink after drink, rain, finding a way to have road rage, even here in the land of open road, the cute-ness of Reykjavik and it’s hip and trendy individuals, trying so hard to find a good sweater, coffee shops, rain, introducing ourselves as Olivia & Olivia, not planning a thing, rain.
At one of our campsites. They have a can-do attitude, and pass it down. This toddler was actually raking dirt, not just playing at it.
We spontaneously traveled up the side of a hill on what they classify as an “F road” (weren’t supposed to drive on them in our Camper but we were half way up the steep grade before we realized, and I’m terrified of stalling on a hill, so we kept going), it was worth the bumpy, horrifying climb, because at the top we saw this.
What we slept and cooked and traveled in for a week!
The countryside was littered with single standing farm houses and sheds like this little guy.
Whale vertebra! Whale steak is a traditional food here-still deciding if I should try it…
After arriving in Reykjavik, this little loft apartment was the most welcome site.
There’s a bathtub in the middle of the room!
Found a flower/coffee shop in a small (so so small) town.
The lake (Thingvellir) where Parliament was founded and held from 930-1798. Gettin Governance done with a view like this.
We opted out of going to the Blue Lagoon because it is touristy and way too expensive. Instead we went to this similar geothermal pool in the North called Myvatn (pronounced Meeva). It was a very sulphiric pool and felt like we were swimming in a fried egg, but it was oh so nice after a long day of travel. We made some friends from France and soaked for many hours.
We realized that we weren’t going to make it across the whole Island in 6 days (too much time in the West Fjords), so at about the halfway mark across the Island, we headed back towards Reykjavik.
I ended up taking a lot of driving shots from my phone, to save time, everything was beautiful!
This was the longest most intense tunnel I’ve ever been in (and in the Colorado Rockies, there are alot of mountain tunnels. It went for miles and miles and miles, AND IT WAS A ONE WAY TUNNEL, will all these pull offs in case another car started coming.
The land was covered in the thickest moss a lot of places we drove through. It was like a trampoline, I could have slept on it, if not for the wind and rain and lack of sunshine.
One second we were driving through high mountain passes with waterfalls all around and steep drop offs into trickling streams, and the next, we topped off over a hill and ended up in a cloud with only dirt and small lakes.
This trip has been 7 or 8 days now, though time seems to be of no object here in the land of the never setting sun. We traveled on the road in a camper van for 6 days and 5 nights, and never really seemed to stop. We ate when we got hungry, slowed down when it was particularly beautiful and rested for the night only when we were exhausted.
Here, I am feeling a host of emotions I’m not used to. The main one being unguarded-ness. When you’re constantly moving with no real place to call home, things start to take on a whole new meaning. It makes me appreciative of security. Of things I know by heart-be them people or places.
Each moment on unfamiliar ground, I have the choice between anxiety/fear or joy/openness. No matter what I choose from one moment to the next, the constant remains the temporary state. I am oscillating from extreme to extreme and literally riding out the waves-I can feel the moments when whatever emotion had a hold of me begins to putter out and lose steam, and then I find myself somewhere else entirely, accompanied by a new set of thoughts that set me thinking about the same things through different filters.
I romanticize my life, and often do because I want everything I do to be a grand adventure. But often times, my Romanticism comes with ignorance, and I fail to recognize that a “grand adventure” is more than just what you feel when you look at a beautiful photo that represents “freedom” in some metaphorical way. It is a myriad of things, and often I find myself quoting Breakfast at Tiffany’s: "No matter where you end up running, you just end up running into yourself"-which is perhaps what I have been after all along.
Now I am in Reykjavik for 18 days staying in a beautiful apartment in the city center. People are my bread and butter and I am no one if not nothing with out them. I thrive and feel alive when I am around collective energies all mingling together, and this was made even more clear in light of the stark contrast between the isolating, if not beautiful countryside of Iceland, and it’s bustling heart here in the city.
More to come, for now some photos of the fictional lands we’ve imagined ourselves to be in so far:
It seemed that we passed through every seminal fictional story of my childhood and young adult-hood, and beyond that, some of my favorite works of the imagination in general-all nestled on an island the size of Ohio.
In the car we played the “what land did we just drive into all of a sudden??” game. And thus far here’s all the places we thought we may have visited: Yoshi-land, Spyro the Dragon land, Mario64 land, Dune-(the planet Arrakis), The Shire, Rohan, Lorien, The Dead Marshes, The hill of Weathertrop, The mines of Moriah, Rivendale, Mordor, The Gift (just south of the wall), Riverrun, The Vale, The area around Hogwarts, the Valley from the OG Land Before Time, Miyazaki’s Porco Rosso, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
If you just found yourself not getting these references, you need to step up your game, simple as that.
I want my life to be beautiful
So I drive under a western sky that opens up like some big fish bowl with the clouds curving in on the edges.
I put all the windows down so that my hair is flying round my head like some Medusa, even my arm hairs are dancing on the breeze as my hand rides the wind wave.
I sing like some banshee all shrieky and full and I speed like some demon out of hell.
God shines down like some cosmic messenger, casting heavenly Colorado rays across the plains and I am headed home.
The Ride is all there is. I’d crash and burn to feel it all.
I’d light up like sparklers in a blazing summer.
I’ll live this image and will the rest into place.
This is the story I choose to tell. I feel my pages folding back, one by one.
This is the movie of my life, frame by frame, shot by shot.
I want my life to be beautiful, I don’t care about costs.