Sunday, June 29, 2008

230. Pilot Season First Annual Santa Barbara Write-off Reality Show Competition, Day 2, Write About a Random Prop, Dreamcatcher

Pdf file for Dreamcatcher / Perhaps it ain't so poem.

On the second day, the group of 26 was required to write a poem within 15 minutes about a random object within Shelly's house. She brought lots of interesting items. One contestant wrote "Ode to an Agent" when writing about a gnome. That was hilarious. There were other random knick-knacks, like puppets I suppose that I would have liked to pick up "The Cat in the Hat" if I could. I was left with a dreamcatcher--and I couldn't help to be amazed that I already formulated a Dreamcatcher poem quite a while ago.

We were called based on "top scores." I was top-middle of the heap based on my Anorexic Academic poem. My writing was already taking an "issues" and "non-traditional environmentalist" slant to it, which was the most issues-based writing within this contest. I had a serious streak, with a level of satirical humor occassionally bursting out. Though I emerged such a character, it added diversity to the write-off think tank, which thrived off of clever everyday life humor. I find it ironic that though we were all supposedly "competing," I felt the whole experience was more like a think tank.

Everyone's poems were ending up being very very VERY good. Lots of humor--but in the end, I was so desperate, I managed to sing my poem, though not great. The day after, three opera singers emerged within the pack of 20. Man, it was anything but a write-off, but a multi-media production! In terms of opera singing, I was stood up. Ha ha. My singing emerged as pathetic. But I can't blame myself. I was still sick, stuffy in the nose. I wasn't "fully present." Something to work on. But glad I sang! I went outside my box. Prepping for American Idol. Ha ha. Just kidding.

229. Pilot Season First Annual Santa Barbara Write-off Reality Show Competition, Day 1, Coming of Age Moment, Anorexic Academic

Pdf to Anorexic Academic.

On the first day, there were about 50 participants. Half were eliminated. After day 1, a core 20 individuals stuck out with the contest to its entirety. I had never been a part of a writing "think tank" before, I know I want this kind of experience to be a part of my future. I feel like I will be writing for an entire year, just to prepare myself for the Second Annual Santa Barbara Write Off Reality Show Competition!

The theme of the first day is to write about a Coming of Age Moment. Either I was going to perform Beautiful Boy or Anorexic Academic. I ended up doing something serious--Anorexic Academic.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

228. Pilot Season First Annual Santa Barbara Write-off Reality Show Competition, Alternative Entry Desperation, Adaptation for Lord of the Flies

In the second to last competition, we were required to adapt musicals to climax moments in classic pieces of literature. I chose something dismal not on the list: Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. I suppose it's too serious for a competition that is snap-judgment... and it is inevitable that humor would win. I realized retrospectively that I could have created a beginning score for Lord of the Flies with a pre-existing poem entitled Desperation.

The pdf file for the poem above.

Two other pieces I wished I wrote for the Santa Barbara Writers Conference: (1) A song for the film An Inconvenient Truth and a song for the piece of literature, The Myth of Sisyphus, except it would be Part 2. Oh well. I will write a lot this year, so I can be more than ready next year. Hopefully, my tune will have changed from more serious and issuous to more slapstick and issuous. I know I am a "black sheep" in a generalist writers conference (as a systematically holistic scientist and environmental media bent), but though I am different, I think it will get me somewhere in the long run.

Friday, June 06, 2008

227. World's Easiest Catch: Zen of Rock Crab, Oak Tree Matrix Scope of Knowledge Relative to the Rock Crab

What do people know?
Why (when, where, how) did they come to know what they know?
What drove them / What motivates people to know what they know?
How do they collect their data / input information from their environment?
How do they analyze and organize this information?
In a system of stakeholders, who knows what? And why do they know what they know?
How do knowledge regimes overlap or are disconnected (gaps)? Is it synergistic or dissective?
Why? Is it psychological/experiential direct interactivity or is there interaction mediated through technology, associated with individual psychological disconnect (distant manager syndrome)? Psychological connectivity and disconnectivity with (1) other people within the system (2) technologies used within the system (3) resources/given environments. How is individual psychology affected within a given size of a human-environmental system (from small-scale to large-scale systems)?
How do gaps and overlaps, synergisms and dichotomies of knowledge regimes of stakeholders
shift with the given size of system (number of stakeholders involved in a given resource/place, the expansion of space and time among interactions of stakeholders)? For example, stakeholders of a coffee resource operates at a global scale, from tropics to the temperate latitudes. Stakeholders of the rock crab industry are largely revolved around Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.

Science and the psychology of collecting.
I included my "out of the box and into the worm" poem on the scope of questions in ecology and evolution. But this poem needs to be expanded into asking questions about the human dimensions/perceptions/interactions with environmental systems. Scope of potential knowledge of a given resource.
The question list comes from An Inconvenient Truth and the Relativism of Environmental Science.

226. "World's Easiest Catch: Zen of Rock Crab Proposal" for the Environmental Affairs Board (EAB)

I will not describe in detail here, but I am very fortunate to have received $750 in funding from the Environmental Affairs Board the last second of this quarter--in pursuit of trying to receive funding from the Coastal Fund (which unfortunately their funding cycle ended till next fall). It's overwhelming to receive a first grant--especially as an individual scientist film-maker (not a production crew). This is just the beginning of good habits and beautiful relationships....

Above is the entire World's Easiest Catch: Zen of Rock Crab proposal.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

185. Other Creatures of Coldwater Canyon: A Sample of Riparian Ecology

Riparian Monet Pool

Indian Paintbrush-like
Hummingbird Sage
Indian Paintbrush-like
Cyanoworld. Swimming in MacroMitochondria. *perceptual relativity*
Cyanoworld. Swimming in MacroMitochondria. *perceptual relativity*
Cyanoworld. Swimming in MacroMitochondria. *perceptual relativity*

To continue the hike at Coldwater Canyon with ~#~. June 1, 2008. The best "other" pictures of riparian ecology. I understand why we never made it to Tangerine Falls. We both absorb our surroundings like sponges. We stop to observe and scrutinize everything!
Hummingbird sage is the "plant of the day." ~#~ and Brian and Richard and Erika actually have hummingbird sage in their garden in the side yard of their house by the museum of Natural History, except their plant is not in bloom--and ~#~ found one out at Coldwater Canyon that WAS in bloom!
I chose to make the images surreal and processed via Photoshop filters. It was a surreal and dreamy day. Relaxing!
~#~ actually has a field guide to macro-views of bacteria, fungi, and other slimy moldy icky weird single-celled-like things. I need to follow up on that.
We both like playing a video game called Reality. The video game is not on a tube, but is Outside.

178. Digital Darkroom Series "Creature of the Forest"

Creature of the Forest Time Series

Perceptual Forest 1

Perceptual Forest 2

Creeping 1
Creeping 2

Let's just put it this way: it's called "Zenning out with Ariel."

171. Butterfly Photograph That Goes in Vic's Photoportfolio, Coldwater Canyon, Santa Barbara, California

Hike with ~#~ June 1, 2008. There was this "sunbathing" butterfly spotted by ~#~ and I started to take tons of pictures. I could say 50 of them were crxp, but I took this one photograph that was a total luck shot. I know I modified it, but oh well. It's the first photograph of this series above. It is SOOO difficult to take pictures of these hyperactive butterflies. Sheesh. I wish I knew the name of the butterfly. Process of elimination. It's not a monarch, nor is it a swallowtail. I guess I have a few million other options. This is by far the most intriguing butterfly picture I have taken--given constraints in technology. I don't even have a macro lens for my Nikon D80, but even managed to take such a picture. Wait till I have a macro lens. Power to me man.
At one point ~#~ said there's no point in taking pictures because you can find the pictures on line. I don't agree. But I don't think he stated this seriously. First of all, I am trying to claim ownership of my own experiences and reality and not rely on others for pictures. The only reality that truly exists is my own, not others. So, I will continue trying to create my own reality through photography. Secondly, when it comes to publishing stuff and creating films, it's best to have your own original footage. You don't have to deal with copyright laws or paying any outrageous prices to use other people's work. So, I'll keep taking pictures of pretty butterflies :-). And everything else that's not stereotypically girly out in the non-human world. Sheesh.

170. Water Strider Predator Orgy on a Coldwater Canyon Hike, Santa Barbara, California

Water strider predator orgy over a honey bee 1
Water strider predator orgy over a honey bee 2
Water strider predator orgy over a honey bee 3
Water strider predator orgy over a honey bee 4
Water strider predator orgy over a honey bee 5
This blog is "170" because I am filling in numbers that I skipped previously. The last hike I went on in the Santa Ynez Mountains was spring of 2003 with California Vegetation. And now? I went on a hike with ~#~ to Coldwater Canyon--heading toward Tangerine Falls--today. It is June 1, 2008. Ridiculous. What planet have I been on? We ended up stopping several times because we are both very observant of our surroundings, wondering what everything was and how things worked. Plus I had my camera. Aha! That slowed us down a lot. Taking pictures of things. We were in "biologist" hiking mode today. Biologists inch the ground for details. They are detail-oriented scientists. They are happy analyzing one meter squared of land. Other times I hike like a geologist--20 miles at a time--and you look at the landscape as a holistic gestalt. You may occassionally stop to scrutinize details, but you are really huffing it, because you have Outcrop Destinations you are intending to reach!
Along the way, we crossed a stream, and my goodness we encountered so many water striders! Fascinating life to float on water. But water striders are pretty barbaric predators actually. Even with their mating practices. I told ~#~ how difficult it is to take pictures of water striders, simply because they move a lot and it's very difficult to have the camera focused at the right lighting and angle. But TODAY I encountered a water strider Predator Orgy. They were all fighting over the body of a honey bee. As you can tell from the images above, it was very, very... combative. Pretty chaotic. But since there was a "large clump" of water striders, it was much easier to take pictures. I took advantage of the situation, and these pictures are by far the best pictures of water striders I have to date. I am improving!