Book Review: Reinventing Discovery

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked ScienceReinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this discussion of leveraging new tools, pushing new norms, and developing incentives for the next step in the way science is done. I recommend this book highly to anyone interested in science — especially citizen scientists, “new”/young scientists, and open minded scientists. I found this book a compelling enough argument to provide influence on how I do science. This is going on my “re-read every so often” shelf.

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Team Green Chile training ride

Team Green Chile (Max & I) decided maybe it was a good idea to do a little training. I pushed for some snow riding through the canyon — we found conditions worse/better than I guessed. Very challenging, and good training. It was great to finally get out for a bike ride together!!

(Fluorescent yellow so the mountain lions can see us and not run us over when they ran past…)

The trail had been driven by one car, and was very dry powder — mid-wheel deep. It was very challenging riding (walking/pushing), but good training.

Here’s Max coming off the last of the snow — very mixed emotions when we hit the dirt. And it was a beautiful sunrise lighting up the canyons walls!

Max introduced me to some very interesting biking technique (ok, I’ve actually spent quite a good bit of time riding this way through deep, challenging, narrow tracks in snow)..

Here’s the map of our route:

Father/Son Road Trip

After a fantastic holiday visit with family in Lubbock and Houston, Carrie and Aven flew home.  But we had a piano, a successful Ikea shopping trip, and a 14′ uhaul to get home!  So Torsten and I had our first good, long road trip.  We started out from Houston at about 4am on January 1.  Torsten was so jazzed about the trip, he stayed up for a good while!  We both enjoyed watching the first sunrise of the year.  The first stop was in Bastrop to get some gas, and we were already in our sixth county of the drive! (Torsten had slept through probably half of them.)

We took a little detour to head up to North Austin and visit Bill and Elaine O’Brien, to get a half hour of catching up and coffee.  (Bill taught both Carrie & I physics as undergrads at Southwestern University, and he has kept in touch through multiple visits to Juneau and regularly catching up at AGU.)  On the way out of Austin, we went back south, driving along Lake Travis. I couldn’t believe how low the lake was! It reminded me a little of a dramatically low playa lake out in West Texas..

Next we went over to Llano and a ~25 mile detour south from there to get to Enchanted Rock.  What a fantastic place to revisit after all these years.  Torsten and I hiked up to the top, and then I found out that our good friend Dale from SU was also there!!  We didn’t manage to connect (other than via facebook), but it was fun to be so close!

From Enchanted Rock, we went back up to Llano, then it was driving up towards Sweetwater. In that area, I tried to estimate how many windmills we saw — my best guesstimate is between 6,000 and 7,000! And these weren’t old-timey, get water for the cows out of a well, windmills. They are industrial grade, high voltage transmission lines, clean, green, power generatin’ machines. WOW! It was amazing to both Torsten and I to see all these windmills.

I tried to get the oil vs wind juxtaposition:

Just before we got to Post, the windmills disappeared, and it was serious, old school, oil in the air time. Torsten said “I kinda like the smell, even though it really stinks.. It smells like fresh money.” It was getting towards an amazing sunset for the first day of the year, so I got a “classic Texas panorama” and then a fun shot of our shadow:

We got into Lubbock at about 6:15pm with 645 miles under our wheels, some good hiking, and lots of together time. It was great to meet Grams with a dinner ready, and some nice beds to fall into. We spent a little time there in the morning, but shoved off by about 10am.

Torsten (I mean, DJ Torsten) provided some great music. He sense of taste was perfect as he had the ZZ Top going as we drove through La Grange. Then we got a healthy mix of Lady Ga Ga, Chemical Brothers, and even some LMFAO before he settled into mixing up some fresh original tracks on Garage Band on the iPad. As we cruised past Post and into Lubbock, I took over to put on a healthy Terry Allen, Jimmy Dale, Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, Flatlanders mix. I think the two best road songs that came on where “Amarillo Highway” and “Two Roads”. If you don’t know two roads, you should read the lyrics (midway down this article — the whole article is good!).

“you can drive all day and never leave Texas
you can drive all night and never leave home”

The rest of the trip up to Los Alamos flew right by, with lots of “good” road trip food, lunch at Dairy Queen in Santa Rosa, NM. Trains, oil derricks, windmills, tumbleweeds..

What a fantastic trip!! Soon Aven will be old enough, and then the whole family can enjoy some ramblin’ around the lower 48. In the end, Torsten and I covered 1024 miles (yeah! it was literally 1023.7 miles when I returned the truck in Pojoaque.). We crossed 25 counties in Texas. And we have a piano!

Testing Wordbooker

I did a fresh wipe and reinstall of the blog (along with the rest of the web part of that site).  Did I get the wordbooker wordpress/facebook integration setup correctly?  This will let me know!

Hello again world!

After lots of bit rot, and a few evil mean nasty hackers, talus-and-heavner enterprises is declaring html bankruptcy and wiping the slate clean.  Fresh blog install (with an import of all the old goodies, maybe it’ll work?) and on a very few minimal things pulled across from the old t-h-webiverse (the gallery..).  Yell if something you love and miss isn’t there. Otherwise, welcome to 2012, onward through the fog!