Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It continues to amaze me how there are so many wonderful events occurring in our space program and we hear so little about them. I know that some of you find it a bit of waste of money with all that needs to be done here on Earth but I find it inspiring and really quite wonderful. Here is an example of just one of the many incredible successes we have had recently.

And this: Stephen Hawking just announced that he will partner with billionaire science enthusiast Yuri Milner to undertake the most expansive search for extraterrestrial life to date.

Nice to know that Stephen is using his brilliant mind to expand ours! 

In a press conference held at the Royal Society in London on Monday morning, Hawking and Milner unveiled their plan to combine the strength of social networking and some of the most powerful telescopes on earth to look for alien life. The project will be able to collect and analyze five times more of the radio spectrum and cover 10 times more of the sky than any previous effort to find life outside of Earth.

The two-part, $100 million project, called Breakthrough Initiatives, will be funded by Milner and span 10 years. The first observations, which will be of broadcast signals from the one million stars closest to Earth, are slotted to begin in 2016.

Part one of the initiative, called Breakthrough Listen, will have access to the Parkes Observatory radio telescope in New South Wales, Australia and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory dish in Green Bank, West Virginia. In addition to radio observations, the project will also look for optical laser signals using the 2.4-meter Automated Planet Finder Telescope at Lick Observatory in California.

I often drove to Los Barriles especially during the last two years while dealing with my various emergencies. Just a few weeks ago before leaving Mexico I needed desperately to go in again. When I went out to my loyal car I suddenly thought that perhaps I should check the oil etc seeing as I was going to drive 15 miles through the desert and over two mountainous areas. I lifted the hood and yes – no oil, anti freeze gone and one of my battery connectors was rusted all the way through and kinda hanging there. In my weakened condition I was already exhausted just thinking about what I needed to do. I drove to Cesar’s (our local and very good mechanic) in the village but he was gone so I drove past Jose’s (our local major contractor) and there he was just getting ready to leave his yard for a job. I pulled in and asked for his help. He dropped everything and took care of it all immediately – these are my neighbors, my amigos, mi familia! I didn’t fasten the cap properly on my radiator so going over the hill I heated up and almost didn’t make it. Fortunately I did. In every way I was incredibly lucky – and I appreciate the kindness of The Great Mystery because I just didn’t have the energy to have been caught out there with a “broken” car.

I have had a whole series of events like this recently – at first appearing very difficult, if not insurmountable, and then somehow something/somebody comes along and rescues me. 

I also had the opportunity to apologize to a norte Americano neighbor whose essence, space and good soul I totally disregarded a year ago. Her name is Lauren and a year ago I came upon her in her kayak joining in a moment of pure joy and play between a mother humpback and her calf. Lauren was respectful and kept her distance but was definitely close enough to “feel” the moment. I was on a photo run so entered this very special space and disrupted it totally. I got my ID’s. A week later Lauren caught me in Chapito’s and really chewed me out. I defended myself as a researcher with the need to gather data. She didn’t buy it. It took me some time to realize how off base I was. On the 22nd I saw her while having dinner with my dear Pomeroy’s and had the opportunity to apologize. I did with a sincere heart and Lauren HEARD me! We hugged with deep appreciation for each others essence – what a wonderful experience.

I was gifted with a beautiful fox that evening that went through my yard – gratitude.

Not my pic

There was a nice calm sea on the 23rd of July and I took the opportunity to swim my goal of twenty laps. Good as it felt there was also the specter of increasing weakness as time goes by. It is absolutely essential for my mind, body and spirit to keep up my exercise but at times it is a struggle. No matter how much I try to bring my body back it seems that I continue to weaken – very, very frustrating. I even fretted that I would not see the kids again (felt rel bad for a couple of days) but here I am in NCa surrounded by their love and good will.

An expensive but delicate timer for the drip system went kaput so I got a manual spring loaded one that my friend Luis will activate for me while I’m gone.

On the 27th I took my longest kayak in a while. A mile out, then north to visit a part of the Schaeffer clan and then over the reef home – a bit much but no serious outcome. Watched a real nice series of leaps by a good sized swordfish, a turtle and some dolphins a distance away. Nice time for me all around.

This pic from 2013 - now that's a flat sea, perfect for kayaking.

A whole series of small disasters followed: broken faucet, car problems, solar panel Problems, computer fiasco, SD car registration (charged $5,300.00 instead of $73.00 – causing a major bank episode as my acct. became over drawn) ETC!

OK, enough of the kvetching!

Here’s a real informative and sensitive article about Orcas. And just as I have been maintaining, they are incredibly intelligent, peaceful and completely benign. I am so very glad I chose to swim with them when I did – a really highpoint in my whale work and will engage again if at all possible.

 A friendly Orca come to say hello

Whales Can Teach Us (Overlook Press, 2015) by Dave Neiwert

What Killer Whales Can Teach Us -- It Might Surprise You
An excerpt from David Neiwert's new book, "Of Orcas and Men: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us."
By David Neiwert / AlterNet
June 23, 2015

7/3 kayaked two miles and swam five laps in the embrace of Grandmother. Same on the 7th except did 20 I’m still in the running. 

Some extra pics:

Out with Antonio for a morning search - 2012

My intern Jessica at the internet cafe - 2009

One of my favorite perks - Linea and Christine 

Really contented - 2010
 Left for The States on the 21st of July arrived tired but sound in Sacramento where I am once again in the embrace of family – grateful.