Sunday, November 26, 2017

Rural, Coastal Natural Areas Better for Sense of Well-Being

It's not just your imagination - a new paper by Wyles et al in Environment and Behavior shows that it's better to get away from people and/or head to the coast, rather than spend time in a natural setting in the city. So, as much as some time forest-bathing (shinrin yoku) in an urban park will improve your state of mind, maybe it's worth that drive to get out of the city and away from people for an even better experience.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Another Weird Weirdo: Walking from Portugal to Turkey

Man these people just keep coming out of the woodwork don't they. Here's ANOTHER cockamamey fiasco, walking from Portugal to Turkey. Well I hope they're proud of themselves!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Longest Walk to Save the Salmon

I often post about running or walking projects. Because they're interesting, and I've done a couple of my own. But let's be honest: whether it's Karl Meltzer's record on the Appalachian Trail, or my (much slower) run across California, ultimately we're doing it for fun. It's not like we're delivering medicine to a sick child, or a message to the other side of enemy lines, or exploring a wilderness. Ultimately, these little projects are all just for grins. Here's one that's not for grins.

Image above from PBS. Image below, Skaagi by Bill Reid. Image from
This year, for the first time ever, the Yurok Nation in far northern California voluntarily called off its salmon season this year because the fishery was so depleted? That might not seem like such a big deal, but if you're Yurok, it's about as big a deal as there is. If I said this was as if hunting season and and a trip to the holy land rolled into one, in terms of its cultural centrality, that might not be far off. For them, protecting the salmon is very much the same as protecting their lands, and if you've ever been there (think the Requa area, near Prairie Creek Redwoods) it's easy to see why it inspires such patriotism. It's some of the most ruggedly beautiful land anywhere on this planet.

The Yurok lands are not the only place people have seen a collapse of the salmon fisheries. Consequently a group of native people has been walking from Seattle to San Francisco (yes, now, in the rain) to try to bring awareness to this problem, in the aptly named Longest Walk to Save the Salmon. There's a radio interview here. Their Gofundme page explains as follows:
On our journey, we will also be addressing common issues and threats facing Native communities in the Pacific Northwest such as; sovereignty, pipelines, saving sacred sites, keeping our rivers in balance and harmony, equality and justice. We will present this to community leaders, politicians so we can work together to find solutions. We will also be stopping to honor and heal our Veterans, with visits to VA hospitals in Seattle and San Francisco. Helping our Mother Earth, we shall pick up roadside trash.
Consider donating to support them.

As I type, they're planning on arriving in SF tomorrow November 22. You can read about their walk and see pictures here and here. (Below: the Klamath River. From

Monday, November 20, 2017

Pictures of Textures

I am occasionally obsessed with getting "pictures" of textures. Some of these were done with older phones so please forgive the quality in some cases. Some of them aren't textures, exactly, but the image is so fuzzed out as to be more impressionistic. As near as I can tell, what I find interesting about these images is that there is always a suggestion of meaning or information you would get from a more detailed visual picture, but you're forced to infer much about the rest of it (even the scale), often (but not always) from imagined touch. These were amassed roughly over the period from 2007 to present. Most are mine except for the satellite images of course. Hope you enjoy.