Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wondering at Nature...

As I have stated before, I do not enjoy "roughing it," but I am still capable of being sufficiently awed by the forces of nature. Some of my favorite photos come from the genius Ansel Adams. I do love me a good view of the countryside after tramping up hundreds of stairs to the top of whatever tower/cathedral/really tall building is handy. The stone I stole from the Cliff Walk in Rhode Island reminds me, among other things, of the power of the waves and the time it took for that rock to become so smooth. 

I do recall one incident sophomore year of college where I was more confused than cowed by Nature, however. I remember being woken out of a dead sleep in my East Coast dorm room without a clue why. I was more peeved than anything else since it was before I had to get up to go to work. Later at the tennis camp where I taught I found out what had woken me up was a low magnitude earthquake. 

I'm not sure if this next story really qualifies as good news, but it isn't bad news unless you're a Kiwi or Aussie who really hates the other nationality. A 7.8 earthquake has moved the island of New Zealand one foot closer to Australia and actually enlarged NZ, as one side of the country moved farther than the other. I guess what does qualify as good news is that despite it being the biggest tremor in the world so far this year, it caused relatively little structural damage and no injuries. 

Yahoo! seems to be the go-to story site today. I just realized all three of my stories are from there... Attached to the earthquake story was a little article on a new contest to name the seven natural wonders of the world. Two years ago, New 7 Wonders held a contest to name the seven man-made wonders that produced the following list: the Roman Colosseum, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Lost City of Petra in Jordan, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, Macchu Picchu in Peru, and the Pyramid at Chichen Itza in Mexico. For the new contest, there are 28 finalists which people can vote on by phone or the Internet. The winners will be announced in 2011. 

The photo belongs to an AP story hosted on Yahoo! News. The popular seals who sleep and play in a cove in La Jolla have been granted legal protection from being forcibly ejected from the area. A couple years ago, some idiot, ahem, the disgruntled swimmer mentioned in the article filed suit because s/he wanted to swim in the cove and not share it with the seals. This ruling also prevents some poor soul from suffering the indignity of having to walk down the beach with a loudspeaker blaring the sound of dogs barking (to scare away the seals) accompanied by one of San Diego's finest (to ward off attacks from pro-seal demonstrators.)

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