Old and young life

This aged tree is being supported by about twelve wooden posts.  Not having seen the process, I can’t say for sure, but I suspect that these posts came from significantly younger and significantly more numerous trees.

Kill 12 to save 1?

It brings out an interesting discussion about the relative values of lives.  In humans, we tend to value youth over age.  Think of all the stories, books and movies where the old guy gives up his life for the sake of saving a younger person, especially a child.

Whereas with plants, the opposite is often true.  People get enraged when older plants are cut down and replacing the destroyed plants with new ones is often small recompense.

When humans approach extremely old age, it is true that they are revered and extremely valued.   Once a person reaches a “rare old age,” they are given great care and attention.

No comments on whether this is good or bad, just an oblique comment on the interesting reversal of value on aged life between humans and plants.

Neither a pet owner nor farmer, I have not spent much time around animals.  Do you have any thoughts to share about where the value lies with animals?

Well Worn Document

Very excited. I just got a new passport. It feels so clean, crisp and business-like.

After only 8 of the 10 years of validity on my old passport had passed, I expedited its demise by accidentally running the document through the washing machine.

Despite the fact that my picture is not very recognizable in the old passport and that most of the ink has run, I used the document for ID quite a bit since the damage. Still, I did not want to risk trying to get back into the USA using it.

And in the new experience category, getting this new passport required my first visit to a US Embassy.

So here’s my new passport. Ready to rock for another ten years and hopefully at least as many countries as the last one took me through!  I think I’ll invest in a passport holder for this one though!

Note: After eight years with one passport number, I am not looking forward to having to memorize this new one.

Cool Pics?

The loss of my camera was a major hold up for this website, so I feel that the reinstatement of my shooting privileges deserves equal if not greater press.

I owe a huge thank you to Maire, for loaning a camera from her personal collection for use by the Conall Dempsey Institute over the next two months. The pictures you see posted during the remainder of my tour of India would not be possible without her generous support. Thank you Maire!

Although I don’t usually get photos up the very same day that I take them, since today was my first day back behind the shutter after a long break, I added a few new shots to the gallery to commemorate this occasion:


Capital new cap

Have you seen this new kind of bottle cap?

It is simple.

It is easy to open without a bottle topper or crushing and tearing up your hand.

It can be easy replaced atop the bottle after opening, to keep the bottle sealed between gulps.

I am excited about this new kind of top. Not as much because I think it’s the greatest bottle cap I’ve ever seen, more because I love when people begin to innovate in products that have been stagnating for a long time.

Kudos to the folks over at Kingfisher!

Mixing Old and New Batteries

Many battery-powered electronic devices come with a warning like this:


Do not mix old and new batteries.  Do not mix alkaline, standard (carbon-zinc), or rechargeable (nickel-cadmium) batteries.

One device I noted this warning on was an automatic card-shuffling device. It seemed entirely out of place, since the machine only used ONE nine-volt battery.

Of course, the advice is sound and should generally be followed.  However, in this case I don’t think the warning necessary, as it would be practically impossible to use multiple batteries at once in this device.

According to Duracell, the reason to avoid mixing old and new batteries is that doing so will reduce overall performance and may cause battery leakage or rupture.  If you’re curious, for a more detailed explanation take a visit here.