The Curious Autodidact

April 24, 2010

Trekking from Washington to Alaska

Filed under: book related,environmental ideas — Honilima @ 8:22 am


Some months ago I saw this New York Times article with the title “Broadband Yes. Toilet No” about a young educated couple, Erin McKittrick and her husband Hig, living in a yurt in Seldovia, Alaska. Hig has a PhD in Geology, while Erin has a master’s in Molecular Biology. Then I heard them interviewed on our local public radio station about their new book detailing their thirteen-month journey by foot and paddle some 4000 miles—my interest was clinched.

A Long Trek Home


The Long Trek Home, published by the Mountaineers, is the tale of this young couples walk from Seattle along the coastline way up into Alaska where they conclude their long walk and later settle on family property in Seldovia, Alaska. It is an amazing story of determination and a respect for the land, written by a curious young couple who have a bright future ahead of them with their new toddler son Katmai, in 452 square foot living space, in a town of 250. Quite a tale.

Katmai: taking a bath in the yurt


April 17, 2010

Courtesy and Safety in an Always Connected World

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints — Honilima @ 8:59 am

The FocusDriven board is comprised of family members who lost loved ones due to motorists using their cell phones while driving.

Washington is joining California and several other states in outlawing hand held cell phone use and texting while driving beginning in June. This website FOCUS DRIVEN points out that drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. Additionally it states that, “no difference exists in the cognitive distraction (the mental process of knowing, which includes awareness, judgment and perception) between hand held and hands-free devices, according to simulator studies conducted at the Univ. of Utah.”

Many recent media outlet have covered the recent research findings that a person driving while talking on a cell phone is as potentially dangerous as a person with a .08 blood alcohol level!

A Carnegie Mellon study took pictures of the brain while drivers listened to sentences and drove on a simulator. The drivers listening to sentences had a 37 percent reduction in spatial awareness, which can directly contribute to cognitive distraction.

Here’s a clever diagram that may help your offspring or your friends to keep cell phone etiquette in perspective. I enjoyed the comment beneath the suggest to keep your voice down that suggested if someone is talking loudly on the cell phone in a public place to respond loudly as if they are taking to you (then again they may not notice since these tend to be fairly self-involved people).

Cell phone etiquette

April 8, 2010

Changing Your Perspective: a New Viewpoint

Filed under: media related,social justice — Honilima @ 7:53 am


Facing Arthur” is a remarkable documentary about Arthur Lederman, a 101 year old violinist who was a Holocaust survivor living in New York City and Christoph Erbsloch a twenty year old from Germany. Lederman had been a concert violinist, and Erbsloch a budding cellist whose grandfather was a solider in the German army. Christoph comes to New York for a year, to volunteer as a chore worker, to serve shut ins, and his relationship with Arthur begins with a rocky start.

This is a marvelous story of cross-cultural and cross-generational friendship. It is also the story of changing viewpoints and how a love of music can bring people to a mutual understanding.

Netflix has this film and I’m sure plenty of big public libraries with large DVD collections. Watch the movie and smile. Take a moment after the movie to go visit a person who is aging and stuck at home without many visitors.

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