Creek Jots 01_22_2015

â–º I have not written in depth about synthetic biology here because the subject is not of interest to most regular visitors (yes there are certainly exceptions) and the topic is just becoming enormous in breadth, depth and relevance to life on the ground. Suffice it to say there are some encouraging signs that public (and scientific) concerns about escape into the wild of novel lab-created organisms may have an answer.

â–º The MacPro has a new home. It took about an hour on FB. I did not want to have to resort to eBay or Craigslist so I’m pleased. OTOH, it will be in the possession of a friend; selling to a distant stranger severs the nerve of remote dread that an “as is” sale will go wrong for the new buyer. I can sell this system in good conscience. And should the motherboard give put the ghost, this system is worth its price in parts, especially the new 3TB internal drive that is six months old.

â–º I am enjoying the “easy part” of novel-writing: background research–and it is in fact very likely the only part of this book I’ll actually complete. And yet, I am compelled to have a voice and obtain a reach that this blog does not provide. I’m conflicted about whether or not to “bring readers along” to any extent as this book does or does not progress. That ‘over the shoulder’ sharing of Slow Road Home, and to a lesser extent, What We Hold in Our Hands, was part of the joy of pulling those pages together.

â–º Related to the last paragraph, I’m following “arctic sea ice” via a google alert. This progressing phenomenon is seen in its early  state in the opening of my book storyline. Out there in the real world this open-waters process is way ahead of earlier predictions, and is already playing a major role in future warming.

There are many who think ice up in that “frozen wasteland” is just a hindrance and good riddance after all, an ice-free arctic is the best thing that could ever happen. Decreasingly-ice-bound northern oceans contain 15% of the oil and 30% of the natural gas on the planet. Now, with the fox guarding the hen house, watch how fast the deregulated Northern Seas gold rush happens. Drill (but baby it’s cold outside) drill! I may share an excerpt from the manuscript along this topic path at some point. Or not.

â–º IMAGE: My daughter takes lots of images lately, but six months worth of shots are still on her camera card. She is pre-photoshop. So I uploaded a gazillion of her images onto my hard drive to play with. This was one of them. I stole it. So sue me for everything I’m worth. And enjoy your pizza.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Isn’t that a great photo!
    I read the link to controlling modified bacteria and found it very intersting, as usual. Thanks.