Petra, a city cut out from rocks

General, Photo
Petra, Jordan

Petra (Arabic: ٱلْبَتْرَاء‎, romanizedAl-BatrāʾAncient Greek: Πέτρα, “Stone”), originally known to its inhabitants in Nabataean Aramaic as ̢𐢚𐢛𐢓𐢈 rqmwRaqēmō,[3][4] is a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan. Petra lies around Jabal Al-Madbah in a basin surrounded by mountains which form the eastern flank of the Arabah valley that runs from the Dead Seato the Gulf of Aqaba.[5] The area around Petra has been inhabited from as early as 7000 BC.

We set the camera on the tripod, put it on time-lapse, and then walked away from it. This was shot at 70mm. It was quite a surreal experience to be there, to say the least!

The time a newspaper described my graduate degree as a “Master’s in MySpace”


As some who know me might already know, I’m one of the first people in the world with a Master’s in Social Computing. I just came across an old interview from that time.

Halai said he’s interested in learning how people use the Internet to express themselves and interact in part because of the differences he sees between communities in India and the United States. Halai was raised in India where community is based largely on family and religious beliefs, he said.

American society is becoming increasingly centered on online communities, he said. Halai said social networking sites are important to understand because an increase in online communication will lead to a decrease in personal interaction. He said that’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.

Halai is a first-year graduate student who plans to join the School of Information’s social computing program. For Halai, Facebook isn’t just a way to keep in touch with friends. It’s also his homework.

With social networking websites like Facebook, and growing in popularity, the School of Information has created a master’s program in social computing for students to study the social impact and technological design of the sites.

The University is one of the first colleges in the country to create such a program.

Comet Neowise at Night

General, Photo

Can you believe we didn’t even know this comet existed until less than 4 months ago? And now we won’t see it again for 6700 years! C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) or Comet NEOWISE is a retrograde comet with a near-parabolic orbit discovered on March 27, 2020, by astronomers during the NEOWISE mission of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope. Under dark skies, it can be clearly seen with the naked eye and might remain visible to the naked eye throughout most of July 2020, at least until July 23, the point of the comet’s closest approach to Earth at a distance of 0.69 AU (103 million km; 64 million mi). Comet NEOWISE made its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) on July 3, 2020, at a distance of 0.29 AU (43 million km; 27 million mi). This passage increases the comet’s orbital period from about 4400 years to about 6700 years.

24mm 6s f/1.8

Resilience and the Finnish approach of ‘sisu’


There are times when we start to feel more so than others times that we need to exhibit courage to help make the world a better place. But this can come at a huge cost to the self. It’s important to remember that things are rarely a sprint, and always a marathon. I came across this interesting article that expresses a philosophy on how to sustain courage.

Sisu is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain that courage. It is a word that cannot be fully translated. It defines the Finnish people and their character. It stands for the philosophy that what must be done will be done, regardless of cost.

Sisu is an inherent characteristic of the Finnish people. You might call it backbone, spunk, stamina, guts, or drive and perseverance. It is a measure of integrity that surpasses the hardship and sees through to the end.