Harmony House Stanford University

Harmony House Stanford University

A picture I took of a mural on the wall at Harmony House.

The Harmony House is Stanford’s home to the Committee on Black Performing Arts (CBPA). CBPA is an interdisciplinary program in the arts that engages students in the exploration of culture and identity through artistic expression. Through examinations of the complexities of artistic practice, racial construction, and cultural expression, CBPA reaches beyond the classroom to create collaborative art forms that are not currently part of the university art curriculum.

The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

San Francisco City Hall after the 1906 Earthquake

The California earthquake of April 18, 1906 ranks as one of the most significant earthquakes of all time. Today, its importance comes more from the wealth of scientific knowledge derived from it than from its sheer size. Rupturing the northernmost 296 miles (477 kilometers) of the San Andreas fault from northwest of San Juan Bautista to the triple junction at Cape Mendocino, the earthquake confounded contemporary geologists with its large, horizontal displacements and great rupture length. Indeed, the significance of the fault and recognition of its large cumulative offset would not be fully appreciated until the advent of plate tectonics more than half a century later. Analysis of the 1906 displacements and strain in the surrounding crust led Reid (1910) to formulate his elastic-rebound theory of the earthquake source, which remains today the principal model of the earthquake cycle.

At almost precisely 5:12 a.m., local time, a foreshock occurred with sufficient force to be felt widely throughout the San Francisco Bay area. The great earthquake broke loose some 20 to 25 seconds later, with an epicenter near San Francisco. Violent shocks punctuated the strong shaking which lasted some 45 to 60 seconds. The earthquake was felt from southern Oregon to south of Los Angeles and inland as far as central Nevada. The highest Modified Mercalli Intensities (MMI’s) of VII to IX paralleled the length of the rupture, extending as far as 80 kilometers inland from the fault trace. One important characteristic of the shaking intensity noted in Lawson’s (1908) report was the clear correlation of intensity with underlying geologic conditions. Areas situated in sediment-filled valleys sustained stronger shaking than nearby bedrock sites, and the strongest shaking occurred in areas where ground reclaimed from San Francisco Bay failed in the earthquake. Modern seismic-zonation practice accounts for the differences in seismic hazard posed by varying geologic conditions. Read more…

Fukushima Radiation Found in California Kelp

I wonder how much effect this has had on the marine life? Surly the food chains been contaminated. I’m sure we will see more death washing ashore.

“It’s ridiculous that time and time again we need a radioactive cloud coming out of a nuclear power-station to remind us that atomic energy is extraordinarily dangerous.” ~ Pierre Schaeff

Radioactive isotopes from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan have been detected in the great kelp forests off the California coast, according to a new study released by researchers at Cal State Long Beach. Following the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, a wave of radioactivity traveled across the Pacific Ocean. Read more…

Cholera outbreak kills more than 10,000 birds in California


TULELAKE, Calif. — Dave Mauser walked the edge of a mudflat, peering underneath the dried brown rushes where one coot after another had gone to hide and then die.

“Now the coots are getting the worst of it,” said Mauser, head biologist on the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, the nation’s first large marshland preserved for waterfowl habitat. “Prior to that it was the snow geese and the white-fronted geese.”

Standing in line for scarce water behind both endangered fish and agriculture, Lower Klamath Lake has watched one marsh after another dry up in recent years. Now migratory geese, ducks and other waterfowl that come here by the millions, following the Pacific Flyway, are so closely packed together that an outbreak of avian cholera has killed more than 10,000 birds, mostly pintail ducks, Ross’ geese, snow geese and now coots. Read more…

Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge


Federal agents raid Oaksterdam University

This really burns my biscuits. They came in pushed people around in walkers and wheelchairs, busted down doors and trashed the place like a bunch of thugs and mobsters. Is this how the federal pigs waste the American people’s tax dollars? These raids will not get rid of marijuana in California, it will only push it underground and back into the hands of the drug cartels. Maybe they are working with the cartels and this is another federal stimulus package. The drug cartels are the only ones to benefit from such actions taken against the citizens of California. Whether you agree or disagree, the people of California voted to approve the use of Medical Marijuana, enough said. The bottom line is the 1% doesn’t like it in the hands of the people, they want to control the industry. If they really wanted to address America’s drug problem they would go after the real drug cartel in America…the pharmaceutical companies. We have become a nation of greedy fascists pigs…oink…oink.


Stop the medical marijuana raids!

Rescued Baby Sea Otter

Otter 501, a southern sea otter pup, was found on the central California coast June 10th, 2010. She was only a few days old and without human help her chance of survival was slim. Luckily, she was rescued and cared for by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation program. We at Sea Studios were lucky to have had the chance to film this incredible process and are creating a feature film, “Otter 501”, based on her experience.

The crew of “Otter 501” spent long hours filming 501 and other wild otters in Elkhorn Slough and we recognized how important this haven is to sea otters. However, we also saw that the Slough has many human visitors – kayakers, fishermen, wildlife enthusiasts – and many of them are not aware of their impact on sea otters and other wildlife. Due to sea otters’ incredibly high energy demands, they are especially vulnerable to human disturbances. As a welcome gift to our friend 501 we want to keep her, and the other animals she lives among, safe from these stressful and costly disturbances. There is one location in particular, the Jetty Road area, where we often saw humans disturbing sea otters. The funds from this project will go to create a permanent sign at that location. This sign, and any others we are able to fund in the Elkhorn Slough area, will show visitors how unique and important sea otters are and how to observe all wild animals respectfully.

Visit our Facebook page to help keep Elkhorn Slough a safe place for sea otters.