#MapMOOC Lesson 2 Map Assignment

This week’s assignment for Coursera‘s class entitled “Maps and the Geospatial Revolution”, we were asked to observe change between US Topographical maps and satellite imagery. I struggled a bit to find something that interested me. Toying with various parts of Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah, I moved to my wife’s native city, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

It was here that I remembered that the interchange of US 41 and WI 32 was beeing massively reconstructed. The old diamond interchange was being virtually blown apart. In its place will be a huge fly-over interchange costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Also part of this project is something that’s rather unique and cutting edge:  superstreet intersections a bit further west on WI 32. Wisconsin DOT is choosing not to signalize these intersections like is commonly done, so it’ll be interesting to see how it functions once the project is completed.

Anyhow, this got me to thinking — I don’t really know anything about this project other than what I’ve seen on local Green Bay news stations whilst visiting the in-laws. I’m in the civil engineering field in Pennsylvania, so why not find one of my projects?!

And so I did.

Behold, my map of the US 15/PA 581 Interchange Improvement Project. No further explanation should be needed. Check out the map:

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Chicago’s Unintended Unorthodoxy?

Chicago Fire 2013Chicago Fire head coach Frank Klopas is bucking more than just his usual dressy garb for a polo shirt and casual pants on the sideline recently. He seems to be bucking many traditional tactics usually seen on MLS pitches as well, namely the formation being used. But before I get into that main point, I must digress into some supporting evidence. Bear with me.

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The comfort of a smile

Why is it that grand gestures are all the rage? What happened to the small things in life mattering more or at least just as much as the large things? Who among us has not felt the peace of wrapping themselves in an old blanket, the freedom of watching a bird in flight, the glee of experiencing kids at play, or the boost in confidence from a stranger’s smile?

In the age of grand gestures, I appreciate the small ones and encourage you to look for them as well. Doing so may inspire you to become the real you- the complete you. Doing so may cause you to pause ‘just enough’ to find a sense of belonging in this life. Doing so may cause you to find what you have been searching for, for a very long time.

May the peace be with you…

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rabbit trails

The comfort of a friend with whom you can spend hours with talking, debating, and recounting life can yield many spurs in a conversation.

For instance, have you ever tried to stay on the topic of, say, the crumbs left in the butter dish only to be lead off on the trail of what chemicals make up margarine?  Or, while watching the clouds in the sky your mind wanders to the creatures that the puffy shapes look.  This, of course, leads you to conclude that you need more dog food, and speaking of, where did our favorite sweater go that the dog chewed last Christmas…

While some people may believe that it is a sign of ignorance and stupidity to allow yourself to wander from one thought to another, I believe that is freeing.

I am beginning to think that real life, REAL life, is in the details of our meticulous minds.  What was Einstein really thinking of when he came up with the theory of relativity?  What inspired Mozart and Beethoven to think the melodies that they did?

Take all of the purely wonderful inventions/ thoughts from across time, and I am sure that most of them were products of mistakes, unintelligible thought processes, or driven by flitting inspiration of something simple and ordinary.

What will fill you with inspiration?  What abstract thought will you wrap your head around and push to the next limit?  When will you make the time to think?

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Review: Under the Banner of Heaven

Reviewed on Goodreads.com

Under the Banner of HeavenJon Krakauer’s 2003 book Under the Banner of Heaven is a synthesis of two things — a raw look at the history of Mormonism; and a glaring expose on the 1984 double murder in Provo, Utah carried out by Mormon Fundamentalists.

The thing that Krakauer does best is converts the over-abundant dialogue he gathered through interviews with the individuals involved in the events into a narrative detailing and exploring the overall story in a way that captivates the reader and holds their attention through much of the book. Add to that his extraordinary ability to weave together historical events with his crime-scene narrative and you have a recipe for a highly interesting and entertaining read.

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A Note on Salvation

IGNIS by Grace Lazzeri The following ramblings are my personal thoughts which were sent to a friend/mentor on some common spiritual themes we had discussed recently. Please read, enjoy, and be encouraged.

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Stealing the Sheets

Untitled by HK ZamaniThis morning my wife and I had a bit of… an issue. As is often the case, the debate as to which individual in the marriage has territorial rights and claims to a given amount of bed coverings is a hot topic. How those divisions of blankets exist and at what times they are allowed to be violated is a key obstacle in the way of a healthy and happy marriage.

To say that we fought about it is an overstatement. We merely talked, and it was ultimately left open-ended, as there was obviously no conclusion to be had.

I must admit that I am usually the perpetrator of the sheet stealing. For some reason, I have no concept of how many of the coverings I’m actually taking during the night. And the case could be made that I’m not really in a cognizant state of realization when the theft occurs. But, on this particular night, I was the victim. The tables were turned.

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