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Prominent Scientists Who are Skeptical that Climate Change is a) happening, and b) partially human caused.

I always like to try to connect with my most fervent, knowledgeable opponents.  I hope you do, too.

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Inside Syria: A Personal Experience

Don’t you wish our journalists could get this close to a story?

1001 Scribbles

First of all I would like to say thank you to Ana for allowing me to write this post for her blog. Before I write about my experience photographing the war in Syria let me give you a brief bio. My name is Russell Chapman, I’m 45, from the UK but now living in Lugano, Switzerland. I first got into photography when I was about 10. I was fascinated by the ability to capture a moment in time and loved how the scene in the viewfinder became, for a moment, my entire world. In fact this is something that has always stayed with me. I started off with a very simple point and shoot 35mm film camera, yes I’m from the pre-digital age. I got books from the library on photography in order to learn the science behind the art. It was quite a learning curve for a 10 year…

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How Bike Commuting 20 miles Each Way Affects My Mood

I am by nature a curious mix:  sometimes people call me  an upbeat and sunny-dispositioned fellow, but I also possess a dark, cynical, world-will-end-soon mood at times.  My set point and natural resting state is pretty cheerful, but too many hours of the New York Times or NPR news will put me in a sour mood, as I sit up and take notice of the awful things going on in the real world, a world which I manage to ignore most of the time.  Keep calm and carry on, and all that.

Now that I’ve been commuting to and from work (20 miles each way) for three months, I am pleased to report that my mood has shifted toward sunny me and away from dark, cynical me.  The constant exercising is somehow re-wiring my brain and making me disposed to feelings of contentment and satisfaction a much higher percentage of the day.

If you know someone who suffers from mild to moderate depression, see if they won’t try one month of bike commuting instead of driving (at least a few days a week) and have them report back to you.

My hunch is they’ll notice a positive change that will make cycling worth the trouble.  It’s often the getting started that’s the hardest part.Image

The Parable of The Mexican Fisherman and The Banker

This Makes Me Happy Every Time I Think About it.

An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.

The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the Mexican how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.” The banker then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican fisherman replied he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos: I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The investment banker scoffed, “I am an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats until eventually you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution.”

Then he added, “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City where you would run your growing enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You could make millions.”

“Millions, senor? Then what?”

To which the investment banker replied, “Then you would retire. You could move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”