The Alder Grove

"In my sleep thought that I was standing in an alder grove of the straightest and fairest trees which the heart of man could think of or imagine."

Getting To Know You...

I am hoping that now that I've done a refresh on this blog, I will now keep it going better than it has in the past. Perhaps with the new year past on Samhain I'll endeavor to do better! Readership from the past, small as it was has likely moved on from the days when I relocated here from LiveJournal. Ah, the 90's. ;-) So, in the interest of potential new readership I will introduce myself.

Hello new reader...I'm Leanne. Please to meet you. As you can see from my profile I'm a left-wing Canadian socialist-type from Ontario, Canada. As the saying goes, I don't live in the sticks but you can see them from here, lol. I'm also a Pagan-Atheist - meaning that I hold the natural world as sacred and spiritual but not any sort of personal deity. I do find beauty in the literature of mythology but that's about as far as that goes. I have an interest in various aspects of politics varying from food security and preservation of local/native food sources, the advocacy of science literacy and the promotion of the local arts and culture scene. Nearly everyone that I am friends with is a musician of sorts. Explains why I'm still single...

What else? Graduated high school (by some sort of fluke as I rarely actually attended) in 1989. The 80s were fairly awesome, between the summer I followed Glass Tiger around Ontario to seeing David Bowie in concert at the old CNE bandstand, there was a hell of a lot of music happening. Truth be told, I was a bit of a flake in high school/college. But then, so were the majority of people I went to school with. It was the 80s....we were pretty self-involved. The whole decade was pretty much all about music, weird clothes and The Brat Pack.

I'm also a massive bookworm and I always have been. I think that people who don't love to read are mentally unbalanced. Last year I had to do a book purge as I likely had enough books to start my own library. I took six plastic containers to the used bookstore with everything from a bunch of sci-fi/fantasy that I used to read in high school (like pretty much all of David Eddings books and the entire Dragons of Pern series) to books based on TV shows like Buffy and Queer Eye For the Straight Guy. Now I am building up my book collection again with things that are my new interests and my bookcase is once again bulging at the seams. Good thing I have another one to put together once I finish redoing the basement because I am shortly going to need the space. There is nothing that makes my day more complete than settling down before bed with a good book, a cup of tea and some nice classical music. Yes, I'm old. Be quiet. :)

Orillia has, well, a shallow gene pool. I've got a portion of my ancestry that has been here pretty much since there has been a city. Stimulating conversation is not something that happens frequently. So as a result, I don't tend to date much. Or at all really. The only hobby most people have here is getting drunk. And that is basically all they talk about - getting drunk, having been drunk and plans to get drunk in the future. And since I drink very, very infrequently it does not hold much appeal. Plus, most people here have really lousy taste in music and are not the most literate people I have every had the occasion to have a words with. It's a fairly Presbyterian place with more than our share of young-earthers which makes me borderline *insane*. I enjoy men who are passionate about something and that I can actually carry on an intelligent conversation about something of interest. And no, sports does NOT count.

I have recently become increasingly enamoured of various science topics and the rather dashing and charming men who are out there crusading for science literacy. Yes, nerd-crushes. Why the hell not? Smart, handsome, passionate and excessively well-spoken scientists. Hell yeah....sign me up!

First - The man whom I hold responsible almost entirely for my current fascination for all things science. Granted, I remember Carl Sagan a bit but I was only like 9 or 10 when the originally Cosmos aired and I did not have control over the remote control back then. But when Neil deGrasse Tyson entered the scene, that got my attention. Are you kidding, how could he not??? Look at him! You should not be allowed to look like that, be built like a football player *and* be that smart and articulate. He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium in NYC and hosts the show StarTalk on both radio and TV. Not to mention the reboot he did of the original Cosmos. And he's friends with Bill Nye The Science Guy. Enough said.
Next we have Brian Greene
He's a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and has just started a learning platform called World Science U that I mentioned in a previous post. The only man who could actually make me want to learn math. In my entire life, there is no one who could EVER make me willingly want to learn math. But then along comes Mr. Boyishly Handsome and suddenly...there's me with a pen, paper and a calculator. Dammit. He also co-founded The World Science Festival that I'm attending in June when I go to NYC. He is also co-director of the Columbia's Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics where he specializes in superstring theory.

Next could conceivably be one of my favourite people on the planet. Sexy, smart, hilariously funny, charming in his own unique way and to call him passionate about science would likely be an understatement. Lawrence M. Krauss was born in NYC but grew up in Canada before moving back to the States where he is currently at Arizona State University as Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Department as well as the director of the Origins Project. He's got more awards, recognitions, published works and books than I could even begin to put in a blog post (don't be lazy, go look them up...he's *everywhere*). I have enjoyed his rather rambunctious friendship with Richard Dawkins that has even been documented in a movie called "The Unbelievers" where they are attempting to promote science literacy and demonstrate that organized religion is ridiculous in the process. Sometimes by being funny and charming, occasionally by telling people what they believe is idiocy and once in a while, by being a delightfully and moderately cranky curmudgeon (usually that is saved for a particular religious moron that will not be named here).
Lastly, I have to give a shout out to his partner-in-crime Richard Dawkins. Brilliant British ethologist and evolutionary biologist, an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008. He has written acres of books although his best known are probably "The God Delusion" and "The Selfish Gene". Likely, one of the best known atheists around (aside from the late Christopher Hitchens), he has founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. And he's awesome. :)

And on that note, I will wrap this up for now. Lots more to come as I strive to be a better blogger as we rapidly approach 2016 and the new adventures, and the regular everyday life, that awaits. And I leave you with a bit of my photography, both taken at Couchiching Beach Park at sunset a while back.

Later taters,

~~ L.

Renew and Reset

If it should come to pass that anyone is actually still reading my blog after all the years I've been on will notice that the archive has been removed. In place of setting up a whole new blog, I've decided to clear it out. Over the last few years my view on the world has gradually been altering, though I have not really expressed it much on here. Here. it's been mostly just the same sort of thing that I used to post about back in the LiveJournal days. Fine for what it was, some of the stuff about the trips was fun but it's time to start anew.

I've left up the last couple of entries from this year, starting with losing one of our Toronto crew and her memorial. But going forward now, I'll be posting about the new things that have entered my life - new music, sexy and brilliant scientists, new friends and new adventures. We'll talk crazy politics, new organizations that I've gotten involved in and the general nuttiness that is life.

Much more to come...stay tuned.

“There is something pagan in me that I cannot shake off. In short, I deny nothing, but doubt everything.” -- Lord Byron