Visiting Monterey and Santa Cruz

A brief description of one of the most amazing aquariums in the universe.

Today we took my mother to visit Monterey Bay Aquarium and Santa Cruz Wharf.

As far as I’m concerned, Monterey Bay Aquarium is the best aquarium in the universe. It’s amazing! If you ever get a chance to visit it, you have to go. If they ever put the seven wonders of the world to vote, I’ll serously consider casting my ballot for this attraction. It is simply breathtaking.

After spending four hours in the aquarium, we were quite ready for supper at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (yes, like in Forrest Gump). It was pretty neat, and the food was good. We even got our picture taken with a Forrest Gump impersonator!

Finally, we visited the Santa Cruz Wharf at the north end of Monterey Bay. It was pretty neat, although the sea lions weren’t too frisky.

Overall, it was a pleasant day spent roaming Northern California.

More On The Madhouse Called San Francisco

“San Francisco is a mad city, inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people…” Rudyard Kipling

I found out I’m not alone in my opinions about San Francisco’s sanity. No less an authority than Rudyard Kipling is squarely in my corner: “San Francisco is a mad city, inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people…”

Kenny Worthley (a friend from Springfield) wrote in with a marvelous observation: San Francisco seems to be confused about pot and pots. I quote:

“My questions is: what if you were on pot, medically necessary of course, and need to use the pot, but were not in a spot with a pot because you were growing pot on a public lot? You would have to put down your pot, run to another pot spot, and privately poop.

So here is the scoop on poop — I think you should be able to claim medicinal pot pooping — so you could publically poop on the spot in a pot lot.”

Well said, Kenny: that would make an excellent letter to the editor!

Acting Like Tourists in San Francisco

Visiting Fisherman’s Wharf and the Exploratorium.

We took my mom to do the tourist thing in SF today: we took the Cal Train from Palo Alto into SF, and then the Muni buses (which take forever) to Fisherman’s Wharf (overrated), the Exploratorium (San Fran’s best‐rated museum), and a Blue and Gold Bay Cruise (there were so many people we could barely see anything, and the noise from the engine drowned out the audio presentation for a good portion of the tour). We ate lunch at the Expo Family Restaurant (no website), and at the Rain Forest Cafe (which was quite an adventure: the food was decent, but the atmosphere was excellent)!

We also had a chance to drop by Ghirardelli Square (yes, like the chocolate company). It’s a mall area, but they do prominently feature chocolate! Very tasty.

What Rhymes With Orange?

Hilary Price, nationally syndicated cartoonist, majored in English at Stanford.

I just ran across this fact on The S‐Files: the author of the nationally syndicated comic strip Rhymes With Orange is a Stanford alumnus!

That’s right: Hilary Price graduated from Stanford in 1995 with a degree in English. She sold her first cartoon to the San Francisco Chronicle for $35.

What Should Christians Think About Illegal MP3s?

It’s clear that most of today’s students view music as a fundamental right. It should be as free as oxygen: indeed, for most of our lives it has seemed that it is. Anywhere there’s oxygen, there tends to be music!

As such, when the MP3 file format, file‐sharing technologies, and the CD‐Burner all converged to create massive repositories of free music (and movies), it was a veritable gold mine for college students.

Should Christians participate? For a provocative answer, check out the Robin Hood complex.

San Francisco is a Madhouse

San Francisco is a crazy, pot‐loving place with poor public health standards.

On a non‐Stanford related note, this area is a madhouse. San Francisco is planning to vote on whether to grow pot (marijuana) on public lands. This is because Proposition 215 legalizing medicinal marijuana hasn’t flown at all with the federal government. I suppose the city figures that if they grow the pot on public lands the DEA is less likely to come in and arrest government employees.

Advocates say that this legislation has the additional benefit of providing job training for the unemployed. Training unemployed people to grow and distribute drugs just doesn’t seem like a helpful social strategy to me…

This, of course, is the same city that just now made it illegal to poop in public, and the decision was hotly contested. No joke.

In my mind, not pooping in public is just basic courtesy (not to mention good public health policy).

Stanford Hosts Major Sporting Events

In another demonstration of Stanford’s worldwide influence, Stanford just hosted the 2002 World Pentathalon Championships and is currently hosting the Bank of the West tennis championship featuring players such as Venus Williams, Monica Seles,and Anna Kournikova.

To top it all off, Stanford will be the location of several of the 2012 Olympic games, should San Francisco win its bid to host them. In particular, swimming, diving and archery, track and field, softball, badminton and the pentathlon. Plus Stanford would be the site of the opening and closing ceremonies. Read a related article here.

Know Any Christian Entrepeneurs?

A link to a fascinating article about the responsibilities of Christian businesspeople on

I just ran across this neat article on called Christian Entrepeneurs Should Finance Kingdom Work. Love the article, but he didn’t list the names and phone numbers of any Christian entrepeneurs. 🙂

It sort of reminds me of the content on The Haversham Leadership Forum, although he also focuses on specific ways in which Christian businesspeople should be different from their secular counterparts (and seems to be developing an online church for Christian businesspeople. Sadly, he doesn’t list any contacts either. 😉

Supper with Stanford/MIT Physicist Ray Cowan

Our enlightening conversation with an illustrious member of the Stanford research community.

We had supper tonight with Stanford physicist Dr. Ray Cowan (also check his work homepage). He’s another person God has connected us with. Ray is on the advisory board for Stanford Chi Alpha, and is a nice guy to boot.

I say he’s a Stanford physicist, but it’s a little more complicated than that: he’s actually paid by M.I.T. yet works at the Stanford Linear Accelerator. Evidently there are only three or so real sites in the world you can do high‐energy particle physics at (SLAC is one, Fermi is another, and CERN is the last of the really big ones). So many of the people who work at these research facilities are actually research physicists for institutions in other parts of the world. Interesting, no?

Ray’s a pretty neat guy: his hobbies include reading, geology, ham radio, local history, generic outdoorsy type activities, and serving as a volunteer reserve police officer when he gets the chance (he’s had to stop that because of his research schedule).

Also, Ray shared a unique method of calculating a 25% tip with me. Multiply the pre‐tax bill by 10 and divide it in half 3 times. That comes out to be the same as 10/8 (or 125%) and is pretty easy to calculate. How cool!

Finally, Ray informed that it would indeeed be possible to cook a chicken using the Stanford dish, so I’ll have to pass that on to Andrew and Kwasi as an add‐on to our discussion about it.