I took lots of photos on my trip to the Pinnacles·, but I don’t think it’s possible to capture the magnitude of these rocks and caves, at least not with my cheap and obsolete digital camera. Here’s me under a giant boulder that gradually settled into this canyon as it was chisseled away by flowing water, and a view of the rock formations on high. The pinnacles were formed by a volcanic eruption millions of years ago. The peaks were originally three times as tall and spanned a major fault line between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates; now half of the mountains have moved down near Los Angeles and the other half are in the bay area.
For my local California readers, here are a few things I’ll be doing in my last few days here, please join me!
- Thursday, November 20, 2003, 7-9pm: Modern Times Indie Press Party·. Here are the details:
Modern Times Bookstore is having an Indie Press Party to celebrate the release of McSweeney’s Issue 12. The event will feature readings by an array of writers from Issue 12, including Julie Orringer, Ben Ehrenreich, Shann Ray, Salvador Plascencia. Additionally, because McSweeney’s is the Independent Press of the Month, all McSweeney’s titles will be 25% off at Modern Times during the month of November.
Thursday, November 20
Indie Press Party for McSweeney’s Issue #12
Modern Times Bookstore
888 Valencia Street at 20th Street
Ph: (415) 282-9246
- Friday, November 21, 2003, 7pm or 9:35pm: Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil· at the Castro Theatre·. This is a fantastic film—see Jonathan Rosenbaum·’s brief review· for more info. Let me know if you’re interested in coming, and if so, which time works better for you.
- Saturday, November 22, 2003 evening: Pub Crawl. I don’t know much about this, but everyone seems to be doing it. So come along.
- Sunday, November 23, 2003 5pm: farewell cocktails at my place in the Mission. I’ll be leaving the next morning, and would love to see everyone who I’ve met here. Just stop by at 3646 20th Street after 5pm. It probably won’t go so late as it’s a work night and I have to pack and go the next morning. But do come!
Cardea· looks like a really cool invention. It’s a three-armed robot with a Segway Human Transporter· for a foot. It’s an MIT AI Lab project·—see the Project Page·. I mention it here—(1) because it looks pretty nifty, but (2) it’s a good reminder of the innovation that occurs in academic institutions, where — arguably — the typical intellectual property ownership incentive to create is at least limited. I’m wondering if the device is ever released whether there will be patent problems—will Cardea have to license the Segway from Dean Kamen·?
Incidentally, the Dean Kamen info page includes this clever little Q & A:
How do I contact Dean Kamen directly?
Unfortunately you cannot contact Dean directly.
(this entry also marks the birth of a new weblog topic, technology)
I attended a Matt Gonzalez for Mayor· party tonight, one of 100 such parties happening in 30 days·. Although Matt wasn’t there, I was struck by the energy and enthusiasm of the volunteers and attendees. Several independent artists and publishers spoke, and some who had little income and had never given money to any candidate said they were giving the maximum amount permitted under law this time. The Indymedia· founder spoke about Matt’s commitment to the public interest in media and communications issues, including the upcoming renewal of the cable franchise for San Francisco.
I was impressed with Gonzalez when I saw him riding on the Critical Mass ride here a couple of weeks ago. I also recently noticed he has a profile in Friendster· (account required), with lots of friends. I was wondering if the Friendster profile was for real, so I googled for “Matt Gonzalez” Friendster and to my surprise got my own weblog back as the top hit.
So Matt gets my vote. It’s been a long time since a major American city had a truly progressive mayor. This may be our best shot yet. Sign me for Bloggers for Matt.