Mt. Whitney: Shepherd Pass to Whitney Portal

Mt. Whitney Trip: 2 September-5 September 2005
Distance: Approx. 42 miles
Elev. Delta: Approx. 30000’
Party: Phil Gardiner, Jon Lowe, Mike Clem, John Harper, Ellen Lizzio, Tom Lizzio, Patty Harper, Rick Harper

In 2005, after more than nine years of hiking the east side of the Sierras, among other locales, we finally ascended the tallest peak in the continental U.S.: Mt. Whitney. At 14,995′, Mt. Whitney can be accessed in a number of ways: we chose the hardest. No, not the Mountaineer’s trail, East Buttress, nor the col between Whitney and Russell, but the 42-mile, 4-day, 30,000 vertical foot hike, over the last (for me) of the “Fearsome Foursome” passes in the Eastern Sierras. Continue reading “Mt. Whitney: Shepherd Pass to Whitney Portal”

Sawmill–>Taboose: The Fiercest

In the last week of August, 2003, Barry Bowman, John and I bagged two of the “Fearsome Foursome” passes in the Eastern Sierra (see map).


As Marc Cohn would intone in “Perfect Love,” “it was right before the fall.” You can read about that in another post, but for us it was an opportunity to throw ourselves against the true east Sierra experience. I remember it fondly to this day. Continue reading “Sawmill–>Taboose: The Fiercest”

Interactive Storybooks and hotSpotLUT() XFCN

This is the script that started us down the path of understanding how to work in the virtual world of code. When a user clicks on the screen, she expects the computer to react. Originally, HyperCard did not provide transparent buttons, or buttons to which images or movies could be assigned. Given our design imperative of immersing the user in a virtual environment, we created graphics and movies and overlaid them with “hot spots.” Continue reading “Interactive Storybooks and hotSpotLUT() XFCN”

The Struggle for the High Kingship in Twelfth Century Ireland

Thirty years ago I graduated from U.C. San Diego. My wife and I both attended at the same time, and we had two pre-schoolers. We were much hardier then, and perhaps a bit more naive. I had been studying chemistry in one form or another since AP Chemistry at S.F.B. Morse High School in tenth grade, and at U.C.S.D. I found myself in one of the toughest programs I had ever experienced. Continue reading “The Struggle for the High Kingship in Twelfth Century Ireland”

Machiavelli’s Discourses

To my wife, Patricia

A Source Analysis of Machiavelli’s Discourses

Orig. prepared for Dr. John Marino, Assoc. Prof., History, UCSD.

“When I leave the grove, I go to a spring, and from there into my aviary. I have a book in my pocket, either Dante or Petrarch or one of the minor poets, as Tibullus, Ovid, and the like. I read about their tender passions and their loves, remember mine, and take pleasure for a while in thinking about them…In the evening…I enter into the ancient courts of ancient men, where, being lovingly received, I feed on that food which alone is mine, and which I was born for; I am not ashamed to speak with them and to ask the reasons for their actions; and they courteously answer me. For four hours I feel no boredom and forget every worry…I give myself completely over to the ancients.”

Continue reading “Machiavelli’s Discourses”

VSEPR Theory

This script is from the VSEPR Theory module of “The Visualization of the Abstract in Chemistry” series. This example of coding was significant because it allowed us to simulate an electron, or series of electrons, exhibiting repulsive behavior on the computer screen. Students could add electrons, up to three, and the program, following the Law of Sines and Cosines, calculated the position of a small, masked bitmap graphic that represented an electron. Continue reading “VSEPR Theory”