ZooLook – Smithsonian’s National Zoo

ZooLook #2 at the National Zoo!  I’ve been visiting zoos for years, and want to share my observations with the world.  My ZooLooks intend to do just that, examining interpretive materials, exhibits, and everything in between.  These opinions are entirely my own, and were made from the observations of only 1 visit.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo – Washington D.C.

Visit date: Wednesday, June 19th

Photo: An orangutan crossing into another habitat section via overhead cable, directly over the guest path.

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Great Words – Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida

Anderson Hall - Kansas State UniversityBray Hall - SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry

The second post of the poetry exploration is another Shakespeare (First one here). This one popped up on Tumblr, and I just found myself reading aloud (as Stephen Fry recommends/demands in his poetry book).  Ulysses and Achilles are discussing the worth of things and people in society, and Ulysses muses on actions and contributions to society.

Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
A great-siz’d monster of ingratitudes.
Those scraps are good deeds past, which are devour’d
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
As done. Perseverance, dear my lord,
    Keeps honour bright. Continue reading

Great Words – Shakespeare’s King Lear

I’ve embarked upon reading Stephen Fry’s book The Ode Less Traveled to improve my creativity and sensitivity with words.Book

The book is terrifying with my low confidence, and I am slogging my way through. He audaciously asks the reader to write poetry! How awful!  In the spirit of Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy: Dammit, Jim! I’m a biologist, not a poet!

Through this book, I’m reading plenty of great poetry (surprisingly, mostly British), and want to share what I find meaningful with the….internet.  Mostly just collect it somewhere to easily access and share if necessary.

The inspiration for this collection comes from this quote, a speech by King Lear in the play…wait for it…King Lear.  Lear’s daughters seek to remove the help and the luxuries of his home on the basis of him not needing it, and the King vehemently objects:

O, reason not the need! Continue reading

ZooLook – Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Welcome to my inaugural ZooLook!  I’ve been visiting zoos for years, and want to share my observations with the world.  My ZooLooks intend to do just that, examining interpretive materials, exhibits, and everything in between.  These opinions are entirely my own, and were made from the observations of only 1 visit.

Rosamond Gifford Zoo – Syracuse, NY

Visit date: Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day)

Rosamond Gifford Map

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Amtrak tips from a 30-day USA rail pass traveler

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I’ve just finished my 30-day, 12 segment USA rail pass from Amtrak, hitting Chicago, Syracuse, Boston, Portland, Trenton, and D.C.

3740 miles by train. 3740 long miles.

Hopefully these tips help a future 30-day rail tripper improve or avoid their own trip. Overall, I’m very happy with my trip, and thoroughly enjoyed travelling independently through the northeast. However, sometimes trains suck here in the States.

My itinerary: NEW-Kansas to CHI (Southwest Chief), CHI to SYR (Lakeshore Limited), SYR to BOS (Lakeshore), BON-Boston North to POR (Downeaster), POR to BOS (Downeaster), BBY-Boston Back Bay to TRE (Northeast Regional), TRE to WAS (Northeast), WAS to CHI (Capitol Limited), and CHI to NEW (Southwest).

Top Five Lessons of a Amtrak rail-pass (or Amtrak in general):

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