Thursday, March 31, 2011

12 y/o Astrophysics Prodigy Challenges Big-Bang Theory

"...he's a little different. Jake, who has an IQ of 170, began solving 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzles at the age of 3, not long after he'd been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism. A few years later, he taught himself calculus, algebra, and geometry in two weeks. By 8, he had left high school, and is currently taking college-level advanced astrophysics classes—while tutoring his older classmates. And he's being recruited for a paid researcher job by Indiana University.
Now, he's at work on a theory that challenges the Big Bang—the prevailing explanation among scientists for how the universe came about. It's not clear how developed it is, but experts say he's asking the right questions.
"The theory that he's working on involves several of the toughest problems in astrophysics and theoretical physics," Scott Tremaine of Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Studies—where Einstein (pictured) himself worked—wrote in an email to Jake's family. "Anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize."
Read more HERE

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring is just around the corner

The sun is shining & birds are singing outside our window this morning. They're giving the illusion of a warm spring day - but - when I let Big Mak out....Brrrr!  Only then did I realize that it was actually 23 degrees out there!  But the sunshine and the birds are surely signs that spring is just around the corner - so this pic I rec'd via an email forward this morning seemed timely :)   

Friday, March 25, 2011

How do I wear thee? Let me count the ways!

While shopping in Cruz Bay on St. John I discovered Kariza Vintage Wraps. Each a unique and simply elegant design - basically a double layer/reversible/wrap-around "skirt" made out of vintage saris - colorful, luxurious fabrics in fabulous pattern combinations.   They come in short, medium and long lengths. I brought home one for each of our girls.  I knew they'd have a ton of fun manipulating them creatively into any number of the 100 different ways the tag (which doubles as an instruction manual),  boasts that one such wrap can be worn! 

I found this, among several other similar videos on youtube, illustrating the "how to" for some of the styles one skirt can be fashioned into.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

There's no app for this Pt IV - All stairs lead to home away from home

With stairs everywhere(!), Maho Bay is not for the faint of heart. Maho Bay Eco-Campground is a maze of elevated walkways - basically stairs & flats - designed to minimize soil erosion.   The journey from our first tent to the beach involved aprx 75 stairs - and from the beach to "camp central" (store/activities desk/shuttle stop ) required more like 150. The pics below illustrate why it's important to pack light and carry a backpack wherever you go with whatever you might need - which really isn't much - but it really stinks when you finally get to wherever you're going only to realize you forgot to bring what you wanted to have when you got there (ie camera, sunscreen, flashlight, etc.). 

No doubt I got winded now and then and certainly I could "feel the burn" but it was all quite addicting.   I kinda felt like a solar battery. As long as I was in the sun, I was being recharged (soaking it up like a sponge!) so all the physical activity required just to get around seemed more like fun/less like work - and not nearly so draining. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that we were exploring in the midst of what has to be one of the most beautiful corners of creation on the planet!  But, at any rate, I loved living in such a way that exercise was a way of life/living because I felt SO .... alive! And, much like a mouse in a maze, eventually I figured out that just like all roads lead to Rome, all stairs at Maho Bay lead to ...

.... one's home away from home.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

There's no app for this - Part III/Splendid Sunset

My husband loves to sail and while we were at St. John we enjoyed a sunset sail aboard the Heron - a big and beautiful sailboat that was handmade by its owners/captains in Maine .... a fantastic work of practical art! Each year the Heron sails down to the islands and the Husband/Wife Captains and their family live aboard it for the duration of their stay.  They have two girls that they've homeschooled over the years. I gather they finance their rather unique lifestyle, in part, by doing charter snorkel and sunset sails. Whatta life! We couldn't have asked for a better day or for better weather for our sail. In the end we were all the richer for the magnificent moments etched in our memories - a good investment :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

There's no app for this - Part II

It's been a loooong winter so when we went to St. John I wanted to be outdoors and in the sun as much as possible. Truth be told, we didn't sit still much. We were having too much fun swimming, walking, hiking, snorkeling, sailing, exploring and interacting with God's artwork! He has made the coolest things!!  If you don't mind getting wet, dive in here with me and check these out!

So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:21

There's no app for this....

We're back! And already I want to go back! ... to what has to be one of the most beautiful corners of creation in the entire world - Maho Bay, St. John.

A magical moment. 

Found the perfect spot to hang our hats & to hang out for awhile ourselves.

 I think I took this at Leister Bay. 
 I love it when my husband wears this hat. He works long and hard day in and day out to provide for our family - but when he's wearing this hat chances are we're together, outdoors, reeeaaallly relaxed, enjoying life and savoring the moment.

Our home away from home for most of our trip. But...

...we had reserved a room on St. Thomas for our last night thinking that by that time I'd be craving some creature comforts - namely a hot shower  - but in the end we didn't want to leave where we were so we asked if we could extend our stay. Low & behold we were given one of the best tents available ... one right above the water with both privacy and a spectacular view.   

You'da thought we died and went to heaven! 

Our neighbor stopped by .... what a friendly fellow.

Not sure if this is the same guy  - or not....but apparently he enjoyed the view as much as we did! 

To be continued....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


My husband & I had a great time with the girls in Boston last weekend. So glad they joined us in this 2nd "installment" of our year long 25th Anniversary Celebration.

We went ice skating on the Frog Pond on the Boston Common.

Then we warmed up over dinner and tea at an Asian (Malaysian, I think) Restaurant. 

And from there we headed to the Boston Opera House to see  Mary Poppins.

 She was practically a most delightful way!