Keystone Pipeline Info

Response to “Oil Sands Effort Turns on a Fight over a Road”

                It is a very interesting to hear the different sides of the story. It seems like the oil companies think that the cats in the bag since they already shipped a bunch of pieces to Lewiston. My favorite part about the entire thing was when Mr. Laughy commented about legal and physical obstacles preventing the shipment from going through even if the court ruled in the oil companies’ favor. I will tell you that my opinion is that although it would boost our economy, most of the people in this area, myself included, and are much more connected to life and nature than our “economy.” I also feel that this is something I would like to help stop from happening as well I use that road at least a few times a year. It does seem really risky for the oil companies too but losing one package when you save enough to buy 50 more doesn’t speak much to a corporation because there goal is money and profit over anything else. The reality of the matter is that the oil companies will most likely prevail, they have they feet in a lot of doors and their money in a lot of people’s pockets. History very clearly shows us that 9 time out of ten (if not 9.5) the oil companies get what they want (just like the banks); from buying up patents on electric cars and super batteries to killing thousands of people and displacing tens of thousands more, they will do what it takes to make profit.  I myself did what I could to raise awareness about the keystone pipeline. While I was living in Moscow, Idaho they were shipping plenty of large (I mean HUGE) equipment pieces through the town. There were hundreds of protesters that tried to slow down every shipment. people in their cars would stop in intersections until cops dragged them out and towed there cars. It was pretty insane really, the amount of police that were escorting these large shipments (they barely fit through intersections and almost took out stop lights. It is interesting to see how the rest of the keystone project with unravel.  Here is the article I wrote this in response too

Man Made Oceanic Hazards


If we want to continue to enjoy our earth we need to treat it right

Human degradation and environmental impacts on our planet is the most primary thing we as humans

need to pay attention to if we do not want to completely ruin our planet and all its natural

resources. There are many different ways that we could help our ocean out by using clean, renewable energy, instead of fuel based, recycle more and many other little things

as well would help the ocean become less hazardous due to human impact. Some big human and environmental activities that have affected the ocean greatly would

be the impact from Fukushima, oil spills, trawling, and probably the biggest concern of all would be dumping trash into the ocean creating garbage patches on the surface of the water. 

Many people know that they should recycle and do what they can to help save our ocean, and the planet; however they dismiss many easy things they could do on a daily basis

because people believe that their life is too busy to incorporate extra activities into their day.

Also a lot of energy and resources that we use to make energy require oil, which is a big staple in our society today, even though it is less hazardous  and less wasteful of n

atural resources to use clean renewable energy sources.Image

                There are many things that are happening to the ocean, but they are mostly stemming from human impact and how we treat it. Human and environmental degradation to our oceanic system is what we need to focus on fixing now.  There are many hazards that have been placed in the ocean disrupting its natural system.  Some of the topics I covered are just a few that we humans have brought upon ourselves.

ComicCon San Diego 2013

My experience with the even was quite well. I was not expecting to go but my girlfriend got tickets for us from a costumer at her work. I enjoyed shuffling through the masses of people looking for something to bring them joy. There were quite a few people dressed up that is for sure. More could have dressed up at least a little more than casual. There were a few really good costumes out there that took constant upkeep. I was planning on possibly sticking out the 7 hour line to see metallica but decided that since I only had a one day pass I should probably just check out the main booths. I was surprised to meet Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, and Marina Sirtis. All from the cast of Star Trek The next Generation. I wandered around most of the time. After a few hours I left and checked out the downtown area. The buildings are clean and the streets are surprisingly clean considering most of the big city streets I’ve been too. There were still a lot of people all over the place, and lots of zombies, crawling on the wall and jumping around between cars. A large group of people were even attacked by a mob of zombies, a lot of people fled in panic and some just stood there in shock. It was exciting and we ducked into a bar. After wandering around the bar for a minute we realized it was open bar. So we started ordering drinks left and right! They also had splinter cell the new one all set up so a bunch of people were playing that. It all was rather interesting. After the open bar situation we left to return to the main center so that we could wait in line to watch the world premier of the justice league movie. It was epic.

The Tragedy of the Commons

Salmon river during fishing season near shoup, idaho

Salmon river during fishing season near shoup, idaho

The tragedy of the commons is a phenomena that occurs when people acting independently begin to use something more and more seeing that it has no end in sight until everyone is using so much that it is destroyed. What this means is that once somebody realizes something, everyone else usually comes to the same realization leading to an exponential flux of use until it is destroyed. I will break it down into a metaphor. Let’s pretend that there is a place where a lot of people walk by and one day there is a little earthquake. Soon enough people start to realize that there is some gold because little nuggets keep rolling out onto the street. So people decide to start digging around at night and taking the soil home to sift through, soon enough as friends told friends, and more people noticed, and told their friends, and before you know it the whole mountain was flattened and everybody was left with a bunch of dirt. The gold was never even there turned out to be iron pyrite and was perpetuated as gold by people who didn’t know any better. I would have to say that the tragedy of the commons is a situation occurrence that can usually be averted through balance and with proper balance and maintenance.

            When I think of the tragedy of the commons the first thing that pops into my head is ecotourism. I remember in class discussing various instances where this took place such as on Mount Everest.(1) Usually when some sweet place is discovered that was previously unknown or forgotten there is a stream of tourists that begin to come. What may start out as a refreshing little brook you can build your house on and have a flour mill with (to make a little money,) becomes a raging flood of tourists that leave behind a torrent of trash and a totally trashed sweet spot. This can be averted however, and you don’t even need to build a dam. If simple steps of green ecotourism can be followed then the area will be enjoyed for many generations to come. Proper maintenance and user awareness to simple principles such as those of leave no trace can easily prevent total environmental degradation due to the tragedy of the commons. It is clear that unattained spaces will become ruined if used by the commons. “Why are the cattle on a common so puny and stunted? Why is the common itself so bare-worn, and cropped so differently from the adjoining inclosures?”  In 1832 William Forster Lloyd, a political economist at Oxford was one of the first people to discuss this.(2)

Many people flood the riversides for a month or two out the year

Many people flood the riversides for a month or two out the year

I would say that public recreation settings can become a tragedy of the commons but only if there are no maintenance procedures or people to maintain the public sphere in which recreation is taking place. I would say that the tragedy of the commons can be generally applied to anywhere or anything that is accessible to the general public and or a large group of people. This first became apparent after the industrial revolution. “Housing in the growing industrial cities of new York, Chicago, and others could not keep up with the migration of workers from rural areas and other countries. Severe overcrowding resulted, and many people lived in filthy conditions that frequently led to outbreaks of disease and death.” (297) For example you could apply the tragedy of the commons to why our financial system is in shambles. First a few brokers and bankers (maybe even a mortgager) realize that they can skim a little off the top or trade debt for profit(wallst) and make a little money, no fuss, nobody notices. The only problem is that more and more financiers realize this little interest Ponzi game and so they keep skimming and skimming and the brokers keep inside trading and selling debt for profit until… Poof the global market crashes, whole countries’ economies fail, major banking institutions and corporate giants fail, and austerity measures are taken, banks and countries are bailed out and people keep trading and skimming like nothing happened. One thing I wonder… how you can bail out the whole planet after a few major currency crashes. That would truly be a tragedy of the commons.


Buildings get abandoned after the area is unused.



Sources Cited

(1) Dr. Stoll

(2)  got off the web on 12/5/11. Garrett Hardin 2008, The tragedy of the commons

(3) Russel R.V. (2005). Pasttimes the context of contemporary leisure, sagamore publishing

Leisure pt3 (what I do)

this was taken while I was hiking off trail

this was taken while I was hiking off trail

My main location that leisure has taken place for me would be in the wilderness. I have always had a history with the woods. My family’s history is rooted in the wilderness and the renewable resources it has to offer. I remember as a child collecting mushrooms and building bird houses out of scavenged tree parts and pine cone nodules. I believe that we are living in one of the more interesting points in human history thus far. As many call for disclosure of alien existence our world is on the brink of yet another globally involving war over a facade of false propositions perpetuated by the media so the banking giants can conglomerate the globe in totality, with every county being dragged into their international-debt-ponzi scheme.  I believe that recreation and leisure shouldn’t be the escape from daily routines. They are the foundation of what it is to be human. We are most definitely technologically advanced enough to eliminate 90-95% of manual labor in world today. There is no need for a “nine to five” in this day and age. Recreation and leisure should be our daily routine. This won’t make it any less special but rather will make our lives that much better. We can spend our time doing hobbies and getting involved in constructive activities and analytical games. If people were living in a society that was maintained by a system that actually cared and helped it’s participants, I am sure they would have no problem volunteering a few hours of their time a week towards maintaining the functionality of the society. The biggest opposition to this type of society is money. I would say that money is most likely the greatest threat we have to equality. Corporations are the most obvious sign of this, and although it is quite easy to blame the “big evil corporations,” it’s also easy to see what is driving their motives; profits. If the motive of a company was to provide the best services available in the most economical and efficient way, we would not have every major life affecting structure and system in decay or collapse.

I learned a lot about how the ancients recreated and the relation it has to how and why we recreate today. I had never considered that play had been debated and discussed so much in pastimes and was unaware of how similar games from ancient era’s are to games and sports we have today. The Sumerians are one of the most interesting peoples to study. It is the first time people recorded contacting being s from out of our world. The sports that they had such as boxing and kickball are very related to the boxing and kickball we play today, like soccer. that we play today. A lot of how we think about play and sports has changed over time although there does seem to be a theme. That people enjoy doing it and will never stop playing in one way or another. How it can be a defining factor for us as human beings in one way or another. I found it interesting in class how Dr. Stoll was able to continually reference fisticuffs in the different ancient and modern times. (1)

I would say that I like to enjoy the more recent sports developed around technology. Ranging from Downhill Mountain boarding to paragliding, although, I do enjoy chess quite often. I find chess to be my favorite past-time. My father and I would play it all the time as I was growing up and I became quite well at it, good enough to compete at state tournaments although I don’t do to well at the larger regional games. Chess has a very colorful history that possibly dates back as long as 0 AD. “The game of chess is thought to have originated in what is now northern India or Afghanistan sometime before 6OO AD: the oldest written references to chess date from then, but there are unverified claims that chess existed as early as 100 AD.” Chess is good for people and helps the brain with strategy planning and critical thinking. This is something that needs help with. According to Russell, “Considerable civic concern […] developed for imp for improving the intellectual capacity of Americans.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In retrospect it is easy to see how the recreation that I am involved in every day and my everyday actions are a result of a dynamic flow of events coming from a forgotten past. However, the clues that we uncover constantly remind us that after all this time we really haven’t traveled that far at all. This is especially true in relation to some of our fundamentally essential pursuits in life, such as recreation and sport. Whether it’s serious or just a hobby leisure and games resulting from “surplus energy” will exist in there many forms will continue to grow split and change while expanding in this ever-expanding universe.

Works Cited

Russel R.V. (2005). Pasttimes the context of contemporary leisure, sagamore publishing The history of Chess: 2001

Leisure pt2 (serious leisure)

Serious leisure is an activity that one invests much time and practice in. ImageThe implications of serious leisure upon one’s lifestyle is a dichotomy  of  pros and cons. Balance is important here as with any activity it can have a way of consuming other equally important aspects of life. Serious leisure does have the potential to intrude upon all aspects of intrapersonal as well as interpersonal life. Take for example someone who plays video games as a serious leisure activity. They could become so consumed by playing video games that all non-obligatory time is spent doing so. They might consider themselves a “gamer” and as Russell states, “For some people, leisure supplies the main source of personal identity and meaning in life.”(61) Time may even be taken out of sleeping schedules or time that would have been spent with other people who aren’t gamers. I will come back to this later.

                Serious leisure will naturally form daily habits structured around that activity. As one begins to participate and gain skill they will inevitably meet people who do the same activity. Hanging out with these new friends has increased the probability of participating in said activity therefore perpetuating a lifestyle centered on serious leisure. If your friends and family do not participate in the serious leisure then there is a high possibility that they will be distanced by the long-term commitment to a leisure pursuit. Most people engaged in serious leisure have made a commitment to learning and becoming an expert and enjoy sharing what they have learned to other people who may only be involved as a hobbyist. I agree with Russell in stating “But commitment in leisure is a matter of degree. In serious leisure we are perhaps referring to the highest degree of commitment.” (62) I think that it takes time for a leisure pursuit to develop from casual to serious. Somebody may participate for the first few times and find some reward or be a younger participant there only because of family or culture. Then they begin doing it as a hobby, learning the ropes and figuring out the short cuts and meeting others with secrets and hints. Once they decide to make a continued involvement and begin to self-identify with the activity it becomes a serious leisure pursuit.

                Risk is definitely something to address in serious leisure since it can become less obvious as one becomes familiar with an activity. It is true that risk may decrease as one becomes skilled however inherent risks are always present and may seem less threatening at times of importance. There are also many other types of risks that can come with any leisure activity and especially any serious leisure activity. Russell agrees by saying this on the matter; “We are not limited to considering the leisure quality of risk only on rock faces, on ropes courses, and in whitewater rapids. Other high-risk pursuits might include gambling, having a poem you’ve written read aloud to an audience, and baking a cake for friends using a new recipe.” (65)

                All in all I would say that there are many factors that can modify your lifestyle once you become involved in serious leisure. Of course the more risk that there is involved in the activity the more likely you are to get a feeling of excitement and a rush from the whole experience. It is important to always make sure you do not become to involved in a serious recreation activity as it can have a way of consuming one’s lifestyle. Most people aren’t serious leisure pursuers however the potential for an activity to become habit forming is always present. I think that there is a good chance that some people that take part in serious leisure activities could be considered addicted to that activity. As I was mentioning above about the gamer that was letting gaming time creep into other obligatory time. Gaming I think has become an addiction for many people in this day and age. I think that it is holding back a youth culture from finding themselves. I know of a lot of people that participate in gaming as a serious leisure pursuit. It is one of the pursuits that have little tangible benefits and has the potential to take over other equally important lifestyle decisions. It is so easy to get lost in a virtual world for days and even to the point of spending hundreds of hours playing one game. I think of those people that are religiously associated with world of Warcraft and other massive online multiplayer games. Although there are a few minor benefits to this activity they are few and far between. Like my mom always said… “too much of a good thing is bad.”

Works Cited

Russel R.V. (2005). Pasttimes the context of contemporary leisure, sagamore publishing

What is Leisure? (feel free to answer below!)

Beautiful IdahoOn my vacation I had some time to think about the act I was participating in, leisure. here are my notes. I had some very intuitive revelations into people’s ideas of leisure while conducting this trip and doing some reading on the topic. There were very different responses as to what leisure meant to the different people I spoke to. Most found it difficult to break down into a single word. The funniest answer I got was sleeping; I’m not sure which of the categories offered by Russell that this falls into, possibly leisure as a non-work pursuit.  A few people told me that “relaxation” was there definition while another said “adventure.” I found adventure to be one response that caught me off guard it is definitely free time that could possibly lead to comparative research.  All in all most of my responses seemed to perpetuate a specific state of mind or feeling of personal accomplishment.

Russell discusses various ideas about what leisure means and can mean to different people in different situations and cultures. Most of the responses I got go along with the discretionary time available after obligations. I would assume that while being employed leisure time does become more valuable and most likely more diverse as well. I have been unemployed most of my life so I have a different approach to leisure on a fundamental level I feel it to be what most of my life consists of.  I was interested to discover that a few of the experiences that some people would expect to have during their leisure time is quantifiable in a tangible way and contextual as a temporarily defined environment of cooperation between others. “Sports” was a response that I someone said and I was inclined to probe more but the person was in a hurry. Sports to me could almost be considered a special attitude and state of mind that inevitably leads to obligatory non-work pursuant time. There were some definitions in the book that, although I can understand, I cannot relate to such as literature. I could see music definitely being a form of leisure to me although I would not use that word to define it.

I asked one girl and her response was “time with friends.” I am not sure how well she understood the question though because she did not speak to much English and did not know the work leisure until she looked it up in her electronic translator. I am not sure how metaphysical you could consider my responses as being but they are closely related to specific states of mind such as satisfaction and “feeling good.” One of the other responses I got was “fun” which I thought was interesting since fun is more arbitrary to me than the typical responses of free-time and relaxing I was getting repetitively. I could see how leisure could be quite hard to define in one word. The idea of leisure for most of society is a relatively new concept as it is, and there are still a lot of people in this world that have very little or no leisure time at all. When I asked my room-mate this question his response was video games, although I am not totally surprised since his screen time is around 10-12 hours a day on avg. When I asked him to pick another word he chose Zen. Although it was not his original answer I feel that it is the best response that I got. The idea of Zen, to me, is like living and acting within the flow of natural life. I have tried to live a life of Zen, sometimes more than others, and I would say that there are an increase of particularly interesting phenomena that occurs from strange coincidences to issues being solved in unexpected and more beneficial ways than could have been planned. It is a very hard thing to do and most of the time the more obligatory time there is the harder it is to live in Zen or as most would define it a perpetual state of enlightenment and meditation.Springs in Idaho

One response I thought was particularly unique and that was reading. Reading is such a specific, private, and solitude activity that I would have never considered it to be considered a definition of leisure but it could be a form of serious leisure for them. One of the definitions offered up by Russell was that leisure was a state of mind. I think that for some of the responses, that definition lines up well. If I were to define leisure in one word I would use the word Life. To me leisure is the core of the true human experience. I totally agree with the idea that innovation occurs in leisure. I think that leisure allows us to connect with the metaphysical existence that is so intertwined into this world. It is the very essence that play is born out of and without it we would be spiritless and non-autonomic beings consistently trapped in obligatory state of quantified time.