Camping in Cuba

cuba

I ended this semester right by traveling to the boonies where my friend owns a quaint little cabin. It was hot in Cuba, NY but not nearly as hot as the real Cuba. I have to share my experience because the cabin was such an efficient use of space! There were 16 people having a blast in that cabin and there was still room for more.  The bathroom had a great shower, toilet, sink, soap, and there was a microwave, stove, oven, and fridge in the kitchen. There were bunk beds everywhere, a master bed, even more places to sleep upstairs, couches, a television with a gaming system, the list goes on…It was very organized. My friend said his grandpa bought the cabin years ago and fixed it up himself. They even added their own balcony to the second floor. The cabin was practically livable. A lot of thought and upkeep went into it, but the result was amazing.

Day one was spent decompressing from college finals. We played minecraft on the plasma and waited for people to arrive. Our second day was full of hackensack, singing, dancing, beatboxing, cajon and djembe drumming, guitar playing, and generally causing a ruckus. I encourage every one of you guys to get outside and enjoy the sun this summer. I won’t be missing the flying ants or creepy crawlies from Cuba but I can say memories were made.

Peace out. Jess

Spring Break

Check out this adorable sign from the maple farm! There are four within our region, some offering pancake breakfasts and horse-drawn sleigh rides through the maple trail. Mom asked if I wanted to go out when I arrived home from spring break, and I thought all I want to do is lay around and do nothing. But the maple farm is only open to the public twice a year, or so she said, and I have a total of 8 other days to sit around and watch t.v. When I called my job at the VA, they reported back about a hiring freeze. Freeze? Hiring? VA? They seemed to know little about it other than the fact I couldn’t come back. So here I sit- slouch rather- twiddling my thumbs over spring break. I’ve been outside a few times already. I even cracked a book. Best of all, I’ve blogged. Continue reading “Spring Break”

Storms

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Exhibit A: Picture of a microburst.

I was standing in front of the window of our small apartment. I could barely see it at my height. Perhaps it is one of my first memories. The sky was a purple and pink hue. It looked so pretty but Mom said there was a storm. You shouldn’t stand near a window in a storm. Continue reading “Storms”

Bioluminescent Algae

I went to see Moana with my family shortly after it came out. My sister will tell you that I keeled over laughing at the part where the crab says, “Oh I see, you used a barnacle covered in bioluminescent algae as a deception!” I can’t tell you why I cracked up. The truth is I’m not really sure why. Maybe I was surprised that a crab recognized the bioluminescent algae and barnacle as part of his environment, or that he pronounced algae the same way my biology professor did all semester.

tamatoa

Continue reading “Bioluminescent Algae”

Why Environmentalism

Interview with Ryan McPherson:

Above is a short clip of my interview with Ryan McPherson at UB.

I recently interviewed Ryan McPherson, Chief Sustainability Officer and former Assistant Vice President for Government Relations at the University at Buffalo (UB). McPherson earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire as well as a doctorate of law from UB. He has received many awards for his community involvement and public outreach as an environmental advocate.

Continue reading “Why Environmentalism”

Exploding Lakes

lake-kivu
Lake Kivu of Rwanda is among the world’s 10 naturally deadliest lakes.

Watching these calm waters from afar, an onlooker would be completely unaware of the toxins that dwell under the surface. Only a few lakes in the world, like Lake Kivu, are sitting on top of inactive volcanoes. Hidden magma pools expel bubbles of CO2 into the lake that can build into massive pockets of gas at the bottom of the lake. Seasonal lake turnover then turns into a deadly event. Many scientists have studied the tragedy that occurred at Lake Nyos in Cameroon. Continue reading “Exploding Lakes”

How to Deal with Pests

the gray squirrel
I present you one of the top 10 invasive species in the entire world: The Gray Squirrel

Can herbicides be good? When I think herbicide I think about white powder that burns your fingers when you touch it. Not good. Herbicides aren’t selective on what they destroy. On the other hand, the plants you want to keep could always be re-planted after the invasive species are eradicated. So why bring up herbicides? Continue reading “How to Deal with Pests”