Monday, March 28, 2011

I love Technology

I went to the Exploratorium in San Francisco this weekend and it was pretty sweet. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's like a science museum, but one where you get to try everything out. It's hard to explain, but it's like a ginormous playground that explains and gives examples of many different principles of science. Joe and I went Saturday and we spent about two and a half hours there and only saw about 2/3 of the exhibit. It cost 12 bucks with a student ID, but I would recommend it to anyone in the area who enjoys science or museums or learning or a good time or all of the above.

Being there reminded me about just how much I love science, especially when it doesn't require you to calculate anything or show your work. Ever since I was young, I have been intrigued by science and have loved to see how it applied in the world around me. Now I am a grown man and I am most definitely no physicist or chemist, but there are many out there trying to gain a better understanding of the workings of the universe. Einstein and Hawkings are freaks of nature, but thanks to them and the things they observed, we now have a better understanding of the world/universe around us. While I will likely never understand the principles the same way that they understand them, I nevertheless am benefited by their efforts through the progression of science and technology and I am continually intrigued by the ideas and principles they and other scientists present.

All this thinking about science reminded of this video about quantum physics I saw awhile back. It shows how little we understand the basics of science and specifically how little we understand about quantum physics and particles. It's about 5 minutes long and the animation is a little cheesy, but I promise that it is worth watching.


I think that scientific anomalies, like that shown in the video, are very complex on the surface and yet underlying them all are some very simple and clear principles by which everything is ruled. Whatever the situation is, I know that I am intrigued and love to learn about stuff like this.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A message of hope.

This post, like so many before it, begins with a story about a boy and a girl...

Last Friday I was texting up a storm, and during a conversation with a girl who goes to San Jose State something was said that shook the foundation of my world. Here is the pertinent part of our conversation.

Me: How do you feel about about college basketball?
Her: Never been to a game before
H: I'm down with going though
M: What?! Never been to a game? Well I assume you still know what March Madness is?
H: Um of course...What is it?

This is kind of how I felt...

 Initially I was shocked. Then I felt a little bit betrayed. Finally, I felt pity.

One of my peers, a college student, had never heard of March Madness. The single biggest (and greatest) college sporting event had somehow slipped by this girl and she had gone on living her life in ignorant bliss, thinking her life was complete. I felt impelled to, at a minimum, explain to her just what an amazing thing she was missing out on. I don't think she realized just how amazing it is, but I did what I could, I shared with her what I knew to be good and true.  March Madness rarely fails to a highlight of my year, so I cannot understand how a person's life could be complete without it...

This year has been no exception. For the most part the games have been nail-biters, the upsets have been many (and surprising), my bracket has been busted (still hoping my Gators can pull it off), and March Madness on Demand has allowed me and and millions of other responsible Americans to watch each and every game while at school or work on our laptops.

It has been an amazing ride thus far, and from experience I know that the last 7 games will not disappoint. For millions of Americans, the only problem with March Madness emerges once the champion has been decided, because, well, then what? There is no replacement, there is no substitute for the joy and excitement provided by March Madness and that is when the true "madness" begins. It's like being addicted to Oxycotin and trying to replace it with gummy bears. They are good, but not any kind of a substitute**. For me personally, I have never had a problem because baseball season usually starts within a day or two of the end of March Madness. But for the majority of Americans, baseball just doesn't cut it. And while the playoffs for both the NBA and NHL follow relatively close behind, we all know that they are sad and unrealistic substitutes. People try to find things to fill the void in their lives, but day-time dramas, court-room tv, and brownie fudge shakes physically cannot do the job. As a result there are sharp increases in depression, insanity, boredom, gambling debt defaults and obesity all across America.

It is a problem, and I don't know what the answer is. But it might  be as simple as picking up a good book, or by watching all 6 seasons of Lost in one month, or by simply using those hours spent focused on basketball by focusing instead on your family, friends, or even work. I hope you are able to deal with the withdrawals in an effective manner and that the "madness" doesn't drive you to hurt yourself or do something crazy. If you need any help or support, I am here for you, I will be a shoulder for you to cry on and a friend for you to vent to. But most importantly, I will teach you to love the game of baseball and permanently overcome the low in your life that is post-March Madness. 

** I am not addicted to prescription drugs if that's what you're thinking.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Switzerland

I could write at least 20 pages concerning my adventures in Switzerland for those 8 blessed days that I was able to visit, but instead I'll just leave you with two sentences:

1- Switzerland was amazing, miraculous, and expensive.
2- Returning to law school and responsibility in America is only one of those things, you guess which one.

Really tho, here are some pictures and uncut/unedited/low quality videos from our trip to show the highlights of the trip (anyone know an easy way to post HQ videos to a blog?).

Sledding in the Alps
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Meeting our Swiss Families
Jo and I decided to go to church at the little Mormon branch in Interlaken and were both certain we would have a unique experience there, but if you told us that we would end up becoming friends with two families in the branch and staying with them for four of our eight nights in Switzerland we would have called you crazy. But that, nevertheless, is exactly what happened.

The Stussi family showed us around Interlaken Sunday afternoon and then had us over for some great Swiss food and let us hang out with them for the evening. Their son Terrance then extended his home to us and let us stay with him at his apartment in Bern for two nights.
The Kaufmann family invited us to come to Grindelwald for the day to hang out with their family and see what little ski towns in Switzerland are all about and then extended the invitation to stay at their chalet that they owned and rented out to visitors.
The Matterhorn
The food
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The beauty of the country
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The train rides
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The good times
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It was an amazing trip, and I honestly feel like I was supposed to go there. It sounds kind of cheesy, but I really feel like I was able to go to Switzerland for a reason. I'm not exactly sure what that reason is, but I do know that I made some amazing friends, saw some amazing sights, and realized again that God lives and loves me...now I just need to find a way to get a summer law internship there and soon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Madness

If you could marry one sport, which would it be?

Basketball, competitive eating, golf, skiing, football, soccer, baseball, skateboarding. tennis, poker, billiards, bowling, badmitton, croquet, snowboarding, rollerblading, or hacky-sack?  

My initial reaction to this question would be by responding with baseball. Baseball is my love and from April to October, baseball is my life.

With that said, I have a confession to make. I may be cheating on baseball due to my current infatuation with College Basketball. Not only do I love following  my teams (Utah State, Florida, and Jimmer Fredette), but I love watching almost any college basketball game. This love makes the month of March especially wonderful. For starters, March has always been one of my favorite months since it is the month of my birth and because it marks the coming of spring. But over the past 10 years or so I have come to love it even more because of March Madness and the NCAA tournament. And about a week and a half ago I got my first taste of the bliss that is March Madness.


My Utah State Aggies played the Saint Mary's Gaels at Moraga, which happens to be about an hour and a half away from where I am living. I went with my brother and his son and we arrived about 30 minutes before tip-off. When we got there I noticed four things: 1- the gym was tiny, I felt like I was in a high-school or church gym (I think it seats around 3,500); 2 - there were almost no open seats in the general admission section; 3 - there were approximately 30 other Utah State fans sitting together on the other side of the court; and 4 - St. Mary's had the least attractive cheer leaders I had ever seen. Period.

We ended up finding some seats on the first row of general admission, right behind the students. This was potentially the worst place we could sit in the off-chance that the Gaels would beat the Aggies, and for awhile when the Aggies were down by about 10, we got a lot of yells, screams, and celebrations right in our faces. During those few minutes, it got pretty loud in that place and I was impressed with the amount of noise the crowd made. And that means something since I came from Utah State where the Spectrum is known to have one of the best, loudest, and most intimidating fans in the Nation.

Luckily my Aggies came back strong in the second half and beat the Gaels real good on their own court. It looked for a minute like the Gaels were going to mount a comeback with a few minutes left on the clock, but this amazing dunk by Brady Jardine shut up their offense and their crowd...it was so freaking amazing!




In the end the Aggies won by double digits, got a solid win against a solid opponent, and put themselves in a good position for the NCAA Tournament. And I got to gloat and bask in sweet, sweet victory as defeated Gael fans walked past, with heads low, not daring to look me in the eye. It was honestly the best game I have ever been to. I can't even begin to describe the rush that being in hostile territory and gaining a victory like that can give you, but just know that it was awesome.

Now I've just got to hope the Aggies don't make any stupid mistakes so that I get to watch them and 64 other great college basketball teams fight for the title....oh how I love March Madness!