Octopus stinkeye

I see you, too

I see you, too

A shifty octopus trying to get away from me on a dive off Unawatuna, Sri Lanka.

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Gone fishing (metaphorically)

Atlantic guitarfish

Atlantic guitarfish

I am again putting the blog on hiatus (as if it wasn’t already de facto). I expect to be swamped with work, submissions and field visits in the next few months.

Before I do, I leave you with an unposted photo from Panama’s Bocas del Toro from 2012. Hello guitarfish, a ray that looks like a shark. This one might be an Atlantic guitarfish, which is near threatened, though IUCN geographic extent data suggest it doesn’t get that far south.

I’ll fire it up again when I have something more to say (I’m sure either of my governments will do something silly to rile me up into punditry) or when I decided to develop a better rhythm to blog.

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Delhi’s winter finery

My favorite flower

Across Delhi, much is dreary — dust, fog, dust, just enough cold to kill off most of the flowers. But the bougainvillea are still out which makes me happy.

Note: The colored leaves are just that, leaves. The flowers are small, tiny and white inside the leaves.

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A tasty welcome back to Delhi


Back in India for a lot of different purposes, including but not limited to my own wedding. But beyond family, friends and finishing schoolwork, there’s also food. And oh is there a lot of food.

Pet bhar gaya.

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Food sovereignty in her back “yard”

Urban development + food security

Today is World Food Day, a day noted by food sovereignty+security+justice organizations from the U.N. FAO down to the smallest community co-op. It’s one of these international “days” when we’re all supposed to pay attention to the plight of the millions upon millions of people across the world (and yes, in the U.S., too) whose lives are poorer for their lack of ready access to good, healthy food.

Of course, in the U.S., most of us, myself included, let such days pass without notice. And in reality, a “day” of recognition is a rather artificial way of tackling a problem.

But nonetheless, the grad school hippy in me finds the exercise worthwhile. So I’ve been pondering the above photo, of a mother from Kibera, a sprawling slum of Nairobi. I met her October 15, 2009, when I spent a few weeks in Kenya talking to people about water and environment and health (and also lions and zebras). That’s her youngest on her back, her family’s clothes on the line, and importantly, her primary source of fresh greens growing out of a gunny sack on the ground behind her.

The soil in Kibera is compacted and often toxic from waste/chemical leeching, as the information on https://www.sandandstonelandscapes.com.au/ says. And space is at a premium, so any kind of local ag has to adapt. Yet in back “yards” across the slum people have taken to growing basic roots and greens in makeshift gardens.

In the face of a globalizing world food system that delivers grocery stores full of processed foodstuffs to us in the Global North, here a marginalized peasantry (displaced to megacities) still manages to respond with their own alternatives. Contained within this picture is a powerful and yet humbling critique of industrialized food that we who have plenty need to hear.

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Teen budhdiman bandar

Gandhi's totem

Apologies. I don’t have time these days to blog. Research is good, but vork, vork, vork.

But every now and then I think back to my folders of unpublished photos. Here’s one to dwell on, whatever your interpretation. A favorite aphorism-turned-statuette for Gandhiji.

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Qutub’s towering past and my Dilli pigeons


The blog has been on a month-long hiatus, the result of my end-of-semester workload and then a rapid departure from D.C. We’re back in action, though probably less frequently, as I’m on the move for the summer, working and researching overseas.

The above picture dates to my trip to India in December-January. My favorite Delhi flocks over my favorite Delhi landmark.

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Big, bad barracuda

Swarming at Dixon's Pinnacle

The last of my divemaster training series from the Andaman Islands. It’s about time, as I finished DM more than a year ago. *sniff*

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Heads up, barracudas

Hundreds of them riding the current

Great barracuda, hovering above Dixon’s pinnacle…

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Clownfish giving me the stink-eye…

Waiving in the current

A tiny clownfish stares down a giant diver.

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