The Life and Times of a Curious Conservationist

including environmentalism, explorations, and any extraordinary thoughts that occur along the way

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First-ever national survey reveals what americans want from public transit


This is an excellent study on transit perceptions across our nation! Sometimes I wonder why much of America finds it so difficult to get behind real, connected, public transit systems…but this study shows that reliable public transit IS important to people!

Originally posted on TOD News:


Three design firms are competing for the future Mesa City Center design. The team of Otak and Mayer/Reed (image) propose preserving mature downtown trees on islands in a water setting emulating Mesa's history of canals.A first-of-its-kind study about attitudes toward transit use in the U.S. was released today by TransitCenter, a philanthropy committed to improving transit through innovation. The study – Who’s on Board: The 2014 Mobility Attitudes Survey – reveals that Americans from regions coast to coast think about and use public transit in remarkably similar ways.  The report is the first to compare rider and non-rider attitudes by age, income, education, family status and ethnicity, and to examine both cities and suburban areas across various regions of the U.S.

“We commissioned this survey to take a deeper look at the public attitudes which are propelling recent increases in transit ridership,” said Rosemary Scanlon, Chair of TransitCenter and Divisional Dean of New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. “As Millennials begin to take center stage in American life and the Baby Boom generation confronts retirement, both the transit industry and the…

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A crisp fall day

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New poll! What do you like most about autumn?



Why am I always cold?

I’ve been sadly absent from writing over the past few months as I transitioned into my new job (and of course, spent time at the beach over the summer), so I apologize for not writing. I’m a terrible blogger, but I knew that starting out.


My jack-o-lantern from last year!

Today, I am both happy and distressed to say that it is only 57 degrees outside…fall weather is officially here! Unfortunately for me that means we’re entering the half of the year during which I AM NEVER WARM.   I’m generally cold all of the time, but at least during the summer I can step out on my balcony to warm up a bit.  In the fall and winter, that only makes it worse.  I have to survive with three pairs of slippers (yes, at the same time), sweaters and blankets.  It doesn’t help that my roommate is always hot, so she doesn’t tolerate keeping the apartment warm(er).

However, autumn also brings lots of things I love: pumpkins, pretty leaves, not sweating every time I step outside, pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, cozy scarves and sweaters.  Mostly pumpkins though.  And pumpkin-flavored baked goods.

So with that short post, I’d better get started on my real work…but before I go, one quick bit of exciting news: I’m starting a side-business as a dogwalker!  I can’t afford a puppy of my own, so I’ve decided this is a good compromise until I can.  You can check out my profile here and let me know if you’re interested!

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Why Are Adults Excluded From Easter Egg Hunts?



I ask this question, not out of jealousy (I swear), but really just out of curiosity.  I understand why there is an age cap on egg hunts, because older children and teens don’t want to share their candy (who can blame them?).  If they were all allowed to participate they’d run around and grab all of the eggs and the little ones wouldn’t get any.  In that case, it’s good to have an age cap on the event.

But seriously, it’s different for adults.  We’re grown-up enough to play nicely with the toddlers that are waddling around the grass hunting eggs.  We know that we should leave the easy, obvious ones for them.  But why should that mean that we can’t hunt the more difficult eggs?

As a young adult, living in a city where none of my family are located, being excluded from Easter egg hunts presents an unfortunate situation for me.  I want candy for Easter just as much as the next kid.  But I can’t hunt eggs, and I have no family here to exchange Easter baskets with.  And going out and buying my own candy to eat is just depressing.  So here I am, three days from Easter, chocolate-less.

Godiva-Foil-Wrapped-Milk-Chocolate-BunnyMeanwhile, I know for a fact that one of my friends (who shall remain nameless) has already conned her mother into buying her approximately 8 Godiva chocolate bunnies, none of which has made it to Easter.  I guess you can do that when you’re still in high school and living at home…

So why do people think it’s so inappropriate for adults to hunt eggs?  After all, we’re all just kids at heart, and everyone loves that rush you get when you find a particularly well-concealed Easter egg.  It’s the same feeling you get when you locate that thing you’ve been missing for weeks, only you don’t have to spend weeks panicking over what happened to your chapstick (or TV remote, or watch, or flash drive).

Maybe next year I’ll organize an adults-only egg hunt.  Now the only question is: Who will hide the eggs?

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5 Reasons You Should Never Settle


Some really interesting thoughts here…I’ll be thinking hard about this article for a while.

Originally posted on James Michael Sama:

As I sit here to write this article, I’m in our hotel room overlooking the beach. The waves sound so close you feel like you can put your hand out the window and touch them. My girlfriend is making coffee. Her tanned skin is accentuated even further by the stark white walls. The rays of sun are coming through the blinds signaling a new day has begun. Michael Bublé is permeating the room from my laptop speakers.

Next to me on the table is this month’s copy of Esquire, the cover of which is beckoning us with “84 Things A Man Should Do Before He Dies.” And I sit here thinking to myself – no matter how many failures I face or how hard life becomes, I refuse to settle.

You can settle for less than you deserve in many areas of life. A job you can’t stand going to…

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The Ramifications of Taking Risks (aka: my new haircut is awesome)

I went out on a limb this Saturday and cut off most of my hair.  It’s now shorter than it has been since I was in 5th grade…but everyone (myself included) is loving it!  So I’ve learned that occasionally taking a risk is a good thing.  Maybe next I’ll get crazy and actually sing at karaoke….


In order to retain an air of mystery I’m not actually posting a selfie (also I hate those).  However, I’m feeling pretty confident about this haircut, therefore I’m going to show three pictures of it on someone else.  Obviously, I have cheekbones just as great as hers *sarcasm*





Yay for new hair styles!  I love this look, and it’s perfect for spring.  So now that I’ve started down this path, get ready for more risks!  Hopefully all of them turn out this well…

Sochi Olympics. Courtesy The Sun Times.

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Is It Ethical to Watch the Sochi Olympics?

Originally posted on Cody C. Delistraty:

Sochi Olympics. Courtesy The Sun Times.

Sochi Olympics. Courtesy The Sun Times.

When Adolf Hitler demanded that no blacks or Jews participate in the 1936 Berlin Olympics he was hosting, many Western countries weighed the possibility of a boycott. Hitler eventually backed down, but he still maintained his “Aryan superiority” rhetoric and even sent the chief of police to arrest and detain every Gypsy in Berlin. Everyone knew the atrocities he was committing, but the United States still decided to compete. Only Spain and the U.S.S.R. did not attend those Summer Olympics.

Vladimir Putin is certainly no Hitler and modern Russia is nothing like Nazi Germany, but the underlying principle is the same: hosting an Olympics is a mighty weapon and one that other countries don’t want to confront. Every country wants to let their athletes participate at almost any cost, so boycotting an Olympics, a World Cup, any prestigious global competition, is essentially political suicide…

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