Monday, June 24, 2013

The Call of the Wild?

In the wide sprawl of Stanford, all devoid of inclines,
You'll find many green trees in too-straight lines.

One of the main things I miss about Berkeley is probably the surprising amount of wilderness within campus - Strawberry Creek supplied many beautiful places to sit and rest among the redwoods and to forget for a couple minutes that I was actually in the middle of a city. Here, there's almost nowhere on campus that is out of sight and out of earshot of roads and cars.

I want trees towering overhead, engulfing me in a cocoon of nature, providing me with the kind of scenery that my eyes and brain were made for, the kind of scenery that is easy on my visual cortex and doesn't require as much attention to take in. Fewer straight lines, fewer edges, fewer people and cars and brightly-lit storefronts.

I want to perch on a log among fallen leaves to read an interesting book, undisturbed by the noise of humanity, outside of the words in my hand and head. The susurrus of the wind through the trees, the gentle rush and bubble of the stream winding its way through campus, the occasional chittering of an agitated squirrel - just evoking those ideas in my own mind to write them out here is calming. It's peaceful. It puts my mind at rest.

Vampire worms!

I've got a post up at the Stanford Neuroblog about vampire worms and a cool comparative connectivity study. Check it out!