I was emailing a British friend, Mark Willenbrock, in Morocco and he emailed back, "I am in the Sahara."
I remarked that it was amazing that he could email from the Sahara on his Blackberry (especially when I can't get iPhone reception in parts of Topanga Canyon) and that I hoped he would enjoy some hot mint tea while he was there - some years ago, when I visited the Sahara, I was invited into a rather grand tent by a local Berber tribesman and served delicious hot tea in a glass on a silver tray.
Moments later, this photograph arrived, also from Mark's Blackberry. It struck me how extraordinarily connected our world is - I was sitting in Los Angeles at about 5:30am and he was taking tea in the Sahara.
(Tea in the Sahara is also the title of Book One of Paul Bowles' magnificent novel, The Sheltering Sky.)
I love the ocean with a passion, so it was a special thrill to take Hudson (who's six) out kayaking at Malibu - the first time he's been in a kayak.
It was a little rocky but we were extremely cautious: life vests, of course, plus a carefully selected point to launch and beach the kayak.
Hudson is a good swimmer but even so we stayed fairly close to the beach and did everything we could to ride the rhythm of the waves, which were just beautiful. (Many thanks to our friends for the use of the kayak:)
I like the Google Lennon "Doodle," created to mark what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday. (He was born on October 9, 1940.) His murder was a tragedy, his music and world view shine on...like the moon and the stars and the sun.
This story about the Chinese government's reaction to the encouraging news that this year's Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Chinese "dissident" Liu Xiaobo is from CNN. President Obama has called on China immediately to release Liu Xiaobo from prison.
By Steven Jiang, CNN October 8, 2010 1:25 p.m. EDT
Beijing, China (CNN) -- With news media across the globe reacting to this year's Nobel Peace Prize announcement, authorities in the winner's homeland are racing to delete his name from all public domains.
Type "Liu Xiaobo" -- or "Nobel Peace Prize," for that matter -- in search engines in China and hit return, you get a blaring error page.
It's the same for the country's increasingly popular micro-blogging sites. "Nobel Prize" was the top-trending topic until the authorities acted to remove all mentions of the award.
Propaganda officials have also pulled the plug on internat…
...if I were floating on the International Space Station. This panoramic view of the southwestern United States and Pacific Ocean, taken by an astronaut from the ISS (and courtesy of NASA). More details about the topography, photography and camera (Nikon D2Xs) can be found here.