The myth, the legend, Mavericks California

Mavericks is A place that was once surrounded with myth and speculation just off the foggy coast of small town half moon bay breaks a wave bigger than five-story buildings. A break that would forever change the history of both the california coastline and surf history forever.  The ocean covers more than 70% of our earth & nearly 95% of it remains undiscovered. Mavericks used to be within the 95% of the unexplored until 1967. Although I have never surfed this break, my fascination with this wave came at ten years old when my dad showed me a picture on the front page of a magazine featuring a guy riding a mountain of a wave. The fact that this wave was 30 min. from my house only added to my juvenile stoke. In the following segment, I will detail the history of Mavericks, explain how this particular wave is generated, and how surfers survive this wave.

Currently the wave Mavericks breaks about half a mile off the coast of Pillar Point harbor in half-moon bay California, just 30 min. from the San Francisco bay area. But the story of Mavericks begins 49 years earlier when three local surfers paddled out and watched the massive waves from afar when Alex Matienzo’s pet german Shepard named Maverick swam out to the lineup, this prompted them to name the wave after him. Mavericks was once one of the best kept secrets on earth, and the pioneer who first rode it Jeff Clark, is responsible for keeping this notorious wave a secret for some 25 years.  Although Jeff was 17 years old when he first tamed this 40 ft beast, a 16 year old santa Cruz kid named Jay Moriarty was featured dropping in on a 45 ft. wave on the cover of surfer magazine in 1994.


What causes such colossal waves here is due to a few factors. One being it’s geopgraphic location. Deep water storms from Japan or Alaska generate powerful swells. Once they reach the Californian coast the surge of water funnels through an underwater canyon caused by a fault, the water is then kicked up off a 20 ft. reef causing a perfect double up (Two separate waves merge to one), generating waves bigger than 60 ft. when it’s firing.This environmental phenomenon is only possible during october through early spring, although it’s said to be the biggest during december and january.Finally, how to survive this wave. There are quite a few cringe worthy factors that make Mavericks so unique.The obvious fear factor, the fact that it’s in the red triangle (shark conservation sanctuary), the water temperature and the deep reef. “If you want the ultimate ride, you have to be willing to pay the ultimate price.”-mark Foo (1994). One cannot simply surf this wave without training. Jay Moriarty trained for four years previous to surfing it, and others train their whole lives for a wave the size of that. Surfers stay safe by firstly knowing where to paddle out, triangulating rocks and stationary objects to keep position. In conclusion, Mavericks is the only known big wave surf spot on the CA coast, with most of the Northern CA coastline still unexplored the next Mavericks could be just an adventure away.cropped-mj-618_348_mavericks-a-brief-history-of-riding-giants-california-style3.jpg

La vida

I have been in Barcelona for a couple months now and time couldn’t be moving faster. The emersion in the slow paced life is ironically making my time here feel fast. I think having already been through the culture shock when I was 14 has made me much more eager to explore, effectively desensitizing any feelings of “shock”. I think the key to overcoming any major homesickness is keeping busy and briefly in touch with life back home via social networks. Things such as watching movies and listening to music makes you still feel connected to that american world. At the same time It is also necessary to limit some of that American influence. Limit in the sense of turning off your phone, or not using snapchat all day. It is good to connect but people often mislabeled obsession with connection, including me! For example, I notice when someone sees something pretty instead of enjoying it they shuffle in there pockets for their phone so that they can post it on their snapchat story that their friends don’t even fully watch. What I’m trying to say is actually be in that moment and although you might get a good flick nothing compares to that initial feeling of actually being there and in that aura. In terms of keeping busy… on a tour of the city the guide identified Barcelona as 60 miles long. With a mere 120 days here, I have an unthinkable amount to explore. Not to mention weekend trips to neighboring countries. There simply isn’t enough time to get caught up in shock like emotions surrounding travel. Keeping busy keeps us sane and the same holds true no matter what part of the world we’re in. There is empowerment in the most simple things such as walking or reading and what better place to indulge in such activities than Barcelona. In addition to Barcelona, another European gift is how insanely close other countries are to one another. A couple weeks ago I visited Nice and was amazed to see how close and different the cultures were. I also distinctly remember crossing from Malaga into Morocco on a Ferry and Spain and Morocco are two very different countries. Again the close vicinity of them is fascinating to me.

Heath Ledger



lords_of_dogtown_185x270The inspiration for this post came after re watching my favorite movie in high school, Lords of Dogtown. A fast paced surfer movie about the birth of skateboarding and a skate culture that would rule the Californian coast for decades to come. In Lords of Dogtown Ledger plays a strung out beach bum turned store owner/ skate team manager. He plays a character that the audience doesn’t like but his role compliments the movie so well. This is why I value his work so much, even as the villain i find myself rooting for him. It’s not very often that one comes out of a movie and compliments the villain. In Lords of Dogtown Ledgers physicalization is immaculate down to the bone. His every movement complimented and helped develop his character as Skip. Through his body language he made  his character emotionally felt by the audience. In one scene he is drunk hanging off the side of his shop building and his whole demeanor in this scene was controlled but in that moment it’s as if he was a better version of the shop owner from the original story they were recreating . Ledger is the type of actor that you forget is acting, and that is one of the most magical skills an actor can have. Another great example of Ledgers on screen finesse is his role as the Joker in the Dark Knight. The Joker and Skip are similar roles yet Ledgers plays them independently with great success. According to Tim Teeman of The Times Ledger “delivers a career-defining performance” as the Joker. Ledgers acting in The Dark Night is superb to say the least. He was connected to his role as the joker, and his physicality defined his character. From head to toe his posture was that of a “deranged lord of chaos”-Marc Lee, The Daily Telegraph. He carried himself in a contradicting manner, he was lackadaisically with his arms and posture but would straighten up and be direct when scaring someone. Code switching along the way. He mislead the audience a lot, from the illusion of choice with Harvey Dent to the manipulation of the Gotham city police force and government. His voice was too pristine. In a defining scene, Ledger is in a car running away form batman and he sticks his head out of the window and rolls his eyes while letting out a sadistic laugh that just sends chills up your spine. It was minor uses of voice like this that made Ledgers performance as the Joker so great. Ledgers internal work is difficult to articulate with his role as the Joker because his character is so misleading and devious. His tactics were beyond inventive and know one could anticipate the Jokers next move, yet his choices where consistent with his psychology. He was consistent with his inconsistencies, if you will. Ledger had everyone at the edge of their seats with this performance. The entire movie is one big game and the Joker in a way ends up winning.gkvyil

Mobile Journalism

Story telling is something that we as humans have been doing since our existence and will continue to do as time carries on. The central idea behind storytelling is still present but the way in which we report news is ever evolving. Old legends told over campfires turned to public broadcasts of interviews. More recently telling a story to millions has been simplified to pulling out your phone and recording yourself. What comes with mobile journalism in addition to efficiency is mobility. Given these mobile journalists are utilizing platforms such as twitter and facebook to get there message out, the tap of their thumb has the power to inform the whole world about anything. Unfortunately this strength and potential for influence can be a weakness in the wrong hands. For example anybody can become twitter famous and people become famous for doing rather dumb things. The fact that they are “twitter famous”, though, means that they have a collective of individuals listening to whatever deranged stories they decide to tell. Same could potentially hold true for journalists, anybody can buy a tripod and everybody has access to an iphone. With that being said we can rely on the validity of the news source they are reporting for and weed out amateurs if you will. I think this new direction that journalism is heading is great because of the increased accessibility it grants people. In class someone mentioned how bulky and hard a camera is to get around but an iphone goes and sees everything we do and is no bigger than the palm of your hand. Such versatility has granted reporters the ability to share things and events that restrict camera’s and tv. I do think that a regulation with mobile journalism will come eventually but by then I’m confident there will be a simpler more effective type of journalism.

No surveillance


imgres-7I think the most threatening aspect of social networks is being overshadowed by cyber bullying and false news. We live in a crazy time with crazy values, especially when people would rather protect there feelings and flow of news than there identity and privacy. Although “feelings” and false news are problems no one questions the amount of information Facebook has access to. We learned that Facebook’s face recognition technologies are better than the CIA’s, that in itself is enough to raise some eyebrows. It has also been speculated and proven by some studies and articles like The price of Free that Facebook  sells information to third parties. So whats stopping Zuckerberg from potentially selling this information to the CIA and whats wrong with the CIA having such access? If allowing the CIA certain information sworn private by Facebook is morally wrong then why isn’t selling to advertisers seen in the same light. I think people are too distracted by more popular issues with technology to actually read what they are giving access to when accepting terms and conditions. Reading through all of those pages is a nuisance but perhaps  that is because such companies don’t want you to read them. How is it that the user manual is one sentence and the terms and conditions are 5+ pages. It is such a well known fact that people dont read these conditions that companies have been known to hide financial compensation within the terms and conditions behind a simple email address. Once this issue is addressed I believe a more private platform will be invented and made available free with the same privatization as telegram. We learned that telegrams producers are so serious about privacy that Putin single handedly kicked them out, thats the type of guaranteed security my friends and I can get behind.  Perhaps telegrams producers will even be responsible for this new social media. A safe network like this is necessary because if Facebook or twitter were to go down theres no saying how much information would be exposed. Americans operate under the “if it’s not broken then don’t fix it” mentality. Therefore mo one will emphasize the value of privacy until all of there information gets stolen and unfortunately a cyber attack might be essential in pushing us towards a more private world. Eventually people will want some type of security in the event of a cyber war or hacking and companies such as telegram are in a perfect position to inherit such cyber responsibilities.

Zen in the (social) network life.

There’s no question that the topic of social media is heavily debated. Conversations about  millennial’s time spent on “that tiny screen” seem to occur more and more. More often than not the  question being asked is are social media platforms bad. Flat out, point blank are apps such as twitter and facebook ruining the way we communicate with each other? The flaw in this question is that it’s hypothetical, twitter and facebook have already been influencing us for years now. The question of whether these social networks are good or bad is outdated because whatever impact they have had on us is past tense.With that being said the way we communicate is crucial because it shapes our culture and who we are. New social networks birthed a new culture, ideals, and even a new set of rules and guidelines. My age demographic has witnesses this technological boom and in a sense were the technological boom. We are living in a technological growth so rapid that we don’t even know the/our potential. More often than not those deeming social media and  such accessibility as bad are from an older generation. Us millennial’s are literally watching this new culture grow, the older demographic is watching theirs deteriorate. No one writes letters anymore, no one uses pay phones and some people don’t even feel the need to talk because they can express themselves online better. The disappearance of this old culture is at the root of older peoples skepticism about everyone staring at those screens. With that being said, there are many negatives surrounding social media. Just like anything, people abuse platforms and this is where the concern is at. In moderation, gmail, twitter and instagram are healthy and progressive but only in moderation. It is easy for these apps to take over your life, however if used properly these apps can cause great joy and even convenience. There is a reoccurring theme that could be applied here: the platforms are not the problem but the users are. As long as you surround yourself with a health community both online and offline one should live in harmony both on the web and in real life. The problems occur when people let these networks take over there lives. When someone sends a friend request instead of actually approaching them, when someone updates snapchat every 30 seconds instead of enjoying what there cameras pointed at. Social media should be used as a tool and not a drug and as long as we respect this we in will be okay.