Due to circumstances beyond my control…particularly my coming to the realization that my current job is running out at the end May and I haven’t spent a moment looking for another…I’ve made the decision to step away from blogging for a couple of weeks.
To any who may not know, I currently work as a Political Advocacy for the Democratic Party and in particular I’m involved with the campaign of a candidate running for local office in the Democratic Primary. The Primary election here in San Antonio is scheduled for May 29th. If we win the primary, and that possibly is looking very good, I have been offered a position with the campaign working towards the General Election in November. However, as well as the campaign is going, it’s far from a definite. Also, I’m not sure I want to spend another summer in south Texas… where we’ve already experienced triple digit temperatures. This, combined with my wishing to continue in my Robert Heinlein quest to learn and take a role in as many different experiences as possible in my lifetime, leads me to wanting to look elsewhere…not only new employment, but also a new location. This will require some focus on my part. There’s no question that working on a political campaign has been interesting, eye-opening, and at times both exciting and exhausting, and that the final upcoming 30 days towards the primary will no doubt be the most intense and interesting …which is all the more reason for my needing to take a small break from blogging.
Since I usually only post two or three times weekly, I doubt my contribution here will be missed much…however I will greatly miss having the time to go over the wonderful posts of friends and those I’ve come to know in my 5 months here. It’s something I’ve grown to love and I WILL BE BACK. To any wanting to get in touch for any reason I can be reached via email. I will, regrettably, not be able to respond to any comments. In the meantime…don’t stop pursuing the things you love!!
All photographs: Alex Autin
The above video is of Swiss pilot Yves Rossy’s 2011 eight-minute flight over the Grand Canyon. According to his website, Jetman, Rossy is the first, and only man, in the history of aviation to fly with a jet-propelled wing. How exciting! I was introduced to Rossy this past week by a April 19th post on Galicia Futura titled Jetman: el sueño de volar hecho realidad (the dream of flying come true). The post features a breath-taking 4 minute documentary, directed by Evert Cloetens, of Rossy flying over the mountains of Switzerland. If you’re as blown away by Rossy and his jet-propelled wing as I am…check it out! Exciting!
On the subject of EXCITING, there was also no shortage of excitement in the blogosphere this past week! One of the most exciting happenings was Michael Housewright, The Blissful Adventurer, being Freshly Pressed for his April 18th post Hong Kong – Hipstamatic Tour. Congratulations Michael!! It’s always wonderful when one of the nice guys wins, and they come no nicer than Michael. If you haven’t as yet, stop by Michael’s to say hello and check out his work!
Also generating excitement this past week were a few posts I place in the ‘Not only do I LIKE you, I freaking want to BE you!’ category. On Sunday, April 22nd, Spiritual World Traveler helped me to pleasantly close out the week with an amazing photo-essay of her visit to Bran Castle in Romania. Her post, The Enchanting Windows of Count Dracula’s Castle, is indeed enchanting and features some STUNNING window photography taken on an eerily overcast Romanian day. Grab a cup of coffee and join her!
Also, in the ‘I Want To Be You’ category is William Allen of Long Time Spent. William opened the week with China – Part 1 – with supporting holiday snaps in which, through the use of his excellent photography and words, William relates his adventures in China along with his friend Shane. William has the gift with his photography of making one feel as though they are right there along with him. He then closes out the week, along with Shane, in Tian Shan, China. This may seriously be my favorite post of the week. And yes William…I am very, very, envious!
If it weren’t known before that I want to be El Guapo, of Guapola, then let it be known now! Though, technically, Guapo’s adventure began the previous week with his April 15th post titled An Adventure – Learning To Skydive , we all had to wait till his April 18th post, An Adventure – Learning To Skydive Part 2, before learning if Guapo actually survived the adventure! He definitely left us hanging! As always with Guapo…it’s fun, it’s exciting…and it’s hilarious. Of course you don’t have to wait, you can check out both parts of his adventure NOW!
Refusing to be outdone by the travelers and adventures a couple of my favorite writers added to the excitement of the week. White Lady In The Hood easily gets the nod as ‘Most Hilarious Post Of The Week’ with her April 22nd post titled My Skipper. Through her words she completely illustrates the insanity which takes place anytime a man begins a sentence with the words ‘Hold my……’ And no, of course I wont finish it! Go there and find out for yourself!
Another writer which I admire greatly, Richard of The Last Song I Heard, helped to supply me with excellent weekend reading with his April 21st post titled Band Of Brothers Requiem – Michael Kamen. While it’s true I enjoy all of Richard’s work, I liked this one in particular. It contains all of the honesty, elegance, and courage in writing which Richard is building a reputation towards. Check out this post…or really, any of his posts. You’ll be glad you did.
I’ll close out another exciting week with my favorite song of the week…from World Music, of course! This one titled Malaniña from Havana Mambo, an Italian salsa band formed by members from Cuba in 1994. Enjoy!!
Thanks and have a GREAT WEEK!
This video is a segment of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s March 26 talk on Cosmic Quandaries in St. Petersburg, Florida. Though the entire talk is well over an hour long, I found this particular segment, featuring Tyson delivering some incredibly interesting thoughts on the nature of the universe and our place within it, to be both engaging and exciting. I recently finished reading Dr. Tyson’s Space Chronicles in which he goes into greater detail on some of the subjects mentioned in this video, as well as his views on NASA, the future of space travel, and America’s role in that future…all subjects I find very interesting. If you enjoy the video, I highly recommend Space Chronicles.
Inspiring: Generating enthusiasm or creativity: making someone feel more enthusiastic, confident, or stimulated. See Carl Sagan.
Recently I was mentioned in regards to The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. The mention came from Carina of L’amore e forte come la morte. Through her blog Carina strives to present us with beauty from around the world, and in her efforts she succeeds. She also has been very supportive of me and my work here, and I wish to thank her dearly for this mention. It, and she, are very appreciated.
Inspiration comes in many forms. I find incredible inspiration in our planet and it’s diversity of life, the awe of the cosmos, the thirst for discovery, and the thrill of exploration. I’m also deeply inspired by scientists, artists, writers and philosophers as these are the ones who through their passion drive us towards our future, who asks the questions, who strive for the answers, and who never, ever, settle for less than truth and understanding.
Inspiration is never found in slogans, rhetoric, or empty sentimentality. It can not be bought or sold, nor will we find it in pretentious feel-good quotes used to sell calendars and self-help books. True inspiration is not marketable.
As with any blog award The Very Inspiring Blogger Award has rules, and as with any blog award I will ignore them. Those interested in the rules can find them here on Carina’s site. I will not list 7 inspiring facts about myself or the things I love. This blog being entirely focused on the things I love would make this a completely redundant act.
As the title of this award suggests, in deciding on who I will now in turn mention I looked for bloggers who truly inspire me. This award is somewhat different than the others…it seeks to recognize the ‘blogger’ rather than the blog itself. So while the following do indeed contribute incredibly inspiring content, my mention is not for the content…but for the person behind the content.
And my 3 nominees for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award are:
A Frank Angle - My mentioning of Frank is probably entirely unnecessary as I doubt anyone reading this is not familiar with him. He has also most likely been mentioned for this award more times than I’ve
pigged-out sophisticatedly and in a lady-like manner indulged in Ben and Jerry’s. I recently learned that Frank is working on Post Number 900 and my mind can’t begin to wrap itself around that number. His writing is clear and concise, his subjects are interesting and well researched, and his views are varied and thought-provoking. He also has one of the most lively and intelligent comment sections I’ve ever read. A few of Frank’s recent, and inspiring, posts include:
On The Universe – March 14, 2012
On Evolution – April 4, 2012
On Personal Stuff – March 31, 2012
unastronomy - Jason holds a B.S. Marketing Management and is currently working towards two masters degrees – M.S. Space Studies (Planetary Science concentration) and M.S.Ed. Learning Design and Technology…and if that alone is not enough to totally inspire me…he’s also a Texan who loves BBQ! (Is there any other kind of Texan!?) On top of this, Jason is one hell of a nice guy who completely tolerates the likes of myself
trolling reading his blog trying to conceptualize the amazing and exciting things he writes about. In his ‘About’ page Jason states that his passion lies in astronomy and he hopes to write about/teach the subject in the not too distant future. Should we point out to him that through his blog he is already doing this? Welcome to the future Jason! And thank you for your tireless inspiration. A few of Jason’s recent, and awe inspiring posts include:
The Universe at the Speed of Light [Infographic] - April 13, 2012
Hubble’s Panoramic View of a Turbulent Star-making Region – April 17, 2012
Let’s Explore Next Generation Space Trains – April 16, 2012
UPDATE: In an effort to include a broader range of (EXCITING!) topics, Jason had updated the title of his blog from unastronomy to Wired Cosmos. Cheers Jason!
Heavens With Lamps – The writer of Heavens With Lamps (I’m sorry, I don’t know his name) is an educator, real estate agent, amateur astronomer, surfer, cyclist, hiker, and some-time philosophizer living in Mauritius. If these things alone are not inspiring, then I don’t know what is! His enthusiastic, informative, and interesting posts are like manna to a very, very, very amateur
astronomer, star-gazer, looks up in awe, confusion, and bewilderment to the night sky person such as myself. His Star-Gazing Fever is infectious, his passion to learn and to share his knowledge is irresistible, his ability to find and post the coolest stuff EVER is relentless… put these together and it equals inspiring on a HUGE scale. Thank you! A few of Heavens With Lamps’ recent, exciting and inspiring posts include:
100 Guide Posts in the Sky – April 20, 2012
Astronomy Lectures for FREE – April 10, 2012
DO YOU ACCEPT??? – April 15, 2012
Wow…am I really finished writing this awards post? Damn, that was really freaking long. At least it’s over, now I can have some Ben and Jerry’s, you know, for lunch. Umm…I wonder if it’s considered weird to type to one’s self like this. It’s ok…no one ever reads these last bits. Ah, ok…cool!
This series of photographs featuring ships and boats were taken in and around Dili, Timor Leste.
I woke this morning with the intention to write my weekly Things I Loved piece before running off to the office. Then something happened.
I’ll start by stating I was not feeling ‘good’ about writing the piece. The past week was a very hectic one, and I hadn’t nearly the time to give attention to the blogs I’ve come to enjoy or to seek out new ones. So it was with this ‘bad’ feeling that I sat down fully intending to force myself to do something I was determined I would not enjoy.
I sat at my desk with my coffee and opened my email inbox. This is an act I’ve dreaded all week knowing my box would be loaded. And as anything which we focus on and convince ourselves will happen…the enviable happened, my inbox was over-flowing. As I sat there looking at it, and trying to decide if I should just give up and not write anything at all, a new email popped up. This one from Antonio Pinon and titled…The Gift of Story: The Art of Living Every Minute of Your Life.
Antonio posts very interesting and educational videos covering a range of topics…and they are always good. This particular one didn’t ‘call’ to me, it ‘screamed’ at me. There I was feeling crappy about not having time all week to do the things I love, and I was about to ‘rectify’ this by forcing myself to spend more time doing more things I did not love. Coffee in hand, I clicked open the post. My intention was to take a quick look and then bookmark it for later viewing. I ended up watching the entire 60 minute video. Not only did I watch it, I then emailed a link of it to a friend, called in to work to say I would not be in today, and watched the video again.
I am not a fan of ‘Inspirational’ or ‘Motivational’ videos. Sure, they’re great while we’re watching them and they may stay with us for a few days, but they rarely make any real difference in our lives. We watch the very inspirational guy or gal give their talk, we awe at their million dollar personalities, their million dollar smiles, their million dollar enthusiasm and determination, and their million dollar life-styles. They make it seem so simple to ‘be like them’. Then we always fail at following through. We fail because each of these methods of ‘living life to it’s fullest’ require us to change in fundamental ways. Change is inevitable, it happens whether we like it or not. However, forcing change to occur the way we’d like it to is very difficult and no amount of cheerleading can push us down the very long road to perfection.
Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., UCSF School of Medicine, is not a cheerleader. She doesn’t flash a million dollar smile or whoop us up into a state of ‘Yes, We Can!’ frenzy. What she does is quietly, and humbly, share her experiences in years of working with terminally ill cancer patients. You would think this to be depressing, but Rachel is anything but.
Her talk caught my attention with the title The Gift of Story. Here on wordpress, whether we’re writers, photographers, or artists of any kind, we all tell stories through our work. Rachel uses her skill of story-telling to, quite elegantly and clearly, illustrate what she refers to as The View From the End of Life. She eloquently reminds us that at the end of each life…this is all anyone has, their stories.
Her message is honest and powerful because she doesn’t advocate the need to change our lives. She thinks we, and our lives, are just fine. What she does advocate is finding meaning and satisfaction in the lives we already live. In other words, put the focus on what we like about ourselves as opposed to futile attempts at forcing ourselves to change what we don’t like. As with anything, the more focus you give something, the stronger it becomes. This is why we’ll never match up to these ‘Inspirational’ speakers…the moment we start to fall short we begin to pay more attention to the failure than to the goal.
Rachel explains to us the importance of finding meaning in our lives, in who and what we already are. Meaning has the power to not change our lives, but change how we experience it. In fact, finding meaning is not about change at all. It’s not about doing things differently, it’s about seeing and thinking about familiar things in different ways. The meaning is already there, we only have to decide to pay attention to it.
Working with people who knowingly have come to the end of their lives, Rachel equates this end to shuffling a deck of cards. When the cards are given the final shuffle rarely do the ones we seem to pay so much attention to end up on top of the deck. Cards such as ‘perfection’, ‘power’, ‘possession’, and ‘pride’ rarely hold meaning when all is said and done. In the end, the top card is always love. Think about it, if you knew you were to die tomorrow…how much attention would you pay to those 10 extra pounds, or that sink full of dishes, or meeting a work deadline? Yet these are the very things which consume our thoughts, stress us out, and make us feel like failures. Ironically, it’s our own focus on the meaningless which gives it meaning. Even those who’ve somehow managed to achieve ‘perfection’ often find very little actual meaning or happiness in it.
Rachel’s patients and their view from the end of life is so much clearer than the view most of us have today. Their view shows us how very few things actually matter to us and, most importantly, how deeply those very few things really do matter. Should we wait to the end to realize that the ‘life’ we spent our time pursuing really doesn’t matter at all? What does matter, to risk sounding ‘inspirational’, is simple and accessible to each of us. What matters is who and what we touch, who and what touches us, and what we leave behind in the hearts and minds of others. What matters is we already do this every day, we don’t need to change a thing to do it. All we need is to realize we ARE doing it. We do it with our blogs, through our photography, through our words, through those we love and those we interact with each day. The more we realize and appreciate just how much we do it, how often we touch others, the better we become at it and the more we appreciate it.
So there will not be a proper ‘Things I Loved’ post this week. Do I feel guilty? Do I feel like a failure for not doing it? Not really. I do, however, thank Antonio and Rachel for reminding me to only focus and give meaning to the things I love. I greatly encourage you to make the time to watch this video which can be found on Antonio’s blog. Rachel is a MUCH better story-teller than I will ever be.
In an effort to embrace all which I do well, I present…Truly Bad Writing.
Today’s Lesson: The Ellipsis; it’s misuse, overuse, and abuse…
Jacky the Jackal
For Jacky James there had never been an easier job. Right from the go everything flowed perfectly…smooth as glass. The alarms were quickly disabled, and the tellers gave no resistance…not a word. And the manager? He was completely impotent. In a job like this the manager is always the wild card…you never know what he’s going to do. There’s always the chance some schmuck might take it personal and cut loose with the heroics. It could be anybody, even Joe Blow off the street, but usually…it was the manager.
This job had none of that. Easy as pie…and twice as sweet. Jacky had become better and better at keeping the situation under control. He was a pro. And by his calculations, he would need only a few more of these jobs before he was all set. He needed just a bit more cash then…BAM! Goodbye Jacky James, hello Jacky the Jackal…super villain extraordinaire.
It wasn’t the best thought out plan. In fact, Jacky wasn’t exactly sure what a jackal was, but he could spell it…and he was going with it. All he needed now was the start-up capital. The Jackal Suit…the sporty Jack-car…The Jackal signature move…that would all come behind the cash. As Jacky always said…cash brings class.
He left the bank through the emergency exit door…this was his modus operandi. Jacky liked setting off the alarms as he departed. He kept his business in the bank cool and calm…but when he left, Jacky liked leaving behind a state of chaos… mass confusion. Sure, this was a quirk. Sure, it dramatically cut down his get-away time…but to Jacky…it was pure class. Jackal style.
Walking through the back alley, alarms wailing behind him, and carrying a hefty round sack with a large dollar sign on it…Jacky became preoccupied. He pondered what would make a cool Jackal calling card…something, in addition to the alarms, he could leave behind after a job. Something classy…like a glove…or a toothpick. He was too immersed to notice the shadow move across the ally’s entrance. It wasn’t until he looked up that he noticed the figure standing before him…blocking his escape.
‘So…we meet again, Jacky.’
The Blue Cape of Justice fluttered softly from her shoulders mingling with her flowing auburn hair…thigh-high Boots of Super Magnetic Attraction parted and planted firmly on the concrete…the Ruby Sash of Best Wishes draped tightly across her bosom…it was Super Good Intention Girl.
‘…awe, jeeze…no.’ This was all Jacky had time to say before Super Good Intention Girl whipped out her Gun of Goodness.
G.I.G. fired without warning…but was only fast enough to nick Jacky as he quickly dove behind a dumpster. Even though it was only a scratch on his right forearm…Jacky felt a slight, yet strangely compelling urge to return the money and apologize for any trouble he may have caused.
He shook it off…but he knew if he took a direct hit from that damn Gun of Goodness it would be curtains for him…and all his diabolical plans. He had to get away…but how?
To be continued…
It’s Monday and if you’re feeling a bit ‘rough’ this morning after your long holiday weekend, you’re not alone. If you can stand one more glimpse of the Easter Bunny I urge you to check out Wrong Hands and John’s post titled Easter Monday. As usual, it’s hilarious! And speaking of hilarious…and Easter, by FAR the funniest Easter post I read this past week was Jennifer Worrell’s post titled Easter Candy Review: Peep Porn and Turd-Flavored Jelly Beans. This woman is seriously twisted, but you know…good twisted. I love her blog’s bi-line …check it out for yourself!
If you’re reaching for your second cup of coffee this morning…or 3rd (4th?) and want another quick laugh to help get you jump-started check out the Peach, Plum, Orange post Ridiculously Photogenic Guy and see if you agree! While there check out some of Franco’s other wonderful posts!
There was no shortage of awesome photography this past week, and I can’t go without mentioning two of my very favorite photographers…EVER! Mike of Mike’s Look At Life and George of She Kept A Parrot . What I absolutely adore about both of these photographers, besides their great skill with a camera, is their fascinating, and infectious, focus on the things they love. They both shoot from the heart as well as the eye and it’s evident in each shot they take. Early in the week Mike went ‘beyond the door’ in a great photo-series titled Of Long Ago. Thank you Mike, for taking us along. George, in every post she presents, fully demonstrates the saying that every picture tells a story. Her April 3rd post titled Memory Of Gates was no exception. And yes, George…every gate does indeed swing both ways.
It was Aristotle who said…There was never a genius without a tincture of madness. If you require evidence of this then look no further than the insane squirrel antics going on at, another favorite photographer, Suzanne J. Rogers’ A Window Into The Woods. I really can’t explain it, I’m not sure if I want to, but it involves a bald squirrel aptly named Baldy, and Suzanne’s intent on placing a hat on this squirrel. She’s not alone in this effort, she’s amassed a legion of experts and well-wishers to aid her, including a lovely trio of squirrel hats which were hand-crafted and shipped from the wonderful Nia in Istanbul. I also hear the Smithsonian is now on alert as to the going ons in the woods around Suzanne’s place. If you can stand it…check out this past week’s installments including…
OH MY GOSH THE SQUIRREL EXPERT PLAN BACKFIRES ! (I seriously nearly pissed myself with this post!)
Speaking of squirrels (WTF? Did I actually just type that?!) I now take you from Baldy Squirrel to Robo-Squirrel! This week Jason, from the AMAZINGLY cool unastronomy, introduces us to the awesome world of robotics in a his April 4th post titled Robosquirrels Versus Rattlesnakes. While this post is a bit outside Jason’s usual (and fascinating!) area of the cosmos, it is incredibly interesting…and incredibly fun! Unastronomy is quickly becoming a huge, HUGE, time-sink for me.
Closing out the week with a bit of music, and keeping the ‘all things geek’ taste in our mouths from Jason’s robo-squirrel, I want to thank Kim from Check Your Premises for her ‘mega’-cool April 3rd posting of Iron Man on Tesla Coil featuring ArcAttack! Shocking!
As for me….my in-box from last week in now clean, and that makes me happy! Cheers and enjoy your week!
Versatile: changeable, able to move easily from one subject, skill, or task to another, able or meant to be used in many different ways.
The Versatile Blogger Award is, in itself, an example of versatility. I’ve been presented this award by a variety of fellow bloggers, and with each nomination it seems the rules of the award changes. Change is good. Being mentioned is good…so why haven’t I, up until now, formally acknowledged this award? I’ll explain, it’s…
I’ll explain further…
When originally presented this award the rules involved writing 15 things about myself, then passing the award to 15 fellow bloggers. 15? Really? 15 things about me? Are you sure? While I consider myself to be as interesting as the next person, I’ve no doubt even my own mother would not care to read 15 things about me.
Nominate 15 fellow bloggers? Again…really? 15? I’ve no problem in supporting and promoting other bloggers, in fact it’s something which I enjoy, however the math involved here doesn’t quite add up and rather quickly would lead to the demise of the award itself. I’m thinking whomever originated this award might not have been, dare I say, mathematically inclined, or went with the number 15 out of some bizarre award-death-wish.
If I were to pass this award to 15 bloggers today and each of those 15 were, in turn, to pass it to 15 bloggers tomorrow, in less then 24 hours this award would have been presented to 225 bloggers.
If on the third day these 225 bloggers were to then pass this award forward, the number would then reach 3,375.
Assuming all 3,375 would be good sports and continue the chain, on the fourth day we would have 50,625 Versatile Blogger Award recipients.
And on the fifth day; 759,375.
The sixth day the number would reach ‘oh, for fuck’s sake’ proportions and the Versatile Blogger Award would blink out of existence as quickly as green-curry exits the host body of someone who’s recently consumed gross amounts of tequila. If you’ve never experienced the green-curry-tequila effect on the human bowels…I urge you to take my word as to it’s unique unpleasantness.
Mathematical ignorance and bowel movements aside, I’ll get on with this award…
I’ve been presented this award by the following gracious, and talented, bloggers:
I gratefully thank my peers in their mentioning of …things I LOVE, and congratulate them on the recognition of their own individual work. It was Richard, however, who brought some mathematical sanity to this award by, in a moment of great versatility, changing the rules a bit and limiting his mentions to a much more rational number of 3 fellow bloggers. I will take his lead, not only on the number of nominees but also as to the number of ‘random facts’ about myself.
Random Alex Facts:
1 – As a child I was terrified of Santa Claus. To this day I remain dubious towards any being who not only watches everything I do, but also makes judgmental notations as to my activities. I am not at all comforted by the notion of some weirdly dressed man sneaking into my home in the middle of the night…unless I know this man intimately and he is dressed as Robin Hood (long story). As for Santa Claus…just leave the shit and go, seriously.
2 – I’ve been passionately kissed by a Portuguese Naval Commander, and no, I will not go into details. (Ladies, if you haven’t experienced this…do so asap!)
3 – I’ve been bitten by a brown recluse spider (more than once), stung by a scorpion (once). I’ve experienced hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. I’ve been mugged, stalked, and attacked in a taxi. I’ve been in a plane which blew an engine over the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve eaten Nicaraguan food. I’ve been to Georgia. And yet I still live. Fear me!
Now for my three (3!) nominations:
1 – Mathematical Mischief
Not only do I greatly admire the work being done by Josh and the staff at Mathematical Mischief…but this award itself speaks volumes as to why education in Math is so very needed. Thank you Josh! (I also trust Josh to correct any math errors I may have made in presenting this award.)
2 – Wrong Hands
Brilliantly clever cartoons by John Atkinson. John’s unique and twisted look at everyday life never ceases to put a smile on my face, and sometimes, even hours later, just thinking about his cartoons causes me to actually laugh out load.
3 – FASAB (Fight Against Stupidity and Bureaucracy)
He may be mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, but he’s also a talented writer who’s amazingly readable, amazingly funny, and amazingly nice…despite being amazingly ‘mad’.
I pass this Versatile Blogger Award to these bloggers purely in appreciation, and enjoyment, of their work. As always, this mention requires no action what so ever on their part. If they would like to participate and pay it forward, here are the RULES:
1 – Thank the person who presented you with the award. (This would be me, guys! )
2 – Post the incredibly versatile Versatile Blogger Award logo on your blog.
3 – Post 3, 7, 15, or 42 interesting facts about YOU!
4 – Nominate 3, 7, 15, or 42 blogs you consider to be ‘versatile’.
5 – Notify your 3, 7, 15, or 42 nominees as to their award.
6 – Fin!
Thanks again to the wonderful bloggers who’ve mentioned …things I LOVE. Cheers!
Plankton are defined as any drifting organisms (animals, plants, archaea, or bacteria) which inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. They’re defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification, and they provide a crucial source of food to larger aquatic organisms…the fish and whales which we’re a bit more familiar with. Many planktonic species are microscopic in size, however plankton also include organisms as large as jellyfish.
This video, The Secret Life of Plankton, was produced, and recently presented as a TEDed talk, by marine biologist and science educator Tierney Thys who studies the behavior of the Mola mola fish and works with other scientists making films which share the wonders they see. Thys utilized film created by The Plankton Chronicles Project which, combining art and science, reveals the beauty and diversity of planktonic organisms. The project, in the context of the Tara Oceans expedition, was initiated by Christian Sardet from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), and Noé Sardet and Sharif Mirshak from Parafilms (Montreal). During the project, plankton samples were collected and filmed using dark field optics and macro lenses or microscopes equipped with HD SLR cameras.
This film beautifully illustrates the stunning awe, diversity, and complexities of life on a scale we rarely see, it also makes me wonder, deeply, about the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe…and just how amazing and astonishing that life might be.