I first became aware of this stunning image in a Jan 25 post on EarthSky by Deborah Byrd titled Underwater Fish Tornado Off Baja California. The photograph is the work of photographer and marine biologist Octavio Aburto, captured at the Cabo Pulmo National Park in Mexico, in the course of studying the courtship behavior of a species of Jack fish. Mr Aburto’s photograph, aptly titled David and Goliath, captures his friend David Castro’s miniscule size in comparison to the gigantic school. For more of Octavio Aburto’s brilliant marine photography visit his website, which can be found here. Also, check out the video below to learn more about the making of David and Goliath.
WOW! And on the subject of ‘WOW’…..there’s this…
My favorite astronomy image of the week was taken by astro-photographer Luis Argerich of Buenos Aires, Argentina. This image titled, Airglow Above Buenos Aires was featured as Earth Science Picture of the Day for Jan 26. The image is a 360-degree stereographic projection showing the entire night sky near Mr Argerich’s location about 60 miles from Buenos Aires. Airglow is a weak light emission stemming from the chemical reactions involving oxygen, nitrogen, sodium and ozone (chemiluminescence) at altitudes between about 50 to 60 miles above the Earth’s surface. According to Mr Argerich, the green color bands, which are obvious to the camera, were not visible to the naked eye and seem to converge because of perspective. In addition to this awesome image, Mr Argerich was also featured this week as Jan 24′s Astronomy Picture of the Day for his photograph called ISS and the Summer Milky Way, featuring starry clouds and nebulae along the southern hemisphere’s summer Milky Way arc above the horizon, and the orbiting International Space Station tracing a long streak through a single, 5 minute, star-tracking exposure. Be sure to visit Luis Argerich’s site for more of his amazingly beautiful work!
Inside the blogosphere this week there was much to think about, smile about, and out-and-out laugh about. For a brilliant, and hilarious, look at what your brain is doing while you’re at work check out Canadian cartoonist, John Atkinson’s Jan 23rd post on Wrong Hands titled Occupational Preoccupation. While there be sure to check out some of John’s galleries, but be warned, his work is very, VERY, addictive!
Also falling into the category of Things I Love one of my favorite blog writers, White Lady in the Hood, also know as Chica Blanca, treated us this week to a post titled The River Rats. Managing to combine humor and reflectiveness, Chica, has a knack of not only drawing the reader in, but also eerily making us feel as if we are there taking part in the story she’s sharing with us. Her writing is good, very good, but it’s her ability to connect with her readers which shines most brightly. Chica’s an elusive poster, she won’t flood your inbox, but if you enjoy a good read and are anything like me, when you do find one of her posts in your mailbox you’ll be heading right over.
If you haven’t had your mind exercised and excited lately, you might want to pay a visit to Wired Cosmos and check out Jason Carr’s Jan 23 article, Sending Odors and Tastes as an Email Attachment, to read about some of the uses, and potential misuses, of the technology of electronic noses and tongues. Wired Cosmos is a fascinating journal of science, technology, and futurism, and by fascinating I mean mind-blowing. A couple other of Jason’s articles I’ve particularly enjoyed include his Nine Must-Read Dystopian Novels, (Considering I’ve only read 4 of the 9, I’ve some catching up to do! How many have you read?), and his recent emerging technology article Future Computing: Meet the Flexible Paper Computer. Ok, I SO want one of those!
My favorite song of this past week was posted by Xandi from World Music in a post titled, Music from Argentina – Alerta Pachuca, and features the song Nunca Dejes de Bailar (Never Stop Dancing). Alerta Pachuca, formed in 2008, is a Latin fusion group composed of 7 multi-instrumentalists from Buenos Aires. I hope you enjoy!!
Here’s hoping everyone a great week. Keep looking up!!
On Wednesday, January 16, NASA published this animation of the Orion spacecraft’s upcoming (2017) Exploration Mission-1. Did it excite me? Just a bit, a great bit! Exploration Mission-1 will be the first integrated flight test with both the Orion spacecraft and NASA’s new Space Launch System.
In other Orion related news the European Space Agency (ESA) announced this week that, in a collaborative effort, it will be supplying a driving force to the Orion spacecraft in the form of its Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs). The ATV-derived service module will provide propulsion, power, thermal control, as well as supplying water and gas to the astronauts in the habitable module.
”ATV has proven itself on three flawless missions to the Space Station and this agreement is further confirmation that Europe is building advanced, dependable spacecraft,” said Nico Dettmann, Head of ATV’s production program. This collaboration between ESA and NASA continues the spirit of international cooperation that forms the foundation of the ISS.
This awe-inspiring image of spiral galaxy NGC 1309 was by far my favorite astronomy image of the week! Brought to us by the Hubble Legacy Archive, the ESA, NASA, and with processing by Martin Pugh, this stunning galaxy, which lies 100 million light-years away in the constellation of the River (Eridanus), spans about 30,000 light-years making it about one third the size of our own Milky Way galaxy. <– Click link for a jaw-dropping artist’s illustration of what some distant astronomers might likely see if peering back at us from across the expanse! I don’t want to sound all boastful or anything, but WOW, we have one awesome galaxy!!
In the blogosphere this week, I first and foremost have to sincerely thank the brilliant photographer, writer, artist, and all-around Renaissance-dude, J.E. Lattimer, for his very kind mention of Things I Love in his January 14th post, Blog of the Year 2012. The nod is very much appreciated, and many congrats to J.E. on his award. I first mentioned J.E. back in March of last year in my post titled …things I LOVED! Week March 12th through March 18th. Since that time Mr Lattimer has expanded to 3 blogs: Fictional Machines, Arcane Arrangements, and Mysteries of the Wasteland. Check them out, prepare to be amazed!
This week, for me at least, seemed to be dominated by images and the photographers who take them. 3 photographers in particular completely blew me away. Not only am I impressed with their images, but also in how they fully demonstrate how the resulting images, no matter how good the equipment, depend entirely on the artist behind the camera.
In his January 15 post titled Bavarian Forest National Park – Lusen Mt, one of my very favorite astro-photographers, Werner Priller, documents through words and A-MAZ-ING photographs a night spent camping out in -17C temperature just a stone’s throw from the Czech border. This is an incredible effort on the part of a photographer who makes a life’s work out of incredible efforts; the forest, the frozen summit cross (WOW!!), Warner’s camp site, the wolves (!!), all under such a beautiful starry night as to make Van Gogh blush! I don’t think I have to mention again to check out this post …you’re probably already there.
Another photographer I’ve mentioned before, the elusive George Weaver of She Kept a Parrot, this week stole my heart right out of my chest (she has a way of doing that!) with her January 16 post titled The Star Wars Cowboy. Ms Weaver is, by far, one of the best story-tellers I’ve ever come across. Though her stunningly honest photography, and her equally honest words, she takes us on a journey which always feels familiar because she is, in fact, reminding us of who we are. And we are human. Thank you George.
Speaking of humans, the 3rd photographer to catch my attention this past week is Richard Guest of The Future Is Paper Mâché. Since May of 2012 Richard has been walking up to complete strangers in the streets and alleys of London, asking if he could take their picture, and the results are entirely interesting! This week, amongst others, I found absolutely intriguing Mr Guest’s January 13th post titled Street Portrait #48 (Pierce), and his January 16th entry Street Portrait #50 (Peter). While you’re there checking out Richard’s street photography be sure to also check out some of his collaborations with other artists, including the above mentioned J.E. Lattimer (Nineteen Eighty-Four).
In closing this week I leave you with an earworm from The Misfits, I Turned Into A Martian, a little shout out to Curiosity who’s about to start drilling up the Martian surface!! Yep, we’re cooking rocks on another planet, and how freaking cool is that!!
Have a GREAT week, and Dare Mighty Things!!
On Friday, January 4th, NASA posted this video on its website of a solar eruption which took place Dec 31, 2012. (And you thought your New Year’s fireworks rocked!) NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured this four-hour event in extreme ultraviolet light shown here at a high cadence of an image every 36 seconds. The graceful flow of plasma rises up from the sun driven by magnetic forces, however without enough force to overcome the sun’s gravity much of the plasma then falls back into the sun. To give you an idea as to the scale of this solar event — the length of the eruption extends about 160,000 miles out from the Sun, or about 20 times the diameter of our planet.
Elsewhere this week, in the ‘Cooler Than The Moon’s Dark Craters‘ department, on January 2nd Kim over at Check Your Premises posted this amazing video tribute to Nikola Tesla titled Marco Tempest: The electric rise and fall of Nikola Tesla.
This remarkable video is the work of technoillusionist Marco Tempest and utilizes a digital update on Tanagra Theatre, however instead of mirrors Tempest uses projection mapping combined with a pop-up book to tell the story of Nikola Tesla – called by some ‘the greatest geek who ever lived’. Kim has a knack for finding, and presenting, some of the most amazing stuff…ever! If you’re not subscribed could it be that you just don’t like complete coolness delivered to your inbox on a regular basis?
In addition to the awesomeness in imagery posted on Check Your Premises the opening week of 2013 presented us with absolutely no shortage of images to leave us breathless. (Did I just write ‘awesomeness in imagery’? Wow, I really do need a long vacation.) On Jan 4th photographer Carl Milner at Milners Blog, in a post titled Technicolour Star Trails, treated his readers to a mesmerizing collection of long exposure star trail photography by Australian photographer Lincoln Harrison. If you find yourself running short of ‘awe and wonder’ this week, check out Carl’s blog for a massive-sized dose of both. Be sure to check out Carl’s Dec 30th post titled My 2012 in Pictures. One look at this collection of images had me searching for the Follow button!
Also this past week, in the ‘That’s Just Freaking Funny’ department, two of my long-time favorite bloggers, Suzanne Rogers of A Window Into The Woods, and Smaktakula of Promethean Times, both took a foray into the world of YouTube, and both with hilarious results. Suzanne in her Jan 2nd post titled WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM… alerted us, via YouTube, as to the horrific activities of Cranky-Pants Deer in Diva Town. Check out Suzanne’s post for a link to the video, but I warn you….it’s not pretty! Smak, in his Jan 4th post, On Proper Behavior While At The Theater, tells us how he was banned from a theater…for life. It’s also ‘not pretty’, and yes it does involve a transsexual transvestite. You can find Smak’s video on his post. Thank you Suzanne and Smak for once again proving that brilliance is just a short trip down the road from insanity.
Closing with my favorite music video of the week is Stan from Xandi’s World Music with his Jan 3rd post of Denmark’s Lucas Graham and his incredibly catchy song Drunk In The Morning. Check out World Music for this and other awesome music videos from around the world. I hope you enjoy the song as much as I do, also hoping everyone has a fantastic new week!
The above video, We’re NASA and We Know It, created by Satire hit YouTube on August 15 and as of this morning has received 1,822,175 views …and counting. Way to go viral! I’m sure only about a quarter of those hits are mine! I was introduced to the video earlier this week via Frank of A Frank Angle in his August 16th post title Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 153. Leave it to Frank to find the cool stuff…and find it FAST! Frank is now on a 3 week break from the Blogosphere, and will be missed. If you’re not familiar with Frank (which rock have you been living under?) check him out. You’ll find no shortage of interesting articles to keep you occupied until his return.
Also while on the subject of NASA, one of my favorite subjects, here’s a heads-up that NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) are set to launch two spacecraft aboard a United Alliance Atlas V rocket from Florida’s Space Coast on Thursday of this week (23rd). The RBSP spacecraft are designed to fly and operate in the heart of the most hazardous regions of near-Earth space to collect data and help researchers develop an understanding of the Van Allen radiation belts, two rings of very high energy electrons and protons that can pose hazards to human and robotic explorers. This two year mission is part of NASA’s Living With a Star Program to explore aspects of the connected sun-Earth system.
Now back to inside the blogosphere where this past week there was no shortage of good stuff! My absolute favorite cartoonist, John Atkinson, of Wrong Hands provided us with a couple of laughs this week. John’s August 14th His Pet Peeve cartoon is hilarious! John then backed this up on August 17th with Easy Chair ….which may be, in my opinion, one of John’s funniest so far! One of my favorite humor writers, White Lady, aka Chica Blanka, of White Lady in The Hood also kept us amused this week with her August 16th post titled What Women Want. This post was so interesting I couldn’t help but to ‘see’ her post ….and raise her! Well done White Lady!
Not at all to be confused with humor, the hard-hitting journalistic team of Tardsie D Bagg and Smaktakula over at Promethean Times kept us informed and enlightened this past week with a flurry of timely (and freaking brilliant!) posts such as the August 14th edition of Ask Tardsie titled So Ya Like Rocket Ships? In Glorious Hear-O-Vision! Amazing work, guys! Also, on a somber note, on August 15th the boys posted a moving tribute lamenting the passing of TV’s Horshack, Ron Palillo, titled Requiem For a Horshack. Words … cannot … express … my grief. Thank you Promethean Times.
My photography of the week award goes to Mike over at Mike’s Look At Life. The ever prolific Mike clicks far faster than I can keep up with, but I do try …some things are just worth the effort! (Mike also gets the nod for best comment of the week, but that’s more a personal thing!) His August 13th entry titled Creek Bed is absolutely stunning. In addition to some muy interesante y muy Mike-esque photography such as August 18th’s Silo Slice and August’s 17th’s Partial Door, Mike also posted a couple of shots of one of the most unique creatures I’ve ever seen. Don’t take my word for it, check out his August 16th’s Newest Friend. Mike is also taking a short summer break from the Blogosphere, and as with Frank, Mike has plenty archived to keep us amazed during his absence ….this by no way means he should linger any longer than absolutely necessary!
Closing out the past week, with an entry in the ‘Science Is Cool’ department, comes a couple of completely interesting and well written posts from Adam Benton of EvoAnth (that’s the UK’s Adam Benton, not to be confused with the US’s Adam Benton!). Adam’s August 16th post titled How “god” Evolved is extremely fascinating and presents some compelling research concerning the origins of religion, which we still don’t have a complete understanding of, and the concept of a ‘high god’. It also includes a few of Adam’s clever, and signature, charts explaining ‘what he just said’. Adam closed out my week yesterday with his equally interesting follow up titled How “god” evolved #2: the religious revolution. Adam notes that this second post in no way is an attempt to game the popularity of his previous post …which became his most viewed post in just 3 days. No Adam, it’s because they’re that interesting…. well done.
Have a great week, and keep looking up …that’s where we keep the stars!
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!
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.
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!
Thanks to this past week Spring is officially with us…those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, that is. Along with the arrival of warmer weather and the digging out of summer clothes comes the want to get out and into some travel and adventure…and there was no shortage of evidence to support this in the blogosphere this past week!
El Guapo of Guapola: The Asylum Within The Asylum. And music! got the ball rolling on Tuesday morning with his much awaited post IT. IS. SPRING!!! And time for the Spring/Summer Stupidity! Guapo’s ‘Days Til Spring’ counter finally hit zero…and there was much celebrating and general foolishness (not unlike most Guapo posts!). The post includes the Annual Listing of Events in which Guapo details some of the awesome plans for adventure including such activities as surfing, rock climbing, and flying trapeze. Sign. Me. Up!
Also tingling my adventure senses this week was Erica from Experience North Cape. That’s North Cape, Norway, for the geographically challenged…and it is beautiful! Erica excited me to no end with her March 20th post Dreaming of Kirkeporten: An Easy Hike with a Spectacular View featuring some amazingly atmospheric foggy and soggy photography fully illustrating the Norwegian expression ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad/poor clothing.’ Gotta LOVE that! The next day Erica follows this up with A Bucket List that Kicks A Little…. which details the adventure of 17 year-old Tonje Helene Blomseth who along with her Siberian Husky, Maddox, became the youngest person in the world to walk the length of Norway. Only a mere 2,500 km (1,553 miles)! Solo! Are you shitting me?! No, I am not! Check it out! And while you’re there also check out some of Erica’s ‘too good to be true’ photography! The word ‘stunning’ is an understatement. Erica is living a dream life…and she’s all the proof one needs that it can be done! If her blog doesn’t make you want to book a flight, immediately, to Norway…dial 911… because you’re obviously in need of medical assistance.
Before booking that flight, however, you’ll definitely want to pay a visit to Airports Made Simple. The folks there have a couple of goals…to provide critical information about airports (how many terminals, how soon to arrive, security line times, rental car situation and much more) and to have a sense of humor about it. They succeed in both, and in a big way. Without them how else would I know of the travel danger involving Snow Globes and their threat to the world’s airport?! Or what to wear (and what NOT to wear!) while waiting on a flight. Aside from the humor..of which there is plenty…Airports Made Simple is packed full of useful, time saving, completely cool travel information and if you visit right now you can get in on helping to select their next Airport Summery. Votes Are Needed!
No adventure/travel round-up would be complete without a mention of Eric Murtaugh’s A Freelance Writer’s Observations On Adventure. Eric simply never stops and this past week was no exception. From A Hundred and One Uses for a Bandana, to the very important questions asked in Adventure: How much is too much? Eric proves he is interested in all aspects of adventuring…not just his adventures, but ours as well. One of the coolest things about Eric’s blog, besides Eric himself, is the lively, fun, and informative exchange which takes place in his comment section. As usual, well done Eric.
Closing out an adventurous week be sure to pay a visit to Antonio Pinon and check out his March 19th posting of the charming video Hyperactive Marienkafer which brilliantly, through the use of animation, shows the sense of adventure and discovery which is naturally found in all children…even Lady Bug children! If you’ve kids at home I strongly suggest viewing it with them. I should also mention that Antonio is recently back from a 3 week adventure of his own, and it’s great to have him back!
My absolute favorites of the week:
Cheers and have a great week!
‘Oh look. The sun has a little happy face.’
These were the words tweeted this week by Jason Major of Lights In The Dark in reference to this image. Quite honestly, I don’t see the little happy face, but I’ve got to admire anyone who does! Jason is also the man who in a post last month titled Sun, Moon and Spots in reference to a video of the Feb 21, 2012 Solar transit by the Moon from the perspective of SDO remarked…’I think the sun looks a little surprised.’ I’m not much into applying human characteristics and expressions to cute little kittens and squirrels, however I have to admit to finding it clever when applied to Astronomical objects. I also have to admit to agreeing with Jason in the case of that particular video….the sun does appear to be ‘surprised’. But don’t take my word for it, go there and check it out for yourself. While there also check out Jason’s March 14th post, Is This Comet SWAN’s Swan Song. Very cool!!
Also in the Cool Science Department this week A Frank Angle got me all weepy-eyed with his post On The Universe featuring videos of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot in comparison to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s, now quite viral, The Most Astounding Fact. After reading Frank’s post followed by stepping outside for a look at the Venus and Jupiter conjunction…it was quite an emotional evening for me. Speaking of Neil deGrasse Tyson, who’s Space Chronicles I FINALLY got my hands on…and it’s AWESOME, Kyle Hill at Science-Based Life also compares deGrasse Tyson to Sagan in a March 12th post titled…Neil deGrasse Tyson is the New Carl Sagan and featuring deGrasse Tyson’s Why We Stopped Dreaming video….completely inspiring, and completely important.
AND….before I move on from space, I absolutely HAVE to mention Galicia Futura‘s March 17th post titled Las estrellas vistas desde la Estación Espacial Internacional featuring The Stars as Viewed from the International Space Station, edited by Alex Rivest using Adobe Lightroom. A-MA-ZING!!
After a week of much star-gazing it was nice to have St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday as an excuse to lift a glass or two. I was kept fully up to date on the approaching event, as I am with ALL my news, by the informative, straight-talking, and hard hitting tag-team of Smaktakula and Tardsie D. Bagg over at Promethean Times. The guys got us in the spirit early in the week with a March 12th introduction to the Emerald Isle titled Ireland The PT Way!. On March 15th the boys reminded us that March is not only about St Paddy with their timely post titled Bewaring The Ides Of March (Among Other Things). They then finished up on Saturday with an all-out St Patrick’s expose titled St. Paddy’s Day! These are just small samples of the top-notch journalism to be found at Promethean Times, not just this week, but every week. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before the folks over at Pulitzer are forced to recognize Smak and Tardsie …even if at gun-point. (Warning: Prolonged exposure to Promethean Times may cause the following side effects including temporary eyelid droop and nausea, gas with oily spotting, loose stools, and more frequent stools that may be hard to control. Babies born to mothers who have read Promethean Times in the latter half of pregnancy have reported complications, including floppiness, stiffness, irritability or constant crying. Even moderate exposure may result in sleepwalking, and eating or driving while not fully awake, with amnesia following the event. Consult your healthcare practitioner before reading Promethean Times. …things I LOVE, Alex Autin is in no way responsible for any ill-effects experienced before, during, or after viewing Promethean Times.)
Another blog I’ve been following closely this past week is artist J.E. Lattimer’s Uncharted Revelations. J.E. demonstrated his extremely interesting and innovative experimental art this week in posts with such compelling titles such as Surveillance and Censorship, Iniquitous Manifestations, and Harmonic Frequencies. Fascinated by his work, knowing I’d want to write about it, and wanting to properly categorize it, I earlier in the week questioned J.E. as to the process involved in the creation of his art….
J.E. – Well, I usually don’t tell anyone how I create my artwork / photographs, but okay, here goes… You know how some people can bend spoons using only their minds? It’s kind of like that: I take a roll of unused / undeveloped film into a completely dark room where I sit cross-legged and meditate with the film held tightly in my hand. While meditating I visualize each image as clearly as possible, then, when I go to develop the roll… Voila! No, that’s mean, only kidding… Seriously though, the truth is that these images are only possible because I’m one of the five people on earth who have been given a prototype of the new quantum computer… Only kidding again… The truth is that I’ve developed most of the techniques for over a decade now and they’re fairly top secret– Only shared with those that I know very well and have known for a long time……
Cleverness combined with brilliance and talent….and highly recommenced.
Rounding out the week with music, Marilia from World Music took me on a week-long tour of Portugal. Starting in Porto with X-Wife and their haunting song Across The Water , then the beautiful music of Os Azeitonas and their song Anda Comigo ver os Aviões. Marilia then invited us to her home region of Alentejo to close out the week with a song from Virgem Suta titled Linhas Cruzadas. Such beautiful music and such a beautiful country! Obrigada Marilia, danke Xandi and everyone at World Music!
Cheers and enjoy your week!
The past week here in San Antonio came in like a lamb with some amazing spring-like weather early on, then turned into a lion late in the week with cold rain storms on Friday and Saturday (perfect excuse to stay in bed!), then on Sunday the week closed out with one of THE MOST perfect early spring days ever!
As awesome as the weather is here in SATX , it’s no match for the weather in Space this past week. The Sun gave us a very exciting week of solar flare activity and I was kept up to date on all the excitement by visiting one of my favorite Astronomy news blogs…AstroNews. On March 7th AstroNews posted the very exciting events in a post titled Another Major Flare – Class X5. In addition to the solar events AstroNews also ran stories this week on Space Weather – Explosions on Venus , Galaxy Cluster Hidden in Plain View, and many others! And yes, I DO spend WAY too much time there….
There was also much excitement inside the blogosphere this week with El Guapo from Guapola: The Asylum Within The Asylum. And music! being FRESHLY PRESSED for his post titled The New York City Subway. A Brief Rant. Finding out about this Fresh Pressing instantly sent me running through the house yelling….Guapo got Fresh Pressed! Guapo got Fresh Pressed! Unfortunately, my room mate was having a meeting with his business accountant right at this very moment. As I ran past his home-office door screaming hysterically, I overheard my room mate saying…‘So Carl, have you met Alex?’ A great big high-five to Guapo! Well deserved. This recognition from wordpress is proof that nice guys do indeed win.
Also catching my attention this past week were a number of photo-blogs. Mike, over at Mike’s Look At Life, chimed in early in the week with an amazing 3rd installment of his Red Door Series. Red Door 3 is without doubt my favorite in this series so far. But Mike was hardly finished for the week, his Old House (….kinda creepy Mike) and Shadow Door were equally stunning, and really demonstrates Mike’s love of old places….a love I share right along with him. If only I could photograph them as beautifully as he does.
Kathryn Dawson, of The Art of Letting Go, is another photographer I’ve been following closely lately…though I can barely keep up with her! Not only do I greatly enjoy her photographic skills but I also enjoy the stories accompanying her work. On March 6th she had me completely sold with a post titled, Day Sixty Five: Extreme Skateboarding. The opening photograph of this series featured a shot so beautiful I wanted to climb into it and just hang out for a while….a long while. Kathryn then surprised me the very next day by posting what may be one of the coolest posts I’ve ever read. In Day Sixty Six: Wet, Wet, Wet, not only do you get more of her brilliant photographs but you also get an incredibly interesting story about someone in her house doing ‘things to the plumbing’. It’s WHO is in her house working on the plumbing that is so interesting. And, you know what? I won’t spoil it. Go there and find out for yourself!
Frank, of A Frank Angle, also added to the excitement of this week with his post titled On A Wave featuring some jaw-dropping photographs by his friend Steve Ancik taken during a dream-come-true visit to The Wave at Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area. The article accompanying the shots is equally interesting and exciting, and the Q and A comments with both Frank and Steve was probably the highlight of the entire event. A Frank Angle, it’s how blogging is done.
Musically this week, of course, features Xandi and the staff over at World Music. This week the crew melted me with some completely luscious Latin rhythms in videos such as Fruko Y Sus Tesos, from Columbia with the song – El Preso, and from Brazil Elis Regina with her song Águas de Março, and my favorite of the week…from Argentina León Gieco with Hoy Bailare (A video that I can not BELIEVE Frank didn’t ‘Like’! WTF?! ) Also rocking me this week was Don In Massachusetts with his late night posting of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Look At Little Sister! OMG!! Much thanks for that one Don!
It was an equally exciting week for writers especially since this week I had the time to give them the attention they deserve. Brian Westbye, who’s work I always enjoy, posted Intersection: First Movement followed by Intersection: Second Movement early in the week. Both pieces were exceptional, and I wasn’t the only one wanting more of this series. Another writer quickly becoming a favorite, Frivolous Monsters took the later part of the week with a pair of very interesting pieces; Tales From The Coffee Shop on Friday and Further Tales from the Coffee Shop coming in on Sunday. He promises there will be more in this series! These are both excellent writers who’s skill and ease with which they seem to work blow me away. I highly recommend checking out both if you haven’t as yet.
Cheers and have a great ‘spring is coming!’ week!
Silly ‘love’ images aside, including the one attached above, here are some of the posts which I loved most during the week of February 27th through March 4th. It was a VERY busy week for me. After my run-in with the flu the previous week, this past week had me returning to work as well as trying to play catch-up with my email in-box. There are many posts from last week which I still haven’t managed to get to even despite spending the better part of yesterday in an attempt to do so. There are some people, such as Brian Westbye, who’s work I refuse to rush through.
Having posted an ‘Award’ post last week I’ve already mentioned some of the bloggers I enjoy most…this does not mean I won’t mention them again! I also would like to once again thank the ever gracious George Weaver for having nominated me for this award. I do, at some point this week, have to respond to another award mention…so everyone out there who I read…be afraid, be very, very afraid!
One of the absolutely most beautiful images I was privileged to view all week, and in quite some time actually, was an image of ‘Bob’. Bob appeared in a post titled AND THERE WAS MAGIC and posted by the incredible photographer Suzanne J. Rogers on her awindowintothewoods blog. If Bob doesn’t completely steal your heart, you simply may no longer be among the living.
In music, the ever likable Xandi at World Music posted my favorite music video of the week. The song is titled ‘Levels’, by the Swedish DJ and re-mixer Avicii. The music is entirely infectious and the video is just plain weird…and I like weird! Thanks for posting Xandi!
In the Science is Cool area, Kyle Hill at Science-Based Life, in addition to posting the very amazing Scale of the Universe 2, which I shamelessly indulged in yesterday (and I hope you did too!), also posted last week a very clever and quite hilarious The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense. This is a well warranted double mention for Kyle because his blog, and science, are both so damn interesting.
Never having enough of science in general and the awe of astronomy in particular, I was once again blown away by a post presented this week on Jason Major’s Lights In The Dark. The post is titled How Many Stars Can Astronauts See, and as Jason explains; The short answer: a lot. The long answer: a real lot! And…he has some video evidence captured from the ISS to back this up! Completely amazing!
Though admittedly I didn’t have nearly as much time this week as I’d like to catch up on reading some of my favorite writers here on wordpress, I was fortunate to find some time to visit The Last Song I Heard and was completely melted early on in the week by a post titled Take On Me – A-ha. The writing is good, very good. The subject is honest, very honest. And this just happens to be one of my most loved songs. It is indeed no better to be safe than sorry.
There was much adventure to be found this week, as there usually is!, at Eric Murtaugh’s blog. Eric ran a series of excellent posts this week all designed to get us off our collective butts and into some much needed adventure. He kicked the week off on Feb 27 with Thrill seeking: crazy, or a transcendental pursuit? He followed this up on Feb 28 with his post featuring NatGeo’s Adventurers of the Year, Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa. Loved this one Eric! By the way, all these awesomely adventurous guys did to earn this title was to climb Mount Everest, para-glide down, then kayak the Ganges River all the way to the Indian Ocean…I mean, who hasn’t done this!? But Eric wasn’t quite done for the week, on March 1st he challenged his readers by asking What prevents you from having more adventures…..and on March 2nd he posted the results in a posting titled Adventure poll results show $$$ holds us back the most. But no Eric, it’s not a lack of money….it’s the lack of a bad-ass adventure hat!
Cheers and enjoy your week!