I think you'll like the results. But we begin with ducks.
|Friendly Neighborhood Ducks|
And a few steps along, the first flowers I've photographed this spring:
|Friendly Neighborhood Ducks|
|Garnet schist tiles|
"Do you find your writing style affected when reading fiction at the same time as writing fiction?"
Motion carried.This morning, in the The Independent, Michael McCarthy has an article entitled “Mere Science cannot account for beauty.” And while it may be true that mere science cannot account for beauty — there may be no strictly scientific account in terms of chemistry or physics of why we respond as we do to things that we find beautiful — I wonder why he felt the need to say it. Science has, in fact, revealed many beautiful things. Some of the pictures that Jerry Coyne or PZ Myers have put up from time to time on their blogs — close-up pictures of insects, the amazing variety of squids and octopuses, eagles’ nests, and eaglets — or the pictures of stars and galaxies and supernovae that Carl Sagan included in his books — show that scientists, far from negating beauty or awe at the wonder of nature, celebrate and revel in such things. The deeper they probe, the more they study and come to know, the more wonderful and beautiful nature seems.
With science, McCarthy tells us, he can explain thatit was an insect; that it belonged to the butterfly family Pieridae, the whites; that it had overwintered as an adult, one of only four British butterfly species to do so (the others pass the winter variously as eggs, or caterpillars, or pupae); that in its caterpillar stage it had fed on the plants buckthorn or alder buckthorn; and that it had hibernated disguised as a leaf, probably in an ivy clump, until the first warm day in March woke it up.But that, he says, just “doesn’t remotely get it.”
|Death of the Endless|
-A Turkish Saying meaning roughly "May it be over."
|Les AuCoin Plaza|
The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stand this afternoon on the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change.
-Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces
And in this, about the social pathology of religion:I do not think the sums have been done. Religion is not a peaceful thing, despite all claims to the contrary. It has been protected, for centuries, just as Islam still protects its holiness, by threats of violence. The English Bible that, for all its glories, is sometimes pedestrian and dull, is regarded with special reverence, in large measure because it had to be fought for, and people died so that they could read the Bible in their own language.
Eric, once an Anglican pastor, has a very clear view of the harm religion can do and does. He doesn't believe we have to live with it. He doesn't believe we should stay silent in the face of it, just to spare the feelings of believers or in the interests of a false social harmony.We are becoming so accustomed to religious oppression and pathology that we scarcely dare to talk openly about it, and to call it openly by its name. Governments and large press organisations do a clever soft-shoe shuffle around it every time it becomes too obvious to be simply ignored, but no one is saying that this religious idiocy should end, and that it is intolerable that religions should play this role in the world. It seems to be taken for granted that there is nothing that we can do to moderate these pathologies except to try to insulate them in ghettoes of religious belief, the result of which can only be a mosaic of intolerant communities intolerantly related. If Roman Catholic hospitals want to kill women by refusing them appropriate medical care, well, that is just a peculiar belief system which has nothing to do with the rest of society. And when Roman Catholics or Muslims band together to oppose the practice of contraception in a world bursting at the seams with people, well, that too is just a religious peculiarity, and we must learn to live with these things.
The very bones of those you talk about have turned to dust. All that remains of them is their words.
The oldest surviving biography of Lao Tzu can be found in the annals of one of China's greatest historians: Ssu-ma Ch'ien, written nearly 400 years after Lao Tzu died. From him we know that Lao Tzu was born in the state of Ch'u (presently eastern Honan Province). He writes about Lao Tzu's meeting with the philosopher Confucious (K'ung Fu-tzu) — two individuals who represented philosophies that would dominate Chinese culture and society for over 2,000 years. Ssu-ma Ch'ien explained:
"When K'ung Fu-tzu went to Ch'u, he asked Lao Tzu to tutor him in the rites. Lao Tzu replied, "The very bones of those you talk about have turned to dust. All that remains of them is their words. You know that when a noble lives in times which are good, he travels to court in a carriage. But when times are difficult, he goes where the wind blows. Some say that a wise mechant hides his wealth and thus seems poor. Likewise the sage, if he has great internal virtue, seems on the outside to be a fool. Stop being so arrogant — all these demands — your self-importance and your overkeen enthusiasm -- none of this is true to yourself. That is all I have to say to you."
K'ung left and said to this followers, "I know that a bird can fly; that fishes swim; that animals can run. Things that run can be trapped in nets. What can swim can be caught in traps. Those that fly can be shot down with arrows. But what to do with the dragon, I do not know. It rises on the clouds and the wind. Today I have met Lao Tzu, and he is like the dragon."
Truth.There is no meaning to the Sendai earthquake. There is no capricious god, no vast karmic wheel. It is simply a thing that has happened, that we as humans must struggle against, and fight to overcome, and mourn those who have died afterward. Because there is nothing more to it - it's just the summation of physics and time - what we do is so very important. We have only this world, only this life, and only each other.
You might be thinking, "C'mon, that can't be right." I'm afraid it is. Michigan's new Republican governor is cutting funding to municipalities, and if they struggle financially as a consequence, he will have the power to simply take over those municipalities if he believes he should.
And once Snyder does take over these local governments, by virtue of his own whims, he can impose a local dictator -- called an "Emergency Manager" -- who will have the authority to undo collective bargaining agreements, scrap contracts, and even undo the results of elections.
And if that weren't quite enough, the local dictator, at the behest of the new Republican governor or a designated corporate ally, can even "disincorporate or dissolve" an entire municipal government -- effectively making a local government disappear -- without any input from the public whatsoever.
I'm completely serious.
|View of Crown Point from Chanticleer|
If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's.
|Hypatia of Alexandria|
Yeah. She's all that.How important was the survival of Euclid’s Elements to the course of human history? The Elements was the most influential textbook in history (Boyer, 1991, p.119). As reformulated by Theon and Hypatia, the Elements became more than just a textbook on geometry. It became the definitive guide on how to think clearly and reason logically. The scientists Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton were all influenced by the Elements. Newton’s interest in mathematics was awakened when he bought and read a copy of this book (Boyer, 1991, p. 391). He used the style of the Elements, with formal propositions and rigorous proofs, in his Principia, the book which forms the foundation of modern physics. All of modern mathematics employs the logical, deductive method that was introduced by the Elements. In short, modern science and technology rests on the firm foundation laid down by Euclid’s Elements.
|School of Athens|
|Pi Sculpture, Temporary Installation, Downtown Seattle|
|Collapsed House and Road, Japan|
You jutting broken crags, to you I raise my cry-Philoctetes moaning over the theft of his magic bow. But it's still a wonderful line, and proves the power of Sophocles, who was a master of the Greek drama. Don't stop at Antigone and Oedipus. Like Shakespeare, he's more than just a few good plays.
There is no one else I can speak to.
Clearly, mythology is no toy for children. Nor is it a matter of archaic, merely scholarly concern, of no moment to modern men of action. For its symbols (whether in the tangible form of images or in the abstract form of ideas) touch and release the deepest centers of motivation, moving literate and illiterate alike, moving mobs, moving civilizations.
-Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology
And it's illustrated. Lavishly. So get thee to Wayne's place and enjoy.Far away from the main tourist areas in Grand Canyon lies a huge wilderness of stone and space. It is silent beyond belief and seldom visited. Within this huge expanse lies the Esplanade Platform, a stunning landscape feature that is found only in the central and western portions of the canyon. The Esplanade forms a broad terrace positioned about a fourth of the way down in the canyon, where the Hermit Formation overlies the Esplanade Sandstone. The Esplanade thus creates a canyon within a canyon. Geologists have long been intrigued by the presence of the Esplanade Platform in Grand Canyon and many theories have been proposed to explain its origin. Did the Colorado River carve it during a period of erosional quiescence, as some say? Or did it form in response to the canyon's variable stratigraphy? I explored these questions on a recent trip to the Esplanade. From February 10 to 16 I was privileged to backpack with two other friends here. This is our story.