Inside Out

Earth Day

"The Blue Marble" photograph of Earth, taken by the Apollo 17 mission. The Arabian peninsula, Africa and Madagascar lie in the upper half of the disc, whereas Antarctica is at the bottom.

Image Credit: NASA

The Blue Marble” as taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft en route to the Moon at a distance of about 29,000 kilometers (18,000 mi). It shows Africa, Antarctica, and the Arabian Peninsula.


In celebration of Earth Day, I watched “The Martian”, as it portrays the ingenuity, curiosity, passion and compassion of mankind. It also begs the question, why do we look for other places to live in the universe? Shouldn’t we rather take good care of this one good planet we are on?

Today was also the March for Science, very appropriate at a time, when science is questioned or worse ignored by a growing portion of politicians and the general public. This is puzzling to me. Scientists spend years of their lives in search of new frontiers, often times at the expense of personal and financial gains. Why on Earth, would the general lay person dare to contradict scientific findings? Science is so complex these days that we should at least acknowledge scientific findings. The ethical, political, and financial concerns are a whole different story, but they should not confuse the scientific data.

When we are sick, we go see the doctor (most of us). We always can choose to do or not do what the doctor ordered. That’s different from saying the doc is a hack.

Science is not a hoax.

Happy Earth Day.


“I have to science the sh-t out of this.”

Mark Watney, Space Pirate

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Quote

You Know It’s Spring… [№ 3]

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when you look at your collection of shoes (mukluks, Xtra Tuffs,  Tevas, ski boots, winter mountaineering boots) and gloves (fleece, neoprene, GoreTex, wool mittens) and decide to go with the Tevas and no gloves to go on a bike ride to town to pay your taxes.

Hallelujah, it’s tax season. Take my hard earned money and spend it on a beautiful wall.

Happy Easter!


“The art of taxation consists of plucking the goose so as to obtain the most feathers with the least hissing.”

Jean-Baptiste Colbert

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One Man's Paradise

You Know It’s Spring… [№ 2]

when you open your pantry and you realize the selection of delicious jam from last years berry harvest is dwindling. And those jars of dried mushrooms are disappearing, too.

There is still plenty of salmon in the freezer, but the next spawning season is months away. Around goes the cycle of consumption and replenishment .

Appreciating everything nature has to offer.


“Nature’s first green is gold.”

Robert Frost


 

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Yellow skunk cabbage, Lysichiton americanum

 

 

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mindfulness

The Essence of Things

Many moons ago I was fascinated by the adventures of Everett Ruess, a young man, who traveled isolated deserts and canyons of the West about hundred years ago and then disappeared. Much has been written about him, including some biographies by W. L. Rusho and David Roberts and more recently a more fictional account of the young man by Robert Louis DeMayo: “Pledge to the Wind, the Legend of Everett Ruess”. That one is high on my “to read” list.


I have seen almost more beauty
than I can bear.”

Everett Ruess


Everett was an artist and he managed to support his journeys in part by painting. He also wrote a daily letter to his parents and kept a diary. I have not seen any of his watercolor work, but I have seen reproductions of his woodcuts. They are amazing. Woodcuts are a god’s end for minimalists. They capture the essence of a scene with a minimum of detail. Everett was a master at that.

I became interested in the technique. Since we are living in the 21st century, I decided to make my first woodcut on a computer. That’s not art, you say? You are right. It’s just a fun way to concentrate on the essence of an object. There is a wonderful tutorial by Cheryl Graham on the web and the robin in it has been treated and mistreated hundreds of times. Here is my version.

Robin_Woodcut

Since the nights here are getting shorter by around 6 minutes every day, there will be less chance for working on my woodcut skills, but the prints remind me to focus on the essence of things.

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Life

01/17 – Unsettled

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How was your first month of the new year?

Everything just peachy? Great!

Or was it more like a “like a mad, insane sprint in tight circles spiraling around and down the toilet bowl”, as Keir J. Beadling describes it in his fitting piece “Stop the world – I want to get off”?


“… like a mad, insane sprint in tight circles spiraling around and down the toilet bowl”


It’s been a rather turbulent month. The climate turned downright frosty towards the end, although that did not prevent some folks from walking the streets. Rapidly changing conditions resulted in slippery conditions with travel delays and cancellations. Unfortunately there appears to be no improvement of conditions in the near-term future. Some forecasters predict this unsettling weather may last 2-4 years…

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