Archive for March 2005
Nancy Gandhi, of under the fire star, a tremendous blog about life in Chennai, India, has a new blog, fire star arts, which features what she modestly calls her "efforts at making art". Said "efforts" being the most beautiful little watercolours. To look at them, after such a day as I had yesterday (I’ll spare you the details – lots of stupid people, and commotion…), is restorative. I also like the figure of Ganesh in one of the posts – he looks most subaqueous.
To further the cultivation of serenity, I also recommend two blogs posting daily excerpts from the Journal of Henry David Thoreau:
These I discovered, by coincidence, quite independently of one another – which goes to show you something about serendipity, doesn’t it?
For an instance from each, here’s Thoreau on the wood frog:
Can you ever be sure that you have heard the very first wood frog in the township croak? Ah! how weather-wise must he be! There is no guessing at the weather with him. He makes the weather in his degree; he encourages it to be mild. The weather, what is it but the temperament of the earth? and he is wholly of the earth, sensitive as its skin in which he lives and of which he is a part. His life relaxes with the thawing ground. He pitches and tunes his voice to chord with the rustling leaves which the March wind has dried. Long before the frost is quite out, he feels the influence of the spring rains and the warmer days. His is the very voice of the weather. He rises and falls like quicksilver in the thermometer.
and here, on rotary motion:
All things indeed are subjected to a rotary motion – either gradual and partial or rapid and complete – From the planet and system to the symplest shell fish and pebbles on the beach. As if all beauty resulted from an object turning on its own axis – or others turning about it. It establishes a new centre in the universe. As all curves have reference to their centres or foci – so all beauty of character has reference to the soul – and is a graceful gesture of recognition a waving of the body toward it.
Octopi can walk,
Tiny Octopus aculeatus of Australia holds up six of its arms to disguise itself as a clump of seaweed, while walking at up to 14 centimetres per second – faster than it can manage using more than two arms.
and vampire bats can run
LEAPS AND BOUNDS. A vampire bat on a treadmill loping along at 0.6 meter per second. Video-camera images taken every 24 milliseconds captured the unusual mode of locomotion.
(Bat info via boing boing).
Since 1944 the Girl Scouts of the United States of America have been selling calendars. For historians of American history and for Girl Scout memorabilia fans they are fabulous to collect. Each calendar offers photographs of girls and women doing various activites. For those who are uniform historians of Girl Scouts, they are an excellent visual resource for how uniforms were actually worn.