Friday, March 29, 2013

5 Things- Whiskey, Turquoise, and Sand

I have Good Friday off! It means my plans for today consist entirely of the magic and whimsy of Whatever-I-Feel-Like-Doing. Which, sadly, needs to involve at least some cleaning. But after that, time with friends and bike-riding! It'll be my first ride on my own bike of the season. If today is anything like yesterday, it'll be perfectly gorgeous for the ride.

Unfortunately, my Plans for Today don't leave a ton of time for any blog posts, so I'm throwing an old-school 5 things post at you. Maybe I will actually let someone take a photo of me during something that smacks of exercise during the ride.

Or... maybe I'll just show you a photo of the cupcakes and/or coffee that may occur.

You never can tell with me.

 1. I know, it's way too chilly to actually wear this. I can dream, right? It'll be 90 degrees and 120% humidity before we know it!

I was just thinking about South Carolina summers and found myself sort of absently browsing clothing sites and decided to try and put an outfit together. So, here it is; an outfit made entirely of things i don't own (... yet).

The sandals are really what I'm wanting. Well, those and the bag. And the necklace. And the shirt...

Shirt Jeans Necklace Shoes Bag

2. Ernie Button's incredible photography work. Believe it or not, this is a shot of the remaining film at the bottom of a glass of single-malt scotch.

Ernie has taken this mundane moment and used lights and photography to create these sort of strange, eerie landscapes we would never have seen.

His work was talked about on NPR earlier this week, which caused me to take a closer look and now I am just... enthralled. Just click through. Keep clicking. Click forever.

To find it, scroll to the bottom of his home page; it's the only image in the final row. I don't mean that you should ignore the rest of his stuff; he's a talented photographer!

I am prepared to be as enthusiastic as I must to get you to go look at this stuff.

3. This Sumatran Tiger, a photograph taken as part of Joel Sartore's Project Biodiversity assignment.

Sartore takes photos of endangered animals in various zoos around the country. Anteaters, hyenas, bobcats, chimpanzees, lizards, snakes... there are all sorts of creatures involved in this project. Click through the photos! One of my favorites is the series of a chimpanzee destroying the set without ever setting enough of a foot on it to have her full picture taken.

Why did I choose the tiger above?

Because this tiger lives at Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, Illinois... which just so happens to be the first zoo I knew anything about, and the one I've visited the most in my life. We used to do field trips to Miller Park all the time. I was... somewhat unreasonably excited to see that small-city zoo pop up in three or four photographs!

And also, because I am a fan of tigers. All the time. Forever.

4. This Garden & Gun article about a man who shall not be named, who works under-the-radar to disarm Civil War shells that are still being found all over parts of the South, for collectors who will then hold onto them personally.

It's an underground movement; if you tell the law about finding these things, a bomb squad will show up and confiscate it for public safety reasons. They are still active shells, and could go off with a spark, however unlikely it may actually be. People like the Big Iron Man allow them to circumvent this, and to hold onto their own personal piece of history.

It's a really interesting article about a kind of fascinating thing I hadn't ever really given any thought to.

Garden & Gun never ceases to give me something new to become fascinated with. I've never regretted this subscription for a second; I've even managed to get one of my coworkers subscribing to it, too.

5. This piece on NPR, entitled "How to See the World in a Grain of Sand."

I like this meditation on William Blake's old poem. It's the first in a series Adam Frank will be doing, and I loved listening to it in the car on the way home from work, able to sort of thoughtfully relax, nothing to distract me from what he was saying.

It is a statement of the sheer beauty and the sacred involved in science, something I think too many people discard; they assume that because religion exists, that science has no beauty in it by comparison. And they're wrong.

Read this quote:

Through the lens of science we can see how even the smallest thing can be a gateway to an experience of the extraordinary, if only we can practice noticing.

We walk past a thousand, thousand natural miracles everyday, from the sun climbing in the sky to the arc of birds seen out our windows. Those miracles are there waiting for us to see them, to notice them and, most importantly, to find our delight in theirs.

Somewhere in this, I felt a pretty concrete sense of yes in agreement with him. There are some incredible things in the world, and I think we do ourselves a huge disservice when we try to pretend that there isn't any value in knowing them. What are we, if we turn away from understanding? If we ignore a natural wonder our ancestors built their civilizations on? If we don't even stop to look at the sunset or comment on the way the moon turns orange in some places in the fall?

It got me thinking, is all.

Happy Good Friday!

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