Example for photo assistance.

This is an example of the issue I’m having that I feel would be helped by a polarizing filter:
IMG_2712

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Why I like…the hunt for (and finding of!) the Higgs Boson Particle.

There comes a time in human history where science, math and technology intermix and pure magic happens.  Since I like to fancy myself a practical person I have to come to the conclusion that Tinkerbell doesn’t exist and Gandolf only lives in the middle earth between my ears.
That leaves 2 forms of magic.

The first being the inexplicable miracles occuring under the mantle of the Christian faith.  We don’t/can’t understand what really happens and how God makes it work…therefore we can call it God Magic.  That is a-whole-nother post.  Moving on!

The second being the convolution of science, math and technological engineering.  No math pun intended.
When people first experienced the light bulb – MAGIC!
When people first cooked with a microwave – MAGIC!
When people first encountered a video recording – MAGIC!

These things are all fairly easy for us to understand having been made intellectually pallatable by education and other advances.  However, we are quickly approaching the day when the common man will not be able to understand or explain the vast advances we will be enjoying in the future.  Everyday magic! How exciting!!
Grant it we’ll know it’s technology and some power that only can be channelled through someone born with magic in their blood conjuring a tree to grow to full height in a matter of moments.

When will get there? Who knows!! But we’re well on our way already.

Understanding of particle physics is advancing by leaps and bounds every month if not daily.  It’s hard to keep up with all the various findings and their applicable uses.
But one that greatly excites me is the work going on in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in the search for, and now research on the Higgs Boson Particle.

The resulting knowledge, technology and abilities gained from mastering this particle will truly be, in the most literally of terms, beyond remarkable.
We’re talking worm holes, teleportation…you know…”Beam me up Scotty!” stuff!!

I’ve been saying for years the time wasted on traveling was ridiculous.  Time you’ll never get back, in a car, on your bum, mindlessly passing other cars, no scenery.  BLAH!
All the money wasted on fuel alone, shipping stuff, lost packages.
Imagine all the deaths that would be prevented by keeping people off the roads and out of the air.

But that is only the beginning.  The energy encompassed in one tiny little particle that only exist for a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction…you get the idea…of a second is HUGE!  If we could capture that and regenerate it there would energy for all and everything!

How cool is the LHC btw.

So much good could come of it!  There is the tiny possiblity that it would create a black hole and we’d all be sucked into oblivion but that is statistically tiny and completely unprovable.  December 21 is looming though…

So, they have isolated what they believe to be the standard model particle.  Currently they are researching to be able to conclusively say that is indeed what was obtained.  One step closer!

I guess that the reason I like the Higgs Boson particle so much is that it inspires me and ignites my imagination to all the amazing things that could be.  Nay, will be!

Also on the table? – Flying cars.

Why I like… the Flying Gunard

What the heck is a Flying Gunard!!

One of the reasons I like the Flying Gunard is the vivid imagery that the name alone instills in me.  My imagination runs wild with possibilities!

One might think it is a dangerous or cutting edge military weapon capable of annihilating an entire city.

Perhaps you might think it is a fancy wrestling move where one person jumps onto another and then strangles them with their legs.  At least that is what I would think if I were told that it was a wrestling move.

Or maybe one might think it a type of computer virus that spreads quickly and wreaks unmitigated, irreparable havoc on your hard drive.

I’m not even going into detail as to what my mother thought it might be.  HINT: It involves people’s unmentionable bits!

When I first heard the term Flying Gunard my thoughts went immediately to some sort of frilled lizard because we all know I have critters on the brain. This lizard would of course be a tree dweller and leap from limb to limb, coasting on the tropical forest breezes in the South American jungles.

I was correct in only one regard.  It is a critter but not one that has any sort of flying capabilities.
What a disappointing misnomer!

Upon Googling and being disabused of my reptilian notions, I discovered the coolest little guy you’re very likely to run into throughout several of the worlds oceans.
That’s right.  It’s a fish.
Namaskar!!
photo credit: Tony Wu

I was thrilled to discover it behaves much like a Gobie (saving those guys for another post!) it uses its arm-like pectoral fins to pull themselves along the sea floor while searching for tasty morsels..

However when those fins flare out you’re in for quite a treat!


As my husband would say, FANCY!!

These remind me so much of some of the creatures described in many of my favorite books.
In short, they are just magical!!

So I like these little guys mostly because in every way they spark wonder in me.

We all need a little wonder in us.

Why I like…Hyperbole and a Half

Let’s face it.  We’re all weird.
So weird in fact that we are sometimes quite sure that no one else out there could possible understand how we _____. Feel free to fill in the blank with: feel, think, understand, chew, walk, smell, trip, write, cook, sleep, dream, poop,…you get the idea.

So much so, that at times we resent everyone else their normalcy and complete self-assured confidence that they are status quo of society and we ourselves are the freaky fringe stranglings that evolution forgot in the way we _____.  Again, fill in the blank.

Personally I’ve tried to convince myself that my various, special breeds of weird are either just figments of my highly overactive imagination and/or my not entirely unfortunate habit of simply caring too much about most things.  This rarely appeases my sense of personal vindication for long.

But occasionally a ray of sun breaks through our dismal overcast world of sideshow isolation and lets us know that, “Hey! You’re not alone! I too am a complete square egg!”

That is what blogger Allie Brosh has done for the last few years with her blog “Hyperbole and a Half”.  Her special way of expressing her idiosyncracies mixed with her childishly drawn, yet highly introspective cartoons keeps myself and many others in stitches of laughter and occasionally a tear or two.

Her lack of sophistication in the drawings and the overt humanity of her quirkiness makes you realize that not only is it ok to be different but it is ok to celebrate it, hopefully as it is occurring but if not at least in retrospect.  Just don’t be a punk about it of course.

But what speaks to me, more so than just what she writes and illustrates in her blogs, are the comments of others saying, “I couldn’t have said it better myself”.

That is when I know that everyone else sees me as one of those same confident, normal people that I see in everyone else.

And that is why I like Hyperbole and a Half.

Here are some links to a few of my favorites:

Alot is better than you at everything:
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

Dog:
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/07/dog.html

The Awkward Situation Survival Guide:
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/03/awkward-situation-survival-guide.html

Why I’ll never be an adult: (this is me 100% when it comes to laundry and the organization of my drawers and closets)
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-is-why-ill-never-be-adult.html

And my favorite
The Party:
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/09/party.html

Why I like…Keep Calm and Carry On.

As we go through life we encounter things that have deep and some times profound meaning to us.  What that is, what we do when it happens and how it ultimately changes us are things that solely depend on each person.  A growing trend is to tattoo it upon ones self.  For some, the ink seems to make that profound thing that much more tangible or open up the opportunity for them to converse about it more frequently or openly.
For others it may go deeper than that and come to a place within them that it is, for all meanings, “tattooed” on their hearts or souls.

One such thing has seemed to gain a slow growth and steady relevance with society.  It offers people a chance to remind themselves that they are their own masters and have control of themselves in this time of seeming chaos.  5 words that help to anchor us emotional and physically in this mad world.

This is one reason I like Keep Calm and Carry On.

Even the best of us, the coolest and the most with it, have those internal moments of freaking the heck out.  We talk ourselves down off ledges of emotional insanity, anger, frustration, elation, confusion or terror.  For most folks, it is part of being human.  (For the sake of argument here we’re excluding Buddhist Monks, psychopaths, super heroes and socialist dictators)

This beautiful sentiment has an equally lovely history.

Pre WWII the British government had as series of propaganda posters made up to offer encouragement, solace and solidarity among the populous.   It was expected to have an original font, bold of color, hard to imitate and be appreciably to the point.
They came up with 3.  All featured the crown of King George the 6th in representation of the British empire.
The third was a red/orange color and simply said “Keep Calm and Carry On”.   This on was intended to be released in times of attack on British soil.  However, they never were distributed.
About 20 years ago a book shop owner came across one and loved it so much she decided to post it in her store.
From that one it has taken flight.



I find these to be incredibly applicable now.  Perhaps not in the sense that the original designers meant them but true none the less.
They resonate with me deeply.

Aesthetically I find them very appealing as well.  I have found and downloaded the font and use it every opportunity I can.  I have also taken to using the crown emblem as my work trademark, so to speak.  All personal documentation, file labels, cover sheets, ect. are adorned with it.  It’s a constant reminder of what I expect of myself everyday, how good I have it in the USA and how I must do all I can to ensure that the freedoms we enjoy remain ours to exercise.

To sum it up I love the poignant elegance of the Keep Calm series.

Here is a beautiful video about the history, narrated by a Brit.

PS.After finishing up this and reviewing I decided to see if anyone had Keep Calm and Carry On actually tattooed on themselves…
and I wasn’t disappointed.  I can’t say that I’m surprised, but there were many.

Why I like…Geodes

There are so many reasons I like geodes!

Do you know what a geode is? If you live in a cave you probably do so I can’t use that analogy for ignorance of their awesomeness.
Geodes are generally roundish stones that are hollow and generally lined with some sort of stone or mineral.  The most common lining is quarts.  Both the common clear quarts and, my personal favorite, the purple amethyst.
Behold!

Beautiful example of a small, amethyst geode.

One reason, their pretty.  Duh!

At their “birth” geodes were a pocket of air trapped in rock…or soon to be rock.  Trapped inside the air pocket at that time were minerals that over time crystalized into these gorgeous interiors.  I like to think that is what happens to our souls trapped in our bodies.  If we subject it to the right conditions… (Seeking God’s will, loving others, being generous of ourselves….you get the idea!) the stuff inside us becomes a beautiful thing with an ugly exterior, comparatively speaking of course.

Geodes can be found all over the world with a wide variety of interiors many of which are boring and will not be discussed here.  This is a happy blog.
In fact, they can be found on every continent due to the nature of their development.  And some get very well grown….See!

Giant geode!

Another reason…they are amazing!

What might be my favorite thing about geodes is the mystery of them.  My imagination runs wild!  For a while, as a child, I used to believe that some mean goblin had trapped a faerie in stone and that is what happened when they died.  It was almost criminal to break it open and subject the legacy of the faerie to the potential destruction.
Moving forward in life the mystery remained.  You never knew if a round rock was going to contain a geode when opened.  Grant it, once folks find a bunch of them and they constantly prove to be geodes you can pretty much hedge your bets that one is.  But still.  You can never quite be sure.
If that isn’t enough you can’t be sure how thick the crystals will be, the depth of color, if any, or if it will break evenly to keep in a marketable form.
It’s a little bit like hoping for  a miracle each time.

I like the memories my geode gives me…

I have a geode in my office.  It’s my one and only.  I got it at a Gem and Mineral fair a long time ago.
There was a gentleman selling them, cracking them for customers and making quite a show of it all.
Here is how it went.
You bought a rock and you didn’t know if it was a geode or if it was just a promising looking round rock.  He made a specticle of himself breaking them open and dramatically opening them up for their owners.
I sat there and watched a bunch of folks buy their rocks and him then crack them open for them. They would all wait with bated breath, hoping they would have a near magical prize.  It was a bit of a rush.
About half I saw just had a round rock and he had $30 bucks that cost him 2 minutes.  Of the other half, about 2/3’s had clear/white quartz.  The other 1/3 had the much coveted purple amethyst.
That is what I wanted.
I very carefully picked my rock.  I didn’t want it to be too perfect because it would for sure be a bust.  It needed to have just the right amount of calcification on the outside and be more or less round…but not perfectly round.
Now, I had absolutely no scientific basis for my calculated selection.  I just had that ridiculous certainty that people with over active imaginations get about completely irrelevant things in life.  For example, once I was certain that wearing blue (or primarily blue) underwear would make me a more emotionally balanced person.  That’s another post but to this day I will try to get underwear that have a bit of blue in them.

It didn’t help these sort of certainties in life when against the odds, whatever they were in this situation, that my not perfectly round but perfectly sized, mid level calcified rock turned out to be a gorgeous amethyst geode! In your face dude ripping people off.

Upon receiving my prize I was told NEVER TOUCH THE CRYSTALS!! Well that is like telling a small child not to touch their birthday cake.  They are all going to do it even if it’s a little.  The uninformed observer might never know…but that child does. *giggle*
Apparently the oils and impurities on our hands can alter the color, clarity and shine of the pure crystals inside.  No kidding.
So everyday is a challenge.  Everyday it’s a small personal victory to know that I am preserving my prize.
Happily I report I have never touched it.

Although, dusting it does prove to be a challenge.

My geode. Perhaps I should name it?

Why I like… sharing stuff with y’all.

Hi everyone!
Life is filled with stuff.  Most of us have stuff that we like and stuff we don’t like.  Most of the time we enjoy sharing these things with others and I am no exception.  There a ton of stuff out there that I like!!
Focusing on these things is something that helps keep me sane.
If my perspectives and imaginings on a topic can bring y’all a smile or introduce you to a new artist, author, product, idea, piece of history or general information then I’ll consider my blog a success.

So why do I like sharing things with y’all?  Apart from talking about things I like, I love bringing something happy and positive into others people’s lives.

Hope you enjoy my musings.  🙂

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