100 Words for Snow by Phil James, for Mendosa. As seen on the ever-edifying blog at Present & Correct. Personally, I am hoping for tlalman and tlanip, so I can set up a snow pop-up shop and add to my savings. Please note, Mr. James’ list is, I believe, mostly a work of satire.
Saw this photo in the NYT this morning. Made my stomach lurch. The height of that wave is approximately 100 ft. And yes, that is a surfer, one Garrett McNamara, in the middle. The wave is off Nazaré, on the central coast of Portugal. Who knew? Photo by Tó Mané via Reuters.
If I hadn’t chosen to pursue life as a designer, I might well have been a scientific illustrator. As a student, I loved biology. I would spend hours with my pencils and paints making drawings of dissections and microbes. I was (no surprise here) consumed by chart making. I remember in high-school biology how I dove headlong into the science and visual representation of genetic traits. Gregor Mendel wasn’t exactly my hero, but I noticed early on how much I was enamored by what I imagined to be a life devoted to pea plants and bees. My friend Kay sent me a link to this site. It has a wealth of unusual and wonderful images. Thanks Kay!
Along with Muhammad Ali (“Don’t Do Drugs!”), the Keep America Beautiful campaign to stop littering (“Don’t be a litterbug!”) and President Jimmy Carter urging us to turn down the heat and put on a sweater, Smokey the Bear factored in quite prominently to my formative years. Thanks to him, to this day still I have an outsized paranoia of unwittingly setting the forest on fire. This sign is posted on the side of the firehouse in Jeffersonville, NY. The last I knew it had been removed to make way for a more contemporary mural. I was so happy to see that he’s back in place. And don’t you just totally dig his pants!
So, we are now more than two weeks out since Sandy hit. Among the many haunting and devastating images – and there are many far worse than this – I can’t seem to get out of my mind the plain sight of hundreds of people lined up at gas stations with some variation of the red gas can in hand. Many post-storm conversations, with people who lost power and heat and water for over a week (or more), have been centered on the idea of finally purchasing a generator. While I fully understand this impulse to have a back up plan, it ultimately doesn’t offer up a lot of solace. In the short term, perhaps, but in the long term, all it does is create another outlet for our use and reliance on dwindling resources. I increasingly think about what it would take to get off the grid. This may be a fantasy, and in some ways a luxury, but it’s a good time to think about it. I have to admit, I’ve been doing my own form of research regarding generators. Solar and/or wind powered generators. I’ll let you know what I find out. All gas can images from Amazon.
Only time will tell how much we get clobbered by Sandy and her nameless friends arriving from points west. In the meantime, the politicians and the scientists and the media are all urging us to stock up. You feel like an ass if you do, and an ass if you don’t. So, maybe this time around, err on the side of caution. Just a little. These cans of water are easily found on ebay. Although perhaps a little late to be of any use this time around. Produced for the US Government during WWII, and maybe even all the way up through the Cold War. Stay dry. Stay safe.
I am not proud of this, but I am scared of spiders. Not terrified, just scared. I don’t like that they can run like hell and then squeeze into the smallest space imaginable. It troubles me that they play dead. Seems to be an unfair advantage. But, I try to avoid killing them (even though my first impulse is to do so) because I know they are forces of good and are part of the increasingly delicate balance out there. But, give me a spider web and I am instantly their biggest fan. I keep meaning to photograph the webs that appear daily in between the rungs on our deck, but never quite get around to it. It was very foggy last night and Chris starting taking pictures of them with his iPhone. He showed me the absolutely stunning results and I immediately asked him if I could post them. He suggested I take some of my own. Anyway, these are my photos, but his lovely idea.