Classical doodles

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:11 pm
radiantfracture: (Default)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
Wednesday after work LB and I hiked in to the lake. We took a more strenuous route than usual, over rough ground, but nothing requiring high endurance -- or so I would have thought. The moment I got home, however, I lay down on the couch and did not rise until night.

The last few days have been like days of recovery from illness -- not soreness or fatigue so much as a sort of muzzy-headedness I dislike much more than pain.

Therefore, I have not done much writing or reading.

I did manage to read Insomniac City, Bill Hayes' memoir of his relationship with Oliver Sacks. It's a lovely, gentle book, a kind of idyll of daily life in New York -- lots of drinking wine on rooftops and talking to strangers in the park. Hayes invokes the sensory detail of their life together with the attention you'd expect of someone who could properly appreciate Oliver Sacks.

I'd read Hayes' description of a piece of music -- Beethoven's Op. 133, say (The Great Big Fugue) -- then cue it up on YouTube and listen -- or look up a meal they ate or an artist Hayes admired. In this way, the book became a delightful multi-sensory experience.

Reading or writing for work and other projects, though, did not seem to be on.

When writing is too difficult, I draw. One of my comfort activities is attempting loose copies of the exquisitely strange radial creatures from Haeckel's Art Forms in Nature. Listening to Beethoven' bright, angular notes, I thought -- why not try to draw this as well?1

Under the cut are a few creatures drawn out of the music, though they are not perfect synaesthetic renderings of these pieces or anything -- more a fusion of what I was looking at, what I was hearing, and what I could actually draw.


Musical Drawings )

{rf}

1. I do see a little colour to music, but it's a very limited palette, shading from blue-white through golden brown to dark brown, and probably has more to do with the colour of the piano whereon I failed to learn to play music as a child, rather than any intricacy of brain connections.

Kellet's Whelk

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Kellet's Whelk


I posted this on Facebook a while ago, but I’m re-posting here so everyone can see it.


This is one of the coolest exhibits I’ve seen in quite a while. What you’re seeing is a lucite box with whelks on the top and a piece of fish screwed to the bottom. The whelks are adapted to live on the rocky ocean floor, and send their long flexible mouth things down in between the rocks to feast on whatever things they can scavenge. In this exhibit, you get to see a behavior that is extremely interesting and that, gives you a very different understanding seeing it than reading about it.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
dreamshark: (Default)
[personal profile] dreamshark
Huh. I see that Dreamwidth has added the ability to upload pictures to their site. Now what? How do you embed them in a post? Can they be resized when you do that? Linked to the larger picture, like I used to do on LJ?

Well, let's try this... I went to "View your images" Grid View, copied the "Embed" link under the thumbnail, went back to edit my post, shifted into HTML mode, and pasted in the Embed link.
June 2017 - Grandpa Richard reading to Lena (30 months)
OMG, that is awkward. Please tell me this isn't the only way.
On the plus side, it DID put in a smaller picture that links to the fullsize one in the back room.

Scaly Tube Snail

Jul. 21st, 2017 06:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Scaly Tube Snail_1


I hadn’t heard of these guys before, so I looked them up.


Apparently you can’t really find them in subway systems.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Two-spot Octopus

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:00 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Two-spot Octopus_5


I got a paint-by-numbers book of octopuses once. That was a confusing day.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Riverdale!

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:14 pm
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[personal profile] dreamshark
 To say that I was pleasantly surprised by this series is an understatement. I'm on Episode 3 and I am riveted. Twin Peaks meets Veronica Mars.

Nudibranch

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Lion Nudibranch_5


The wikipedia page for the nudibranch boasts the only occurrence of the phrase “Apparent production of sound” on the entire site.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Acorn Barnacle

Jul. 20th, 2017 06:00 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Giant Acorn Barnacle


In case you ever wondered what was inside a barnacle.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

R.I.P Jordin Kare

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:58 am
mdlbear: (rose)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Jordin Kare died yesterday, from complications of aortic valve replacement surgery. I am still somewhat in shock. He was younger than Colleen.

There is not much to be grateful for on this Thursday, but I am profoundly grateful for Jordin's music, which has been part of my life's soundtrack since at least the early 1980s. He was one of the founders of Off Centaur Publications, publishers of the Westerfilk songbooks and many fine filk tapes. (Jordin did the typesetting for Westerfilk I using troff, which led to a number of typos involving single quotes, which troff treats specially if they're the first character in a line.)

Last night Naomi and I sang a few of his songs -- "Fire In the Sky", "The Designer" and "The Engineer", "Waverider", and all I could remember of "Kantrowitz 1972". It wasn't until this morning that I found the lyrics for that and "Sail for Amber", Colleen's favorite.

I just ...

(Jordin Kare: Fire In The Sky (1991) | LyricWikia)

Blue Morpho

Jul. 20th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Butterfly_6


In reading about these guys, I learned that, like all* butterflies, it can’t chew so it has to suck fluids from through it’s proboscis. Unlike most butterflies, this one lives off of “rotting or fermenting fruit.”


That means you’re looking at a photo of a carrion eater.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

John McCain and tumors

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:48 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat
I'm seeing some people feeling bad about making jokes about Sen. John McCain's health now that news about his tumor has been made public.

Here's the thing ...

Every one of us is going to, at some point, die - all of our friends, our family, everyone we know. It not a fun thing to acknowledge, but it's inevitable. McCain represents a bunch of people who are publicly taking a stance that if you don't have enough money, you somehow deserve to die sooner, and with far greater pain and suffering, than everyone else. McCain having a brain tumor does not change this fact.

Cancer sucks whoever gets it, but just as pre-existing conditions do not indicate moral failure, getting sick also does not absolve past sins. Every Republican "repeal and replace" option that's made it to a vote has been designed to systematically kill people, if not you, then people you know ... people you love.

If we were living in a story, this would be the point in the narrative where one powerful man comes to a realization, has a change of heart, and switches sides. Alas, we do not live in a story. We are not characters, despite the attempts by ideologues to turn us into bit players in their self-aggrandizing stories about how life should be. We have some control over our lives, not everything of course, but some things.

McCain will either recover or he won't. We have no control over that.

The healthcare bill will either pass or it will not. We do have some control over that. If pointing out the hypocrisy between our representatives' words and deeds helps to save lives, if using irony to make a point reduces suffering for all, if dark humor can help us avoid dark fates ... say what you will and don't feel guilty about it.

We do still have free speech in this country. Use it.

Mealworms

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Mealworms_1


Because they all hatch at the same time, mealworms have to share their birthday.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Crab

Jul. 19th, 2017 06:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Crab_4


TFW that interesting person you’ve been talking to for the last hour suddenly shows their true colours.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
laurel: Picture of Laurel with Garibaldi cardboard standup (Default)
[personal profile] laurel
I confess, I hadn't a clue Postmates was a thing until a couplefew months ago. Maybe you aren't familiar with it either.

Basically it's a service where people will deliver things to you. From restaurants to stores, all sorts of places. Fast food! If you've occasionally wished Dairy Queen would deliver, this might be the thing for you (though how well it works may depend on how close the DQ is and how hot it is outside and what you order). The service is available in a bunch of cities, check their website to see if it'll work near you.

Lots of places have menus available in the app (I sometimes wind up checking out the restaurants own websites for more detail if I'm not already familiar with the place). Stores might have a list of frequently purchased items with prices (I know Apple Stores do). You can also request items that aren't listed. Or have them get things from places that don't have such details in their system. I've always just purchased things that were listed so I'm not sure how well it works if you go rogue. ;-p I've had good luck with delivery people for the most part.

When I first used it, it was with a credit worth $100 of delivery fees for a week. So I was able to get things without paying for delivery so stuff just cost what they would at the restaurant/store + whatever I tipped the delivery person. Not a bad deal. That week I went a bit wild and got lunch from various fast food joints most days and that was novel. We're pinching pennies so it's hard for me to justify this when there is a delivery fee, though they do have a limited number of places where there's a set delivery fee that's cheaper than usual. Plus they seem to run deals fairly often where you get free delivery.

When that Unicorn drink was A Thing I remember seeing people using Postmates to get the beverage so they weren't the ones waiting in line but instead it was a Postmates person (one hopes they tipped well if it took a while).

Anyway. I'm mentioning it in case you want to get in on one of those $100 in delivery fee credit for 7 days deals. Use my referrer code of "FZYD2" to get that deal (I'll get a delivery fee credit of up to $10 after your first order). They've been warning me that this deal isn't gonna last much longer, thus my mentioning it. (Sneaky, Postmates. I bet they offer yet another referral deal after this one expires, no idea if it will be better or worse.)

Giant Tiger Beetle

Jul. 19th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Giant Tiger Beetle


This is a giant tiger beetle.


A giant TIGER beetle.


You see the resemblance, right?




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Monarch Caterpillar

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Monarch Caterpillar


Apparently the bits in the middle taste bad.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Egg Yolk Jelly

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Egg Yolk Jelly_5


I think we should stop calling certain types of people “snowflakes”.


The term “jellyfish” is much more apt, as it seems they just spend their time floating around the Internet stinging people, but whenever they encounter anything that isn’t exactly like themselves in their specially-designed jellyfish-bubble of safety, they start falling apart – whining about how unfair life is.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Metallic Frog Beetle

Jul. 18th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Metallic Frog Beetle_3


It’s pretty clear that these beetles are not ferromagnetic, but the zoo didn’t let me bring in the right equipment to test for para- or diamagnetism.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Leaf Cutter Ants

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:00 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Leaf Cutter Ants_6


Leaf cutter ants take leaf bits down into the colony where they cultivate a particular sort of fungus that grows on the leaves.


So you’d think these two ants would be moving in the same direction.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Hornyhead Turbot

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:51 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Hornyhead Turbot


This hornyhead turbot is somewhat untrusting of my new wide angle macro lens.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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