What Cities Would Look Like if Lit Only by the Stars

“Carl Sagan once said anything shining in the night sky does so because of distant nuclear fusion. The physics involved are awesome, and so too are the billions and billions of stars seen from here on Earth. But with every passing day, increasing light and air pollution from growing cities diminishes our ability to observe the cosmos.”

‘“By combining two realities, I am making a third that you cannot see … but it exists! I am showing you the missing stars,” says Cohen. “Photography is way of showing things that we can’t see. Photography is a way to dream. I am not showing you post-apocalyptic cities, merely cities without electricity. I am bringing back the silence.”’  French artist Thierry Cohen

To really see the impact of the night sky view FULL size pictures at: Wired, Thierry Cohen, Darkened Cities

Rio de Janeiro 22° 56’ 42’’ S 2011-06-04 lst 12:34

Rio de Janeiro

‘“Photography is about poetry more than it is about reality,” says Cohen. “It is how you see the world. You can show the world you want to show.”’

San Francisco 37° 48’ 30’’ N 2010-10-09 lst 20:58

San Francisco

“French artist Thierry Cohen draws attention to this creeping loss in his seriesVilles éteintes (Darkened Cities), which imagines the world’s largest cities under clear night skies. His photographs are as impossible as they are beautiful. The dark urban landscapes and vibrant constellations are composites of two images—one of the city and one of the sky.”

Los Angeles, Disney Hall

Los Angeles, Disney Hall

“Cohen has visited nine cities including New York, San Francisco, Rio De Janeiro, and Hong Kong. Using an equatorial tripod mount and polar-scope, Cohen captures an urban landscape, then travels to a less populated location at the same latitude with greater atmospheric clarity. Using this method, the skies above Shanghai are actually in Western Sahara and Paris is illuminated by the stars over Montana.”

Darkened Cities is on show at East Wing Gallery, Abu Dhabi until November 20.

 

Hooked on the Haiku BRANCH – tu haiku for yu

 Rooted in God’s love

we are all leaves of one tree

and fruits of one branch

“A fundamental teaching of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Baha’i faith,  is the oneness of the world of humanity. Addressing mankind, He says: “Ye are all leaves of one tree and the fruits of one branch.”  

“In this way His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh expressed the oneness of humankind whereas in all religious teachings of the past, the human world has been represented as divided into two parts, one known as the people of the Book of God or the pure tree and the other the people of infidelity and error or the evil tree.”

“The former were considered as belonging to the faithful and the others to the hosts of the irreligious and infidel; one part of humanity the recipients of divine mercy and the other the object of the wrath of their Creator.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh removed this by proclaiming the oneness of the world of humanity and this principle is specialized in His teachings for He has submerged all mankind in the sea of divine generosity. Some are asleep; they need to be awakened. Some are ailing; they need to be healed. Some are immature as children; they need to be trained. But all are recipients of the bounty and bestowals of God.”

Golden Snub Nose

Golden Snub Nose

When you’re stuck in mud

need to climb to higher ground

any branch will do

 

Haiku Horizons – prompt BRANCH

On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea, Becca Givens 

The Baha’i World Faith

Bye Bye Summer, are you listening?

I’m jealous . . . I just read Laura’s Art from Trails End last post “Bye Bye Summer, It’s Been Fun”.  Geeeeeeeeeeesh – she went to a week-long poetry workshop, cruised the Rhine River, did art, entertained had house guests, contributed in meaningful ways to others and is writing a poetry book.

My summer:

  • Travel:  Watched HGTV House Hunters International.
  • Entertainment: Watched Golden Girls reruns on late night TV.
  • Accomplishments: Gained 6 pounds, blogged and worked.  
I'm not lisssssssstening . . .

I’m not lisssssssstening . . .

I decided to turn my jealousy into . . .  inspiration.  So I went to the Dana Point Harbor today to remind myself I live in a spectacularly beautiful part of this world. Thanks Laura for booting me out the door!

Dana Point Harbor, California

Dana Point Harbor, California

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I'm not lisssssssstening

I’m not lisssssssstening

 

In the Mind’s Eye!

There are marvelous and mysterious “things” that exist beyond human comprehension.

This short film explores the philosophical idea called solipsism. Solipsism.  Whether you ascribe to the idea that nothing exists outside your own mind it’s worth watching the beautiful visuals.  (I liked watching how it was made before watching the actual film.  Either way you watch, it’s fascinating and visually wonderful.)

How the video was made

 

Here’s the finished video

“SOLIPSIST is an experimental short film by Andrew Huang that won the Special Jury Prize at Slamdance 2012. 

“Solipsism (Listeni/ˈsɒlɨpsɪzəm/; from Latin solus, meaning “alone”, and ipse, meaning “self”)[1] is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known, and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist”. (Wikipedia)

How many times have I TOLD you to do something creative!?

I’ve reposted almost the entire NPR article for you because you might not remember how to

click here to access the URL.  You’re Welcome.

mandela 11

Detail of a Mandela, by Ida

“Brain training is big business, with computerized brain games touted as a way to help prevent memory loss. But new research shows you might be better off picking up a challenging new hobby.”

“To test this theory, Dr. Denise Park, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas at Dallas, randomly assigned 200 older people to different activities. Some learned digital photography. Another group took up quilting.”

Quilting, which requires measuring and calculating, also helped improve participants' memory.

Quilting, which requires measuring and calculating, also helped improve participants’ memory.

Courtesy of UT Dallas

“Quilting may not seem like a mentally challenging task,” Park says. “But if you’re a novice and you’re cutting out all these abstract shapes, it’s a very demanding and complex task.”

“The groups spent 15 hours a week for three months learning their new skills. They were then given memory tests and compared with several control groups.”

First Magnolia by Cathy

” First Magnolia by Cathy

‘”Rather than just comparing them to people who did nothing, we compared them to a group of people who had fun but weren’t mentally challenged as much,” Park says”.

“That “social group” did things like watch movies or reminisce about past vacations. Another control group worked quietly at home, listening to the radio or classical music or playing easy games and puzzles.”

“Park’s research, which was published in the journal Psychological Science, showed that not all activities are created equal.”

“Only people who learned a new skill had significant gains.”

‘”We found quite an improvement in memory, and we found that when we tested our participants a year later, that was maintained,” Park says”.

“The greatest improvement was for the people who learned digital photography and Photoshop — perhaps, Park says, because it was the most difficult.”

“So how does learning a new skill help ward off dementia? By strengthening the connections between parts of your brain, says cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman. While brain games improve a limited aspect of short-term memory, Kaufman says, challenging activities strengthen entire

Icicles, by Ida

” Icicles, by Ida

networks in the brain.”

‘”It really is strengthening the connectivity between these team players of these large-scale brain networks,” he says.”

“Denise Park likens it to an orchestra.”

“Players come in and players go out,” she says. “Sometimes when something is really demanding, the whole orchestra is playing, but they’re not playing harmoniously.”

“The goal is to keep each individual player in best form, and make sure there’s coordination. And improving your own coordination, through quilting or learning to play bridge, may be a way to maintain your memory, and have a bit of fun, too.”

‘”We hope that by maintaining a very active brain, you could defer cognitive aging by a couple of years,” Park says.”

“There’s one more important thing you can do to ward off memory loss: exercise. Art Kramer, a neuroscientist at the University of Illinois, studies the impact of exercise on the brain”.

“In one study, he found that just 45 minutes of exercise three days a week actually increased the volume of the brain. Even for people who have been very sedentary, Kramer says, exercise “improves cognition and helps people perform better on things like planning, scheduling, multitasking and working memory.””

“So if you’re looking to boost memory, there’s reason to challenge both your body and your mind.”‘

I won’t say I TOLD you so . . .

Wordless Fairy Tales . . . Speechless Images

There are few people whose life’s work honors their mothers.

This spectacular photographs by Kirsty Mitchel are all inspired by her mother.  An excerpt from her biography:

“I was born in 1976 and raised in the English county of Kent, known to many as the ‘Garden of England’. My earliest memories were always of the stories read to me by my mother as a child … how it felt to be curled into her side, listening to the rush of her breath as she paused for effect, before launching into yet another characters voice. She was an English teacher, and read to me almost everyday, to an age I could no longer admit to my friends. She instilled in me the most precious gift a mother could, her imagination and a belief in beauty…… it became my root, and the place I constantly try to return to in my work, and my dreams.”

“Tragically my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and my world fell apart. Photography became my only escape when I could no longer talk about how I felt. I lost myself in street portraiture, focusing on those who reflected my own sadness and loss. I later turned the camera inwards, and began photographing myself throughout the hardest year of my life. It became an utter fantasy that blocked out the real world, and a place where I could return to my memories of her, far away from those hospitals walls.”

“She died in November 2008 and that was when photography engulfed me, becoming an overwhelming passion that I could not stop. I found myself producing pieces that echoed the memories of her stories, and the belief in wonder I have always felt since a child.”

http://www.kirstymitchellphotography.com/

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This is her website where you can read about her WONDERLAND project and see all her portfolio:  http://www.kirstymitchellphotography.com/

or check out her flickr gallery:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/kirsty841/with/3500479250/

 

YOUR Brain in Living Color*

The stunning complexity blows my mind! (pun intended)

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Cross-section

substantia nigra, which is involved in addictive behavior.

Substantia nigra, which is involved in addictive behavior.

Trunk lines: Nerve fibers in the human brain are arranged into bundles

Trunk lines: Nerve fibers in the human brain are arranged into bundles

Wiring

Wiring

*Not actually YOUR brain but verrrrrrrrrrry close. If you are curious click here http://www.scientificamerican.com/slideshow/new-view-of-the-brain-slide-show/#3 to read the interesting details of what you are seeing.