Category Archives: Uncategorized on Purpose

Everything you ever need to know

 

 

 

Earth rising over the Moon taken by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (nasa.gov)

 

I wanted to be an astronaut when I grow up and thanks to the internet I guess I am. From the little comfort of my bed and my mac I watch little people take spacewalks on NASA tv, which should be the only kind of television politicians are allowed to watch. It is apparent there are no divisions out there, no fences, no one else to laugh at us for about at least million light years.

From the Earth, the daily Moonrise and Moonset are always inspiring moments. However, lunar astronauts will see something very different: viewed from the lunar surface, the Earth never rises or sets. Since the Moon is tidally locked, the Earth is always in the same spot above the horizon, varying only a small amount with the <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKRtZ89AMts”>slight wobble</a> of the Moon. The Earth may not move across the “sky”, but the view is not static. Future astronauts will see the continents rotate in and out of view and the ever changing pattern of clouds will always catch one’s eye. Well at least on the nearside, but what about the farside? The Earth is never visible from the farside, imagine a sky with no Earth or Moon – what will farside explorers think with no Earth overhead?

This image was taken when LRO was 134 km above the farside crater <a href=”http://bit.ly/1ReO7lT”>Compton</a> (51.8°N, 124.1°E). Capturing an image of the Earth and Moon with LROC is a complicated task. First the spacecraft must be rolled to the side (in this case 67°), then the spacecraft slews with the direction of travel to maximize the width of the lunar horizon in the NAC image. All this takes place while LRO is traveling over 1600 meters per second (faster than 3580 mph) relative to the lunar surface below the spacecraft! As a result of these three motions and the fact that the Narrow Angle Camera is a <a href=”http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/about/specs”>line scanner</a> the raw image geometry is distorted. Also, because the Moon and Earth are so far apart, the geometric correction is different for each body. Reconstruction of the Earth-Moon image is not a simple matter – and that is just to get the black and white image!

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

The magnificent sculpture of the Kamakura period (1185–1333) – now at Asia Society in NYC until May 8

Thanks to my dear friend Janet for telling me about this show.

Notabe artworks:

http://asiasociety.org/new-york/exhibitions/kamakura-realism-and-spirituality-sculpture-japan#!artworks

Kamakura Realism and Spirituality in the Sculpture of Japan

More about the show on the Asia Society website:

http://asiasociety.org/new-york/exhibitions/kamakura-realism-and-spirituality-sculpture-japan

 

Kamakura Realism and Spirituality in the Sculpture of Japan – the Catalog:
The Kamakura period (1185–1333) is considered a pinnacle of Japanese artistic expression, often described as a renaissance in Buddhist art. This catalogue is the first in over two decades to examine the exquisite sculpture of this period, artwork characterized by an intense corporeal presence, naturalistic proportions, a sense of movement, realistic drapery, and lifelike facial expressions animated by eyes made of inlaid crystal. Essays by noted scholars explore the sculptures’ arresting exteriors and powerful interiors, examining the technical and stylistic innovations that made them possible, and offering new context for their ritual and devotional uses. They demonstrate that the physical beauty and technical brilliance of Kamakura statues are profoundly associated with their spiritual dimension and devotional functions.

 

New York Times review:

Spellbinding Treasures From Japan’s Kamakura Period at Asia Society

The magnificent sculpture of the Kamakura period (1185–1333) - now at Asia Society in NYC until May 8

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Ancient Rome in HD

Ancient Rome is such a powerful symbol, visually and aesthetically, as well as in terms of ideas, its battles and wars, the powerful personalities that blasted their thoughts across the centuries. Remember I spent hours with ancient Roman marble busts from the Vatican, just like with old friends.

Here is Caesar’s marble bust ( all photographs in this post I took during a Christmas in Rome ), video by Khan Academy :

Julius Caesar Marble  Bust in the  Vatican Museum

\Marble bust of Caesar at the Vatican Museum

The walls of this gallery at the Vatican are lined with marble busts:

Marble busts at the Vatican Museum

Visited the Colosseum in the evening on Christmas day and it was absolutely a solitary and beautiful experience, with a bit of drizzle and without a single living soul in sight.

Colosseum in Rome  up close

Colosseum in Rome  up close

Colosseum in Rome  at nightime

Colosseum in Rome  at nightime

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

A second edition of my Japanese Gardens book, entirely re-written with small poems by me

Japanese Gardens: A Journey Into Zen Kindle Edition

Photographs and Small Poems by Mirena Rhee.

Buy on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YAE520K/#_swftext_Swf

Japanese Gardens, A Journey into Zen, book by Mirena Rhee

 

Here is a poem I wrote on the occasion of this second edition :

 

Tranquil world of rocks, sand, trees, shrubs and moss. Little streams water the grounds. The colors are earthy and bright, no gusty winds dishevel the patterns. The wooden floors are swept clean. The mats lie still.

Landscape with peaceful shapes. It makes nice thoughts and asks deep questions. A design with no intent or angle. Whatever you bring you can take back. We don’t know who made it that way.

You can come back many times and find it just the same. Trees bend this way or that. Twigs flow here or there. Ponds flicker. Rocks ripple the sand a little.

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Expedition 42 – Don’t Panic!

Expedition 42's theme was the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - A Towel on ISS

 

A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

 

Expedition 42's theme was the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Piano improv on Twitch – Bernie is currently playing in front of a Madison Square Garden size audience. 20, 000 and growing. It is mad and absolutely amazing

Piano Improv on Twitch in front of 18,200 people

The Favorites:

The internet discovered Bernie Katzman today and his talents are godly

Twitch:

http://www.twitch.tv/pianoimproman

I recently saw the excellent Danny Boyle movie Steve Jobs and in the movie Jobs predicted that the computer is going to be like a bicycle for the mind. Joseph Campbell said that everyone is a hero at birth.  And here I am in front of my treasured Mac, enjoying the work of a musical hero in front of his piano, related to me via his computer. The audience is currently at 20, 000, larger than Madison Square Garden. What an awesome time to be alive.

( just found out he had 65, 000 simultaneous viewers yesterday, so yeah )

Star Wars – Cantina – http://www.twitch.tv/pianoimproman/v/37799456?t=05h38m35s

Thanks to reddit.

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Huxley vs Orwell

This comic is based word from word on Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death. As someone who is often amused by the internet I often fear our dependency on Google, our expectation for the clicking on buttons to deliver and our thirst for the waterfalls of information. I also rarely post depressing stuff as I like to keep positive and posted this simply on account of it being pretty amusing.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.

Huxley vs Orwell

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

THE USES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SOCRATES by CHRISTOPHER ROWE

Abstract: Socrates was and is one of the most influential figures in the history of Western philosophy. Yet it remains an open question just what the real, historical Socrates stood for: he wrote nothing, and none even of our most ancient sources can probably be relied upon to give us anything like an accurate picture of his ideas and methods. As if to fill the gap, successive individual philosophers and philosophical traditions—from Plato to Nietzsche and beyond—construct a range of different Socrateses, to serve either as a model for emulation or as a target of attack. Nevertheless, the single most vivid picture of Socrates is that provided by Plato, who was his immediate philosophical successor, and who gave the character ‘Socrates’ the leading role in the majority of his fictional dialogues. What is this Socrates like, and does he have any use for us?

http://research.ncl.ac.uk/histos/documents/1998.09RoweUsesandDisadvantagesofSocrates216229.pdf

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on RedditPin on Pinterest

Toward An Impure Poetry by Pablo Neruda

Toward An Impure Poetry by Pablo Neruda

It is good, at certain hours of the day and night, to look closely at the world of objects at rest. Wheels that have crossed long, dusty distances with their mineral and vegetable burdens, sacks from the coal bins, barrels, and baskets, handles and hafts for the carpenter’s tool chest. From them flow the contacts of man with the earth, like a text for all troubled lyricists. The used surfaces of things, the wear that the hands give to things, the air, tragic at times, pathetic at others, of such things—all lend a curious attractiveness to the reality of the world that should not be underprized.

In them one sees the confused impurity of the human condition, the massing of things, the use and disuse of substances, foot-prints and fingerprints, the abiding presence of the human engulfing all artifacts, inside and out.

Let that be the poetry we search for: worn with the hand’s obligations, as by acids, steeped in sweat and in smoke, smelling of lilies and urine, spattered diversely by the trades that we live by, inside the law or beyond it.

A poetry impure as the clothing we wear, or our bodies, soupstained, soiled with our shameful behavior, our wrinkles and vigils and dreams, observations and prophecies, declarations of loathing and love, idylls and beasts, the shocks of encounter, political loyalties, denials and doubts, affirmations and taxes.

The holy canons of madrigal, the mandates of touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing, the passion for justice, sexual desire, the sea sounding—willfully rejecting and accepting nothing: the deep penetration of things in the transports of love, a consummate poetry soiled by the pigeon’s claw, ice-marked and tooth-marked, bitten delicately with our sweatdrops and usage, perhaps. Till the instrument so restlessly played yields us the comfort of its surfaces, and the woods show the knottiest suavities shaped by the pride of the tool. Blossom and water and wheat kernel share one precious consistency: the sumptuous appeal of the tactile.

Let no one forget them. Melancholy, old mawkishness impure and unflawed, fruits of a fabulous species lost to the memory, cast away in a frenzy’s abandonment—moonlight, the swan in the gathering darkness, all hackneyed endearments: surely that is the poet’s concern, essential and absolute.

Those who shun the “bad taste” of things will fall flat on the ice.

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on RedditPin on Pinterest