Friday, November 26, 2021

Fantastic "beests" :)

It's all about the wind is it not? :)

Strandbeest Evolution 2020 provides an overview of the beach animals of the past thirty years. Over time, an evolution has taken place, which is visible in successive generations. Ultimately, I want to release these animals on the beaches, where they will lead a life of their own.

Every spring I go to the beach with a new animal and during the summer I do all kinds of experiments with the wind, sand and water. By autumn I will be a bit wiser when it comes to surviving on the beach. Then I declare the beast extinct and they go to the boneyard.

I associate looking back in history with black and white movies. Looking back in silence. No music.

But the Strandbeest evolution will certainly continue for the next thirty years.

In essence ...

Every year, the artist lets new and ever-more complex “species” loose to see how they weather the challenges of their surroundings. His aim? For these creatures to be completely self-sufficient, continuing to exist without any human support. “My inspiration comes from the theory of evolution, the beach, nature, and life itself. The fact that we came into being out of nothing is a constant source of wonder to me,” Jansen says.

Change is the only constant - The Tao

Water water everywhere

flooded house in Po Valley

This eerie pix of a house surrounded by water says it all regarding global warming.

Unraveling a thread ...

This wonderful NewYorker pix of a Fisher designed maze conjures up Alice in Wonderland as Alice's travails required her to navigate a maze of a different kind. :)

The oldest hedge maze still in existence is, coincidentally, the one with which I am most familiar. As teen-agers, my brother and I lost at least half a dozen French and German exchange students within the clipped evergreen walls of a small yew maze tucked into an odd triangle at the northern edge of the gardens of Hampton Court Palace. The Tudor palace, which lies southwest of central London on the banks of the Thames, was a favorite residence of Henry VIII, who received it as a gift—albeit one offered under some duress—from Cardinal Wolsey, his chief minister. Today, the palace is perhaps best known for its maze, the lone survivor of three or four labyrinths built there around 1690, as part of a substantial redesign that converted what had previously been an orchard into a fashionable new garden called the Hampton Court Wilderness.

At the time, a hedge maze had been an essential element of European formal gardens for centuries. The first evidence of a labyrinth formed from hedges can be found in a record of the removal of one on a royal estate in Paris in 1431. An anonymous courtly poem written in England in the late fourteen-hundreds describes a group of women “disportying” themselves “in crosse aleys” before enjoying a carefree “walke aboute the mase.” In paintings and engravings from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, hedge mazes are populated mostly by couples; according to Saward, the maze historian, the air of privacy created by their shady twists and turns made them an ideal location for romantic dalliances. (As Dillamore and I walked past a champagne cork nestled at the base of the hedge, he told me that the maze is a popular spot for marriage proposals.)

But the notion of mazes goes back further in time with the Labyrinth and the 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy T Day and ... pigs fly

MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, speaks to reporters outside federal court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Every family seems to have a crazy uncle. For the repugs, it's Mike Lindell, the pillow guy stating Agent Orange will be reinstated "soon" as Trump was robbed of a second term according to "reliable" sources like QAnon and the millions of Trumpers holding onto the belief that pigs fly and Trump will again be president in the "very near future".

It’s Thanksgiving, and with respect to any relatives who may have colorful takes about vaccine mandates, critical race theory, and the Rittenhouse verdict, the craziest uncle of 2021 is, without a doubt, Mike Lindell.

The pillow baron has for a year now been claiming vociferously that the 2020 election was rigged, that he can prove it, and that it won’t be long before everyone realizes the truth and Donald Trump is reinstated as president of the United States. Lindell most recently trumpeted Thanksgiving as the date Trump will be back in office. He has promoted a 96-hour holiday weekend livestream in which he will unpack “the historic U.S. Supreme Court complaint on the 2020 election” he says will reinstall Trump in the White House. (The livestream got off to a rocky start.)

The sad part of this scenario is the fact millions believe this take to be true.

The idea that Trump will return to office has been spreading throughout the MAGA movement since January. A Politico/Morning Consult poll published in June found that 29 percent of Republicans believe this is actually going to happen by the end of the year. A YouGov poll conducted in early November found that 28 percent of Republicans believed it was either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” Trump would be back in office by the end of the year.

In other words, millions and millions and millions of people have, like Lindell, lost touch with reality to a truly terrifying degree. Many of them are determined to stay out in orbit, perpetually setting and resetting dates Trump will definitely, this time, return to power. It can be a little hard to track all of these deadlines, so here’s a guide to one of the year’s most unhinged conspiracy theory rabbit holes, which doesn’t appear to have a bottom.

It's turtles all the way down.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Ceci n'est pas une pipe

Rene Magritte is a favorite of yours truly as wit and playfulness permeate his work complete with whimsical titles such as Ceci'n'est pas un pipe or The Treachery of Images. :)

Totally agree. :)

Everything happens ...

 It's all probabilistic, right? :)

Factor of 10 ...

 Ocean life could recover by 2050 with the right policies, study finds | E&T  Magazine

Seems there's a factor of 10 regarding all life in terms of size. The smaller the organism, the greater the number and the factor of 10 regarding the numbers of the life forms in question, rules.

Life in the ocean, they discovered, followed a simple mathematical rule: The abundance of an organism is closely linked to its body size. To put it another way, the smaller the organism, the more of them you find in the ocean. Krill are a billion times smaller than tuna, for example, but they are also a billion times more abundant.

What was more surprising was how precisely this rule seemed to play out. When Sheldon and his colleagues organized their plankton samples by orders of magnitude, they found that each size bracket contained exactly the same mass of creatures. In a bucket of seawater, one third of the mass of plankton would be between 1 and 10 micrometers, another third would be between 10 and 100 micrometers, and the final third would be between 100 micrometers and 1 millimeter. Each time they would move up a size group, the number of individuals in that group dropped by a factor of 10. The total mass stayed the same, while the size of the populations changed.

This applies to all life, land or sea but thanks to man, the factor of 10 goes away. 

But now humans seem to have broken this fundamental law of the ocean. In a November paper for the journal Science Advances, Galbraith and his colleagues show that the Sheldon spectrum no longer holds true for larger marine creatures. Thanks to industrial fishing, the total ocean biomass of larger fish and marine mammals is much lower than it should be if the Sheldon spectrum was still in effect. “There was this pattern that all life seems to have been following for reasons that we don’t understand,” says Galbraith. “We have changed that over the last 100 years or even less.”

But if we change how we do business on planet earth, nature recovers.

By 2050, we can turn things around if we have the will and vision to make it happen.

Nature finds a way if we let it.