Contemplations – 1

I'm incurably curious about many aspects of this journey of ours. Here are a few noteworthy items I've stumbled across that I'm making a note of so I can revisit them from time to time.

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NASA: 2012 Venus transit of the Sun

Image of Venus in front of an enormous sun⩘ 

Taking the sting out of shots

Buzzy vibrator

The smiling Buzzy vibrator. Brilliant!⩘ 

Plastic bulb development promises better quality light

Plastic light bulb by Dr David Carroll

Invented by Dr David Carroll, professor of physics at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.


Isaac Newton vs. Rube Goldberg

Isaac Newton vs. Rube Goldberg by 2D House

Isaac Newton vs. Rube Goldberg by 2D House.


Linotype: The film

Still shot from Linotype: The film

In search of the eighth wonder of the world. I love this story.


A very cool hat

Head n Home Breeze hat: copper

This is what I wear when hiking in warmer weather.

Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds

Still shot from Temple Grandin TED talk

Fascinating talk.


What the octopus can teach us about national security

Image of octopus

From the BBC: Military tactics from the octopus⩘ .

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Still shot from Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Always look ahead and above yourself.
Always try to improve on yourself.
Always strive to elevate your craft.
That's what he taught me.
– Yoshikazu Ono, Jiro's son


The myth of the 8-hour sleep

1595 engraving by Jan Saenredam


NASA: Blue Marble - Eastern Hemisphere

View of the earth's eastern hemisphere


NASA: Blue Marble - Western Hemisphere

View of the earth's western hemisphere


The Hobbit House

The Hobbit House by Simon Dale

A gorgeous home designed and built by Simon Dale.⩘ 

Realistic paintings of fruit by Dennis Wojtkiewicz

Rosettes Series #16, Oil on Canvas by Dennis Wojtkiewicz



NASA: A lunar eclipse

Five images of the moon lined up so that the shadow of the sun is outlined

An incredible composite image of a lunar eclipse.


The Tree Mother of Africa

Wangari Maathai

The Tree Mother of Africa, Wangari Maathai, was laid to rest in Kenya. I was deeply moved by her memoir, Unbowed⩘ . A courageous champion of human rights and peace, she also inspired the planting of tens of millions of trees in her country, Kenya, and around the world. I will miss her voice, but will continue to be inspired by her compassion and courage.

"To me, a general orientation toward trusting people and a positive attitude toward life and fellow human beings is healthy—not only for one's peace of mind but also to bring about change. This belief came from a combination of my education and my Kikuyu heritage, which taught me a deep sense of justice."

More info: The Green Belt Movement⩘ 

A real person, a lot like you

Still shot from A real person, a lot like you

Video: A short video by Derek Sivers⩘ .

Say something nice

Still shot from Say something nice

Picture this: A podium on a busy street inviting people to say something nice⩘ . From Improv Everywhere.

Incredible shade illusion

Checkershadow Illusion by Professor Edward H. Adelson

It's really fascinating the way our brains make sense of visual information. MIT Professor Edward H. Adelson published this optical illusion in 1995 that shows two squares that look to be very different shades of gray but are in fact identical.

Unintended consequences

danah boyd

From one of my favorite thinkers, danah boyd, "The Unintended Consequences of Obsessing Over Consequences (or why to support youth risk-taking)."

Article: The Unintended Consequences of Obsessing Over Consequences⩘ 

The most awkward 404 Not Found page on the internet

Still shot from the video on The most awkward 404 Not Found page on the internet

By conceptual artist Steve Lambert. I still chuckle every time I revisit this.

Steve Lambert has worked alongside artists and activists in 16 countries on 4 continents helping them to effect power. Trained in the arts, he is known for large scale, public projects that engage new audiences on difficult topics through the social science of comedy, games, theater, and democratic participation.

Jul 2021 update: Steve has a new book coming out with co-author Steve Duncombe, The Art of Activism: Your All-Purpose Guide to Making the Impossible Possible.⩘  The Steves are co-founders of The Center for Artistic Activism⩘ .


Hubble Ultra-Deep Field

Hubble's deepest view ever of the universe unveils earliest galaxies.

Section of the universe showing some galaxies of various shapes

I love looking into the depths of the universe!

The observable universe is estimated to contain as many as two trillion galaxies. To get more perspective on this eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) Hubble image, see the short video: Hubble Legacy Field Zoom-Out⩘ . Make sure to read the notes, too.


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