“So I think about the valley. And it occurs to me more and more that everything I have seen is wholly gratuitous. The giant water bug’s predations, the frog’s croak, the tree with the lights in it are not in any real sense necessary per se to the world or to its creator. Nor am I. The creation in the first place, being itself, is the only necessity, for which I would die, and I shall. The point about that being, as I know it here and see it, is that, as I think about it, it accumulates in my mind as an extravagance of minutiae. The sheer fringe and network of detail assumes primary importance. That there are so many details seems to be the most important and visible fact about the creation. If you can’t see the forest for the trees, then look at the trees; when you’ve looked at enough trees, you’ve seen a forest, you’ve got it. If the world is gratuitous, then the fringe of a goldfish’s fin is a million times more so. The first question—the one crucial one—of the creation of the universe and the existence of something as a sign and an affront to nothing, is a blank one. I can’t think about it. So it is to the fringe of that question that I affix my attention, the fringe of the fish’s fin, the intricacy of the world’s spotted and speckled detail.”
Annie Dillard : from “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek”
“About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four-story building. It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star. The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped. His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second per second, through empty air. Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass. I had just rounded a corner when his insouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight. The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest. The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”
Annie Dillard : Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™
First Friday in downtown Missoula
“The photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”
On the Rose Creek trail to Otokomi Lake in Waterton-Glacier N.P.
Lunch stop on Rose Creek in Waterton-Glacier N.P.
Rose Creek Canyon in Waterton-Glacier N.P.
Crossing at the ancient Ponderay Crossing on the Dearborn River.
Eastern Front; Bob Marshall, Great Bear and Scapegoat Wilderness and the Blackfeet Reservation
The Eastern Front and Front Range, Montana
Stopping at the Lincoln, Mont. Sculpture in the Wild :: Hill and Valley
Sculpture in the Wild :: East West Passage
Sculpture in the Wild :: Stringer
Sculpture in the Wild :: Bat Beacon
Sculpture in the Wild :: Ponderosa Whirlpool
Sculpture in the Wild :: Tree Circus
‘Lots of students get trapped in the effort to be original. After fifty million paintings have been painted you can see that it is impossible to be highly original. There is always precedent. Who would want to be that original anyway? A better intent is to see that one’s work is truly one’s own — an honest expression of deep personal feelings’
“I am molten matter returned from the core of earth to tell you interior things—”
Anne Carson, from “XVIII. She,” Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse
Three days after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9 – a 21-kiloton plutonium device known as "Fat Man.” On the day of the bombing, an estimated 263,000 were in Nagasaki, including 240,000 Japanese residents, 9,000 Japanese soldiers, and 400 prisoners of war. It is estimated that between 40,000 and 75,000 people died immediately following the atomic explosion, while another 60,000 people suffered severe injuries. Total deaths by the end of 1945 may have reached 80,000.
The decision to use the second bomb was made on August 7, 1945 on Guam. Its use was calculated to indicate that the United States had an endless supply of the new weapon for use against Japan and that the United States would continue to drop atomic bombs on Japan until the country surrendered unconditionally.
On August 14, Japan surrendered. Journalist George Weller was the "first into Nagasaki" and described the mysterious "atomic illness" (the onset of radiation sickness) that was killing patients who outwardly appeared to have escaped the bomb's impact. Controversial at the time and for years later, Weller's articles were not allowed to be released until 2006.
Fat Man :: Nagasaki, August 9th 1945
On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. The bomb was known as "Little Boy", a uranium gun-type bomb that exploded with about thirteen kilotons of force. At the time of the bombing, Hiroshima was home to 280,000-290,000 civilians as well as 43,000 soldiers. Between 90,000 and 166,000 people are believed to have died from the bomb in the four-month period following the explosion. The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that after five years there were perhaps 200,000 or more fatalities as a result of the bombing, while the city of Hiroshima has estimated that 237,000 people were killed directly or indirectly by the bomb's effects, including burns, radiation sickness, and cancer.
0916:02 (8:16:02 AM Hiroshima time): After falling nearly six miles in forty-three seconds, Little Boy explodes 1,968 feet above the Dr. Shima’s Clinic, 550 feet away from the aiming point of the Aioi Bridge. Nuclear fission begins in 0.15 microseconds with a single neutron, initiating a supercritical chain reaction that increases the temperature to several million degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the surface of the sun at the time the bomb casing blows apart. The yield is 12.5-18 Kt (best estimate is 15 Kt).
It is the peak of the morning rush hour in Hiroshima. Above the city, the fireball is rapidly expanding.
.1 seconds: The fireball has expanded to one hundred feet in diameter combined with a temperature of 500,000°F. Neutrons and gamma rays reach the ground. The ionizing radiation is responsible for causing the majority of the radiological damage to all exposed humans, animals and other biological organisms.
.15 seconds: The superheated air above the ground glows. A woman sitting on steps on the bank of the Ota river, a half a mile away from ground zero, instantly vaporizes.
0.2-0.3 seconds: Intense infrared energy is released and instantly burns exposed skin for miles in every direction. Building roofing tiles fuse together. A bronze Buddha statue melts, and even granite stones. Roof tiles fuse together, wooden telephone poles carbonize and become charcoal-like. The soft internal organs (viscera) of humans and animals are evaporated. The blast wave propagates outward at two miles per second or 7,200 miles per hour.
1.0 second and beyond: The fireball reaches its maximum size, approximately 900 feet in diameter. The blast wave slows to approximately the speed of sound (768 miles per hour). The temperature at ground level directly beneath the blast (hypocenter) is at 7,000° F. The mushroom cloud begins to form.
The blast wave spreads fire outward in all directions at 984 miles per hour and tears and scorches the clothing off every person in its path. The blast wave hits the mountains surrounding Hiroshima and rebounds back. Approximately 60,000 out of the city's 90,000 buildings are demolished by the intense wind and firestorm.
Approximately 525 feet southwest from the hypocenter, the copper cladding covering the dome of the Industrial Products Display Hall is gone, exposing the skeleton-like girder structure of the dome. However, most of the brick and stonework of the building remains in place.
The ground within the hypocenter cools to 5,400°F. The mushroom cloud reaches a height of approximately 2,500 feet. Shards of glass from shattered windows are imbedded everywhere, even in concrete walls. The fireball begins to dim but still retains a luminosity equivalent to ten times that of the sun at a distance of 5.5 miles.
Nuclear shadows appear for the first time as a result of the extreme thermal radiation. These shadows are outlines of humans and objects that blocked the thermal radiation. Examples are the woman who was sitting on the stairs near the bank of the Ota River. Only the shadow of where she sat remains in the concrete. The shadow of a man pulling a cart across the street is all that remains in the asphalt. The shadow of a steel valve wheel appears on a concrete wall directly behind it because the thermal radiation was blocked by the outline of the wheel.
Russell Gackenbach, the navigator aboard Necessary Evil, at a distance of 15 miles from the atomic blast, is illuminated by light so bright that, even with his protective goggles on, he could have read the fine print of his pocket Bible.
On the ground, the firestorm continues to rage within an area which had now grown to over a mile wide. A gruesome, raging red and purple mass begins to rise in the sky. The mushroom column sucks superheated air, which sets fire to everything combustible. Bob Caron likens the sight to "a peep into Hell.”
A coded message drafted by Parsons is sent to General Thomas Farrell at Tinian. It stated: “Clear cut, successful in all aspects. Visible effects greater than Alamogordo. Conditions normal in airplane following delivery. Proceeding to base."
Enola Gay circles Hiroshima a total of three times beginning at 29,200 feet and climbing towards 60,000 feet before heading for home. It was 368 miles from Hiroshima before Caron reported that the mushroom cloud was no longer visible.
The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™
Badlands: Slow Growth. A new CD from my niece Adrian
Meena the Cat at rest, again
The studio alleyway gets a second teapot
Bedside reading . . . Slow Growth