Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Meena the Cat takes time out of her busy day to help us
Solstice celebration with a gingerbread Stonehenge
Meena the Cat having finished her reading for the day
“You can’t let the possibility that ignorant people will interpret your ideas as racist keep you from discussing critical issues honestly. . . . Too many rich people in the world is a major threat to the human future, and cultural and genetic diversity are great human resources.”
Paul Ehrlich Collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades, Interview The Guardian
December 16th 2015 stopping along the Flathead River en-route west on Mont. highway 200. Three pinhole images, 4x5 in. on film.
The two images below show the location of sunrise (orange), sunset (red) and the path of the sun (yellow) for the summer and winter solstices. The orange line shows where the sun appears to rise from our studio windows and the red line where it appears to set. toMake™ studio is located in the center of the arbitrary circle which indicates the cardinal directions.
Winter and Summer Solstice at toMake™ studio
Saturday at the Senior Center: the Winter Market
In other news, Venus is visible in the morning . . . & the sun is lower on the northern hemisphere horizon, just in case you didn’t notice, and comes through the windows of the studio in a noticeably different angle. Daylight here at toMake™ studio is 9 hours and 29 minutes with the sun rising at 7:35am MST.
The sun transits at 12:20pm MST not at noon as you might imagine. Because we live so far west (6 minutes into the into the PST) in the Mountain Standard time zone our clocks are 36 minutes behind of sun time. Think of it like this; it takes 36 minutes after noon for the sun to be directly overhead in the south.
But that would mean that the transit (LMT) would occur at 12:36pm MST. The earth does not revolve around the sun in a circular orbit, but an elliptical one, sometimes going faster and sometimes slower around the sun . . . so the eccentricity of earth’s orbit means that the Equation of Time (EOT) is +15min 52sec fast today and this results in Local Time (LT) noon being at 12:20pm MST (12:00+ 36min - 16min =12:20).
An analemma is a diagram showing the variation of the position of the Sun in the sky over the course of a year, as viewed at a fixed time of day and from a fixed location on the Earth. The north–south component of the analemma is due to change of the Sun's declination caused by the tilt of the Earth's axis, and the east–west component is due to nonuniform rate of change of the Sun's right ascension, governed by combined effects of axial tilt and Earth's orbital eccentricity. The diagram has the form of a slender figure eight, and can often be found on globes of the Earth. WIKI.
Running now necessitates more cloths and careful footing on the frozen and often icy trails. Like this morning; a 6-8 knts headwind in the canyon made the 23˚F feel decidedly colder. The river remains open but most of the standing water along the trails is frozen now. Post-election recovery the bulletin board in the alleyway has returned to “normal.”
Out and about in downtown Missoula ? Stop in at The Runners Edge on Higgins a block north of Broadway and see “The Way Across”.
The Way Across: on display at the Runners Edge in downtown Missoula
Leaves are a brown-yellow, damp
Fallen and Still on the soft river trail
Now the season is darker
The early mornings quiet
This is why I get up.
“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”
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 past four weeks we have received 4.3 in. of rain. The river through town remains muddy, turbulent as it moves logs and rocks downstream and builds islands upstream . . . well above mean flow. We have had a high of 82˚F and a low of 36˚F. The cottonwood bloomed with the later second cresting of the river, sending their duff over the trails, and the hills are green.
On my run last week I came upon a recently fallen hawk. Still warm and breathing I carried it off the trail and laid it in a bed of grasses. I stopped and sat with it . . . then carefully folded its wings and left it to die in quiet, undisturbed I guess. Suddenly it opened its eyes, large yellow eyes and looked at me, opened its talons. I placed some flowers over it and said a prayer, the hawk had more lifetime left, cut short by a power line. But, not unlike Jefffers hawk, was asking my help to die off the trail, in peace and solitude.
The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.
I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.
Robinson Jeffers | The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers: Poetry 1903-1920, Prose, and Unpublished Writings
"Being creative is not so much the desire to do something as the listening to that which wants to be done: the dictation of materials."
We’re going the wrong way.
Human race is just 0.01% of all life but has destroyed over 80% of wild mammals
“Humans depend on plants, insects and other animals to deliver water quality, soil conservation, flood prevention, crop pollination and natural pest control. All this is now threatened, not just by the clearing of forests and the growth of the cities, but by the profligate use of fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, to drive global warming. Researchers know, through a detailed study of the geological past, what higher concentrations of carbon dioxide can do to global climate . . . There is way too much debate about the issue of climate change and whether or not it is real. What we really need to be doing is debating how we solve this problem . . . Those very high CO2 concentrations could well change the ecosystems of the world irrevocably. If we increase CO2 to over a thousand parts per million, over the next fifty to sixty years, which we are quite capable of doing if we fail to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, we could literally move the world back 20 to 30 million years in the space of a century. It is like moving ecosystems backwards in time at the speed of light.”
Professor Guy Midgley | Climate News Network
“If you're trying to be miserable, it's important you don't have any goals. No school goals, personal goals, family goals. Your only objective each day should be to inhale and exhale for sixteen hours before you go to bed again. Don't read anything informative, don't listen to anything useful, don't do anything productive. If you start achieving goals, you might start to feel a sense of excitement, then you might want to set another goal, and then your miserable mornings are through. To maintain your misery, the idea of crossing off your goals should never cross your mind.”
John Bytheway : How to Be Totally Miserable
“The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections.”
The moveable feast needed to be fixed to a date and so there are the Meridiana Lines and pinholes in the ceilings of churches like the Gnomon of Saint-Sulpice . . . light, the movements of the earth and sun, and spring. It was careful observation of a pinhole of light across a meridian line that allowed Johannes Kepler to understand that the planets in our solar system move in ellipses, not circles.
“I’m so scared. I’m so scared of dying without ever being really seen. Can you understand?”
David Foster Wallace | Infinite Jest
Spring Melt in the Alleyway at toMAKE™
“Seeds have the power to preserve species, to enhance cultural as well as genetic diversity, to counter economic monopoly and to check the advance of conformity on all its many fronts.”
Michael Pollan | Second Nature: A Gardener's Education
Corn Seeds 2017
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Albert Einstein | Unconfirmed
“Geographer Gilbert F. White, according to his biographer in Living with Nature’s Extremes (2006), attributed this to Einstein in his Journal of France and Germany in 1942. Maybe so; but all he does is invoke “Albert Einstein said”. He says nothing about how he knows this, when or where it might have been said, whether he heard it directly or through a friend, or what the context may have been. With the preponderance of misattributions to Einstein being as large as it is, this is not a good sign. There is no striking reason to assert that Einstein couldn’t have said this; but there is also no striking reason to assert that he did.”
Spring flow on Heron’s Island :: Clark’s Fork of the Columbia :: Downtown Missoula, Montana
SPRING INTO GOOD OPEN SPACE CONSERVATION LANDS PRACTICES
1. Be prepared for mud! Walkers/Runners - go through it down the center of the trail. This ensures our trails aren’t expanding and eroding conservation lands. Bikers – stay off muddy trails. Bikes leave ruts in the mud that will be there all season. Don’t want to get muddy – go in the morning when the ground is more solid or hit a trail in one of our parks
2. Be a responsible dog owner – spring means snow melt and lots of “presents” appear from the winter. Pick it up, toss it out. Bags on the side of the trail won’t walk themselves to the trash and are you really going to pick it up later?
3. Have awesome trail etiquette – hikers/runners and uphill traffic always have the right of way.
REALLY NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR STRAVA TIME BUT YOU.
Be aware – take an earbud out if you’re recreating with music. Look up, be alert, recreate in control, be kind, high five people on the trail. Our open space lands are our shared resource.
Missoula, Montana Open Space Lands
‘OH, MY POLITICAL POSTS ARE ANNOYING YOU? Sorry, I assumed the future of THE EARTH was worth discussing.’
The Magna Carta Of American Environmental Law Is Under Siege . . . “Citizens need to stop being passive. They need to put pressure on their elected officials, letting them know they are aware that selfish interests and greedy gluttons are pushing an agenda that is not in their best interests or that of their children’s best interests and they are not going to stand for it anymore. What does America desperately need? There needs to be a #MeToo movement started for the environment.” —Michael V. Finley
The Bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ :: end of February
I’m on the letterpress printing Year of the Brown Earth Dog postcards. If you don’t get one in the mail shortly please be sure to eMail me with your current address and I’ll get one sent.
Design, layout and photopolymer plate for letterpress printed postcards
Three Things To Remember
As long as you’re dancing, you can break the rules.
Sometimes breaking the rules is just extending the rules.
Sometimes there are no rules.
“So this is winter – and what remains of the world now that autumn has left us, gone underground with the once luminous grasses and the husks and seeds of all the left-behinds. This is the cold season. Learn to endure it.”
Laura Lush | “Winter,” The First Day of Winter
“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.” Alan Watts
I am searching fragments of an old poem about a flood on the Mississippi River . . . but all I can recover are some missing water soaked pages from the book caught in the flooding.
"The most intimate thing we can do is to allow people we love most see us at our worst. At our lowest. At our weakest. True intimacy happens when nothing is perfect.” Amy Harmon, The Song of David
“…I seemed to do none of the things I intended to do — I didn’t seem to be quite present anywhere —” Georgia O’Keeffe, in a letter to Margaret Kiskadden