Shadows and Reflections

By Vladimir Brezina

In Winter—

Shadows and reflections in Winter 1
Shadows and reflections in Winter 2

and in the Spring—

Shadows and reflections in Spring

Where are Summer and Fall? Clearly, I have work cut out for me this year!

A second contribution to this week’s Photo Challenge, Shadowed. The first contribution was here.

Laughter

By Vladimir Brezina

Sometimes all you can do is laugh—

A folding kayak!

The last moments of one of the entries in last summer’s Cardboard Kayak Race, in which participants had to construct a kayak from cardboard and tape and then paddle it a short distance. This one turned out to be a folding kayak!

A contribution to Ailsa’s photo challenge, Laughter.

Blue Shadows

By Vladimir Brezina

Seasonally appropriate: sunny days after the big snowstorm in NYC’s Central Park—

The scene in NYC's Central Park
Blue shadows 1
Blue shadows 2
Blue shadows 3
Blue shadows 4
Blue shadows 5
(More photos are here, here, and here)

A contribution to this week’s Photo Challenge, Shadowed. A second contribution is here.

The Sunspot Story

By Johna Till Johnson

Suspended lion face
Spilling at the centre
Of an unfurnished sky
How still you stand,
And how unaided
Single stalkless flower
You pour unrecompensed.

The eye sees you
Simplified by distance
Into an origin,
Your petalled head of flames
Continuously exploding. …

—Philip Larkin, Solar

.
What’s the longest-running scientific experiment in history?

I bet you didn’t think of monitoring sunspots.

Sunspots

Sunspots (photo by NASA)

And I can’t definitively say it’s the longest-running experiment —there may be others I haven’t heard of yet. But the first recorded systematic observation of sunspots in the West was by astronomers Thomas Harriot, Johannes and David Fabricius  in 1610 (Chinese astronomers observed them as far back as 300 BC). Scientists have been monitoring sunspots ever since—which means that sunspots have been monitored for the past 405 years!

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Clean-up Crew

By Vladimir Brezina

Do not watch if you are prone to nightmares involving swarming insects! (However, more than 8 million people have not been able to resist watching this classic YouTube video…)

I particularly like the way they carry off the skull in the end… :-)

Some background and explanation is here.

Our 2015 Calendar

By Vladimir Brezina and Johna Till Johnson

Picking Vlad’s photos for our calendar is an annual ritual for us.  It’s harder than it sounds, because you’re looking both backwards and forwards at the same time: remembering the past while wondering about the future. And, like most artistic endeavors, you’re never sure how it will turn out.

This year the task was particularly challenging, for various reasons. So we were both pleased and surprised at the result. Our theme, as you can see, was “water”. But the selection of photos carried a greater-than-usual sense of whimsy. It also included some of our favorite photos (you’ll probably recognize at least one).

See what you think:

Cover

Cover(Story and more photos are here)

If I were called in
To construct a religion
I should make use of water.

Philip Larkin, Water

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New

By Vladimir Brezina

Each morning is a new morning—

 (click on any photo to start slideshow)

A contribution to this week’s Photo Challenge, New.