Posted by: David | February 21, 2009

Head Shrinking

Maybe watching the Oscars will finally pop my award-induced halo-bubble. My head has pretty much returned to normal size now. Almost everyone at work has now personally or by email congratulated me and offered lavish praises which served to carry me through the week as though buoyed by puffy white clouds in a sunny blue sky. With rainbows. To combat this excessive praise I repeatedly stated that it’s all quite mutual, and each day this week one colleague after another agreed with me that we are all very lucky to have such fine jobs. Ain’t that the truth!? Then they’d start praising me for being humble. Dammit! And I won’t watch the Oscars either. Yuk.

I dipped back into the B&W nostalgia trip a couple weeks back. Scanned some more of my old 35mm negatives. Maybe it’s a winter thing. Nostalgia is kind of an interesting word isn’t it? Greek roots. Homesick is a reasonable translation. Do I seem to look back into the past more often now, or is it that there’s just more of it to look at?

dlwashere-copy
A summer evening in 1973. Time exposure of me running up the bleachers with a flashlight.

I wrote ‘DL WAS HERE’ with the flashlight. And though I was indeed there, I neglected to make the crossbar on the ‘A’. The word ‘HERE’ is obscured by a tree. This time exposure was probably a minute or more. The stars in the sky left slight trails. See the Big Dipper? Now back to the present for a sec …

img_3065
Here’s where we are with our aloe flowers. They’ll be opening next week.

I found (at the dump) a volume of science articles from the year 2000. Edited by James Gleick. There’s a nice little article on scale by George Johnson that appeared in the New York Times in 1999. It said that the fluttering hearts of birds and mice, in their relatively short lifetimes, beat roughly the same number of times as the chugging hearts of elephants or whales that live as long or longer than we humans do. We all get about a billion heartbeats. That really struck me for some reason. About a billion heartbeats.

hhscorridor
A corridor on the 3rd floor of my high school.  I hung out after school a lot.

Hmmm. This post has suddenly taken an odd direction. You’re probably a little dizzy from that photoshopped corridor dealy huh?  Here’s just the thing to bring it back from the brink of weirdness. PUPPY!! Look, it’s  Tucker and vermonter!

img_3063
There. That’s much better. What a good little puppy! Hope springse eternal.

UPDATE: Click this link to read the college’s official web posting on just how great I really am. Oh and some other people are pretty great too.

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Responses

  1. “Then they’d start praising me for being humble. Dammit! ”

    Hahahahahahahahahaha. Can’t win, can ya?

    To me it looks like your bleacher picture says, DL WASH.

    The aloe picture is amazing. I bet you’re hoping to get bad sunburns just to be able to use it all.

    How’d you get a picture of the way the world looks to me? Have you implanted another chip? Great, here goes another MRI.

    A billion beats? Oh crap! With all the sports, sex, general heart racing I’ve had in my life I’d better sit down and conserve becaus. . . urgh. . .GAK. . .

    He he! 🙂 Can’t lose for winning, guess you could say …

    You know it was probably the first MRI did that to yer brain. Or a hockey puck.

    Yes, you want to slow it down a bit if at all possible. But then, as I’ve previously stated, billion is the new million. Let’s pray for our continued good health in the remaining heartbeats allotted to us.

  2. A billion heartbeats… how cool is that! Although, I have to tell you, it sure makes me rethink the whole “cardio” workout thing. I want to stretch mine out. 😉

    Very cool pics. Do you know what that second light trail is in the foreground of the long-exposure one?

    Thank you birdpress. 🙂 When I tried to do the math … 70 years X 365 days X 24 hours X 60 minutes X 60 seconds (assumptions: lifetime = 70 years and a heartbeat = 1 second) I came up with 2.2 billion. So I’d say we should keep up with the cardio.

    I think that second light trail is from when I was right in front of the camera opening the shutter. I must have swept the light up and to the right as I went over to the bleacher steps.

  3. Watching your aloe pics with great interest. I’ve never seen one bloom.

    Glad to hear you can get your hats on again. Probably need ’em up there this time of year!

    Luckily my hats are fairly stretchy! 😀 I will continue photographing the aloe as it progresses. This is the 3rd time it has flowered since I started this blog a couple of years ago. It’s got to be a fairly old plant.

  4. Hell, I’m sure the damage was there before the MRI’s! I was listening to a news report that began,

    “Reports say a person experiencing three or more concussions. . .”

    “. . .a year?” I say. “I’m below that!”

    “. . .in their life. . .”

    “Oh oh.”

    I turned off the radio. It didn’t seem to me that was going anyplace nice and, up to then, I was having such a good day.

    On the other hand, my comical friend, perhaps the occasional “jiggling of the jell-o” allows for some new connections to be made in that ridiculously complicated network of neurons. Maybe your head banging is part of what makes you so imaginative and funny. Anyway, like most of the crap that hits our fans, WTF can we do? The bell cannot be un-rung. I don’t think I’ve ever had a concussion, but I do remember falling on some ice when I was a kid back in New Haven and the back of my head made a good bounce. I saw “stars” … actually a sort of zig-zag pattern. I also remember feeling the “jiggle” of the jell-o in my skull, which was later confirmed by purposely whacking my head on the ground, but not too hard. Try it! You can feel it jiggle! It’s awesome! Or maybe it’s stupid. Or both. Whatever.

  5. Hey Dave – awesome shots. Funny you should post the flashlight shot – I was just looking at similar shots on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/czd72/) and thinking “that looks like fun!”

    Thanks Keath 🙂 The color shots on Flickr are cool, thanks for the link! All that fun looking stuff cheers me up too much.

  6. Your photos are really cool. And the ability to keep your focus with the flashlight amazes me. I think I’d just make a big light blog!

    Your typos are FUNNY! I’m sure with the same equipment that you would make fantastic and graceful traces, on account of all that kickin of air’s ass and stuff. 🙂

  7. Agh, Freudian slip! A big white bloB, not a big white bloG!!

    More Jungian than Freudian wouldn’tcha say? Hee hee 😀 Actually you’re right on Ceridwen, in the next frame on the film I walked up to the same spot on the hill and made a big white blob of light. I would have posted that picture too but it has some issues …

  8. WE ALL GET THE SAME NUMBER OF HEARTBEATS!??!?!?!?

    BUT I HAVE A HIGHER THAN AVERAGE RESTING HEART RATE!!!

    SO WHAT IS THAT SCIENTIST DUDE TRYING TO SAY!?!??!?

    AHHHHHHHHHHH….I am sad and freaked out now… 😦

    Oops sorry Romi. Here’s a nice little explanation [link]. Don’t be sad about being “HIGHER THAN AVERAGE”. Although if you could just calm down you’d be better off. We’d all be better off. But you probably wouldn’t be as funny. A billion is kind of a lot though, so you shouldn’t freak out. Billions just don’t seem as big as they used to, what with all the trillions they’re throwing around now. And anyway we all have to die. 🙂

  9. “With rainbows”. You must include rainbows, dear Mr David . . you just have to.

    Your photos, *sigh* mah-velous, my friend. I am, again, jealous of your talent. . both then and now.

    Thanks Red. You’re too kind. Rainbows definitely included. And comets and shooting stars too.

  10. You are SO cool! I love the flashlight photo. You compose the very best random posts evah! and keep enjoying all the praise, you deserve it from all the nice things they’re saying.

    Thanks C. My cup runneth over. Random is my second middle name.

  11. Ooooooo…. PURDY….

    I’ll hafta try the “DL WAS HERE” trick some day. Wonder if I can pull it off though.

    Hey Nimish! Thanks for stopping by. All you need for light-drawing is darkness, a flashlight (torch?), and a camera that allows you to leave the shutter open for a while. Don’t know if today’s digital cameras do that, though I should. I’ll have to try to find out.

  12. I too was struck by the allotted billion heartbeats we share with so many species. It has the poetics of the biblical “three score and ten” and the noetics of research. I wondered if running marathons might throw this equation off balance because of the increased number of heartbeats while training; a cardiologist suggested to me that the resting heartrate becomes lower and thus this billion beats maintains.

    Welcome psychlotron, love your moniker! Love that word ‘noetics’ too. Other commentators wondered about the finite supply of heartbeats running out sooner if used faster, but I think your observation of biblical quantifications helps put the right shade on this ‘statistic’ of scale for Earth organisms. Thank you!

  13. love your aloe pictures. I had no idea how beautiful plants could be. I also remember the scandal when the contract to build your high school was awarded to Escher. You had to walk upstairs to get to the basement.

    Thanks, glad you like. This plant is incredible really. It’s so horny!

    On HHS, that Escher dude was a typical architect: megalomaniac. And it didn’t help that the masons were always drunk. 🙂

  14. On DL written in light; the stars in the sky left a slight trail. Your idea of trails in the sky is alive and well. There is a 2009 version at wired.com that follows the flight paths of planes for one day in light trails. Here is the link to the photo; I believe that there is a video of this too. In the video its remarkably sped up style creates a visual that is, well, remarkable. link to pic: http://www.wired.com/imageviewer/?imagePath=%2Fimages%2Farticle%2Fmagazine%2F1607%2Fpb_airfares_f.jpg&imageCaption=“Flight%20Patterns”%20shows%20141,000%20aircraft%20paths%20over%20a%2024-hour%20period.&imageCredit=Aaron%20Koblin

    That’s a nice graphic. The print magazine left out the color and zoomed in on NYC. Thanks for the link. Oh, and star trails were not my idea. They’re god’s idea. I guess. But I’ll take credit for the light graffiti. I wish I could say that I was not responsible for other graffiti in that town. 🙂


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