NATURAL PHENOMENON

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: PHYSICAL PHENOMENON
FROM PAULA:

This Thursday I want you to get physical and show me a natural phenomenon that arouses your curiosity.

I find that condensation lends itself to great photographic possibilities, and you may find your inspiration elsewhere. Physical phenomena are all around us; just think of “Brazil nut effect”, foam, ice, cereal floating in a bowl of milk and clumping together. Think about magnets, static in your hair, or show me the most beautiful one of all – a rainbow. I look forward to your entries which will be again displayed on this page. Happy Thursday!

Living in a woods, the natural world and its phenomena dominate life. The leaves that fall and pile up, turning quickly to compost, and the rain water that runs down the driveway pooling at the bottom. Our ever-changing skies and the snow.

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The relentless seasons that are gone before I have a moment to grab them in my lens.

Rainbows have been few and far between, but this month, the equinox month, has been full of the most beautiful sunrises. This one is a favorite, taken as the sun rose the morning of the Vernal Equinox.

HELP! I’VE FALLEN AND I DON’T WANT TO GET UP!

HELP!

I am drowning.

How can this be? I am retired. How come I don’t have half enough hours in the day to do half the things that need doing? How come? How come the moment I clear out my email, it’s full again? How come I think I’ve written and scheduled posts for weeks to come, but I look and tomorrow is lying there empty, accusing me of slacking.

Drawing: Sir-John-Tenniel
Drawing: Sir-John-Tenniel

I feel like Alice, running with the Red Queen:

“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”  ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

If this is Wonderland, am I Alice?

TRUMPED: REALITY, REALITY SHOWS, AND REAL TV – TOM CURLEY

Ellin and I were on a brief ski trip a couple of weeks ago up in Vermont. We learned three things.

  1. We are still not too old to ski.
  2. Gravity is a harsh mistress.
  3. It’s getting harder and harder to figure out what’s real and what’s not.

Let me explain.

We were on our trip on a Tuesday. One of the Super Tuesdays. I forget which one because they’re all Super now. We’re both fascinated by this incredibly bizarre presidential campaign, so of course we were watching …

house of cards
indiewire.com

House of Cards on Netflix. We love that show.

In between binge watching episode after episode, we’d check in on the (real) election coverage. And that’s when I noticed that on House of Cards, the characters are constantly on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, CBS This Morning, and so on. All this stuff is shot on the actual news sets with real people playing themselves — while reporting on a fictional presidential campaign.

I’m not going to reveal any spoilers, but this season’s episodes were filmed way before the actual election began. Despite this, the show (House of Cards) contains a lot of surprisingly prescient plot lines.

We sat there watching CNN, MSNBC, CBS and all the other news shows interview and talk with Frank Underwood as he brilliantly manipulates the government and the world to get whatever he wants.

Then we’d change the channel to watch CNN, MSNBC, CBS and all the other news shows talk — with Donald Trump — where they were debating whether or not Trump has a large penis.

trumphands
washingtonpost.com

Then, a bunch of pundits complained this (real) campaign is nothing more than a bad reality show. They are correct. The Republicans are currently trying to throw their leading candidate off the island, but inextricably, he keeps winning the immunity idol.

immunity idol.jpg
survivor.wikia.com

The other questions everyone keeps asking is “How did a reality show star end up running for President?”

Good question. But I know the answer.

It’s all Dan Quayle’s fault.

dan quayle
businessinsider.com

You remember Dan Quayle, the guy who was George Bush Senior’s Vice President, don’t you? Dan had a reputation for not being the sharpest pencil in the box.

He was famous for misspelling potato as “potatoe” at a campaign stop at an elementary school in 1992.

quayle potatoe
Dailyhaymaker.com

Most people have forgotten the other important thing he did.

He started a fight with Murphy Brown.

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cloudpix.com

Murphy Brown was the fictional TV journalist and anchor. Played by Candice Bergen, she headed the cast in a 90’s sitcom about a fictional news show called FYI.

In one of the late seasons, she got pregnant and was going to be a single mother. Quayle gave a campaign speech (real) calling her out as being against “Family Values” because she didn’t have a husband. Murphy Brown was “mocking the importance of fathers” (an actual quote from Quayle’s speech).

quayle v brown2
uselectionatlas.org

Here’s where it got brilliant. The producers and writers of the show didn’t put out a statement denouncing his speech. They had Murphy Brown go after Quayle on the television show. It made front page headlines (real) all across the country.

quayle v brown1jpg
dykewriter

So, now you had Dan Quayle fighting with — and being mocked by — a fictional character on a fictional show. And he fought back. In real life.

Pretty much nobody said “Has anyone noticed the Vice President of the United States is fighting with A FICTIONAL TV CHARACTER ????”

No one appeared to notice. Or care.

That’s was the beginning of the end, when American politics started down the rabbit hole. What began as a real-life politician appearing on a fictional TV news show, morphed into fictional politicians on real TV news shows. And real news shows showing up on fictional TV shows.

And a bad reality host running for President of the United States.

In the real world.

At least I think it’s the real world. I’m not sure anymore. I used to have to take drugs to get this confused. Personally I’d rather watch House of Cards. It makes more sense.

To paraphrase a quote from one of my favorite movies, Galaxy Quest, our current reality is a poorly written episode. And it’s not over, not nearly.

EARLY GREEN

March is not particularly green, at least not in New England. It’s a fickle month with warm days, cold nights, sudden thaws and freezes … and of course, snowstorms. Just to remind us who’s really in charge.

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Two days ago …

Today, I went looking for signs of green and found a few.

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The trees are bare, but fat buds are beginning to appear — a promise of leaves to come.

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But there’s more. On the ground, despite two snows in the past few days (and another on the way), the day lilies are coming up.

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A huge number of them are several inches out of the ground forming a blanket in the garden in the backyard.

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They are looking very enthusiastic! I’m expecting a great year for the lilies.