Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Repost: Spring

Do you know why Spring occurs when it does and that the reason for the season is actually scientific, since the Earth rotates on an axis that is tilted in it's orbit. 

The 23.5° tilt causes the different hemispheres to be at different angles to the sun at different times of the year. In our northern hemisphere on March 20 (sometimes the 19th or 21st) the Vernal Equinox, also referred to as the Spring or March Equinox, is when the sun sits on the plane of the earth's equator.

In the southern hemisphere at this time of year, they would be experiencing the Autumnal (Fall) Equinox. Conversely, we would experience the Autumnal Equinox in September, and the southern hemisphere would experience the Vernal Equinox of course.

In both cases, the Equinox occurs when the Earth's orbit takes it to the point where the sun crosses the Celestial Equator, an imaginary line that runs above the Earth's equator. At this juncture, there are an equal number of hours in the day and night (12 hours), so the Latin word Equinox literally means equal (equi) night (nox).

From here on in, we begin to see longer and longer daylight hours until we reach the Summer Solstice, which is the peak amount of sunlight in our northern hemisphere. 

Of course, we all know that long stretch of darkness at the Winter Solstice, where it gets dark around 4:00 in the afternoon and the sun doesn't arise until 8:30, and that's just around Calgary. Worse as you get into the far north where it stays dark all day. Naturally, the opposite is true wen they get 24 hours of sunlight on the occasion of the Summer Solstice, hence the term "Land Of The Midnight Sun".

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Put Out The Welcome Mat!

Without a doubt, there is some crazy stuff for sale on the internet, some of which I'd hesitate to show on this blog. 

However, here's some weird and wacky rugs that are reasonably viewable, though would any of them be something you'd lay out as a welcome mat at your front door or entryway?

This rug is a copy of a Banksy piece.

A rug inspired from a Brandalism campaign

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

To Infinity And Beyond!

You may remember the movie line "To Infinity And Beyond", spoken by Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story, and chuckled over the oxymoronic statement, but it does also prompt one's mind into contemplating the idea of infinity and all the related theories on the topic.

How fitting to discuss that topic on Pi Day, celebrated each year on this day, March 14, a.k.a. 3/14.

Infinity may be expressed in multiple ways, including the symbol , but I was thinking for today's thought we would talk about it in relation to the symbol π and mathematically expressed as 3.14. Of course, I am referring to that number of 3.14 as actually being the abbreviated form of Pi and calculating to the infinite. Perhaps there is an end to the equation but at this time, no can be certain.

So far, Pi has been calculated to the trillions, such being 22,459,157,718,361 digits, by Peter Trueb on his 24 hard drive computer which has 6 terrabytes of memory.

Needless to say, pi is a bedrock of geometry, as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. According to history, it was first contemplated and calculated by mathematicians in ancient Babylon, though not quite as accurately as the current standard of 3.14. Over time, various ancient mathematicians got better and better at the accuracy, including Chinese math wizard Zu Chongzhi in approx 429 A.D., who managed 3.14159292. 

And how's this for impressive? According to the "Guinness Book Of World Records", the most decimal places of Pi that are memorized is 70,000, achieved by Rajveer Meena of India on March 21 2015. He was blindfolded during the 10 hour recital.
Apparently, a Japanese citizen recited Pi to over 100,000 decimal places but since the claim was never substantiated, the aforementioned record still holds.

Strange but quite fitting coincidences involving Pi Day is the facts that mathematician and scientist Albert Einstein was born on this day in 1879, and noted scientist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died on this day in 2018.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Other Balancing Acts

Balance is an important function of many things, like sports and fitness, and when considering things like diet and work/play relationships it may be the key to a good, long, healthy life .

In the case of exhibiting patience and dexterity, you may have seen some cool examples of this in my posts "Gravity Glue" and "Balancing Act".

Here's another fine example of the delicate nature of balance, this time using a feather and some pieces of wood. I've seen several variations on this same theme but this is a good example, seemingly part of some Japanese talent show. (BTW, ¥ 7, 625,000 =  approx Can $85,000 )

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover

Ryan Arcand, who has been living on the street for 30 some years, died this past week.

Maybe that means nothing to most people but if you watch this video of Ryan, playing the piano that was placed outdoors at Churchill Square in Edmonton, you'll be sure to look at street people a little differently the next time.

Ryan was self taught and the song in this video was one he wrote himself.

Saturday, 3 March 2018


"Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It's yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it,"     
Banksy (for those who don't know, an anonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist and film director)

Brandalism: An anti-advertising campaign, also referred to as "subvertising", whereby street artists take over existing billboard and poster advertising in a city and replace it with their own artwork.

Here's a series of photographs taken of a thought provoking  'brandalism' campaign done in 2012 in several cities in England, including London. As many as 26 street artists subverted 35 different billboards and poster spaces into anti-consumer artwork. Another campaign occurred in 2014, this one taking place in several countries. 

I have no issues with graffiti in the sense of accepting it as art, as long as it doesn't destroy something historical or damage someone else's work, like the dimwit in this article. Of course, there's always been an argument about whether street art is actually art, or merely vandalism. I lean toward the art side, but maybe it's both, if one considers examples like that in the link.

Watch for future posts about another campaign that took place in 2014 and includes several differnt countries.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018


DJERBAHOOD is a place invested by artists from all over the world to transform the village into an open-sky museum. 

The town of Erriadh, on the island of Djerba and a part of Tunisia, has hosted the works of around 100 different nationalities. Erriadh, an authentic and traditional town, has become a major place of expression for artists from various cultures, a worldwide panorama of Street Art and an essential cultural attraction in Tunisia.

Over 150 street artists from 30 different countries transformed this traditional town into a giant canvas with a variety of art that added flair but honoured the tradition and values of local culture.

Check out these 10 murals that give a taste of what to expect when you visit this small town.