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Friday, 31 January 2014

One Moment


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1 moment = 1/40 sec: photo by Prof Alex O Chevtchenko, 21 March 2013


One moment
One fortieth of a second
closer





Squirrel: photo by Prof Alex O Chevtchenko, 22 December 2012


[Untitled]: photo by Prof Alex O Chevtchenko, 9 May 2012


Riverside: photo by Prof Alex O Chevtchenko, 2 July 2012
 

old street: photo by Prof Alex O Chevtchenko, 26 November 2012
 

isle scan: photo by Prof Alex O Chevtchenko, 26 November 2012
 

winter trees: photo by Prof Alex O Chevtchenko, 23 January 2013
 

deep in the snow forest: photo by Prof Alex O Chevtchenko, 2 February 2013
 

snow snow: photo by Prof Alex O Chevtchenko, 22 December 2013

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Friedrich Hölderlin: Empedokles (Into the Volcano)


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Volcano above the city.. Etna's New Southeast Crater showing intense Strombolian activity and lava flow emission on the early morning of 30 December 2013, seen from the roof of the INGV-Osservatorio Etneo building in Catania. The distance from the viewing spot to the crater is nearly 30 km.: photo by Bruno Behncke, 30 December 2013



You look for life, you look, and a divine fire wells up and gleams at you from the deeps of Earth, 
and in your quivering desire you cast yourself down into Etna's flames. 
So did the Queen's exuberance dissolve pearls in wine, and well she might! 
If only you, O poet, had not offered up your wealth to the seething chalice! 
But you are holy to me as the might of Earth that bore you away, bold victim! 
And, did not love hold me back, gladly I'd follow the hero down to the depth.
 
Das Leben suchst du, suchst, und es quillt und glänzt
.Ein göttlich Feuer tief aus der Erde dir,
..Und du in schauderndem Verlangen
...Wirfst dich hinab, in des Aetna Flammen.

So schmelzt' im Weine Perlen der Übermuth
.Der Königin; und mochte sie doch! hättst du
..Nur deinen Reichtum nicht, o Dichter
...Hin in den gährenden Kelch geopfert!

Doch heilig bist du mir, wie der Erde Macht,
.Die dich hinwegnahm, kühner Getödteter!
..Und folgen möcht' ich in die Tiefe,
...Hielte die Liebe mich nicht, dem Helden.

Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843), Empedokles (Empedocles), c. 1795, English prose version (relineated) by Michael Hamburger, 1961 
 
 



Etna's fireworks continue. The latest eruptive episode at Etna's New Southeast Crater, which started on the morning of 29 December 2013, is continuing vigorously on the evening of 30 December, though weather conditions have deteriorated and visibility is very limited. Occasionally, though, a partly veiled view of the activity is possible, like this one seen from my home in Tremestieri Etneo, on Etna's south flank, on the evening of 30 December 2013. Low jets of lava rising from two vents within the crater are visible at left, and the lava flow spilling from the crater into the large Valle del Bove depression on Etna's east flank extends diagonally across the center of the view. Above the lava flow, a dense plume of ash and vapor rises into the sky, eerily illuminated by the glow of the lava below: photo by Boris Behncke, 30 December 2013


Multiple glows at night. While we still don't know whether the new episode of eruptive activity at Etna's New Southeast Crater will eventually culminate in some stronger and more spectacular activity, on the evening of 23 January 2014 the volcano is providing a suggestive, mysterious show of fiery glows. Lava is flowing from a vent at the eastern base of the New Southeast Crater cone, accompanied by mild Strombolian activity at the crater itself -- seen at left in this photo taken from my home in Tremestieri Etneo. The glow in the center is the vent from which the lava is issuing, and the active lava front is seen at right: photo by Bruno Behncke, 23 January 20



Lava in the morning. Throughout the night, Etna's latest episode of Strombolian activity and lava flow emission (from the New Southeast Crater) has continued; much of the time, bad weather has prevented observations. At dawn on 24 January 2014, the clouds partially opened, revealing a suggestive view of the lava flow moving down the steep flank of the Valle del Bove, a deep valley in the eastern flank of Etna, where most of the earlier lava flows from the New Southeast Crater have descended, too. Taken from my home in Tremestieri Etneo, 20 km south of Etna's summit: photo by Bruno Behncke, 24 January 2014




Infernal mornings. Always an incredible experience, after all these years, to wake up at dawn, look out and see an erupting volcano before your bedroom (and kitchen) window. Etna, 25 January 2014 seen from my home in Tremestieri Etneo: photo by Bruno Behncke, 25 January 2014
 

A fire in the clouds. Etna's latest episode of Strombolian activity and lava emission continues unabated, with a slight increase in the ash content of the emissions from the New Southeast Crater seen this morning (25 January 2014). The explosive activity is rather mild, quite different from the previous episodes of activity at the New Southeast Crater in the past three years, many of which produced awesome lava fountains and huge columns of gas and loose volcanic rock material (so-called tephra or pyroclastic material). But this time the quantity of lava that is being emitted seems somewhat more significant -- only that relatively bad weather is hampering observations of the activity a lot of the time. This view was taken at dawn on 25 January 2014 from my home in the village of Tremestieri Etneo, 20 km south of Etna's summit. At left is the silent, old cone of the Southeast Crater, and the erupting new cone is in the center; weather clouds surround the "volcanic siblings" to the left and right: photo by Bruno Behncke, 25 January 2014


Ash in the sky... On the afternoon of 26 January 2014, the amount of ash emitted from Etna's erupting New Southeast Crater increased -- interestingly this happened shortly after the Greek island of Kephalonia was shaken by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake (which luckily does not seem to have caused any deaths). The earthquake was also felt in eastern Sicily. This view shows continued ash emission at sunset on 26 January seen from the village of Aci San Filippo, on the lower southeast flank of Etna. Soon after sunset, the active lava flow running down into the Valle del Bove on the upper southeast flank of the volcano since three days became plainly visible...: photo by Bruno Behncke, 26 January 2014


... and lava in the backyard. When darkness fell in Sicily on the evening of 26 January 2014, the beautiful lava flow running down Etna's upper southeast flank became fully visible. This view was taken from the town of Zafferana, on the southeast flank of the mountain, with a power pole rising in the foreground. The lava looks close, but in reality is some 8 km away from the power pole. This lava flow is now going on for more than three days, and mild Strombolian activitiy, at times accompanied by minor ash emission, is continuing at the New Southeast Crater: photo by Bruno Behncke, 26 January 2014
 


The fires are dying. The latest episode of eruptive activity at Etna's New Southeast Crater is showing signs of coming to an end soon, one week after it started. Over the past two days, the activity has been progressively, albeit slowly, diminishing, and on the morning of 29 January 2014, only very rare, weak Strombolian explosions were visible. No Strombolian activity was seen after nightfall on the same day. Likewise, lava emission has diminished considerably: at nightfall on 29 January, the active portion of the lava flow was only a few hundred meters long, as seen in this photograph taken about 16:45 GMT (=local time -1) from the town of Santa Venerina on the southeast flank of the volcano. So Etna's fireworks may soon be over for this time - and we'll be wondering what the volcano will do next and when. This latest eruptive episode has been a rather low-intensity event compared to the previous episodes, most of which were brief, violent paroxysms with high lava fountains and abundant production of ash and lapilli. The last two episodes in December 2013 already showed a tendency toward weaker but more long-lived activity; this tendency has continued with the latest episode: photo by Bruno Behncke, 29 January 2014

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Robert Creeley: The Warning


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 Couple, Madrid: photo by Chuck Patch, 2 May 2012


For love -- I would
split open your head and put   
a candle in
behind the eyes.

Love is dead in us
if we forget
the virtues of an amulet   
and quick surprise.


Robert Creeley: The Warning, from For Love (1962)



 Street conversation, Berlin: photo by Chuck Patch, 2012, posted 16 January 2013
 


Wait until you see the whites of their eyes (Bourbon Street, New Orleans): photo by Chuck Patch, 21 October 2006




Street scene, Hampden, Baltimore: photo by Chuck Patch, 11 June 2011



Harry Shearer and Judith Owen as Newt and Callista Gingrich, New Orleans, Mardi Gras 2012: photo by Chuck Patch, 21 February 2012

 


Street fair, Malmo, Sweden: photo by Chuck Patch, 19 August 2012


Lanier Heights, Washington, D.C.
: photo by Chuck Patch, 18 August 2006



French Quarter, New Orleans: photo by Chuck Patch, 24 February 2009


Gaudi, la Pedrera, Barcelona: photo by Chuck Patch, 1 May 2012


Street scene, Copenhagen: photo by Chuck Patch, 22 August 2012



May 2 Celebration, Madrid: photo by Chuck Patch, 2 May 2012



House, night, New Orleans, Mardi Gras 2012: photo by Chuck Patch, 18 February 2012
 

Union Station, Washington, D.C: photo by Chuck Patch, 22 June 2009

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Birds


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Pope Francis watches children release doves at the Vatican: photo by Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters, 26 January 2014

A dove which was freed by children flanked by Pope Francis during the Angelus prayer, is attacked by a seagull in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday. Symbols of peace have come under attack at the Vatican. Two white doves were sent fluttering into the air as a peace gesture by Italian children flanking Pope Francis Sunday at an open studio window of the Apostolic Palace, as tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter's Square below. After the pope and the two children left the windows, a seagull and a big black crow quickly swept down, attacking the doves, including one which had briefly perched on a windowsill on a lower floor. One dove lost some feathers as it broke free of the gull, while the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove. The doves' fate was not immediately known. While speaking at the window, Francis appealed for peace to prevail in Ukraine: photos by Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press, 26 January 2014
Vatican Pope Doves

Vatican Pope Doves

A dove which was freed by children flanked by Pope Francis during the Angelus prayer, is chased and attacked by a black crow in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. Symbols of peace have come under attack at the Vatican. Two white doves were sent fluttering into the air as a peace gesture by Italian children flanking Pope Francis Sunday at an open studio window of the Apostolic Palace, as tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter's Square below. After the pope and the two children left the windows, a seagull and a big black crow quickly swept down, attacking the doves, including one which had briefly perched on a windowsill on a lower floor. One dove lost some feathers as it broke free of the gull, while the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove. The doves' fate was not immediately known. While speaking at the window, Francis appealed for peace to prevail in Ukraine: photos by Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press, 26 January 2014

File:Juan rizi-san gregorio.jpg

San Gregorio: Juan Rizi, c. 1660, oil on canvas, 100 x 125 cm; image by Enrique Cordero, 22 May 2010 (Bowes Museum)

File:Gregorythegreat.jpg

St. Gregory the Great: José de Ribera (1591-1652), c. 1619, oil on canvas, 102 x 73 cm (Gerard Farinas/Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Roma)


Annunciation: Fra Filippo Lippi, 1445-1450, tempera on panel, 117 x 173 cm (Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Roma)



Annunciation: Fra Filippo Lippi, 1448-1450, egg  tempera on panel, 68 x 152 cm (National Gallery, London)


Annunciation (detail): Fra Filippo Lippi, 1448-1450, egg  tempera on panel, 68 x 152 cm (National Gallery, London)


Annunciation: Fra Filippo Lippi, c. 1443, wood (Alte Pinakothek, Munich)


Annunciation (detail): Fra Filippo Lippi, c. 1443, wood (Alte Pinakothek, Munich)


Madonna and Child with St. Anne: Carlo Saraceni, 1610, oil on canvas, 180 x 155 cm (Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Roma)


Two Venetian Ladies: Vittore Carpaccio, c. 1510, oil on wood, 94 x 64 cm (Museo Correr, Venice)


Two Doves: Franz Werner von Tamm, n.d.. oil on canvas, 90 x 57 cm (private collection)

Monday, 27 January 2014

Sailing in Style


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[Untitled]: photo by Joshua Perez (StrangeGoodness), 14 January 2014

Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?

Thomas Perkins: Letter to The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 24, 2014 4:49 p.m. ET

Regarding your editorial "Censors on Campus" (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its "one percent," namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the "rich."

From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these "techno geeks" can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a "snob" despite the millions she has spent on our city's homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent "progressive" radicalism unthinkable now?

Tom Perkins
San Francisco
Mr. Perkins is a founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.

The Wall Street Journal, 24 January 2014

A hyper-wealthy billionaire venture capitalist has faced ridicule after comparing the treatment of super-rich Americans to the Holocaust.

Thomas Perkins, who is thought to be worth around $8bn, made the startling comparison in a letter to The Wall Street Journal in which he wrote of 'parallels' between the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany and what he describes as the "progressive war on the American one percent".

The letter, which was published by the WSJ earlier this week, begins: "Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its "one percent," namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the "rich."

Mr Perkins was recently in the news after spending $150million building a super yacht called the Maltese Falcon.

Rob Willliams, The Independent, 26 January 2014

Tom will be the first to tell you that he has a big ego. He might have named this boat A Big Ego. You don't build a 300 foot megayacht with masts that are twenty storeys tall, that weighs close to 1400 tons, that cost 130 million dollars, you can't do any of that without a big ego.

David A. Kaplan, Newsweek senior editor and author of Mine's Bigger: Tom Perkins and the Making of the Greatest Sailing Machine Ever Built, interviewed by CNBC for its report Tom Perkins: The Greatest Sailboat Ever -- Maltese Falcon, 6 July 2007




[Untitled]: photo by Joshua Perez (StrangeGoodness), 21 January 2014



Venture capitalist Tom Perkins: photo by Reuters via The Atlantic, 25 January 2014



Google Bus Protest, San Francisco: photo by cjmartin, 9 December 2013



Venture capitalist Thomas Perkins' $150m yacht The Maltese Falcon passes under the Golden Gate Bridge. Photographer's caption: "This is the Maltese Falcon, the biggest privately owned yacht in the world. It is owned by billionaire Tom Perkins. It is 289 feet long and has three 191-foot masts. It had to come into the bay at low tide or else it would not have fit under the bridge. This yacht has 3-deck atrium with a circular staircase with clear glass floors, 5 staterooms, a passenger cabin, as well as a dining room and art studios. Just compare the size of this thing to the normal-sized sailboats that surround it. I can't even imagine.":  photo by Scott Dunham, 27 September 2008


Luxury Yacht For Sale: Lounge of The Maltese Falcon. I know what you're thinking...it looks more like a mansion lounge and not the living room of a yacht. Bliss: photo by Maxine Simpson (yachtfan), 25 March 2009



Luxury Yacht For Sale: A bedroom in the Maltese Falcon. Almost as big as a house itself -- the epitome of what a yacht should be. And it's for sale!: photo by Maxine Simpson (yachtfan), 25 March 2009


Luxury Yacht For Sale: Yacht Stairs, The Maltese Falcon. It's like being in a night club, not a yacht!: photo by Maxine Simpson (yachtfan), 25 March 2009


Luxury Yacht For Sale: Deck of The Maltese Falcon Yacht. Luxury yacht through and through, what more can I say? Imagine having sun downer cocktails there...: photo by Maxine Simpson (yachtfan), 25 March 2009


Maltese Falcon going Full Tilt in all her glory: photo by Maxine Simpson (yachtfan), 25 March 2009


[Untitled]: photo by Joshua Perez (StrangeGoodness), 30 November 2013



[Untitled]: photo by Joshua Perez (StrangeGoodness), 6 January 2014
 

[Untitled]: photo by Joshua Perez (StrangeGoodness), 25 December 2013