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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

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cropHappy October everyone, and a delightful Inktober for those of you organized enough to participate. I managed entries for the 1st and 2nd last year, and not even that this year, or at least not ones I want to share, unless desperate for a fridayfugly post.

I really need to get houseplants indoors this week—we had our first frost warning last night, though the days are still lovely—plus some other paperwork tedium, so, once again, posting will be erratic. —Here's the linkies that have been piling up recently:

  • Via BB, an architect goes through the history of Batman's various abodes. Surprisingly entertaining, especially when he gives a bit of the history and origin of the buildings used.
  • How to train your cat to roll over on request. I'm super proud of the kitty living with us just for learning to use a food ball, but I have friends with clever & easily bored kitties who would probably be the better for this sort of thing.
  • Gorgeous botanical illustrations online by Elizabeth Blackwell. Now see, this is the sort of thing I wish my art history courses had really delved into...
  • Speaking of art, cigarette vending machines are being re-purposed to dispense miniature artworks instead. So much nicer not only for our culture, but one's lungs too:)
  • So if white noise doesn't do it for you (I hate it) mebbe try brown noise instead? I admit, it's less annoying.
  • No yakking. No music. Just a completely visual how-to for making an elegant box bag that opens up flat.



cropO hai, a bike rant; the author explains why Amsterdam is so much more bike friendly—and it is! I've been there, and once you realize that the red paths are for bikes and the grey ones for pedestrians, you're golden. I especially like the idea of subbing out curb cuts—which are certainly better than no curb cuts—for instead raising the street crossing to the level of the sidewalk, thereby automatically creating a hump that cues auto drivers to a) stop before the crosswalk and b) slows them down (it's a de facto speed bump) and c) makes it easier for wheelchair & other assistive device users.

This is an example of using physics instead of signs, because physics—the change in elevation—works so much better than signs. Though again, I'll take those little signs in the middle of the road over nothing, and actually elevated islands over signs, and the Amsterdam solution over all.



cropWe're now officially into fall: the temps plunged 20 degrees between one day and the next; and rain has been dropping by one or two days out of three, harbingers of things to come.

All this to say, I didn't really make much progress on any art over the weekend, so this week's posts, such as they are, will be a bit catch-as-catch can.

Today I have some anemones, but I'd like to put in a public service reminder for one of our natives, goldenrod, which is currently also blooming in my garden (along with phlox, snakeroot, new england asters, and rudbeckia). People tend to blame the tall brilliant-yellow plumes for their autumn allergies, becuase they're so visible; but any plant you see putting out showy flowers is spending all those resources to attract pollinators, i.e. insects (human appreciation for flowers is an entirely unintended side-effect), and not letting such pollen grains (which are too big anyway) just float around in the wind to stuff up your sinuses.



cropI've made a real effort to be upbeat all week, but that just doesn't seem to be sustainable...to go with the first fridayfugly I've featured in awhile, some troubling trends:

When I clicked on this streetlights are spying on you article, I just assumed it was another in the genre of how night lights are not only screwing up our—and many other living things’—metabolisms, and diminishing the beauty of the night sky, a topic on which I've ranted multiple times on this blog and of which this other article that just appeared as I was writing this intro is a good survey of the genre, with a soupcon of, ‘and oh yeah, they reduce the presumed privacy of the evening’; but boy was I wrong.



cropOn 10/10/10, I took my very first picture of a fringed blue gentian. It was a truly serendipitous find, and not one I've seen since—till earlier this week.

Since the wirewrapping I'd hoped to fill out the rest of the week isn't done, I'm interrupting that series celebrating with blue gentians for 22 September 22. Seems like a nice way to ring in Autumn!

(Re-reading that old intro was also a reminder that progress is being made, however slowly: the replacement for the broken kiln controller relay I was still trying to source in 2010 also bit the dust a decade later, and this time the wizard fixed it with some solid state in the beginning of ’21, and though I initially missed the clicks that accompanied my lampworking for two decades, I'm given to understand the new setup will easily outlive me.



cropToday's linkie is courtesy of my favourite photographic gear review site, dpreview, and is astronaut Donald Pettit's incredible extraterrestrial shot.

And if you enjoyed that, here's some more amazing astrophotography —a really nice assortment, everything from comets to the sun, the moon (& space station!) to galaxies and aurora borealis.

I also have a link to a wirewrap I did about five years ago.

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