On Exploring Blooms

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. (Luther Burbank, botanist)

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable. (Joseph Addison, writer)

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. (Rainer Maria Rilke, poet)

The rose is without an explanation; She blooms, because She blooms. (Angelus Silesius, poet)

Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet)

Love is like the wild rose-briar; Friendship like the holly tree. The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms, but which will bloom most constantly? (Emily Bronte, novelist)

I draw flowers every day and send them to my friends so they get fresh blooms every morning. (David Hockney, artist)

It’s winter for us in the northern hemisphere. Those of us in the upper half experience cold and snow. This Explore is about the days to come … and a dose of spring for those who need it.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 288

Circled Moon

A Halo for the Moon – 23rd January 2016 – Cincinnati, OH

My wife took this picture last Saturday night. We’ve never seen anything like this before – the moon enclosed in a perfect ring – a halo. A little bit of research led me to an explanation. The refraction (bending) and reflection of light by ice crystals in high cirrus clouds create the halo. This article at EarthSky explains – plus it has fabulous images.

An FYI: I saw this in Consumer Reports, and notice a difference. If you feel eye strain from your time on the computer, consider wearing UVEX Skyper glasses (available from Amazon).

We recently watched a fascinating episode about Iran on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown (CNN). The time was very well spent, and you can watch it on Vimeo. The recent release of journalist Jason Rezaian makes this episode even more compelling.

Last weekend we attended the latest Dancing With the Stars touring show. Wow – and they ever talented! Interesting how each dancer transforms their different physique into their own unique expression. Pros at this show were Peta, Sharna, Emma, Lindsay, Val, Keo, Artem, and extras Jenna, Alan, & Brittney – plus last season’s participant Alex Skarlatos. The way their stage set worked was awesome, but I’m bummed that I didn’t get to dance with Sharna.

Colors: The Musical is off to a good start. “Black” offered a long list of available songs – so many that I could have easily added a song in my responses (but my time was limited). Nonetheless, at the time of this writing, Act 1 contains over 30 songs. Well done! Information about Act 2’s theme and date will appear in next week’s OITS – however, the info will first appear on the Hear Ye page.

There will be an Explore this weekend about a person, place, or thing.

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I laugh and shake my head at the contradiction in something I frequently hear from candidates: We must return to the basics of the US Constitution, and then pass a balanced-budget amendment (or a term-limits amendment).

The latest Republican debate is airing at the time of this posting. In advance, there is a lot of buzz about Donald Trump (R-NY) skipping the event. Yawn.

A few weeks ago I stated the importance of the March 1 Republican primaries. With less than a week before the Iowa caucus, I believe the March 15th primaries are key to the Democratic race.

The concept of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg making an independent run for the White House got my attention. Then again, the odds of a perfect storm are remote, so I don’t think it will happen. Besides, a strong third-party candidate could cause the House of Representatives to determine the next US President – and I don’t trust that group!

In case you missed it, Tina Fey’s on the last SNL was awesome! (Watch here)

My normal fact check resources didn’t have information regarding the Democratic Town Hall event in Iowa … but CNN had one.

FactCheck.org (from the Annenberg Public Policy Center) put together a set of statistics gathered during President Obama’s term (20 January 2009 up to 12 January 2016).

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To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion explains how dating sites match their users.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Disney World opens new Ordeal Kingdom for family meltdowns
Boss wants friendly, relaxed company culture in place by Friday
Lazy, overweight cockroach no longer has segmented abdomen
90% of workplace injuries caused by bare-knuckle boxing
Breaking News: Some bullshit happening somewhere

Interesting Reads
Consumers and health-care shopping
Columnist David Ignatius about battling the Islamic State
The first person diagnosed with autism
A fun 3-minute quiz
Ten greatest military blunders of WW II
(Mainly images) The salt-flats of Bolivia

Time for a 2-fer with an Act 1-leftover of jazz (Diana Krall),  and popular rock (Police) to lead you into the weekend. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Colors: The Musical – Act 1: Black

The Story
Color is a large, broad topic, yet color is a human perspective.

We see because cones on the eye’s retina detects a specified range of colors in light, transforms the light messages into nerve impulses to be sent to the brain for interpretation and translation into sight. If it wasn’t for the cones on the retina we wouldn’t see the range of colors that we do … but we could still see without cones.

Colors are a range in the visible light spectrum that correspond to some guy named Roy G Biv. We categorize colors into different levels as primary, secondary, and intermediate. involve tints, shades, and hues with neutrals, pastels, warm/cool, and complementary/contrast … yet designers and artists organize usable colors into a palate.

While a color space organizes colors, a color model serves as a mathematical interpretation … yet 216 colors have been identified as safe for web pages – each with an identify code – each with its own mixture of RGB (red, green, blue), HSL (hue, saturation, lightness and HSB (hue, saturation, brightness).

Cultures adapt color for various symbolisms. The same color can mean excitement, purity, danger, success, and more … yet colors are associated with personality, psychology, meditation, philosophy, and marketing.

No matter the perception, scheme, physics, theory, psychology, or culture, this experience is Color:The Musical.

ColorsPlaybillPROGRAM

Act 1: Black

Black – the darkest of all colors – yet without color.

Black – a conundrum – the complete absorption of light – yet the color we see in the absence of light.

Black, the color associated with clergy, judges, government, poets, business, and fashion elegance – yet the color linked to mourning, evil, secrets, magic, and violence.

Black the color of the night and mystery – yet the color of clarity with the printed word.

Black is a term with wide application – Black Friday, black tie, black mark, black market, blacklist, black mark, black ball, black sheep, and in the black.

Black – a color on the flag representing Belgium, Egypt, Estonia, Germany, and South Africa

Guidelines
Songs with Black must be in the title

Cautions

  • No songs using black as a compound word (blackbird, blackout, blackberry etc)
  • No songs using a form of black (blacks, blackie, blackness, etc) .. .just “black”
  • No duplicate songs regardless of artists

Production Note
To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement
Welcome to Opening Night of the latest musical by aFa Productions: Colors: The Musical.

Selecting the opening song for the opening act of a new musical is never easy – especially when one of my favorite songs would qualify. But, I decided to go outside the box with the one from Arkansas whose first band was the Landsberg Barbarians. The one who is a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame. The one who wore black as in Man in Black – Johnny Cash!

On the Parallels of Life and Blogging

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Just like in life …

Bloggers come, bloggers go

Blogging interactions can be brief, without words, yet others are deep, interactive, and lasting

Boggers link around a commonality

Worry and wonder stoke the blogger’s mind when one hasn’t encountered someone in a while

 

Just like in life …

Bloggers encounter a wide range of emotions

Bloggers are saddened by the news of personal trauma, tragedy, and death – and happy for triumphs and celebrations

Bloggers seek trust, honesty, reliability, genuineness, and respect matter

An important decision for bloggers is the choice of acquaintances

 

Just like in life …

A blogger’s words can encourage and hurt

Bloggers can be real and honest while others are fake or hide their identity

Some blogging personalities seem to sync, yet what is preferred by one is looked upon as a negative by someone else

Some bloggers are givers, others are selfish

Blogging is a house that is open, thus requiring the host to be welcoming – but not every blogger has the same welcoming skills as others

 

Just like in life …

Blogging involves an etiquette, but one size doesn’t fit all

Bloggers have a variety of sensitivity levels

Bloggers vary in interests and communication skills

Blogging involves priorities – but sometime life and blogging conflict

 

The Final Touch

Bloggers blog for different reasons – to market … to think … to share … to make money … to interact … to promote thinking …. to learn … to reflect … to network …. to write … to challenge … to create new opportunities …to meet … to document … for personal growth … to inspire …. for enjoyment … to reduce stress … to build rapport … to create opportunities … and more

Every blogger want something different – some want laughs … other a friend … some want their voice to be heard … others simply want respect … some want community … others want followers … some write for themselves … others want interactions

Blogging is like a picnic – some brings the humor … others provide the photographs, art, and philosophy … others bring the recipes for food, drinks, guidance, and success … others are the informative thinkers … others tell stories