Posts By: Ms. Jen

Tidbits for Palm Sunday

The Snow, it is falling and falling this weekend in Mammoth
Sun. 04.09.17 – The Snow, it is falling and falling this weekend in Mammoth – photo by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950

Tidbits for a Sunday afternoon’s reading:

The Art and Design of End Papers

The beautiful choral music of Suor Leonora d’Este

Thinker, tailor, soldier, spy: The extraordinary women of Ghiyas-ud-din Khalji’s harem

Erica Wilson, The Julia Child of Needlework

Which led to the Queen’s Coronation Gown and her Maids of Honor, then and now:
1. http://orderofsplendor.blogspot.com/2012/02/flashback-friday-queens-coronation-gown.html
2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2089887/The-Pippas-day-aristocratic-beauties-stole-the-Coronation-60-years-ago-Now-share-scenes-stories.html
3. http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-04-21/the-queens-coronation-day-maids-of-honour-where-are-they-now

A book review that is a good read in and of itself:The Souls of China by Ian Johnson – the resurgence of religion after Mao

“Johnson spends weeks with Taoist musicians, whose ritual performances bring the deceased “over to the other side”. He attends an unregistered Christian church in western China that challenges the party’s claim to be moral arbiter of society. He dines with celebrity Zen Buddhists, who dispense wisdom to real estate developers, the offspring of party aristocracy, executives and bank managers. He practises qigong – religious breathing exercises and meditation – with a master in an apartment block reserved for once-persecuted party elders rehabilitated after Mao’s death. With nicely understated irony, Johnson weaves the political rituals of the self-proclaimed atheistic CCP through this calendar: its conferences held in the Great Hall of the People, a communist temple saturated with legitimising ritual symbols; the intensely ritualistic departures and ascensions of communist leaders. “Like a Taoist priest,” he observes of Hu Jintao anointing a successor at the 18th party congress in November 2012, “Hu emulated an immortal … dyeing his hair jet-black to make himself look ageless, and surrounding himself with propaganda banners conferring immortality on the Communist party.””

Note to Self: Go on one of these UK walks
It’s blooming spring! 22 great UK walks

After spending so much time in Arizona the past two years, this article on living in Arizona is spot on.
Mike Powell : Why I live Where I liveZonies: Part 7
with a link to Walter Percy’s Why I Live Where I Live

Unusually strong April storm headed for Northern California this week : This storm was fun. I spent it up at Mammoth. My Instagram documents: 1, 2, 3, 4

Convict Lake Defrosting

Convict Lake Defrosting

Sun. 04.02.17 – Still at least three weeks before fishing season starts and these three gentlemen are jumping the gun a bit…

On another note, there were skiers who had hiked up Mt. Laurel, skied down, and then hiked back to the Convict Lake parking lot in their Ski Boots!!! Ski boots for hiking the long trail around the lake – brave humans!

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950.

Tidbits for Your Weekend

Photo of Pear blossom taken by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950

I have been collecting links for about a month now, some of these you may have already seen but enjoy the ones you have not yet read:

From the Stories, Myth, and Fiction Beat:

Tor.com’s short fiction and poetry series: Nevertheless, She Persisted containing the marvelous The Jump Rope Rhyme by Jo Walton, plus many others

A morning coffee break in the woods, with good companions

Four Kinds of Dystopia

The Fairy Tales of Giambattista Basile’s Il Pentameron

From The Science Beat:

Comet 41P/T-G-K Tangles with the Great Bear : Get out your binoculars and look for the comet in the next two weeks.

New Way to Fight Superbugs Found in Noxious Weed : When folk medicine helps fight MRSA

A Medical Marvel : Wherein reviewing old manuscripts yields a 1000 year old eye cure from Bald’s Leechbook, an Anglo-Saxon medical recipe book.

The Very Drugged Nazis : What is says on the tin

Gotta See It! Four Planets Directly Imaged In Motion Around The Star HR 8799

Researchers create ‘time crystals’ envisioned by Princeton scientists : How about adding a little time to your crystal molecules?

The Education Beat:

And for centuries, segregated by age but never by background, all students congregate in the large meeting room for their 40 minutes of quiet reflection every week. While the meetings always begin in silence, they can eventually be punctuated by the thoughts of anyone in the room who has something to share.

School officials concede that the meeting is sometimes viewed as an imposition by younger students, but say this tends not to be a lasting attitude.

“Invariably, when alums come back here, the thing they say they miss the most is our weekly meeting,” said Travis Larrabee, the high school director. “In what other part of society do you sit in silence with 500 other people?” – Before Matt Ryan’s Ascent, a Quiet Grounding in the Quaker Way

Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required

In Hillsdale College, a ‘Shining City on a Hill’ for Conservatives

The question remains is it possible to have a liberal great books education that builds on the western canon and adds in a diverse array of women, POC, the 20th Cent, and post-modernism? I know so. I learned it at Scripps College from 1986-1988.

The Setting New Moon and Mt. Tom

The Setting New Moon and Mt. Tom

Tues. 02.28.17 – Last evening I went out to my photography corner of Brockman Lane and Dixon Lane*, so that I could take photos of the New Moon as it set behind Mt. Tom to the west. I used the US Navy Observatory Moon rise and set calculator to figure out when it would set and when civil twilight would be so I could take the above new moon photo and attempt to take a photo of the Mars & Uranus conjunction.

When I drove out at 6:30pm, it was approximately 42F / 5.5C and there were frogs singing their little hearts out. Odd but true. Frogs trying to get laid in February when it is still dipping below 32F / 0C at night. By the time I finished nearly 40 minutes later, it was at least 5 degrees colder, a wind had picked up, and the frogs had wisely retreated. My gloves** were not equal to the task at hand and my fingers were sending mayday alerts.

The good news is that I was able to take a series of photos of the Moon and Venus (Instagram), the Moon setting behind Mt. Tom (Flickr), three photos of Mars & Uranus.

Why no posted photos of Mars & Uranus with the used Nikon 70-200mm f4 lens taken with my Nikon D800? Post-processing is my achilles heel. I love to shoot, but I hate post-processing. Working in Lightroom and Photoshop bring out the worst of my personality and work habits. I am normally a patient person who can spend hours crafting a thing, but not in photo post-processing.

Last night, the Flickr version of the Moon Setting on Mt. Tom was my favorite of the three photos I took within a minute and then processed the RAW files to jpg. This morning, the photo I posted above is my favorite. But the truth of the matter is that only the Instagram photo that I took with my camera phone captured the color of the late dusk sky correctly.

No matter how I fiddled in Lightroom last night, I could not get the RAW files to have the right two tones of the late dusk sky. I had to resort to using split tone highlights and shadows – this feels like it is too much processing. But that is the point of shooting RAW, I get to do my own processing and not let the camera generate the jpg.

Anywhoo, forgive my grousing. If you have a clear horizon, do go look at the new moon as it sets tonight. Astro Bob has a nice blog post on the new moon for the 27th & 28th of February, as well as how to find Mars & Uranus with binoculars.

*Do you all sense a theme here? Local high point with low sagebrsuh so the view of the Eastern Sierra, the White Mtns., and the Owens Valley is good.

** I wonder how my Finnish photo friends shoot at night and dawn in winter with a tripod? I must inquire what gloves they use that allow for dexterity & flexibility but keep one’s hands warm.