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Marvels, Bricks, and Dragons, oh my!

March 21, 2019

A trio of weekends, a trio of movies, and now a trio of capsule reviews!  Got a chance to catch The Lego Movie 2, How To Train Your Dragon 3, and Captain Marvel…

Potential Spoilers Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Wonder Wednesday

March 20, 2019

Beauty often erupts…

… when you least expect it.

Photo by my parents!

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Philosophy Tuesday

March 19, 2019

Going into a tailspin

in those days meant curtains.

No matter how hard you pulled back on the stick

the nose of the plane wouldn’t come up.

~~~

Spinning round, headed for a target of earth,

the whine of death in the wing struts,

instinct made you try to pull out of it that way, by force,

and for years aviators spiraled down and crashed.

~~~

Who could have dreamed that the solution

to this dreaded aeronautical problem

was so simple?

Every student flier learns this nowadays:

You move the joystick in the direction of the spin

and like a miracle the plane stops turning

and you are in control again

to pull the nose up out of the dive.

~~~

In panic we want to push the stick away from the spin,

wrestle the plane out of it,

but the trick is, as in everything,

to go with the turning willingly,

rather than fight, give in, go with it,

and that way come out of your tailspin whole.

 

~Edward Field~

 

~Corita Kent~

 

(Beyond the lovely words, I love it as a great early example of the remix “culture”, a case of additive worth, with Corita Kent taking the poem of Fields and rendering something extra beautiful with it.)

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Architecture Monday

March 18, 2019

I like it when a design finds a way to use building material in new and even mind-bending ways.  That double-take my mind makes as it tries to marry what it knows about a material (and how it’s used) and the different form that is arrayed before it is exciting.  Which is all preamble to say, “woah, check out the sinuous and curvy brick on this one!”

Used to screen a semi-private courtyard, the brickwork is definitively out of the ordinary.  With twists and turns it lets light and air through while maintaining a mediated visual connection.  There’s something fun about the peeks of greenery (and warm light at night) that pokes through what we’d usually register as solid brick.  There’s also a feeling of movement, like a sheet of rippling water.

I’m much less sanguine about the remainder of the house and find the nearly blank walls on either side of that sensual front especially unfortunate.  Except for the tie to the courtyard, the rest of the house doesn’t appear to pull much inspiration from the unique front either, alas.

But what a front!  A fancy façade though that is a treat to see and see through.

The Lipton Thayer House by Brooks + Scarpa

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Wonder Wednesday

March 13, 2019

by Evelina Viola

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Philosophy Tuesday

March 12, 2019

“Distinction” is a term that crops up again and again within the philosophical and ontological arts.  But what is distinction?  And why is it important?

A distinction separates something into its own category or concept.

A distinction lets us know/feel/understand/grok the difference or particularnless of a thing/feeling/thought/category/concept.

Once a distinction is created, it becomes a vessel into which we can pour our attention and inquiry and understanding into.

Distinctions allow us to see things in greater detail, bringing refinement and granularity to things or behaviours or thoughts that otherwise would be the same for us.

Distinctions, ultimately, open whole new worlds and perceptions and understandings and even realms of possibility, of being, and of living.

Before something is distinct, we can’t really focus on it, because, to us, it’s not yet a thing.

The same happens in the martial arts.  The distinction of “rooting” creates a new world to explore:  How do I root?  What does my body need to do to root?  How do I gain that stability?  How do I transfer forces into the ground?  What does it feel like?  What do I have to adjust?  Ok, what do I have to adjust now to make it even better?

As we practice, we use distinction between two states or positions to develop things further.  Feeling the difference in balance, power, and exertion between two different body positions lets us know which one is more in line with proper rooting.  “Here I have to struggle to resist an incoming force, but here I am at ease.  This is what it feels like to engage rooting.”

With that double distinction, we know what we’re aiming for, and we gain a better sense of when we’re on target, and when we are not.*

So too when we learn a philosophical distinction.  Whether it be about the stories we tell ourselves, or one of the logical fallacies, or about identity, or about the hilarious ways we continually subvert our rationality, whenever we gain a distinction in those realms we gain access to it.  Distinction turns it from being a blind spot that we can only ever inadvertently crash into it into something we not only can avoid but can also use to our ever-growing advantage.

Distinctions are the root power of transformation.  And from those roots grows a glorious life full of power, joy, and peace.

 

* And as we gain further distinctions, our idea of rooting improves, which improves our grasp of where we should aim, which we then refine through testing and feeling, and thus the cycle of growth in ability continues evermore.

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Architecture Monday

March 11, 2019

Alright, I gotta admit I’m very amused by this one.  Having designed a small bit of farming-type work (a honey extraction hut), it’s fun to see well designed agrarian structures.  And by well designed I mean not only in the aesthetic sense for the landscape and for the inhabitants but also in a way that makes the farming easier and is better all-around for the animals clucking around.

Simple materials with a simple, but thoughtful, design… once again showing you don’t need to break the bank to make something elegant and a joy to be around, and that good design is for everyone.  Even us chickens.

The oh so aptly and humorously named House of chickens by SO? Architecture and Ideas (which is also a fun name!)