Great photo gallery over at The Atlantic on Diwali, the festival of lights. It's a time when people of many faiths get together to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Amazingly beautiful images.Read More
BethAnn Telford is an inspiration to anyone feeling like they can't do something. AFTER being diagnosed with brain cancer, having two surgeries and being told she had a 90% chance of never walking again...she participated in several marathons and Ironman competitions. Get off the couch and go for a run...now.Read More
Music is a powerful force. Robert Gupta and Street Symphony use it to bring relief to the mentally ill and impoverished. Find out more about this wonderful organization and how you can help.Read More
The 100 Greatest Novels of All-Time get their covers re-imagined for the fight against illiteracy. Explore this wonderful project by beshart called DoeDeMee, which pulled together 100 artists and got their takes on these titles. I see a few that might be making their way to my house.Read More
Found this extremely gorgeous film depicting various moments from our days on This is Colossal. This film was created by Vituc and, as mentioned on This is Colossal, it is very reminiscent of a scene in Amelie, and I love it. Beautifully simple idea well executed.
I find it really hard to believe that I started this project a month ago. It seems like I just wrote my first post. I've enjoyed the process entirely and decided to accumulate my top 5 favorite posts from the last month. If you visit the links below, just hit the back button on your browser to get back to this page.
Rowan LeCompte and the End of the Rainbow - One of my inspirations, Rowan LeCompte, is responsible for the stained-glass windows at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. I used to live across fromt there and visit often. This piece highlights the wonderful NPR interview he did with Scott Simon.
We Are Not Alone - The Hubble Ultra Deep Field image is truly awe-inspiring. I've made it as big as I can, but there are bigger versions on the Hubble site. Thinking about all the potential that is in that shot, both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial is mind-blowing.
Detroit Boy Raises $3,600 for City Parks with A Lemonade Stand - Inspiring story of one 9-year-old kid who wants to do something about the lack of funding for the parks. Great lesson in making a difference.
Positive Change: William Kamkwamba Harnesses the Wind - Another great lesson in making a difference. The number of lives touched by William's courage and determination are immeasurable. In Malawi, during a drought, he decides to build a windmill that provides energy for light and a windmill to provide for irrigation.
A Walk in Muir Woods - This post is for my family. It was a beautiful day and one I'll not soon forget. Magical. My favorite one I've done.
Here's to another day and another month and thank you to my wife and kids who are the inspiration to try to be better and help push for a better world for them. I love you guys.
Stuff like this fills me with gratitude. It's so amazing that we are at a point in history where we can experience this. Truly awe-inspiring. From ajrclips:
A truly powerful image generates questions.
The incredible night photos and time-lapse movies NASA has been sharing with us provoke questions about our planet. That thin-yellow atmospheric line separating earth from space, for example, that we see in all of the night shots provokes two questions: (1) how thick is this line? and (2) why is this line colored the way it is?
The visible yellow and green/blue capped line represents atmosphere reaching ~100km above the surface of the earth. The colors are not reflected light, and not pollution, but rather are light generated from the components in the atmosphere itself. Yes, the atmosphere gives off its own light, in a chemiluminescent process called "airglow" or "night glow."
I have written a blog to accompany this video that explains the various colors of "Night Glow" and discusses the Aurora as well. I hope you find this blog a useful companion to understanding what you are seeing.
Link to the blogpost here.
John Muir lived for the trees. He lived for the wild part of the US that made it unique. Giant canyons, beautiful waterfalls and large, wondrous redwoods. My family and I recently had the opportunity to visit Muir Woods in Northern California, and I truly believe every American should have to. The above image can only give you a small sense of the beauty and magnificence of these trees. They grow to above 300 feet and 20+ feet in diameter. Some of them have been alive for 1,000+ years. They are ancestors to trees that were here when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
Muir was enraptured with the majesty of the trees and mountains and canyons and springs and all of it. He lobbied whomever would listen to him. Many times, areas such as this have been threatened by logging or development, but because of people like John Muir, we have these trees and most of our national parks. He never gave up.
As I revisit these images I am moved by the memories of the day. My son was fully immersed and fascinated by his surroundings. He connected with something bigger than his every day. He was 5 feet away from a fawn as it grazed. He helped me discover a banana slug on a water fountain. The whys and whats were so rapid fire that I can't even remember all of them.
My wife and I were silent for most of the walk because of how moved we were. When we were making sound, it was mostly wordless gasps or whispers. One section was called 'The Cathedral', and we approached with such reverence and gratitude that I truly felt close to God. Trees taller than my office building in downtown Chicago. Silence all around. Light coming to and fro, showing up for seconds at a time shaped by the giants. I looked around several times and thought how lucky I was to have this moment.
Because of Senator William Kent, his wife, and Teddy Roosevelt, we have this acreage of land bearing the name of John Muir. To them I say thank you. To you I say, 'Go.'
This is one of my son’s favorite performed pieces of music by the top cellist of our time. Beautiful.
A few years back (2009, in fact), I was listening to Weekend Edition with Scott Simon and was struck by this piece. Rowan LeCompte is the man responsible for the beautiful light that filters throughout the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. This piece had a special place in my heart, as I’d lived across from the Cathedral in 2005 and enjoyed the colored light all over inside never knowing who to thank for it. Rowan LeCompte is whom. A link below to the original piece will take you to a gallery of his work. The image above was taken by me with my trusty Holga camera. I'm grateful to Scott Simon and his team for featuring this and helping me see the true beauty in these windows. To give you some insight into the character and insight of Rowan LeCompte, I offer this quote. Scott Simon asked him if he believed in God, and this was his response:
I believe in kindness and love, and there are those who say that those are God. I don't know, but I respect and love kindness and love and worship them. And if I'm worshipping God, I'm delighted.
I implore you to listen to the entire 10 minutes. Some very beautiful stuff.
UPDATE: I just found this Kickstarter project that is funded, but you can view the project video here.
This audio is copyrighted to NPR. I do not claim ownership or production credits.
‘Comptine d’un autre ete, l’pres-midi’ roughly translates to ‘Rhyme of another summer afternoon’. This song rolls along so effortlessly and can be overwhelming if it catches you just right. This entire soundtrack is a pleasure. If you like the band Beirut, you’ll love this soundtrack. The movie it’s from, ‘Amelie from Montmartre’, is also a visually stunning and expertly crafted story of a young woman searching for true love and beauty. As the piano plays, I can see the light through the trees as I ride my bicycle gently in the warm afternoon. Such beauty.