Sunday, May 27, 2012

Parallax, Cosmic Dimensions and Their Measurements

Via Brain Pickings here is an exceptionally awesome little video explaining graphically how we, as humans on the surface of a relatively minuscule celestial body in a practically infinite cosmic ocean, are able to accurately observe the stars and judge their distances.

It's worth watching more than once. You'll likely be too bedazzled by the scope of it all on first viewing, but the explanations undoubtedly become more digestible with each viewing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Great Migration six years later

"I'll probably never be as big as Slim Shady or Jay-Z
Even though I write vivid like I'm Homer the Greek"

Six years ago today, Bronze Nazareth, at that time a relatively unknown Wu-Tang affiliate, officially released his debut solo album The Great Migration. Most listeners, myself included, had immediately sought the record based on Bronze's already solid reputation as a producer of enticingly melodic and powerful beats. We weren't yet aware of his gift for poetic lyrics.

The all-around artistic brilliance of the album not only cemented Bronze's position as a new up-and-coming musician of great talent, it played a major role in my life at the time and became one of my favorite albums ever.

Monday, May 21, 2012

To be a writer

As has so often been the case since I left the nest of New York and jumped out into the abyss four years ago, I find myself going through transitions.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Four Unbelievable True Stories

Last Saturday afternoon my friend Joe told me one of the most incredible stories I've ever heard.

Then Sunday night during dinner I heard another outrageous story, this time from my girlfriend.

When I went into work Monday morning, my co-worker was eager to tell me about something unbelievable he'd experienced over the weekend. Later in the day, when I asked everyone what they thought of the gargantuan, explosive thunderstorm that hit Austin on Saturday night, I heard another ridiculous story.

All of these were so stunning, so unreal, that I feel I must share them all here.

I promise these are all true.
Flight of the black vulture

Story #1: While standing in Joe's backyard, a large bird with an enormous wingspan floated above us ominously. I've come to learn that these huge lofting birds are actually black vultures looking for prey. I recently saw one on the side of the road picking at a dead squirrel.

As we paused in awe of the floating feathered creature, Joe began to tell me the astonishing story of when the "hawk" (as he called it) crashed through his living room window. I laughed at his attempted joke. He assured me he was serious.

One afternoon last week, as Joe was in the bedroom, he heard a loud crash of shattering glass come from his living room. Thinking someone was trying to break in, he rushed over to find a huge hawk had crashed through the window and landed on his living room floor along with another much smaller bird, its prey. His dog Roscoe stood stunned and Joe watched as the big bird collected itself and jumped back through the broken window into his backyard and then flew away. It left its prey behind.

The smaller bird was dead, blood coming out of its mouth. Joe disposed of it, cleaned up all the broken glass, and went out to buy a new living room window.