cereus: Sunflower-like fractal (fractal)

and also 11:11 and 11 seconds!*

^U^  The world is awesome.

*By our arbitrary calendar/clocks.
cereus: Sunflower-like fractal (sun)
Feel free to use - just put them on your own computer or site first.





Enjoy!
cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (Default)
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Looks like a whale vertebrae.  Actually got to hold one once, it was an awe-ing experience.


cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (ringtail)
I'm up on the mountain today and this creature walked by:



Boreal Jumping Spider or Phidippus clarus

He's a jumping spider  that usually lives farther north in say - Colorado.  But going up the mountain, you get colder climate, so right now I'm in a mixed pine-fir forest.

He (and it probably is a he based on color) was walking on the asphalt path where people were likely to walk by.
I made sure it got off the beaten path safely using a couple folders.

I found this creature in my house a few months ago.

Jumping spider very fuzzy standing on sand

California Jumping Spider or Phidippus californicus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phidippus_californicus

He's more adapted to the desert.  His colors mimic a velvet ant, a potently venomous wasp, so he'll be left alone.

He turned to look at me the entire time, occasionally looking to either side.

Jumping spiders have very good eyesight and 15-20 minutes of working memory (working memory means how long you can keep a piece of information in your memory to think about it or solve the problem at hand), excellent for a spider, they also turn to investigate anything new that comes into their field of view.  If hunting something significantly larger than them, or a spider, they will circle behind and pounce.  These species also have a "freeze" signal for members of their species, they put up their front legs and the other spider will stop stalking them or trying to mate with them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_spider

Here's another encounter with a jumping spider that warms my heart and makes me and Raven laugh:

http://www.beingbrazen.com/2010/08/jumping-spider-moves-in.html


Stars!

Aug. 25th, 2009 08:07 am
cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (NightCereus)

Here's a post inspired by Elizabeth of  Screw Bronze! .    Both her wonderful style of posts involving beautiful pictures and her desire to go up to Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii.




 

Here's my favorite star cluster.  It's called the Wild Duck Cluster.  It's a bunch of newly formed stars heading out into the world.  Soon they'll break up into ones and twos and threes - but most stars have at least one other star with them throughout their lives.  We used to think that bianary stars were the exception!  Now we know they aren't.  And they can even have planets orbiting around both of them.

 
I can tell you from experience, going to an observatory can be harrowing and fun - sleep deprivation can do wierd things, but it's worth it.

 
But it's more fun if you go with people you like to be with!

 
Stars are born in nebulae (clouds of gas and dust) like this one.  They collapse out, until they're dense enough to burn on their own.  Sometimes stars blowing up close to them help the process out.

 
What I DON'T want to happen to Beth.  This is the remenant of a dead star.  Our sun's going to look like this someday.

 
But even when you do die, you'll leave this kind of thing behind - because you spread that much beauty around.  I really admire you for it.  But it shouldn't be soon. When stars are big enough they don't go gently into the good night.  When they run out of fuel and collapse, they do it so fast that atoms run into eachother with enoug force to make it explode outward. This is a Supernova remenant - a star that EXPLODED.

 
A Galaxy, plus some stars from ours. Rule of thumb: everything you can see it with your naked eye is in our galaxy.  Except on a really dark night, you can see a faint smudge which is our neighboring galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy.

 
Eventually old blown-up star nebulas turn into collapsing back into new stars nebulas.  It's more complicated than that - they need to drift together into a bigger nebula. This only happens sometimes.
 

New Terms

Mar. 10th, 2009 05:23 pm
cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (Default)
The English language was not made for us....
One of the biggest problems I've found within the BDSM community - or at least between the community and interested vanilla people is the ever-tricky problem of how to speak of the pleasure-inducing, consensual experience of what could otherwise be a negative experience.
(the biggest example being "rape" or rape-play)

In nature, everything is made of electrons and protons - but there are also small quantities of anti-protons and positrons which have the same properties as the normal matter, but opposite charges.  Maybe this would be a good metaphor to use.

so... Antipain or Posipain. ;)

(I was thinking of this when mulling over how BDSM pain seems to genuinely counteract actual pain and stress)

EDIT:  Actually maybe "Pain" should apply to the positive stuff and "Antipain" to the stuff that harms.  The good, blessed stuff was here first.  And the one sounds exactly how it feels.

Also,  The two are the same at the root.  the one seems to be just a perversion of the other.  Like rape is a perversion of sex.  I think that that's why rape/violence hurts like it does, because it's someone making your body respond - When you and your body should be one - inseparable, responding only to each other's desires.
cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (Default)
Charles Darwin's birthday was yesterday.

The man credited with the first widely-read explanation of evolution.

I'll let him speak in his own words:

It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
(bolding is mine)

That's what it feels like. In the middle of the scene.  Like life springing  from death.
I'd rather rejoice that life creates new forms and gains energy from death.

Also:
from TrinityVA:
trinityva.livejournal.com/975996.html

cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (Default)
This is an interesting documentary and ethnography of the history of the web as we know it today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE

Seeing the way that computers and us have both had to adapt to each other has really cemented my sense of computers and us having a symbiotic relationship.

We feed them electricity and allow them to reproduce.
They allow us to type, create art in new ways, become immersed in video games, and communicate with other people with computers at far distances.

It makes me feel awed - a little like I'm playing with fire.  :)

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