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Posts Tagged ‘Art’

I’m sorry I missed Manhattanhenge this year because I was out-of-town.  However, my loss is no reason for all of you not to hear about and see exactly what Manhattanhenge is.

The following article is credited to Neil deGrasse Tyson and was featured on the American Museum of Natural History’s website;

Sunset looking down 34th Street. One of two days when the sunset is exactly aligned with the grid of streets in Manhattan. Copyright © 2001, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Sunset looking down 34th Street. One of two days when the sunset is exactly aligned with the grid of streets in Manhattan.
Copyright © 2001, Neil deGrasse Tyson

What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues? Surely the grid would be presumed to have astronomical significance, just as we have found for the pre-historic circle of large vertical rocks known as Stonehenge, in the Salisbury Plain of England. For Stonehenge, the special day is the summer solstice, when the Sun rises in perfect alignment with several of the stones, signaling the change of season.

For Manhattan, a place where evening matters more than morning, that special day comes twice a year, when the setting Sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan’s brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough’s grid. A rare and beautiful sight. These two days happen to correspond with Memorial Day and Baseball’s All Star break. Future anthropologists might conclude that, via the Sun, the people who called themselves Americans worshiped War and Baseball.

For these two days, as the Sun sets on the grid, half the disk sits above and half below the horizon. My personal preference for photographs. But the day after also offers Manhattanhenge moments, but at sunset, you instead will find the entire ball of the Sun on the horizon.

Unnoticed by many, the sunset point actually creeps day to day along the horizon: northward until the first day of summer, then returning southward until the first day of winter. In spite of what pop-culture tells you, the Sun rises due east and sets due west only twice per year. On the equinoxes: the first day of spring and of autumn. Every other day, the Sun rises and sets elsewhere on the horizon. Had Manhattan’s grid been perfectly aligned with the geographic north-south line, then the days of Manhattanhenge would coincide with the equinoxes. But Manhattan’s street grid is rotated 30 degrees east from geographic north, shifting the days of alignment elsewhere into the calendar.

Note that any city crossed by a rectangular grid can identify days where the setting Sun aligns with their streets. But a closer look at such cities around the world shows them to be less than ideal for this purpose. Beyond the grid you need a clear view to the horizon, as Manhattan has across the Hudson River to New Jersey. And tall buildings that line the streets create a vertical channel to frame the setting Sun, creating a striking photographic opportunity.

True, some municipalities have streets named for the Sun, like Sunrise Highway on Long Island and the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. But these roads are not perfectly straight. And the few times a year when the Sun aligns with one of their stretches of road, all you get is stalled traffic solar glare temporarily blinds drivers.

So Manhattanhenge may just be a unique urban phenomenon in the world, if not the universe.

Note that several years ago, an article in the New York Times identified this annual event as the Manhattan Solstice. But of course, the word solstice translates from the Latin solstitium, meaning stopped sun, in reference to the winter and summer solstices where the Sun’s daily arc across the sky reaches its extreme southerly and northerly limits. Manhattanhenge comes about because the Sun’s arc has not yet reached these limits, and is on route to them, as we catch a brief glimpse of the setting Sun along the canyons of our narrow streets.

While we are on the subject, when viewed from all latitudes north of the Tropic of Cancer (23.5 degrees north latitude), the Sun always rises at an angle up and to the right, and sets and an angle down and to the right. That’s how you can spot a faked sunrise in a movie: it moves up and to the left. Filmmakers are not typically awake in the morning hours to film an actual sunrise, so they film a sunset instead, and then time-reverse it, thinking nobody will notice.

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MENTAL HEALTH MONDAY

This week’s topic, Writer’s Block, couldn’t be more timely for me personally.  For the past several months I’ve been struggling with my blog.  I do like to write and I have a fairly good regimen (okay sometimes not so regular) and perhaps if I apply the principles outlined in Dr. Barry Lubetkin‘s mental health tip this week, I’ll find that it isn’t so important as to how many people read this every day and remember that I write because I like to and a little discipline  would be a good thing!

“We are all writers……students……bloggers……executives…….moms………novelists….. We can usually write the simple stuff without procrastinating or being perfectionistic;  Birthday cards, shopping lists,brief memos,etc etc, all get done with relative ease. BUT when it comes to the words that convey the really important stuff about ourselves and our theories and ideas, we often get stuck.

#ds139 "Writer's Block"

#ds139 “Writer’s Block” (Photo credit: Sharon Drummond)

I have treated dozens of writers who struggle every day to overcome their writing paralysis. Usually, but not always, the culprit is obsessive perfectionism. “Will anyone really like this”, “I am out of ideas”, “This seems really dumb”, “I will get to it tomorrow”, “I have to make this perfect”.

Here is a quick solution to this form of writers block;  First, set a sacred unchangeable time EVERY DAY to write.  An hour, twenty minutes, it doesn’t matter. Go to a comfortable private place, set a timer, and start writing. Even if all you produce is gibberish and nonsense words, you must still WRITE! Do nothing else during this period. Once you have established a regular routine of writing at the same time every day, then you may extend the writing period as needed. At the end of your sacred writing time, reward yourself with something meaningful…a special treat…call a friend…tune on a mindless TV show…write yourself a complimentary note. You deserve it!”

As always feel free to email me at IBT104@AOL.com

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I have a few more photos of those amazing and spectacular and humongous sculptures in Breckinridge, Colorado.  Since snow is predicted for tomorrow, these photo are so very apropos.

Snow Cathedral

Snow Cathedral

Hellooo I'm Here In Colorado!

Hellooo I’m Here In Colorado!

Your Queen Is In Danger

Your Queen Is In Danger

What Is This Doing Here?

What Is This Doing Here?

"And a tip o' the hat to you ma'm"

“And a tip o’ the hat to you ma’m”

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My husband’s cousin, Stephanie sent me these MOST amazing photos of snow  and ice sculptures and I thought they would make the perfect January (before the thaw) Fab Foto Friday!  

The Annual Snow Sculpture Contest in Breckinridge Colorado.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Pondering

Pondering

Is That You, Thomas?

Is That You, Thomas?

True Mountain Man

True Mountain Man

A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

YETI

YETI

"It's A Small World After All"

“It’s A Small World After All”

Many thanks to Stephanie for sharing these wonderful creations,

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Photo by Jason Leonti

Photo by Jason Leonti

Sometimes I am so out of the loop on any new “thing” whether it be the latest fad fashion, TV show, gossip about some celebrity under the age of 30 (can they really be celebrities?) , who is hanging in there on AGT, The X Factor, who’s still in the Big Brother House and who is sent to Redemption Island?  I mean wow there is SO MUCH non-informative information out there and really who cares?  

Well that previous question can pretty much sum up the meaning of MEH!  Currently,  this is a popular term used to describe something  or someone or someplace that you don’t really give a damn about.  The official meaning as given in an online dictionary (really whoever uses the big book anymore), is as follows:  

exclamation:
expressing a lack of interest or enthusiasm.
“Meh. I’m not impressed so far”
adjective:
uninspiring; unexceptional.
“a lot of his movies are … meh”

This morning I logged onto Facebook and saw that one of my friends, Grace Gotham, has posted her own personal “Meh” list and I thought what a great idea for a blog post.  Of course I was ashamed to read in her post that the NYT Times magazine has one each week.  As my husband will tell you, I don’t read the Times anymore because I’m too busy playing on my computer!  

Anyway, I thought I would post a blog about my own personal MEH list and ask you dear readers to send in some of your own. Let’s do it.

1.  The World Series (if the Yankees are not playing who cares)

2.  e-cigarettes

3. The Meatball Shop

4. hashtags

5. Donald Trump

6. Justin Beiber

7. Mylie Cyrus (omg, don’t go there)

8. cro-nuts

9. Starbucks Chocolate Chai Latte

10. Naomi Campbell

YOUR TURN !!

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SURREAL may be an understatement for this exquisite commercial!  Can you imagine using that adjective to describe a TV ad?  I can hardly believe I’m writing a blog about it, but I am. 

Cartier has produced a spectacular commercial aptly titled L’Odyssée de Cartier.  Their signature leopard leads the viewer through the evolution of the brand.  Amazingly clever, beautifully executed and besides the captivating images, the soundtrack is an absolutely perfect complement to the film. 

I first saw L’Odyssée as a Youtube video and I’ve embedded that link for your viewing pleasure!  Cartier is running an abbreviated version on a couple of major network shows, but it’s nothing compared to the original. You won’t believe the beauty, the cinematography, the music, the woman, the dress!! And we thought Budweiser made clever Super Bowl ads – yeah right!

I was very disappointed when I saw it on TV.  It was like seeing a movie adapted from a book with half the chapters left out.  See for yourself!

L’Odyssée de Cartier

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Well, well, and I thought I was SO ORIGINAL with my new little category of interesting tidbits, tasty morsels to whet your appetite for more and lo and behold look what my friend, Gail found online!!!  She came across the blog, Vaude_Visuals which used the term Amuse Bouche and features fantastic photography; not only of the New York Clown Theater Festival but is in fact devoted to photographing the eccentric, daring in the world of performing arts.  Here is the link to his site:   http://vaudevisuals.com/2011/09/flocked-clown-show-audrey-crabtree/

From that site I followed a couple of the links and came to The Brick, a theater and performing art space located in Brooklyn and the place where you can find the Clown Theater Festival of 2011.  Their link is below: The festival runs through September 25th, so you still have time to grab some chuckles and belly laughs- after all who doesn’t love a clown?

http://bricktheater.com/index.php?type=show&id=340

The Brick

A Tasty Tidbit

Image from The Brick website

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