Sonnet Challenge #25

So for a little light bedtime reading, it’s usually a science book or something similar.  I recently bought a science reference book (it’s useful to have a periodic table handy when my mind wanders) and read about the accuracy of Cesium clocks and other (mis-)uses of radioactive materials……

Atomic Time

 

We count the rot of Cesium to mark time;

we are obsessed with measuring the past

as it come at us, from a future cast

quite randomly; yet we strive to align

the whirl of planets circling the stars

above us.  Slicing time up like a pie

in pieces with precise equality

so we can note the passage of the hours.

We watch the atoms split, then split them more,

note and love the difference in decay,

and harness it to blow ourselves away,

then realize we cannot close that door.

We know that action made the world a mess

but that’s one thing we couldn’t second guess.

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Zooming back

Have been away for awhile so no blogging.  This time that I flew to Heathrow, I took United, so I ended up in Terminal 2, whereas it seems just about every other airline that flies out of LA uses Terminal 3.  So, on the way home, I had time to seek out some of the artwork at this terminal.  Slipstream is a huge sculpture that occupies a massive covered area between the terminal and the buses/taxis area.

aluminum sculpture slipstream

“Slipstream”

The associated sign says a little more about it, and there’s yet more information here.  I don’t see any information about material, but it seems to be made of aluminum.  Or aluminium, if you use the local dialect. Sadly, despite the enticing shape, we’re not apparently allowed to slide on it.

slipstream_sign_w

Graphene

Concrete is the most commonly used building material in the world. And now, by adding the invisible wonder material graphene to it, researchers have taken a step towards a more sustainable construction industry. The new graphene-laced concrete is two times as strong and four times as water-resistant as the standard stuff, shows a new study…

via Graphene Can Green Up Concrete’s Act — Anthropocene

 

Messing about in boats

I have to say that this was one painting (or pair of paintings) executed under the most hostile of weathers.  No, not so much heat, but the desiccating wind.  I had to stop on the second morning and go back for a short session closer to dawn on the third day, and then it was a struggle.  The good news is that once I’d drawn up the letters, I could quickly go from one side to the other, painting layers, knowing full well that that my start point would be completely dry by the time I returned to it in about 25 minutes.  At the end of the second day I had to quit because the paint was drying on the brush.  The east side of the boat was too hot to work, and the west side, in the shade and wind, I was shivering.  And I still had to figure out how to spray with an acrylic glaze with the UV component – in a stiff breeze.

Nevertheless ‘Poseidon’ has its name on its sides and today will be test launched.  Eventually this boat will carry a solar powered pump which will pump water from the Salton Sea into the marina ‘fingers’ in Desert Shores, to maintain the water level and mitigate red agae.  Launch day is on Sunday.

starboard_finished

port_finished

I would like to recommend….

For those of you who are into science – at least reading about it – can I recommend this blog – sciencesprings. Richard posts a lot of interesting science stuff from earth and around the universe.

From Science Alert: “This Volcano Erupted For 5 Years Straight, And The Photos Are Mesmerising” — sciencesprings

Science Alert 5 APR 2018 SIGNE DEAN You’re looking at a very rare type of lava fountain. (USGS) On 24 May 1969, a deep rumbling started within Kīlauea, the largest of the volcanoes comprising the island of Hawai’i. Looking up the slope of Kilauea, a shield volcano on the island of Hawaii. In the foreground, […]

via From Science Alert: “This Volcano Erupted For 5 Years Straight, And The Photos Are Mesmerising” — sciencesprings

Salton Sea News

A symposium on community impacts, recent research, and possible solutions

via Shrinking Shorelines and the Salton Sea — Salton Sea Sense

Humans vs Neanderthals

Here’s an interesting article from just over a month ago about how Humans may have had the edge over Neanderthals.

Not far on its heels came this article about Neanderthal art.  I guess some aspects of art history will remain a mystery, at least for a little while.