Happy: August 2007 Archives


A piece of amber 15 to 20 million years old, found in the Dominican Republic, contains a perfectly-preserved bee within it. The news seems to be all about the fossilized orchid pollen on the insect's back, and how it demonstrates that orchids were around during the age of the dinosour, but for me the wonder begins with the integrity and beauty of the carcass of this incredibly ancient worker bee; it would look as good had it been alive until a few minutes ago. It's also interesting to think about how much better this gal is doing than any of those Pharohs who were buried, what, a couple seconds ago?

For the science geeks, the biologists tell us that although the pollen and its carrier are only 15 to 20 million years old, they were able to use their examination of the pollen and a molecular-clock analysis to estimate the age of the orchid family, which they date to about 80 million years ago, some 15 million years before the extinction of the dinosaurs. Okay, that's pretty cool too.

No wiggle room for the creationists there.

CORRECTION: I've been reminded [see comment] that worker bees are in fact female; I have accordingly corrected a noun used in the text above. My apologies and my respects to a very long line of exquisite creatures.

[image of Santiago Ramirez from Reuters via the Globe and Mail]




Some of our friends seem quite happy with the kind of weather that makes me pretty miserable. I snapped these happy guys on 10th Avenue in front of the Red Cat late Wednesday afternoon. It had rained lightly all day, and although it wasn't as warm as it is today, the humidity must have hovered around 100% when I passed them at six o'clock.

For the floriculturally challenged, the common names for these blossoms are, from the top, Impatiens, Hibiscus and Morning Glory.

view through our open French doors on a cool, cloudy August afternoon

untitled (fuzz) 2007

Now it's just a website frippery, but this happy mix lining our courtyard-garden path makes me smile every time I walk through it.

under arrest

securing the acorn

This story had legs from the start, sea legs. Barry and I were watching it on line as it grew all day yesterday, and apparently it's still going.

I would say that this late and abbreviated post were redundant except that I want to broadcast the respect for Duke Riley that we both share, and also to refer to our early immersion in the larger story of his remarkable art, including a wide-eyed visit to the first solo show at Magnan Projects in January last year. Then there was also the excitement of being able to share my own personal connection to and love for Rhode Island, the School of Design, Newport, and the little bicycle shop down my block on the corner of Brook Street, all sites associated with the still-unfolding story of the "Acorn" submersible project.

Don't miss the slide show or the video on the NYTimes site.

My favorite take on the reaction of our guardians of public safety to the artist's marine intervention? Libby and Roberta:

The Coast Guard and police didn't think Riley's floating bobber was so amusing and the boat was confiscated and he and his accomplices were charged with "marine mischief." Talk about hammering a fly! Nobody seems to have a sense of humor or whimsy anymore, especially when it comes to imaginative art outside the normal channels. Now that's a crime.

[images by Damon Winter from NYTimes slide show]

This page is an archive of entries in the Happy category from August 2007.

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