Saturday, July 31, 2010

Calabi-Yau Space . 2 | Starscape

This article is being written as your read. Patience please.

So, as we mentioned, string theory, a possible heavy-weight contender for a theory of everything (TOE) in the universe, requires 6 or 7 (depending on the flavor of the theory) extra dimensions to work. But where are they? And are those where our lost socks are languishing?

The answer offered by string theorists is that the hidden dimensions are everywhere but very, very small. Small on the order of the Planck length perhaps - 1.6 x 10 -35 meters - the smallest possible distance in the universe, as derived from various known natural constants such as the speed of light and strength of gravity. This is more orders of magnitude (powers of 10) smaller than an atomic nucleus is to a human body (by roughly 15 times, depending on your height). Small way beyond our powers of personal detection or most powerful machines.

These different dimensions in which strings vibrate are thought to be curled up at every point in space in complex geometric spaces called Calabi-Yau Manifolds.

Continued from ... Calabi-Yau Space . 1.

Image ... A Calabi-Yau Space.

July 31, 2010

Quote of the Day
Fate loves the fearless.
James Russell Lowell

Now me, I would have said fate favors the fearless. And put it on a t-shirt. Which I may yet do. But then, who am I to argue with one of the Fireside Poets from the PRC? Whose house still stands.

Image ... Vietnamese Flower Shop, Dorchster.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sarah and Eva | TwitPick

We featured Sarah H. about a week ago with an unusual self-portrait. Here she is again with another really interesting image. The caption is simply ... ♥. I guess that says it all. Such a touching picture.

TwitPick is our pick of images selected from Twitpic, the online service hosting pictures in connection with Twitter. Twitpic finally has a new interface. It took them long enough to figure out that the old one was hideous and didn't work. There's even a search function now. I mean, helloe, have you ever seen a commercial website without one?

Image ... Sarah and Eva.

The Baseball Card Show | Quiet Desperation . 18

This is the stupidest / funniest show ever committed to ... well OK, just plain committed. It takes place around the rock music scene in Allston (an inner burb of Boston), where a myriad of bad bands (but none worse than Robby Roadsteamer's) dream their dreams. It's sick, profane, silly and profound (in a shallow way) all at the same time.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 30, 2010

Check out this New Yorker article about WikiLeaks' Julian Assange.
He had come to understand the defining human struggle not as left versus right, or faith versus reason, but as individual versus institution. As a student of Kafka, Koestler, and Solzhenitsyn, he believed that truth, creativity, love, and compassion are corrupted by institutional hierarchies, and by “patronage networks”—one of his favorite expressions—that contort the human spirit. He sketched out a manifesto of sorts, titled “Conspiracy as Governance,” which sought to apply graph theory to politics. Assange wrote that illegitimate governance was by definition conspiratorial—the product of functionaries in “collaborative secrecy, working to the detriment of a population.” He argued that, when a regime’s lines of internal communication are disrupted, the information flow among conspirators must dwindle, and that, as the flow approaches zero, the conspiracy dissolves. Leaks were an instrument of information warfare.

Doesn't this remind you of Vietnam? Poor Obama. He inherited this whole mess - the wars, the economy (both linked) - from the utterly inept Shrub. But why didn't he turn and run 180° in the opposite direction? And why doesn't he do so now? How much failure does it take to admit failure? Let's just declare victory and walk away.

More messages from China, translated by Google, then WorldLingo ...
G: Are there items in the law of stupid laws: "an organization of fools, Hengda is equal to two-thirds in.
W: Has the item of fool law is it possible that in the law: “In an organization's fool, is bigger than permanently is equal to 2/3.
These "comments" occur all the time now. They never have anything to do with the journal entry or image and also never make any sense, even allowing for a large 'lost in translation' factor. Suntori! Am I getting hacked or merely harassed? A Chinese translation appears below (if Google got it right).
Quote of the Day
The truth is more important than the facts.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Image ... Vietnamese Flower Shop, Dorchester.

Dot Virgins . 1

Yes, there are virgins in Dorchester, or Dot as we call it. They're everywhere for the taking, conveniently hanging out on peoples' front lawns. Most often, as here, they are ensconced in a bathtub-like enclosue; or perhaps an improvised grotto, even in glass cases.

Image ... Virgin.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July 29, 2010

Quote of the Day
It takes a great man to be a good listener.
Calvin Coolidge

The quote of the day is perfect for this image. Keep cool with Coolidge.

Image ... Mural at Bob the Chef's. South End, Boston.

July 28, 2010

Working on Yarmouth Street project - designing and akso technical consultation with Mass. Hort.

Quote of the Day
To love an idea is to love it a little more than one should.
Jean Rostand

Image ... Tree in sunset. Fenway, Boston.

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 27, 2010

Here's The Cheech in her garden. Looking fabulous of course. Her mother, Chyna, does her hair and is the most inventive hair stylist. Over the years I've never seen her repeat herself. She's always creating fresh and fierce styles. Of course when you have perfection to work with it's inspiring.

Quote of the Day
Life is half spent before we know what it is.
George Herbert

Image ... Chychy in her garden. The Fenway, Boston.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 26, 2010

Bob the Chef's on Columbus Ave. is no more and hasn't been for some time. Would that it had held in there, after decades, like Charlie's (maintained by a dynastic Greek family) down the street so that we had one remaining soul food spot in the South End. Since its demise it's gone through 2 upscale jazz club concepts and both folded (the Stork CLub, a doomed name, lasting less than a year), and is about to embark on a third incarnation.

Cleaned the house on Sunday then spent the afternoon at the garden. Too hot to do a damn thing except read, relax and water - myself and the plants. The free ice machine at HoJo's (2 blocks away across from Fenway Park) has been fixed! Now it shoots cubes like nobody's business. So happy! Had ice water all afternoon.

Quote of the Day
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
P.J. O'Rourke

Image ... Mural at Bob the Chef's, South End.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

July 25, 2010

Definitely check out the front page article in this week's Bay State Banner, An heir of expectancy, about Guru of Gang Starr. He's the crucial hiphop artist from Roxbury who first fused the then-nascent form with jazz and then kept deepening the connection throughout his career, sadly cut short this spring by cancer.

And here's Hank Jones, who also headed home this year, live at the Village Vanguard in 1977 performing Favors with his Great Jazz Trio. Maybe Hank and Guru have hooked up and are jamming together. If so heaven, or perhaps the other joint, is certainly swinging.

I dig this tune but keep waiting to hear Miles' horn kick in. So what?

Walked up to Ashmont last night, looking to get a bite, and discovered the Ashmont Grill, right in the square. Seated on the beautiful rear patio. Tall stone rubble wall topped with one of brick. The opposite of bamboo. Surrounded by raised garden beds overarching with river birch.

Waiters, etc. came and went ignoring me for fully 15 minutes. Had plenty of time to study the place, feel the rudeness and absorb the ambience. Biggest turnoff - obtrusive music. All stuff I like (Cure, Marley, etc.) - but not for dinner. I'm absolutely adamant about restaurants not playing music. Big mistake, huge negative. It's a social space where you sit and chat and music in that situation is mere needless noise.

As usual when trying out a new place I go for the simple stuff - say a soup and/or salad. That's the true test. No one can foul up things faster and you don't lay out a huge chunk of change to find the lay of the land.

So I got the half Grilled Caesar for $8. Grilled? WTF? A plate of romaine, one central stem grilled, the rest raw. No croutons, one slight slice of garlic baguette, no anchovy evident. The lettuce not fully dried - a major sin in salad making.

I'll give Ashmont Grill another try but I have a sour taste in my mouth. And it wasn't from the menu's described lemon-garlic vinaigrette.

Quote of the Day
Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.
William Penn

Image ... Central Park. An image, extensively edited, from the YouTube video Hank Jones / The Great Jazz Trio - Favors 1977, but uncredited.

Sarah H. | Twitpic

This is an unusual portrait, or perhaps self portrait. Just half the face and that cropped at the top and bottom. But it's all that's needed.

It was taken up close with a fairly wide lens which really emphasizes the drawing or the three dimensional image. I frequently like this strategy. With people I like to get in close with a shorter lens. Long lens tend to flatten things out, making the image two dimensional.

Name Sarah H.
Location Deutschland
Bio EVA! I♥toi and.. friends!;summer!;sun!;beach!; movieLOL!;Berlin!;theSea!; Audrey Tautou!

Twitpic is our pick of images selected from trolling Twitpic, the online service hosting pictures in connection with Twitter.

Image ... Sarah H.

23 | Number Detective . 3

Hey there! I'm Chychy.
Welcome to Number Detective.

My beat is the city streets. The job is to bring you the best numbers we can find out there. Then share all sorts of cool stuff about them with you.

Wow, now this is a cool number, twenty-three! I found it on a porch in Dorchester. It's a street address, like many of the numbers I find.

In every city or town there are lots of streets and every street has a unique (one that's all its own) name. Then, on each street every building has its own unique number, like 23. These names and numbers, along with a few others, make up an address, a unique location on earth. Here's an example. Let's pretend this is where I live. This is how you'd address a letter to me ...
Chychy Loving (my name)
23 Dale Street (the street number and name)
Dorchester, MA 02124 (the city, state abbreviation and ZIP code)
Address numbers are said to run up or down the street - up is in the direction of bigger (or higher) numbers, down toward smaller (or lower) numbers. Usually one side of the street is even numbers and the other side is odd numbers.

An even number is one that can be divided by 2 with nothing left over. Odd numbers are not divisible by 2 without a remainder. In other words, an even number can be broken into 2 equal parts, an odd number will always have unequal numbers.

Say we have 6 Ninja Turtles. We can divide them into 2 groups of 3 each, 3 + 3 = 6. But if we have 7, the closest we can come (without cutting a turtle in half, which would make a huge mess and is strictly not allowed) is 3 + 4 = 7. The even and odd numbers follow each other, one after another - 1 (odd), 2 (even), 3 (odd), 4 (even), 5 (odd), and so on forever.

23 was Michael Jordan's number. 23 is a slam dunk in my book.

Image ... The number 23. Dorchester, Mass.

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 24, 2010

Did you know that you can expand any picture to full size by clicking on it? The image opens in the same window, so to return to the Journal use the Back button (rather than closing the window).

I really enjoy this picture. Good vibrations. Taken in the playground on Washington Street by East Berkeley, who's name I always space out on. I'll try to find it today when I walk by to finally pick up my bike.

It's graffiti or a tag. The park's been renovated and it no longer exists, replaced by other painted images on what is a tennis backboard (I think it's called, where you practice your serves).

Appropriation is the project of all art, indeed of life. This is a small slice of a bigger picture, carefully selected, stored, then edited to create the image. An image which is another work of art. I never had any problem with this. It's as natural as Ansel photographing Yosemite. And come to think of it, if Ansel had been standing in my spot he would have made this picture too. I can somewhat speak with assurance because we share birthdays.

Andy Warhol put it this way ... Art is what you can get away with. Did you know that he didn't even take the simple photo that was the basis for his flower silk screens (he later got sued and settled)? But remember this - always steal from the best. And never a borrower be from mediocrity.

I want to give a note of appreciation to my beautiful neighborhood - between the Shawmut and Fields Corner T stations in Dorchester - this wonderful house and my super housemates, Alexia and Sabrina. And yes, the area does in fact sport a street called Paisley Park. People here keep their homes so beautifully with creative and well cared for gardens and landscaping. It's such a pleasure to live here, so peaceful and stimulating, such a great spirit.

Song stuck in my head ... See You in September. But the song playing right now is Miles So What? Live with Trane. So what could be better? Fun fact ... The cowriter of SYIS also wrote 57 songs for Elvis.

Picked up my bike, finally, at Community Bicycle. $258! New rear wheel with double rim wall and more spokes, new double-walled rubber front and back, brake repair. I have to say it's the best it's ever ridden.

Stoppped by Deeny job. Stopped at Kelly's, but she was out of town, surprise. Went by garden. Everything OK despite me missing watering. Maybe Fred did it. Everything is huge and lush, including the weeds and lawn. Visited a new client.

Stopped by the Carter School to check on the light. Late afternoon will probably be best for photographing what I've come to call The King Circle, a circular arrangement of large granite foundation stones from the building that Dr. King lived in with Coretta, where they began their married life, before leaving for Montgomery. There's a fountain in the middle of it in the form of a large overflowing jar. How unintendedly appropriate. The overflowing fountain motif occurs throughout the South End, memorials to the Civil War dead. And here is one to the Civil Rights dead. This one, I believe, has a switch that the kids can activate. It's going to make a great picture. I may need a ladder, to get up high, to capture the circle. I'll ask Marianne, the principal, if the school has one I can use.

Biked back home. Another hot, muggy day. Hit a cool sea breeze by South Bay, but it didn't last.

Quote of the Day
Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.
Vince Lombardi

Image ... Blue Tag. South End, Boston.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 23, 2010

For a great introduction to modern physics, visit the Cern website. The science is very clearly, non-technically explained and features a comprehensive glossary of terms. It also conveys the excitement and wonder that is at the heart of the the project of physics, stretching from the interior of atoms to the furthest reaches of the universe.

This is especially appropriate since the Web was invented at Cern. And for a fascinating glimpse at how the Web came about check out an interview with Robert Cailliau, one of its founders. Here he is talking about the competition between European and American scientists.
Not only will you not just leave us alone, you will not stop working. You will not switch off. You will not take holidays. You will not enjoy life. You just work like crazy, and you can put that in your article, if you like. It's very hard competing with you guys. It's impossible.
The Cern site also has a very good section on how the Web works and its origins.

Finally finished scrubbing the porch. Only took me four days. Looks spectacular.

The principal of the Carter School in the South End has given me permission to photograph their Sensory Outdoor Garden. This is where remanents of the ruins of Martin Luther King's residence were dug up - massive granite foundation blocks and building bricks - and incorporated into this garden designed for special needs kids.

Quote of the Day
We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Anais Nin

That sounds like a statement of the anthropic principle, doesn't it?

Image ... Sunbather in a Saltmarsh 2. Gloucester, Mass.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 22, 2010

This display was in the window of a flower shop on Parmenter Street, which runs between Hanover and Salem, in the North End. The sculpture is based on the Bird Girl cemetery figure featured on the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This must have been taken around the time that the movie version made by Clint Eastwood came out.

I read the book, second hand I think, but all I can recall about it is a flamboyant transvestite. But maybe that's just me. I read the whole of Henry Miller's output and recall less than zero.

We finally had some rain overnight. Cooler and less humid today. It's been extremely oppressive for several weeks. I've just been laying low, taking advantage of everyone being away, downing bottles of frozen water from the fridge which last no time at all in this heat. Next week work. My jobs are seldom air conditioned and usually involve moderate to strenuous physical effort. In other words, sweat, and lots of it.

Researching string theory. The gist of it anyway. Not easy to understand and once the technical and math kick in - and it is all math - forget it. Wish I had Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe here with me. An excellent introduction, and of which I just found out a 4-part PBS Nova series was made. Must have.

Edited 8 new photos for Roofscape Journal (to appear right here). Images from our large library which I'm revisiting, reediting, passed over in the past and a couple of new ones from others. Made 8 new journal pages, almost to end of month, with scheduled loading. Perfect heavy lifting for a hot-humid sunshine-filled summer day. And still washing the porch. Looking all sorta very brand new. Thinking about and doing some research for the Yarmouth Street garden.

Made some great photos at the Vietnamese flower store around the way on Dot Ave. Returned and edited immediately.

Quote of the Day
Tough times never last, but tough people do.
Robert H. Schuller

Image ... Flower shop window. North End.

July 21, 2010

Edward Hopper once said ... All I really wanted to do was to paint the shadows on the side of a building. Now this is recalled from memory and I'm probably paraphrasing, but the sense and the sentiment have stuck accurately in my mind all these years. And it's a statement I completely understand.

That's Frederika, my wonderful garden partner, with her parents when they visited from Germany last year. She's being all shy as usual.

Freddie or Fred, as we call her, is from Berlin and currently a post doc at Harvard doing genetics research. She's been taking care of the garden while my bike's been in the shop. Here's her recent report.

all the plants say hello to you - they are really well watered now, i was just there.

'****The crisis is just too stupid to say. I'm an utter moron. I paid for it and made everyone sign a cast-iron non-disclosure. No one will ever know.****

... SO? now i am REALLY INTERESTED !!

and i seemed to be right, your bike actually is an UFO now (and a pretty cheap one)!

I picked my first large tomato today - i'm totally excited how it turns out.

I also picked some of the basil, because it started to flower and i was afraid that it otherwise stops to grow too soon.

and i picked few leaves of your kale/cabbage - they are really massiv and these leaves treatened to turned bad soon, so i picked them. however, i think it is not even noticable that i picked these leaves... you should definitely take a huge bag with you next time you visit the garden!

and your lettuce is about to flower - however, it really looks beautiful the way they grow there!

when i watered them, on of the lettuces however was bent, so i decided to take it home - i hope that's okay (i can make sure we get new lettuce plant, if you like)

I also watered the little piece next to the fence in the small garden, however, this part doesn't seem to do so well... maybe it is also too late in the year for this part? well, few things are still growing, so what.

SO, summing up: the garden is wonderful, everything grows like crazy and it's a paradise!!.

Translation of comment (below) ... Love is a great teacher, teaches us to turn over a new leaf. Courtesy of WorldLingo. This is the first comment from China that's made the least bit of sense. Just learned that Google now offers translation and here's how it rendered ... Love is a great teacher, taught us rehabilitated. Ouch! It also detected the language automatically.

Cleaning the back porch, deck and railings on hands and knees with a sponge and bucket - scrubbing. Sweat pouring off me. Cat keeping me company. Cicadas singing loudly. A walk of a few blocks in the noon heat and sun exhausting.

Working on the Calabi-Yau article again, studying string theory.

Made a zucchini puttanesca with with what was on hand.

Quote of the Day
Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax.
Charles Kettering

Image ... Shadows on the Side of a Building. The Fenway, Boston.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

17 | Number Detective . 2

Hey there! I'm Chychy.
Welcome to Number Detective.

My beat is the city streets. The job is to bring you the best numbers we can find out there. Then share all sorts of cool stuff about them with you.

Wow. This is a really old looking number, isn't it? But it's only 17! I found it above a door of a church on Hanover Street in the North End. That's the Italian part of Boston.

17 has some mysteries about it, one of which is that it's the least random number. A random number is any number that just pops into your head.

Try this on your friends, the more the better - simply ask them to pick a number between 1 and 20. Write down all the answers then look at how many times each number was chosen. You might find out, as many people do, that 17 comes out way, way ahead.

That's surprising because each number should have an equal chance of being chosen, therefore making it appear about 5% (1/20th) of the time. Some tests, however, show 17 appearing almost 20% of the time - 4 times the expected rate! A huge difference.

No one really knows why 17 is the least-random random number. But the Number Detective will keep looking into it.

July 20, 2010

Solved our little crisis. For a good plumber contact Marquis Johnson at The Solution Plumbing. Found him via Google. Great guy (came on Sunday to scope out the problem), same rate as my other plumbers, $135/hour. Clearly I'm in the wrong business. But me and plumbing are dangerous. Pisces should never plumb, except men's soul perhaps. And even there they should be careful not to set off waterworks.

Another hot, humid day in a string of them. The cicadas in chorus, happy in the heat. Lunch at D2D, then many household and client-related chores. Plus some writing - back on the King project, string theory, journalizing. And do some cooking!

Song (still) stuck in my head ... This Charming Man, by The Smiths. Live in Madrid, a kick-ass tight formation version, the packed audience pogoing with religious fervor.

Quote of the Day
Honor is not the exclusive property of any political party.
Herbert Hoover

Image ... Entryway, the South End.

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010

A view looking up the Muddy River from the Richardson Bridge, Boylston Street. The Fenway Victory Gardens are off to the right, Mother's Rest is on the left. The building beyond the bend in the river (top left) is the fire department's alarm headquarters.

Song stuck in my head ... that would still be Fire in Cairo by The Cure.

A project for Kelly's Underground Dog Grooming today. Breakfast at Charlie's. Stopped by Community on way back to check on progress of bike. Yes, finally progress, over $250 worth of it in fact. Shocked but not surprised. I did say something very bad when I got the news though, it's true. This bike, a classic Schwinn Collegiate from the 70's (according to Tommy Long, bike collector and drummer for the Dogmatics), is a labor of love and insanity (the two being the same). I could have bought a brace of Bianchis with the bucks that I've shelled out for this baby. But it is the best bike that I've owned. It just has some issues. Like it wants to bankrupt me. And of course a Bianchi would have disappeared long ago.

Charles emailed from Costa Rica. They're off to look for jaguars in the jungle. Freddy checked in from the garden. She's holding things down while I'm bike-less and dealing with domestic disturbances. The cicadas and crows are chorusing together with the wind chimes - bamboo, metal, shells - for a backup trio.

Finished the first Number Detective installment. I have no idea if kids, or anyone, will dig it. Anyway, it was fun to image and write. Who knew that there were happy and unhappy (also called sad) numbers? Moreover, that's a concept I totally get, although like much of math it's really very mysterious. But we've got the Number Detective to help us out now. Next up is 17, one of my faves, the least-random random number.

Quote of the Day
If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.
Katharine Hepburn

Image ... Muddy River, Boston.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

44 | Number Detective . 1

Hey there! I'm Chychy.
Welcome to Number Detective.

My beat is the city streets. The job is to bring you the best numbers we can find out there. Then share all sorts of cool stuff about them with you.

Our first number is 44. I found it at the entrance to the musician's union hall on St. Botolph Street in the South End. It's funny how the number 44 looks all new and shiny but the wreath around it is all old and crumbly.

44 is a happy number! Did you know that there are happy :) and unhappy :( numbers? Me neither until I became a number detective. Here's how it works.

Take one of the digits in the number and square it - that is, multiply it by itself. Do the same with the other digits (if any), then add the squared numbers together. Repeat the process using that result.

If this process ends in 1 you have a happy number on your hands. This is the way we figured out that 44 is happy :).
16 (4x4) + 16 (4x4) = 32

9 (3x3) + 4 (2x2) = 13

1 (1x1) + 9 (3x3) = 10

1 (1x1) + 0 (0x0) = 1
If the sequence doesn't end in 1 it will just keep circling round and round like a lost puppy but never land on 1. That's an unhappy number.

Here are the first 100 happy numbers.
1, 7, 10, 13, 19, 23, 28, 31, 32, 44, 49, 68, 70, 79, 82, 86, 91, 94, 97, 100.

Fun fact for 44
In 44 AD - XLIV in Roman numerals - Rome, led by the emperor Claudius, invaded and occupied southeast England.

July 18, 2010

Quote of the Day
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Frederick Douglass

Image ... Cuba. South End, Boston.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yarmouth Street Garden . 1 | Garden Gates

Yarmouth Street is a quiet side street lined with Victorian bowfront brick houses fronted by small gardens tucked between what may be the tallest stoops in the South End, the despair of all postmen. We've been hired to design and build one of these gardens by a client who has been enjoying a garden we did around the corner on Carleton Street. Above is a frontal view of the existing space as seen from the curb.

This is a before view from the left corner of the space as seen from the sidewalk. At the right rear of the image you'll notice a small door under the stoop. This is the way that many South Enders enter their homes which are often now configured with an open plan kitchen - living space opening out onto a garden or deck in the back of the building. The garden will create a strong first impression and set the tone for entering the house.

Here's another before view, this from the right, standing in the narrow walkway that leads to the door under the stoop. At the rear of the image, between the window and the fence, you'll notice a slab of concrete at the base of the brick wall pitching down toward the yard. It's certainly not an original part of the house. My guess is that this was added to divert water away from the house to prevent flooding in the basement. The slab is in need of some repair and part of the garden's design will be determined by the need to maintain the flow of water away from the foundation.

Here, in another before view, we're standing by the door under the stoop looking through the gate into into the garden toward Yarmouth Street. This angle clearly reveals the current miscellaneous mess (nice fence though). We'll be starting over from scratch. But with a great space - and that's what counts.

Image ... Yarmouth Street garden. Before views: front, left, right, back.

Article continues here.

July 17, 2010

Cicadas singing in the treetops from dawn. The heat coming on strong. Editing photographs. Started article on Yarmouth Street garden project, with four before photos.

A walk around the neighborhood. Remembering scenes to image. The light or moment not right or whatever. Vietnamese women at the Fields Corner farmer's market. I've never seen such shoppers. They could punk anyone at a sale in Filene's basement. Paisley Park.

Comments on 7/16 journal entry as translated by WorldLingo ...
Chinese ... The good article, hoped can read your PO article continuously.

Japanese ... Good composition, desired talent one direct watching arriving at 您 mark PO sentence.

Korean ... Good, watch national disgrace PO.

... Surely something must be lost here in translation.

Songs looping in my mind ... Fire in Cairo, The Cure (one sexy damn song). Stop Breaking Down, White Stripes (with Stones and Johnson still echoing). This Charming Man, The Smiths (live in Madrid with a crazed audience). Walk on By, The I-Tones (great cover by the best Boston reggae band ever). Exodus, Bob Marley and the Wailers ('movement of god's people').

Quote of the Day
Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
John Wooden

Image ... Sign at the Lucy Parsons Center. South End, Boston.

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 16, 2010

We have a book in the works called Number Detective. The N.D. goes around the city discovering and photgraphing interesting numbers, then talking about them. This, the number 44, was found by the entry of the old musician's union on St. Botolph Street. We may make serial installments of N.D here.

Image ... 44. 44 St. Botolph Street, Boston.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Calabi-Yau Space | Starscape

Isn't this a strange and beautful picture? It looks sort of like a sphere swirling with mobius strips. This is a Calabi-Yau Space, a complex geometrical structure that just may hold the secrets of the universe on its twistng folds.

The overarching project of modern physics is to find a unified theory of nature, one that unites the four basic forces - electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces and gravity with the zoo of particles and their interactions described by what's known as the standard model of physics. One of the candidates for this vast and subtle task is string theory.

String theory posits that at its most fundamental level the stuff of the universe, quarks and electrons, is composed entirely of tiny 1-dimensional vibrating strings of energy. To harmonize with the largely proven standard model the theory requires the existence of 10, or maybe 11, dimensions, 6 or 7 more beyond the familiar 4, the 3 of space and 1 of time. Well fine, but where are they?

... The article continues here.

Image ... Calabi-Yau Manifold. Courtesy of Wikipedia from article String Theory.

Twitpic | House of Stevvvie

I love looking at people's photographs, that's got to be obvious. Why else would anyone in their right minds spend time trolling Twitpic? But every now and then something clicks in this vast wasteland of images - food, doggies, babies, kitties and feet.

Sometimes just totally spontaneous pictures really work. They have a life about them. This is one of them. And the combination of colors is cool, plus her friend in the corner taking the photo.

Name Stevie Wilso
Location California (:
Bio ✔Verified stevie(: rides.summer nights.Junior at OHS.Lady Gaga; only ♥ i know

Image ... Stevie Wilso.

July 15, 2010

I'm not sure I even like this image. But I'm going to leave it in because someone might and it's not totally bad. You can never tell what people will respond or not respond to. It's always a surprise.

Be sure to read the article in Monday's New York Times, A Scientist Takes on Gravity. Gravity may not be one of the fundamental four forces of the universe, but just an 'emergent property', an afterthought. The universe just keeps getting weirder. Now that's entropy, right?

You can actually read the paper that prompted the article On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton by Eric Verlinde. Click on the title to go to its download page. The first few pages are comprehensible - and quite startling. I wish my dad, a physicist, was alive. He'd revel in this new age of physics, string theory, etc. On the other hand. he'd probably be quite skeptical, and rightly so. He was an experimentalist and all of this stuff is, not even theory, speculation. Peering unseeing into a vast dark - dark holes, dark matter, dark energy.

Quote of the Day
When all is said and done, more is said than done.
Lou Holtz

Wait a second ... didn't this quote just appear recently, and attributed to Aesop?

Image ... REM Crosswalk.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14, 2010

Away five days, camping out four nights, with flood, heat, fog, humidity and broken heart. On retreat. In retreat. Thinking anyway. Struggling. Oh, and my bike's broken too. Reading Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s autobiography. Second time around, now back in the middle of Montgomery. Made some photographs.

I really enjoy this picture. It's so crazy simple, but still somehow satisfying. It's the Pru and whatever that new building is called that's next to it. It has a name, but no one knows it. I love it though.

For months I've been receiving mysterious comments in Chinese. I plug them into WorldLingo, a free online translater, and they invariably come out something like this (a response to the entry of July 8) ...
Whish does recommends the BLOG person bracing cold to be really prosperous left.
... in other words, cryptic and/or ridiculous, but with a Confucian air - or an air of confusion. Definitely lost in translation.

Spent the day writing as the rain spit fitfully. Nothing important or serious; just jottings, observations, thoughts. Returned home, finally, taking the train from Southie, downloaded and edited photos and wrote some more.

Quote of the Day
It is not to be expected that human nature will change in a day.
Frank B. Kellogg

Image ... Prudential Center, Boston.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 10, 2010

Image ... Summer Interior. Edward Hopper, 1908.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dr. King in Boston . 1

In early September 1951 Martin Luther King, Jr., ML as his father called him, packed his bachelor belongings into a shiny new green Chevrolet and headed north for the thousand mile drive to Boston. The Chevy, equipped with the recently introduced Powerglide automatic transmission that he'd admired in a friend's car, was a gift from Daddy King as his father, Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., was often called by his family and flock. It was his reward for graduating at the top of his class in May from Crozer Theological Seminary outside Philadelphia.

1951 was a key year of transition for the country. The final business of World War II was winding down and, bridged by the futile Korean War, the Cold War was heating up.

It was the year of Duck and Cover. Atomic testing and war games began in the Nevada desert and Marshall Islands. The first nuclear power plant went into operation. The Rosenbergs were tried and executed for slipping A-bomb secrets to the Russians.

The first commercial computer, Univac 1, went into service and next year predicted the presidential election. The transistor was developed at Bell Labs. Coast-to-coast direct phone dialing and TV broadcasts began.

Upon his arrival from the Jim Crow South, King soon encountered the harsh reality of the segregated North.
I remember very well trying to find a place to live. I went into place after place where there were signs that rooms were for rent. They were for rent until they found out I was a Negro, and suddenly they had just been rented.
After some searching he and Phillip Lenud, a friend from Morehouse College where King did his undergraduate work, found an apartment at 397 Massachusetts Avenue in the South End across from the Savoy Cafe. The Savoy has long since ceased stomping (replaced by an apartment building at 400 Mass. Ave.), but King's digs still stand, a few doors down from the Orange Line T station and marked with a small bronze plaque.

Continued at Dr. King in Boston . 2.

July 9, 2010

On the road late after taking care of business at home. A significant new job - front yard garden in the South End. Got to the garden around 11. Reading MLK's autobiography. Looked up and it was 3 PM! Couldn't believe it. To the South End to connect with two clients and a prospect. Returned and read some more.

Quote of the Day
Be who you are and be that well.
Saint Francis de Sales

Image ... Old Budliner. The Minuteman Bikeway, Bedford.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010

I photographed this garden in the early 2000's and now it's mostly gone and greatly reduced. My friend Sasha told me that it was the work of a blind sculptor. The blind part makes sense. But that's all I know of the story.

In the foreground, Jesus, arms outstretched blesses the whole mess (and I mean that in the nicest sense). David stands, naked, on top of a pair of giant breasts (at a guess) seeming to pee into a pot, a heavenly chorus of angels, squirrels, poodles and skunks is arranged in ranks around the perimeter of the garden. In the lower left is the corner of a ten-foot tall phallus topped with a bell. Weeping willows overhang the whole scene with wind chimes ringing in their branches.

And that's just the backyard. Walk around the block to the front of the house for a really baroque scene (which remains intact).

Image ... Blind sculptor's garden. South End, Boston.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 7, 2010

Tuesday was hot, notching up into the nineties. Hid under the (relatively) cool grape arbor and read Martin Luther King's 'autobiography' - assembled from his various writings, etc. by Claiborne Carson.

Composted and groomed the new wildflower bed by the pool. We're going to seed it with one of those Meadow in a Can type mizes. Did several hours of PR in the South End.

Slept over in the garden Tuesday night. Just locked myself in and curled up under the arbor. Unlike in the past, the night was totally quiet. The police patrols are working. It used to be boys night out in the Wild West.

Image ... Fence in the South End, Boston.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 6, 2010

The robins flew the nest and fledged on Independence Day. This morning one of them was sitting on the gas grill getting fed by its mother. She flew off to find and feed the others and he stayed perched, either through instinct or instructions. I was curious to find out if and how well he could fly. I walked over and he stayed perched in place, not the least frightened, gazing at me curiously rather than warily. I talked to him and he listened.

I said, "stay there, I'll be right back," and got my camera. I set it in the macro range, opened the flash, zoomed in - to be ready - sat down in front of him and snapped away. He cocked his head this way and that to give me different angles. The perfect model. Later he flew off - at least I think I caught him out of the corner of my eye and after I saw him hopping in Mike's garden.

Charles has a new short story The Ride at 10 Flash Quarterly in the series featuring Artie the Angel, the gangster who who definitely can't shoot too straight and has problems Tony Soprano could only imagine.

Image ... Robin fledgling. Fenway Victory Gardens, Boston.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010

Quote of the Day
Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.
Marie Curie

Image ... Lantern in Roofscape's garden. The Fenway, Boston.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4, 2010

A few years ago the Red Sox held an open house for the Fenway neighbors to show off the impressive new renovations (Monster seats, etc). They gave us a guided tour around the park (with hot dogs) then we were free to wander around anywhere on our own. I spent a couple of hours photographing in the late afternoon light, clearing after rain, and made some good photographs. This picture is of a rehearsal for unfolding a flag on the field. I guess that when you have a flag this big you have to rehearse.

Here it is the Fourth. My dad's birthday. We always used to have a cookout for him with grilled salmon, peas from the garden, new potato salad, strawberry shortcake and sangria. Typical Yankee (meaning New England, not our New York nemesis) fare, well not the sangria.

Alexia's away on a shoot, Sabrina's studying, Frederike's taking care of the garden today, Poochy (the cat) is sprawled at my feet catnapping and I'm doing some housework then going to Monadnock Street to help Charles build a woodshed.

Spent yesterday in the garden doing next to nothing except staying in the shade and reading lazily as the temps climbed toward 90°. Well no, I did reorganize the outdoor office and made a new desk, then shopped for some supplies at Staples. The robins seem almost ready to fledge. They're so big that the three no longer fit in the nest and one is perched precariously on its rim. Their growth in just over a week since hatching blind and featherless looking like tiny plucked chickens (seee May 28) has been phenomenal. OH yes, and I made some pictures today. So not nothing. But next to it.

The neighbors were partying down last night - party over here, party over there. Rehearsing, speaking of rehearsal, for the Fourth. Nonstop fireworks bombardments. One party broke into a loud Pledge of Allegiance at one point (we have many immigrant neighbors, especially Vietnamese). The crows are going crazy today, cawing their heads off outside my window while a distant church bell faintly tolls. Timeless.

Biked over to Uphams Corner and helped Charles build his woodshed. It's about 10' wide x 5' deep, good for over a cord. Completed the entire structure and started on the siding when Charles reached his limit and we stopped. Worked roughly 11-4 with a few short breaks. Had fun, got the job done. Biked back to Fields Corner. Fourth parties getting going. Tonight will no doubt be nuts.

Quote of the Day
I am certain there is too much certainty in the world.
Michael Crichton

Image ... Flag on the field at Fenway Park.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 3, 2010

Quote of the Day
Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.
A. J. Liebling

Image ... Apple tree at Puddingstone Farm, Roxbury.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fourth of July dance party in Boston!

Dance with us! ... Radio Roofscape.

I-Tones - Walk On By
Bodega Girls - Ain't That Cold
Aerosmith - You Gotta Move
Freezepop - Plastic Stars
J. Geils - Houseparty
Lovewhip - Gimme That
Boston - Party
Lifestyle - Perfect Stranger
Treat Her Right - You Don't Need Money
Passion Pit - The Reeling
Cars - Let's Go
Bearstronaut - Broken Handclaps
Markey Mark - Good Vibration
Mystery Roar - Fantasies
Drop Kick Murphys - State of Massachusetts
James Brown - Live at Boston Garden, April 5, 1968
Jonathan Richman - Egyptian Reggae
Orchestra Morphine - Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer

July 2, 2010

Hi Alexia ... Here's somethhing for you, just to make you smile.

Quote of the Day
The more refined and subtle our minds, the more vulnerable they are.
Paul Tournier

Image ... Miracle Shoeshine. Downtown Crossing, Boston.