Stalking the Pelican

Hermitry isn’t what it used to be. I used to think the ideal occupation for a hermit would be either astronomy or lighthouse keeping.

The “Sombrero” galaxy, M104.
Credits: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) –
https://www.nasa.gov/content/discoveries-highlights-viewing-galactic-details-and-mergers

Lighthouses are no longer an option. The few that remain, are automated, and run for years with barely any human intervention.

You might think astronomy is still a viable hermit option: you trek up to some icy mountaintop observatory and sit all night with your telescope scanning the skies, every night, for weeks on end.

Not any more.

Continue reading “Stalking the Pelican”

Digital Da Vinci — or — How to Split a Restaurant Bill for 13

My friend, Ria, was commissioned to paint a replica of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”, 3 meters (9 foot) wide.

Ria’s painting, in acrylic on sanded aluminum board, took her about a year. By comparison, Da Vinci took three years. Then again, Da Vinci’s version was slightly bigger than Ria’s – 9 meters (27 feet) wide and 5 meters (15 feet) high.

Da Vinci used faces of actual people in his painting. When the monastery prior complained that the work was taking too long Da Vinci wrote back that he was struggling to find a suitably evil face for Judas, but that he’d be happy to use the face of the prior who had complained. After that, the complaints stopped.

I saw Ria’s finished painting a few weeks ago and it was impressive from all points of view – the perspective, the detail, the accuracy of the copy, the colours. An all-round great job on a difficult commission.

If you haven’t seen Da Vinci’s painting, it’s his take on the story of Jesus with the twelve apostles having a last supper before the crucifixion. The apostles are shown in various stages of anger, suspicion and dismay.

Techy Camera Stuff, Plus “Where Can I Get My Nails Done?”

OK. For once a blog that is not about books, authors and writing. Today photography is on my mind.

(For camera buffs, enjoy the techy stuff. For non-camera buffs, skip over the techy detail, which is in  navy. For the colour-blind, apologies, you may have to read it all.)

Where Can I Get My Nails Done?

(See this in gorgeous full-size technicolor at https://gallery.staadecker.com?image=36 )

In May 2018, I drove three hours south to the shore of Lake Eerie to Continue reading “Techy Camera Stuff, Plus “Where Can I Get My Nails Done?””