With the right kind of eyes, you can almost always find artwork surrounding you.
The artwork of photography is knowing when the happenstance of beauty is upon you so you can put your eye in the right place at the right time, taking scissors to reality and grabbing a moment.
I posted the image of L’Enfant Plaza I took at the DC Metro stop for multiple reasons. For one, I took it with my iPhone’s camera. It wasn’t taken with an exceptional camera. I really wish I had a DSLR at the time, but I was still able to take a picture that I still find to encapsulate the beauty I saw at that moment. Is it a bit noisy? Sure thing! In the end what matters is that I have an image I’m still proud of, encapsulates a moment, and I find beauty in. The artwork of photography is knowing when the happenstance of beauty is upon you so you can put your eye in the right place at the right time, taking scissors to reality and grabbing a moment.
Do your best to look at the world around you through alien eyes; pretend that everything around you is new and you may see something that should become a photograph.
“…this is a protozoan parasite that knows more about the neurobiology of anxiety and fear than 25,000 neuroscientists standing on each other’s shoulders…” – Dr. Robert Sapolsky
Toxoplasma (Toxoplasma gondii) [Toxo] was first observed in 1908. You may have heard of it as the crazy parasite that makes rats attracted to cats. This, in its own right, is astonishing, interesting, & bizarre. It has also been widely known that pregnant women should stay clear of cat scat & other sources for Toxo as it can adversely affect the development of the fetus.
Dr. Robert Sopalsky at Stanford has taken this link to humans further & has been studying, in detail, how it is affecting humans with some startling observations, but we’ll get to that later.
Last night I took a trip down to Montara beach which is just off Highway 1 (CA). I drove West on 92, hit 1 and took a right. It was the middle of the night.
Just before I had to break for a stop light, I saw a bird of prey with an immense wing span dodge my car by flying right in front and then off to the right. I did my best to make sure I didn’t hit such a beautiful bird, but I had a question:
What in the world was a bird of prey, like a hawk, doing flying around in the middle of night?
The question itself was the answer. It, upon review of my memory, was actually a tall and wondrous owl out at night.
I spent my evening taking night time photos. Starting off in Montara and ended up in the park I grew up in taking pictures late at night, like the picture below of the rose.
When I got to Beresford Park, I could hear all the way accross the park the rat ti tat tat of teens in the muck of something they probably shouldn’t be doing once the park was closed, let alone if the park were opened.
It was 1AM and I was curious, so I wandered over, while keeping my distance to see if they were doing anything interesting. Perhaps I would say hi.
It was two guys and two girls clearly with beer in their hands and beer in their stomachs. As I walked near by, then walked away down another path, I could hear something akin to, “I’m not sure…it seems a bit sketch…”
Rose in the middle of the night
I wandered over next to the community garden and took a few snap shots. I was on the park premessis, but only for a short period of time. I could hear the loud kids head from the shelter down to the swing set. Once they got to the swing set I could hear the girls yelping in what I hope was excitement and the creaking of the swings. I ended up walking down the sidewalk next to the park and wandered in 20 feet because I saw a rose bush I wanted to photograph. In the distance I could hear the kids reveling in their midnight excursion.
I noticed a car coming by slowly behind me just as I heard the kids, who were clearly not trying to be subvert in any manner, say “Yeah, that’s a cop!”.
I am doing a lot of research on the brain, stress, depression, etc. Many things point back to dopamine.
I have been reading and watching lectures and documents about brain chemistry. Lately I have been running into many that discuss how dopamine is a key element in happiness, reward, etc. mechanics in the brain. Seeing charts descriping how dopamine levels in the brain reinforce data got me thinking:
How can I test myself for dopamine levels?
As far as I can tell, the only solution is trepanation. Sadly, I don’t think this is a way to go.
If there is a viable way to accurately and safely test for dopamine levels, then shouldn’t we be actively integrating this into our mental health care system?
If you or someone you know has more information about the research involved in collecting dopamine data on human subjects, please enlighten me.
One year ago today my little brother, Micah Ethan Tenney, passed away.
This date is one I will never forget, but never want to remember. I miss my little brother.
I intend to celebrate his life on his birthday, not this horrible day.
Instead, here are some resources for those in need. Suicide is something that can be prevented. I can’t go back in time to save my brother, but you can be proactive and save lives merely by being aware.
If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis, here is a phone number you can call. Don’t be afraid to call or worry about consequences of calling. Anything is better than the alternative.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
I grew up working with clay. I remember the first thing I ever made as a young child: a thumb bowl. I am sure my mother still has it somewhere. I kept working with mud in various forms from thumb bowls in grade school to bust sculptures in college. Somewhere in between, about 20 years ago, I tried my hand at throwing bowls. I was not very good at it. My parents have the only mildly successful piece I ever made; an eight inch wide, five inch tall planter. It is a planter because I breached the bottom of the pot making a nice hole for water to seep out . Not the intended result, but makes for a fine planter…I can only assume this is the case since it has never actually had a plant in it.
This all changed very recently. With Jon Singer as my sensei (先生), I was able to throw three bowls.