Letter


There’s a pack of postage stamps somewhere, I saw them last spring while searching for tax receipts. A book of ten glossy peel and stick intentions, tossed with irreverent haste into the chasm of some bottomless drawer. Not that it matters, I have nothing to mail, all I wanted was to hold possibilities.

I tried to remember the last time a hand written letter arrived at my door-step. Drawing blanks, I faced the reality a Christmas card from my sister counted – her decision to pen sentiments meant more than an e-card, at least she bothered to find a stamp.

The more I thought about it, the happier I became. My mind’s eye parading her distinctive calligraphy to a shoebox on my closet shelf. There it was resting atop a lifetime of penned treasures, stoically guarding a dusty old box of tender expression. Letter after letter passed through my hands, fingers fondly skimming strokes of a pen.

I found myself mourning a future of paperless memories, lives existing in clouds of digital storage. Photographs tossed into online folders, communication lost to inadvertent clicks, sentiment reduced to homogenized fonts. Who has time to paste pictures in albums or walk to a mailbox, technology scoffs at such quaintly archaic tasks.

What technology lacks is a shoebox – what humanity needs is a letter. Before it’s too late, each and every one of us needs to write letters. Absurd as that may sound, it just might be the most important gift you have to give – millions of shoe-boxes depend on it.

 

 

Recollections


Notes To Ponder:

An early morning reblog simply because I like this post.

Originally posted on notestoponder:

I’ve convinced myself I remember this happening. In part because I know it did, and occasionally when for some inexplicable reason, I see or feel it. Accepting that my recollections are clouded by perception might explain my lack of memory.

I didn’t know my mother was a writer; she was a school teacher who went to work every morning and marked papers at night.We lived on a farm; my Mom and Dad, then five children – practically a litter of puppies. My sister only ten months older, my brother eleven months younger, the five of us separated by five years.

I remember the oddest things, more often than not a smell triggers the snapshot. Bees wax blinds me with a memory of the old washing machine tub my Dad rigged to extract honey from frames in his bee hives. I see myself turning the handle, honey dripping into a pail…

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Dave and Morley


In my heart I understood, only a Canadian could fathom why Harper’s recent CBC bashing led to pondering Dave and Morley. Settling on Dave and Morley made sense – rather than blither on over CBC’s exemplary reputation, I had a duty to explain subtle intricacies of Canadian consciousness.

CBC radio defies generalizations – the sum of many parts culminating in a uniquely Canadian treasure. Unbiased investigative journalism, opportunities for aboriginal perspectives, backbone to tackle tough subject matter and honourable attempts to make government accountable might be considered the “meat” of CBC – let me assure you, that meat comes with the silkiest of gravies.

In 1994 CBC listeners were treated to a “summer replacement” program – Vinyl Cafe, hosted by Stuart McLean. No stranger to broadcasting, McLean’s relationship with CBC began in 1979 producing documentaries for CBC program Sunday Morning. Awarded the ACTRA that same year for Best Radio Documentary (coverage of the Jonestown massacre) McLean became a regular columnist and guest host of CBC’s Morningside. Vinyl Cafe’s summer stint soon became a platform for McLean’s iconic story-telling – Canada fell in love with Dave and Morley.

Fictional Toronto family – Dave (owner of Toronto’s smallest record store, Vinyl Cafe) his wife Morley, children Sam and Stephanie – the foundation of McLean’s endearing ability to draw listeners into the lives of average Canadians.

Stuart McLean, in my mind one of the greatest story tellers of all time, epitomizes the politely understated soul of our nation. Brilliant glimpses into the lives of Dave and Morley possess magical qualities. Stories capable of making me laugh out loud, tales to lift spirits, forget troubles, or simply break out whistling for no particular reason.

http://www.cbc.ca/vinylcafe/

Find yourself 10 minutes to spare – use that time to give Vinyl Cafe a listen. Fall under the spell of Dave and Morley – Stuart McLean, another reason why CBC is so important to Canada.

 

Solar Sector Boundary Crossing


Notes To Ponder:

Spaceweather predicts a 60% chance of geomagnetic activity resulting from a Solar Sector Boundary crossing on February 28, 2015. Translation – Auroras. Hence a reblog of my lesson on cosmic magnetism.

Originally posted on notestoponder:

Hang on for a lesson in solar dynamics – Earth is experiencing a solar sector boundary crossing. Let me explain….

The sun produces wind (currently 410.9 Km/second) that blasts across the cosmos. Just like Earth, our Sun has a magnetic field – known as the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF).  Whipped into a spiral rotation, wind driven IMF rotates in one direction. It divides into spiral sections pointing to and away from the sun along the ecliptic plane ( a direct line between Earth and the Sun). The edge of this swirling mass has a surface separating polarities of planetary and solar magnetism called the heliosphere current sheet.

http://spaceweather.com/glossary/imf.html

Earth’s magnetic field points north at the magnetopause (the point of contact between our magnetosphere and the IMF). If the IMF happens to point south at contact (scientific term, southward Bz) the two fields link causing partial cancellation of Earth’s magnetic field…

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Cosmic Apps


There’s no excuse for not adding a sky app to your phone – free, idiot proof tools capable of turning heads upwards with childlike enthusiasm. Embrace unfamiliar cosmic dioramas, dazzle friends and family, enrich your perspective with a sense of wonder, or simply figure out once and for all which one is Jupiter, which one Venus.

Android phone apps have been around longer than anything “i”. My phone has Sky Map, and real time images of the Sun from Solar Dynamics Observatory. Free, reliable android apps linked below

http://www.brighthub.com/mobile/google-android/articles/113453.aspx

Once upon a time iPhone users were out of luck – linked below, free cosmic apps for iphone or pad.

http://appcrawlr.com/app/search?similarTo=&priceDrop=&q=google+sky+maps&iap=&smartFilter=&category=&price=Free&_src=facet_price&device=iphone%2Cipad

What are you waiting for?

Notes “star gazing” with Google Sky Map