Tragically Hip


This past Saturday one third of all Canadians witnessed the final performance by Tragically Hip from their hometown of Kingston, Ontario. 11.7 million people gathered in bars, hockey arenas, town squares, restaurants, back yards and living rooms, tipping hats to front man Gord Downie and the Hip.Saturday morning Toronto police tweeted “Dear world, please be advised that Canada will be closed tonight at 8:30 pm. Have a #Tragically Hip Day”. From the Yukon to Newfoundland, Saturday August 20, 2016 will go down in Canadian history as Tragically Hip day.

Who the Hip are is easy, what they are is harder to define. Constant from bar stools to sold out arenas, Gord Downie’s iconic voice navigated the Hip to a place of knowing familiarity – when a Hip song played it felt like slipping into bedroom slippers, troubles waned, we were home. Canadian to the core, Tragically Hip never sought headlines or spotlight. Musicians, poets, balladeers captained by “Canadian poet laureate” Downie. Three decades of unabashed Canadian expression delivered with respectful unapologetic grace.  In May of this year a news conference reported Gord Downie had terminal brain cancer, followed by dates of a farewell tour before Downie succumbed to aggressive terminal illness. Listen to Ahead By A Century then Bobcaygeon. Youtube Nautical Disaster, Google Rolling Stone Top 10 Tragically Hip Songs, explore the interactive link below from CBC, read this article by Rachel Sklar at Vox –

http://www.vox.com/2016/8/23/12575952/tragically-hip-last-concert

http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/tragicallyhip/

I find myself pondering how many Canadians have “I saw the constellations reveal themselves one star at a time” tattooed on their arm. (Line from Bobcaygeon below)

Gord Downie August 20, 2016

Those outside Canada, people unfamiliar with the Hip might not fathom why a third of our nation gathered to hear Gord Downie’s final live performance. Why Justin Trudeau took in the concert wearing a Hip T-shirt,Tweeting –

Gord Downie is a true original who has been writing Canada’s soundtrack for more than 30 years.

crowds pack out a square in Kingston, Ontario, on 20 August 2016

 Kingston, Ontario – live broadcast for those without show tickets.

Tragically Hip permeate our lives, Gord Downie casts a spell of fortifying unity. This will be remembered as summer of the Hip. Following a three hour, three encore performance in Kingston Gord Downie said “thank you for that” before walking off the stage. Make no mistake, Canada thanks you Mr. Downie.

Allow Me To Blow Your Mind


Sit back comfortably, I’m about to blow your mind.

A diploid genome inhabits every cell in the human body. This genome consists of roughly 6 billion DNA base pairs. Liken DNA pairs to balls of string wrapped around proteins in the cell. Unravel the string it stretches out to a couple meters. A human body has 37 trillion cells (that’s 37,000,000,000,000 give or take a few). Lining up all DNA in a human body would stretch 74 trillion meters, or 74 billion kilometers – roughly 6 round trips to once a planet Pluto. That’s a mighty long strand of humanity.

Pondering The Newsroom


The Newsroom was an HBO political drama series that aired from June 2012 – December 2014. Starring Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy, news anchor at fictional Atlantis Cable News. Twenty five episodes over three brief “seasons” cemented The Newsroom atop my list of remarkable TV productions. Posted below are a handful of clips chosen to illustrate America’s indifference towards common sense truth – scripted Will McAvoy snippets ringing truer than anything blithered on non-fictional U.S. media today. The content may be dated, the message is anything but.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Newsroom_(U.S._TV_series)

 

Road Trip Skies


Bogging myself down with ambitious post holiday elaborations came to an abrupt halt moments ago. Deeply philosophical ramifications of unabashed road trip freedom can wait a few days – road trip skies make it impossible to think clearly.

Road trip skies frame the ordinary, punctuate extraordinary, elicit emotion. Road skies enable a sixth sense, that of focusing impressions and appreciating what otherwise might go unnoticed. The first picture and last three black and white photos were taken by my husband, all the rest were snapped on my phone.

2016-08-12 13.45.22

2016-08-10 20.31.28

2016-08-16 15.54.28

2016-08-15 13.11.06

2016-08-14 19.22.15

2016-08-12 12.14.14

https://www.flickr.com/photos/15574096@N00/

A Changed Notes


Home tonight after nine days on the road with my husband. Over 5,000 Km.,(1,300 of them today) three provinces, gravel road meanderings, secondary highway diners, family, strangers, thunderstorms, road-side attractions, heritage sites, gob smacking geology and demon mosquitoes. Stay tuned – snippets of ponderous elasticity quiver but I’m too tired to catch them. Until tomorrow….

Vacation For Notes


Vacation won’t sink in until my plane takes off tomorrow morning. It’s a loaded concept, yet beyond meeting my husband in Penticton, a 9 day blank slate calls my name. Stay in one place, drive a thousand miles, it really doesn’t matter, I’m on vacation.

We’ll take it day by day, pull off the road when we please, spontaneously fixate on random destinations, erect my telescope beneath the darkest night skies, swim in rivers and remember why we love each other.I’m on vacation, life doesn’t get better than that.

Jupiter’s Gravity Doubles Perseid Meteor Show 2016


Every summer Earth passes cosmic rubble from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Known as the Perseid meteor shower, (after constellation Perseus –  radiant point in north-east skies)  reigning champion of annual meteor events. Dependable, prolific Perseid rarely disappoints. Between July 17-August 24, Perseid teases summer nights with previews of the main event – peak performance of 60-100 meteors an hour between August 9-13.

Comet Swift-Tuttle circles the Sun in an oblong 133 year orbit. At perihelion (closest orbital point to the Sun, last reached in 1992 ) solar energy melts ice (primary mass of most comets ) releasing trapped space bits which join the comet’s tail. Extending hundreds of thousands Km, debris shadows Swift-Tuttle’s solar orbit. Perseid showers when Earth’s orbit intersects the outer edge of Swift-Tuttle’s tail. Every so often Jupiter’s gravitational influence stirs Swift-Tuttle’s tail – this year happens to be an “every so often” event.

Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office announced Jupiter’s gravity pulled three streams of comet tail closer to Earth’s orbit, making 2016 the first time since 2009 Perseid watchers can anticipate an outburst of activity. Courtesy of Jupiter, instead of skimming Swift-Tuttle fringes we’ll pass through freshly tugged regions of space dust – projected meteors per hour will double to 200,

Illustration image

http://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/perseid.html

Perseids in Aug. 2015, a composite image by Petr Horalek of Kolonica, Slovakia [more]