Look Up


Today a co-worker asked what I was interested in, without hesitation I replied “have you ever really seen the moon?”

This video appeared in a ponder several months ago. Driving home all I could think about was watching and sharing it again. As I write it loops for the fourth time, tears of immeasurable happiness pluck corners of an ever widening grin. Ponders of childlike innocence lost in our caustic world led to an epiphany – the world would be a better place if every man, woman and child watched this clip……

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Night And Day


“Night and day” is an expression of vast differences, a term used to punctuate opposites and vocalize obvious chasms of separation. Every so often I use the term to illustrate radical improvement or to qualify observations of change. It never occurred to me night and day inhabited a realm between robotic utterance and practical reference to light in the sky.

After work this afternoon, night and day revealed another dimension. Not so much another dimension as a shared reality emanating from a handful of my husband’s photographs .Opposite as night and day may be, both are exquisite, textured and revealing. Ponder night and day with fresh eyes –

https://www.flickr.com/photos/15574096@N00/with/42259365585/

Diamond Rain, Bergs and Liquid Floaters


Earthly diamonds begin as carbon deposits 100 miles or more below the surface. Location is everything – carbon heated to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, squeezed under pressure of 725,000 pounds per square inch, lucky enough to cool quickly by hitching a ride on upward flowing magma, become diamonds.

Science knows there’s more than one way to make a diamond. Just as bakers adjust recipes for high altitude cooking, the cosmos creatively adapts to unique circumstance. Earthly optimists turn lemons into lemonade, cosmic forces create diamonds from carbon in the unlikeliest  of places.

Science has speculated for some time that chilly cores of Neptune and Uranus glisten with diamonds. A few years ago science singled out 55 Cancri e, an exo-planet 40 light years from our solar system as a planetary body comprised almost entirely of diamonds. Recently, science said – “new data available has confirmed that at depth, diamonds may be floating around inside of Saturn, some growing so large that they could perhaps be called ‘diamondbergs,'”. Diomand-bergs, good grief! What does that even mean?

Apparently behemoth lightening storms on Saturn and Jupiter create elemental carbon in the form of soot and graphite. Falling deep into the atmosphere, heat and pressure produce diamonds of unfathomable girth. Deeper still, extreme heat and pressures melt solid gems into diamond rain. From diamond-bergs floating in a hidden sea of fluid hydrogen and helium, to other worldly ghost clouds of diamond rain a simple truth emerges – the universe sparkles, even in the shadows it knows how to bake a diamond.

https://www.space.com/23135-diamond-rain-jupiter-saturn.html

Image result for diamond rain saturn

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Lux Caeli


Lux Caeli, Latin for “sky light” (loose translation) is a timelapse photography project by Adrien Mauduit. In his words –

“Summer is often synonymous with light, warmth, sun, vacation and ultimately night outings. As the latter generally has a social connotation, it can also mean something else for more and more people. Summer is also the host of a wide variety of celestial events that more than one can enjoy. Amateur photographers, professionals, backyard astronomers, star gazers, you, me, we all tend to linger outside longer to gaze at the sky’s impressive displays while it is not too cold. But what is so special about them at this particular time of the year? Probably the possibility of watching several phenomena occur at the same time! In my latest project called ‘LUX CÆLI’ (from Latin, ‘sky light’), I wanted to focus on these events and show their mesmerizing nature in a time-lapse series. It is merely a celebration of the summer time night sky phenomena in high resolution, and my goal was to show them in a bit different way. Whether you are talking about a sunset, northern light, meteor showers or eclipse, these displays are all breath-taking by essence. However the pinnacle of celestial awesomeness is to witness several of these natural phenomena happen at once.”

Ponder Lux Caeli –

 

Church News


Image result for church news

Like it or not church news is a global barometer. In no particular order, pondering church news starts with Father Jacques Lacroix, the French priest who face slapped a crying baby during baptism on June 21, 2018. When this video went viral the following day, a statement issued by the Meaux Dioceses said in part – 89 year old Father Lacroix “was suspended from all baptism and marriage celebrations.”, adding “This short video is an excerpt from the celebration which the baby cries a lot. The elderly priest loses his temper and slaps the child. Aware of this inappropriate gesture, the priest apologized to the family at the end of the baptism.” Official statement ended with – the priest was likely tired, but that “does not excuse him.”.

California State Bill AB 2943 (passed first reading in April, expected to pass state senate by the end of summer ) targets “conversion therapy”. Specifically the advertising or sale of “sexual orientation change efforts” by religious organizations. The bill states “sexual orientation change efforts” are defined as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation.” “This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex,” the bill reads.

Calif. Bill Would Limit What Pastors Can Say about Homosexuality

This image from ChristianHeadlines.com fills my mouth with bile. The image chosen by fundamentalist Christians to illustrate outrage over state bill AR 2943 is nothing short of insane. Anyone with a glimmer of common sense knows sexual orientation isn’t a choice . Never the less, fundamentalist tongues wag –

“A pastor paid to speak at an event addressing current social topics could not encourage attendees that they can prevail over same-sex desires or feelings that they were born the wrong sex.”

“A religious ministry could not hold a conference on maintaining sexual purity if the conference encourages attendees to avoid homosexual behavior.”

“A licensed counselor could not help a married mother of three who is experiencing unwanted attraction to a close female friend or confusion over her gender identity overcome those feelings.”

“A bookstore (including online bookstores like Amazon) could not sell many recently published books challenging gender identity ideology and advocating that these beliefs should be rejected by society.”

Knock, knock, anyone home at the pulpit? Conversion therapy is a multi-million dollar business marketed as everything from talk and addiction counseling models to electroshock treatments and isolation therapy. It’s misguided, unethical, abusive and predominantly geared toward adolescents.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/conversion-therapy-lgbtq-youth-study_us_5a6f549ee4b0ddb658c929e4

It’s getting late, whatever point flickered an hour ago is lost. Church news is still a barometer, but I’m done for tonight. Forgive me for my last gasp on the subject –

Positivity


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

Our Canada Day began with a freeway jaunt out to Cloverdale, ended with a 40 kilometer detour to Steveston on a circle route back home. Two festivals in one afternoon, two demographically opposite communities, two experiences evoking the same impression – Canada is a positive nation.

A photo my husband took last night featured the word “positivity” screened on the t-shirt of a young man. Canadian values make positivity possible. Separation of church and state, inclusiveness, gender equality, gay rights, universal healthcare, anti hate legislation and absence of fake news allow positivity to flourish.

Canadians don’t declare ours the greatest nation on Earth, identify as patriots, tolerate partisan propaganda under the guise of free speech, sleep with a gun on the nightstand, live in fear of racial/faith based violence or impose mandatory quotas on number of detained refugees.

Canada is considered a polite nation. This Canadian wants you to know, good manners are born of positivity. Happy one hundred and fifty first birthday Canada.

Absentee President


Life Unscripted

Why do we have an absentee President?  We have all heard about absentee landlords who run their properties into the ground, and take advantage of their tenants.  Well, I gotta tell you that 45 is behaving like an absentee President.

Let’s just tick off a few boxes.

After any presidential election there is a process by which the outgoing administration aids the incoming administration with transition.  There were a good number of articles in late 2016 and early 2017 that documented the fact that the incoming administration was not interested in anything that the outgoing administration had to offer.  They refused to be part of almost all attempts to fill in the gaps about what needed to be done to keep the government running, to maintain our position in the world, etc.  But this administration wanted no help from them.

Since then the current administration has been extraordinarily slow in…

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