nature (170)

Red Sky This Morning…The 20/20/20 Rule For the Deskbound

It was vivid scarlet about a minute before this. (iPhone 5 panorama)

Good advice in NYTimes this morning for us keyboard users, article by Tara Parker-Pope: “…Jack Dennerlein, a professor at Northeastern’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences in Boston who specializes in ergonomics and safety, suggests a variation on the 20-20-20 rule used to reduce eyestrain. In the case of the eyes, the rule is to take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away (instead of your computer), and repeat this every 20 minutes. But Dr. Dennerlein notes that this eye rule can be applied to movement as well. Every 20 minutes, walk 20 feet away for 20 seconds or more. Stop by a co-worker’s desk. Get a cup of coffee. Pace. Just don’t sit.…”

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Red Sky This Morning…

When a friend came over this morning, he said, “Red sky in the morning…,” referring to the phrase:

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight,

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. 

In other words, a storm is coming.

Caused me to think about this saying, familiar to coast dwellers and especially sailors and fishermen. So, why does a red sky in the morning mean a storm is coming? I looked it up here, on Wikipedia:

“In America:

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

In Great Britain and Ireland:
Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight,
Red sky in morning, shepherd’s warning.…

Weather systems typically move from west to east, and red clouds result when the sun shines on their undersides at either sunrise or sunset. At these two times of day, the sun’s light is passing at a very low angle through a great thickness of atmosphere, the result of which is the scattering out of most of the shorter wavelengths — the greens, blues, and violets — of the visible spectrum, and so sunlight is heavy at the red end of the spectrum.

Read More …

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SunRay Kelley Revisited

On November 29, I posted a link to a large New York Times article on SunRay Kelley. In retrospect, it’s not really good or fair reportage on SunRay; it doesn’t do him justice. Part of it is East Coast reporter snark about West Coast free-spiritedness. Part of it is that the reporter just didn’t get SunRay— that he’s not only an artist, designer, architect, and inventor, but a master builder. His mortise and tenon joints, even with gnarly lumber, are tight. He’s a carpenter whose buildings soar. There’s a joy and a spirit in both builder and buildings. The NYTimes reporter missed all this and focussed on a bunch of trivialities.

    And there was a very weird interview with SunRay’s ex-wife, who came up with some mean-spirited comments. This shouldn’t have been included in the article. Cheap shot, ex-wife-wise and journalistic-wise.

   SunRay’s way better than you’d get from this account. In my opinion, there’s no other natural materials builder in the world who’s combined such ecology, design, and craftsmanship in so many buildings on the American landscape.

   Just settin it straight…

    For anyone interested in SunRay and his work, we have posted a PDF of the 27 pages we did on him and his work in Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2004. (We do—ahem—a way better job on builders than does the New York Times.)

   For the real SunRay, click here. (To get this in Acrobat, you may have to right-click and save linked file in downloads folder.)

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A Real Circumambulation of the Pt. Reyes Peninsula

“Hi Lloyd, I read about your attempted trip around Point Reyes and got really inspired to try it myself. My girlfriend and I, plus a couple of friends in Point Reyes Station, are currently making plans and building out our ultralight kits. In our studies we came across this page and thought you might find it interesting: Click here. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration, keep it up! -Sean”

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Tiny Home on Oregon River For Sale

Here’s an example of why I’d recommend following the Tiny House Blog if you’re interested in the subject, posted today. Note: this is on a very small lot.

“Going up for sale in August 2012: Tiny Cabin on a River, one hour West of Portland, Oregon.

It’s on a coastal river in Oregon that has a Salmon Run!

It’s located smack in the coastal range, in a landscape dominated by wildness.

There is a forest maintained hiking trail within walking distance.

There is a wild river located a few miles away (river with no road along it -very rare in the US).

There is a mountain lake located a few miles away with a healthy fish population.

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Foggy Morning, Grieving Crows, Iridescent Dragonflies, and Big Buck

We had a real hot day (for us) a few days ago and I took a long bike ride to a pond deep in the hills. To get in the water I had to make a tunnel through the cattails. The technique is to wade forward and lie down on the cattails and they will accomodatingly bend over, and then when you can’t wade, you swim forward and push them down and pretty soon voila!, you’ve entered the pond through a cattail tunnel. Smooth pond surface.

   Being back in jock mode now that I’m home, intending to build back strength lost in recent months (years), I started out with my triathalon style crawl, smooth and steady. Jeez, it felt good, but after a while I decided to float for a while, and as soon as I did, 3 iridescent red dragonflies buzzed out from the shore like combat helicopters, skimming the surface and angling around my head. They’d go back to shore and buzz out again, I guess cruising for insects. Sparkling. Pretty cool. I decided to float longer. A little bird—dark on top, white on bottom, species I’d never seen—hopped down on a cattail 10′ from me. Didn’t register to him this was a humanoid.

  Then there was movement on the hill and a magnificent buck deer walked serenely across the hillside, oblivious of me. The full monte. Now I’m truly home.

   This morning on the highway, there were 3 crows sitting on the line, looking kind of hunched up, not normal. There was a dead crow on the road — never seen one that I can think of, and these family members were doing I don’t know what. But crows are powerfully intelligent creatures (see the book Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays by Candace Savage) and this was a strong scene.

   On the way back from yoga, the Beach Boys doing “Good Vibrations” on radio. Jeez, this is a masterpiece. Back in the day I never took them seriously. The only one who was real surfer was Dennis. They just seemed lightweight in my quest to be ever hip. I overlooked the soaring harmonies and intricate instrumentals. This is on the Mozart level.

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