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Monday, September 24, 2018

Glaciers at Glacier Bay National Park

A cruise to Alaska can put you up close and personal with glaciers. Touring the National Park of Glacier Bay, you get to see many magnificent glaciers. They are all melting and receding, but they are still pretty spectacular.

John Hopkins Glacier
We all know the ice is melting and it is likely that all the ice and glaciers around the globe will someday all be gone. This video shows what the earth will look like when all the ice is gone.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Eagle Spotting in Alaska

While in Skagway, Alaska, we took a tour of an eagle preserve. We began the tour on a river boat.

The tour guide first taught us how to spot eagles, as they are often are hidden in the trees. You look for "white golf balls" in the trees.

The eagles must have decided we were really lousy at spotting them so came out of their camouflage and seemed to pose for us. The tour guide said this never happens, but it did for us, which tells me either they felt sorry for us, or knew this was the last tour of the season and came out to bid us farewell.  

This experience of being in nature and watching birds ended up being one of those events that became woven into my soul. The feelings and energies at this preserve seemed to expand all along the river. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Watching the Night Skies in Alaska

The northern lights, also known as the aura borealis, were on display for several nights when I was in Alaska. But what was equally fun to observe were the constellations. It was as if the stars were on steroids, and right in your face. It felt as if we could almost reach out and touch the stars, as they felt they were that close. 

It was fun to observe and follow the changes in some of those constellations, such as the Big Dipper. This is what the Big Dipper looked like around 11:00 PM on the horizon:

Then, at 1:00 AM, the constellation was starting to tip upward, kind of like this: 

At 3:00 AM, the Big Dipper looked like it was starting to do a pirouette in the sky, as if now balancing on its handle.

These night time light shows were all pretty amazing and very fulfilling.

Monday, September 3, 2018

The 550 Year Journey of Mapping the World

This is a map of the world made around 1450 by the Italian cartographer Fra Mauro. He was a monk, living near Venice, Italy, and creating this map took YEARS. This was the most detailed and accurate representation of the world that had been produced up until that time. You will notice there is no America, as it is an unknown land at this time. (This image has been flipped 180 degrees to show North at the top, which I hope helps us better relate and compare to how we currently view the Earth).
1450 Frau Mauro Map
In 1507, Martin Waldseemuller created a map that now includes "America", but only as a narrow slice of land somewhere off in the West. After all, Columbus had only been to the America's 15 years before this map was created. 
1507 Waldseemulller Map
Joan Blaeu, from the Dutch East India Company, in 1662, produced an atlas of the world. Maps before this one, often used religious bias, but this map, focused on using principles of science, which commerce was more willing to embrace.
1662 Blaeu Map
In June, 2001, Google Earth first released it's image of the world. Now days, we can locate where we are on the planet and visualize any place and it's relationship to anywhere on earth. All of this information is accessible and available to anyone with a computer or smartphone.
2001 Google Earth
The journey of creating a world map has been a tremendous adventure over time. It is a journey that spans 500+ years deliberate steps that has led us to what we have now. Pretty amazing!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Becoming Fancy

The munchkin loves to examine my dangling earrings when she sits on my lap, so I bought her some pretend clip-on earrings of her own. She started the delicate procedure of clipping on her new bling on her delicate little ear lobes...

But then decided it would be easier to dress up the ears of her stuffed animals.

When she was done, she proclaimed everyone was now "fancy"- and we all were!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Do you remember the painting of the boy escaping from the painting? 
Pere Borrell del Caso's 1874 painting Escaping Criticism
I recalled that art image while watching the Bambino look beyond his domain, as if he was seeing what adventures may lie in wait.

Saturday, August 18, 2018


When I learned that Aretha Franklin had her first child at the age of 12, and her second kid at the age of 14, my heart ached all the more for her. Having a crappy childhood doesn't necessarily mean you are forever doomed and become a lifelong victim. For some, like Aretha did, they find a way to soar beyond the hurdles placed in their path. Their perseverance allowed us to look up to the sky and hear a voice filled with hope, passion, and a bit of wonder.
Aretha Franklin
She shared the gift of her voice for the world to enjoy. And we did. Thanks, Aretha.

Friday, August 10, 2018

You Are Here - Around the World in 92 Minutes

The Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, has put together some of the photos he took while in space. He compiled them into book titled "You Are Here - Around the World in 92 Minutes." It is an incredible book from a perspective that most of us will never have. This is the world we call home.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

San Francisco now has its own Grand Central Station

Bay Area gains new icon with San Francisco’s ‘Grand Central Station of the West’ in downtown San Francisco.
Photo from the East Bay Times