Eyes

I will have more Canyon Matka and also posts from the aqueduct, but I am travelling tomorrow and Sunday so please have these ducks enjoying a sunlit evening by the Vardar in the meantime.

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Happy International Women’s Day.

Canyon Matka – Part 4: Botanicals!

Amongst all the rock and all the river, I found some rather delightful and charming botanical residents – it is the first day of March, so Spring is still making its slow entrance, but the first small spots of colour are appearing. If anyone would like to ID any of these plants, I’d be most grateful, because I seem to be short on time.

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Today’s song doesn’t have much to do about plants but focuses on the wandering aspect of enjoying strange places, new countries, and magnificent natural locations.

Canyon Matka – Part 3: Underwater Worlds

I promised the colour of the water, so here we are: underwater worlds sunk between the mountains.

The water was a deep green colour and strangely clear, at least near the shoreline.

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But the shapes that one could see underneath – mermaid cities and submerged civilisations and much, much more. I think Nessie even shows up at one point… Please enjoy!

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Canyon Matka – Part 1v2: Pathways cont’d

Here are some more pictures of the walk back from the caves, I don’t think any particular commentary is necessary, just enjoy. Although these are more demonstrative of the treachery inherent to any wild and untamed place that feels the heavy hand of human civilisation: rebellion lies not far beneath the surface.

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In some places, the railing was completely absent. From the pale scratches on the rock below, it was deduced that this was relatively recent damage… So the walk continued with frequent glances upslope! ©rq, all rights reserved.

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This, I think, was the most uncomfortable place of the entire hike. ©rq, all rights reserved.

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Gateway to a magical world… ©rq, all rights reserved.

Is this the tomb of Amontillado? Or simply a bricked up cave? The words ‘Open Sesame’ didn’t seem to have any effect at all… ©rq, all rights reserved.

Canyon Matka – Part 2: Reflections

One of my favourite books has a great bit about Truth, Illusion and the Edge between the two. And the edge of Canyon Matka is the mirror of the water. The mountains reach into the sky, but if you peer down into the water, you can see that the mountains descend into the depths as well – but more about that later.

It was a quiet evening. And the rocks, glorious rocks, dipped into the river and rose out of it, in bends and folds eons in the shaping.

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Canyon Matka – Part 1: Pathways

Week 1 here in Macedonia has been successfully survived. It’s a long-established truth that the more disaster you expect, the less you will get (like bringing an umbrella to prevent the rain), but it was still exhausting, and some recovery was in order. Apparently it is trendy to use nature exposure these days, so that is what we – my two Lithuanian colleagues and I – proceeded to do. This will be a long series of posts, because I finally had the time, the freedom and the unhurried companionship to take a… decent… amount of photos. So, here is part 1: Pathways (which will be in two parts). Let us take a walk! Also OMG it’s been so long since I posted!

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Journey’s End

As we all know, Opportunity was declared officially MIA a short while ago. I had planned on preparing a more sensical post as tribute, but instead, here is a short list of links on the subject:

Opportunity Rover (xkcd)

Opportunity (xkcd)

Spirit (xkcd) (I know I know but it’s a good one)

It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Our Beloved Mars Rover

NASA Declares a Beloved Mars Mission Over

Six Things to Know About NASA’s Opportunity Rover

The Mars Opportunity rover has officially ghosted Earth

Death and Opportunity

And finally, from the futuristic fiction department, A Martian Hunts for the Red Planet’s Past – And His Own

 

#WomenInScience Day

Yesterday was Women and Girls in Science Day, which I only found out when it was almost over.

In the spirit of my work, here’s an article via The Atlantic, The History of Women in Science is Hidden in Plain Sight.

Over the last few years, a team of students led by Emilia Huerta-Sánchez from Brown University and Rori Rohlfs from San Francisco State University have been searching through two decades’ worth of acknowledgments in genetics papers and discovering women who were never given the credit that would be expected for today’s researchers. They identified dozens of female programmers who made important but unrecognized contributions. Some were repeatedly thanked in the acknowledgments of several papers, but were never recognized as authors. They became literal footnotes in scientific history, despite helping to make that history.

“When Emilia and I look at our elders in population genetics, there are very, very few women,” says Rohlfs. “But there were women and they were doing this work. To even know that they existed is a big deal to me.”

That seems to be the key – to even know that they existed. I know every time I find out about a woman in a field of science previously understood to be all male, I have Feelings, and it always feels like a big deal.

And I wish it wouldn’t.

Contrasts

As I am in Vilnius until Wednesday, I would like to take this small moment to cast a shadow (work will most likely occupy the rest of my time). Thank you, Nightjar, for those lovely photos of flowers and sunshine (really – today I got back to the hotel, refreshed Affinity, and it was… wow) – in sharp contrast, this is what we have: a look at Vilnius in evening (NB: there is still light, a month ago it would be completely dark!).

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Here is a song from Estonia, to complete the Baltic triptych:

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The End Is Nigh

The end of winter at least seems to be nigh, but since one can never know what March will bring, it’s best not to cheer too loudly yet. (Actually, I wouldn’t mind real winter for another couple of weeks, it’s the yoyo I hate. Pick one, Winter. You can’t have it both ways.) The one noticeable difference now is the light – it is no longer dark outside when I leave work (had a bit of a shock Friday). Yay!

But today we will take a short look back at the Winter That Was, because it is, after all, Ronja’s favourite season.

Drive-by photo because she will not sit still if there’s snow to be et.
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Well, usually…

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Love Is Metaphysical Gravity

That, apparently, is a quote by R Buckminster Fuller. It is also the title of a series of photographs by Reuben Wu, taken in Spitzbergen, with a particular focus on the Svalbard Satellite Station. About the series:

Taken on Spitzbergen, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, Reuben Wu’s images detail the breathtaking appearance of our planet’s extremities. His photograph series Love Is Metaphysical Gravity is a visual feast of soft pink and blue colour tones, artic landscapes, dreamy auroras and the incomprehensible beauty of the unpolluted night’s sky.

[…]

While Love Is Metaphysical Gravity in part serves as a documentary of the remote islands and the radomes of the Svalbard Satellite Station, what it is perhaps most sensitive to is this: It may be one of the most uninhabited places on Earth, but Spitsbergen is no stranger to communication.

Picking out favourites out of that icy landscape is a challenge, but here’s a couple from Reuben’s website:

Love Is Metaphysical Gravity by Reuben Wu

Love Is Metaphysical Gravity by Reuben Wu. This one is by far my absolute favourite. Turns out it is possible to choose after all!

Love Is Metaphysical Gravity by Reuben Wu

For full effect and full-size pictures, visit his site, and there’s plenty more to explore, too. I sense a timesink of the best kind.

 

Urban Rainbow

I had slightly different plans, but what with the news and all, I think we can all use some rainbows instead.

If things get any worse, I will start posting picture of (one of) my cat(s).

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Edited to add this, decidedly not my photo, but amazing rainbows nonetheless:

This is in Iceland, apparently.