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Showing posts from September, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #188: Morning Rainbow

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What Is ItA morning rainbow standing over Beverly.

Why It's today's PickFinishing up a run the other day when I didn't have nearly as much gas in my tank as I had hoped, I found a rainbow awaiting me upon my walk home.  Rainbows are such curious things.  Though we understand how and why they appear (or think we do), they still inevitably invoke a sense of magic and whismy in us.  I think it's because most of the time we know what to expect when we look into the sky.  Blue, white, gray, yellow, or darkness and stars.  But a rainbow, just throws us for a total loop.  It's literally flying colors across the sky that we don't expect to see.  So when it does arrive--no matter how much we understand it, we're still awed by it.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


By Any Other…

Photo Reflection of the Day #187: #SelfieSunday #25

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What Is ItA post-half-marathon selfie.


Why It's today's PickSo I had to celebrate today with a selfie for sure! This is me after finishing my half-marathon.  I hadn't run one in a couple months.  In fact, I haven't done a half-marathon since April when I ran the Moose on the Loose half (the tech shirt I'm wearing in this picture).  I came in somewhere just under 2:10 if I remember correctly, but am too lazy to check.  I had other races that I was signed up for but accidentally missed a few and was out for one with a hip-injury.  In fact, I had and was recovering from said hip injury throughout much of July and August, which was why I was so surprised to do as solid as I did today.  I came in at 1:55:08, breaking for the first time the 2 hour mark (which just happened to be one of my goals for the year--YAY!).  I was very proud of my accomplishment today.  I've been trying to get under the two hour mark for two years now and even though I hadn't ran anything …

Photo Reflection of the Day #186: Sunrise by the Train Tracks

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What Is ItThe sun rising up just over the MBTA train tracks in Beverly.  

Why It's today's PickI know that many reject the modern world and find it ugly.  They privilege nature as pristine, pure, and the real place of beauty.  But I don't find that to be the case.  Maybe it's because I'm more philosophical on the way in which humans are nature-derived and thus all world is still part of the world and therefore evokes beauty with the right set of lens, but I find scenes of the city as potentially beautiful as I do nature.  And when nature and human presence intersect (others distinction, I don't know that these are distinct categories), I find it even more beautiful.  So while many would look upon a photo like this and see a modern landscape of detritus and humankind's marks upon the earth, I would see how nature--even when distanced from humankind's day in and day out still finds a way to be intertwined with the human endeavours.  In this case, the sun&#…

Photo Reflection of the Day #185: Birdie Posing for the Camera

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What Is ItA bird standing in water.

Why It's today's PickOn a walk on a cloudy  day, I came by this fellow who stood in the way just looking around.  His back was to me but I wanted to take a photo of him, so I waited for a couple moments and he began to turn towards me.  This photo words great because the lighting and calmed waters allowed me to capture both the bird and its reflection.  I was just putting my phone away when the bird took flight and I was disappointed I missed that shot as this bird had a good wing-span and graceful departure from the water.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #184: I Think I Found Groot

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What Is ItA sculpture made of vines to look slightly humanoid at the Decordova Museum.  

Why It's today's PickAnother fun sculpture from The Decordova Museum.  I always liked this one even before the character Groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy film.  It's amazing how easily something that we don't think of as a human can quickly take on humanoid features.  It's probably also an aspect of my upbringing (heavily influenced by fantasy novels) that I can look at this sculpture and see a fully realized being, replete with backstory, personality, and aspirations.  I wonder if there is somewhere that has created an entire army of such creatures for people to wander around and encounter in a park.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licens…

Photo Reflection of the Day #183: He Has a Mouth But No Voice

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What Is ItA statue at the Decordova Museum.

Why It's today's PickI found this statue at the Decordova Museum both fascinating and haunting.  As a friend pointed out, he looks a little bit like a mixture of a heavy metal fan and their fingers extended.  But This statue invokes in me something like a demon statute, something that borders the world and the world beyond the veil as the old horror writers used to say. I could even see it as a figure in Dante's Inferno, pinned to this strange artifice, trying to scream out for help but lacking any voice (since he doesn't really have a throat).  But all that is to say, I find the image evokes more darker images than a heavy metal rocker.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creativ…

Photo Reflection of the Day #182: Killing Time

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What Is ItA rock near Henry David Thoreau's cabin with a message written on it: "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity."


Why It's today's PickThere were an abundance of rocks with various quotes upon them near Thoreau's cabin on Walden Pond.  But I really liked this quote  in part for it's content, but in part because of how the content contrasted with both the tool that it was written with and the object it was written on.  It was written with permanent marker, something that suggests eternity but isn't and written on a rock, something that can seem eternal to humans but is not.  Both the rock and the message on the rock appear to be just "killing time" waiting for people to come and engage with them and therefore are potentially injuring eternity (their own eternity?) by doing so.


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which ope…

Photo Reflection of the Day #181: Thoreau's Cabin

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What Is ItThe site where Henry David Thoreau's cabin was during his experience written about in On Walden Pond.

Why It's today's PickI try to get out to Walden Pond at least once a year.  It's a nice serene and green space that is a hallmark of Americana (and American literature).  In particular, I like to visit the site where Thoreau's cabin stood and see this little space.  I always find it curious that they used stone pillars and chains to mark the perimeter of it and allow you to step inside to get a sense of the place.  I appreciate that they haven't re-created the cabin here on this spot (though you can see a facsimile near the parking lot to the park) and that you see just what nature has left of his efforts, which I think is its own postscript to On Walden Pond.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, c…

Photo Reflection of the Day #180: Spider At Night

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What Is ItA spider weaving its web at night.

Why It's today's PickSo you don't often get to see a spider working away at his (or her) web.  Thus when my wife pointed out this guy on our porch, though she was a little bit weirded out, we were both intrigued with the fellow working away.  I believe this is the same type of spider as the one I posted last week or so, but it was hard to tell with only the light from my camera.  I should have followed through in the morning to show the finished product but I forgot.  I was happy that I managed to get the shot at all, given that it was night.  But this shot I was happy with because it was clear the spider was in mid-work and pulling on a thread, creating that "V" section that you can see, largely connected to the spider's but, where it is spinning the web.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse un…

My First Go At Stand-Up Comedy

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So I mentioned before that I was going to take my first crack at trying stand up and that happened last night.  All the graduates of the class got up on stage and delivered what they had been working on for the last two months.  

It was a very exciting night for all of us--playing to over 100 people, including many family and friends.  Some of us were nervous, some of us remained cool--I was somewhere in the middle.  

So as requested by many that couldn't make it, I did record it and it is below for your perusing.  In rewatching it, I'm glad it went smoothly.  I feel there is much more work to do and I'm curious to see how I can further develop this bit and combine them with other bits I have been working on.  But for a first time attempt, I'll take it.  I felt largely comfortable up there and while I can go on in about a million ways to critique what I did, I'm content that I did it as effectively as I did, given that it was my first time.  

I have to say that the co…

Photo Reflection of the Day #179: Cool Morning Mist

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What Is ItA small pond with the sun rising shining upon it as fog slowly lifts from the surface.

Why It's today's PickWhen I'm on a run, I really try not to stop and take a picture.  This could easily mean resisting at least a dozen shots in any given run.  But I like to appreciate my surroundings while running and not actually stop.  However, I gave into the temptation for this one.  I felt all right with the decision since I was around mile 8 and still have about 4 more to go.  I wish I had captured the shot a bit better, maybe going down to the waterfront to shoot it from the water's surface, but I was glad the mist rising from the water was still visible and that the sun also added some interesting color dynamics to the photo.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


By Any Other…

Photo Reflection of the Day #178: Try Getting These Geese In a Row

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What Is ItA flock of Canadian geese wandering in a park.

Why It's today's PickNow, I know a great many deal of people are not fans of Canadian geese.  They're often in big flocks and get in the way.  They poop everywhere and are known to be a bit aggressive.  But I still like them.  We can call it a nostalgia-infused appeal since some of my memories are feeding Canadian geese and ducks at the Mill Pond in Danvers before going to YMCA Summer Camp, decades ago, but I also marvel at their bulk and their numbers.  It's one thing to see pigeons gather in a city park, searching for food or to see a flock of birds flying in the sky, but these guys largely waddle about in large groups, often in people-created spaces.  I can appreciate how they merely invade and make what was once nature's and is now human's territory back into nature's territory.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For acce…

Photo Reflection of the Day #177: Essex Street on a Monday Morning

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What Is ItThe pedestrian area of Essex Street in Salem near the fountain and Peabody Essex Museum.

Why It's Today's PickI was walking to Salem this morning to downtown Salem to meet up for breakfast.  It was Labor Day so things were pretty quiet at 7:30am as I strolled on by.  I thought this was a perfect opportunity to catch this side of the fountain along with a slice of the Peabody Essex Museum in the background.  It took me a while to realize that the islands in the fountain represent Salem and Marblehead (or at least that's what I've been told).  However, I loved that you can see the reflect of the East India Marine Hall in the water along with some of the trees.  Also, since this was so early, there were no pedestrians to ruin the shot (ok--ruin might be a bit strong there).  

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons Licen…

Photo Reflection of the Day #176: Build Your Own Rock Pile

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What Is ItRocks stacked up at Halibut Point State Park.

Why It's Today's PickI'm sure there's some meaning behind stacking rocks.  I think they are supposed to represent visiting a place and leaving the place undisturbed or acknowledging a loss.  I'm never quite sure.  However, here at Halibut Point State Park, I am guessing that it's merely become a fun activity given the propensity of decent size rocks in the area to stack.  I found the different stacks curious and wondered why each creator chose that stack to make their mark.  I was also pleased that the sun ray come in, appearly to shine on the tallest of the stacks available.




This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unport…

Photo Reflection of the Day #175: #SelfieSunday #24

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What Is ItA picture of me on the couch.


Why It's Today's PickWell, I've been inconsistent with the selfie-Sundays but I thought this one I had to follow through with because it is of course, my birthday.  So you're looking at the face of a 36-year old as of today.  Age is such a strange thing.  It's how we mark time but it doesn't necessarily tell us much.  I have trouble looking at myself and seeing a 36-year old.  Not because I feel I'm younger or older than that but most because it doesn't hold substance in terms of the person looking back at me.  I guess I still go back to Douglas Adams' description of time in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:  "Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so."  I can see some changes in time in this face--more developed lines mayhaps, but that doesn't necessarily translate into much because the eyes still look out into the world with wonder and excitement. Who knows--maybe next year, I'll get …

Photo Reflection of the Day #174: The Rolling Greens of the Ocean

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What Is ItSeaweed in a little pool of water on a rock at Halibut Point State Park.


Why It's Today's PickAs a kid, I loved to play in these little pools to uncover rocks and see if there were any interesting creatures under there--crabs, hermit crabs, snails, whatever I could find.  I was less interested in the seaweed--it was just weird slimy stuff.  But when I look at this little pool with its bright green seaweed floating about, I'm more intrigued by the seaweed than I used to be.  Maybe it's because I've found seaweed to be reasonably tasty when cooked or just because here at Halibut Point State Park where I took the photo, it was so vibrantly green compared to the dark green seaweed I was used to growing up.  That also makes me wonder what causes such a different in the shades of green.  My limited scientific knowledge would lend me to think that thsi green gets a lot more direct sunlight than the dark seaweed and therefore doesn't need to draw in as much en…

Photo Reflection of the Day #173: Halibut Point

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What Is It
The quarry at Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, MA.  

Why It's Today's PickHalibut Point State Park is one of my favorite places to visit in Rockport. It's a nice little space with some easy trails, good shade, and lovely waterfront.  I don't know why but I am particularly partial to the pond in the quarry with it's high cliffs and nearly flat water, motionless water.  In this photo I like the fact that you can see the ocean beyond and so you have a contrast of sorts of the fresh and the salty, the still and the shaky.  There's no swimming in the quarry allowed, but it would seem like a nice place to go for a dip.  I imagine that there could also be some great photo opportunities for this place during the morning when the sun is rising.


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full al…

Photo Reflection of the Day #172: The Wolves at Wolf Hollow

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What Is ItA wolf looking in my direction from behind a fence.

Why It's Today's PickClearly, these are not the white wolves from Game of Thrones but they are pretty cool regardless.  Chris and I went to Wolf Hollow this weekend and we're very glad we did.  It's a wolf refuge where they keep wolves in captivity and create a space for people to learn about and get familiar with wolves.  It was a great demonstration and fascinating to see the humans and wolves interact so playfully.  The wolf pack that were there were pretty engaging with one another and when humans entered the enclosed space, they were met with sniffs and nuzzles.  We definitely were thinking about a pet wolf by the time we left, but managed to talk ourselves out of it.  If you are looking to spend two hours, it's a pretty great deal--$7 per person and a chance to learn about these pretty bad-ass creatures.    


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this lin…

Photo Reflection of the Day #171: Bugged Out

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What Is ItA good-sized spider sitting in the center of its web.


Why It's Today's PickI missed this one completely until Chris pointed it out to me.  This little spider made a good size web in the front yard and was a rather larger one than I usually see.  I was mesmerized with its pattern and more impressed with its size.  There was a (slightly-sadistic) part of me that wanted to hang around and watch to see if a bug got caught to see how quickly the spider would spring into action.  Though I guess I do have other things to fill my day, it could have been something cool to watch.  I don't know why this has become "bug week" on the photo reflections but sometimes, you've got to go with what's there.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance…

Photo Reflection of the Day #170: Bee Frenzy

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What Is ItA bee's nest with plexiglass so that the inside is visible.


Why It's Today's PickI'm clearly on a bug-kick this week.  But how can I say no to bees--I clearly haven't been able to do so thus far this summer.  But this was a hive at the Ecotarium (http://www.ecotarium.org/) in Worcester, which I happened to recently visit.  If I find bees fascinating, I find beehives even more curious.  All those bees moving about in what looks like utter chaos but somehow, everyone knows what they're doing and the hive gets built, filled with honey, and new eggs.  When I look at a beehive, all I can think of it being like a hundred thousand people crammed in a mall and that's always enough to make me turn a bit pale!  I like in this photo that you can see both bees that are moving abut and others that are less mobile.  I'm also mesmerized by the fact that there are at least some fifty bees in this shot alone.


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 20…

My Most Recent Reads - August, 2015

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August was yet another enjoyable reading month with twenty-one books devoured and some really good selections.  As usually, there's more that I want to talk about than I'm likely to write about, but feel free to inquire about any of the books listed if you want to know more. 


Redesigning America's Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success by Thomas Baily et al.
I wanted to really like this book.  There are some points to it that are valuable and think can help improve outcomes at community colleges.  In particular, the way it considers choice design and providing clearer pathways for students I think is incredibly useful to consider.  However, it flails when it talks about classroom design or even when it tries to accurately discuss the student populations.  It says that including the part-time faculty is important and yet makes mention of them on less than eight pages in the entire book; the rest of the time, the authors focus on full-time faculty in their remar…

Photo Reflection of the Day #169: Fly In the Sky

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What Is ItA fly on a glass window.

Why It's Today's PickI think I did a picture like this before, but I just can't resist a good "giant bug in the sky" kind of photo.  I wish it stayed still more and I could play a bit more to make it look a bit more scary as if it were a real giant bug in the sky, but the fellow wouldn't acquiesce.  I did go back and forth with this photo, thinking about cropping out the car and telephone wires but it didn't seem much better in terms of its giant-scary-bug factor.  Oh well, I'll just have to deal with it being a decent picture of a fly.  If you click through to Flickr, you can see some decent detail on the wings.


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attrib…

Photo Reflection of the Day #168: Danvers In the Morning

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What Is ItDowntown Danvers at 5:30AM

Why It's Today's PickOn morning that I don't run, I usually still get up around 5am and go to a coffee shop.  It used to be Starbucks because that's the only wi-fi free coffee shop that I know to be open at that hour.  But in the last six months, I've been regularly visiting Kaffmandu Coffee House in downtown Danvers.  I usually get there about 5:30am and do some reading or writing for 1.5 hours before gong to work.  It's been interesting to watch the sky go from sunrise to by the time I get there at 5:30am to still dark.  I like this photo in particular of the downtown area because it is so desolate and quiet.  It was a silence of the morning where one can easily hear one's footsteps and any approaching car can be heard well in advance.  This is of course and another cool part of the early morning.  The quiet and then slow emergence of sound as the world awakens.

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015'…

Photo Reflection of the Day #167: Yes--Cat Ice Cubes

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What Is ItAn ice tray with a cat mold for its ice cubes.

Why It's Today's PickTo be clear--I didn't buy this (though I'm sure I've been tempted when at a novelty store).  My mom bought this for me and I've got to admit, I'm kinda smitten with it.  It makes these cute little ice cubes in the shape of cats.  What I actually like is that the ice cubes are small, which make them easier to crunch on when done with a drink.  But I do have to wonder if this is some sort of strange metaphor to be eating cat ice cubes.


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #166: Shelling Out for the Dress

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What Is ItA dress made out of seashells and other natural elements.  

Why It's Today's PickWhile visiting the Peabody Essex Museum, I stumbled upon this outfit.  It's probably not my fit and not exactly my style, but it is pretty dang cool.  I recommend clicking through to the Flickr page so you can better see the detail. It's made entirely of seashells, snail shells, and the like.  I can only imagine the time, effort, and attention it took to craft this thing.  It's part of why I like the museum so much is that it is often filled with such curious and fascinating exhibits.  I find something new every time I go--and that's just with their regular exhibits, nevermind their specials.  

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed unde…

What I Did On My Summer Vacation...[Insert Laugh Here]

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This summer has been great.  I started a doctoral program and finished my first two courses.  I got in some good running (even after recovering from an injury).  I got to finally go on my honeymoon.  I got a lot of different projects off the ground.  But my most exciting experience thus far has been the stand-up comedy class that I took at North Shore Community College's community education program.  This six-week course has been not just a great opportunity to start to think about and write stand up routines but also an opportunity to meet some great (and really funny) people.  

I took the class because I figured I could always spruce up my teaching with a bit of side-humor or just make my material potentially more engaging, but I've found the experience to be something more.  It's definitely unleashed a lot of creative writing around humorous content and it's been fun to develop a singular bit while getting a lot of content and writing for other potential future bits.…