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Showing posts from October, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #211: The Foliage in the Mirror

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What Is ItA line of trees with different foliage color reflected in a pond.

Why It's today's PickI was at a dam (to which you can see the initial bits of at the bottom of the picture) and was struck by the row of trees and their reflection in the water.  (We know I'm partial to reflections in photos).  I liked the coloring of the trees with their green, yellow and even some orange and red.  Most of these come through in the reflection, but not all.  Then, of course, there is the tall grass between the trees and the water and even some of the sky in the upper right corner.  All in all, it's quite picturesque--something I would imagine would make for good inspiration for a painting.
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 #210: The Trees Gots Holes

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What Is ItA tree with a bunch of small little holes in the bark.  

Why It's today's PickI almost walked right by this tree, but then realized there was something strange about it.  I looked closer and saw these strange holes in it.  A part of me wondered if someone had drilled them all but then the reality set in that it was likely some kind of critter. I suspect termites but I imagine it could be a great many insects or parasites that enjoy the trees.  What I found most curious here was just how consistent the holes seemed in terms of their layout.  It seems almost intentionally planned (which is why I initially thought it might have been human-generated).  It makes me wonder what kind of creatures (and I'm assuming it was more than one) could collectively do something so distinct as this.  Anyone got any ideas? 

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…

Photo Reflection of the Day #209: Sunset on Lake Champlain

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What Is ItThe sun setting over the mountains on the far side of Lake Champlain.

Why It's today's PickSurrounded by scores of people, we watched this sun set beyond the lake.  It wasn't as quiet and soulful as one would hope while watching such a beautiful event transpiring.  There were plenty of people chatting, laughing, children-playing, etc and of course, everyone (myself included) with their phones out trying to capture the majestic.  And can you blame them?  It seems like a simple thing, the planet turns and there goes the sun.  But to watch it transpire always feels magical.  The colors, the clouds, and the angles are never quite the same, so you're watching an individual sunset that's been custom-fit for just that moment.  I didn't take a lot of photos of this as I wanted to watch it directly much more than watch it through a device, but I did like this one with the sunstreak that runs from almost one corner to the other. 
This submission is part of the 36…

Photo Reflection of the Day #208: How to Keep a Mockingbird Still

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What Is ItA humming bird painted some 30-feet tall along the side of a brick building.

Why It's today's PickI like city art that surprises, inspires, and causes one to double-take and that's what this hummingbird did for me.  First, it's size grabs your attention when thinking about the small little bird writ large across this building.  The mixture of colors on the bird was also cool in that the artist too some liberties with the colors but not so much that it felt completely different.  The artist also captured what I would consider to be the essential pose for hummingbirds that make us all so fascinated by them--the vertical hover post.  Finally, I love that this stands on a brick wall without other coloring or background.  I think more background would reduce the power of the bird's presence.  


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 Cr…

Photo Reflection of the Day #207: Afternoon Prayers to the Sun God

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What Is ItBirds standing in the water, all facing the sun.

Why It's today's PickThere's always something curious when you turn a corner and find a large contingent of animals all doing the exact same thing in near silence.  Thus was the case as I came around a bend in a bike path and saw all these birds just standing in the water, sand, and rocks staring directly at the sun.  I felt like I was disturbing their afternoon contemplations or had tresspassed upon some sacred session among the birds.  They stood their in silent contemplation looking at the sun as it approached the horizon but was still hours away.  I wonder why they had chosen this spot and whether it was a group decision or did they just slowly accumulate here.  Could this be a daily ritual--like going to Cheers--everyone knows what to expect and just meet there daily?  
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, whic…

Photo Reflection of the Day #206: Punny Public Art

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What Is ItA railing on a bridge with bees and a sign, "Graffiti is Art.  Hate is a buzz kill."

Why It's today's PickNow, we all know that I'm a sucker for puns.  This bridge was a highlight of the bike path in Burlington Vermont on Lake Champlain. I appreciated the efforts of the caretakers of this path to lighten up and infuse some amusement into the path.  This particular bridge was covered in the yellow and black pattern of honeycombs along with bees and all sorts of bee-puns (e.g. misbeehaving, bee careful).  This one I found intriguing because of its message as it implies that to decorate this path with graffiti is an artistic endeavor that is welcomed as opposed to hated.  I have some respect for a city that wishes to embrace this transgressive art so openly.     

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, che…

Photo Reflection of the Day #205: A Long Walk for a Caterpillar

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What Is ItA caterpillar walking along a bike path.

Why It's today's PickI found this fellow along the bike path at Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont.  He was off to the side just trucking along.  I always found these caterpillars (I'm assuming it is a caterpillar) intriguing compared to the more common ones I encounter (they are typically yellow and black without as much hair).  It always makes me wonder what kind fo butterfly it is likely to become or if there is any correlation between the hairiness and the butterfly that emerges.  I also have a memory--and not sure if this is a memory or a dream--of touching one of these things and the hair almost disappearing instantly.  I'm pretty sure it was a dream but it is one that was so strong that decades later, it still comes to mind whenever I encounter one of these guys.

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…

Photo Reflection of the Day #204: Bombing Fluids

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What Is ItAn oil tank on a train track seen through a chainlink fence.  

Why It's today's PickI had a photo without the chainlink fence but I felt the fence addd a layer to the photo that was interesting.  The presence of the fence in the photo kept the viewer removed as such a fence would do in real life.  The tanker itself was curious in its stark blackness and yellow rectangles.  It sat quietly on the train tracks, but what drew me to take the photograph was, of course, the graffiti.  The lit bomb and stencilled words, "Bomb" and "Planet Killer" sitting on the tanker spoke loudly about graffiti as a form of resistance.  The person did not try to destroy the tanker but has made it into a traveling political statement about our self-destructive dependence on oil.  

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 #203: Spider Rail

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What Is ItA spider on a bridge climbing onto its web.

Why It's today's PickI know, I know...I keep posting bugs, but I think part of my fascination with taking pictures of bugs is that I can take pictures of bugs with my cellphone and they come out this good.  Here, the vibrant blue of the sky with occasional white puff makes the rust-brown of the railing stand out  but also helps to draw out the spider's webs.  And then, of course, there's the spider about to crawl out onto this web and make dinner of the fly just to the left of him.  His brown blends easily to the railing for much of the animal kingdom but is distinct enough for him to be blear to us.  
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-Shar…

Photo Reflection of the Day #202: Rust & Leaves

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What Is ItA bridge with rusty rail but different colored leaves painted on it.  

Why It's today's PickI liked the composition of this photo with the beam shooting from the left to the right, starting thick and thinning out towards the right.  The brownish red of the bar along with the rest of the bridge components contrasts quite well with the bright blue of the sky and the bright colored leaves along the beam.  It was clear that the intent was to liven up a drab-colored space and does so quite effectively.  

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 #201: This Covers Ice & Fire

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What Is ItA public fire alarm covered in graffiti on the bike path on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont.

Why It's today's PickGraffiti often interests me.  Yes, it can be destructive, ugly, and offensive but it can also suggest ways in which public spaces or privately-owned but publicly-accessible spaces are perceived through the eyes of people--particularly, youth (and in truth here, I'm assuming that the majority of graffiti are people under 25, if I'm wrong in this please let me know).  This fire-alarm is on a bike path, a bit removed from roads as it lies on a bike pathm so I found it interesting that while people spent time tagging it with names, they didn't necessarily completely color it over.  I'm also impressed that the fire alarm has the instruction to break ice.  It makes sense being up in Vermont and on a lake that this would be a useful bit to have on a fire alarm, but I've never seen it on the ones I've encountered.

This submission is pa…

Photo Reflection of the Day #200: Sun on the Rocks

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What Is ItA rock that is sculpted into a bent sun on the waterfront of Lake Champlain.

Why It's today's PickAlong the bike path at Lake Champlain in Burlington, there are some interesting sites including some creative rock sculptures.  One cannot tell if they were rocks that had been chiseled into sculptures or blocks of rock chiseled down into rock-appearing sculptures.  This one in particular was creative because you approach it and think it is a moon but as you approach it and look more closely, it's a sun that's almost bleeding onto the rock.  It's both eerie and rather intriguing to look at. 

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 #199: That's One Brilliant Bike

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What Is ItA bicycle painted entirely yellow.

Why It's today's PickAnother oddity at the flea market that I stumbled upon.  It begs the question, "why paint a bike yellow?" but more so, why paint it yellow and add a bucket to the handle bars, right?    But there the bike was, just sitting there with no price tag or indicator of an owner.  It was just an artistic statement of "Here's a yellow bicycle--figure it out yourself!"  I was surprised that there was air in the front tire but not the rear and I wonder what it would have been like to ride it if it could have been ridden.  Not that I expected it to ride differently, but more what would the experience of traversing about on such a strange yet common object. 

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 B…

Photo Reflection of the Day #198: When You Look Up at an Flea Market

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What Is ItA felted gnome on a bookshelf with a sign, "The Felted Gnome Knows Needle Felting Supplies."

Why It's today's PickSometimes, you just come across things that are mildly disturbing.  In this case, at another flea market filled with all sorts of knick-knacks and curious objects, I happen to look up and encounter this fellow.  Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention or maybe I'm used to the Travelocity gnome, but this guy is a bit freaky when not expecting it.  It looks like a bastard child fo Santa with a hint of Leprechaun (from the horror movie series).  And I'm not quite sure what the person was aiming for in creating the sign, the gnome and the picture of the gnomes.  It all feels a bit too creepy for anyone to want to further inquire about felt or anything for that matter.  

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 Crea…

Photo Reflection of the Day #197: Classics Illustrated: Early Negro Americans

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What Is ItA reprint of Classics Illustrated: Early Negro Americans.

Why It's today's PickI came across this find at a flea market in Essex Junction, Vermont last week.  I remember hearing about this at some point but was rather surprised to find this reprint and given that it was $2, decided to buy it as an artifact, possibly for my popular culture course.  The comic leaves much to be desired in terms of what it covers, but that's to be expected given it was published in 1969 by a company that kept its content largely geared towards youth.  The one thing that strikes me about this issue is that "Classics Illustrated" as quoted on the cover itself "Featuring stories by the World's Greatest Authors" and usually adapts fiction, but this issue is a depiction of real African Americans, rather than adapting classic African American fiction.  Thus even in trying to be progressive, it's sending the message that there is not enough African American litera…

Photo Reflection of the Day #196: Who Doesn't Like a Bookmobile

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What Is ItA bookmobile at a farmers' market at a mall in Burlington Vermont.

Why It's today's PickWhile away at Burlington, Vermont, we happened to stop in a farmers' market that had this charming little book mobile.  I don't see these as much from where I live and in truth, haven't been in one since I was a kid, but I found the presence at a farmers' market along with the design and the activities they offered pretty cool.  It seems to take up the approach of modern libraries to be more than just a place for books, but an opportunity for activities and learning on all different levels.

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 #195: Dragons Be Here

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What Is ItA bird standing on a buoy in the water with wings spread.

Why It's today's PickI know in an objective reality that this is a bird.  But I still see a dragon and I can't unsee it.  And it's moments like this that make me wonder about the nature of dragons and how so many different civilizations, unconnected, came to visualize and include dragons as part of their lore.  I can imagine seeing such things off in the distance and wondering whether it was beast or fowl.  That this creature is standing on a buoy in the middle of a river between Salem and Beverly means it is most definitely a bird, but idle fantasies while traversing a bridge is a very hard habit to break.  Within this photo, I also appreciate how lonely the dragon/bird looks when surrounded by so much water.  The photo denotes a sense of isolation, which makes sense for a dragon.

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

Photo Reflection of the Day #194: The Magic of Mushrooms

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What Is ItA mushroom in the middle of a mulch bed.

Why It's today's PickI always found mushrooms as curious things.  In part, I blame the Smurfs for that.  But I was also curious by how quickly they would spring up.  For instance, this fellow was not there on my daily walk on day and showed  up the very next day, fully formed like this.  That always struck me about mushrooms is how quickly they form.  This spongy feel always make me think about them rising out of the ground like a balloon quickly filling with air pockets.  They also are weird in shape, compared to the things around them.  Bulbous, spongey, and breaking apart with an ease that defies the branches, leaves, and grass blades that either snap or tear.  They are a curious life-form and I can understand why so many science-fiction tales have used them or referenced them when talking about alien invasions or strange life forms.  

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

Photo Reflection of the Day #193: Late Bloomer

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What Is ItA flower with bright yellow petals surrounded by similar flowers that have lost their pedals and are dying.  


Why It's today's PickIn some ways, to reach this stage of fall, wherein the flower is still shining bright with color, while its brethren are solely black bulbs, tends to imply that this fellow as a late bloomer.  It took its merry time to get to full blossom, while the other flowers were shining bright, but now as the others have died, this flower gets to shine.  I find connection with this late-bloomer as that was much of what my adolescence was marked by--late blooming, physically, emotionally, and mentally.  But that would be the lesson I would tell other late bloomers in their life-journeys--it just means the best is yet to come. 

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

Photo Reflection of the Day #192: Dwindling Flames

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What Is ItFlowers fading and beginning to die as fall sets in. 

Why It's today's PickEarly in the spring, these flowers looked rather like little fireballs with their bright reddish/orange centers.  But now, as fall sets in they begin their return to the earth from which they have come.  However, their transition is on of turning from vibrant colors to black.  Even the flower in the center of this photo, we can see the blackness taking over, akin to a flame making its way up to the top.  Other faded flowers around it, tell us what its fate will be in the ensuing days, but of course, these are not burnt out flames, but dried buds that will hopefully spread new seeds for the next year.
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 Com…

Photo Reflection of the Day #191: "These Guys!"

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What Is ItMy two cats Pumpkin (left) and Bear (right), looking up at me as I do some reading.

Why It's today's PickThese two cats are pretty awesome.  Clearly, everyone already knows I think that given the propensity of which I post about them on social media.  But I'm always amazed at their own ways of intelligence.  Right now in this photo, they are both sitting on the couch next to me, why I read, patiently waiting for my attention (or to put down the phone).  They may be like this for 10 minutes or wander off elsewhere.  Or, in true cat fashion, one or both of them will begin to harass me while I sit there.  Bear is likely to just want to lie on me to suck up body warmth that she is forever trying to get more off (she's a heat vampire).  But Pumpkin will be insistent and demand attention, patting at the paper I am reading or nudging her way around my book.  She won't be satisfied until I've pet her for a few minutes or until she gets in the perfect position …

Photo Reflection of the Day #190: Bathroom Graffiti

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What Is ItGraffiti on a bathroom wall at University of Massachusetts, Boston.  

Why It's today's PickI'm always intrigued with graffitti.  Whether it is filled with intention and purposefully meant to provoke or just the ramblings of people with nothing better to do.  Bathroom graffitti is a special kind of graffiti as it happens at a time when people are engaged in other business.  I've seen entirely conversations on the side of a bathroom stall go on for 8-10 interactions among different people and it reminds me of Tom Standage's Writing on the Wall: Social Media The First 2,000 Years.  In this case, I was amused by message in that I first read it as "cat the rich" and all I could think was this idea of petting and scratching rich people behind the ears.  After being amused at this imagery, I realized it was "Eat the Rich."  An interesting but fairly common message found on a college campus.  But I always wonder what goes through the mind of th…

Photo Reflection of the Day #189: "The Thing At The Doorstep"

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What Is ItThe set for Salem Theatre Company's "The Thing on the Doorstep".

Why It's today's PickI'm a big fan of H. P. Lovecraft--of his writing that is, not so much of worldview point.  I'm currently slowly making my way through his entire works (a project for next year actually).  So when I saw that Salem Theatre Company was putting on "The Thing on the Doorstep"--a short story adapted into a play, I was quite excited and intrigued about the performance.  For those that aren't familiar with Salem Theatre Company, they operated out of a small and intimate space on Lafayette Street that often surprised people when they first walk in.  It seats maybe 40-50 people and they play around with how they might present the stage.  In this case, they split the stage between the audience, with seats where I was standing taking the picture and seats on the far side (in the upper left quadrant of the photo).  The adaptation was curiously done.  Overall, w…

My Most Recent Reads - September, 2015

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I didn't even make it to fifteen books this month; I feel like such a slacker.  I'm mostly kidding there.  September is a busy month in academia, especially when you work at a college and are working on a doctoral program.  Funny how that works out to less time to read extra!  But as usual, I did find a couple gems worth talking about and sharing with you.


Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on Their Decision Not To Have Kids by Megham Daum Daum edits this collection of sixteen writers as they discuss the topic of being childfree.  I've talked before on this blog about my decision to be childfree and other books within this realm.  I liked the diversity of takes in Daum's anthology.  Some, I really connected with, others I felt were annoying, and some gave me new ways of thinking about being childfree.  I appreciate this mix and it does include three males writing on the subject.  Again, I would prefer some of these works to be more balanced because in p…