I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
June 23, 2013 - 10:46 a.m.
This apartment is HOT! Even at night when it's cool outside it's uncomfortable. There is only one small window so no cross ventilation. When I woke up in the middle of the night I came up with something to make it a bit better. As the bathroom is windowless it has an exhaust fan in the ceiling that goes on when the light is on, So now that light stays on all night. I'll put up with the light to get some air.
So what did I do yesterday? I know that shouldn't be a hard question but it usually is. First I went to the Songwriter's Exchange garden party in the East Village. The Exchange is the group that Jack Hardy formed songwriters meet, eat pasta, drink wine, and play and critique each others songs. The only rule is that you have to bring a new song. Since Jack died the tradition has been carried on by Kay. For the second year in a row they put on a show in one of the gardens built on empty lots in the East Village. This is very much a home game for me. Lots of my friends go to the exchange. This was the announced lineup
Carolann and Honor had to cancel but there will be a lot of people familiar to My Gentle Readers.
It started at noon but I knew I wouldn't be ready that early. The only one I knew before Meg is Elaine so my plan was to get there in time for Meg. I got a slow start and then the trains were ridiculously slow I don't know what the hold up was. I arrived during Sharon's second song. I wanted a Meg fix but you can't always get what you want.
Of course with so many friends around it was as much about socializing as listening to the music. That's why I called it a garden party. That was the feel.
I knew I couldn't stay till the end but I made it later than I thought. I just missed the last song by Paul.
I had to run because I got on the list of American Museum of Natural History members who got to see a preview of the new sky show at the Hayden Planetarium. Google Maps said I could make it by 5:15, for a 5:30 show if I left at 3:35. It is usually pretty reliable. It knew how long it would take me to walk to the subway station and it got the time for the to arrive perfectly. But the four stops on the took six minutes longer than it was supposed to. That meant I missed the connecting and had to wait forever for the next one. The upshot I that I walked into the building around 5:30. Fortunately they were running a bit late and I got in with no problem.
There were a few disappointments. First Victoria, the person I was going to go with had to cancel and I couldn't find anyone to go with me. Second I thought Neil deGrasse Tyson would be there. He wasn't. Oh a third disappointment. This was a preview of an preliminary version of the show. They wanted feedback on it. I thought there would be a discussion but instead there was just a survey with not much room for extended answers. As we had to write in seats without desks I wouldn't have written much anyway it would have been to difficult.
The show was on Dark Matter and Dark Energy though it took some time go get to that point. Dr Tyson did narrate it. Carl Sagan is the only other astronomer I knew who was enough of a celebrity that they had him narrate a planetarium show.
My biggest issue is the same issue I've had with every planetarium show the last 30 years, maybe longer. There was absolutely no point in showing it in a planetarium. It would have been as effective, maybe more effective on an IMAX screen. The whole idea of a planetarium is that you can represent the dome of stars. The shows I love teach you what to look for in the night sky. All the fancy special effects are not as much fun as a guy with a flashlight with a green arrow showing how you can take the arc to Arcturus then spike to Spica. A planetarium conveys what it's like to look up at a cloudless, dark sky far away from city lights. That is the special effect I want to see. It is how I learned so much of my naked eye astronomy.
The show didn't even take advantage of the dome when showing the big bang. It should have place the viewer in the center of an expanding universe. That was the point they were trying to make that every observer feels that she is at the center. Instead they showed the center as being at the top of the dome and everything was actually comeing down towards us. It gave no feeling of expansion and didn't let you see how you could consider every point the center.
I am not the target audience for the show. I knew everything that had to say about dark matter and dark energy. It was fun listening to the other people. I particularly loved this one couple that felt that "the tourists" would not be able to follow it. Why would tourists have more trouble than people who live in the City? They clearly had trouble understanding it themselves. And that is the point of the preview. It's hard to judge what your audience knows.
After the show I went for dinner. There was one friend I wanted to ask to go with me but as the show is only half an hour or so I wanted to have time to talk to her afterward at dinner. The problem is that this friend won't eat at restaurants. She pretty much only eats what she prepares herself. That makes it difficult to make any kind of extended plans with her.
I went to Fred's, a place none for their family style of cooking and the pictures of dogs on the wall. It was a beautiful day so I ate outside. I had a great burger and fries. For dessert I stopped at Crumbs bakery for a peanut butter cup, cupcake. Yum. Then it was on to Trader Joe's and back home to my sizzling hot apartment.
I tried to watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I did not succeed. Why do people like that movie? I didn't see it when it came out because it looked stupid. I was right, it is stupid. Now I'm looking for new things to watch on Amazon Prime. People gave me suggestions as a response to Facebook status. Feel free to give them in response to this. I want a TV series that I can make my way through that I haven't seen.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
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