Archive | April 29, 2013

For my sister who has to go to bed while it’s light

Bed in Summer    
by Robert Louis Stevenson 

In winter I get up at night  
And dress by yellow candle-light.  
In summer, quite the other way,  
I have to go to bed by day.  
I have to go to bed and see         
The birds still hopping on the tree,  
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet  
Still going past me in the street.  
And does it not seem hard to you,  
When all the sky is clear and blue,  
And I should like so much to play,  
To have to go to bed by day?


Lamar Smith wants politics to overrule scientific merit at the National Science Foundation

And we all know how smart TX Republicans are about science! Not!

Progressive Culture | Scholars & Rogues

According to ScienceInsider, Representative Lamar Smith’s (R-TX) has circulated draft legislation that would change the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant award criteria. Instead of using “intellectual merit” and “broader impacts” criteria, the NSF would be required to consider three vague and politically expedient criteria instead. Specifically, ScienceInsider reports that the criteria would be as follows:

  1. “… in the interests of the United States to advance the national health, prosperity, or welfare, and to secure the national defense by promoting the progress of science;
  2. “… the finest quality, is groundbreaking, and answers questions or solves problems that are of utmost importance to society at large; and
  3. “… not duplicative of other research projects being funded by the Foundation or other Federal science agencies.”

At first blush, these seem reasonable, even if they’re slightly tighter than “the potential to advance knowledge” (aka “intellectual merit”) and “the potential to benefit…

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Masterpiece Monday – My Mother’s Pictures



Several years ago I participated in a combination gallery and performance art exhibition based on the tarot called My Mother’s Pictures. It was a dream of one of the TOILA priestess’ and we made it come true for her. It was based on the Major Arcana of the tarot but as I recall we had so many people wanting to do it we ended up with a few court cards and Minor Arcana.

Every card had a physical piece of art and a performance piece. All the would be artists gathered at one of the artist’s homes and we talked about the project and then people drew cards first for the physical card and then it went around for the performance art piece. I was lucky enough to do both.

The Lady Mother has a very strange sense of humour. M and I had decided to draw for the art piece together. We drew the Tower card for the art piece and two other friends drew the Tower for the performance piece. Three out of the four women had been struck by lightning, a key feature of most representations of the Tower card. Nothing to this tarot stuff, nah, it’s just a bunch of pretty pictures, yeah right.

M and I did a huge sculpture of a woman being struck by lightning with a city burning down around her. On the card we used for the book we handed out only the sculpture shows. It took us a quite a while to build her and finish her but I still like how she came out.

T & G did a poem on the transformation that being hit by lightning can manifest in your life. .

I also did a performance piece on the Strength card. I can’t for the life of me remember what the art piece was for Strength. I did a performance of smithing and forged a large silver heart out of wire as I spoke about how smithing and magic and life work together to make something strong and beautiful and how striking something tempers the heart and makes it stronger and no longer bends easily. I managed to do it and not whack myself on the thumb with my hammer. I think that went well or at least it felt good at the time. I surely felt like I was between the worlds when I did it. Somewhere there is a tape of the whole thing but I’ve never seen it.

Anyway, that’s my Masterpiece Monday. Memories of making good art.