humor, photography

Looking at Lichen

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Organic ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #147

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Lichen looks like flaking paint.
Inorganic? No, it ain’t.

Do not try to watch it grow.
Each micron takes a day or so.

Nerdy 😉 Note

Dunno enough lichenology to say how slowly my lichen grows.  From the wide range of known lichen growth rates and my very casual observations, I could go with either “hour” or “day” as a crude monosyllabic estimate of long my lichen takes to grow a millionth of a meter wider.  Compared to watching lichens grow, watching grass grow would be like watching hockey.

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humor, photography

The Towel Brothers

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There are grander true stories of failure and redemption,
but this one can be illustrated by photos
with many horizontal lines.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Horizontal Line(s)

Ken is a colorful “kitchen towel” but …

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… can’t keep up with Hank (a “hand towel”) at drying.

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What else can towels do? I repurposed Ken to …

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… block glare from the light over the sink …

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… and left the drying to Hank.

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flowers, humor, photography

Unlikely Blooming

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Unlikely | The Daily Post

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The Pink Rebel is my Xmas cactus (or Thanksgiving cactus, if U want to draw the distinction).  It earned its nickname by blooming when it damn well pleases, with no special treatment from me.  I keep the soil moist all year, with a little diluted fertilizer in the water.  The plant gets as much light as my window will give it, with no enforced darkness or coolness.  Experts say a Xmas or Thanksgiving cactus so treated is unlikely to bloom at all, let alone during the daffodil season.  But unlikely things do sometimes happen.  Don’t bet on when or where.

unlikely-life

Unlikely Life | Word Porn Quote

haiku, humor, photography

Lines Plan Their Day

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«Let’s twist and ripple across the computer screen in an exuberant pseudorandom dance that won’t repeat for centuries.»

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«Maybe tomorrow.  Still sore from yesterday.
I pulled red line duty and people stepped on me as they crossed.»

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«Hmmm.  Let’s just mark a few straight edges
of flat surfaces in the real world
until U feel better.»
«I’m up for that if we keep the angles simple.»

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Images #1 and #2 in my response to

Lines | The Daily Post

were selected and cropped from bursts of photos while running the Mystify screen saver.  Image #3 is a photo of an architectural detail, edited to compensate for my inability to compose precisely w/o a viewfinder.  (Glad I eventually replaced the old camera by one with both a screen and a viewfinder.)  Here is a haiku about the kind of silliness exemplified by the dialog in my response:

What the World Needs
|More silliness from
|those who know they are silly;
|less from the others.

 

humor, mundane miracle, philosophy, photography, science

Partially Reflected Light

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As the natural light outdoors fades, a mundane miracle occurs.  Tho I have no supernatural powers, I create light and see that it is good.  There is much to celebrate in the simple act of flipping a switch, and the resulting light provides many other mundane miracles to ponder.

Light ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #133

Before I close the curtains, a pine tree across the lawn is still visible thru the window.  Conversely, a bird roosting in the pine could see the light fixture I have just turned on.  Most of the light that my fixture throws toward the window goes right thru the glass, harmless and unharmed.  My fist could not do that.

It gets better.

Some of the light that hits the window is reflected back.  I see my fixture as a ghostly sphere, apparently hovering between me and the pine.  Hmmm.  Consider a single photon among the zillions that whiz from my fixture toward the window.  How does it decide whether to continue on toward the pine or bounce back toward me?

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I know.  Photons are mindless particles that do not decide anything.  They just do whatever a divinely perfect knowledge of physics would say they do, and a humanly possible imperfect knowledge of physics is rather good at saying what big groups of them do.

By far the best current human knowledge says that what a single photon does is unpredictable.  Not just unpredictable because we do not know all the details about the laws of nature or how the photon is moving or what is in the glass where the photon hits it.  Not just unpredictable because exact calculations are not feasible. Intrinsically unpredictable!  On a photon-by-photon basis, even divinely perfect knowledge of the rules and the current situation does not determine what will happen in the next picosecond.  Even God must wait and see.

Dunno whether I will succeed in posting more about intrinsic unpredictability and its consequences.  (Don’t hold your breath.)  Without wrangling equations, a great deal can be still be said about the quantum physics behind partially reflected light and its wider implications.  See pages 173-176 of the excellent book Dice World by Brian Clegg (or web pages like the one U can visit by clicking here, if U do not have the book handy).