Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cellphone Photo Dump -OR- The Muppet Show (Part II)

This entry involves a big photo dump of blurry cellphone images I've been wanting to post. There is no particular rhyme or reason to it.

Yours Truly, Regulus, at Phil's new house here in D.C. He and Stephanie are moving in tomorrow. Most profoundly of all, I got a key, too. The living room pictured above is bigger than my dusty efficiency.

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OK, so I wasn't fired yesterday and I even finished this somewhat involved report section on the history of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and it's shift from a prescriptive and deterministic regulatory approach of plant licensees to the risk-informed, performance-based one one of today. This included a discussion of both probabilistic risk assessment theory ...

... and the actual Three Mile Island 1979 partial core meltdown that prompted big changes.

This is not easy for a variety of reasons, chiefly involving the fact I've never even been to a nuclear power plant and have ZERO connections at NRC or in the industry, and so writing about this stuff as I do is problematic to say the least.

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I'm watching at this moment on the National Geographic channel an episode of "Naked Science" on the motion of Earth's continents. It is entitled "Supercontinent" and it features the Univ. of Texas geologist Chris Scotese whose Web site here (click on "Earth History" and then click on the links on the left side for appropriate image) provided the images I used in my June 2007 entry about just this topic. The link to that entry is here.

Scotese seems to have changed the name of his next Pangaea supercontinent (which he spells as "Pangea") from Pangaea Ultima on his Web site to Pangaea Proxima in the show, presumably because there will be still more cycles of Pangaea supercontinents in the next 1 to 2 billion years (before changes in the Sun start to render our planet an arid, lifeless, baked rock).

The key for the formation of Pangaea Proxima -- as opposed to "Amasia" -- is the behavior of the Puerto Rico Trench. North America itself may also be rending itself in the Rio Grande Valley. There are a variety of possibilities. As for a Pangaea-configured world -- with a single supercontinent on one side and a global "panthalassa" ocean on the other of Earth -- its climate is far more extreme and unpleasant with ramifications for life itself.

Speaking of my old Arcturus blog, I am in the process of posting a new entry there but as of yet it's not finished.

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Without further ado ...

From last Saturday (Oct. 4)

Kristof and I walked to the Washington National Cathedral here in D.C. last Saturday. I wanted to see the annual "blessing of the animals" (family pets). Naturally, we got there late.

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I didn't get many good pictures of the "blessing" -- which was, disappointingly, held outside the Cathedral itself. I think it shoulda been inside. That would have been funny.

I got this picture of two family dogs and a miniature pony. I just missed where the retriever and the pony put their noses together to sniff. It was very cute. Another dog (not the pug) was agitated and barking when he saw the pony -- which to him, I'm guessing, in his suburban family doggy world was a very large, strange, and therefore threatening creature that he couldn't fit into any frame of reference. The retriever didn't seem to have the same problem.

As for the pony, he just sort of stood there quietly. There was a photographer from The Washington Times who got a picture of him and his owner (this vaguely Amish-looking guy in overalls).

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Kristof in the National Cathedral gift shop and snack bar, Oct. 4, 2008. This is an Episcopal church, as opposed to Catholic, so you don't have all the weird statuary of the Virgin Mary and Jesus in various forms of agony, nor the rosary beads by the thousands.

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Bishop's Garden at the Washington National Cathedral, Oct. 4, 2008

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This is the Peace Cross on the grounds of the National Cathedral near the adjoining St. Albans School for boys (no, not those kind of boys). There is a sweeping view to the southeast toward downtown D.C. That small white object in the far distance -- about 5 miles away -- is the dome of the U.S. Capitol building.

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Kristof and I began walking from the Cathedral south into the Glover Park and Georgetown neighborhoods of D.C., Oct. 4, 2008.

Yours Truly beside a particularly large tree located in Glover Park at the corner of W and 39th St., NW, Washington, D.C., Oct. 4, 2008.

No comments about how fat my butt and sadly out of shape I am. Boo.

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The 3700 block of W St., NW, in the Glover Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Oct. 4, 2008. Row house-lined streets like this are quintessentially Washington, D.C.

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A street sign for the 2300 block of Huidekoper Pl., NW, as seen from the 3700 block of W St., NW, Washington, D.C. "Huidekoper" is one of the stranger D.C. street names in Glover Park, although the oddest to me is "Tunlaw," since it is the deliberate backward spelling of "Walnut."

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Georgetown University's famous Healy Hall as seen in silhouette with the disk of the Sun itself appearing in that characteristic purple in cell phone images. Georgetown University is located just south of Glover Park and Burleith neighborhoods.

Healy Hall is built in Flemish Romanesque style. I've written before about the "tradition" of "stealing" the hands off the clock located at the top of the main spire (there is a clock on both the east and west facing sides) and mailing them to the Vatican (Georgetown Univ. is a Jesuit school), which then is supposed to stamp "RETURN TO SENDER" on the unopened (large) package (the big hand is 5 feet and the small hand is 3 feet in length). University officials do not find this amusing and while it used to happen regularly back in the 1960s, the hands have been stolen only twice since 2001, most recently in 2005 and the two miscreants received one year disciplinary probation.

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Kristof and I had a late lunch at The Tombs subterranean pub and then we walked down stairs made famous in the 1973 movie The Exorcist.

This is the view from the top. The building on the left side is the famous Car Barn building of Georgetown.

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This is the picture I posted in my Wed. entry. It is Yours Truly, Regulus, standing at the bottom of The Exorcist stairs. As for that movie, and the true story behind it, I've written about it before on my Arcturus blog. Rather than rewrite it, though, I refer any interested reader to the most thorough recounting of the true story behind it that I found here.

The Mount Rainier connection -- referring to the dinky little town in Maryland near the D.C. line and named for THE Mt. Rainier of Washington State -- always intrigued me.


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Kristof and I walked over the Key Bridge that spans the Potomac River into Rosslyn (Arlington, Virginia). He went to his place there and I took the Metro back to Dupont Circle via Metro Center where I stopped at the Macy's to pay my Oct. bill in person in the store.

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The following day, Oct. 5, 2008 (Sunday), I went to the Jim Henson Exhibit in the S. Dillon Ripley Center of the Smithsonian Institution. The exhibit to him and his "Muppets" characters was about to end.

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The Smithsonian Institution castle building along the National Mall, Wash. D.C., Oct. 5, 2008

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Crossing the National Mall looking at the U.S. Capitol building about a mile away. This is right on the east-west axis of the National Mall that divides Northwest and Southwest D.C. (two of the city's four directional quadrants that are quite lop-sided in size). The zero point is the very center of the Capitol dome itself. The Washington Monument, by the way, is actually not centered on that axis but shifted a bit more into SW D.C.

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The entrance to the Jim Henson exhibit. This is on the Ripley Center's main floor, which is actually three stories underground.

Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets, was from the D.C. area (Hyattsville, Md) and he even attended the Univ. of Md., College Park where I attend, graduating in 1960. There is a nice sculpture of him and Kermit seated on a bench outside the Stamp Union. I've posted a picture of it on my Arcturus blog before.

Perhaps Kermit the Frog -- pictured here in a reposting of the picture from my Monday Oct. 6 entry -- is his most famous creation. Kermit actually was in some older episodes of Sesame Street. (My Regulus blog avatar is an old Kermit and Cookie Monster staring at each other -- see side bar on right.)

Obviously, there are multiple Kermits made by his workshop / studio and I'm not sure if the one pictured above was ever actually used in any of the movies or the TV show.

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Rowlf the Dog, one of the main Muppet characters.

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Bert and Ernie and their rubber ducky (or is it duckie?). (Again, this is reposted from my Monday entry).

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The Muppet character King Goshposh and another one whose name I can't recall.

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This is apparently the actual dress worn by the Gelfling Kira in Jim Henson's amazing 1982 movie "The Dark Crystal."

That pre-computer animation era movie is astonishing for a variety of reasons: the set, the puppetry and animatronics, the story line itself reaching into some of the deepest veins of human spirituality. It didn't do that well in the United States (and it was released the same year as the much more feel-good, wildly popular movie ET).

And who can forget Jen, Aughra, the Skeksis, and the urRu, not to mention the prophecy:

"When single shines the triple sun,
What was sundered and undone
Shall be whole, the two made one,
By Gelfling hand, or else by none."

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Reposted -- Yours Truly, Regulus, by the small fountain in the main hall of the S. Dillon Ripley Center, Oct. 5, 2008. There was this interesting poster and picture exhibit along the wall about the old Puerto Rican government agency known as "DIVEDCO" -- the Spanish acronym of the Division of Community Education. The exhibit Web site is linked here.

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I left the Smithsonian walked back to Dupont Circle, passing the Turkish Festival that was occurring near Freedom Plaza along Pennsylvania Ave, Oct. 5, 2008.

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The uber-posh Willard InterGalacticContinental Washington Hotel's outdoor cafe along Pennsylvania Ave, Oct. 5, 2008

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15th and F St., NW, Washington, D.C., Oct. 5, 2008, with the U.S. Treasury Dept. on the right side and the Washington Monument poking up about a half mile away.

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The White House as seen from Lafayette Park with the top of the Washington Monument visible above the trees, Oct. 5, 2008. How wonderful it is that George W. Bush will be moving out of there so soon -- I just hope (and right now believe) that it will be Barack Obama.

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Here is the view from Lafayette Park from the same spot as above except looking the other way (north), up 16th St., NW. with H St, NW, crossing east-west on the north edge of the park, which really isn't much of a park. I live about a mile north of this spot near the intersection of 16th and U St. (Apparently, back in the 1920s, the park was much more overgrown and purportedly was a spot for gay cruising ... Hmmm ... that was long before the 17th St. "gayborhood" existed.)

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Some other pictures ...

Stephanie's cat Jasmine. Stephanie took this picture since it really isn't possible for anyone except her to take a picture this close of a serene looking Jasmine, who tends to hiss and swat and crouch under the table or bed. Like I do sometimes.

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Megan and Aaron at Larry's Lounge last night where we all gathered underneath an umbrella sky ... Actually, we're in the familiar October D.C. weather doldrums with NOTHING forthcoming except mostly sunny and warmish for the next umpteen days.

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Yours Truly in a bathtub at Phil's new place last night. We went to the new house (on Adams Mill Road) to show Megan and Aaron the place.

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We walked back via 18th St., through the characteristically Fri/Sat. night mobbed Adams Morgan. The crowd here is very young and aggressive, and sometimes partially ghetto thuggish. It's very different in the 17th St. gayborhood about a half mile away.

Kristof, Phil, Stephanie, Gerry, and I went to the Diner at the bottom of 18th St., where we had a late dinner with an attitudinal waiter. Thereafter, I walked home.

Here is Local 16 and Stetson's along U St., NW, by 16th St., NW. There is a sort of roof top tiki-bar with palm fronds.

And that's it for this entry. I have an assignment to do for my water resource management class and I have to finish yet another report section for work. Unlike the other section, though, I've written extensively on this top (NRC's Reactor Oversight Process), so I'm just going to cut and paste and edit slightly.

My next planned entry will be around Tuesday.

--Regulus

5 comments:

fifi said...

I can quite honestly say that your postings are the most content-rich on the whole internet. Truly.

You seem to indulge often in one of my favourite and least undertaken pastimes;that of wandering about looking at things and people. So much goes on there.

I feel sometimes I will go mad looking at the same thing over and over, so at least I get to go on virtual walks. (Actually, I think I did see something nasty on the ocean floor today but I pretended I didn't since my cub was there and would have screamed a blue fit if I had said anything)

Anyway, there is lot of nice architecture round where you live. And big trees can only be good.

I think I almost cracked the sea thing: well, I have a shape for it at least, and maybe will have an hour or two today. Good luck with your work.

Regulus said...

Thank you, Fifi, for such a sweet comment. I'm sure,though, there are lots of blogs and Web sites that are as oddly varied as mine. I think your blog is wonderful -- the sea imagery and sublimely poetic (and poetically sublime) musings and meditations.

I'm glad to hear you are having better luck with the paper.

Yes, D.C. has a lot of interesting architecture and there are a lot of trees, although I find this place just enervating for a variety of reasons ... nothing interesting ever happens, it's too uptight, it's not near the ocean, we are forever chasing the weather, and, well, I dunno. It's not my original home area (seaside New Jersey).

So what do you think that thing was on the ocean floor today?

Bryan said...

(Hello from my Sister's floor in New Brunswick)

You neglected to mention why you were trying to escape through those french doors. Did my leather chaps scare you? Or was it the riding crop? (I'm kidding people.)

Dude, had I known the Henson exibit was there we might have figured out something. I would have loved to have seen that... and you would have had some company.

You'd have probably had to drag me out!!! (I'd have behaved properly)

Somewhere, I have a personalized publicity photo of Miss Piggy..... AND!!!!! a letter, (signed by Miss Piggy herself!!!) declining my marriage proposal!! I'm not kidding! lol

DirkStar said...

Whew, I'm still digesting the entire post. What a lot to ponder upon and grasp.

Good Post? Great post?

Time will tell...

fifi said...

I think it was some variety of cartilaginious creature: there was sand swirling around, and I glimpsed something that may have been a carpet shark or a stingray,. Nothing likely to bite or anything, I was more worried about the shrieking and potential hair pulling as she climbed up me to escape it if she'd seen it.