Robert L. Peters

23 July 2011

Beyond moral judgement, we can discern a society’s true values by its actions and material consequences…

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns,
or figs of thistles?”

Matthew 7:16, the Bible (King James Version)


29 January 2011

I love language…

callipygous (aka callipygian)

For many years I have collected dictionaries—in printed book form, and also online. I take great delight in discovering new words, and in understanding their roots and etymology. “Callipygous” crossed my desktop recently, and I couldn’t help but ‘share’ this lovely, voluptuous word that means: “of, pertaining to, or having beautiful buttocks,” 1800, from Gk. kallipygos, name of a statue of Aphrodite at Syracuse, from kalli-, combining form of kallos “beauty” + pyge “rump, buttocks.” Sir Thomas Browne (1646) refers to “Callipygæ and women largely composed behinde.”

Gluteous maximus triumvirate image from unknown sources: Cooper Black (typeface) seemed to fit just right… (with a nod to Matt Warburton).


16 January 2011

And you are young and life is long and there is time to kill today, and then one day you find ten years have got behind you; no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

Pink Floyd may have got it right, methinks… time flies.


21 December 2010

Missed it… the total lunar eclipse.

Overcast Manitoba

Weather was not on our side, so we missed quite the sight in the wee hours of this morning. The total lunar eclipse that began a few hours ago took on a bloody red hue at its peak. Since the moon aligned with the Milky Way’s stars this time around, an enhanced ambience (apparently) made it particularly spectacular. This total lunar eclipse is the first one to occur on the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere in 372 years…

Drat! Missed it, due to persistent cloud-cover… well, maybe next time around. :-| The photo sequence above was taken in Manassas, Virginia, showing the moon in different stages of today’s total lunar eclipse. Source: NPR.


16 December 2010

The Official Canadian Temperature Conversion Chart (especially helpful for my friends in the U.S. and others who may be metrically challenged)…

50° Fahrenheit (10° C)

New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.

Canadians plant gardens.

40° Fahrenheit (4.4° C)

Californians shiver uncontrollably.

Canadians sunbathe.

35° Fahrenheit (1.6° C)

Italian cars won’t start.

Canadians drive with the windows down.

32° Fahrenheit (0° C)

Distilled water freezes.

Canadian water get thicker.

0° Fahrenheit (-17.9° C)

New York City landlords finally turn on the heat.

Canadians have the last cookout of the season.

-40° Fahrenheit (-40° C)

Hollywood disintegrates.

Canadians rent some videos.

-60° Fahrenheit (-51° C)

Mt. St. Helens freezes.

Canadian Girl Guides sell cookies door-to-door.

-100° Fahrenheit (-73° C)

Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.

Canadians pull down their ear flaps.

-173° Fahrenheit (-114° C)

Ethyl alcohol Freezes.

Canadians get frustrated when they can’t thaw the keg.

-460° Fahrenheit (-273° C)

Absolute zero; all atomic motion stops.

Canadians start saying “cold, eh?”

-500° Fahrenheit (-295° C)

Hell freezes over.

The Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup.

 


5 December 2010

More femme fatales…

.

“It’s better to help people than garden gnomes.”

Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001) 


3 December 2010

Now that is a climbing wall…

Klimcentrum Bjoeks, Groningen, the Netherlands

For a flatland nation with no natural outdoor climbing opportunities, the Excalibur,” a 37-meter-high climbing wall (121 feet for my non-metric US friends—almost a rope-length, with an 11-meter overhang) makes an impressive vertical offer. I’ve designed (and built) several climbing walls and structures in my time… but very puny in comparison to this. (More, better pics taken from a kite, here).

Climb on…


10 November 2010

Mostly femme fatales and noir…

.

“She batted them pretty little eyes at you, and you fell for it
like an egg from a tall chicken!” —Charade, 1963 


4 November 2010

Natural-born climbers…

The mountains of Piemonte, Italy

“The ibex of Northern Italy don’t need to worry about equipment malfunctions, difficult-to-obtain life insurance, or their peers calling them foolhardy. They just do what they do, without ropes or inhibitions…” (from a link in today’s Alpine Club of Canada e-letter).

I’ve long marveled at the genetically hard-wired abilities of sheep and goats when it comes to rock climbing (and I’ve posted on this before, e.g. here and here). Don’t underestimate the sure-footedness, balance, and sheer gumption of the mystical Ibex either (stambecco in Italian, Steinbock in German). These pictures speak for themselves (yes, the tiny specs in the lower photo are what you think)…


2 November 2010

America, america, america…

All across the Excited States of America…

Let me start by saying… I love you guys (and gals, goes without saying), I hate you guys, and I’m increasingly ambivalent about all you good-ole guys and gals and your overly-polarized, ever-narrowing worldview…

As an animated fraction(!) of the USA’s three-hundred-and-ten million citizens head out to vote today, please be aware that the “rest of the world” watches your amnesic roll to the right and political shenanigans with equal measures of concern, disbelief, and revulsion. It seems that crass, opportunist partisanship has trumped the very basic premise of engaged citizenship and shared civility that your great (OK, formerly great) nation was based and built upon… sad, very sad indeed. I’m sure I’m not alone in remembering an America of the past that seemed worth celebrating in aspirational song...

Images: an assortment of placards, signs, and shirts shown out and about the U.S. in recent days… 

 

 


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