Micro - Macro Cosmos revealed

At the same time we hear “science is mystified or baffled” about something, or that “science says” our spaceship Ocean Earth is in more and more peril, remarkable discoveries are made by scientists.
Yesterday we learned a team of scientists announced an “unprecedented discovery” of phenomena light-years away: three more planets circling around another Sun have been spotted. Apparently this is the first time images of several planets around a star outside our solar system have been captured.
Meanwhile Hubble keeps peering deeper into space, sending back more and more breathtaking macroscopic images. (I still wonder, “where did all that Space come from, for the whole universe to dance in?)Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, and not wishing to go unnoticed, the microscopic world reveals itself, making headline news as well.

This week Santiago Costantino, a physicist at University of Montreal recreated Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring” at 200 microns, about the width of two human hairs.
He arranged the image ‘pixel by pixel’ and aimed a laser through a microscopic lens to arrange molecules in the liquid to form the famous image. Costantino explained the aim of this laser technique is to help medical researchers:
the laser can create intricate protein patterns in the lab that researchers can use to test how nerve cells might be re-grown - the first step toward the long-term goal of repairing spinal cord injuries and other nerve damage”.
This same week we learned in Japan the world’s smallest engagement ring has been created: a diamond 5 billionths of a carat, 300 nanometres thick and 5 micrometres across.
It was made by carving out a circular structure in an artificially- made diamond. It will be used to access single photons, the basis for developing quantum computers. The ring can only be seen with a microscope. (No kidding!) And I thought my father was a genius, when he put 52 facets on a 0.20 point diamond.
Many years ago, on one of our journeys to Mexico, we met a local artist on the beach. His specialty was to carve your name on a grain of rice, which he’d put on a string and you could wear around your neck. He did this without glasses or magnification instruments. This is quite commonly seen today, but in those days it seemed absolutely amazing.
Back in the 1960s, the first images became available to the public of minerals or crystals magnified by an electron microscope. These were vistas never before seen and which carried the viewer into another realm. I used to call them, and still do, images of ‘never-ever land’.
Sometimes the resemblance between the multi-coloured splendour and sparkle of images from space (such as the extraordinary nebulae captured by Hubble we see today), and those from the microscopic world are so similar, it is uncanny, revealing the micro and the macro world are one.

However, what is interesting is that before I personally ever witnessed such images, I was already depicting imagery of a micro/macro nature, but born from intuition and experimentation. (See images of one painting above.) Evidence that the creative mind is a vehicle of the zeitgeist and can function as a harbinger of the future.
Keep on discovering! Henri


Arcobaleno, Arc-en-ciel, Arco-iris, Regnbue, Regenboog, Regenbogen, Rainbow

We live right at the Pacific Ocean and from our window have an unobstructed view of Juan de Fuca Strait, the Olympic range of Washington, and much of Victoria. When a rainbow appears, we can ‘capture’ it, if alert and ready.
This photo was taken by Natasha with her mobile this morning, November 10 at 10h00 Pacific time. The ‘raincircle’ spectrum hat, I acquired in the Canary Islands from a handicapped woman who crocheted it herself.

When teaching art aboard ship, most recently with venerable QE2. Tomorrow, November 11, she sails on her final voyage, heading ‘into the sunset’ in Dubai.
We give a different theme every day, and the passenger-students have to draw mostly on their imagination. At first this can be quite challenging for many people, however even those with the most difficultly to ignite their imagination, ‘take off’ once they see the theme of the day is: rainbow fantasy. (See here an example of one of my students.) In no time, their efforts are transformed into joyous rainbow colours. Maybe for the first time in a long while, they have connected again with their inner child.

Scientists, thinkers and polymaths have tried for a long time to analyze the phenomena of a rainbow. Poets and artists express their feelings and impressions back to the world. Children always find inspiration and joy in depicting this magic “bow” of colours.
It is the rainbow which teaches (long before the advent of art schools) what happens when you mix the three primary colours (Red, Yellow, Blue): you create the secondary colours (Orange, Green, Violet). I wonder how our “Lucy” ancestors must have felt upon first seeing a rainbow. What were they thinking when witnessing this mysterious and magical arch of colours? How did they feel? Joy? Fear? Wonder? Happiness? Did they utter “Wow”, “Ah”, “Oh”, like we do, or better still, take it in with awe and silence? 
Here’s a poem I wrote awhile back.
“Cry O Sun
Smile O Rain
Cry O Rain
Smile O Sun
Only your union
Creates a Rainbow”


"Ah, when we will ever learn . . "

These grey and “early-dark” days of November are once again upon us. All the leaves destined to part from their “tree home” will soon leave bare branches. The conifers - - cypress, pines, junipers, firs and cedars now have more to say and make their presence felt. They tell us without words,
“Look! We’re evergreen.”
No sooner have the yellows, tans, ochres, sienas, reds and umbers of Autumn go, than another Red ‘pops up’ (be it briefly), to be seen on almost everyone’s attire, especially the TV anchor people. Symbol for those soldiers and civilians who gave or lost their lives, so we can all live in ‘freedom’ and ‘peace’. Not only WWI is remembered, but all the wars and killings that followed, to this day, adding ever-more reasons to perpetuate Remembrance Day. [War is called “Regime Change” nowadays.] “Lest We Forget”, all right.
Bob Dylan wrote already in the ‘60s “ . . the answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind” . .. “oh when will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn?”
What a strange and paradoxical species we are, Homo Sapiens. I saw the bombs drop, and as a boy lived through WWII.
On the one hand we go out to kill and get killed, both for the same cause of Freedom. Soldiers gave their lives so that we can live free. Yet, our freedom is stealthily being taken away; ‘Big Brother’ has crept up, making Orwell’s book “Brave New World” look like amateurish scribble.
You may recall the classic black and white move “All Quiet on the Western Front”, based on a novel of the same name by German writer Erich Maria Remarque, a ‘realistic and harrowing account’ of WWI slaughter in the trenches and fields of Flanders.

We came across these thoughts from someone in England, on the wearing of poppies and remembering, “ . . how much does it serves to console as much as to mask the terrible reality of death in war. By masking, it is meant that remembrance becomes a ritual used to ‘blot out’ the horrible reality of, in this case war, and the First World War in particular. Naturally, the truth is far too disturbing to continually be exposed, so the ritual of remembrance helps to create a more ‘comfortable’ memory of the deceased. This is most noticeable, for example, on Remembrance (Day), when the wearing of an artificial poppy, and the two-minute silence in recognition of those who gave their lives, saves one from having to dwell on the specific details of the deaths of millions of men killed while serving their country.” (From “A Memorial in Scarlet” by Stacy Chambless.)
But why do poppy flowers flourish in battlefields? I learned the first reference to this was made by a writer during Napoleon’s time. He observed certain fields were barren before a battle but exploded with poppies after the fighting ended.
It’s known that in Flanders and France, the chalk soil became very rich in lime from all the rubble, but after the lime became absorbed, the poppies disappeared. Today many Quakers wear white poppies which they say "is not about insulting the dead, but to honour them by working for an end to war”.
Remember Swift's "Gulliver's Travels"? War because of a song the "Littleputs" argued about? We need a few more Gullivers in the world.

Would it not be something to see a film such as “All Quiet on the Western Front” where everything was in reverse? Then you’d have peace instead of war: bullets shot from rifles would come out of the bodies and return into the rifle barrel. The bayonet plunged into flesh reverses and leaves the body. No wound. Advancing commandos go backward. Shrapnel would re-assemble. Bombers raining their deadly cargo would have the bombs flying upwards back into the hold of the aircraft. Hand grenades would boomerang intact back into the hands that threw them. Cannons nicely receive back their lethal cannon balls, all the carnage ‘undone’.
On the topic of shooting, why do we speak of killing a penalty in hockey or soccer (associated football).Can’t we say ‘ride out’ or ‘weather’ or ‘survive’ a penalty? Or we speak of “a nice shot” in pool or billiards. Our words perpetuate our culture’s killing habits.
But, this November has given us hope and a sigh of relief: the end of a great “error” (which added to the deaths of how many more thousands?), and beginning of a new "Era".
Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye, Makes the whole world blind.” Signing off, Henri