Wake Up!

Photographer: Wendy Erlendson, Canada

Photographer: Wendy Erlendson, Canada

How would you like to wake up with cold feet on your face such as a pet frog instead of your average pet of cat and dog?

“My daughter and her pet tree frog, “sticky fingers”, having some fun!”

This is one of the 14 photos selected for Not Your Average Pet National Geographic Your Shot assignment.

Wendy also won an International Photography Contest in 2008. What makes her win is she can bring  creativity and uniqueness to something quite ordinary according to the managing editor of NatGeo.

Nothing to sneeze about

Source: Forumzirve.net

Sneeze: God Bless You.    Source: Forumzirve.net

Why do we say Bless You when someone sneezes? It is habit or plain superstition.  I did a bit of research on about sneezing and it all stemmed from the great plague in 6th century.

National Geographic reports that during the plague of 590 AD, “Pope Gregory I ordered unceasing prayer for divine intercession. Part of his command was that anyone sneezing be blessed immediately (“God bless you”), since sneezing was often the first sign that someone was falling ill with the plague.”[7] By 750 AD, it became customary to say “God bless you” as a response to one sneezing.[8]

National Geographic : From Piazza San Pietro, proceed down the broad avenue across from the Basilica, Via della Conciliazione (commissioned by Mussolini to add grandeur to the site), to (4) Castel Sant’Angelo (Lungotevere Castello 50), a round-walled, battlemented structure that today serves as a museum. Commissioned as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian in the second century A.D., it was completed in 139 A.D after Hadrian had already died (his body was eventually entombed here). Within a hundred years the building was transformed into a fortress to help protect Rome from Germanic invaders. It got its current name in the sixth century—a time when a plague was devastating Rome—after Pope Gregory the Great had a vision of an angel hovering over the structure, sheathing its sword. The vision was interpreted as heralding the end of the plague, and a statue of Archangel Michael, the rescuing angel, was placed on top of the structure (the present bronze statue dates to 1752). In 1277 the fortress was connected to the Vatican Palace with a covered walkway and became a refuge of choice for successive Popes. It also harbored special prisoners, including the acclaimed goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini, who was accused (apparently falsely) of embezzling pontifical gems. Exhibits in the museum today include weaponry and artifacts related to the building’s long, colorful history.

Source: God Bless You: Wikipedia

Fireflies and Stars

Time Fireflies Photograph by Ionut Burloiu

Time Fireflies Photograph by Ionut Burloiu

Fireflies in the Garden

By Robert Frost 

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course, they can’t sustain the part.

 

An allegory between the stars and the fireflies:
We may want to shoot for the stars and be like fireflies to shine like the stars but I say just be yourself, you will shine with your inner light.

Image credit to: Ionut Burloiu of Italy for having chosen as one of the best contributors of “After Midnight” Your Shot assignment at National Geographic.  Thank you Ionut for allowing me to share your photo of my memorable childhood.

Body and Soul

The Veiled Lady in the Wind

The Veiled Lady in the Wind

I know how to let my soul out of the business it’s tied up in. I hear my blood singing and boiling, I’m light-headed. And this matter which is my own somewhere on the border of slow disturbance recombines in a chain of primary links.

There in the unbiased ether our essences balance against star weights hurled at the now just trembling scales. The ecstasy of life
lives at this edge – the body’s memory of its immutable homeland.

– Osip Mandelstam translated by Barbara Einzig from “Collected Works” by Osip Mandelstam ed. Struve and Filipoff (Washington D.C.: Interlanguage Associates, 1967) via Parabola

 

Photo Credit:  Stephane Couture ~ Published at National Geographic Daily Dozen on December 19, 2013
“I love to see people standing on the side of the ocean at sunset witnessing this unique moment. We don’t really know if they are day dreaming or just simply enjoying the mesmerizing colors. I was one of them when this veiled lady passed in front of my lens dancing to the sound of the waves with her veil moving to the tempo of the wind. I feel very fortunate to have captured this moment when everything falls into place at the perfect time.”

中华人民共和国朋友们好

Chinese Fisherman

Chinese Fisherman

我在遥远的加拿大温哥华想着你们

我知道中国是一个很美丽的国家

您好吗?

你是从哪里来的?

谢谢你 (xièxienǐ )

Translation:
Hello to the People of Republic China
I am thinking of you from Vancouver, BC, CANADA.
I understand that China is a beautiful country.
How are you?
Where are you from?
Thank you.

Photo Credit: National Geographic