Friday, March 20, 2009

Blending of Art and Science.

I have an interesting blend of art and science to report this time. On March 29, I will be having an exhibit of my art work at the Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning, MT. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by in the evening and meet me. My art will be displayed until May 10, so there will still be time to go and see what's going on. I have some of my jewelry on display/sale, as well as cultural items made from bison horn. Where does science com into all this? Well, I like to use acrylic pains, which as far as paint goes is pretty new, in use only since the early 60's. In my jewelry I use my knowledge of chemicals to make things easier & faster. I have some experience in metal finishing from a previous job, and that help me make shiny things, as well as make good decisions on what types of abrasive to use. When I paint in watercolours, the interaction of light, paint and paper always is interesting, as well as wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry looks and the technical aspects of paint in those instances. The ability to use technology to send out this message is also a great benefit, as well as interesting that different batches of electrons can be pushed anywhere in the world and made to fit a computer screen of almost any ilk and be comprehensible to the many. I have likewise drawn pictures of my lab experiments, and sometimes taking several renederings to make them just so, a point where I like them, or at least live with them. This sort of encoding of information is processed deep in our psyche. Man (and his counterpart) have for a long, long time recreated some version of natural and other events in the form of art. The cave paintings and petroglyphs of both the new and old worlds show a reverence that is unquestionably linked to nature, and all its myriad forms.
I have a quote sent to me by a good friend, who in his wisdom was able to make sense out of my ramblings and found a written western example where all spirits are sort of reconciled, and I think it's pretty gran, so I'll add it here. One note, though, I am sort of non-denominational, call myself a catholic because of cultural reasons (ask me) and I actually have quite a number of Bahai's as friends. This is a tribute to their ideals, morals and just plain good-peopleness. They know who they are!

Non-existence therefore is an expression applied to change of form, but this transformation can never be rightly considered annihilation, for the elements of composition are ever present and existent as we have seen in the journey of the atom through successive kingdoms, unimpaired; hence there is no death; life is everlasting. So to speak, when the atom entered into the composition of the tree, it died to the mineral kingdom, and when consumed by the animal, it died to the vegetable kingdom, and so on until its transference or transmutation into the kingdom of man; but throughout its traversing it was subject to transformation and not annihilation. Death therefore is applicable to a change or transference from one degree or condition to another. In the mineral realm there was a spirit of existence; in the world of plant life and organisms it reappeared as the vegetative spirit; thence it attained the animal spirit and finally aspired to the human spirit. These are degrees and changes but not obliteration; and this is a rational proof that man is everlasting, everliving. Therefore death is only a relative term implying change. For example, we will say that this light before me, having reappeared in another incandescent lamp, has died in the one and lives in the other. This is not death in reality. The perfections of the mineral are translated into the vegetable and from thence into the animal, the virtue always attaining a plus or superlative degree in the upward change. In each kingdom we find the same virtues manifesting themselves more fully, proving that the reality has been transferred from a lower to a higher form and kingdom of being. Therefore non-existence is only relative and absolute non-existence inconceivable. This rose in my hand will become disintegrated and its symmetry destroyed, but the elements of its composition remain changeless; nothing affects their elemental integrity. They cannot become non-existent; they are simply transferred from one state to another.

Through his ignorance, man fears death; but the death he shrinks from is imaginary and absolutely unreal; it is only human imagination.


As to the existence of spirit in the mineral: it is indubitable that minerals are endowed with a spirit and life according to the requirements of that stage. This unknown secret, too, hath become known unto the materialists who now maintain that all beings are endowed with life, even as He saith in the Qur'án, "All things are living."

-- Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í World Faith

Shey Hoy

Monday, March 16, 2009


A while back I saw Gran Torino. As a movie it was OK, but some of the underlying material was quite intriguing to me. (may contain spoilers) The main character makes some decisions that shape the path that he takes. There are outside forces that make him change his viewpoint on many things including his new neighbors, who at one time he feels he may have been shooting at instead of helping or interacting with. One incident changes what he feels he must do to protect his "family" of sorts. the gritty texture of this film makes you identify with the main character, and maybe I'm the same sort of guy. I would have done exactly what Clint did in this flick. It was a small price to pay for the knowledge that people would be safe and protected. I think that if the circumstances are right, we are all heroes, given the chance. A hero may not always be doing what is right, but he/she knows what has to be done and then does it. How many times has a instance come up where you could be a hero and didn't take it? Maybe to some, buying a meal or coat is heroic. How about giving up your place in line to an elderly person? How many material decisions can you make that will make you a hero? Is the recycler a hero? The people that sell fair trade goods? Is the farmer in the rainforest who cuts two acres of forest to palnt his crops a villain because he knows no different life? Do you live a sustainance lifestyle, or even try? Maybe all americans should start, so we can again be heroes to the world.
Shey hoy.