Check out my blog’s fresh new look! Do you like it? Frankly, I’m digging the cleaner (and more astronomical-looking) look.
I’ve been wanting to make a change for awhile, but was a bit fearful of unintended consequences of change (would I lose links? would information go missing?). Turned out, changing “themes” was a piece of cake. That customized header image? Yeah, I did that. Do you recognize the components of this image?
The black-and-white part is probably not one that will look familiar unless you happen to be a fellow astronomer, in which case you’ve undoubtedly seen it countless times in textbooks, etc. It is called the Flammarion engraving, and every time I see it, I sort of get goosebumps. To me, this piece tells an inspiring story of scientific discovery. The inquisitive astronomer — unsatisfied with the unchallenged explanation of a simple, ordered Universe in which the Sun is fundamentally different from the stars that are merely specks glued to the celestial sphere — courageously dares to peel back this veneer of “accepted science” to see the considerably more complicated Universe in its infinite splendor!
I superimposed this work onto another one that you undoubtedly recognize: van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. In full disclosure, I’ve got something of a Starry Night fetish. Of course I have a framed print of the painting, but I also have some less-common items, such as a Starry Night lightswitch plate, and a tote bag (which was a huge hit at the American Astronomical Society meeting in January when I carried it instead of my backpack — I must have gotten a dozen comments/compliments!). In a nut shell, if the Starry Night design is involved, then I. Must. Have. It!
But there’s more … this painting seems to follow me around. Don’t believe me? Well, here, look for yourself:
StarMan and I were biking along a street, minding our own business, and we randomly happened upon this painted utility box! The superposition with my biking jersey was a photo op that could not be denied. (Despite a lot of grumbling from StarMan, who had gotten “in the Zone” and wasn’t about to stop his bike for anything!)
Finally, in keeping with the “Starry Night Meets Flammarion” theme, I would be remiss not to show a product that emerged after a particularly robust “do it yourself” fit! Long story short: I needed a custom-sized cabinet for the master bathroom to store stuff, like towels. I made the cabinet myself, and decided to go with frosted glass. But not just any frosting, oh no-sir-eee. The pattern, tediously built up with masking tape, followed by a liberal application of spray-on glass frosting paint, just had to be:
This picture isn’t the best (hard to take a picture of glass without getting annoying reflections), but hopefully good enough to show what I was going for in the design.
Time to take my Copaxone shot, call it a night and drift off to sleep as a particular song plays softly in the background…