Friday, July 4, 2014

SpiderLogic Defies Gravity...
And yet it acknowledges its existence. In fact, it down-right counts on it.
You recall Arabella and Anita? Of course! They were our first two spider-nauts (at least that we are aware of) that went up into space on the Shuttle in July of 1973. Sadly, after seeming to want to 'swim' in their weightless-ness and make webs of sub-standard silk, they 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' and passed directly to spider-vana. Sorry ladies... but what a ride!
(Note to PETA: they were well fed and watered)
When we launch a ball into the air, we have the faith in gravity that our ball will come back to it's intended landing spot and not just keep traveling upward to forever. We rely on gravity too.
And we must learn to defy it.
 In SpiderLogic, to defy gravity refers to selectively and consciously replacing undesirable weightiness with a light touch. Not to ignore or dis-respect but quite the contrary; to pay keen attention and apply humility. This necessitates discipline, competence and faith. Along with a smooth and softly flowing step.

The physics of gravity are quite simple to grasp. The stuff about attraction and massive bodies... Sir Newton and the apple. Force and mass and acceleration... Cool.
The psychology of gravity  and it's oft-accompanied illusions is another matter.
It can stifle, at least and crush at worst. It shortens the figurative stature of humans preventing them from reaching their true potential. Weighty stuff.

 The gravity of life and how it is handled has heavy consequences all the way to our hearts.
So we come back to the lessons of our earth-bound web-weavers. And in the spirit of Arabella and Anita, we take Ms. Charlotte for example. You DO remember Charlotte? And her lesson about the virtue of staying 'close to the ground'? Her teaching moment on the topic of humility employing her web art: HUMBLE was intended to be taken figuratively, not literally.

  Oh the paradox... Humility and Space travel.
She explained that Webster defined the word humble to include 'staying close to the ground'. But wait. Staying closed to the ground requires the gravity part right? Well, sort of.
Water uses gravity to power it's flow back to it's ultimate source and destination; the 'Sea'. Dam it or divert it but it will ultimately 'defy' the attempt.

Here - on tracks of silver gossamer; 'floating' effortlessly in the afternoon breeze... seemingly defying the Newton thing, the intuited take-aways from ancient sky-writing:
  • Do not allow the physics to squelch your passion, vision and personal growth
  • Acknowledge the illusory aspects of life and do not necessarily accept them all as your reality and
  • Fly high as forever... yet remain close to the ground... NOW
And from the iconic road of Jack Kerouac:
"Be in love with your life. You're a Genius all the time"
For Love is the ultimate Genius that defies all earthly bonds. I recall it elevated a humble man from Galilee to his home.

Postscript to Ms. Charlotte:
Good call passing on the space shot. Rumor has it the humans gave the girls some of their filet mignon... unfortunately a bit too rich (read: heavy) for their humble tastes. Shoulda stuck to the flies.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tuning up your 'Web'...
So you think it's a stretch to conceive your life as a series of connections radiating out and anchored about much like the spider's?
Let's go a level further.
How about your ability to 'tune' it much like the strings on your Aunt Mimi's ukulele so you can both play and receive? Well... just take a quick read below and see if this resonates?

Good vibrations: Spider webs observed carrying information

30 June 2014

By firing bullets at spider webs and studying the vibrations with high-speed cameras, researchers from the universities of Oxford, Strathclyde, and Sheffield have observed that spider silk can carry a wide range of frequencies.

Using high speed cameras and lasers to record the vibrations of the web, the researchers have said the silk can transmit vibrations so that, when plucked like a guitar string, its sound carries information about prey, mates, and even the structural integrity of a web.

The findings, to be reported in the journal Advanced Materials, not only reveal more about spiders but could also inspire a wide range of new technologies, such as tiny light-weight sensors.
'Most spiders have poor eyesight and rely almost exclusively on the vibration of the silk in their web for sensory information,' said Beth Mortimer of the Oxford Silk Group at Oxford University, who led the research. 'The sound of silk can tell them what type of meal is entangled in their net and about the intentions and quality of a prospective mate. By plucking the silk like a guitar string and listening to the echoes the spider can also assess the condition of its web.'
This quality is used by the spider in its web by tuning the silk: controlling and adjusting both the inherent properties of the silk, and the tensions and interconnectivities of the silk threads that make up the web. To study the sonic properties of the spider's gossamer threads the researchers used ultra-high-speed cameras to film the threads as they responded to the impact of bullets. In addition, lasers were used to make detailed measurements of even the smallest vibration.
'The fact that spiders can receive these nanometre vibrations with organs on each of their legs, called slit sensillae, really exemplifies the impact of our research about silk properties found in our study,' said Dr Shira Gordon of the University of Strathclyde, an author involved in the research.

Recall a scene from one of the earlier Spiderman films where Spidee is poised on a series of cables in his underground haunt? He begins to pick up vibrations from one of the strands of wire and it aids him in responding with his 300 million-year-old instincts infused from his prior spider kiss to his neck.

Hmmm... now there's another idea...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Roads and Bridges...

They provide us with endless metaphors for living. I think of them often; those driven down or run upon. Connectors from here to there... Spans that take us over the gorges of earth and life.

Like this morning.

A big red sun and I. Climbing the hills together. Humid, a bit of haze and me winning the 'who-can-sweat-the-most' prize. Hands-down. Call me Slosher come July...

And there she is; the patch that keeps on getting patched. (I'll probably name her)

Half a mile out in front of a nice little house. It's a piece of the road just off the curb that's about 4 foot square. There was a repair made their initially about six months and at least three times hence.

And it keeps on sinking down.

When it drops about 4 or 5 inches below the street level, the road crew comes back out and makes it pretty; nice and level with new, black asphalt. Perfect. Until it sinks again. Hello?

Evidently, someone believes that by repeating the same steps over again, eventually the results will be different? The 'patch' will finally stop 'sinking'? More likely they do not really care and a return trip is just another half-days paycheck. (A bit cynical, I know. That's post sweaty-run low blood-sugar...)

So 'why' does it keep sinking?

Clearly, in this case, the root cause is not being addressed. But how often does that happen? In road repair or Life? That requires paying attention, assessment, knowledge and the application of it with competence (action).

So; I'm not an engineer. But notes to Road Crew:

Guys (or gals); let's mix it up a bit the next time huh?

Something is eroding this from below. Check? Check.

We need to provide a stable base that will tend to be supported by virtue of the area it displaces sufficient to the force distributed. Check? Check.

And before we cover it up again, maybe first we dig a bit deeper and see what may be causing the erosion. Maybe it's water from a broken pipe nearby? That might be nice to know about, huh? Maybe it's moles? Probably not. (I said I'm not an engineer)

So what I know for sure is, God willing, I'll continue to run over that patch.

And I'll be watching to see if the insanity continues or somebody calls time-out and applies some common wisdom that not only the street but the roads and bridges of our lives can benefit from.

See you tomorrow morning, PatJulee...   ;)