Wednesday, June 15, 2011

MOONDANCE

June is the full strawberry moon, Rose Moon, Flower moon. Honey Moon, Hot Moon, Planting Moon, Wat Poornima, Poson Poya.

How cool is that the MooN in GOOgle is the eclipse!

Is that Jupiter at 3 O'Clock on the moon's shoulder?

The moon's mare are named for idea/emotion nouns or weather patterns.

Twelve men have walked on the moon. All were ever changed. They could not go back to who, or what they were. Their footprints will endure for millennia. Did they all go crazy as punishment for walking on the face of the moon, or did it merely amplify what was already there?

Two thousand miles across one moonsmile, or moon mile, take your pick.
(NY to Denver = one moonwidth).
Sting's Walking on the Moon.
The moon is a fingernail moon.
The moon's bottom is turning red.
A thousand and one sunrises and sunsets are trapped in that red penumbral glow. Dragon's blood.
Van Morrison's Moondance talking back.
Coppery glow from the earth.
The eye of the dragon.
Totality: It's as if all the collective sunsets are holding the moon's inner darkness in their fiery arms.
in the shadow of the moon untold sunsets trapped.
Full moon is always opposite the sun.
Mirror image, alter ego.

Syzygy—a triad of sun, moon and earth.
Full moon held in the sunset's arms.
It is said that when the moon is struck, it rings and reverberates like a bell for hours.
Scintillation & talk of auroras—the neon sky turns snow-capped mountains a shimmering emerald green—undulating into cherry red at the edges—a tourmaline dream.
Leaving totality, the moon appears translucent as an alabaster lamp, as if lit from within.
Syzygy—a triad of sun, moon and earth—whether in conjunction or opposition. There are craters on the moon where the sun hasn't shone for eons—or ever. Water on the moon? Or tears of the sun.
SIO2 Sigh, oh the too, too sullied flesh of the moon: sand.
The earth's shadow on the moon, blurred edge—bent light.

Looking down at the earth from the depths of space, Edgar Mitchell had an epiphany on the return trip home from the moon and co-founded IONS. The presence of divinity became almost palpable, and I knew that life in the universe was not just ...an accident based on random processes ... The knowledge came to me directly," Mitchell said of that experience.

Nous refers to "inner knowing" a kind of intuitive consciousness—direct and immediate access to knowledge beyond what is available to our normal senses and the power of reason.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_Noetic_Sciences

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On iClouds & Motherships

RIP, Big Man, RIP.

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."  —Steve Jobs, February 24th 1955 – October 5th 2011


Today's MacWorld Headlines: Apple plans new 'spaceship'-like campus. Pretty shocking. Earth jolting even. This is not to say that the proposed Apple campus isn't cool. It's infinitely cool. I'm rapturously ecstatic. I'm over the moon.

But, speaking of moons, the proposed Apple Campus looks like Frank Lloyd Wright's futuristic Marin Civic Center in the round—perpetually chasing its ourobus-hole. Talk about One Infinite Loop! No straight lines anywhere. Even the glass walls will be curved. I wonder if there's a way to design a building as a Möbius strip, er, trip?

In an accompanying video, it was great seeing the faces of the Cupertino City Councilwo/men light up when Steve Jobs arrived. It was as if royalty, or God, himself, had stepped up the podium.

Someone in the audience bawled out to Jobs: I love you! The audience roared and gave Jobs a standing ovation before he even spoke. Now, The Woz I've had an actual conversation with (AKA the Other Steve), but not Jobs—though I've met him and seen him at MacWorld Expo. Jobs has charisma, no doubt about it.

Mission Control: Jobs jumped right into the fray and announced that the Apple Mothership will land in Cupertino in 2015. The City Council, already on cloud nine, cooed and cheered.

Jobs assured the City Council that there will be plenty of free underground parking. And Peter's Gate will be virtual as most Apple employees will live nearby the company store and will bike to work. And Jobs decreed that there will be twice the amount of trees. Not to mention more taxes for the city coffers. There was even talk of restoring the historic prune and apricot orchards.

No mention of more Apple or Macintosh trees. No iOranges either. It's been a busy two days with Jobs redefining the Mac-iVerse as we knew it. And we haven't even gotten to the Lion or iOS 5 yet! (Joni Mitchell singing: I''ve looked at iClouds from both sides now….)

Jobs said, Lo, today there is iCloud, but alas, there will be no free wi-fi for the masses tomorrow—until I pay no taxes. Cirrusly. No, cumulously. (As the city's biggest taxpayer, Apple is Cupertino's golden cash cow.) And then Jobs said: Nor will there be a Mother AppleStore in Cupertino. The natives will still have to travel to GoogleLandia to buy an iPad. (Menlo Park.)

The godseye courtyard of the Apple Mothershop will double as a collective conscousness circle. No talk of shortcut slinglines across the quad—er, the π shaped courtyard. Or into the neighborhood. Forget monorail—too old school. But strategically placed feeder slinglines (or zip lines) could do wonders for alleviating traffic jams as 12,000 employees try to navigate Apple Central each day.

O brave new world! That has such creatures in it…. I don't know whether I'm Miranda or Caliban in this dream. Jobs is clearly Prospero. In my rather delirious flight of Mac fancy, I can just see Merloch Silvermane, I mean Kim Silverman, a master magician in his own right, wizarding his way across the zócalo on a slingline with his beard and mane flying—going wheee, wheee, wheee all the way home.

Talk about magic afoot and in the air. But then, Kim is from Oz. You know, Downundah. Just don't wear yer kilt on the zip line, mate, or there'll be waaay too much latent semantic mapping coming up in Mac OS XXX.

A herd of eco-green Segways might be heeled in. My friend Dennis and Jobs used to Segway around town together. I don't know where that leaves my best friend's son, Teo Carr—still commuting, old school, via the bio-bus feeder line because SF's—a long way to Segway, I know.

The zip/sling lines could double as tin can iPhones if there's ever a power outage. Maybe Teo will get a new job description as Tin Can iPhone developer. Or maybe the slinglines could double as the world's largest Les Paul guitar. (And then the Möbius Trip Band played Stairway to Heaven).

Jobs told City Council members that no stinkin' power outages and brownouts are gonna happen on his watch. No siree! The self-sufficient eco- Mothershop will run off the grid. No mention of solar panels or wind turbines—though, just natural gas.

Hmmm. Maybe it was yesterday's solar flare acting up. According to the law of thermodynamics, I'm sure there'll be enough hot air generated for the Mothership to harvest a steady source of perpetual energy.

Jobs has been one busy man. He may have stepped down as Apple's CEO in January, but he's clearly still at the helm—I mean—bridge. He just announced iCloud computing at the WWDC, that everything will be transmitted via wi-fi or 3G. No more tethering oneself to desktop computers. No more desktop computers. The new theme song will be: I feel it in my fingers. I feel it in my toes. The iCloud is all around us, can you feel it glow?

(Miss Monday's Apple keynote? Behold, "WWDC 2011: The Musical" )

And then Jobs said: “We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to be just a device—just like an iPad, an iPhone or an iPod Touch. We’re going to move the hub of your digital life to the cloud.” We've come a long way from the "interpersonal" computer, Steve.

According to Jobs, the virtual iMothership has already left the Moscone building & is floating above us in the great iCloud in the sky. Holy flying Elvises! Cirrusly out of the stratosphere. My MobileMe account—which dates back to the paleo-days of iTools, will be extended until July of 2012. After that? Pfft! It goes up in smoke.

There will be unlimited iStorage in the iCloud but I might have to sell my soul to the devil at the crossroads if I want to take my iMedia with me. No takebacks. Aye, aiii, aiii. Where's that Les Paul online guitar Googledoodle when I need it? I've got that synching feeling the network is the computer of the future and the future is happening right about…now.
This transition will take at most two hardware generations and we’re talking mobile generations, which means three years, total. —I, Cringely
How fast does news travel? At the speed of thought. Within days of its nebulous birth, the iCloud had its own entry in Wikipedia. Holy moly. And the iCloud was only released on Monday. And then, on Tuesday, Apple Starship Central was launched. it looks like God has some good online help in tech development. Clearly, God also uses an iPad. And has unlimited access to the 3G Trinity network. And on the seventh day S/He kicked back and watched PixarFlix on the iPad.

Correction: That would be Yaweh. Yaweh just tweeted that S/He uses an I Am that I amPad, not an iPad as was previously reported. And S/He wanted to clarify that there is plenty of free wi-fi iReception in the iCloud. No need for 3G. But thanks for invoking the Trinity. Muchly appreciated.

I've hauled an old dead iLamp out of the closet (that half-Wilson volleyball iMac); it's in bits & pieces on the living room floor. I'm trying to reincarnate it back into life and turn it into a headless Lazarus server—as the iLamp screen really is dead... it should be ready in time to commune with the great iMothership in the sky in July.

Yaweh also tweeted from Her/His iPad 3.0, something about a new release date for iRapture 1.2a. Apparently there was a bug or a Trojan horse in the software. We couldn't quite make heads or tails out the virtual, or carbon-based data recall date. But I'm sure there's an app in the works for that.

We did learn, however, that the road to heaven is not paved with indentations of old floppy disks, as was previously thought, but with shiny rainbow -hued DVDs—as they will no longer be needed to back up data. Hard drives are another story.

However, we are happy to report that iOS 5 will untether all handheld iDevices with a new virtual cloud clipboard. Hard- and software will be one thing. There will no longer be a division between heaven and earth. Everything will always be backed up.

Wait, that didn't come out right. I feel like I'm channeling The Macalope. There's been a sarcastic void ever since The Macalope, full of sound and furry, crossed over to Pay-Per-View.

Speaking of effluent, in OSX: AKA The Lion. there will no longer be a "Save" command in the kitty litter box. Everything will be auto-saved under the Lion's throne. Forget about Exposé and Spaces. There will be no scroll bars either. Only a light swipe on the touchpad will be needed. It comes down to a swipe and a pinch. No longer will the mice play. The big cat is here to stay. And there really will be a Mission Control. Really, really. Get ready for blastoff in July. Into the cloud. Pinch me awake, please.

Talk about walking on the moon. Cloud computing is one big step for wo/mankind. We're just getting used to the idea of global village and now we've got global skies? The sunspot's acting up again. Think of all those old Jackie Gleason reruns gliding past Alpha Centaurii. All that free range data above us is gonna clutter up the clouds and create a traffic jam all the way to Orion's Nebula.

As to the future of Microsoft? Yaweh was reported to have mooned the software behemoth while mumbling: We don't need no stinkin' blue screen of death. Let 'em eat prunes. Clearly, S/He doesn't do Windows either. What a peach! Um, orange?

Jobs has been one busy man. In just two days, Jobs has rocked the world—make that: clouds. I wonder what news tomorrow will bring. Think different. Indeed, what a long and strange trip its been.

Segue to Yaweh's iAmPhone. Jobs is on Line One. Will you hold? Muzak segue: This is the dawning of the Age of iCloud, Age of iCloud, Age of iCloud, ohhh. Fade to Stairway to Heaven. (Although some might deem The Godfather theme more appropriate. )

House lights, please. I'm afraid to wake up in case it was all only a dream.

Note bene: Also in the news today: two new ultraheavy elements were added to the Periodic Table. The two new radioactive elements only exist a fraction of a second before decaying into lighter atoms. Copernicum has lost its title as reigning heavyweight champ. Apple will begin breaking ground for the new campus in 2012. I wish they'd hurry it up— 2015 is a long ways off and it looks like Jobs' own mothership is in low entry orbit. But then, the man's fooled us before. Horsemen, pass by. 


RIP Steve Jobs—1955 - 10/5/2011


If you would like to share your thoughts, memories, and condolences, please email rememberingsteve@apple.com

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lloyd Reynolds' Calligraphic Legacy



(Note Bene: This blog entry is in response to an interesting calligraphy link posted by Oregon poet Jim Carmin, whose day job is an antiquarian rare book collector and manuscript wrangler for the John Wilson Special Collections at the Multnomah Library. @JimCarmin tweeted: GIRVINSteve Jobs, Calligraphy, Lloyd Reynolds and Reed College. Check it out.)

About the time I began writing poetry in the late 1970s, I studied calligraphy with Sonoma State University French professor, Adele Friedman, who was a student and friend of Georgianna Greenwood; both were students of master calligrapher Lloyd Reynolds.

So depending upon how you want to count, I am within one or two degrees of separation from both Lloyd Reynolds and Steve Jobs.

At the time, I didn't have a typewriter, so I hand-calligraphed all my poems in a sort of Japanese "running grass" style Italic chancery cursive script for David Bromige's poetry classes. He seemed to like that—and told me it was a Reed College tradition: Philip Whalen, Lew Welch, Gary Snyder, etc., (all of whom I had met, so I was in good company.)

Calligraphy, a Greek word, literally means "beautiful writing." Beautiful, my handwriting was not—it was really awful and disjointed (I'm dyslexic). I hated writing, but after I studied calligraphy for a year, my handwriting dramatically improved. So did my brain. Calligraphy is much more than the sum of its parts: not only is it the art of fine penmanship, it is a state of being.

I never intended to become a scribe. Calligraphy and poetry honed my critical thinking skills and allowed me a visual workaround to combat the dyslexic roadblocks and labyrinths that had plagued me all my life. It was a major miracle that I even made it to junior college, let alone, earn a BA in Art—with a side order in poetry.

The introduction of Apple and Mac computers allowed me to write. The technology unlocked the doors of my convoluted brain. I taught myself how to write on an old Apple IIc with floppy disks. I began small, with poetry, and then branched out to write newspaper stories, and grants—which led to my life's work, teaching poetry and art to kids in the schools.

One of my first artist in residency jobs was at Healdsburg Elementary School teaching RSP/Learning Disabled kids how to write calligraphy (and poetry)—when all else had failed them. I redesigned my approach to the letters, and made up stories about them so the kids could really see the shapes as shapes—not letters. We flourished. Kids wrote poetry and their handwriting and reading skills improved.

During this time, The Calligraphy of Lloyd J. Reynolds was my Bible. I found a battered copy of the rare, o.o.p. book and it was the most money I'd ever spent on a used book.
Letters have fascinated me ever since I found their power and beauty when I was five years old.  I learned to read.  I was always drawing and letters were a favorite subject. —Lloyd Reynolds, Autobiographical Notes
When Lloyd Reynolds (1902-1978), a poet who taught at Reed College for 40 years (1949-1984—the year the Mac was invented), first discovered calligraphy in 1934, he said "The letters would not leave me alone…."

It was like "a bolt of lightning," he wrote: "It seemed perfectly obvious—the only logical approach is the historical one. Learn to cut reed and quill pens and write your way through the history of the alphabet!" Lloyd spent the next few years studying paleography. Connect the dots. (Autobiographical Notes).
[Lloyd] He respected students, and he added joy to the skill. Legibility, communication, clarity, and respect for others—all these were tenets in the religion of Lloyd Reynolds and calligraphy. You got as much from who he was as from what he was teaching, and that’s the talent of a great teacher. —Georgianna Greenwood (Reed, ’60)
In 1972, Lloyd Reynolds was honored as Calligrapher Laureate of Oregon‚ the first title ever bestowed in the nation. Reynolds, who revived the art of calligraphy in the West, saw it as a means to work one's way back into the origins of literature. A gateway to history.

It was also very Zen. One had to approach the blank page with a meditative approach. The mind had to be stilled. It was a true Vulcan body - mind meld. There was no room for hesitation or false starts.

I had to wipe my mind clean: in that state of mind, I could recognize the letters I needed to write, but I couldn't say what the word was nor could I spell it. If someone talked to me, I immediately made a mistake—I misspelled the word—or added the words they said—usually a noun. Wherever my mind went while I was calligraphing was not of this world—it was a tranquil white place of suspended time.

During the late 1970s and early 80s, I became the resident calligrapher / sign painter at Sonoma State University. I traded in my steel pen nibs to dance with fat greengrocer felt paint brushes, I pushed the art form into large format. My ephemeral signs and banners on butcher paper graced every corner of the campus.

I made signs for The Student Union, the InterCultural Center, Peter Scarlet's Sonoma Film Institute, and campus events including backdrops for Pete Seeger, Daniel Berirgan, The Jewish Oral History Project, Westwind, The Dead Kennedys, James Burke, etc. Many performing artists who visited SSU, took my banners home with them.

I also did some freelance calligraphy (I called my business Calligrafix). I made wedding invitations, obituaries, cards, menus, programs, tickets, etc. All our posters and broadsides for The Russian River Writers' Guild were hand-calligraphed as getting anything professionally photo-typeset on a huge Compugraphic machine the size of a VW bus—was prohibitively expensive. Hot lead press typography was still in use. Desktop publishing was still a nascent glimmer in Steve Jobs' eye.

About the time I gave up my IBM Selectric typewriter with its daisywheel fonts, is when I quit doing calligraphy. I began to use the Apple and the Mac (and a Laserwriter) with multiple typefaces and proportionally spaced fonts. The desktop publishing revolution had begun.

This post is a funny circle back to Tim Girvin's blog about his connection with Steve Jobs, and Jobs' connection with Lloyd Reynolds and the evolution of the Mac's superb typographic legacy. Reynolds is really the godfather of desktop publishing.

I guess I unconsciously recognized Lloyd Reynold's long-reaching influence on the art of lettering and typography even on the Mac. Steve Jobs stated, "If I had never dropped in on that single course [and audited] in [Reed] college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts."

Interesting to note that Tim Girvn's own chancery examples look a lot like Georgiana's work. Lloyd had a strong influence. A distinctive style imprinted upon so many of us—even those of us once and twice removed from the source.