autumn 2005

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ripples: Crab Nebula, photographed by Hubble, autumn 2005.

10 images in 558 nm (green) light, September-December 2005.

The Crab Nebula is a cloud of gas 11 light years across, created by the collapse and explosion of a giant star in 1054 AD (a Type II supernova). At the centre of the nebula is a neutron star, the Crab Pulsar, the incredibly dense remnant of the original star; 1.5 to 2 times the mass of the Sun, but only 30 km across. Intense solar wind from the pulsar creates visible ripples in the surrounding nebula.

From Proposal 10526. Some more gifs of the Crab Nebula seen by Hubble.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

Gothic Lolita

OSo I’m home tonight finishing the lyrics for a song on my upcoming “Opheliac” album entitled “Gothic Lolita.” Oddly enough, it’s not about the fashion, though I am a huge f a n of that as well (duh), but rather about the real thing, if you know wheat I mean. Really, what’s more “gothic” than a child who grows up dead because of emotional murder at the hands of hapless pedophiles? Autobiographical? Well, sure, but find me a little girl who hasn’t been fucked around with by some professor or other and I’ll turn a rat into a bouquet of tea roses, I’m not so fucking special. So I’m having a bit of a hard time with it I don’t mind saying, or maybe I do, because songs generally come so very easily to me, like trains of thought that happen to magically rhyme - not boasting a bit, because there’s plenty of shit I’m bad at, like driving cars for example. So it really traumatizes me when the songs don’t come easily because of some stupid block or because I’m subconsciously denying that any of this ever happened. Writing this song puts me into a really foul mood too. Time for some wine and soy cheese.

Posted: October 24, 2004

How is it that I can touch an instrument and make pretty sounds, yet I touch a person and they do shitty things? That’s one for the ages I suppose…
— 

“ On a positive note, I think we’re gonna record the title track for the album tonight, at last!!! Been saving this one… “

Emilie in a forum comment from 27 September 2005

Teardrop’s New Friend (Story on how Teardrop Blaze & Bluebell first met)

It was a cold autumn in 2005, Teardrop was with his mother, Raindrop, by helping her carry dishes from the sink to the cupboards to be put away. Teardrop’s father, Storm Blaze, landed outside the house, having arrived back from work late. He opened the door to get hugged by Teardrop. “Hey there champ!” Storm bent down & kissed his son on the head, then trotted over & nuzzled Raindrop, who was a little annoyed. “Honey, why were you late getting home, your never late.” “Well dear, I stopped at the scrapyard today & asked if any big projects were for sale an-“ his wife cut him off. “So that Plymouth wasn’t enough for ya hun?” “It’s not just for me…this time, I wanted to start a project with Teardrop, get this young colt into a special hobby, he’ll like where I’m taking him tomorrow!” Teardrop’s eyes beamed with excitement, he couldn’t wait for tomorrow.


The next day arrived quickly, & Teardrop, wearing his special 1920s Irish driving cap, was hopping with eagerness. Once the family ate breakfast, Teardrop & Storm trotted out. “You’ll love the scrapyard son, just wait till you see all the things I’ve found there as projects.” The father-son duo drove to the scrapyard. When they arrived, Teardrop saw all the locomotives sitting in the sidings. The first engine was an Ex-GWR Castle in BR Green & Late Crest livery. He had no tender, & looked very sad. An Ex-GWR Pannier in BR Early Crest livery was sitting next to him, & she was looking at the ponies with deep interest. All the locomotives in the yard saw a chance to be bought & restored, all but one engine. Storm & Teardrop looked at all the Post-nationalization & Pre-nationalization engines in the yard. Stanier 8Fs, Ex-GWR Halls, Ex-LMS Black 5s & many other post 1948 engines sat around. Teardrop enjoyed them all, talking to many of them & learning their stories. Storm wasn’t too interested in the more modern steam engines, & wanted a challenged. He saw the yard owner. “Excuse me sir, but do you have any other engines besides these more modern like steam engines?” “Oh, only one engine. His name is Bluebell, an old 4-4-0 from the LBSCR. I’ll take you over to him, but I doubt you want some old scrap iron like him, he’s meant to be cut up tomorrow anyway.” Teardrop heard the yard owner say this & quickly spoke back to him. “Ya better take back what ya said about that engine! No engine deserves ta be called ‘Scrap Iron’!” The engines all around cheered at Teardrop’s response, taking the yard manager aback by the colt’s sudden energy spark & quick response.
The three walked over to a very old siding where Bluebell sat all alone. The yard manager left them to talk. Bluebell was very quiet & shy at first, but Teardrop started off. “Howdy there, ah’m Teardrop Blaze, & this is mah father, Storm Blaze!” The little colt smiled, causing Bluebell to smile back. “You both have very kind names. I’m Bluebell, an LBSCR B4 locomotive, built in 1899. I was the only one of my class to be left original, as in not be given upgrades to be classified as a B4x. I was withdrawn in 1951, the last of my class running at the time, & left to rot away in the scrapyard without a second glance.” He sighed softly, Teardrop instantly fell in love with Bluebell, his history, & how old he was. Storm chuckled. “Well son, seems you found your engine. Bluebell, I’m happy to say this, you’re coming home with us!” The rusty engine smiled wide for the first time in years. “Oh, thank you both for giving me a chance!” Teardrop chuckled & hugged his buffer beam while Storm went off to sign off papers for them to take him home.


May 26, 2012, three years after restoration of Bluebell was finished


Bluebell & Teardrop were riding the rails home after a day of adventure. The two had been out all day spending quality family time with each other, but things were about to take a dark turn for Teardrop’s life. When Bluebell pulled into the backyard, Teardrop hopped off to head inside to see his parents, but when he opened the back door to the kitchen, it was a mess. Things looked missing from their spots. “Mom? Dad? We’re home!” The now semi teenage colt was worried because his mother would be at least making some sort of fruit smoothie at this time. Teardrop looked all over the house for any sign of his parents. “Storm? Raindrop? This better not be a surprise party, ah ain’t good with surprises like that.” He slowly opened the door to the bedroom, & screamed at what he saw. There on the bed was his parents, dead. He came galloping out to Bluebell crying. “Teardrop, what’s the matter?” “M-Mah parents…t-they’re dead…” The little Pegasus bawled his eyes out in Bluebell’s cab when Bluebell spoke up. “I’ll take care of you Teardrop. You helped me when I needed it most, now I’ll help you when you need it.” Teardrop nodded, trotted back in to grab whatever money he could, & the two made their way back out onto open rails, eventually coming to Sodor to start their new life on new rails & to meet new friends.

Grad student bride WIN

Making a gorgeous kusudama-flower bridal bouquet (that doubles as a nice eco-friendly wedding favour) from cut-up pieces of incomprehensible scholarly articles that you were forced to print out for coursework research and now have no use for.

I feel like I would be a bad student if I didn’t properly cite my bouquet… So in case anyone’s interested:

Peter J. Pels, “The Spirit of Matter: On Fetish, Rarity, Fact and Fancy.” In Border Fetishisms: Material Objects in Unstable Spaces, ed. Patricia Spyer (New York: Routledge, 2001), 91-121.

Peter J. Pels, “Magical Things: On Fetishes, Commodities and Computers.” In The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies, ed. D. Hicks and M.C. Beaudry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 613-33.

Ming-Bao Yue, “Nostalgia for the Future: Cultural Revolution Memory in Two Transnational Chinese Narratives.” The China Review 5, no. 2 (Autumn 2005), 43-63.