Raves

Sacred Ordinary: Window Malfunction

Sacred Ordinary Large

Ordinarily, I would be writing this in my pen-and-paper journal and not in my blog… Debate against myself on this will go in my journal…

But I couldn’t resist commenting on a selection in Leigh McLeroy’s latest book, The Sacred Ordinary: Embracing the Holy in the Everday, which can be purchased from Amazon, among other places.

In “My Window Malfunction,” (pgs 106-7), McLeroy describes the acrobatic moves and “idiotic sign language” that she had to do to “accommodate [her] handicap” of not having a functioning car power window in order to avoid the cost of fixing the real problem. She then draws an analogy between a malfunctioning car window and malfunctions in life caused by the problems of personal sin. Instead of circumventing the malfunctions, it would have been much easier to address the issues at the very beginning: in the case of the car, fix the window, and in the case of sin, repent, seeking forgiveness.

Hrm… As a person not raised as a Christian and who came to Christ at the age of 21, I can see how that last bit may seem a little… esoteric… to some. Even now, as a 8-year-old Christian, I’m still learning the meaning of sin and repentance. Ms. McLeroy goes into more detail in her book and she is much more elegant in her descriptions than I am in this very brief synopsis, so pick up a copy of the book for the complete text of this and many other meditations in finding the holy in ordinary places, people, things, moments, and words. In fact, I think I butchered her words, so please go to TheSacredOrdinary.com to read an excerpt from her book.

For me, since I’m very much of a DIY, take-things-apart-and-put-them-back-together kind of person, and since I enjoyed fixing my own car window, I can’t relate DIRECTLY to this analogy, but that doesn’t take away from its worth. My own interpretation, as an offshoot of hers and a question to myself is, I spend all of this time and energy “fixing” external things, but how much time do I spend being still and expectantly anticipating Him? And also… Many other questions for myself that will go in my journal!

Ms. McLeroy’s book is filled with many wonderful devotional reflections. On one hand, it can be a very “quick read,” but on the other, I can spend hours reflecting on each of the 112 meditations and the truth contained within! Pick up a copy!

FYI, my favorite meditation is “Shine” (pgs 144-6).

As a small disclaimer, I am blessed to have Leigh as a very dear friend, but knowing her only serves to give deeper meaning to the words she’s written!

Alice’s Adventures in Microscopic Wonderland

National Science Foundation and Science Magazine’s 2008 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge First Place winner for Informational Graphics:

“Mad Hatter’s Tea,” Alice’s Adventures in Microscopic Wonderland, by Colleen Champ and Dennis Kunkel, Concise Image Studios!

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From the NSF’s website:

While wandering through the forest of wonderland, Alice stumbles upon three beetles having tea. That’s not exactly how Lewis Carroll’s classic tale goes, but this recreation of the Mad Hatter’s tea could certainly belong in the story.

Freelance illustrator Colleen Champ produced her own version of the scene using micrographs by photomicrographer Dennis Kunkel. The goal was to demonstrate the fantastic nature of reality by arranging the actual images in fanciful ways, Champ says: “You cannot create anything yourself that hasn’t already been created in nature.”

She used Photoshop to transform three beetles into the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and the sleepy Dormouse. They sip tea at a table made of butterfly wings, set in a field of crystallized vitamin C while aphids fly overhead. A key beneath the main illustration identifies the source of each image, including the mold spores that make up the vast underground.

Kunkel says the work is a fruitful partnership between science and art: “She’s taken images from the minute world and put them together in such a way as to make them really compelling, exciting, and funny to look at.” Kunkel plans to develop a series of children’s books based on Champ’s images.

The interplay between fact and fancy also impressed the judges, who used the words “innovative” and “delightful” to describe the piece. Panel of finalist judges member Michael Keegan called it a “palatable introduction” to science, saying it provides an excellent way to attract children to the subject matter.

This story was also described in National Geographic and MSNBC.

I emailed Ms. Champ and she’s going to let me know when the book is available. But I want the book NOW!!! But I’ll wait patiently. 🙂

Okay, so this makes me want to reread my copy of Alice in Wonderland. I put that book in my “do not resell/I want to keep” stack of college books… Victorian fiction class, I think? I think we also read Peter Pan in that class…

FYI, “jabberwocky” comes from Lewis Carroll.

Also, as far as other photography/illustration contest winners, I also love the Little Shop of Horrors squid suckers and the Bible interconnectivity visualization!

Target Shopping Cart Escalator

Perhaps I’m too easily amused or too simple-minded or maybe I just need to get out more, but I found this shopping cart escalator FASCINATING!

This almost matches the glee I felt upon discovering escalators in Germany that would alternate between going up and down, depending on whether a person was at the top or at the bottom, as determined by a weight sensor! (What happens when one person at the top and one at the bottom both trigger the sensors at precisely the same time???)

This shopping cart escalator was in a Chicago Target near my cousins’ apartments.

Yes, that’s me in the video saying that this looks fun! Yes, I AM easily entertained! Kay, you missed out! That’s what happens when you snooze! You lose!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=necNLFQN0jE#]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGOiVwPDUoA#]

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Note the special attachment between the front wheels.
Also note my cousin Patty and her dad in the background!

You know, now that I think about it, the Whole Foods in Austin, TX has a pretty steep escalator/moving sidewalk-type conveyor system where you get on WITH your cart to move between floors.  Somehow that’s not as cool as this, though.