Penn & Teller Burn a Flag in the White House

The magicians, Penn & Teller Burn a Flag in the White House. This is an outtake from the television series, The West Wing which was on the air from 1999 through 2006. If you watch the entire thing, right up until the end, you’ll understand how a surface understanding of the American bill of rights isn’t enough. It’s brilliant writing by Aaron Sorkin and no doubt others.

This outtake is circulating because Donald Trump has stated that Americans who burn the American flag should have their citizenship revoked, stepping on the first amendment of the US Constitution which guarantees the freedom of speech and expression, and the US Supreme Court has stated that that includes flag burning.

This has been an interesting and well-studied legal matter my entire life and it came to a head during the Vietnam War protests in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Someone assuming the highest office in the US ought to have at least considered this but it seems that Donald Trump has not, or, if he has, believes that the President can sidestep the US Constitution.

These are the kinds of things that are frightening many Americans about our current political situation.

Ueno San

My friend and neighbor Christine Owen apprenticed in Japan with this potter, Ueno San. This process especially the wood fire piece of the video, is what my neighbor Joy Brown does every year in her anagama kiln in Kent, the next town west of me. Both Christine and I not only put pieces in her fires (the kiln is huge), we help fire it. The kiln takes a week to load, a week to fire, and a week to cool.

This is a terrific process video on ceramics in general and what the Japanese tradition looks like in particular.

The Last Steps on the Moon

Apollo 17 was the last manned mission to the moon in NASA’s Apollo program. It took place in 1972. No doubt we’ll go again at some point although at the moment its tough to imagine any single country or the world getting focussed enough to make it happen.

Some of us are old enough to remember the Mercury program and John Glenn orbiting the earth, the Gemini program and various astronauts doing the first space walks, and then Apollo and the moon landings. All of that was over in 1972, and then we had Skylab, the Space Shuttle, and now the International Space Station.

This entire arc of space exploration is incredible but nothing has caught my imagination like the moon landings. I’ll never forget Walter Cronkite taking his glasses off and looking awestruck as he announced that Neil Armstrong was on the moon. This video brings some of that feeling back. Zoom it out, its well worth it.

[via Devour]

Curvaceous dunes

Untitled

My flickr contact and friend Gary Sharp took this incredible shot just a moment ago on the Dellenback trail on the Oregon coast. The shadows on the dunes and the sky, wow.

He sent it to me via text and I told him if he posted it to Flickr I’d blog it. He did that from his iPhone and here it is. I tell you, this technology is pretty incredible, coast to coast in a few minutes and no doubt people in Europe and Asia are going to see this as soon as I hit “post.”

PhotoScan

This is a brilliant marketing video and I’m going to give this application a try. I don’t always like Google’s design sense on things like this but this video caught my attention. Might even give Google Photos a try too as Apple’s Photos app is less than wonderful. I’m a Lightroom user so use it for most of my heavy lifting but for stuff like this, especially image that won’t need much retouching, this system will be great, well, at least worth a try.

Update: I’ve PhotoScanned a number of images, some of which looked like they might be tough. The app works beautifully. I’m not using Google Photos, I’m moving the scanned photos into Apple Photos and that too is working fine. This is certainly an improvement over using the iPhone camera alone to do this kind of work. I highly recommend folks give this app a try, it’s quite good.

[via The Loop]