Thursday, May 22, 2014

PARIS - Eiffel Tower Illusion

In Late September, it's strolling weather in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero, Paris, by DG Hudson

The Eiffel Tower stands across from the Trocadero, two worthy guardians of the intersection. On the left is the lower end of the Trocadero fountains. Straight ahead, the traffic appears to go beneath the tower, but the roadway diverts. Foreshortening of the distance through the camera lens provides the illusion.


Up close, you can see the detail in the ironwork of the supporting legs. That traffic light is at the intersection where the traffic diverts.

Detail of Eiffel Tower, Paris, by DG Hudson

The Iron Lady's mood can change with the weather, turning from a warm bronze color to cold gray metal matching the clouds.

Eiffel Tower Ironwork detail, by DG Hudson


La Tour Eiffel appears to change when viewed from different angles and distance. Standing underneath, you feel sheltered. At a distance, it appears solid and balanced. Up close, you see more design elements.

Eiffel Tower and Pont D'Iena, Paris, by DG Hudson


Have you photographed images like this where an illusion is created? Were you aware of it at the time you snapped the photograph? Did you enjoy seeing more outtakes of the Eiffel Tower?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and thanks for dropping by! I'll respond.
***  Details about the construction  of the Eiffel Tower The Trocadero post from the 2012 A to Z challenge.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Environmental Colors - Tankers vs. Whales

The protection of the North Pacific Humpback Whale has been downgraded. This was a government decision which seems to relate to Northern Gateway's oil distribution project.

These whales have recovered, so we are told, enough that we can risk them and our British Columbia coastal waters, for loading and transporting oil from Alberta onto tankers bound for foreign ports. How can they fix an oil spill in a space so vast? Look at the Valdez oil spill. . . or the Gulf of Mexico. . .

Humpback Whale, property of Nat'l Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin, US,  WC-PD*

A 'concern' means it will be watched due to possible hazards, such as collisions with shipping traffic, but the species is not considered enough of a 'concern' to protect its habitat. By changing the rating for the whale to a lesser degree, the requirement to protect that species' environment is no longer in effect. Loopholes.

Humpback whales like to breach and slap the water with their tale. These immense creatures can be seen in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South America, and the United States. The whales measure 39 to 52 feet (12-16 meters). A moratorium in 1966 (Wiki) was introduced as their population had fallen by 90%. So, now that whale numbers are looking better, we invite more shipping traffic. Does that make sense?

The Vancouver Sun newspaper article contains more information and the details of the federal 'review' panel. One example in the newspaper cited that Burnaby Mountain oil pipeline traffic would increase from 8 to 28 tankers or ships per month if approved.

What does that mean for marine parks on the Inlet? That much extra shipping traffic will affect any wildlife along the way. . .these parks line the Inlet. Herons and seals are seen in this inlet. The herons are fishing. What will happen to their food supply in such a small waterway?


How Safe is the BC Coast? What do the experts say?

The oil companies say IF, and the environmentalists say WHEN a spill or leak happens. How confident are you that any oil company can FIX it?

This decision to downgrade the watch on a species that has previously been threatened, was made over the objections of concerned groups, environmentalists and scientists.

In the photo below, you see a few seals in our harbor, inquisitively looking up, another species which will be threatened by any negative change to our coastal waters. This photo was taken as we passed by on a ferry. If shipping traffic increases, will we still see sights like this?

Vancouver Harbour Seals, by DG Hudson


Have you ever been whale watching? Have you cruised the coastal waters on either coast to see sea lions, seals or other wildlife?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and thanks for stopping by. I'll respond.PS -  I saw my first whale in Victoria, BC. I've been Zodiak whale-watching with Tofino BC guides, on a choppy day. . .



This post inspired by an article in the newspaper. Bravo, Peter O'Neil.

Ottawa downgrades whale protection

Tanker traffic from pipeline project poses major threat to North Pacific humpback whale, critics say

Reference: Peter O'Neil, author
Front page article Tues Apr 22/14; Breaking News, Vancouver Sun


Image of the *Humpback Whale, Public Domain

This image is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, taken or made as part of an employee's official duties.
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Penelopiad by M. Atwood, A Review

What would you do if your husband took a wrong turn on his way home, lost his ship, got tripped up by goddesses, and along the way fought a few battles. . .?

The Penelopiad Cover, by Margaret Atwood 

The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus * is well-known, but how did the lady feel about it? Waiting all that time. . .was she true, or did she have lovers? Rumors were rampant. And those twelve maids, were they helping their mistress, or undermining her authority? It's a matter of viewpoint.

In The Penelopiad. . .we hear the other side

As the years stretched out and Odysseus didn't return, Penelope tired of keeping the suitors fed, entertained and out of trouble. Caught in her falsehood about the shawl that she weaves and pulls apart, she must set a date and a requirement for the husband to replace Odysseus. (see * below)

If you remember the mythology or epic poetry from some time in your past, you may remember how Penelope resolved the matter. In Atwood's version, we are treated to Penelope's skewed reasoning and patient acceptance of the crosses she must bear (Odysseus' roaming adventures and her cousin, Helen of Troy). 

Ideas and themes discussed include the double standard between the sexes and classes, the fairness of justice, and competitively antagonistic female relationships. Using the viewpoint of Penelope, this story takes on a different angle, less ominous. One that rings truer to life. The truth of any subject is determined by your perspective.

The Penelopiad has been translated into 28 languages around the globe. Some critics think the writing of this book typical of Atwood, while others found some aspects disagreeable, e.g., the chorus of maids near the end of the book. I tend to agree with those in the second group. I recommend it, if you like mythology.


* The Odyssey, one of two ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer, centers on the Greek hero, Odysseus and his journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten year Trojan War. It is assumed he has died, and therefore his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with an unruly group of suitors who compete for Penelope's hand in marriage.


Have you read this book or any book by Margaret Atwood? Do you like books that spoof fairy tales and myth?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by!

References: - Wiki on The Penelopiad Homer's Odyssey