Persistent Illusion


“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction
between past, present and future is only
a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
Albert Einstein

Shine On

The Art of Selfies


“In 2021 pet vanity is the latest trend.”
JR

A selfie is one way to show off your impeccable fashion, as well as proof that you did something or met someone cool. It’s even turned a few lucky, ordinary people with no special talent, into having a profitable career.

Selfies have been around for more than thirty years. It became popular after Paris Hilton and Britney Spears posed for a selfie.

I was surprised to learn, the first selfie was taken in 1839 on a daguerreotype camera by Robert Cornelius in Philadelphia. Cornelius was an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast. He took the image by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again.

As if there isn’t enough selfie competition, lately the animal kingdom has gotten into the game. Animal selfies are not only amusing, but they might even make you a bit jealous. Some of them are indubitably photogenic.

From wild animals to domesticated pets, these creatures have perfected the art of selfies. 

Shine On

Sweet Smelling Memories



“The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative,
bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs
of scenes that had left the conscious mind.”
Thalassa Cruso

It’s amazing to me how our sense of smell can trigger a memory, even as far back as our childhood.

The part of the brain responsible for our sense of smell is the limbic system and is related to feelings and memory.

Smells we experience can bring up memories about people, places, or events related to these sensations.

The last few days my sense of smell has been in overdrive. The savory smell of a chicken roasting in my neighbor’s kitchen. Then, the smell of sautéing onions with garlic creep through my window. The evening smell of the ocean breeze as it blows in the scent of night-blooming jasmine.

There’s an area in the wetlands of Marina del Rey that is covered with wild oat grass. I’ve often driven by this area at dusk, and every time, I can smell and breath in this intoxicating smell of the wild oat grass. I wish someone could bottle this smell and sell it. They’d be rich.

This favorite scent of dewy wild oat grass brings me back to a quieter much gentler time. It takes me right back to my evening horseback rides of my youth on the Southern California wide-open trails. Such sweet smelling memories.

 Shine On

Right and Wrong


“All mine!” Yertle cried.
“Oh, the things I now rule!
I’m the king of a cow!
And I’m the king of a mule!
I’m the king of a house!
And, what’s more, beyond that.
I’m the king of a blueberry bush and a cat!
I’m Yertle the Turtle!
Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!”
Yertle the Turtle



If you follow my blog, you know I’m a fan of Dr. Seuss. His stories are not only entertaining but also teach morality.

Recently I read a thesis on Dr. Seuss written by a young woman. She wrote about how Dr. Seuss stories always have a political theme and because of this, his stories are not suitable to read to young children. She believes that young children are not smart enough to understand these political themes.

This young college student obviously does not have children. Unfortunately, because I don’t know how to contact this woman, I am unable to tell her how wrong she is.

When my son was very young I would read to him Yertle the Turtle, his favorite bedtime story. Before he could walk, he would crawl over to his bookcase in his room and drag this large green book to me. With little talking he could do, he would ask me to read this story. Up until he was two or three years of age, I must have read this book to my son well over 100s of times.

Yertle the Turtle made such an impact on my son, that I believe his values, his political beliefs and his compassion for the difference between right and wrong are due to this simple story, Yertle the Turtle.

If you are a young parent, and you wish to teach your child about standing up for their self, about compassion for every living thing, bullying, and yes a little about politics and power, then you should be reading this book to your child.

Yertle the Turtle and all of Dr. Seuss books are not just entertaining to read out loud, but they are a great way to teach our children the difference between right and wrong.

Shine On

Under the Sea

“Water and air, the two essential fluids
on which all life depends,
have become global garbage cans.”
Jacques Yves Cousteau

Researchers are creating images of coral reefs along the lush and steep windward coast of the Hawaii island of Oahu.

Why? Because the coral reefs are in danger of dying due to the ever-increasing temperatures of the ocean waters.

These high-definition 360-degree panoramic images of the reefs are being used to monitor and study the health of corals over time. Scientists are concerned about how much coral off the coast of Hawaii already is beginning to bleach, especially because it’s the second such event in two years.

Coral bleaching occurs when ocean water temperatures rise and cause the coral to lose key nutrients, turning the normally colorful organism white. If bleaching recurs or is severe, the coral will eventually die.

The researchers use GPS tags and facial recognition technology to help identify and organize individual reef systems. As part of the project, the survey team has partnered with Google and uploads the images to Google Street View, allowing people to explore the underwater ecosystem via the Internet.

The Hawaii reef mapping is part of a larger project by the XL Catlin Seaview Survey research team to make thousands of images of reef around the world. These researchers are trying to understand why certain species of coral are more susceptible to bleaching than others, and they hope to find organisms that can adapt to warmer waters and remain healthy.

If you want to learn more about what’s happening to our oceans, check out Global Reef Record and explore a whole new world, under the sea.

Shine On