Squares and Dreams

Discovering a balance of visual elements within a defined space is exciting. Driven by the influence of Instagram, most of the photography I’ve done lately has been in a square format, and captured on the fly – pieces of everyday life that I sneak into a symmetry. I go about my routines looking for rhythmic views that I might steal from the disproportionate world. The square nudges me into looking for harmony of dimension, and the scenes I stumble on can occasionally trick me into thinking I’ve escaped the lazy, uninterpreted world… and slipped into a more astral, dreamy place. Images from the last few weeks:

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Two Documentaries on ‘Hacking’

BBC – How Hackers Changed the World While Anonymous was given most of the treatment in this piece, I didn’t feel like their story was the strongest thread in the overall hacker narrative. Lulzsec appears to be the group that did the most actual damage, while WikiLeaks is the most ethically challenging. Anonymous comes across as a bunch of people posting on message boards who all showed up to protest the Church of Scientology once. Occasionally they were able to DDoS some government websites. They are presented as being large and formidable because allegedly ten thousand people participated in the Scientology demonstrations – but 10k isn’t that much, in the grand scheme. Ten thousand people shop at the Gap, ride the metro, buy a hot dog, blah blah every day. Boring and mundane stuff also attracts many people. Crowds don’t predicate meaning or importance. Lulzsec on the other hand appeared …

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before ‘Felina’

There are absolutely spoilers below. Do not read, if you have not watched the Breaking Bad series in its entirety. I plead.  The joy of episodic narrative is that the audience gets to play the guessing game. We get to suppose what is coming next, week after week, testing our theories and validating our assumptions and essentially judging our own intelligence or predictive abilities. We take joy in the cliffhanger endings, that lead to cold opens, jumping to our own conclusions about what will come next, trying to stay a step ahead of the participants. But Heisenberg, both the real quantum physicist and television’s Walter White, will not let us engage our prophesying peacefully. Heisenberg, the real-life physicist from whom the fictional Walter White took his pseudonym, is credited with discovering the Uncertainty Principle of quantum mechanics, which states… The more precisely the position (momentum) of a particle is given, the less precisely …

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on Walter White and ‘Offline’ Identity

I’m apologetically writing this well after it originally aired, but I’ve been watching Breaking Bad for the first time. (Spoilers will be small and few, out of respect for the uninitiated.) Instead of offering my own full-bootlicking about how amazing the show actually is, I’ll simply quote from, and agree with, these words from the AV Club’s review of the episodes ‘ABQ’ and ‘Full Measures’ – “…this show has been one of serialized drama’s greatest accomplishments.  Television itself suddenly seems to have an expanded horizon of possibilities — for characterization, for juxtaposition, for thematic depth.  Whatever happens from this hellish moment, the long descent to this point, with all its false dawns and sudden crashes, was singularly awe-inspiring, uniquely cathartic. People living through a golden age often don’t know it.” “Extraordinary flowerings of art, technology, culture, or knowledge are obscured by intractable problems, crises, declines in other parts of the society… It’s easy to look at television, …

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GoPro… for the Average Joe

My calendar doesn’t have any upcoming skydiving, scuba or surfing adventures, but I’m the proud new owner of a GoPro Hero III camera, and well… I’ve got to do something with it. Their small & easily portable form, rugged accessories, and reputation for being nearly indestructible make GoPro cameras the device of choice for adventure sport athletes, whether they’re trekking up Mt. Everest or scaling skyscrapers in Shanghai. The rest of us can still find ways to be creative with the GoPro. I’ve been using the camera’s time lapse feature to record activities that a typical video wouldn’t capture very well – running, cooking, feeding the cat. Anything that takes thirty minutes, but looks very much cooler when it’s played back in three is fair game. Out of the box, the Hero III comes with a waterproof case, several pieces of mounting hardware, and wireless functionality. Accessories available for purchase …

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Snow from a Phone

I (unbelievably) can’t remember how many times snow has fallen this winter. Seven? Fourteen? Twenty? I’ve been using Instagram to capture the beauty of the season. From nearly 70°F two days ago, to eight (!) inches of snow this morning, watching the deviant flakes fall this St. Patrick’s Day is a fitting way to celebrate the nonconformist Irish spirit. Sláinte!

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Potential Weather Review, ★★★★ Washington D.C.

I haven’t noticed today’s weather, other than ‘it’s cold’ – because I’m infatuated with what Wednesday’s and Thursday’s weather will potentially bring. Today’s forecast model runs are all in accordance with the trend that developed last week, each predicting a good amount of snow falling Wednesday night. The National Weather Service officially has DC at a 60% chance of more than 8″. The different forecasting simulations – the GFS, the NAM, the Canadian, and the Euro – all are in agreement that DC will see at least 5″ of snow, with the NAM and Euro models as bullish as up to 20″ and the GFS more conservatively showing 6-10″. I’m not entirely sure what the acronyms stand for, but I think NAM means “North American Mesoscale,” and GFS means “Good Fluffy Snow.” http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/model-guidance-model-area.php

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on Cities and the ‘Auto Slum’

Walking in Tysons Corner, Virginia after business hours can feel like the opening scene of the zombie thriller film 28 Days Later… Structures everywhere indicate human settlement, but the eerie quiet and absence of pedestrians suggest otherwise. Construction of four Metro stations is intended to redirect the trend, but as they sit unused during final testing phases, their promise of pedestrian utopia is hard to visualize. They are giant monolithic structures tucked in the middle of massive motorways. When the ribbon is cut, locals will discover if they will operate as viable walker-friendly transit options. I’ve been fascinated by cities since I was a kid, when books by the children’s author Ed Emberley gave me lessons on how to ‘make a world.’ He illustrated step-by-step instructions for drawing people, buildings, cars, ski slopes, helicopters, police stations, and anything else one could find in a city. I filled my after-school time …

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