Friday, May 30, 2014

Angst and the Artist: Interview With Narcissus-X

It is with great pleasure that the Lemming presents an interview with that remarkable and abstruse artist, Narcissus-X.

The Lemming: Tell me a little about yourself. What started your interested in art? Have you taken art classes?

Narcissus-X: Narcissus-X is artist! Narcissus-X is art! Art not that art be art, lest aardvarks swim delirious cadences with Calliope musing over the sound of silent shibboleths.

How could Narcissus-X teach, or be taught? For in teaching is the stultifying fog of pettifoggery and impecunious pelicans: publicans of plebeian platitudes. Narcissus-X perceives, and perceiving ponders crystal penguins: silently sliding against an obsidian sky.

The Lemming: Ah, thank you. What medium do you prefer, and why?

Narcissus-X: Far from medium is Narcissus-X! Ultima Thule beckons, echoing from the depths of the digital abyss. Slickly slides crimson and azure, chrome of saffron and amber hues, lest jonquils jeer in haste. Yet monochromatic musings mutter ashen laments over once-unblemished expanses of alabaster or ivory leaves.

The Lemming: May be view your portfolio online?

Narcissus-X: Portobello Road runs not through Nottingham Wood. Little cares Narcissus-X for pandering to pretensions of philistine posers.

The Lemming: Do you have a favorite artist? If so, what appeals to you in that person's work?

Narcissus-X: Visions of leonine aspect, the artificer of Hohlenstein Stadel stands before Narcissus-X, silent yet crying across ages for expression of facing introversions of unrecognized anima.

The Lemming: Can you remember one of the first works of art you created? why is it memorable?

Narcissus-X: Full fathom five found Narcissus-X a filigree of floss, fiber frame of fantasies. Yet round and round it wove its walls and towers, and still Narcissus-X shuns the person from Porlock.

The Lemming: Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Narcissus-X: As far as the obsidian sky, yet near as night, through the onyx gates of twilight and gloaming; deep within halls of reflected shade: there Narcissus-X drifts on ebony sampans, beholding flights of crystal penguins.

The Lemming: What do you feel is the most difficult part of creating a masterpiece?

Narcissus-X: Having traversed Stygian scenes, silent symbols clashing cacophonous cadances amid grim menhirs of lithic lyricism: then must Narcissus-X ponder. And pondering, wrests chimeric visions from their haunts: yet this does not try the art of Narcissus-X. It is later, as form emerges into actuality, that Narcissus-X ponders anew: is this the form? Or does Narcissus-X behold a mere phantasm?

The Lemming: Finally, please share a few images and tell the Lemming about each: briefly.


Limpid occlusion, refracted reality or patchwork perception? Narcissus-X presents for pondering.

Orthogonal orthodoxy or shattered dream? Narcissus-X, having wrung, moves on.

Spindrift swirl blown in every-circling winds yet never reaching an end. Narcissus-X broods.

Boil, boil, toil and travail, roiling thoughts emerge from the mind of Narcissus-X.

Paltry placards, silent shouts, morning beckons, yet Narcissus-X stands: whither the penguins, the silent crystal penguins of fiery eye?

The Lemming: Thank you! That's all we have time for.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

From the Mind of the Lemming: The Lemming's Walking Stick

The Lemming and an old: walking stick? That's what the Lemming calls it.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

From the Mind of the Lemming: A Far Horizon

Three far horizons, actually, but the Lemming thought that "Three Far Horizons" sounded funny. Not ha-ha funny: the other kind.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Kepler-186f, Sunsets, Tourism, and a Musing Lemming

(From UPR at Arecibo, NASA; used w/o permission.)

"How a sunset might look on Earth's new cousin Kepler-186f"
"NASA confirms the discovery of an Earth-sized planet that may have potential for life, but its sun is dimmer than ours. Here's what an evening stroll on a beach on Kepler-186f might be like.
Eric Mack, c|net (April 17, 2014)

"NASA announced Thursday that it has confirmed the first planet beyond our solar system that exists in the habitable zone of its star and is close to the size of Earth, making it the most likely exoplanet yet validated to host life. But the planet, Kepler-186f, orbits an M-class dwarf star and receives only about a third of the energy from its sun that Earth receives from our own beloved fireball.

"That means it could be a frozen, Hoth-like world, or it could be more dry and dead like Mars. But if conditions are right and liquid water exists on Kepler-186f, as NASA thinks it might, it could look more like the above conception, a slightly more chilly version of Earth with shallow oceans...."

Folks at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo's Planetary Habitability Laboratory started with a photo of sunset as seen from a Caribbean beach. A little digital tweaking later, they had what sunset on Kepler-186f would look like: if the planet has an atmosphere and ocean a bit like Earth's.

We don't know if Kepler-186f has an atmosphere, let alone water: but if it does, at least some of the water will probably be liquid.

Sunlight on Kepler-186f's at high noon would be a big like sunlight on Earth an hour before sunset: the climate will be on the nippy side for humans, at best. The sunlight isn't just dimmer: it's redder, too. Or is that more red?

Kepler-186f's star is smaller than Earth's Sol: and it's cooler: about 3,788° Kelvin, compared to Sol's 5,778° Kelvin. That's why Arecibo's simulated sunset looks like one of William Ascroft's Krakatoa sunset sketches.

Looking Ahead: Tourism Destinations in 4814

At the moment, humans must be content with studying Kepler-186f from the Solar system. Keper-186 is nearly 500 light years away: too far for any off-the-shelf transportation system available on Earth.

Humans have, over the last million years, been consistently innovative: and the Lemming sees no sign that this inventive streak has played itself out. It may not be too long before humans travel between stars as routinely as they do between continents today.

If Kepler-186f has an atmosphere, and water, and life: that's a lot of "ifs," but let's suppose that the planet's equatorial zone is warm enough for human comfort.

Kepler-186f is slightly larger than Earth, but not by much. The Lemming made a very rough estimate of Kepler-186f's surface gravity.

With a diameter 1.11 times Earth, Kepler-186f's volume is 1.37 times Earth's, give or take. If it's made of exactly the same mix of rock and metal, it'd be denser: but the Lemming's looking for a rough estimate, so let;s say that it's 1.37 times Earth's mass.

Plugging these numbers into the old g = m/r2 equation, where g is surface gravity, m is mass, and r is radius (Earth=1); the Lemming got a surface gravity for Kepler-186f of about 1.11 g. Humans shouldn't find that too uncomfortable.

Someone weighing 150 pounds here would have about 166 pounds pressing on the sands of that hypothetical beach. It'd be like wearing a 16 pound backpack: except that the force would be distributed throughout the body.

Spectacular sunsets, weather on the nippy side but tolerable, far from the hustle and bustle of Earth: the Lemming thinks Kepler-186f has serious potential as a tourist destination.

Ridiculous? maybe. More to the point, today humans can't get there: but 28 centuries back, when Homer's "Odyssey" was new, cruise ships might have seemed just as impossible.

Of course, someone may already be living there: and that's another topic.

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Friday, May 2, 2014

From the Mind of the Lemming: Another Postcard

"...When humanity spread among the stars, we hoped to find vast, complex civilizations.

"They weren't there.

"So we built one...."
('Notes of a Traveler,' Otha Sisk)

Nice place, worth revisiting.

— the Lemming

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