(from l-r) Jon Sholle takes a picture and Hozan Alan Senauke and Laurie Senauke look at a plant specimen collected during the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804) while Nicole Tarnowsky, Herbarium Curator, describes some of the finer points of the collection. With over 7 million specimens, the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium at The New York Botanical Garden is the largest herbarium in the Western Hemisphere. Amazing herbarium. Wonderful group of people.
Shiva Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva, is an iconic representation of several of the the most important aspects of Hinduism. As Lord of Dance, Shiva performs the Tandava, the cosmic dance through which the universe is created, maintained, and dissolved. The dance is an allegory of the five principle manifestations of eternal energy–creation, destruction, preservation, salvation, and illusion. The purpose of Nataraja's dance is to release the souls of all men from the snares of delusion. From the Cincinnati Art Museum. [NOTE: Shiva is dancing on the crouched back of the demon of ignorance].
The thought has occasionally crossed my mind as I was sliding down a muddy embankment with a leach climbing into my boot and reached out to grab a stem to steady myself and it was a spiny rattan that surely there are easier jobs out there. But, then, just as quickly, the next thought pops up that "yeah, but that ain't working, money for nothing". Video shows Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Sting (nice gassho at 0:59), and Phil Collins performing in the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music for Monserrat benefit concert of September 1997. [NOTE: You might want to plug in headphones and turn this up a bit. Really nice. I want my MTV].
Lovely gallery in the Old City District of Philadelphia. The permanent collection at The Center for Art in Wood features over 1000 objects from around the world, ranging from functional every-day objects made from wood to contemporary wood turning and woodworking sculpture. Really lovely. For additional stuff about wood go here, or here, or here, or here. Or maybe even here. [NOTE: I can be a bit obsessive about wood. Sorry].