Signs of the Times

As part of the renovation and improvement of Masonic Avenue, a welcome project for me since I regularly bicycle on it and enjoy its newly smooth surface and separated bike lanes, there has been installed this delightful bit of public art in the triangular space at the intersection of Geary Blvd. and Masonic Ave:

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The acacia trees that once covered this traffic island had nearly reached the end of their natural lifespan and their roots had begun to crack the concrete so they were replaced with Canary Island date palms (*Phoenix canariensis).
*Given that the phoenix is the City’s symbol and is on our flag, there’s a nice synchronicity to this choice.

Amidst the palms are 3 pillars with arrows show direction and distance to places near and far. I’m sure the work has a name but as the construction of the brickwork surface is still going on, no identifying plaque has yet been added.

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Distant places

farofffull2farofffull3 copyfarofffull4 copy

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Medical and Social Network sites

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Local spots

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The three sign posts seem to be divided among distant places, medical and care facilities, and local places.

These are the same images enlarged and cropped:

There is not yet a clue as to the criteria for selection and many of the arrows are left blank. This may be for future spots but I haven’t a clue yet.
I will update the title and other info as it becomes available.

 

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Someday Funnies XXI

Mostly comics but a bunch of other things I’ve found amusing.

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Detritus of Dope

LABELED

With the exception of the wooden stash pipe at the bottom that I bought at the Psychedelic Shop soon after my arrival in San Francisco in 1976, everything including the flag, in this display was found (or given to me) in the Haight over the last couple of years.
Gee, it’s almost as if potheads were forgetful or careless…

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My Daughter Receiving Her Master’s Degree

From NYU IN Applied Psychology.

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Costume Institute’s exhibition focuses on fashion and the Catholic imagination

 HEAVENLY BODIES: FASHION AND THE CATHOLIC IMAGINATION
 THE COSTUME INSTITUTE’S SPRING 2018 EXHIBITION at MoMA, NY
 
Imagination, on view from May 10 through October 8, 2018 is on view at The Met Fifth Avenue—in the medieval galleries. The thematic exhibition features a dialogue between fashion and masterworks of medieval art in The Met collection to examine fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism.
A group of papal robes and accessories from the Vatican serves as the cornerstone of the exhibition, highlighting the enduring influence of liturgical vestments on designers.
“The Catholic imagination is rooted in and sustained by artistic practice, and fashion’s embrace of sacred images, objects, and customs continues the ever-evolving relationship between art and religion,” said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met. “The Museum’s collection of Byzantine and western medieval art, in combination with the architecture and galleries that house these collections at The Met, provide the perfect context for these remarkable fashions.”
 
“Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another,” said Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. “Although this relationship has been complex and sometimes contested, it has produced some of the most inventive and innovative creations in the history of fashion.”
 

The exhibition features approximately 40 ecclesiastical masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican. Encompassing more than 15 papacies from the 18th to the early 21st century, these masterworks are on view in the Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries and include papal vestments and accessories, such as rings and tiaras. The last time the Vatican sent a loan of this magnitude to The Met was in 1983, for The Vatican Collections exhibition, which is the Museum’s third most-visited show. 

 

Providing an interpretative context for fashion’s engagement with Catholicism are more than 150 ensembles, primarily womenswear, from the early 20th century to the present, on view in the Byzantine and medieval galleries, in part of the Robert Lehman Wing, and at The Met Cloisters alongside medieval art from The Met collection. The presentation situates these designs within the broader context of religious artistic production to analyze their connection to the historiography of material Christianity and their contribution to the construction of the Catholic imagination. 

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How to tell EXACTLY how many cuts, scrapes, & scratches you have on your hands

Turn the above into that which is below:

About 2.5 Liters of Meyer lemon juice

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Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme…

Anyone who watches science fiction movies is undoubtedly familiar with some version of those words and it never ends well for humankind.
But in real life sometimes it does. As Isaac Asimov once said,
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…'”

In this case that ominous-sounding sentence ends with… “that eats plastic bottles” 

The breakthrough, spurred by the discovery of plastic-eating bugs at a Japanese dump, could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis.

The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug.

The international team then tweaked the enzyme to see how it had evolved, but tests showed they had inadvertently made the molecule even better at breaking down the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic used for soft drink bottles. “What actually turned out was we improved the enzyme, which was a bit of a shock,” said Prof John McGeehan, at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who led the research. “It’s great and a real finding.”

The mutant enzyme takes a few days to start breaking down the plastic – far faster than the centuries it takes in the oceans. But the researchers are optimistic this can be speeded up even further and become a viable large-scale process.

“What we are hoping to do is use this enzyme to turn this plastic back into its original components, so we can literally recycle it back to plastic,” said McGeehan. “It means we won’t need to dig up any more oil and, fundamentally, it should reduce the amount of plastic in the environment.”

About 1m plastic bottles are sold each minute around the globe and, with just 14% recycled, many end up in the oceans where they have polluted even the remotest parts, harming marine life and potentially people who eat seafood. “It is incredibly resistant to degradation. Some of those images are horrific,” said McGeehan. “It is one of these wonder materials that has been made a little bit too well.”

However, currently even those bottles that are recycled can only be turned into opaque fibres for clothing or carpets. The new enzyme indicates a way to recycle clear plastic bottles back into clear plastic bottles, which could slash the need to produce new plastic.

“You are always up against the fact that oil is cheap, so virgin PET is cheap,” said McGeehan. “It is so easy for manufacturers to generate more of that stuff, rather than even try to recycle. But I believe there is a public driver here: perception is changing so much that companies are starting to look at how they can properly recycle these.”

Source The Guardian UK

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Vote on the 2018 Haight Street Fair posters at RVCA

For a limited time the finalists for the 2018 Haight Ashbury Street Fair posters will be in the window of RVCA at the corner of Haight and Ashbury for people to go in and vote for.

#1, the only hand-drawn one:

2018HS#1

#2, featuring Gus Vardakastanis, founder of the Haight St Market (now Gus’s) is  a sentimental favorite (and my own)

2018HS#2

#3, the only entry I’ve ever seen with a dog as its focus

2018HS#3

#4 uses Gene Anthony famous (and still copyrighted) photo of the old Ashbury-Haight sign

2018HS#4

#5, visually attractive. It would be my choice if I didn’t want to honor Gus.

2018HSF#5

 

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Antique Scientific Instruments, Globes and Cameras Auction

An Austrian auction house is currently conducting a sale of an amazing variety of antique scientific instruments that even if you can’t afford them, are delightful to explore.
Here’s a few of the items:

There are over 162 items to choose from.

 

Source: Antique Scientific Instruments, Globes and Cameras – 4.4.2018 – Dorotheum

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The 12,400km by 200m Nature Preserve

The European Green Belt initiative is a grassroots movement for nature conservation and sustainable development along the corridor of the former Iron Curtain. The term refers to both an environmental initiative as well as the area it concerns. The initiative is carried out under the patronage of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Mikhail Gorbachev. It is the aim of the initiative to create the backbone of an ecological network that runs from the Barents Sea in the Arctic to the Black and Adriatic Seas.

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The European Green Belt as an area follows the route of the former Iron Curtain and connects national parks, nature parks, biosphere reserves and transboundary protected areas as well as non-protected valuable habitats along or across the former borders. So far 6,800km of the intended 12,400km Green Belt have been established.

This guide is published by the Union for Environmentand Nature Protection of Germany and  explains if graphic detail both how the original sealed border operated and how it has been transformed into a unique nature preserve:

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