Monday, October 31, 2011

Leslie and Vladivostok

This is part two of the series showing Leslie's travel photos from Vladivostok, Russia, where she spent the last few days of her trip.  Part one was pictures from the Vostok Marine Station.  Part three is pictures of animals.

First off, a picture of Leslie and her fellow biologists, Vasily Radashevsky (on the left) and John Chapman.  Vasily works at the A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, where Leslie and John both gave talks during their visit.

Leslie knows I like abstract and textural photos.  Here are a few of those.  The first two were taken at the Institute building, which is in the shape of a ring.  The others include railway electrical insulators and some rusted metal.

Vladivostok is a bustling seaport, currently undergoing extreme renovations for an upcoming political summit.  The building in the foreground of the next picture (with the sign) is a funicular railway.  The second shot shows one of two large suspension bridges under construction. 

Here's a street with some historical buildings.  The sign on the green building reads "supermarket".  Then a brilliant, golden onion dome on a church.  The third picture shows a statue of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin.  That's something you don't see very often in the United States.

Vladivostok is the eastern terminus of the Transsiberian Railway, which, according to Wikipedia, is 9289 kilometers in length.  Here's a picture of John and Leslie standing in front of what must be the penultimate kilometer marker - 9288.   I believe the double-headed eagle is the standard of the Russian empire.

Remember, click the pictures to see them bigger.

Vladivostok Tags: . . . . . .

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Leslie and Vostok

While I stayed home, Leslie recently traveled across the pond on a worm collecting expedition.  (More pictures are here and here.)

By "pond" I mean the Pacific Ocean.  She flew to Vladivostok in eastern Russia and then traveled by car to a little marine station called Vostok.  There she and her colleagues spent three weeks collecting and identifying marine invertebrates 

Here is a picture of the Vostok Marine Station taken from a small boat by John Chapman.  John is an amphipod & invasive species expert from the University of Oregon.  I think the picture looks like a model train set.  Apparently some Russians take summer vacations in this area which is reminiscent of New England.  (See a satellite view of Vostok Station in Google Maps.  You can explore from there.)

Across the bay is this small village. (You can click any picture for an enlargement.)

In the foreground you can see John and two of his Russian colleagues digging for specimens.

Here are pictures of Vasily Radashevsky, the Russian polychaete expert in charge of the expedition, and of John Chapman, up to his knees in seawater.

And here is Leslie in her own natural habitat, behind a microscope, putting names to critters most of us never encounter.

The project was sponsored by the North Pacific Marine Sciences Organization (or PICES) a consortium of six countries around the northern Pacific, which also held their annual meeting about the same time in Vladivostok.

Here are a couple photos of life at the marine station.  No, he's not doing what you think he is doing in the first picture.  In the second picture, the bottle of clear liquid holds a Korean sweet potato vodka.  Leslie brought me a bottle as a present - but I haven't tried it yet.

I had asked Leslie to take lots of pictures.  She took well over a thousand.  I will post another couple dozen in two more posts, one with pictures of Vladivostok itself and the other of various animals she encountered.

Here are pictures of two Russian monuments which she saw - their significance is unknown to me, but both clearly have marine themes.  In the first one "Livadiya" is the name of a city not far from the station.

Vasily Radachevsky has appeared in Mixed Meters previously - in the post Maywood Pasadena (about a song called Pasadena which is very popular in Russia, sung by a group called Maywood) and in a video called Going Coastal.  Also he discusses the vital issue of whether a polar bear will eat a penguin here.

Vostok Tags: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pasadena Bestiary

Today's pictures of Pasadena's urban bestiary include
  • pair-bonding parrots
  • a cat with a rat
  • some koi reflections
  • a mockingbird on a pole
  • a petrified mountain goat

Click on 'em and they should enlarge a bit

Previous Mixed Meters posts involving animal pictures
Pasadena Fauna
Graffiti Animals of California

Animal Picture Tags: . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Art Jarvinen Email Project

The one-year anniversary of the passing of composer Arthur Jarvinen was earlier this month.  To mark the event I have compiled a collection of his writings, specifically his half of available email correspondence.  Where would I get such an idea?  Why, from Art himself of course.

In October of 2008, he sent me this email message:

One of the potential projects that I am starting to compile data for would be a compilation of one-sided correspondence. We have the Cage/Boulez stuff, which is pretty dreadful reading - unless you're overly enamored of both of them.

Apropos blogs and comments, I do sometimes post comments. But I am finding myself more interested in personal dialogues, conversations between two individuals. It has struck me that it might be worthwhile reading, and an interesting creative endeavor, to pull together a slim volume of e-mails, but only from me, without the letter that triggered the reply. Might work, might not, but it's an idea I'm toying with.

With that in mind, I am sometimes now saving certain e-mails I compose, and even using my reply as a situation in which to address things that are on my mind.

I discovered that passage after his death in October 2010. I don't know whether he pursued the idea himself – it was never mentioned again. Nor, of course, do I have any idea what subjects he himself would have chosen. What I do know is that we can honor departed friends by doing those things which they themselves would have done.

This archive of Art's email begins in late 1997 and covers nearly 13 years. The final message was written the day before he died. He writes about day-to-day issues, about his work and about holiday celebrations. You'll find musical essays, story-telling, simple poetry and mass concert announcements. He talks about his music, about his emotions and about his challenges. I have occasionally edited very slightly in an effort to keep all the words Art's own. The subject matter is sometimes perfectly obvious. Other times the context will be completely obscure.

The following people, besides myself, have contributed Art's writing to this document: Gloria Cheng, Jim Rohrig, Christopher Garcia, Robert Jacobson and Zona Hostetler. If others care to contribute messages they once received from Arthur, this document can be expanded in the future. Please select passages of interest and submit them to me. Include the date of each to preserve chronology.

Although this may be an attempt to fulfill Art's own idea, this document can never be what Arthur himself would have made of it. In fact, it serves a completely different purpose. It is now our memorial to him.

And maybe, as time passes, these messages will serve to introduce Art to people whom he never met. Reading this collection might be a little like looking through a shoebox of someone else's unlabeled snapshots. If these small glimpses into the life and thoughts of one particularly creative, complex individual make you curious about the personality behind it, I urge you to seek out those other works of his in which he tried his hardest to communicate ideas to others … his music.

Download the Art Jarvinen Email Project.  (pdf format, 32 pages)

Mixed Meters memorials to Art Jarvinen over the last year can be found here, here, here, here and here.  All Jarvinen related Mixed Meters posts, past and future, will appear in this list.

Thanks to Robert Jacobson for the two pictures.

Email Tags: . . . . . .