Friday, December 6, 2013
I have sent the last week introducing writer's notebooks to a class of fifth graders in a school in Newark. One of the entries students began were a list of things they currently are wondering about. This is a list that they will add to throughout the year.
I modeled for them an entry I had started where I wondered about two things:
- What are the types of things that can’t get lost? (I'm thinking about a line from Neil Young's song, Old Man. He says, “Give me things that don’t get lost…”)
- What are multiverses? Is there an exact you and me functioning in some parallel universe?
Then I got out of the way and the students took over, recording in their notebooks the kinds of things they wondered. We shared some and then returned again to the notebooks to record more. After we concluded (about 6 minutes), students wanted answers to their wonderings so we spent the next 20 minutes researching and recording interesting and important information in our notebooks.
Here's a partial list:
- Why are dogs color blind?
- Is time travel possible?
- What made all of the universes?
- Is the Earth be duplicated?
- I wonder about this quote: "Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen I thought we agreed to not lie to each other."
- Why do people say, "It's going to be okay," when it is not?
- What is beyond our universe?
- How did scientists learn about the moon before traveling to it?
- How many different worlds are there?
- How did Hawaii form out of a volcano?
- Why is there animal cruelty?
- Why do cats have sharp claws?
- Why are people's noses, mouths, eyes, and ears different? Why are there variations?
- Who was Charles Darwin?
- Is Area 51 real?
- What caused dinosaurs to become extinct?
- Why are there different sounds in the world?
- Will we cure breast cancer?
- Why do we have a zodiac?
- How was the idea of a Bermuda Triangle formed?
- Where are the 10 dimensions? How can I understand each?
- How many moons are in our universe?
- How do myths begin? Are they true?
- How many universes are there? Are any the same as ours?
- Why do people adopt wild animals like tigers, cheetahs, or lions? What prompts this?
- Is there really a man named, Moth Man?
- Are aliens real or made up?
- Why do most people think money is the solution to their problems?
- Why do some people take their anger out on others when it was someone else who made them mad?
- What are crop circles?
- Why are there only 12 months?
- Who created homework?
- What will humans look like 1, 000, 000 years from now?
- How are snowflakes alike?
- What will happen next?
- Are there parallel universes? Can we move between them?
- Can you time travel and still live?
- When will my dad's work calm down?
- How do adaptation and variation connect?
- What would happen if Earth died?
- What is the most endangered species in the world?
- Are there superheroes?
- Why are some things in the world dangerous?
- How are wormholes created?
- Are there medicines that can cure AIDS?
- How do brain tumors form?
- How man planets have water on them?
- What's evolution?
- Can you curve a bullet like they are shown in movies?
- Can we get rid of radioactive waste safely?
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Thursday, November 28, 2013
What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time. - John Berger
Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. George Eastman
|No Simulacrum (Ringwood, NJ 2008)|
|Faith on the Street (Dublin, Ireland, 2008)|
|Night I (Ringwood, NJ, 2009)|
|Samhain's Fire (Morristown, NJ, 2010)|
|The Watcher (Newburgh, NY, 2010)|
|Moonrise Over the Atlantic (Rockport, Maine, 2012)|
|Buildings (Montepulciano, Italy 2013)|
|Winter Night (Ringwood NJ, 2013)|
|Night Study (Sloatsburg, NY 2013)|
Monday, November 25, 2013
This is a page from a notebook of mine, that I wrote on Jan. 20 in 2008. I had this old notebook out as I prepared to work with different groups of educators. This image of the church door is one I made in Stamullen, Ireland--where I was born. There, I was named Olivia Muldoon. In rereading the notebook entry, I was taken by the phrase: "A door--partially open."
The entry below, I penned on my birthday, Nov. 19. This entry begins another notebook. I find that I am fascinated by partially opened doors, multiverses, William James, and the slippages between universes that some days feels so possible, so probable.
November 19, 2013
A door--partially opened?
Perhaps this sense of partiality is as it always is when you try to go home. At best, you know it as a door, partially opened. A partial welcome. Even old Tom Wolfe knew you can't go home, again. So why on this night is the partially open door so very provocative? Perhaps such musing of home is even more a conundrum when the home you seek is one you never actually inhabited.
We are never really whole.
Driving at night, listening in the dark as Rob is on about parallel universes. Just out of reach, parallel lives are happening. Hold out your hand, I think, and touch the cold window, touch the darkness knowing any number of hands shaped like mine are touching the coolness too. Who are we there? Travelers through a partial doorway? Did we each leave Ireland? Did not one of us stay that possible journey? Are we any better for it?
|The English Countryside (Reilly, iPhone, 2013)|
In William James's essay (1895), Is Life Worth Living?, he coined the word, multiverse--expressing the complexity and coexistence of good and evil. This is what he had to say:
Truly, all we know of good and duty proceeds from nature; but none the less so all we know of evil. Visible nature is all plasticity and indifference,--a moral multiverse, as one might call it, and not a moral universe. To such a harlot we owe no allegiance; with her as a whole we can establish no moral communion; and we are free in our dealings with her several parts to obey or destroy, and to follow no law but that of prudence in coming to terms with such other particular features as will help us to our private ends. If there be a divine Spirit of the universe, nature, such as we know her, cannot possibly be its _ultimate word_ to man. Either there is no Spirit revealed in nature, or else it is inadequately revealed there; and (as all the higher religions have assumed) what we call visible nature, or _this_ world, must be but a veil and surface-show whose full meaning resides in a supplementary unseen or _other_ world.
Physicists reclaimed the term during the last century to posit the idea of multiple possible universes.
The multiverse (or meta-universe, metaverse) is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them. (from here.)
Such brooding thoughts tonight.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
|Bowler (Dublin, 2008)|
“Humans see time as a straight line. It’s like putting notches on a long straight stick. The notch here is the future, the one on this side is the past, and the present is this point right here. Do you understand?”
“I think so.”
“But actually time isn’t a straight line. It doesn’t have a shape. In all senses of the term, it doesn’t have any form. But since we can’t picture something without form in our minds, for the sake of convenience we understand it as a straight line. At this point, humans are the only ones who can make that sort of conceptual substitution.”
“But maybe we are the ones who are wrong.”
Tengo mulled this over. “You mean we may be wrong to see time as a straight line?”
“That’s a possibility. Maybe we’re wrong and the crow is right. Maybe time is nothing at all like a straight line. Perhaps it’s shaped like a twisted doughnut. But for tens of thousands of years, people have probably been seeing time as a straight line that continues on forever. And that’s the concept they based their actions on. And until now they haven’t found anything inconvenient or contradictory about it. So as an experiential model, it’s probably correct.”
Murakami, Haruki (2011-10-25). 1Q84 (pp. 625-626). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.