A Murmuration of Starlings

by Dave on November 3, 2011

Perhaps you’ve heard of “a pride of lions” or “a murder of crows”. Now you can add “a murmuration or starlings” to the list. It’s kind of magical sounding, don’t you think? Even more magical is the flight caught on video by Liberty Smith and Sophie Windsor Clive. Wonderful!

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.


Guest Post by Michael Morris

by Dave on June 2, 2010

Symbols have been connected to the sacred for most of recorded history. And why not? Though I am no linguist, the languages of ancient tongues often had many symbols within them (unlike our ‘alphabet’). Written Egyptian could be described as a series of symbols or pictograms, and the original Chinese language often had words which are in fair likeness to the objects described.

So it is natural for us humans to describe our world with symbols, especially as we try to communicate our understanding of our world (and possibilities of the ‘world beyond’) with others. The sacred is certainly no less worthy of being described in symbolic form. People have ‘found’ the sacred in mathematics – the sacred geometry of Archimedes and Plato for example… Certainly many of us hear the sacred in music.

Although my own training is in physics & engineering, and my passion is music, my knowledge of the sacred and symbols leads me to mention the Enneagram. This is both a symbol and a technique which has been used by certain sufis and mystics as a tool to better allow the sacred, and has migrated to the world of psychology. Though there are many applications, this 9-sided figure has been interpreted to help understand 9 basic types of human ‘sin/error’, and to transcend them.

Though this may be a stretch for some, nature has often been considered sacred in human history. Please connect that with the mathematics of fractals, which has often been found to describe patterns of nature. For some the sacred and symbols meet again through nature and fractals, whether it be a shell or a spinning galaxy.

{Michael Morris has a Ph.D. in Physics, and is a professional wedding harpist (in the husband-wife duet Angelic Strings) in the Austin, TX area.}


For some links about the Enneagram, look over on the “Annotated Links” page.


A Pattern of “Velvet Tea Hills”

May 22, 2010

Wow, I was setting up my Flickr account and came across this wonderful photo of a tea plantation in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia. Isn’t it great? The photographer, Kazzie, graciously gave me permission to share it here. She gave her photo the title in quotes above. You can see the rest of her photos […]

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Apophenia and Pareidolia

May 20, 2010

What? No, they aren’t ancient goddesses, but they sure sound like it. The following definitions are both from Wikipedia. Apophenia is “the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad, who defined it as the ‘unmotivated seeing of connections’ accompanied by a ‘specific […]

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The Fibonacci Spiral

May 18, 2010
Thumbnail image for The Fibonacci Spiral

Nature is full of spirals.  In the header of this blog I’ve chosen three from different sources.  The first is a fiddlehead fern, before it unclenches into its mature state.  The second is a prehistoric petroglyph, showing an ancient human fascination with spirals.  The third is a nautilus shell, which gives us an example of […]

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May 18, 2010

Fractal art and resources This link takes you to a page with LOADS of fractal art, links and resources. Get ready to be overwhelmed.

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