Kayaking the Outlet

Kayaking the Outlet

“The Outlet” was the point where the folks of the area learned a lesson about the importance of being very sure about your measurements. In my favorite book about the history of Northern Michigan, Waiting for the Morning Train, Bruce Catton explains how a project to connect Crystal Lake to the Betsie River and ultimate Frankfort and Lake Michigan went horribly awry after a surveyor got the relative elevations wrong by over 25 feet.

The historical marker reads:

In 1873 an ambitious but ill advised project was put through in an effort to connect Crystal Lake and Lake Michigan with a navigable channel. The original level of Crystal Lake was, at that time, much higher than its present level. The project was a complete failure in respect to its accomplishing its proposed purpose. The result was the lowering of the lake and exposing a wide stretch of beach around the entire lake and making possible the development of Crystal Lake as a resort and residential area as well as the site of the village of Beulah. This monument, erected by the people of Benzie County, stands at the original level of Crystal Lake. 1978.

Laura & I “kayaked” the mile+ of distance from the Outlet to the Betsie yesterday. Most of the way was hard going, many times more “dragging a kayak through a puddle”, but it was an incredible journey with all kinds of wildflowers and TONS of dragonflies.

Taking time with Neptune

I posted this today over on Michigan in Pictures and thought it was too cool not to share here. My baseball-loving friends should check out yesterday’s post on Tiger All-Stars, past & present.

Neptune Jr.

The planet Neptune was discovered in 1846, and at 4.5 billion km from the Sun, it completes an orbit every 164.79 years. Today – July 12, 2011 – Neptune completes the first full orbit since its discovery!

And you thought it took you a long time to get the garage cleaned out…

I took this photo early this Spring along the TART Trail in Traverse City. While I had just learned this little fact about Neptune, I actually rode out that day all the way to Pluto, a distance of about 6 miles. You can see the Sun and inner planets right at the TC Library. In their list of fun weekend things for families to do, MyNorth.com writes:

Bike through a six-mile long interactive model of the solar system on a portion of the TART trail in Traverse City. Hand-crafted sculptures of each planet and plaques sharing details about each planet dot the trail according to an accurate scale of the solar system. Beginning at the Sun directly outside the Traverse Area District Library, bikers of all ages can travel to the far reaches of Pluto and back again on wide paved trail that make the trip smooth and simple. Traverse Area District Library is located at 610 Woodmere Ave Traverse City.

Check it out on black and in my Traverse City, Michigan slideshow.

Working for the Machine

Back in Black by j image

salamander, frog, toad … michigan … headphones, computer, chair … boy, girl, small, large … ac/dc, back in black

Every piece or set of data we create or encounter – from basic objects to the most complex works of of the universe – has always held myriad associations. Until fairly recently, there was a limit to how you could tie those objects together in meaningful ways.

However, folksonomy and the rise of the tagged web have exploded the ways in which we can weave information together. From our own blogs and web sites to Flickr photo maps to crazily beautiful works beyond description, I feel we are all laboring over the cogs and gears of an impossibly complex machine with a form and function that none of us can forsee.

Jim aka j image took this photo. He has a lot more, and a wonderful eye for the world.

folksonomy (+wikipedia), folksonomy (+technorati), folksonomy (+evolution)

Lomography: n. the science of photographic happiness

Happy Max, Happy Photos

A couple months ago I ran a feature on lomo on Michigan in Pictures. I was feeling inexplicably blue today and checked back on it. I felt better. More about Lomo & Lomography.

The photo is titled “Happy Max” and it’s pretty clear that Max is indeed happy. The photographer, Maya Newman, has a bright and beautiful (and big) collection of Lomo on Flickr and (or?) a ton on her LomoHome pages. She says that she loves her LC-A camera because every day it reminds her that we live in a beautiful world.

Beachcombing

Beachcombers

Sometimes the internet makes me wish that I enjoyed reading (and writing) on the computer more. Since it doesn’t, here’s something 2.5 minutes and totally absurd. If you don’t mind a little reading, here’s 700 words or less on love.

Every so often the news feed washes up something that I don’t have any idea how to file. Strangely, this is the first time I’ve ever come across Porn Sunday and Grand Rapids in the same article.

Seems like someone who spends as much time as me combing the beach would have a photo for this. Maybe, but none I like as well as this. Jen says “best viewed large“.