While most of Oscar Wilde’s family home in Dublin is of a fairly traditional architecture of the era, the bright solarium on the second floor seems like quite the outlier. I like the perspective lines converging to Piper, watching from the doorway.
Oscar in the Setting Sun
A Visit to the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology
Our visit to Dublin included a morning in the National Museum of Ireland’s Archaeology building. Fittingly, the structure of the space combined elegant nineteenth-century cast iron with modern additions.
This flint knife, ringed by other pieces of sharpened stone, struck me as a bit like a king being bowed to by lords and ladies.
These woven metal buttons are incredible pieces of detailed structure built from many hours of human effort. Funny to think that we marvel over the structures produced by techniques like 3D printing, when humans have been inventive with forms and materials for millenia.
This array of Viking-era swords, in various states of oxidation, has a delightful rhythm.
Among them, this sword and its hilt of non-ferrous metal is excitingly less degraded.
Too much Tolkien makes every dark stone bracelet look a bit sinister.
On a lighter note, the runes carved into this deer antler read, “DEER ANTLER.”
Within the Red Room
Timberline Coffee Time
While Timberline may be cozy and a little creepy at night, coffee time the next morning makes it a far cheerier place.
Little Desk in the Window of Timberline
Lodge Night Interior
Hallway with Two Colors
Within the Red Stairs
Dans la Musée
Raether Library Well
Normandy Village, Inside and Out
My messy sabbatical desk in the Normandy, sitting next to some enormous (if leaky) windows, was home base for a glorious eight months. I’m glad I paused to take a picture of it as it was (rather than in perhaps a more photogenic state.)
Heading out from the Normandy Village, the crazy brick patterns, tiny windows hidden under the eaves, and trees sprouting from the concrete give way to the mid-twentieth-century architecture of Berkeley instantly. Exiting means stepping through some kind of spacetime membrane back to reality.
This Is the Laser
The laboratories of physical scientists across the planet have pulsed laser systems like this one, and many look quite similar: a collection of squat boxes covering optics, electronics, and beampaths. Above or below the surface of the table are additional boxes of electronics driving the lasers and detectors. This particular system is special to me for two reasons: (1) most modern laser tables don’t have rad wood grain paneling, and (2) this was the instrument I used during my sabbatical at Berkeley Lab last spring. Lots of good data emerged from its photomultiplier tube.
After spending my entire adult life as a laboratory scientist, the web of gas lines and vacuum pumps and electrical cable seems normal. I do understand, rationally, that all of this looks overwhelming. There’s so much purpose and productivity behind the network, however, that it’s worth the sophistication.