Saturday, February 06, 2010

Art and Music: Part 1 Deadly Sins

Oh we have had a GRAND weekend so far:
(Above: Lust)
The weekend began for me with a stop at the SLC Art Center to see Jamie Wyeth's showing of his watercolor series entitled "The Seven Deadly Sins" as demonstrated by seagulls in their typical behaviors.
It is a totally hilarious show topic for SLC, a place that darn near worships sea gull for rescuing the pioneer's crop from grasshoppers way back when.

Sea gulls are practically a symbol of faith around here!
Those of us who grew up near the beach know better than to think of sea gulls as first cousins to doves. Sea gulls are wicked, nasty, vicious birds that are arrogant and rude, at best.
(Above: Anger)

A quote about Wyeth's work:
Wyeth was inspired to use the birds as models after years of observing and painting sea birds in coastal Maine. He calls the gulls "nasty birds, filled with their own jealousies and rivalries."

The seven deadly sins—greed, sloth, lust, gluttony, anger, pride, and envy—are portrayed as natural behaviors.
In Pride, a gull struts boastfully with a captured lobster;

(see a better version of this painting HERE Notice how the gull is stepping on another gull in his pride?)

in Gluttony, another chokes down one fish while trying to capture still more.

Gluttony was my favorite painting of series. I would love to own the four foot high work and hang it in my kitchen. Even the fish's martyrdom like expression as it looks up to heaven makes me smirk and chuckle knowingly.

No pictures were allowed inside the show,(the first picture on this post I borrowed from the web) but I managed to find a few of the paintings online, and to snap some of pictures above from the poster outside the exhibit the next day, in the rain, late at night.

Sorry for the flash...I was being herded along by my Mr. B who did NOT want his cashmere blazer to get soaked.

Hmmm...wonder if that would come under pride, or practicality?

(The Salt Palace, lit up...photographed as we dashed across the street to the parking garage).

To be continued....

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Why Liberal Hearts Bleed

Ever wondered how people can draw moral conclusions that seriously differ?
Ever wondered how "liberals" and "conservatives" can have such different emotional responses to situations?

I learned something today that is helping me unravel this enigma.

Assigned to research the concept of intuition, I stumbled upon the article abstract copied below. Call it an "A-ha!" moment...the article helped me understand why conservatives and liberals can both believe that they are thinking on morally...yet still disagree as to what should be done.

Below is the article abstract. (I love article abstracts...entire articles boiled down to a paragraph!)
I've split the paragraph into several parts as the last parts has the bingo! for clarifying the problem.


When Morality Opposes Justice: Conservatives Have Moral Intuitions that Liberals may not Recognize

Jonathan Haidt1, 2
and Jesse Graham1
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400400, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400, USA
Published online: 23 May 2007

Researchers in moral psychology and social justice have agreed that morality is about matters of harm, rights, and justice. On this definition of morality, conservative opposition to social justice programs appears to be immoral, and has been explained as a product of various non-moral processes such as system justification or social dominance orientation.

In this article we argue that, from an anthropological perspective, the moral domain is usually much broader, encompassing many more aspects of social life and valuing institutions as much or more than individuals.

We present theoretical and empirical reasons for believing that there are five psychological systems that provide the foundations for the world’s many moralities. The five foundations are
psychological preparations for detecting and reacting emotionally to issues related to:

1. harm/care
2. fairness/reciprocity
3. in group/loyalty
4. authority/respect
5. purity/sanctity

Political liberals have moral intuitions primarily based upon the first two foundations, and therefore misunderstand the moral motivations of political conservatives, who generally rely upon all five foundations.

I googled around a little bit and discovered a website created by the authors of this study. Now here is where it gets fun: You can take part in studies about morality being done by major universities, and in the process find out where you stand in comparison to other liberals and conservatives that have taken the tests.

Personally...I'd like my conservative moral "bent" to be added to the surveys. How about you? The surveys only take a few minutes after registering (a quick process by the way...) and you can register HERE.

If you are curious about those five foundations, the web site's home page has expanded information.

I think I've found something worth discussing and exploring here.

I just wish we were all able to sit around a table over treats and chat this up for awhile.

Well, after all, this is just "food for though"...not "food for making us fatter". Maybe this electronic gulf has its advantages in the end.

Maybe this is why computers have cookies...they eat them while processing our thoughts???

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Millcreek in Winter

Mill Creek runs just blocks from our house; it is within walking distance if should so I choose and Mill Creek Canyon is a great little drive to take when I want to get out into the wild in minutes.
This time of year the little creek rushing through snow is just lovely! The other day took the drive up the canyon again. First chance I got I pulled over and parked, and wearing my work flats and a sweater I hiked over the bridge and onto the cross country ski trail to take some pictures.

It strikes me as quite funny that I can wander about in freezing temperatures wearing the same outfits that I used to wear to work in Houston, where winter temperatures in the '50s used to just make me ache with cold. Also that when the household thermostat is set at 60 I am barely able to cope, yet I dash about in snow feeling like the cold is invigorating.

(BTW...Did you see the snow encircled heart in that first picture?)

See the tiny heart on that tree? Natural Valentine, that's what that is!

There is probably a heart somewhere in this picture too...I just haven't seen it yet.

This was the view looking to the other side of the canyon...

How much snow was up in the canyon?
Well, that black bump is a campsite grill.
The other bump is the campsite table with benches.
Yup...that's a lot of snow!
I thought I'd pull a fast one and go off the ski trail to head back to the road. The weakly defined trail looked easy, until I stepped on it and sank up to my thigh.
Duh...what was I thinking???
A skier slid up to me an asked if I was OK. I was of course, but it wasn't my most graceful move that got me out of my fix.
(Note to self: Stay on the trails...especially when wearing work flats!)

The topography in every direction is worth photographing. Notice that the south facing peaks just across the parking lot has very little snow?

While the north facing slopes are deeply covered in snow. Before I moved here I never realized how much terrain orientation dictated snow coverage.

The Mill Creek Canyon deer are always up for a photo shoot. When I pulled over on my way down the hill they all turned to watch me with their ears peaked high.

I guess they like how their profiles look too.

Nice winding road...clear as can be.
Rugged hillsides...I suppose if I brough binoculars I would see all kinds of wildlife up there.
Back home...Mt. Olympus was being tickled by drifting misty clouds.
As soon as I got home I went downstairs to download my pictures. Tiggie always snoopervises my computer time. He walks across the keyboard and plants himself on the windowsill while I work.
If anything happens outside, his posture changes to high alert. Right now he is at ease.
He is one of my New Year's Resolutions: He is at least ten years old, probably closer to twelve now, and I have resolved to appreciate him more with more petting and toys.
Such a faithful character in our home...and is just as an amazing of a view for me as anything that I can see on my jaunts outside.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

She's got a ticket to ride: Olympic Dreaming

No, not a sleigh ride, although that would be fun too...
Bernie's company had Tubing Day at Soldier Hollow! We scarfed down hot dogs and chili in the lodge that had that great fireplace that was in the first shot, then, burping quietly because we were full, (and the hot dog chili combo does that anyway....) we headed out and up the tow line.
Bernie was "meeting and greeting" friends from work and enjoying seeing his co-worker's children and spouses.
The temperature wasn't bad at all...around 44 degrees when we finished up, but the slight breeze and snow fall the first hour made that balaclava head and face wrap greatly appreciated.

Grinning like a kid....such fun! And so nice to have a tow line up to the top of the hill instead of scrambling in the snow like the last time we went sledding.

We slid about six times: once solo, twice hooked together (my favorite way to ride!), once solo face forward, and one more time solo on a bumpier run. Above is Bernie riding down face first.

"Twas fun..."
Real fun!
Some wee ones giggled like crazy as they slid, others cried and cried. Earlier in the day these two snow bunnies-in-training had a ball sliding down with extended family on tubes all around them.

Soldier Hollow is such a beautiful valley. There is snow shoeing and cross country skiing there as well, and horse back riding in the summer.

By the way...does the name "Soldier Hollow" ring a bell?

It was where the cross country skiing and bi-athalon (Xcountry skiing and shooting) events were held during the SLC Olympics of 2002.
I really can not understand why they didn't have a tubing event then.
Shucks...I could enter to win in that sport.
It just doesn't seem fair...none of the sports that I excel in are recognized as Olympic Events.
I think I could qualify in Zen Candle Staring, Snow Tubing and Weaving.
(When I graduated from Oregon State University I owned a tee-shirt that said "Official Weaving Team" on the back. Maybe you have to have been a weaver to understand that humor...)
I'm not giving up though.
A dream of being an Olympian is worth having.
I live on the side of Mt. Olympus you know.
Give it time...Olympic glory seem inevitable, doesn't it?