Three Things Thursday

Back again with a new edition of Three Things Thursday, the purpose of which is to “share three things from the previous week that made you smile or laugh or appreciate the awesome of your life.”

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

1. “10,000 B.C.”

When we stopped at Ketchikan, AK on our Alaska cruise back in August, we visited a shop that sells work by Eddie Lee. Lee is a native of Vietnam who left that country with his family in 1978. He arrived in the U. S. and then settled in Seattle, WA. He has traveled extensively along the Northwest coast and Alaska, where he found a spiritual home.

At the gallery in Ketchikan we saw this amazing piece of artwork, titled 10,000 B.C.:

10,000 B.C.

10,000 B.C.Carved on a woolly mammoth tusk from Alaska that is more than 10,000 years old, it depicts the cycle of life of the area we now know as Alaska.

We were allowed to photograph this piece because Lee plans to donate it to the Smithsonian for public display. No photos can do justice to its fine detail and exquisite craftsmanship.

2. My Most Recent Fungus Photo

My family likes to tease me because, whenever I see a toadstool, I feel compelled to photograph it. Here’s my latest, a shot (and it was hard choosing just one!) of a toadstool my husband and I came upon while walking home from a meeting on Tuesday, the day we had a large rainstorm with high winds:


Wikipedia defines toadstool as “the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source.” Wikipedia also uses the terms toadstool and mushroom interchangeably, a practice that I do not share. I prefer to save the term mushroom for the edible things I buy in the produce section of my local grocery stores.

The toadstool pictured here may be an Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita, although I’m not sure. Someday I may undertake a study of such fungal growths, but for now I’m content just to photograph them.

3. What I’ve Been Reading

Frequently I come across interesting articles on the internet that I don’t have time to read just then. I leave them open in a browser tab until eventually I have so many tabs open that I have to decide whether to stop and read the articles or simply close the tabs and start a new collection.

Here is one of those articles that doesn’t quite fit as material for my other two blogs. When I started writing this post, I realized I needed a third item and decided that it would fit nicely here.

Stop Googling. Let’s Talk. by Sherry Turkle, a professor in the Science, Technology, and Society program at M.I.T., who writes:

I’ve been studying the psychology of online connectivity for more than 30 years. For the past five, I’ve had a special focus: What has happened to face-to-face conversation in a world where so many people say they would rather text than talk? I’ve looked at families, friendships and romance. I’ve studied schools, universities and workplaces. When college students explain to me how dividing their attention plays out in the dining hall, some refer to a “rule of three.” In a conversation among five or six people at dinner, you have to check that three people are paying attention — heads up — before you give yourself permission to look down at your phone. So conversation proceeds, but with different people having their heads up at different times. The effect is what you would expect: Conversation is kept relatively light, on topics where people feel they can drop in and out.

I was surprised to read that Turkle discovered a sense of loss among young people she talked with who have grown up with the “rule of three.” These teenagers and college students seem to understand that they lose the close personal connection created in face-to-face conversations uninterrupted by technology. But, Turkle writes, it’s not too late for us to fix things. “We face a significant choice. It is not about giving up our phones but about using them with greater intention. Conversation is there for us to reclaim.”

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