Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless free flying in an MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit)
In response to some of the rather apocryphal science portrayed in the recent movie Gravity, NASA has posted a roster of photos of the real thing. This image of Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless free flying in an MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit) in 1984 shows him further away from the safety of his mothership than any previous astronaut, and seems in one image to capture the incredible technological advances and aspirations of the Twentieth Century.
Neon halo, Church of St. Willibroard, Utrecht.
Halo, a permanent light circle, floating above the ridge of the Church of St. Willibrordin in Utrecht, Holland, was created by the artist Titia Ex. This artwork, equally describable as an example of Environmental Graphic Design, is a striking example of how a simple modern gesture can work in perfect harmony with an Nineteenth Century landmark.
Men in traditional dress, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, Mexico
In San Juan Chamula, high in the hills of Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico on the border of Guatemala, traditional dress is still universally worn. The men wear these woolen coats, white in summer, black in winter, while the women wear long black skirts of the same material all year round despite the heat. These men are bargaining for some shellfish in Tzotzil (pronounced sote-seel), the Cholan Mayan language still spoken in this area. The preservation of Tzotzil, together with many other Indio languages is now seen as increasingly important and all teachers are required to be bi-lingual in both Spanish and the local traditional tongue.
The Pyramid tomb of Pacal the Great, seen from within the Royal Palace, Palenque.
Palenque is one of the best-preserved Pre-Columbian sites in Mexico. Here, the top of the Pyramid in which the Mayan king Pacal the Great was entombed after his death in 683, is seen from within the ruins of the Royal Palace. A burial chamber in the lowest level of the pyramid is accessed by a long tunnel beginning in the floor of the temple structure on the crest.
Breakdancers in the Jardin, San Miguel
The Concha dancers drums are now silent, but still, every evening, while three troupes of Mariachis compete in different corners, a group of young breakdancers practice in the bandshell in the center of the Jardin in San Miguel, adding the sound of their boombox to the general acoustical chaos.
A murmuration of Cowbirds in El Charco at sunset, San Miguel
Yesterday evening I got to go to the top of the lake in El Charco, the nature preserve and botanical garden just above San Miguel. Here, every evening, Cowbirds form rolling and weaving murmurations as they come home for the evening roost in the trees on a small island in the lake. While relatively humble as murmurations go, it is still an inspiring sight. I am not sure why they are called Cowbirds. Next time perhaps we will bring a cow and find out.
Concha dancers in the Jardin, San Miguel de Allende
It was impossible to resist posting some more. Each year the adornments get more and more elaborate, each a great source of pride for their owners. These concheros come from all around to spend the day in San Miguel and display their craft.
Concha dancer San Miguel de Allende
Each year, on the first Friday in March, the Concheros arrive en masse in San Miguel and the sound of drums echo all day and well into the night. The dance, which takes its name from a lute made from the body of an armadillo, has been revived as an Indio cultural tradition, and much time is spent in preparing wildly feathered headdresses adorned with the bones of animals and birds.
Gil Gutiérrez and Friends, Mi Casa Restaurant, San Miguel de Allende
Better than ever, this spring’s lineup at Mi Casa includes Gil Gutiérrez: Guitar, from Oaxaca and now San Miguel, Bob Stern: Violin, from Long Island, New York, Camille Garcia: Accordion, from France and now San Miguel, Ruben Olvera: Bass, from San Miguel, and Kimani Carrazana: Percussion, from Cuba.
Performer in front of the Parroquia, San Miguel de Allende
Last night, while this performer was playing for the evening strollers in the Jardin, this minute Mexican, who could hardly walk, put down his bottle and for the next twenty minutes followed him around enthusiastically imitating every step and whoop, drawing an enormous crowd. Just a typical evening in San Miguel.