More Italy

From Milan, we went to Camogli, a lovely coastal town with nice hiking and ferry connections to places like Portofino.  We hiked, we rode boats.  Ratty and Mole had a swell time. Why Portofino has a rhino hanging around, I have no idea, but it’s a fetching piece of public art.

Italy is also rich in cheesy heroic statues, a favorite genre.  Monument Avenue, eat your heart out.

Olmec Swinger

We’re thinking about a return trip to Mexico—my favorite travel destination.  One of the coolest museums I’ve ever been to is the Museum of Anthropology in Jalapa.  They have several of the big Olmec heads.  This is one of the thousands of more delicate and whimsical pieces on display there:

Art on vacation

We returned Sunday from a vacation in south Florida.  Saw a lot of wealth, saw a lot of For Sale signs.  We also saw some interesting art, like this sand rhino on the beach in Delray, and this woman in the window at a St. Augustine gallery:

I love them both.  The gallery in St. Augustine was closed, so I didn’t get to see the piece up close.  We rented one of those cabanas you see behind the rhino, however, and in the three or so hours we were there, dozens of photos were taken of him (as well as a lion lyin’ beside him).  It occurred to me that the supposedly transitory sand art would find itself digitally spread around the world, viewed by hundreds, while the more permanent work of art might never achieve such visibility.  Life is short, art is long—in all sorts of ways.

Echus Chasma

No that’s not Kelly Link’s latest short story. It’s a place on Mars friends Tim and Sherry sent me a photo of from Boulder. Boulder, I understand, is quite close to Mars. Here ’tis:

With a four-kilometer drop, this high cliff surrounding Echus Chasma, near an impressive impact crater, was carved by either water or lava. A leading hypothesis is that Echus Chasma, at 100-kilometers long and 10-kilometers wide, was once one of the largest water sources on Mars. If true, water once held in Echus Chasma likely ran over the Martian surface to carve the impressive Kasei Valles, which extends over 3,000 kilometers to the north. Even if initially carved by water, lava appears to have later flowed in the valley, leaving an extraordinarily smooth floor. The above image was taken by the robotic Mars Express spacecraft currently orbiting Mars.