Two Hundred and Fifty Years Young
Today is the 250th birthday of my beloved Amherst, Massachusetts. When I arrived at the Amherst Starbucks this morning, looking out the window I felt sure the parade would be cancelled by heavy rains.
But despite Amherst's reputation in some quarters as a heathen haven, God stopped the rain in time for the festivities to get underway on time. Among the spectators was local libertarian leader Terry Franklin.
Springfield was represented by this Cat in the Hatter.
Politicians onhand included State Rep. Ellen Story and Congressman John Olver.
Of course Emily Dickinson had to be represented, and she was by school children marching with placards bearing Miss Emily's poems.
Northampton sent their most distinguished emissaries - The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Amherst blogmaster Larry Kelley was covering the scene.
He was taking a picture of me.
Amherst used to be a section of the town of Hadley, which sent this float to honor their rebellious offspring.
250 years ago you might very well have seen a family looking just like this walking down the street.
Of course Motown Bernie was there.
A local bear perched atop the Cowls Lumber truck.
Good advice for the next 250 years.
Among those participating in the parade was the Amherst Survival Center. I marched with them.
Here's a video I made of the parade from the inside looking out.
Platonic Solids Journey to Infinity
Buckminster Fuller was heavily into this stuff. From the Kyoto Observer:
Diagram via Robert Lawlor. The five Platonic Solids fit into one another, starting with the Father, the Icosahedron, followed by the universe's Mother, the Dodecahedron. Touching the Mother are the Cube and Double Tetrahedron. Inside the Double Tetrahedron is the Octahedron. The inner Octahedron, from our perspective, also seems like a hexagram and inside that another Icosahedron can be drawn, thus starting the process again...infinitely.
Sorry to disappoint you, Carl Sagan (and other flatland materialists), but there is a geometric order underlying the cosmos. And these shapes fitting into one another suggest the Creator's fingerprints.
Start with the 6 points around the circle, thus forming a hexagram. You have the 6 directions, east, west, north and south, up and down, with you in the middle, the seventh point--a summary of the days of the week and the seven note octave. 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 = 720, the basis of the 5 Platonic Solids, starting with the 720 degrees of the tetrahedron. The Sun appears to precess (go back on its path around the 12 houses of the zodiac) 1 degree every 72 years. The 22 alefbet correctly written are done with 72 strokes.
Doing this diagram won't necessarily transform you into an angel and gain you access to the summit of Mt Olympus but it is a wonderful meditation showing you that in spite of the crises facing us, the world is inherently perfect.
Scene From a Nightmare
The UMass Minuteman Marching Band (above) was among those participating in today's Amherst 250th birthday parade. Here they are in 2001 doing White Rabbit.