Wednesday, December 26, 2012

He Who Seeks Finds

Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift.
-Albert Einstein
I feel like someone pointed  a human remote control on me  and kept their finger on the fast forward button for the past three days, walking super fast with my voice in that high pitch garble.  All that shopping, cooking and wrapping was deconstructed in a matter of minutes. It makes me wish myself back to my son’s first Christmas that he actually understood what was going on. He would wake up every day for weeks and ask if it was Christmas yet. When the morning finally came, I was perplexed at why he didn’t want to open all his presents. My wise beyond his years 3-year old said “let’s save them”. He wanted to savor the moment and keep something to look forward to. Just because Christmas is over doesn’t mean the anticipation of something magical has to end. People are making amazing discoveries every day. Here are a few that I learned about this week.
World’s largest mirror- There is a salt flatland in Bolivia that is more than 4,000 square miles. Imagine the ground being 10 feet deep in pure salt and dry 363 days a year. Now imagine what happens when it rains in those precious 48 hours once a year. A thin layer of water turns the flatland into the world’s largest mirror. Beyond spectacular. This is now at the top of my bucket list for places to see. 
A story waiting to be told- Hans Christian Anderson, the Danish writer who made fairy tales a literary genre in the 1800’s, still has new stories to tell. You may know him for the Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina or The Emperor’s New Clothes. His masterful writing has inspired movies, ballets, cartoons and become immortalized in children’s literature. Despite his fame, there is still more to discover about him. This month, Danish officials verified that a story recently found  in a stack of papers in a family’s suitcase is one of Anderson’s first fairy tales. The Tallow Candle is about a lonely candle longing to be lit. The 700 word tale was written in the 1820’s while Anderson attended boarding school, only to be discovered in 2012. 
Lost Davinci- Art historians believe they have found a Leonardo Davinci painting hidden behind a brick wall of another renaissance artist’s masterpiece in the Palazzo Vecchio. The words “He Who Seeks Finds” is painted next to a soldier in the 1563 fresco. Researchers thought it might be a clue to something else. They began testing last spring. In March 2012, historians drilled a hole into the painting and sent a probe in only to discover another painting behind the wall. The black pigments match the same paint used in the Mona Lisa, leading some to speculate that someone hid Davinci’s unfinished Battle of Anghiari of 1504.
Maybe it won’t be a treasured piece of art of literature, but you can discover a new natural wonder simply by looking up. The sky changes from moment to moment. No two clouds will look the same as they do in the light of the present. I know it sounds cliche’, but isn’t today a gift just waiting to be opened?
What will you discover today?
For today’s Sky’s the Limit (on what you can learn), thanks to my neighbor Frank for pointing out something about that wonderful sound champagne makes when you open it. While nothing says celebration like the distinctive “Pop”, champagne is actually not supposed to make that sound if properly opened. Apparently, if it pops, it is not cold enough. A well chilled bottle will sound more like a whisper and won’t fizz over either. For more on how to properly uncork champagne, here is a great article from Wall Street Journal.

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