The Watering Hole: December 11 – M. C. Escher

During an exchange with 2ebbandflow (or ebb) on Dec. 9th, the subject of Maurits Cornelis Escher came up. Escher drew 2 dimensional scenes that depicted 3 dimensional scenes that were or are impossible in the real world. Waterfalls that seemed to flow uphill or stairs that provided ceaseless upward movement.

As almost all of Escher’s art is copyrighted, I hesitate to put an image up at the Zoo. Many examples do occur here.

An example of this kind of perspective art is depicted in a Penrose Triangle:

When we were on assignment in Germany, my middle son, who had been fascinated with Escher from an early age, took every opportunity to see Escher exhibits at The Hague. He went there about three times in the two years that we were there. He was 13 and 14 at the time. I might note that youngsters could travel in Europe without fear of being murdered, kidnapped or assaulted at that time in the mid 1980’s. He would hand draw copies of Escher’s art from the originals. He brought back quite a few copies that adorn his house today.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to add your thoughts on this, or any other topic that comes to mind.

83 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: December 11 – M. C. Escher

  1. I’ve actually encountered a MΓΆbius strip (see Penrose Triangle link) in a real-world situation before. Have you ever sat down in a car seat and no matter which way you turn the seat belt, it’s either flat across your waist or flat across your chest but it can’t be both?

  2. Since TP appears to have missed the 9am Saturday thread already, based on past performance, I presume we shall be limited to the noon and three pm posts, also known as ‘The Professional Left Two Step”.

  3. Totally intrigued by Escher. He’s on my list ‘to visit’ when the “waybac” machine materializes!
    I’d love to have conversation with or watch him work!

  4. Often think of and send positive thoughts his life is on the plus side but really miss 5thestate input when it comes to this – I’d love to know his thoughts once this was read:

    WikiLeaks cables: Vatican refused to engage with child sex abuse inquiry

    The Vatican refused to allow its officials to testify before an Irish commission investigating the clerical abuse of children and was angered when they were summoned from Rome, US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks reveal.

  5. 2ebb, it was funny you put up a Mr. Bean clip last night. I woke up and watched part of a movie called Maybe Baby, starring Hugh Laurie and Joely Richardson, as a young married couple trying to get pregnant. When they reached the point of taking fertility tests, who should show up as Richardson’s gynecologist, but Rowan Atkinson! Although the story wandered a bit, there are several really funny spots worth watching the movie to see. It was made in 2000, and I had never heard of it.

    I’d like to hear from 5th and also Witch1, before Christmas, at least.

  6. I saw the touring Escher exhibit in San Francisco, within a month or two of his death. Rooms filled with lithographs, sketches and sculptures–and I’ve been more or less obsessed with his work ever since. One of the first attempts (poor, admittedly) I submitted in design class was a take off on Bond of Union.

  7. When I awoke this morning I was having an incredible erotic, science fiction, espionage dream filled with beautiful landscapes and architecture, strange countrysides and mysterious people. And, naturally, an incredibly beautiful and sensual woman who was mad for me. And, naturally, I awoke at the most critical moment. Now I’ll never know if we were really in Albania!

  8. This item may well cover the sources of the legends of both the Garden of Eden (near Babylon) and the Great Flood. The historical fit is close and in the same common region, only the timing is off by about 40%.

    This is actually a better fit than the Black Sea theory and it fits the shift of peoples of ancient Judea.

  9. I’ve found an app to play my iTunes music on my Android phone. Now trying to determine what I want available. According to iTunes I have 60+ hours of music, more than 11,000 songs.

  10. Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen. The snow is here, no mo green.

    I really want to be a weatherman. Their 2-4″ of accumulation is now over the top of my 8″ boots and wicking up my long johns at an astonishing rate. And according to the map we are only about halfway through the system.

    How white is it in MN, zxbe?

  11. Thought that might be the case, zxbe. I’m just glad I invested in a good snowblower last year. We are in a bit of a lull but radar says more fun is on the way.

  12. Just checked the local paper, and they’re saying we’ve had 13 inches so far, and my county’s been added to the Blizzard Warning. As opposed to the “Not-Quite-A-Blizzard Warning” we were under before.

  13. Okay, my video debut. lol (be kind lol)

    It doesn’t really do the storm justice. But it’s pretty brutal out there. A fresh 13+ inches of snow on top of 6+ from last week. But the worst part will be in the coming days as tonight’s low will be -5, and tomorrow’s high will only be 4 above. Then it’s going to get in the negative double digits for the next few nights and remain in the single digits near zero for high temps.

  14. Frugal, that was awesome! I’m not much of a spiritual person these days, but we used to sing the Hallelujah Chorus when I was in HS choir. Great memories. And I just love that music.

  15. Likewise, zx. It’s the music. I’m as far from being religiously ‘spiritual’ as one can get, but some pieces of music can and DO inspire even when the topic the music is trying to celebrate is of no interest to me. It’s the music, and the magnificent genius it took to create it.

  16. frugal, yeah, Scott County. As of 12:30 we’d had 13 inches. And it’s been snowing hard all day. No telling where this one will top out. I haven’t seen the plows since this morning, so I guess they’re having trouble keeping the main roads open. The blowing and drifting is incredible.

  17. Brings back memories, zx, fond memories of many many years ago. I grew up LOVING S. Minnesota blizzards! Kept us out of school for sometimes up to two weeks — the plows would open the roads, but then the wind would pick up again and there came the drifts yet one more time. As kids we’d be out all day — sledding, skiing, building snow forts in the park, home by suppertime the only requirement. Didn’t care how cold it was. Ten below? What’s that? NO SCHOOL!

    Meanwhile, today, here along the front range of the Rockies in Colorado, there’s no snow. The temp is near sixty. Even the snow on the mountains 8 miles to the west has mostly melted. Oddest, and so far the warmest, December I can ever remember in Colorado.

    I will, however, be playing the Four Seasons all night in the bedstand CD player!

  18. Zooey,

    LOL, that was a good one. Now combine it with this image I have from the TV series “Cheers.” Coach is trying to help Sam learn European geography, and Coach tells him he just puts all these little facts into songs to help him remember. His first one went (and the tune doesn’t matter because it’s random), “Oh, Albania, you are so mountainous.”

    I think I’d like to meet this Albania woman some day. πŸ˜‰

  19. frugal,

    Perhaps you could help me (and perhaps some others) understand something about growing up in Minnesota. Just how the hell does life function when there’s ten, fifteen, even twenty feet of snow on the ground? How do businesses operate? How do people get around when the snow is that deep? Three feet of snow would bring life to a halt for several days around here, and it’s rare we get that much at once. But you guys routinely get two, three, four times that much snow. How do you do it? How does life go on when people can’t move about? I was just curious. You are under no obligation to share any of that publicly if you choose not to. Thanks.

  20. Wayne: I can truthfully say I never saw or sensed a problem with snow. Blizzards were FUN, and grand in the sense that school could easily be closed for a week or two at a time, not because of lack of plowing but because of recurrent winds and very cold temps which kept the snow powdered, and driftable. There were times when the drifts were 20 or more feet high, and it was not at all uncommon to hear warnings on the radio to be careful, to not touch electrical power lines if you were to find the means to climb a drift (skis or snowshoes would work for that).

    Our high school Superintendent was a good friend of my dad’s, and on snow or blizzard mornings, he’d get up early, put chains on his Ford, and head out to explore the drifting on the country roads. If he decided the buses could safely run, then school was on for the day, or at least till noon. If things were getting worse by noon, then everyone would go home early. He liked having school last till noon because it brought in a full day’s worth of state aid to education — he was like that, but never to the point of being extreme. If the roads were dangerously drifted, no school until …

    Businesses downtown, of which my dad’s bakery was one, were open no matter what. The village had a couple of plows, a couple of dump trucks, and a front end loader to keep Main Street clear no matter what. They’d plow the snow to the middle of the street, then haul it to an open area in the Village Park, next to the creek. Big chunks, huge piles, PERFECT for snow fort construction!

    When I was older, a teenager, driving was never worrisome (we were too dumb to worry much, I suppose). But once the roads were plowed, the first stop was St. Olaf Lake some four miles out of town. Thick ice, powdery snow, blizzard winds yesterday — lots of glare ice plus some drifts on the lake in sheltered areas. Great sport: 100 mph on the glare ice, spin the steering wheel, car whirls aimlessly, hits some drifts and we could watch the snow fly all around until the car finally came to a halt. Then, off to do it all again. Somehow we survived.

    You could tell when it was cold: the snow on the road or path crunched under your feet, and, after wrestling practice and a shower, your wet hair froze solid on your head on the walk home, or downtown, whichever.

    It was all so NORMAL! Winter in S. Minnesota in the fifties. I don’t know if it’s still that “normal” or not — I doubt it. ZXBE will know. πŸ˜‰

  21. In the winter of 1942-43, I was in DC and the snow was over my head. I have a reel of film that proves that! If I could only find an 8 mm projector…

  22. Frugal, it sounds much like growing up in rural New York, near Buffalo. “Snow Days” meant the snow was deep enough that the buses couldn’t get to the farm kids (a big chunk of our school population). Snow up there was inevitably deep, wet and heavy. Perfect for a 12 year old, probably not so much for adults.

  23. Zxbe, were you out of doors shooting that?
    It’s a ‘terrible beauty’ but I can’t imagine being out in such weather.

    Nice touch at the end – avian friends making an appearance.

  24. Thanks ebb.

    They were from indoors. I did go out for a bit, but there was no way to shield the camera from getting stuff on the lens. And it was just brutal out there for me as well.

    Looks like the snow event is winding down now. 15-20 in the metro. High winds (so more drifting) and bitter cold tonight.

    • That is an awesome video, zxbe!

      I’m glad I wasn’t there, because I’d be having a serious anti-snow meltdown, which would be pitifully useless. πŸ˜€

      I love the wobbly snowman in the lower right corner! I couldn’t tell, but I hope he was waving his middle snow-finger at the storm.

  25. Hi Zooey.
    I’m hoping to leave by Christmas Eve at the latest. It will take me at least a week after getting the layoff to put affairs in order.

    • BnF, that was the only interesting thing about that movie — other than David Bowie’s astonishing “package” and his weird obsession with a little girl.

  26. Zooey,

    I actually liked quite a lot about that movie. Things weren’t always as they seemed, and a good lesson about facing your fears.

    • Jeebus, I hope this weather continues to move mostly to the north of us:

      Waterville, 10.0″… 5 miles south of Wenatchee, 8.0″… Plain, 8.0″… near Chelan, 7.0″… Wnw Royal City, 5.5″… Ssw Wenatchee, 5.5″… 4 miles west of Anatone, 5.0″… Ene Waterville, 5.0″… Wnw Mansfield, 4.5″… near Boyds, 4.5″… near Entiat, up to 6.0″… 4 miles north of Wenatchee, up to 9.0″… near Leavenworth, up to 12.5″

      • Oy, I’m trying to come up with a shopping list for my dad for Xmas dinner, when I haven’t actually shopped for and cooked Thanksgiving or Xmas dinner in years. Trying to keep it basic — no marshmallows!!

  27. Zooey,

    Appetizers:
    Shrimp Cocktail with chili sauce for shrimp
    Lite cream cheese and lox on Ritz crackers

    Dinner:
    Shank portion roasted ham
    Baked sweet potatoes, no sugary stuff (These are more healthy than Idahos and go with ham)
    Asparagus (Pan boiled, plus lo-fat spread – no Hollandaise)

    Dessert:
    Apple pie (Use half sugar and half Splenda granulated sugar substitute in the filling)
    For ala mode – use lite vanilla ice cream

    The combination is not that bad and should not carry any threats against your Dad’s ticker.

  28. muse,
    I agree.

    Zooey,
    You can also use pumpkin pie (Which frees you of the aggravation of making a crust, use pre-made frozen) and is actually healthier than apple.

    • Walt,

      Your menu sounds great! My sister’s husband is getting a 20# turkey from work, so that’s what I have to work with. I already warned her off of the sweet potatoes with marshmallow disgustingness.

      I’m going with a fairly traditional dinner menu, and I’m going to get my men to make the pumpkin pies. Should be interesting!!

  29. Zooey,
    If your Dad will eat it serve him the white meat. If he insists on stuffing, bake his portion in the front of the bird (Where the neck once was. Keep foil over that area during the entire baking precess or some stuffing will bake onto the skin.) I cannot help you on the gravy, but giblets are not recommended.

    • Walt,

      Thankfully, my dad prefers white meat. The stuffing will not be cooked in the bird, since I find that disgusting, and even though I love giblet gravy, they will be discreetly tossed into the garbage.

  30. hit ‘post’ too soon – but the bold says it all: tightly stage-managed.
    She has no shame – none what so ever.
    If she had medical experience – or even brought a cargo load of supplies – but she is selfish – selfish!

  31. Tonight I attended a fund raiser held by a PAC that raises money for local candidates only. I stupidly voiced my disappointment in Obama’s actions this week and immediately one person became angry and started yelling at me “What was he suppose to do?” If I started to respond with my own opinion, he would again shout at me, “What was he suppose to do? ” Then he went on and on about how the House and the Senate should have held a vote on the Bush tax cuts before the election etc… . I agreed with him on that piece and then I started to say that Obama could have handled it differently and then the person began complaining about Republicans and Progressives and then he got up and walked away. I was stunned by how strongly he supported President Obama. It felt like he would support President Obama to the death, right or wrong. Then again, Obama could never be wrong as far as he was concerned. Kind of creepy. This is exactly how Beck followers would behave.

    Think I’m through politics for awhile. I’ll be handing in my Democratic committee woman resignation in January and I won’t be attending any more fundraisers. From now on, I’ll just send a check to the candidates that I support.

  32. Zooey, cooking dressing in the bird is a bad idea in so many ways. If nothing else, this means you’ve got a safe carcass for soup stock. It also gives you much better control of the roasting process. Any chance you can get a fresh bird?

    • gummitch,

      I couldn’t agree with you more on dressing in the bird being a bad idea. All I can think of when that particular bowl comes around is “BACTERIA BACTERIA!!” I have no idea of the origins of the turkey — other than my BIL’s workplace. A fresh bird would be great, but it would be on my ticket, and I can’t afford it.

  33. Muse – thanks. Happy to hear that you are back enjoying your music. I’m learning how to play the guitar and it’s fun even though my fingers get sore.

    It’s late here and I’m heading off to bed. Later and good night.

  34. We’ve always done stuffing in the bird with no problems.

    Not sure what our Christmass supper will be this year…maybe goose again for a change.

    Dungeness crabs $2.99/lb – Chioppino for lunch today…mmmm.

  35. Muse,

    once, I had to audition for a symphony spot using a strange horn – my 1st valve froze up at the start of the audition, so the principle hornist lent me his Paxman ($4k back in the 80’s). I used my mouthpiece, did a couple of arpeggios, then off to play my prepared piece. My audition piece had a jump down to a low F (bass clef). My horn plays that a bit sharp, but on the Paxman, I decided to not adjust for that and play it straight – and it was in tune. I fell in love with the Paxman horn then and there.

    Still haven’t been able to get one for myself yet. Bit of a bummer now that my lips won’t last nearly as long…

    Glad to know you’ve picked up playing again. Music keeps the heart young.

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