Mad Quickies

Mad Quickies: Space Place Map, Seismologist and Composer, Wanderers and More!

Greetings, All—and happy long weekend to my fellow patriots and a howdy dee-do to the rest of you out there, unbedeviled by 3 a.m. fireworks or the gauche pageantry of a two-bit wannabe dictatorship. But I digress!

Let’s enjoy this wonderful gift from NASA just in time for America’s Independence Day: NASA Has Space in All 50 States. NASA’s award-winning website Space Place has created a new interactive map of the United States that lets you find NASA connections in your state and beyond. “NASA in the 50 States” was developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, for third- to sixth-grade students, but it’s packed with fun facts for people of all ages.


Don’t you absolutely love that feeling of not being able to put a book down, of planning your day around the book, of sneaking as much time as you can to read said book? As a kid, I was always lugging books around—as I would guess just about all of you did, too. My first memorable, can’t-put-it-down experience was Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh—now a beloved children’s book, then, still a new-ish novel—which I read one summer almost entirely while eating provolone-and-garden-tomato sandwiches. I still love that feeling [and I still love those sandwiches] and it’s ever a quest to find that book again. May I present my latest obsession: a captivating, provocative, dystopian masterpiece, WANDERERS by Chuck Wendig. YES, it is THAT good. And yes, I recommend it with the caveat that you don’t read too much about it if you’re interested. As for me: RIP my schedule.


Speaking of compelling reading, this is a deep dive but a heck of a trip.

The Last Ride of Cowboy Bob — “He wore a Western hat, never spoke a word, and robbed bank after bank. When the feds finally arrested him, they discovered that their suspect was actually a soft-spoken woman. They thought they’d never hear from her again— but she had other plans.”

Incidentally, this is not an ancient story. Peggy Jo Tallas knocked over her first bank in May of 1991. So fascinating!


Who among us doesn’t love peeking at an artist’s sketchbooks? “Back for an eighth year, the annual Moleskine Project, curated by Rodrigo Luff and Spoke Art, brings together a diverse slate of artists all working within the confines of a Moleskine notebook.” The project features over fifty artists from around the world. Although the show at a San Fran gallery ended in June, please enjoy this scroll of Moleskine spreads.


After the unspeakable tragedy of 9/11, architects have sought to rebuild and restore, not in exactitue, but with reverence and tribute. In 2016, the World Trade Center Station, a vital train station, “reopened to the public. In addition to its subterranean services, this new site includes a glass and steel structure called the Oculus. Designed by famed Spanish architect and structure engineer Santiago Calatrava, this luminous space is intended to resemble “a bird flying from the hands of a child,” bringing a sense of hope to a site of tragedy.”


Our fearless leader, Amy, remarked on twitter after the 6.6 earthquake in Cali that, “Dr Lucy Jones is one of the coolest seismologists ever. Her presence on the news got me through the Northridge quake and taught me so much. It’s so great to see her talking about Ridgecrest now. And she is an artist. Check her feed.”

Dr. Jones had this to say about her recent work, “The potential for increased weather disasters coming with climate change make the earthquake problem look small. My music on the data of the changing climate: In Nomine Terra Calens: In the name of a warming Earth.”

—from the page—

This original instrumental work by seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, “In Nomine Terra Calens: In the name of a warming earth”, allows the listener to hear Earth’s temperature data over the last 138 years. Recorded by Josh Lee and Ostraka, the piece is performed by four viols with one of the bass viols playing the temperature data. The accompanying animation by Ming Tai, El Ogorodova, and Christopher Yoon captures the rising temperatures as delicate colored spheres while highlighting world events. The haunting bass line chronicles the rise of global temperature and progresses through an increasingly frantic rising of pitch to end with a stripping away of harmonies that converges on one lone note. It ends without direction to represent the uncertain future.

To learn more visit…

Composed by Lucy Jones
Performed by Ostraka – Josh Lee, Director
Recorded and Engineered by Jeremiah Johnson
Mixed by Ben Cooper
Produced by Josh Lee
Recorded at Bear Machine Studios, Glendale CA April 6, 2019



Geologic Universe, vault-keeper. Sheer Brick Studio, principal. Empty Set, designer. Bethlehem Mounties, media. WDIY 88.1FM NPR station programmer. Skepchick.

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