Hope is the thing with feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I ’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

-- Emily Dickinson


What Time Is It?

Photo by sTenYa

The World Clock Project is a website that displays the current time (in your time zone) using photos of clocks shot around the globe. If you've got a clock, they want to see it. There are plenty of empty time-slots and anyone can contribute images of public clocks. Email your clock photos to clocks@worldclockproject.org or, if you're already a Flickr user, join them on the World Clock Project Flickr group. It's about time.


Worlds' Oldest Jewelry

Scientists have identified what may be the oldest jewelry in the world. They found the perforated 100,000-year-old Nassariusshells in museum collections where they were stored after being gathered during the 1930s and 1940s from the Skhul site in Israel and Oued Djebbana in Algeria. The researchers report in the journal Science that the shells were used as beads for jewelry. From the Association for the Advancement of Science:

“Our paper supports the scenario that modern humans in Africa developed behaviors that are considered modern quite early in time, so that in fact these people were probably not just biologically modern but also culturally and cognitively modern, at least to some degree,” said study coauthor Francesco d’Errico of le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Universite Bordeaux 1 in Talence, France.

“This idea has been postulated before now, but the evidence has been quite scant,” d’Errico added.

Until recently, researchers generally believed that the first signs of modern human culture appeared 40,000 years ago, when anatomically modern humans arrived in Europe. The cave paintings, musical instruments, jewelry and other artwork preserved from this time period, the Upper Paleolithic, indicate that humans were capable of symbolic thinking.

Jewelry probably conveyed many aspects of people’s social and cultural identities, and most archaeologists agree that personal decoration was one of the most important expressions of modern human culture, according to study coauthor Marian Vanhaeren of University College London in London and CNRS in Nanterre, France.


Ruby Butterfly

I'm exceedingly lucky to have several gems-of-friends in my life. Last month, one of them celebrated a momentous birthday. Several of us got together and decided I should make a necklace for her. She is a woman of consciousness, which means she is also a woman of compassion and heart. Naturally, only rubies would do.

For thousands of years, the ruby has been considered one of the most valuable gemstones on Earth. It has everything a precious stone should have: magnificent color, excellent hardness and outstanding brilliance. It is the color of love, radiating warmth and a strong sense of vitality. It is also rare, in the finest sense of the word, much in the way of true friendship. Happy Birthday StarGirl.


A Blessing For the New Year

Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

-- James Wright

Greetings and salutations to all who came by to say hello.
Happy New Year!