ODAAT: 
one day at a time…
Sunday, 25 July 2004

I Walked Out One Midsummer Morn
CREDITS: [image] © Martin Sammtleben; [web site] WWP/Worldwide Panorama.
Thumbnail pops-up source page. NB: destination pages link to QuickTime panoramas.

Kaldidalur 'The Cold Valley' © Martin SammtlebenThe Geography Computing Facility at the University of California Berkeley sponsored a project named World Heritage, a world wide panorama shoot on summer solstice weekend from 19-21 June 2004 involving 110 photographers in 32 countries. You may see the results of their efforts, along with some background information about the project.

We scoured the six [1][2][3][4][5][6] page participant thumbnail index looking for entries that we felt represented how we thought the project was best handled. Our preferences were for a sunrise shot, majestic ancient surroundings linked to human culture, or prehistoric landscapes unspoiled by the hand of man.

We looked at all the panoramas, then selected a short list of five, in no particular order: [A] George Kountouris, Temple of Poseidon, Peninsula of Sounion, southeast tip of Attica, Greece; [B] Rik Littlefield, Granite Mountain & Robin Lakes, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Cascade Mountains, Washington State, USA ; [C] Bo Lorentzen, Devil's Golf Course salt pan, Death Valley National Park, California, USA; [D] Martin Sammtleben, Kaldidalur 'The Cold Valley', Central Highlands, Iceland; and [E] Romuald Vareuse, 10,000 feet over Reunion Island, Indian Ocean.

Although we thought all five were superb, if we had to choose only one, it would be letter [D], because it was the genuine solstice sunrise in a wild and beautiful place. That final selection also had the added advantage of a panoramic aerial photograph with a lower tech requirement than the QuickTime panoramas.

We were delighted to find an additional panorama, [G] Tom Striewisch, Zeche Zollverein, Essen, Ruhrstadt, NRW, Germany, that complements a recent feature we did, which was in part about the same subject. An earlier spring equinox project appears on the 2003 home page.

Ian Scott-Parker writes: Like many otherwise ordinary people, I suffer from that condition where my brain becomes fixated on a phrase, song lyric, tune, action, or memory association from the past. George Costanza in the Seinfeld Show television episode The Jacket got his brain wrapped around the Master of the House song from Les Misérables. Robert Schuman was driven insane by an imagined A-note sounding repeatedly in his ear. All the while that today's item was in preparation, I had the phrase As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morn running around in my head. Then I remembered an item way back in 2002, and dug this out of the archives:
I got to thinking of great journeys in history, and how they began. I have always enjoyed the title 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morn' as though Laurie Lee had just wandered off for a stroll one fine day, and ended up fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Missing persons reports may start like that, but not great journeys.

Then I fell to thinking about Alexander the Great. I do not think that Alexander's style, unlike Bill Gates who is also otherwise known as The Richest Resident of Redmond, was to wander up to a group of soldiers and ask "Where do you want to go today?" If they didn't pause, stare, then carry on chatting, I think the feedback would have been as useful as the responses in this totally fabricated Denounce.com 'news' item, with "Ulaan Baator" my own favorite because of the isolation of MS by a hit and miss Internet service caused by the unreliable power supply.

I feel sure Alexander would have some grand scheme buried deep within his neural nets, but most probably just thundered something like "Join me in a glorious rampage, as we conquer our enemies, loot their treasures, and carry off their women." PBS [Public Broadcasting Service] has an excellent four part series 'In the Steps of Alexander', presented by Michael Wood. Alexander was not just a leader, however; he knew how to follow if the idea was presented properly.

After the fall of Persepolis the Macedonians had their usual 'Dionysian celebration' which is Greek for piss up. A courtesan named Thaïs seized the moment; I like to think it was in flagrante delicto if you get my drift, and shouted "Let's burn down the freakin' library!".

Now there was a gal who knew how to sell an idea with a punchy slogan! When he sobered up after torching the library Alexander wept in remorse at his destruction of an irreplaceable treasure of art, literature and knowledge. Later, Thaïs hooked up with Ptolemy who founded the Alexandria library, which in turn was torched by Julius Caesar.
  
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)