Saturday, April 19, 2008

That was the Pope? That old fella living in the art gallery?

On Thursday I went to see the Pope, with 30,000 of my closest friends. It was insane how many people where there. But that is to be expected.
I managed to get a ticket through a member of NPM, where I work. Tom Stayle (I think that's how his name is spelled) was in charge of the music for the mass. So the people in the office, my mom and me where sitting with the choir, right behind the multi-cultural choir, so we could hear the music great, which was pretty great.
The mass it's self was pretty standard. Which was what the planners were going for.
Pope came in, there was a mass, pope left. Not that I was underwhelmed or anything. Far from it. I like him better now.
But the most notable event of the day came after the mass on the way back to the Metro.
Some "Christians" decided that it would be fun to protest. I've heard of this shit happening, but I've never actually seen it. I'm not sure what they were hoping to achieve, but I'm sure they failed massively. Especially with all the people they were protesting forming their own sort of counter protest with singing and arguing. Imagine a river of people singing psalms in English and Spanish. Kinda hard to hear people yelling at you over that.
But I'm sure I made a couple of priests laugh. When they where yelling at us that the Catholic Church preached fornication, I responded, "We are!?! Yes!" I figure the best way to ignore bull headed stupidity is to laugh at it and move on. Especially when they are so sure they're right, they aren't going to listen to you.
But the pope was nice.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.

Today I went to the Walters for a exhibit on maps. All kinds of maps. Some really old maps, from the crusades, from Ancient China, Rome, maps that where used to explain that the earth was indeed round. There were several interesting ones. I liked one that was used as directions for how to get to Palestine on a pilgrimage in the middle ages. But it was not written for those who were actually going. Instead it was written for those on a meditative pilgrimage, to imagine the way there, or something like that. There was another map that showed how the earth was created by the rainbow snake, if you are from Australian native. Then there was an incredibly detailed painting of a dutch city. There was so much detail that you could see the shadows of passing clouds. On the wall past that was the second aerial photograph ever taken. the first, sadly, has been lost to the ash and dust of time.
But what i really liked was the companion exhibit. The Walters worked with Johns Hopkins and NASA to get a selection of pictures taken from the Hubble. Some where pictures i've seen before, but they still amaze me. One (above)was a picture taken of deep space where nearly every point of light is not a star but a galaxy. If you look at it, you can see all these different kinds, most of them swirling, but some of them more irregulars, simply because were seeing them as they form. They're so far away that it's more like looking back at the beginning of time or the universe. Ok, maybe not that dramatic, but close.
So today I also got into the Grad school of my choice. Kinda. I have been excepted to the program and recommended for acceptance to the Grad school, so it's not official, just pretty much guaranteed. Provided that I didn't lie on my application, which I didn't.
So yay for me. Next September I (hopefully) shall be attending UMBC's Public History Program, emphasizing museum studies. It's odd knowing what I shall be doing for the next year or two.
Next Thursday, I also know what I'll be doing. I'm going to see the pope. He's visiting DC and NY and I get to go the mass at the Nationals stadium. It should be interesting.