Dazzling Bright in Seattle, at the Borealis Festival of Light

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Last Saturday, I viewed some very bright and colorful lights during the nights,  the first annual Borealis, Festival of Light in Seattle.

Such was a four-day event held in the main waterside park area of South Lake Union, where a showcase of light fixtures and interesting little sculptures were scattered about, in and around the area. Some of the visuals were interactive…

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That was all I got from the small stuff, but trust me, there were some cool illuminations around. That second pic above would change with the use of a “magic roller.” Cooool!

Some attendees also brought their own electrical lights…

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From all that, simple minor delights to enjoy for what they are, an appreciation for the use of art in light, through intensity, shape, color, and new technology. I felt a childlike joy, in allowing my imagination slightly drift off, in some weird otherworldy dimension for the moments I had to myself among the strange sights.

Meanwhile, the most interesting and best of it all was its main event, a very huge video projection show of dazzling digital light and sound, all part of a large competition of art teams, from around the world…

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I will share more about that in my next write-up, soon. I promise!

– Orion T

 

 

 

Observing the revealing dead life at Rattlesnake Lake

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It’s been six years since I last visited Rattlesnake Lake, a wonderful little body of water by North Bend, Washington. There were, and still no actual rattlesnakes there. The origin of its name is said to be from the sound of the seed pods of the local camas flower, drying out in the wind.

There is something much more interesting than its name. Here, was a small town over 100 years ago here, named Moncton in 1907 (formally Cedar Falls). The town did not last long, as it was built near a reservoir, taking in water through a very faulty dam. The floodwaters took over the town, as the settlers evacuated. Until 1915, the town was officially no more. Rattlesnake Lake took over.

You can find more on that story, here.

Much later, and more recently of last weekend, I visited Rattlesnake Lake. I was hoping for some peace and quiet on perhaps maybe the last sunny day of the year. To my surprise, I found the lake to have lost much of its water. A local told me it’s been ongoing, from the current changing climate, bringing in dryer days.

The view of the lake revealed a dramatic change, as a result.

Now shown, are many tree stumps and tree remnants from its days of heavy logging for the nearby former town.  It’s an awesome, fresh site to see so many scattered about. Stop and study the area, you’ll find some odd formations. One can easily imagine this alien landscape, perhaps inspire new tales of fantasy and maybe new spooky tales.

I trampled through some fresh mud to get a closer look, explore for different angles to its fantastic revelations. I took pictures, some presented below…

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I highly recommend a visit to those around the Seattle area. There is a nice hourly scenic hike, a pleasant nearby park, and other interesting things to check out. It’s close to North Bend, where the cult TV show Twin Peaks was filmed. Also nearby, are many more points of interest around here. I may share in the near future on some favorites, as I will definitely return to North Bend in the future.

For more on Rattlesnake Lake, including visiting info, click here.

– Orion T

The great Post Alley Art Wall

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Between two giant tourist attractions in Seattle, being the Gum Wall and the Pike Place Market is my favorite thing in the area for all visitors to check out…the art on the wall of Post Alley.

You’ll find this in the side of a downwards driveway below the big sign to the left, towards the Gum Wall from the west end of Pike Street. It’s hard to miss, unless really tired. But, I love it any time as it is always changing. It’s full of social messages, with some politics. Also full of adverts, shameless self-promotion, heads up on local events, and some puzzling stuff.

That’s all for today. I think the imagery has at least a thousand more words that speak to the reader than I can put forth for now. Just click on to enlarge and explore!

– Orion T

The new city perspective, from higher Seattle…

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The above shot is from the Madison and 4th Building in downtown Seattle, where I currently work these days. It’s from yesterday, being the last sunny day of summer, but with wind and cold outside ushering in the new Fall Season.

In the distance are two of Seattle’s tallest buildings. To the right, being the 76-floor Columbia Tower, a familiar tower to those who lived here over the last few decades. On the left to the middle is the more recent 44-floor F5 Tower, completed in 2017. Some cool facts: its glass walls are designed to handle temperature and energy use by letting in some sun rays and reflecting others. It uses the same glass as the One World Trade Center in New York City. It also holds rainwater for reuse, has a 35-foot-tall”living wall” where plants grow and have solar energy equipment upon its roof.

On the ground, the F5 is a visually puzzling, odd building among the other skyscrapers. Not exactly straight, and appearing too modern I think. From the ground, its pattern feels a bit off…

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But rising up high in another building and seeing a different angle of the F5, there is a barely seen symmetry to it, that is brilliant and awesome (see top picture).

Maybe someday, I will go inside and see more for myself. Hopefully, up high and getting the chance to look around, and gain new perspectives.

– Orion T

 

 

The Game Lights at PAX West

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I did nothing worth writing about for this passing weekend.

But the last weekend before through Labor Day, I did heavily geek out to my side passion for a big event of digital interactive entertainment, or video games as normals will call it.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have this annual PAX West convention, a big gathering for video game entertainment and tabletop gaming enthusiasts. Fans, publishers, developers, merchants…all mingle, promote, share, discover, collect, and most importantly to play. All held at and around the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

It was all good fun, which is the least I ask for in a successful PAX West.

For me, it’s mostly the discovery and exploration of what’s fresh and exciting for my gaming desires. Here at the PAX West, the indie game scene is growing with new developers, presenting fresh spins on traditional platforming styles, shoot-em-ups, complex thinking and problem-solving.

Of the presented games, I am looking most forward to Gris, a stunningly visual platformer focused on puzzle elements and abstract storytelling. Here is a trailer on that…

Other upcoming games I anticipated above others at PAX West: My Friend Pedro, Megaman 11, The MessangerPraey for the GodsIndivisible. All of which, are not games that require much of my time, with beautiful visuals, concepts, storytelling pull…yet using gameplay mechanics from the classics (mostly platforming), and mixing them with new tech and innovation.

Here are some colorful LED backed moments from PAX West. All part of a loud, colorful jungle of new tech and consumer splendor.

And that’s all for here. But, I did write a bit more on it for another site, strangerworlds.com. Click here to read my full report.

 

That Labor Day Spirit

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This Monday was a Labor Day holiday, to have off and perhaps reflect on the one thing people spend much of their lives on…laboring.

Labor Day is the last extended weekend for about the next two months. I think the privilege depends on how good your job is, for giving that time off (and paid) or gaining a higher wage if that day must be worked. For others, the struggle continues, as part of a long tradition of the fight to be treated humanely, with dignity, and have rights against unfair treatment. Otherwise, it’s a day we honor the working human.

But here in downtown Seattle and other cities, this becomes the day to strike and bring attention to concerns among the employees of the Marriott hotel chain. They circle outside some popular hotel entrances, making themselves visible and heard with a message, “One Job Should be Enough.”

From what I gathered from recent news, a recent development in contract negotiations for low-tier workers (housekeepers, workers, receptionists, bellhops, etc.) was not favorable among the over 8,000 involved, with wage increases not benefiting from reported profits, and forced reductions in hours for many among them.

On a small corner of 5th and Stewart for some hours, the Westin hotel (part of the Marriott chain), passing pedestrians can hear the raised voices of the hotel strikers. Drivers in that direction had to reroute, as a line protesters blocked the street, with law enforcement officials allowing that time.

The organized effort will hopefully turn the work negotiations in the favor for the striking workers, as they are a shining example of many on the bottom of the modern corporate structure, often ignored and worn down after giving so much to help those on the top to succeed and live out the best of there lives.

The further on positive direction our labor movements go, I think the more Labor Day will be a better day to celebrate, with less struggle.