The B-Side

The Flip Side of Brian Parks

erthrot.gif (229189 bytes)This is to illustrate that there is more than one way to look at our world, since "Up or "North" is determined by human choice and could just as well be seen as "down" or "South" as viewed in the context of space. By choosing to limit our view, we also inadvertently restrict our ability to comprehend any potentially bigger picture. In this regard, we should also not exclusively channel our efforts along a single path of interest. And so, in addition to my interests in biology, I also have a number of other loves. Shall we take a stream of consciousness tour? Why not?...

Astronomy is always looking up. I finally completed construction of a 6" f/8 reflector telescope, and am now once again able to view a bigger picture. I have set up a web-based planet stroll using the University of Wisconsin - Madison and the Capitol Square area of the city as a backdrop. This is a 4,000,000,000 : 1 scale model tour of our solar system designed to give you an accurate feel for the size of the planets in our system and their distribution within same. But our solar system, big as it is to us, is still smaller than small in comparison to our Universe.

If you share this interest in the worlds above our heads, and you would like to get an idea of how greatly the heavens have affected human civilization throughout the millenia, then I urge you to explore this list of papers by a good friend of mine who is an expert in both Astronomy and Ancient Egypt (a rare combination).

With respect to things ancient, I am in complete awe when it comes to Egyptian Obelisks.

I have a great love for the outdoors. The environment that I am most attracted to is the Mountain one. Madison, WI is a bit lacking in this realm. And so, I try to escape on yearly adventures (sometimes Odysseys) with my close friends. We have been fortunate enough to execute these trips on a yearly basis for about the past 30 years. Here is an index that provides links to visited places along with embedded pictures.

Winter is by far my favorite season. A world of white never fails to fill me with great awe and reflection. And access to it is made all the more enjoyable with skis on my feet. I enjoy all forms of skiing, but am particularly drawn to Nordic. In late February of 2022, I was able to complete my 18th American Birkebeiner, the largest cross-country ski marathon in North American, which has been going on annually since 1973. With about 6,000 participants, it isn't really the type of experience to offer one great solitude. But it is still a wonderful chance to share a common enthusiasm with so many others and grasp a great achievement at the same time.

Pedal power is also a life for me. While I don't hit it like I used to, I still enjoy road riding during the warmer months, and all my rides lead to Paoli, WI in one way or another. While there, I always look forward to a break in the town's center square shelter. I also love getting on my old faithful zip speed for a periodic tool around town and bar hop during those seasonable days.

And please, not to forget my eldest daughter, who at age 3 was already showing signs of becoming a noteworthy abstract expressionist, or my youngest girl who at age 2 seemed to have far too great an understanding of her pop, and whose later work seemed to indicate a hidden love for Mondrian. I have my soulmate to thank for these two little gems in my life.

Since we are now thinking Art, if you are one who questions its significance and relevance to our world, then here is something that I hope you will ponder. You should note that for each example, the artist was heading on this path well before the dated example given. Art is often an elective in the higher levels of our public schools, and the NEA budget falls well below that of the money allocated to our military bands ('s true!). Go figure!

Or would you prefer something dire to think about?

Oops! Sorry for bummin' you out there. How about a little Peanuts humor to ease your head?

With your noggin now totally dewired, let's finish with a peek at today's Zippy....YOW!

Too much? Well, o.k......we'll just get basal. Am I sweating, freezing, sopping wet, or something else? Let's find out!

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This webpage was created in 2002, and updated in 2022.