Inner world


Italian artist Giuseppe Penone removed the growth rings on a tree to reveal the tree at a younger age. Photo via Inverse
This speaks to me of how we all carry our younger selves within us. Some can access this inner child by walking through the forest of themselves. Leaves tremble, the wind stirs many branches. Glass birds, their throat feathers ruby, diamond, and sapphire, sing. A susurrus of memories moves through the woods and suddenly, there you are, on the path meeting yourself.

Read more about the artist here.

Transparency in rain, transformative reflections

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Diphylleia grayi, colloquially called umbrella leaf, is an American-native plant. Its flowers possess petals that become transparent in the rain, looking like glass flowers. In my imagination I can hear their petals ringing with each raindrop, like the rims of wineglasses responding to touch.

Seeing them transform, through the process of experiencing rain, from beautiful to beautiful-on-a-fairy-tale-level, makes me reflect on the transformative power our experiences can have on us. I love rain and I like the thought that something I love (many more things than just rain of course) can wash away the everyday and and create windows — for the light to get in.

Photo via NOIZM

A walk in the rain on Saturday

Photo by Jasmine Rain Hyder

Purple, yellow, black and sage, color this rainy bumblebee page

Wending our way in the rain with red rainboots and a shared umbrella, my daughter and I came across this busy bumblebee. He hit every one of those flowers while we watched. He looked like he was intoxicated by the nectar, not so much breezing from flower to flower as bumping like a black and yellow go-kart from sip to sip. So many flowers, so little time…

One pill for straight hair and another for curly

Pharmaceutical styling?

According to the Daily Mail, scientists have discovered a “curly gene” and are working on a pill that can make hair straighter from the inside out.

It goes the other way too — straight-haired women (or men!) who have fantasized about cascading waves would take a curly pill.

The author of the research, Professor Nick Martin, told the Daily Mail that he “will be discussing this with a major cosmetics company in Paris in January.” Source

Professor Martin and colleague Dr Sarah Medland sought to find genetic variations responsible for curly hair in those of European descent.

Research showed that 45 percent of European people have straight hair, 40 percent wavy and 15 percent curly hair. The chance of inheriting curly hair is around 90 percent.

Researchers analyzed data collected from a study of 5,000 twins in Australia over a 30-year period.

The straight hair pill
Feel like straighter hair? Just pop a pill
Study Finds Hope to Restore Hair Color

Why makeup works

A study has found that there is more depth to facial differences between men and women than previously thought

The study, by Gettysburg College Psychology Professor Richard Russell, found that female faces have greater contrast between eyes, lips, and surrounding skin than do male faces. This difference in facial contrast was also found to influence our perception of the gender of a face.

The study found that, given this sex difference in contrast, there is a connection between the application of cosmetics and how it consistently increases facial contrast. Female faces wearing cosmetics have greater facial contrast than the same faces not wearing cosmetics. Russell noted that female facial beauty has been closely linked to sex differences, with femininity considered attractive. The article at Science Daily reports that Russell’s results suggest that cosmetics may function in part by ‘exaggerating a sexually dimorphic attribute to make the face appear more feminine and attractive.’

Makeup: a cosmetic sleight of hand that has been employed through the ages

Our ancestors may not have known the science behind wearing crushed carmine beetles, pearlescence (a substance found in fish scales) and beeswax for lipstick, but they knew what it did for the look they were going for.


Annette Marie Hyder

lip’s ambassador
to kisses and eyelashes’
flirtatious hello

a lipstick and mascara
make your date face good to go

From Science Daily:

In the photo, “Illusion of Sex,” two faces are perceived as male and female. However, both faces are actually versions of the same androgynous face. One face was created by increasing the contrast of the androgynous face, while the other face was created by decreasing the contrast. The face with more contrast is perceived as female, while the face with less contrast is perceived as male. This demonstrates that contrast is an important cue for perceiving the sex of a face, with greater contrast appearing feminine, and lesser contrast appearing masculine. (Credit: Image courtesy of Gettysburg College)

ScienceDaily (Oct. 21, 2009) — Beauty might seem to be only skin deep, but Gettysburg College Psychology Professor Richard Russell has found that there is more depth to facial differences between men and women than presumed.

In a study published in Perception, Russell demonstrated the existence of a facial contrast difference between the two genders. By measuring photographs of men and women, he found that female faces have greater contrast between eyes, lips, and surrounding skin than do male faces. This difference in facial contrast was also found to influence our perception of the gender of a face.

Regardless of race, female skin is known to be lighter than male skin. But Russell found that female eyes and lips are not lighter than those of males, which creates higher contrast of eyes and lips on women’s faces. By experimenting with an androgynous face, Russell learned that faces can be manipulated to appear female by increasing facial contrast or to appear male by decreasing facial contrast.

Read the entire article here.

Butterflies, ephemera

Anna Nicole, By Lori Precious

I don’t want to talk about Lori Precious’ infamous butterfly project, the one in which she created mandalas inspired by stained glass windows and executed through the medium of iridescent butterfly wings, the one that was followed by the Damien Hirst vs. Lori Precious controversy. I wont talk about that here. You can read about it elsewhere.

What I want to talk about is her Starlets project, in which she recreates the obituary photos of starlets–in gossamer. She says:

In Los Angeles we’re surrounded by beautiful women whose ambition is to be a star. Beauty is so abundant that it becomes commonplace and disposable. In my new series, Starlets, I’ve recreated some obituary photographs entirely from butterfly wings. In the cameos of these women in their final role, the butterfly wings represent the fleeting nature of beauty and glamour. Around each butterfly portrait is a kaleidoscopic mandala of delicate wings and debris that captures the story of the starlet’s life.

With her collection of starlets, from Dorothy Hart, a 1940s starlet, to Anna Nicole Smith, Lori Precious is provoking thought about the way that we value prettiness and beauty and symbols of such–whether they be butterflies or women. She calls to mind the way that both are chased after, the way that beauty can be as ephemeral as time measured in lepidoptera years, how there is always so much more than meets the eye.

I find that very interesting. I thought you might too.

By Annette Marie Hyder
From The Consequence of Wings (On Angels and Monsters and Other Winged Things)

I toss my hair at
spread my arms to
the day.

I want to butterfly
from one moment
to the next
unfurl my proboscis
drink deep

have you 
see through
the Ezekiel lenses
of my wings

you gasp
at my arrogance
in flinging
all those colours
(shimmer, shammer, hold me)
back in Sun’s face.

Link to the butterfly book I’m reading right now:
TheDangerous World of Butterflies: The Startling Subculture of Criminals,Collectors and Conservationists, By Peter Laufer, Ph.D.

Other Links of interest

Lori Precious Website
Butterfly Symbolism
The Butterfly Effect
Butterfly Facts


                                                                                                            Copyright Annette Marie Hyder