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A new day
This is a collection of posts around collaborative themes.

The first theme is 'My Planet, My Part' for Earth Day 2016. Each person here has approached the theme from a unique, personal, perspective. Please note that I am simply a contributor to the theme, the original concepts and execution are those of the artist presented. I encourage you to visit the person's profile.

Image: Jervis Bay, SE Australia, April 2016.

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Building the Umbertale with +CR Bravo
Take Two

Fools and Wise Men tell us to "see the innocent in all." But you know that is easier said than done.

When your trust has been stripped away by someone you admire, adore and love, the first casualties are innocence and unconditional trust. While you may have learned the language of love and can mouth the milky words with feeling, somethings can never be the same. As you laugh with a new lover about a forever of forevers, you also watch for the warped seeds of its demise. All around in the innocent commonplace, you find risks and vulnerabilities. You start by seeing anew the signs you missed the first time. Your dreams are tortured with 'what-ifs' and 'maybes'. Instead of leaving that very first breach of trust behind with the failed relationship, it wraps around your bones and, ingrained deep, you drag it into the future. In that future, when all is made fresh, a future of new friends and lovers and enemies and strangers, you can not see the innocent at all.

The first time it happens, when you see the possibility of a breach of trust, you congratulate yourself on avoiding a near-miss. The second time, congratulations and a drink. The third time, just the drink, for now, the pattern has become wearisome. The fourth time, a burden tempered only by the sure understanding that the world is full of those who should not be trusted. The fifth comes and is spat out with the growing cold fear that they are just the same. But then as the tally of failures starts to rack up, you hear about a friend succeeding where you have failed. For a moment you take renewed heart from the joy of your friend and enter the fray once more. You try to ignore the drunken confession that they stole their prize from an innocent.

But you cannot help wondering about this strange war between men and women, where more often than not your struggle is with those of your own sex. You wonder whether it is worth the effort. You wonder whether any prize is worth the bloody gore splashed across your lips, the smell of shit you cannot scrub from your hands, the constant, unrelenting vigilance and, despite the love words spoken, the lack of one single drop of true love.

A mirror catches your eye. Web, lighting, and tear conspire, you see your parents fighting. You blink, and you see instead you and your ex. Struggling with anger in your hearts: without feeling, without listening, and without hearing. Once again you feel those words imprinted in your skin. You blink, and your ex disappears. Your hand clenches and your tears rain. At the time, you did not know where this would lead. But now you do. It leads here, and you have grown old without knowing.


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Building the Umbertale with +CR Bravo​
Dream #1

We have been swimming in the Bay, off the east coast. We are the only people on the beach; the day has been hot. The sand is warm, but evening clouds have taken the fight out of the sun. Now you lie on your tummy snuggling into the sandy warmth, a handbreadth from me, your eyes shut, and a smile on your face.

I pick up a handful of sand and let a tiny stream of grains gently fall onto your shoulder, like stars in the sky. As the sand falls, the years turn. I see you through all your ages, young, mother, lover, and elder. I see you as white coral on the sand, as star dust dancing in the cosmos.

I call out your name, and I feel your smile. We touch and the world begins again.

You give me life.

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Building the Umbertale with +CR Bravo​
As a young man, he had heard a terrible tale. So terrible that his family only spoke about it in hushed tones. Sailors from the community refused to fish the bays to the north.

The tale concerned a willful young woman from the north. She offended her family in some unspeakable way. The young man knew that most young women do that sooner or later.

But this time, her father had dragged her to a cliff edge, and they had argued. It ended in the father throwing her onto the rocks below, and the ocean took her torn body.

So the young man’s story starts with the death of the bone girl.

He grew, learning to survive in the cold of the world. Fishing from ice and kayak, with net and line made from sinew and bone.

One year, he paddled north. Ignoring the warnings of others, he came into waters unfished for many years.

He paddled into a cliff-ringed bay. He cast his net into the water.

Instead of fish, he snagged the remains of the bone girl. He thought he had caught a big fish and pulled the net towards the boat. At the same time, awoken by the touch of the net, the bone girl struggled to free herself.

In the process, the net entangled him as well. When finally he saw he had caught the bones of a girl, he panicked. He tried and failed to cut the net.

He paddled the kayak home along the coast as fast as he could. The bone girl skipped over the water behind him. She became aware that she had left the bay where she was killed and was being taken somewhere new.

The young man staggered from the boat to his snow house still tangled in the net. So it was that the bone girl came into his home, still in the net, bones all awry.

In the darkness of his home, he lit a fire, fearful of what had happened. He slowly recovered his breath and saw the sorry mess before him. He imagined the bone girl looking at him and seeing in him reflections of her father. He imagined fear and hatred shimmering through her bones.

The young man is tired but tried to make sense of the situation. He gently removed the bones from the net and placed them into their proper position. Sorry for what has become of her, he sang a song of remembrance and covered her bones with furs.

The bone girl was confused by his actions and watched him carefully.

He lay down near his fire. He entered a waking dream. Sorry for the girl, a tear formed in his eye. He imagined the bone girl shifting closer to him until she is close enough to drink his tear. As she drank his tear, flesh started to grow back around her bones.

During the night, the bone girl raised herself and looked at him through different eyes. He felt the soft thump of a drum. His heart was beating loud and vigorous. She heard his heart call her, and she stood near him and plunged her hand deep into his chest.

She takes his heart.

He cannot breathe, watching her hold his heart carefully to herself. He watches her let the furs he wrapped around her fall to the ground. She comes and lies next to him.

She gives him back his heart.

He opens his eyes wide and smiles.

They share his heart, and she wraps her breasts around them both, to keep them warm.

(The bone girl story is from the story that has entered into popular culture, but which originated in a short five line spoken-poem given by Mary Uukalat to Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Estes retold the story as "The Skeleton Girl" using it to demonstrate lessons about love and relationships in "Women Who Run With the Wolves," 1992, Ballantine Books. The story now has been retold on many occasions (including some animations). This story is retold here from the perspective of the fisherman.)

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A collaboration: illustrations by +CR Bravo and stories by +Peter Quinton
For more of +CR Bravo 's images, check out at
Through the haze of time, a faded snapshot.

Here I am, standing near the arms of my Grandmother. Old and frail of body, but still strong with love. And with that love she wove around me the subtle chains of past belief: who I should be, what I should be and when I should be.

Here my journey started. In this awakening, childhood's end and a lifetime of tearing away the chains of who, what and when.

Until now, when I am me. The scent of lavender mixing with the sweat and smoke of time. I am me, but now I am her as well. What bindings shall I weave unbidden and unknowing around the ones I love?

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King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus)

King penguins are the second largest of all penguin species. Females are noted to be slightly smaller than males. However, no specific female measurements have been recorded. Their documented height ranges from 85 to 95 cm and weight is between 9.3 and 17.3 kg. Average adult weight has been found to be 11.8 kg.

Although they are easily confused with emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri), king penguins are more colorful and have a longer, more slender bill.

King penguins colonies are mainly located on islands surrounding Antarctica. Islands include Crozet, Falkland, Heard, Kerguelen, Macquarie, Prince Edward, South Georgia and South Sandwich. Although no colonies have been found south of latitude 60 degrees S, some non-breeding members have taken residence in southern Chile and southern Argentina. Some lone wanderers have been found as far north as Brazil and South Africa and as far south as the Antarctic Coast.

They eat small fish, mainly lanternfish, and squid and rely less than most Southern Ocean predators on krill and other crustaceans. On foraging trips they repeatedly dive to over 100 metres (330 ft), and have been recorded at depths greater than 300 metres (980 ft).

The king penguin's predators include birds and aquatic mammals like: Giant petrels, Skua species, Snowy sheathbill, Leopard seal, Orcas , Antarctic fur seal.

The king penguin is able to breed at three years of age, although only a very small minority (5% recorded at Crozet Islands) actually do then; the average age of first breeding is around 6 years. King penguins are serially monogamous. They have only one mate each year, and stay faithful to that mate. However, fidelity between years is only about 29%.The long breeding cycle may contribute to this low rate.

► The beautiful image below is a rendition from +Margrit Schwarz. This splendid specimen is from Macquarie Island>>

Further reading and references

Aptenodytes patagonicus>>

► King penguin>>

► From the IUCN Red List of Threatened species>>

#Biodiversity, #KingPenguin , #Aptenodytespatagonicus, #Animals , #Science

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Dream Number 3
In collaboration with +CR Bravo, an illustration/short story about time and uncertainty. +CR Bravo  (illustration) and +Peter Quinton (story)
Dream #3  
A work in progress:

Story by +Peter Quinton 
Illustration by +CR Bravo 

Here I stand, on the edge of time. Here, in the present, I take strength from those beside me. Ahead the fire and ice of the unknown, full of promise and doubt. Behind, the warm and cool echoes of real love and past error.

I clutch the hand beside me; substantial, soft and confident.
Here I stand in the safety of another‘s hand. From the edge, I look into the future. I wonder where I will be, in a minute, a day, a week, a year.
But all about the wolves of fear roam, their eyes glinting in the grains of time. Dim forms move in the clouds beyond. Ships and lions, soft pillows and ragged threads. Ahead a school beckons, but in the beyond of my dreaming, there is also a workplace, and a new home, a chance to make my mistakes, my own children, their children.

Choices and paths stream from this point, changing with the wind, the old certainties changing as the grains of time swirl and drift.
My eyes slowly widen at the intersection of past and future. Ahead, I see my life, never to be the same again. Consigned to uncertainty, interrupted by the throw of a dice: a fall of rain, the touch of a butterfly, a man there, a woman here. My life as confused and yet as certain as the lines on my palm.

In the far distance, light touches a frail form. She beckons. And suddenly, through a lifetime, yet within the sliver of a heartbeat, I am she. I look back on the world; older and different to any childhood imaginings. Beyond the pull of the moon, but full of roads travelled, tearful partings and of being. For a moment I am not just a seer who is wise with years and the smell of age. Instead, I am many people: an innocent maiden in love with the world; a dark-eyed woman shamelessly playing with my beloved; a mother full of life’s burdens and pleasures.

But only for a moment. Then the light dims, and I am back here; holding hands. The smell of old age is replaced by the raw scent of the present. The present all about, the eyes of uncertainty raining down on me.

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History is all around us
from my friend +Firdaus Idros 
G+ Museum Day Assignment 2016

In conjunction of #GPlusMuseumDay2016 , today I went to my city, Ipoh. Since the city itself is a museum in my view😉, I found some great displays to share. Below is the memorial of the city which is located in front of our historical railway station. There are 4 plaques on each side of this and this is one of them along with the infamous Malaya-Burma Death Railway and a list of fallen British personnel during its colonial times here. I know this the most as here has survived the emergencies and a confrontation during the Formation of Malaysia in 1963. I hope +Alex Lapidus​ and+Peter Quinton​ enjoy this entry.

F.Idros original photography

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Dream Number 2
A collaboration between +CR Bravo (illustration, narration and animation) and +Peter Quinton (story). The Spanish version is here: Sueño de Chocolate 2 -

The story can be found here (text translations available at this page)
Dream Chocolate 2
Story by +Peter Quinton 
Illustration by +CR Bravo 

First completed story. Enjoy! :)

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Today I had the pleasure of participating in #GPlusMuseumDay2016 initiated by +Alex Lapidus and +Heiko Mahr
Our destination was the MOMA in San Francisco and we spent a couple of hours exploring the many floors of exhibits.
Half way through I decided on a little impromptu photo project which I tentatively named "art and benches" - here is a first image.

Thanks to to everyone else who came to this event - +Linda Villers +Roxanne Bouche' Overton +Lou McCorkle +Bill Hewitt +Dan Shehan - it was great to meet you all.
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