My weblog ELECTRON BLUE, which concentrated on science and mathematics, ran from 2004-2008. It is no longer being updated. My current blog, which is more art-related, is here.

Thu, 05 Jan, 2006


The Virgin Mary burned out during the 2005 Holiday Season. Or rather, my light-up Virgin Mary did. This electrified devotional trinket came to me from a dear friend about 20 years ago. I kept it faithfully and only lit it up during the Christmas season and briefly at Easter. But time and use eventually caught up with it, and this Holiday season it went dark.

The whole item is about seven inches (17 cm) tall. The Virgin and Child are surrounded by four hollow plastic crystal pylons, and each of them was illuminated by a tiny jewel-like Christmas lightbulb inside it. There was also a light under the Virgin's pedestal. This is the one that burnt out. Since all the lights were connected, the failure of one meant that none of the others would light up either.

I thought of trying to fix it, but replacing the lights would require that I break the plastic welding which attached the pieces of the pedestal together to the base. This would probably destroy the whole thing, so it's better to let the Virgin Mary remain un-illumined.

I suppose this has something to do with religion. I venerate most things which give off light or glow in the dark, whether they be the great stars in the sky or harmless little fireflies in the summer night. It is no accident that the word for "divine" comes from an Indo-European root that means "shining." The Zoroastrian religion, which I studied for so long, specializes in this kind of light-based spirituality, which is why I like it so much.

The glowing Virgin isn't the only artifact to go Kaput on me. My scanner, which I have only had for a few months more than a year, has failed. I thought it might be a problem with the driver software, but using another driver didn't solve the problem. The scanner works correctly for a brief minute or so, but after that, any subsequent scan turns bright yellow, no matter what color it is scanning. This sounds like an electronic failure of some component which is overheating, not to mention bad taste in color choice. This means that, as with the Virgin Mary, some repair would be needed which would no doubt be more destructive, and expensive, than buying a new scanner. I will be hauling it back to Micro Center, where I bought it, to see whether they will simply take it back and give me a new one (though it is by now off the "official" warranty.).

My phone answering machine also perished, of old age, in 2005, after 17 years of faithful service. Those of you who have left messages on my phone machine over the years will remember the birdsong which I used as an identification message. I will now have to re-create the birdies, or their equivalent, on a new machine. I hear that the newer ones, uh, don't use "tape" any more.

My physics books haven't failed. They are low-tech information delivery systems. You don't even have to turn them on. I am about to be introduced to kinetic and potential energy. I await illumination.

Posted at 2:44 am | link

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