To figure out what in the world I’m doing here, please read my post A Remembrance of Personalities.
My daughter, the youngest art talent in the family, drew this stylized and adorable version of the Amur Tiger (displayed above and discussed below). I went over her mixed media rendering with black ink, then added a little pep in PhotoShop. Because it was a collaborative effort, we decided that we will both provide our artistic autographs.
If you look closely, you can see 462 separate one or two initial abbreviations (hopefully, and you’re certainly welcome to count them out) of the memorized figures names, each person separated from the next by a little dot. They start up in the left corner by the tiger’s ear, then sort of spiral around the outside border of the tiger on the first pass, followed by the next line, which then jumps to the inside of the border. This pattern continues on until the list is finished. As I mentioned in the linked post, all 462 can be recited without memory aids of any kind, save for the picture of them all I carry in my brain.
We’ll be selling limited editions of these over on my Etsy website. Each one comes signed and numbered, along with a complete list of the personalities involved. More details can be found there, once we get things posted over the next few days. We will be donating 10% of all profits gained in this manner to the World Wildlife Fund.
If ever there was a species that perched precariously close to the extinction abyss before making a comeback, the Amur Tiger is it. Some estimates from several decades ago had put its numbers at something less than fifty. Now, with the political will to save this beautiful big cat stronger than ever before, the tiger’s numbers are on the rise, with recent estimates ranging from the high-400s to the mid- 500s in number. Most of the animal’s range is in the far eastern part of Russia, and the bulk of the responsibility to save this precious resource has fallen squarely on that country’s shoulders.
Fortunately, the Soviets seem to have stepped up to the plate admirably in that regard, allocating money and labor power to the conservation of habitat, the criminalization of tiger poaching and trafficking of tiger parts, and the enforcement of current efforts to ensure that the tiger’s numbers continue to rise. But the race is surely not over, with other threats, like illegal logging, and the continued loss and fragmentation of remaining habitat (and hence, also the loss of the very prey it must have in order to survive) means that the fight to protect this big big cat will go on for many decades to come.
John Glenn represents number 462 on my memory list, the inestimable astronaut and U.S. Senator who passed away in December of last year and who was laid to rest just a few days ago with full military honors. I still remember in 1998 when, at the age of 77, he became the oldest man to fly on the Space Shuttle. His service to “God and Country” was, in my opinion, of incalculable benefit to this nation. His undying sense of adventure hopefully inspired others—those who may think that life has to become something fundamentally tamer just because of wrinkles and calendars—to keep their dreams alive, and to keep living life large. A true American Hero in my book.
As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind – every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.
~ John Glenn
Connect the Dots? The only connection between an Amur Tiger and John Glenn I can readily come up with would be that Glenn was probably one of the few people in history (and still is) to be able to visually witness, in real time and in living color, the entirety of the tiger’s range while seated happily in a spacecraft hurtling at crazy fast speed through the ether above. What an amazing life this man lived.
Sincere thanks for stopping by!