Suspended Beauty

Sky, Mantis & Temp Gauge 022


This is a closeup of a Galilean Thermometer first developed in Florence, Italy by a group of scientists around the year 1600. Galileo discovered the principle on which this thermometer is based.

The sealed flask is clear, but I placed the device in front of green grass for visual effect.

The bulbs are hand blown glass with various liquids inside, and a weighted plate suspended from each bulb with a temperature embossed on its face. There are five bulbs in the flask and can measure room temperature from 64 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

This device is based upon the density of liquid which changes in proportion to the surrounding temperature.Buoyancy determines whether an object floats or sinks. The density of the liquid inside the bulbs becomes heavier or lighter as the surrounding air temperature changes. Gravity also plays a role in the rising and falling of bulbs. Basically, as the temperature of the liquid increases so does the object’s density. Typically, the lowest floating bulb provides the approximate temperature of the area it is placed in.

I enjoy starring at the bulbs as they reflect light and colors in a myriad of shapes. I find this dynamic to be rather pleasant. I hope the Light within me is revealed similarly.

Gelato & Jake

There is nothing so rewarding to one’s taste buds than a really good dish of gelato. This Italian ice cream is made from milk rather than cream, has fewer calories than ice cream and has a deeper, richer taste. As in all things, there are some gelatos which are better than others, and some flavors that are unique to the particular establishment. We especially enjoy the gelato from a local business called Paciugo. The owner is usually at her shop and is most pleasant.Croatia 2013 071

We first discovered this treat while in Italy some years ago. Besides popping into coffee shops for a shot or two of espresso or a cup of cappuccino, we made it a point to grab a dish or cone of gelato every chance we had, which was quite a few ! So, it is a good thing to see  this dessert being offered in more places in the states.

What’s gelato have to do with Jake? And, who is Jake, anyway? To be honest, I don’t know much about him. We met Jake the other night at a local restaurant, California Pizza Kitchen, in Leawood. Jake was our waiter. He is a pleasant young man with a great smile and a hearty sense of humor. Although we didn’t talk all that much, we developed a congenial rapport and had a few chuckles together. When it came time for the dessert question, we told Jake that we were saving ourselves for gelato at Paciugo which is only a few buildings away from the restaurant. He must have thought we really like gelato to skip CPK’s assortment of desserts !

As we were leaving Cheryl asked him what kind of gelato he liked. This caught him by surprise, but he quickly recovered and gave us a couple of choices. We told him we would be back, but would enjoy our gelato first. I’m pretty sure he was questioning our sincerity. Well, Cheryl and I savored our selections as we talked across a small table inside the gelato shop. Then we grabbed the chocolate delight for Jake and walked back to the restaurant. We came into the side door which is near the kitchen and take-out counter, and immediately saw Jake. We handed him the gelato and told him to enjoy it. A great big smile came over his face and he thanked us ever so much. His manager and co-workers smiled as they witnessed this exchange. I hope he liked our selection.VACATIONS 042

What surprised me about this small act of generosity that my wife initiated was how truly wonderful I felt inside. The axiom, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” is, oh so true. I relate this brief story with the realization that some may think I am shining a spot light on us, but that is not the case. I share this experience to encourage the giving of ourselves without expecting anything in return. I don’t know why I was surprised by my feelings because I have always felt deeply gratified whenever I have blessed someone or been blessed by others or have witnessed others being blessed by others. I believe Jesus stated this dynamic repeatedly while he walked the streets of Galilee.

The reality is that I know so many who give of themselves regularly and without fanfare or recognition. They do so with unselfish motivation while reaping the sheer pleasure of knowing they have touched the lives of others. These ‘paying it forward’ acts of kindness get played out every day by thousands (if not millions) of people all across our nation and throughout the world. Ours was a rather small act, but it made Jake smile and that was worth the price of gelato and a walk across a parking lot. Thank you, Cheryl, for sharing this opportunity with me. We sure had a good time. I’m ready for a trip !   Ciao

P.S. I wonder if CPK will start serving gelato anytime soon.