This is Saturn, with the Sun directly behind it, illuminating the rings -- a perspective never before seen by human eyes. The photo was taken a few months back by the astonishingly successful Cassini probe. Today I'm abandoning all pretext of conforming to the theme of this blog; this isn't about murder or crime-writing, or even Thailand. It is, I suppose, about everywhere.
One of the gifts of the online world that I hear praised least often is the continual flow of beautiful images it brings us, with just the slightest amount of effort on our part. There's Saturn, up there. Here's beauty on a much smaller scale, the world of earthly insects. . .
. . . or an extravagantly camouflaged seahorse. (These are all worth clicking on, to see them bigger.)
Everyone's seen tigers, and everyone's seen water, but have you ever seen this before?
Oh, you have not. And if you have, what about this?
One of the thing the Internet has done for us is to create a sort of global Aladdin's cave for beauty and creativity of every kind. The world is jammed full of talented people. Su Blackwell lives in England and makes sculptures from books. Here's the Mad Hatter's tea party from (and made from) Alice in Wonderland.
Work by a woman in Russia who calls herself Valeria, and who takes photographs in the tradition of Old Masters still-life paintings . . .
. . . and an Australian painter named Jeremy Geddes, who brings Old Master techniques to modern, dreamlike images, such as "Perfect Vacuum." (Note that the window is breaking inward.)
Oh, this could go on forever. Let's just finish with some star circles, one of the miracles of time-lapse still photography. The star that's "holding still" in the center is the North Star.
If you come across anything beautiful send it to me, okay?