Robert R. Fenichel

  Mystery Images

  Please get in touch with me if you think you can explain any of the phenomena pictured on this page.

  These photographs of the C&O Canal were taken from the towpath in Great Falls National Park on 16 December 2002.  The Canal at this point is bounded on the opposite side by steep slopes; the towpath is bounded on the side away from the Canal by a cliff-like dropoff.  Thus, springs are not likely to be present beneath the near edge of the Canal.  What formed these patterns?

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  After an accidental injury to the radial-side digital nerve and profundus tendon of my right index finger, I underwent microsurgical repair on 31 December 2004, and an elaborate dressing then bound my hand and wrist to a plaster splint until 14 January 2005, with my hand fixed in a position of function and my wrist in about 15 of flexion.  When the dressing and splint were removed, my right palmar creases were mildly tender, with the dramatic non-blanching, violaceous discoloration shown in the image below.  What happened?

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  Here is a sapling, seen along the Brothers Creek Trail in West Vancouver.  It does not seem to have been humanly manipulated.  My friend Bob Livingston suggests that what's shown in the picture is just an exposed root; Livingston's idea is less charming than my theory (that a sapling tasted life above ground and then decided against it), but Livingston's is, I guess, more likely to be correct.

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Images on this page 2002 and 2005 by Robert R. Fenichel  

Page revised: 02/28/2017 10:22