A quick visual inspection of the visit stats for this blog reveals a rather startling anomaly: in general a typical day will see a couple of hundred visits, but when I first checked on Tuesday morning the figure was well over 2000 and ended the day close to 4000. I was, to say the least, astonished. There was also highly anomalous twitter and facebook traffic, and it rapidly became clear that all this excitement originated from a post on Reddit, which in turn originated from this, about the extraordinary sand art of Andrew Clemens. This became linked to a very recent episode of Antiques Roadshow broadcast from Des Moines, Iowa, where the State Historical Society hosts a collection of Clemens’ work and kindly gave me permission to reproduce images in the book. This all led to a cascade – indeed, an avalanche – of links and the unprecedented, unpredictable, and unique event on this blog.
The segment on the TV program is well-worth watching – for the moment, at least, it’s available on the New Hampshire Public Television site – the discussion of Clemens begins at around 22 minutes.
What happened has, when I think about it, always been within the universe of possible events, but well outside the historic metrics and the limited world of expectations – hence this post title. When I wrote the “Sandpile world” post last week, little did I think that this would be dramatically illustrated by imminent events on the blog itself!
[By the way, Sandglass will shortly be travelling to distant parts – a couple of posts have been pre-scheduled for the coming week, and I hope to be reporting “live” soon thereafter.]