Tinkerbelle Has a Point

Jeff Powell
3 min readMar 18, 2022


Have you ever felt like this?

That’s Tinkerbelle, of course, watching out “her window” for anything interesting, but barely able to stay awake. That’s also been me this past week. I’m not entirely certain why, but it might have something to do with the fact that it has rained just about every day. Supposedly tomorrow will be better, but after that the forecast is back to rain for several more days.

Perhaps that explains my lack of motivation. But then again, maybe not.

The world keeps doing stupid things. Both Canada and the USA are reducing or eliminating Covid mandates of all kinds, but one of the Omicron variants (BA.2) has case counts on the rise in Europe. That same variant is on the rise in the US too, though the impact of that is still too small for it to increase total case counts. (Give it a couple of weeks. That’ll change.) And of course China has a massive lockdown in place, affecting something like 37 million people.

The pandemic is not yet over. I’ll be wearing a mask while out in public for the foreseeable future. And not just any mask, a good one. Apparently Omicron BA.2 is about as contagious as measles, and that’s saying something. And Long Covid is a serious problem for some percentage of people who get infected, even if they only get mild a case of the disease. I suspect most of us haven’t thought about the impact of Long Covid on the world in any real way. It is (and will continue to be) ugly.

Add in a few other things — the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, climate change, US politics, etc.— and I think I am allowed to feel a bit off.

But I did create a new IR photo. Here it is:


That’s an image of a lit candle in front of a mirror. Note how much brighter the flame of the candle is when viewed directly rather than in the mirror. That’s fascinating. A quick internet search will tell you that mirrors should reflect infrared radiation, but clearly that is not the case here. It’s an Ikea special — a “Lots” — and I have no idea how it is made. The Ikea website says it is a glass mirror, but exactly what metal it’s coated with on the back is not mentioned. It seems that metals differ in how they reflect various wavelengths of light, so perhaps whatever this one is made from is a relatively poor reflector of infrared.

For reference, here’s the same scene with the candle unlit:

Note the much more even and limited colour distribution in this image. That’s because the temperature range across it doesn’t vary much. Everything is pretty much room temperature. The wall behind the easel holding the mirror is a bit cooler than everything else, but that’s because it’s an exterior wall and it’s still mid-March here in Vancouver.

Not exactly sure what I am babbling about? Here’s a regular photo of the same scene:

It’s cropped in a bit closer, but you can see the mirror on a table top easel in my studio. Drop cloths cover the work table to protect it while I painted the last set of closet doors.

I know. Last week I said I had painting on my mind — and I still do — but this week I give you IR photographs. I guess I am fickle. Sorry. I’ll keep at these things when time and motivation allow.

Next week, who knows what will be in the post.

Keep safe out there.



Jeff Powell

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.