..."sundogs," also known as mock suns or parahelia. This phenomenon causes ghost images of the sun to appear on either side of the real sun. This phenomenon may have been responsible for religious visions and morale changes mid-battle. The wise, however, realize that the bright lights to either side of the sun are illusions, and the true light lies between them. [Source]
...cobalt. One of the transition metals, cobalt is ductile, malleable, and conducts electricity, but has several oxidation states and is one of three transition metals that produces a magnetic field. Named for a mistrusted German sprite- the Kobold- cobalt was assumed to be a worthless "fool's silver," until a young man in the 16th century found a way to make cobalt blue, which became an important trading resource and paved the way for cobalt's use in alloys, as a chemical catalyst, and in art. [Source]
...the duckbill platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). This mammal has fur and milk glands as a mammal, a bill like a bird, lays eggs as a bird or reptile, has venomous spurs as a snake, and the webbed feet and territory preferences of an aquatic bird. Not only is it outwardly confounding, it leaves scientists in the dark as to its evolutionary origins and nearest phylogenic relatives. [Source]
...cobalt blue, for its connection to cobalt, and also because the color closely approximates one of the colors seen in the twilight sky. Also called Dresden blue and Thenard's blue, cobalt blue has been around since the Middle Ages and was perfected for painting in France by Thenard in the early 1800s. [Source]
...Vishnu, in his fourth incarnation as Narasimha, half-man, half-lion. The story goes that Hiranyakashipu, king of the giants, sought a boon from Brahma that he "should not get death either on earth or in space, either in fire or in water, either during daytime or during nighttime, either by humans or by gods or by any species, either by the animate or by inanimate, either inside the house or outside the house." The boon was granted, and the king gained much power and conquered all the worlds and gods. Vishnu the Preserver, as Narasimha, finally destroyed him without breaking Brahma's boon. "Hiranyakashipu was killed by Vishnu in a man-lion form (which is neither completely human nor completely animal), during twilight time (which is neither day nor night), placing him on Narasimha's thighs (which means neither on earth nor in space) on the threshold of the courthall (which is neithr indoors nor outdoors) using nails (neither animate nor inanimate) as weapons." [Source]
...Tristan Tzara, leader of the Dada movement, who "wanted to attack society through scandal. He believed that a society that creates the monstrosity of war does not deserve art, so he decided to give it anti-art–not beauty, but ugliness. With phrases like 'Dada destroys everything!' Tzara wanted to offend the new industrial commercial world–the bourgeoisie. However, his intended victims were not insulted at all. Instead they thought that this rebellious new expression opposed, not them but the 'old art' and the 'old patrons' of feudalism and church dominion. In fact, the bourgeoisie embraced this 'rebellious' new art so thoroughly that anti-art became Art, the anti-academy the Academy, the anti-conventionalism the Convention, and the rebellion through chaotic images, the status quo." [Source]
...waking up from a dream, still uncertain of the boundaries of reality.
..."Nature Morte Vivante," by Salvador Dalí. Dalí translated the title as "Still Life-Fast Moving," and described the work as illustrating "the decomposition of a fruit dish." This decomposition occurred in reference to the impact of the atomic bomb. The still life objects in the original canvas have separated from the table and float in the air, and even the particles of paint have broken loose from the canvas. Dalí's composition metaphorically summarizes man's post-atomic understanding of nature; that all objects are made of atomic particles in constant motion. However, instead of emphasizing the bleak implications of the bomb, Dalí suggested that there is still a cosmic order in the universe. He did so by incorporating spirals into the composition. For example, both the twisting fruit dish in the center and the cauliflower florets on the right represent spirals, one in man's world and the other in nature. Dalí felt that the spiral was the basic form of life, an idea that was confirmed when Crick and Watson discovered the spiral structure of the DNA molecule in 1953. Although objects break apart in the painting, their disintegration follows the internal order of the spiral. In addition to the spiral, Dalí included another form to suggest divine order. It is the Golden Section, which he used as a mathematical grid to organize the painting. The Golden Section is an ancient Greek form used by artists to provide aesthetic harmony and balance. Dalí used it to suggest that even when man unleashes his most extreme destructive powers, there is still a universal order in nature that is outside of man's influence. [Source]
... nerve gas. Slipping into your body, coming between your body and mind, severing the connections, destroying the fragile balance of life at the molecular level. You are reminded that while you are more than the sum of your parts, those parts are essential in order to have something to transcend. Nerve gas can leave you between life and death, between sanity and mindlessness. And it's your precious, necessary air that most often carries the toxin to you, crossing the boundaries into your body all at once in the lungs, leaving you simply at the mercy of the interim time while it travels to you.
... a doorway. The earliest post and lintel system served to begin the separation of inside and outside, us and them, self and world. It is from these distinctions that betweeness is born. Without the recognition of the extremes, between could not be recognized, even though it has always existed. It took a diminishing of betweeness for it to become apparent. Pervasive betweeness is invisible. The doorway is the physical object that defines the void that existed before it was constructed.