October 30, 2009

IF - Skinny

A Sorn from Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet.

October 16, 2009

Dallas Arts District

It seems like overnight Dallas grew an arts district. What used to be a surface parking field on the northeast corner of downtown is now a pedestrian avenue with three museums, three performance halls, residential condos, retail, and park area. While most of this has been in the works for a number of years, the completion of the Wyle Theater and the Winspear Opera House (and the pedestrian plazas in between) has brought everything together.

Yesterday Laura and I went to a lecture in the Wyle by Rem Koolhaus, then to an exhibition of models by Norman Foster at the Nasher, and then to a symphony/choir rehearsal at the Myerson (all free by the way). Today I went to a lecture by Foster in the Winspear and got lots of good photos. All in all, very much enjoying the new arts district.

The chandelier was amazing (it slowly lowered into place) but all I could get was a fuzzy picture.

And I got to see some monks making a Mandala out of colored sand at the Crow art museum. Impressive to say the least.

October 5, 2009

New Orleans

Laura and I are not the most impulsive people in the world especially when it comes to traveling but every now and again a last minute trip just comes together. We found out earlier this week that the very talented Andrew Bird was coming to New Orleans. We bought tickets for his concert on Friday morning and were on the road early Saturday. Eight hours of pine trees later we were in New Orleans.

The orange is the route down and the purple is the route back. The yellow circle is Angola.

We stayed at India House, a great hostel north of the French Quarter.
Upon arriving we took a cable car down to the quarter.

I was surprised at the sheer number of tourists for a non-festival weekend. The Mississippi River

On the advice from a hostel worker we ate at Coops Place which was across the street from the French Market. We shared a sampler plate of Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice, and some tomato thing. It also came with a piece of fried chicken-which turned out to be the best piece of chicken we had ever eaten. We promptly order two more pieces. It cost $1 for an extra leg; that $1 was the most well spent dollar of my entire life. Oh and they had a couple of bulldogs in the back.

Bourbon Street

The concert was great. We found a good spot overlooking the stage. Bird is a violinist who sings folk-rock songs. He effortlessly switched between violin (picking and drawing the bow), classical guitar, singing, and whistling (by far the best whistler I have heard).

One of the cemeteries, all the grave are above ground due to historical flooding raising people from the ground.

On the way back we stopped at the Angola Prison Rodeo. Angola is Louisiana’s prison for those with life sentences and is located on 18000 acres next to Mississippi. We went primarily for the food which is grown, made, and served by the inmates. We had awesome gumbo and fried potato twists. We got into a long conversation with one guy who went by Gator. He was arrested at the age of 24 because he killed someone in a bar room fight. He was now around 50 and worked as a horse farrier. We couldn’t take any pictures inside the rodeo, but imagine a state fair run by convicts. We had a good time.

One of the prison back roads.

On leaving the prison we needed to use their ferry to cross the Mississippi. We got a little lost (did I mention this prison is huge) but managed not to get arrested, killed, or eaten (Google has the ferry location in the wrong place by the way). It was an awesome experience to be ferried across the Mississippi. The Ferry on the Mississippi River.

Getting a little turned around, we found a cool old silo.

October 2, 2009

IF - Germs

In the Wild West of the Micro Universe you’ve got to watch out for them bacteria wrangling Bacteriophages.

In other news, Laura and I are off to New Orleans tomorrow morning on an impulse concert trip. Details and picture to come next week.

October 1, 2009

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Dallas is to get a Morphosis building and a new natural history museum, all in one project! Too bad we probably won’t be here to see it finished.