March 29, 2010
March 26, 2010
Filed under "Things that make my heart happy" and "Ideas I'm jealous that I didn't come up with"
I know I just linked to his blog in my previous blog, but it can't hurt to do it again: See more Bit and Run comics at http://www.lightnightrains.blogspot.com/
March 24, 2010
Interesting personal statistic I looked at today: I currently am subscribed to 149 blogs (which I break up into five categories: Friends, Architecture, Art, Theology, and Misc.).
This number seems a bit excessive (and it definitely feels that way when everybody decides to post at once), but mostly it is pretty manageable and the one corner of the internet that I find the most value in.
Besides friends some of my favorite blogs are:
The Big Picture (news through photography)
Downhill Bothways (blog by Piper’s son as he muses on his walks and interactions in downtown Minneapolis)
Last Night Rains (blog by illustrator Cory Godbey, his “bit and runs” comic strip is particularly funny for those of us who grew up on Mario – also good step by step traditional illustration breakdowns)
Design Milk (collecting all the fun design ideas the web has to offer)
BUILD blog (blog by a Seattle architecture firm on their practice and their musings on the practice in general)
I am interested to know how many blogs you read. If you use Google reader then you can find out by clicking “Reader Settings” at the top, then clicking on the “subscriptions” tab. If you don’t use a reader then you probably can count them pretty easily.
March 16, 2010
Shanghai is hosting the World's fair this year. There are alot of very interesting national pavilions being constructed (discounting the very lame US entry). The one that has really caught my eye is the UK pavilion which has a "seed cathedral". It is a giant cube reminiscent of a dandelion which has thousands of clear acrylic rods which act as fiber optics transferring light to the interior of the box. Each rod is ended with a different seed encased in acrylic.
Go here for picture of it and some of the other pavilions: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/03/shanghai_prepares_for_expo_201.html (it is where I got the above pictures)
So I was inspired to take some dandelion pics
during which I was ambushed by Calliope
Nom nom nom
March 12, 2010
March 11, 2010
Laura and I finally saw Avatar last night (for free I might add). Some thoughts:
-Going in I had low expectations of character depth and development, of typical blockbuster plot sturdiness, and of thematic subtly. I had medium expectations for the visuals. It exceeded all of these admittedly low expectations.
-I found it interesting that it lumped together science, spirituality, and environmentalism (as the good guys) against the military industrial complex (the bad guys). Even though there were many details I wouldn’t align myself with, I was surprised that I found myself in agreement with this worldview as a broad stroke. It seems like everywhere you look current culture seeks to drive a wedge between science/environmentalism and religion. I liked the thematic connection between seeing: observation in science, being aware of the natural world around you, and the greeting “I see you” as a connection between two beings.
-We found it interesting that everybody came away with the environmental theme plastered to their psyches (which was definitely there) but no one really mentioned the human rights issues the film brought up. Maybe it is because we recently saw District 9 which used aliens as a metaphor for the human rights issues in South Africa. We have been deeming other ethnic groups inferior as a justification to exploit them since the Fall.
-Even if some of the characters were 1 dimensional, the film did a good job at giving all the characters proper motivation. Likewise even if the plot was simplistic, there were no glaring plot holes or outrageous suspensions of disbelief.
-I realized the benefit to having a film focused on visuals is that it took time just to enjoy itself and didn’t feel like it had to rush through scenes for the sake of moving along the plot. It has been compared to Dances with Wolves and Pocahontas, and while in the exact same story vein I personally thought it was a much better film than either of those (though I didn’t like either one to begin with).
-Not the best movie I saw in the last year but not the worst either. Best moment: when they made it to the top of the big tree and Jake looked over the edge to what I would estimate to be a 500’ drop - it made my day.
March 5, 2010
This week I was inspired by the wonderfully treacherous world that was created by David Petersen with his Mouse Guard series. Imagine medieval life through the eyes of a mouse and you start to get the idea. Those little guys epitomize the concept of bravery. Also I wanted to see how a kangaroo rat would conceptually translate.
March 2, 2010
March 1, 2010
There is an animated movie that will be released in March (hopefully) that promises to be one of my favorite movies this year. “Secret of Kells” looks to be absolutely beautiful. See for yourself:
Also fun tidbit: in the margins of a 9th century Irish Illuminated manuscript is a remarkable poem about a monk and his cat, Pangur Ban (which is the name of the cat in the film). The poem:
I and Pangur Ban my cat,
Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.
Better far than praise of men
Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will,
He too plies his simple skill.
Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.
Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur's way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.
'Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.
When a mouse darts from its den
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!
So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.
Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.
(translation copied from here: http://www.fisheaters.com/pangurban.html)