Monthly Archives: September 2009

Slow Motion Wonders

My sister showed me this amazing clip of slow motion spectacles and now I simply must see the whole Discovery series.

It reminded me of that famous Planet Earth Shark footage since it is likely very similar if not the same technology.

Man.  I gotta go practice my photography skills.

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Filed under Life is good and here's why

What an Open!

The US Open drew to a close yesterday with Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina defeating defending champion Roger Federer for the Men’s Singles Title. A fabulous five setter, full of drama and suspense, the twenty-year old pulled ahead with a break in the last set to literally bring about an end of an era: the first time Federer lost at the US Open in forty-two matches. And today the world sighs, stunned.

But this wasn’t the only bit of drama this year…ohoho no. This was the kind of edge-of-your-seat tennis that enthusiastic players only dream of. I don’t think fans have been this riled since McEnroe had his famed meltdown of “You Can NOT Be Serious?” in 1891. What with Federer’s stunning loss, Kim Clijster’s enthralling win, and Serena William’s utter meltdown, tennis players and fans are all in a tizzy. I know I am.

I watched most of the Open this year on the computer, thanks to IBM’s marvelous website that allowed viewers to shift between televised courts with ease. Incidentally, my brother had the privilege of working at the Open as a kind of bouncer for the media center. He had a perfect view of the court. And since tennis has certain etiquette prescribing that no one in the stands should be moving around during match play lest the players get distracted, my brother had nothing to do during points but watch center court tennis. In other words, he got paid to watch every single daytime match in Ashe. Can you tell I’m still jealous?

Though I didn’t have Dan’s fortune to be there, I still caught most of the highlights. Here they are:

The Greatest Shot of all Time (or at least of Roger Federer’s life)

Kim Clijster’s win and baby:

Serena’s complete meltdown:

Del Potro’s win

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Filed under Running Commentary on whatever tickles the fancy, True Stories

What am I eating?

We went to Sam’s Club today and bought our usual store-made fresh baguettes.  Since they were made in the store, it never occurred to me that they would have anything in them besides flour, water, salt and yeast.  Today I looked at the ingredients for the first time.  Alas, I was oh so naive.

Ingredients:

Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, high fructose corn syrup, salt, yeast, contains 1% or less of: dough conditioners [monoclucerides, diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides (Datem), ascorbic acid enzyme, azodicarbonamide (ADA), L-Cystein], Guar Gum, Corn Syrup SOlids,  Soybean Oil, Canola Oic, Soy Lecithin, artificial butter flabor, beta carotene (color).  May contain: water, soy protein, propylene clycol, Rice syrup solids, sunflower oil, methylparaben and propylparaben (preservatives), acetylated tartaric Acid Esters of Mono-and diglycerides (emulsifier), methylcellulose, caramel color, sodium phosphate, artificial flavor for aroma enhancement and mixed tocopherols added to protect flavor.

Allergens: Contains soy. This product was manufactured on production lines that also process items which may contain nut ingredients.

Yea.

Perhaps a good rule would be, ‘if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.’  Then again, that rule may not be enough.  A better rule would be, ‘bread should have five or less ingredients.’  An even better rule would be, ‘make your own bread.’

It’s interesting that they explain what some of the ingredients are for: added to protect flavor, flavor aroma enhancement, etc.

That’s nice that they warn people with nut allergies, I guess.

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Filed under Questions, Running Commentary on whatever tickles the fancy

A real life Lost World!

Perhaps you have already seen this on the news. In case you haven’t, this is going to blow your mind!

Can you guess what this is? A leaf perhaps? A fungus maybe? Guess again. This is the tail feather of the King Bird of Paradise used primarily in courtship rituals. What is particularly captivating about this bird is that it was only recently discovered in Papua New Guinea along with “more than 40 previously unidentified species when they climbed into the kilometer-deep crater of Mount Bosavi and explored a pristine jungle habitat teeming with life that has evolved in isolation since the volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago,” according to the article from The Guardian entitled, “Lost World of Fanged Frogs and Giant Rats.”

Fanged frogs? Rodents of Unusual Size? Nuh uh.

Yuh huh. Check out these two slide shows to see the rainforest and some of her newly discovered species, one from The Guardian and the other from the BBC. The BBC actually has an entire section dedicated to this finding. Check it out at The Lost Land of the Volcano.

I don’t think you have to shield nerdy delight when it comes to findings like this. Granted, I’m the kind of person who drops whatever I’m doing to gape and drool at the TV, utterly transfixed by Planet Earth‘s many depictions of strange and unusual creatures around the globe. But I maintain that it is not merely nerdiness—it is reverential awe at the power, genius, diversity, and harmony of creation. The idea that anything can thrive and even evolve in isolation for so long, not to mention go completely undetected in today’s age of scientific rigor in which biological knowledge grows at exponential rates, completely boggles the mind! This is the kind of discovery where our ideas of science and science fiction grow fantastically hazy.

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Filed under Uncategorized

More Simple Pleasures

Howdy folks. I just thought I’d jot down a few more simple pleasures I’ve thought of.

  1. Hummingbirds.
  2. How so many people have a different name for their grandma. Mine’s Mimi.
  3. Riding a bike with no hands and holding your arms out like wings. It feels as close as one can get to flying, I think.
  4. The word ‘canoodle.’
  5. The sound of a well-hit tennis ball.
  6. Finding money in the pockets of pants you haven’t worn in a while.
  7. Non-seasonal weather days (like the freak cold day in August or the delicious warm day in February.
  8. Tunnels that echo, or really any kind of echo for that matter.
  9. Cinnamon and Sugar.
  10. A good fog.

I’m pretty serious about hearing from you on this simple pleasures collection. I hope you come up with good ones. Thanks!

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