Friday, August 31, 2012

Those daring men in their flying machines

Have now refined my bucket list. If I can't manage to get a ride on the Goodyear blimp before I die, would be happy to settle for a ride on the matching airplane. What a sweet little bird...

[photo credit - Cleveland Plain Dealer]

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Infinity is a mobius strip

Ezra Klein just tweeted: There are totally limits to human imagination. Try to conceptualize infinity!

I tweeted him and told him I can, and I have, conceptualized infinity but the whole answer is too long for twitter.

To get to infinity, you must leap into the bubble of one moment and ride it into forever.

Forever is vast. It can't be seen with the eye. Only with the mind.

It can't be described in the language of spoken words. Only experienced in the body.

To reach infinity you just burst the shell of your being into a billion pieces and hurl yourself, atom by atom, into the universe.

It has no end. Or beginning. It just is.
Fair warning: If you try this at home, it may alter the way you perceive the passage of time. [graphic via]

Land of the giant bats

No, it's not Transylvania, but it starts with a "T". These guys are scary big, but are vegetarians and said to be friendly. They like to hang out in cemeteries.

Read about Tanzania's Pemna Flying Fox and see more photos at the link. Worth the click through to see it in flight. Whoa.

Monday, August 27, 2012

For my sister

In a few weeks my sister will be hanging out on some game preserve and playing with these guys. How cool is that?

Can't wait to get pictures of her with a little guy like this.

To the moon Alice...

This is probably really old. Maybe I've even posted before. But not for a really long time and it made me laugh when I saw it on Facebook this morning.

For you youngsters that might have wandered in, this refers to the famous recurring line on The Honeymooners.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Just waiting on the rain

Something else I wish I could just hop in a plane and see. This beautiful installation of umbrellas was recently spotted in Águeda, Portugal.

More great photos at the link. No one knows who put it there or why, but I would love to make a carport like this. I wonder what happens if a big wind comes up though. Do they all blow inside out?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Let there be light

Stuff like this makes me wish I was a billionaire and could just travel any time I saw something on the internet that I would love to see in person. A Cathedral Made from 55,000 LED Lights in Belgium.

More photos at the link.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Under the spreading baobob trees

Just added to my bucket list. Visiting the land of the baobab trees. This is real place:

They only grow in this one place. I really want to go there. And click the link for the largest size photo and others. Totally worth it.

Daily dose of cute overload

Millions of kitten videos on the intertoobz. This one is my favorite today:

The butt wiggle gets me every time...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Found art

I'm a big fan of this form and these collages made of cut up NYC metro cards are fabulous. Couldn't pick only one so here's two of them:

That's Lincoln Center and the following one is Audrey Hepburn in case you're too young to recognize her.

More at the link. Well worthing clicking through to see them all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Magic forest

These days it's hard to tell the real stuff from photoshopped graphics but sometimes you just don't care. This is clearly photoshopped, but I want it to be real so I can go there.

This is clearly a real place but it came up in my timeline just about the same time. I like to imagine this is the gate that leads eventually to that magic forest, if you follow the path long enough.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Is that a puppy in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

To this day my favorite movies are from the 40s and 50s. And Cary Grant was one of my favorite movie stars. Love this photo.

[original photo]

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dream Cruise

Though I've never actually been there, I know a lot about Detroit because I've been blogging at the newspaper for so long. The annual Dream Cruise is my favorite event in the greater Detroit area.

I just love classic cars. I've owned a few in my lifetime. Most of them were just used cars and not old enough to be classics yet while I drove them but I got my 1960s Dodge Dart when it old enough to qualify. Can't begin to tell you how much I loved this car.

Spent a long time and a lot of money restoring it. Painted mine more of a darker greenish blue with a cream top. It looked almost as good as this one. Chrome wasn’t quite as shiny.[photo via]

It was a really fun car to drive. I called it Pioneer because every trip in it was an adventure that inevitably ended up at the mechanic. That car loved the repair shop like it was a Porsche. Still I treasured it. We’ll skip the tragic tale of its untimely end. Still makes me a bit sad to think about it.

In the meantime wish I was Woodward Ave right now in person. Since that didn't happen, thanks to the internet we can all be there virtually. Join the social media sharing and tag your photos with #DreamCruise or #wdc2012. You may see your shares here. And follow along at ‏@detnewscruise if you're on twitter. If you're not a social media person, check out the great photo gallery.

Or if you can't be there in person and love livestream cams as much as I do, the Detroit News live web cam is a great way to view the action. I've seen some great cars out there.

Life's a beach

This is the photo of the week and possibly the best photo of a giant wave, ever. Wave breaking off the Na Pali coast of Kauai, Hawaii. Sadly, it can't be copied and pasted so click to see it in a large size. Totally worth it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy birthday Alfred

Alfred Hitchcock's birthday was yesterday but I ran out of steam before I got around to posting this video of every cameo appearance he ever made in his movies. If you're old as me, or a movie buff, you know that these brief cameo appearances was a trademark of his films.

Roger Ebert complains there's at least one missing. But I'm not a purist. I thought this was a lovely tribute to a great director.

I remember when he had the teevee show too. Never missed it on purpose. Which reminds me, I don't have cable tv anymore. All I have is an ancient set given to me that needs a converter box and rabbit ears just to get any stations. I get about six or eight different ones, depending on the weather.

Oddly they change every once in a while. This one station used to be Bounce TV, now it's ME TV, which is much better. Late at night they play the really old black and white dramas. I've seen Perry Mason twice now. I saw an old Thriller episode starring Elizabeth Montgomery when she was really young and a brunette. And a Naked City episode starring an impossibly young William Shatner. Hoping this station lasts for a while.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I was told there would be no math

As someone who has engaged in a lifelong struggle with mathematics, this made me laugh this morning:

[Found on facebook.]

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fire in the sky

Inga Sorenson has outdone herself with this photo of my favorite building in all of Manhattan.

I've always wanted to go up to the top of the Chrysler Building and look out those windows at the very top. I'm told it's nearly impossible. But I do have a photographer friend who once talked his way up there in the early 70s. So it can de done and it's still on my bucket list. [original photo]

Friday, August 10, 2012

Too sweet to eat

I've always loved beautiful pastries and candies. Don't eat that stuff very often anymore and I'm sure I could bear to bite into one of these beauties.

Cake decorating has come a long way from the old tubed roses that used to be the only choice. [original photo]

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Orange hats

I love the internets. Somebody retweeted this photo on the twitter.

I loved it too. They didn't know where it came from, so I asked Facebook. Within hours, a photographer friend found the original artist. Apparently there's an app for that...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

No little green men

I'm so old I remember being young when the prevailing meme in popular culture was that the moon was made of green cheese. We sang songs and watched cartoons about the man in the moon. Even today, if you know what to look for, you can see his face when the moon is full. Then we actually landed on the moon and no one talked about green cheese again.

The myth of little green men who lived on Mars persisted a little longer but technology overran the visions of mad science fiction writers and dragged us into a much drabber reality. Nonetheless, I'm thrilled and astounded that in my lifetime I went from seeing a monkey orbit the earth to seeing a real life photograph of a space rover landing on a planet in our solar system.

How astonishing is that? Honestly surprised that I lived long enough to see a space rover named Curiosity, sending back panoramic photos of Mars. Featured landing photo via TPM Mars gallery and more here.

The reality from the surface of the planet is so bleak but -- real life photos. Incredible.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Flags of the world

Guess I knew that cities have flags but it's one of those things you never really think about. BuzzFeed decided to take a look. These two were my favorites:

Ostrava, Czech Republic:

Perm, Russia:

There are 75 city flags at this link. A lot of great ones. Some really awful ones too.

Monday, August 06, 2012

A eulogy for my aunt

Just found out a couple of days ago that my favorite aunt died. She was the quintessential eccentric artist. Her entire life was a performance piece. Her real name was Emily. She ran away from home at a fairly young age and changed her name to Stania. Because she thought that more exotic and better suited to an artist.

She was the black sheep of her generation in the family, just as I am of mine. I didn't know her well. She didn't get along with my mother. She rarely lived nearby. But we bonded when I spent a couple of weeks in SoCal with her in the early 90s.

I recognized her immediately when I got off the plane. As she did me. The very first thing she said to me after at least 20 years between visits was, "Do you smoke pot?"

Every morning for the next two weeks we had breakfast on her covered deck with the incredible view. It was so gigantic, she created three furnished rooms with living walls of tropical plants. And aquariums. So many fish. She would make really good coffee and roll herself a big fat doob. And we would sit in the breakfast nook, surrounded by banana trees, and talk about the future and the past.

In the afternoons she would show me her artworks. She was a talented artist who worked brilliantly in any medium. She was fearless. Relentlessly creative. Charmingly quirky. Hadn't seen her since, but we had a psychic connection. For no apparent reason I was thinking about her on the night she died.

Even though I rarely saw her, I'm really going to miss sharing this earthly realm with her. RIP Aunt Stania.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Incredible skydiving tricks

Two posts today since I've been so remiss. Long time friends and readers know I had a years long fling with skydiving. Never got very good at it but I hung around the scene long enough to know an incredible achievement when I see one. Like breaking this world record for vertical skydives.

OTTAWA, Ill. (AP) — Falling at speeds of up to 220 mph, a group of nearly 140 skydivers shattered the vertical skydiving world record as they flew heads-down in a massive snowflake formation in northern Illinois.

Three judges representing the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, the international air sports agency, certified that 138 skydivers created the formation Friday evening over Ottawa, about 80 miles southwest of Chicago. It took 15 attempts over three days for the team to break the previous record of 108 skydivers, which was set in 2009.
There are very few skydivers who could pull this off without killing somebody on entering the formation. At those speeds you can't afford to make a mistake. And it's impossible to explain how hard it is to even make that formation when they're diving vertically. It's a million times harder than when they do it while they're falling flat. And even those formations aren't that easy. You have to log a whole of lot jumps before anyone will even let you try it.

Full moon rising

Yikes. Didn't realize it's been so long since I posted here. Time just got away from me this week. I haven't been watching the Olympics much. Not a big fan of the summer ones and finding the NBC coverage somewhat annoying. Did manage to catch Gabby win the all around medal. Wow is she a helluva athlete or what?

Anyway, the best photo I've seen of the entire event, isn't one of an athlete. You could wait a million years and never get another chance to capture this shot.

[Original and more photos here]

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Take a little (virtual) trip

I love Google street view. When I was searching for a place to live in the Little City and was still living two hours away, I used it a lot to check out the neighborhoods where apartments were listed. It helped narrow down the search somewhat.

So I was pleased to find out, you can now get Google street views for national parks. There's links for five different ones at the end of the linked article here. That may be the closest I get to any of them.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Astounding art

I don't believe I've ever seen a cake quite this artistic. As the artist said: "Yeah, I just need to say that this cakes is one of my favourite basket cakes which I've made last year, 2 layers of orange choc decorated with 100% piped buttercream flowers."

I don't believe I could bear to cut that cake. I'd want to preserve it somehow forever and keep it as an art piece.

[Original photo on Facebook and if you can access the link, apparently she has an album of cakes like this on her business page.]