Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"Relative to a Tea Cup"

I recently stumbled upon the National Geographic Animals site, which looks quite interesting, with images so cute it makes you want to just punch someone.

Could the illustrator be British perhaps?

Ruby-throated hummingbird.
The flower's a nice touch!

Mola (sunfish).
Holy smokes, I had no idea sunfish could grow to be so big. (I first learned about their existence from a Banana Yoshimoto story, in which the protagonist visits this sunfish at an aquarium.)
The National Geographic site says that "they are harmless to people, but can be very curious and will often approach divers." This photo, by Mike Johnson, shows just how bizarre sunfish look.

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Refugee Camp Exhibit

If you're in New York City this weekend, be sure to check out the Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City. This outdoor exhibit is being hosted by Doctors Without Borders to give visitors a sense of what life in a refugee camp is like. According to their Web site, the exhibit consists of materials used by the humanitarian group, including "emergency refugee housing, a food distribution tent, water pump, health clinic, vaccination tent, therapeutic feeding center, and a cholera treatment center."

The exhibit runs from now through Sunday, Sept. 24, at the Long Meadow in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Hours are 9:30 to 6:30 daily. Visit for more info.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Pixelated Pirate

Guybrush: The Early Years. Image from The Legend of Monkey Island.

Guybrush in 3D. Image from The Legend of Monkey Island.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think the "younger" Guybrush Threepwood looks cuter. Sometimes I get nostalgic for old computer games, with their heavy pixelation and rudimentary graphics. I especially loved the adventure games, like Sierra's King's Quest or LucasArts' Monkey Island, in which the background would have to refresh everytime you moved your character to the edge of the screen.

On the subject of pirates (Guybrush being one), Tuesday the 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. YAAAAR! Check out the official site for pirate vocabulary and information on how to speak like a pirate in German, Spanish, or Chinese.

I started a dance class today. For an idea of how I felt, watch this clip from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, of when Aunt Vivian goes to a dance audition, and look at the expression on her face. My instructor would demonstrate a step, and it seemed like everyone else was able to pick it up and do it right away. Although the class was billed as an absolute beginners' workshop, I think it would be hard for someone with two left feet or no sense of rhythm to keep up. I still had a blast, however.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Adventures in New York

I love exploring New York. Here are some photos I took of the city in summer 2005:

Candles inside St. John the Divine

View looking back toward the beach from a pier at Coney Island. (And no, Coney Island is not an island.)

The Cyclone, a wooden rollercoaster, which I rode, at Coney Island. Wooden rollercoasters are the best.

Jellyfish at the Brooklyn Aquarium, in Coney Island. I love jellyfish, even if I can't hug them.

A view from Inwood, at the northern tip of Manhattan

A street performer in Washington Square Park spins his twin brother on his head!

Fried clams from Johnny's, at the end of the bus line on City Island. (And yes, City Island is an island--in the Bronx!) From Brooklyn, it took me two and a half hours to reach City Island by public transportation. If you make the trip, take some reading material.

I still need to check out Roosevelt Island, Governors Island, and Long Island City, among other places in New York City. Hopefully more photos to follow.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Out to Lunch?

Stuff and Junk

Add information about major bridges here.

Needless to say, neither of these Web sites proved very helpful.

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What appeared to be a single beam of light from Brooklyn resolved into two as seen from Lower Manhattan. With clouds directly overhead, the two spotlights at Ground Zero shone beams that looked like pneumatic tubes to the sky, express routes for the saintly. When the clouds would pass, the two towers of light would go up up up then bend, following the curve of the Earth. The Brooklyn Bridge was crowded with good-intentioned gawkers. One had to dodge the aim of their cameras as one might dodge a laser security system, trying to avoid stepping into the frame of a stranger's shot. Tourists posing in front of Lower Manhattan's absence.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Politics and Play

Whenever I'm feeling low, I just repeat these words to myself:

Fantasy Bundestag
Which of the German parliament's 613 seats will you choose? How well will your political party do as the current legislative session advances? (Thanks to Sean and Vin for the awesome concept.)

I also get my kicks from the Prime Minister's Questions.

If you're in New York the weekend of Sept. 22, check out the Come Out and Play Festival.