Sunday, August 28, 2005

Fun with toys; or, an entirely appropriate post for a Sunday afternoon

As if electrical component porn weren't enough, now there is The Bible, through Legos. The speech bubbles are a good touch.

Thanks to linkbunnies for you know, the link.

ps. It's also a book!


quoted from Publisher's Weekly via Amazon.com:

In Taco Bell one day, Smith claims, his burrito suddenly burst into flames and the voice of God boomed out that he needed to illustrate the Bible entirely out of LEGOs. "But I'm an atheist," Smith objected. "Then you are especially unqualified to question me!" God thundered. "Now get to work!" This hilarious book, which interprets some of the most famous stories from Genesis, is Smith's first; with 39 books in the Old Testament alone, however, one rejoices that the franchise possibilities could extend for many years. The full-color photographs of Smith's chosen scenes invite the readers into each story. We see the Garden of Eden replete with plastic green shrubbery and LEGO animals; the building of the Ark and the wicked people drowning in the flood (just their heads float over a blue LEGO foundation); Joseph's brothers trying to throw him down a well. One has to admire Smith's LEGO engineering, Noah's Ark and the Tower of Babel are genuine feats as well as his twisted, keen sense of humor. He's also refreshingly honest about some parts of Genesis that tend to be ignored by Christians, such as a naked, drunken Noah cursing one of his sons. This creative, iconoclastic book is colorful in every sense of the word, and will be appreciated by LEGO enthusiasts everywhere as well as whimsical Sunday School teachers.

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Still out of season, but the time will come

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There are only a few days of summer left before school kicks in again--one and a half, to be exact. So, my latest rush of self-induced productivity (as opposed to school-forced monkeys-at-typewriters busywork) has yielded some nifty fingerless gloves, courtesy of a pattern from ohmystars.net.

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The blue is actually less saturated than it looks in the pictures; I'm not really a fan of wearing neon colors. Other than that, it took a few quick hours to make last night. Nothing in the round, no button holes, no measuring!

I'm always in a good mood when I finish something. If only high school granted instant gratification.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Let the show begin

Penn State York's brand new Pullo Family Performing Arts Center had its grand opening yesterday afternoon. I was there for a good four hours, first performing at the donors' reception outside with the quintet and then exploring the center's auditorium, backstage area, atrium, and library afterwards.

The donors' reception was... actually, I don't know how it was, having spent most of the duration playing music (the Mozart g-minor we learned a month ago and easy arrangements from a wedding music collection, if you were wondering.) The reception was outside, under a tent. We (the usual quintet) were on a small stage while people talked, mingled, and ate catered food. Following our hour-long gig and various Penn State and community bigwigs' speeches, the crowd was on its merry way inside the building.

(Above photos from http://www.yk.psu.edu. This also makes me realize that I really should have taken more pictures, but below are the ones I did get. Mr. Schneider ought to have more on the YYSO website, I think.)

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Pictures or not, the center was incredible. The auditorium itself is definitely more impressive than the Strand's. The atrium is excellent, with quick access to the stage, box office, mezzanine, library, and a even brand new Sparky and Clark's. ($1 coffee was the special yesterday.) The library is functional and pretty cozy; the YYSO quartet's performance area ended up being my favorite corner of the day. The mezzanine, where Paige and Leasha were fluting it up, gives an impressive view of the theater. My picture of the blurry dancers above doesn't quite do the audience area and stage justice, but it gives a general idea. The backstage area attracted a lot of visitors, surprisingly enough. Josh and Amy (in the picture second from the left) played in the green room; soon afterwards, lines of people were going into the back hallway where Josh and Amy as well as Zane and his dad were playing.

Overall impressions? Very positive. And the exposure is great as well; this season boasts two Broadway shows (42nd Street, Rent) as well as Bob Saget, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and others. As for me? I'm excited to be rehearsing and performing there, that's for sure.

ps. Here are four more pictures from the event; the last three are from the York Dispatch.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Taking a break from all that cat-making

Using the super-efficient arm-knitting method from marta's yarns and some awfully chunky Lion's Brand chenille, I give you... the net:

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... just kidding. The scarf, at a completely inappropriate time of the year:

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I'm afraid it might shed a whole lot of green fuzz with use, but other than that it was very, very easy to make. Plus it's quite warm and comfortable. A good <1-hour project.

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A newcomer

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Kitty #2 is sort of the more anatomically correct one out of the two, if that were possible. I wasn't paying much attention last night either while making the black cat, but it's not super-stretched out like the white one. In any case, they're both cute. And in the end, they have learned to share the ball of yarn.

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

The ~3 hour kitty

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The pattern is from a post by LJ user geobabe. There are a few quirks in my version of the kitty, such as using tissues as stuffing (too busy watching The Terminal to go upstairs to find fiberfill) and pins as eyes and nose. Everyone ought to know that I can't sew to save my life, or else I would have taken my brother's suggestion and made the kitty into Shii.

It's still cute though. I think I'll make another.

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Because New York City just isn't strange enough


Click for full size.

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Breaking in the new notebook


I have not doodled in a long time. This sketch-to-Photoshop-penning bears a slight resemblance to Angelina Jolie. But then again, any woman with long hair and large lips will have the tendency to do that. I will have to work on this.

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Pure genius, cheap price

Craftster had its first Craft Challenge this summer: to create something completely random using dollar store finds totaling under $5. The winner is a nice little bedside table which probably and appropriately would be good for college-bound dormers. (Photos from this entry of the Craftster blog.)

However, what seems like an ordinary bedside table is actually a slick combination of large picture frames and...

Yeah, that's right. Army men. I wonder if we have any of those lying around the house.

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Friday, August 19, 2005

A followup to the cadaveration

excerpt from Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

"Bare Bones"

"I sat in my yellow vinyl chair not thinking about Torrey. Instead, I looked at my hand. It occurred to me that my palm looked like a monkey's palm. The crinkle of the three lines running across it and the way my fingers curled in seemed simian to me. If I spread my fingers out, my hand looked more human, so I did that. But it was tiring holding my fingers apart. I let them relax, and then the monkey idea came back.

I turned my hand over quickly. The back of it wasn't much better. My veins bulged--maybe because it was such a hot day--and the skin around my knuckles was wrinkly and loose. If I moved my hand I could see the three long bones that streched out from the wrist to the first joints of my figers. Or perhaps those weren't bones but tendons? I poked one; i twas resilient, so probably it was a tendon. Underneath, though, were bones. At least I hoped so.

I poked deeper, to feel the bones. They were hard to find. Knucklebones were easy, but I wanted to find the hand bones, the long ones going from my wrist to my fingers.

I started getting worried. Where were my bones? I put my hand in my mouth and bit it to see if I crunched down on something hard. Everything slid away from me. There were nerves; there were blood vessels; there were tendons. All these things were slippery and elusive.

'Damn,' I said. Georgina and Polly weren't paying attention.

I began scratching at the back of my hand. My plan was to get hold of a flap of skin and peel it away, just to have a look. I wanted to see that my hand was a normal human hand, with bones. My hand got red and white--sort of like Polly's hands--but I couldn't get my skin to open up and let me in.

I put my hand in my mouth and chomped. Success! A bubble of blood came out near my last knuckle, where my incisor had pierced the skin.

'What the fuck are you doing?' Georgina asked.

'I"m trying to get to the bottom of this,' I said."

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Knitted things: green bags

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As a result of a few rather untimely events, I am sick during one of the most beautiful weeks of the summer. So blogging, playing video games, and a bit of practicing will be the extent of my physical activity... so I'm digging up a few things to share. First up: green knitted bags.

The bag pictured above was originally based on a drawstring bag pattern from a yarn site called straw.com. However, I either lost count or got tired of referring to numbers and measurements... so here we are. The finished product is a little goofy-looking, and for now it is also lining-less. But it's not bad for carrying around light things. The yarn used was Red Heart's Plush (80% Acrylic/ 20% Nylon) and the bag measures around 20" in circumference.

Other stuff:

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More projects to come in later months.

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Hey Timmy, what do you wanna be when you're dead?

I saw this on Headline News while I was eating lunch. This tidbit is of spew-your-noodles quality, for sure.


As of today, Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) has opened its "BODIES: the Exhibition" display. Take a look at this picture out for a taste, or the picture (from the Associated Press) above of part of the older Body Worlds exhibit of Chicago and Cleveland. This is no ordinary "Check out the dinosaur bones, boys and girls!" museum tour. BODIES is a display of twenty preserved human cadavers (unidentified bodies of Chinese men and women) arranged in different positions. Interesting poses include a dead body playing soccer and a skeleton holding hands with its own muscles.

The site promotes the exhibit as "a phenomenal look at the phenomena we call the human body." Which is true, but apparently the Florida Anatomical Board didn't think so; they voted to ban the exhibit, which was supposed to open Saturday.

What does the museum do? Move the grand opening up by two days.

My only argument: while I'm all for science and study and all of that, the source of the cadavers is a little sketchy. While the aforementioned Body Worlds exhibit in Chicago clearly states that the cadavers are body donors, this Florida exhibit uses unidentified and unclaimed bodies. That's pretty nasty of them (the Tampa MOSI, not the cadavers.) If there is an afterlife, I'm sure there are 20 pretty angry Chinese men and women raging about. But as a Tampa Tribune article headlines, "Now You Too Can See Dead People."

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Turn your computer off and go to sleep




Basically... this is what I have been doing for the past few days. Okay, so I've been eating a sleeping. A lot. And yes, I have returned calls. Yes, I did RSVP to the party (no, I'm not going). Social niceties and vital human functions aside though, it's yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.

For those poor souls unfamiliar with the Monkey Island series... oh man. You're missing out, buddy. Take a look at World of Monkey Island for a good look into the exploits of Guybrush Threepwood, LeChuck, etc. And for those who require characters with normal names, take Sam and Max, a dog and rabbit crimefighting pair. I've never played Sam and Max Hit the Road before, but after a couple minutes this game already had me laughing. I'm relatively easy to amuse, but just a few minutes ain't too shabby.

On the other hand, I've been a Monkey Island fan even since I first started playing video games on our very first family computer, the good old Taiwan-made grayscale-monitored, Windows 3-point-something-running desktop machine with those nice floppy disks of the olden days. Thanks to my brother, we played Prince of Persia, Tetris, Puzzle Bobble... the classics, you know? And of course, Monkey Island with its deadly poodles and crazy dialog. But alas, times have changed, and XP's wonderful incompatibility posed problems for anything NOT made for XP... or did it?

Enter ScummVM:

quoted from scummvm.org

ScummVM is a program which allows you to run certain classic graphical point-and-click adventure games, provided you already have their data files. The clever part about this: ScummVM just replaces the executables shipped with the game, allowing you to play them on systems for which they were never designed!
A quick download led to days and nights of completely error-free pirating... err, point-and-click adventure gaming. Not a bad pasttime for 90+ degree weather!

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By the rear sidewalk


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