Thursday, April 26, 2007

Websites

I am trying to create a webpage, but am frustrated with the current one I am using (google's free pages).

Does anyone have a program/host that you like?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Owen and Mzee

I just watched the documentary posted on their website, and it is really amazing. I'm not usually going to post schmultzy things on here, but this is just too sweet and increadible.

In December 2004, a frightened young hippo, separated from his family by a devastating tsunami, bonded with an Aldabra tortoise named Mzee. The 130 year-old tortoise accepted Owen as his own, and an inseparable bond was forged. Watch the Documentary.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Name?

I am trying to come up with a design team name for my mom and my art (company? is that the right word?) that we are starting....
What do you think of:

From Dust Designs

or

Earth to Elegance

?

I'll be posting more to get some feedback. Let me know!

Walking Town

Walking Town, Washington DC Spring edition 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007 - Sunday, April 22, 2007
Location: Across the City

Join Cultural Tourism DC for more than 60 free walking tours (and a few bike and boat tours) in 18 neighborhoods across Washington, DC. Select from the schedule below!

Too much information? Check the overview schedule. Not enough? Email info@CulturalTourismDC.org or call 202-661-7581.

What you need to know:

  • All tours are free.
  • Reservations are not required, with the exception of the bike tours and a few others. Just show up!
  • Consider taking Metrobus, Metrorail, or the Circulator. Most tours are readily available via public transportation.
  • Tours are held rain or shine.
  • Visit the City Guide at washingtonpost.com to check special features and post a review.
  • Need more info or tips to plan your day? Click here!

Meteor Shower


THIS Saturday night! at 11P.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bodies, Bodies, everywhere

I went to a special teacher reception at the " Bodies " exhibit which is now at The Dome in Arlington. While some of it made me queasy, the whole show blew me away. Not only the process and how complex of a procedure it is to do that to the human body, but to be able to see so much of a REAL human being. The body is so amazing and complicated, I was struck by how ridiculous it would be to say that all of that happened by chance, by mutation and evolution. You can't help but see a Creator!

The tickets are a bit pricey, I hear, but I can say that it is worth seeing in your life time. I don't think I'll ever go again, but WOW.

Christianity and Conservationism

"But there is equally--indeed primarily--a dimension here of the doctrine of world conservation. When man gets out of step with God, 'nature' gets out of step with man and is corrupted and polluted from its purity. Thus, in Gen. 3, the breach between God and man had its immediate corollary in the thorns, thistles and sweat which thenceforward marked man's relationship with his physical environment (Gn. 3:17ff.). The Old Testament follows this teaching through consistently. The very land itself becomes polluted by the sins of its inhabitants (Jer. 3:1-3), and its beauties are destroyed by human pride (Is. 2:12-17). We see this in action wherever once-beautiful valleys are disfigured by the slag-heaps and debris of industrial covetousness or wherever rivers become the running sores of careless pollution."

This too is from Motyer's commentary on Amos, but I wanted to give it its own posting. I think it's a powerful description on why Christians should be active conservationists!

For more on Christian conservation see works by Loren Wilkenson, a Regent College faculty member. He has written many scholarly and popular articles developing a Christian environmental ethic and exploring the human relationship to the natural world in its environmental, aesthetic, scientific and religious dimensions.

Amos

Our Bible study is going through J.A. Motyer's commentary on Amos.

I wanted to post a couple of quotations from the last two weeks of study; there were just so many interesting thoughts spurred on by these passages:

We should each think to ourselves every day, "'...I have a vocation from God to obey, a word from God to speak, a work from God to do.' This is what holds the man of God firm in the time of trial and opposition: he is where he is by appointment." (p. 173)

"The product of a deep sense of authority and of a deep respect for the Word of God is at its best and purest the quiet word of reason and respect, never the word of ill-manners or abuse, never the word of vociferous controversy. The wrath of man cannot accomplish the righteous purposes of God." (p. 173)

"Like all the feasts of Israel [the Feast of Booths] was given historical orientation so that it also recalled to the people the fact that they had been gathered in themselves from among the nations to be the people of God." (p. 177) (I thought this was interesting when thinking about the Lord's Supper, in terms of it being a memorial--that the feasts and sacrifices of the whole history of redemption had that role).

"How lightly expressions like 'God-forsaken' are used! They are part of terminology of casual blasphemy in cultures where religious formalism prevails or where the mass of the population is in a post-religious phase." (p. 178)

"It is entirely allowable to treat verses 8 and 9 [of chapter 8] as metaphorical of a society which has suffered the loss of stability and regularity, that is to say, where absolutes are no longer recognized and rules are there to break, where, maybe, human personality is showing more and more signs of breakdown and unreliability. This is abundantly true: the further man gets from his moorings in God the further he gets from all moorings." (p. 179)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This is Why I'm Hot

DK linked to this. I couldn't help but do the same:

If the images do not show up on your browser, click here.
The Village Voice
Down in Front
Hot Hot Heat
A graphical dissertation on the number one song in America
by Rob Harvilla
March 13th, 2007 1:12 PM

This is why "This Is Why I'm Hot" is hot: Because it's hot. There are of course other reasons the breakout single from Mims, a Washington Heights rapper who intends to carry New York hip-hop on his back and restore us to glory, is hot. It ascended to number one on Billboard's Hot 100, for example, and topped iTunes' singles chart as well. But consider these other, purer, more intangible reasons why it's hot, best explained by Mims himself over the course of the song. Where appropriate, we will back him up with visual aids.

The most amazing line in "This Is Why I'm Hot"�and, even at this early a juncture, quite possibly the most amazing line of any song to see release in 2007�is "I'm hot 'cause I'm fly/You ain't 'cause you not." Brutal and unassailable in its simplicity. Consider the reasoning, first, of just "I'm hot 'cause I'm fly":


Mims is hot because he's fly. But it raises the question: Does being hot guarantee one's being fly? "You ain't 'cause you not" would seem to clear that up:

It would appear that fly and hot are interchangable. If you are one, you are both; if you aren't at least one, you are neither.

If you find completely overlapping Venn diagrams visually unhelpful, consider this tautology:

If that's a bit pretentious, then maybe a blunt flowchart works best:

The other remarkable, oft-quoted line in "This Is Why I'm Hot" is "I could sell a mil' sayin' nothin' on a track." Critics gibe that "This Is Why I'm Hot" proves precisely that; others muse on what Mims would sell if he deigned to actually say something on a track. Would he sell less than a mil'? Exactly a mil', as when he said nothing? Or a great deal more than a mil'? The song does not elaborate. In any event, note that he can do those things, not will, which suggests he might not. As these claims and predictions are speculative, there are more possible outcomes; it seems reasonable to assert that Mims can't sell more than a mil' sayin' nothin'. Though we would love to see him try.

Sonically, the most entertaining part of "This Is Why I'm Hot" is the first verse, in which Mims underscores his hotness by touting his skill at adapting to regional styles, as the slow, minimal, eerie beat morphs beneath him, sampling both "Nuthin' But a G Thang" and "Jesus Walks." In the Dirty Dirty (South) he makes the ladies bounce. He slows it down in the Midwest per their preference. He does it the Cali way in L.A., and in Chi, in addition to adeptly moving the crowds from side to side, everyone loves his fashion sense. (If you enjoy nothing else about "This Is Why I'm Hot," acknowledge the rakish, immensely appealing way Mims says the word attire.) Our quarrel lies with "If you need it hyphy/I take it to the Bay," an homage to the Oakland�San Francisco Bay Area's relentlessly knuckleheaded and sorta wonderful hyphy movement, with its proclivities for going dumb, making thizz faces, ghost-riding the whip, etc. (Yahdidabooboo.) But unlike Mims's other geographical shout-outs, that's all he says here�"I take it to the Bay/'Frisco to Sac-town/They do it e'y'day." First of all, no one calls it "Frisco" except rhyme-starved rappers, and the only worthwhile MCs living anywhere near Sacramento are in prison. But even worse, there's no style adjustment here�he just takes it to the Bay. This is wholly insufficient for hotness�several entities that take it to the Bay do not qualify:

The song's other two verses are a relative letdown�Mims can get chopped birds by the flock, he's got money in the bag, he coordinates his outfits, he compels you to Google the word guap, people tend to like how he records, he's into big spendin', bah. He does intimate that we will find him "with different women" that we personally have "never had," which is awfully gentlemanly of him, really. Since we're feeling charitable we'll assume all of Mims's women are hot; with regard to our own conquests, it's best to be honest with ourselves.

Though a fantastic song, "This Is Why I'm Hot" verily reeks of Skee-Lo. It's so distinctive and goofy that no follow-up could possibly do it justice. But even if Mims is not built for endurance, he has given us an invaluable gift nonetheless�reclaiming and re-energizing the word hot after years of abuse. Plumbing one's memory (with a bit of Internet aid) reveals how even reputable musicians have overused the "I'm hot like _____" construction. Behold:


Yes. Mere mortals are hot like other people or things; having ascended to a higher plane, Mims is hot like Mims. It doesn't get hotter than that.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Citrus Magic

I finally found something that takes away the stink in the diaper pail. Citrus Magic is not another pungent spray to mask the underlying stink. As the advertising says, it "Magically Absorbs Odors!". And it actually does. I got mine at Safeway; I'm sure that it's carried all over.

Calico Corners: Outlet

If you are ever driving up torwards Philly, stop by the CC Outlet--it's right off of 95. It's great! They have fabrics at up to 75% off, and usually there is some other sale going on as well.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Consignment and Thrift Shops in Fairfax

The Fairfax County Government website provides a list.

Sippy Cups

Does anyone have a favorite? I got the Avent sippy cup transformer kit (GREAT idea!), but G. doesn't seem to be taking to it. Does anyone have a trick or hint on how to teach babies to use them? It would be convenient for trips. Though now G. will hold up her own bottle.

Splat mat

I looked into buying one of these for G. They run around $40 on average. So, you can do that, or you can go to Jo-Ann Fabrics and buy a yard of vinyl cloth for $5. To make it cute, you could trim the edge with ribbon, etc.

Furniture Refinishing (and nursing?!)

So, it turns out that while re-useable nursing pads work horribly as nursing pads, they are absolutely perfect for stripping, staining, and applying finish to furniture!

Go west!

Some great places to visit, if you have a day!
Leesburg and the area:
- The outlets! The Crate and Barrel outlet carries napkins from $.95
- Earth and Fire Gallery: Virginia's own gallery for fine craft. They carry potters from all over the country, as well as fine wood working.
- Old Lucketts Store Antiques: This is one of my mom and my favorite shops. They always have great things and great prices. Yesterday, I found a 1920s wood wardrobe for $28, as well as some other good things.

And while you are heading west, turn north!
In Frederick, MD there are many antique shops and interesting things to look at (like the toothless wild haired ladies sitting on their porches). Be sure to check out:
- Primitive World. This store carries all sorts of Tibetan and Chinese antiques. It's quite an amazing shop, and the prices are very good. These things would sell for thousands in New York.
- My other favorite place to go scrounging around is the Cannon Hill Place at the old Granary (111 S. Carroll Street).

In Hagerstown, MD there is a dreary corrugated tin warehouse...
- and inside you will find an array of ribbon! I bought 50 yd rolls of ribbon for anywhere between $1-$5! It's called Offray-Lion Ribbons. They also have a site, but it's very odd and hard to navigate. I was suspiscious of the worthiness of such a drive. But you will not find ribbon at such low prices and in such quantity anywhere else!
- And you might as well stop at Wonder Book and Video, while you are up there. Wonder Book is one of the area's largest used book dealers.

When the Man Comes Around....

I usually dislike children's music in general. I don't understand why you would have your children listening to trite, flim-flam music when you are in process of developing their tastes!

Anyhow, here is an album that is great for kids, their developing aesthetics, and for their parents! Johnny Cash wrote and recorded these years ago, but the producers wouldn't release it until last year because it didn't really fit with Cash's image.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Haute Sodium!


Posh Salt offers a line of pink and black salt! anything from particulate to salt platters to salt wall art.

Affordable Art


There are Affordable Art Fairs all over the world. Interesting idea. (I wonder if the art is anything but post-modern.)



Click to view a larger version:

Monday, April 02, 2007

G-diapers

I kept wanting someone to invent a cloth/disposable mix...

Cloth is great for breathability, the lack of chemicals, and most of all that you can reuse the outer shell and save the earth from landfills burgeoning with plastic disposables. The problem I faced when looking at cloth diapers was that, at least for me, they are not practical. G and I are out all the time here and there. I like to travel light. I do not like the thought of toting stinking wet diapers with me all day. I don't mind the idea of cleaning them up, it's just that most days I am not just home with her all day. So they don't seem to be that great for this generation of moms. However disposables are expensive and really do not biodegrade quickly. So can't they make an outer shell of gortex like material that have disposable liners? The liners would not need any plastic coating and could easily biodegrade.

Then I found G-diapers! They are just as I described--and better. The liners are actually flushable. You don't even need a diaper pail any more. They fit great and really seem to be as absorbant as regular disposables. And the flushable part is GREAT.

The only problem is that they are more expensive than both cloth diapers and disposables. When will environmentalists realize that in order to change the world, you have to make it financially feasible for people? I am willing to pay some extra for organic food, etc. But when the costs are significantly higher for the green alternative ($20 more a box of disposable liners than for a box of disposable diapers), the market is already predisposed against it.

Make GREEN affordable!

ps. If you are interested in gdiapers, Wegmans sells them for $4 or $5 less than the official site for both the starter kit and the extra liners. I also have read that Whole Foods offers a discount of 10% if you buy a case.