Archive for the ‘Topical’ Category

Oh, The Germanity! A Real Cowgirl!

April 5, 2011

Horse dreams dashed, German teen turns to cow Luna

Regina Mayer

LAUFEN, Germany – When Regina Mayer’s parents dashed her hopes of getting a horse, the resourceful 15-year-old didn’t sit in her room and sulk. Instead, she turned to a cow called Luna to make her riding dreams come true…

Now, something about a young German girl jumping over fences on cowback makes me happy. I just can’t help it.


“Zombie” ants fall victim to mind-control fungus

March 10, 2011

“Zombie” ants fall victim to mind-control fungus

A recently discovered “mind control fungus” causes ants to seek out a good spot for the fungus to propagate and then drop dead so the fungus can, well, propagate. That is one of the coolest recent discoveries of modern entomology. The only cooler one was the beetles in the Pacific Northwest that fashion and use miniature chainsaws.

I love this photo of an ant with a fungus stalk emerging from the back of his head.


Moses, a Jew?

August 18, 2010

I get a word a day. It’s fun, though Anu Garg’s jabs against religion and the idea of god get tiresome at times.

Anyhow, that’s not what this post is about. It’s actually about a quotation that I found in yesterday’s post.

“If we can discern anything from interviews with auteur Mel Gibson, however, The Passion looms as possibly one of the most presumptuous, intelligence-insulting biblical adaptations since The Ten Commandments, a film that managed to depict the exodus of the Jews without ever once referring to them as ‘Jews’.”
Lynn Coady; The Dolorous Passion of Mad Max; Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada); Aug 19, 2003.

Innocuous enough, right? It’s just taking shots at Mel Gibson for being pretentious (spot on), right? But hey, what about the Ten Commandments? It criticizes the film for not using the word “Jew.”

But wait. The term is newer than they think. “Y’hudi,” the term from which the English language derives “Jew” didn’t come into currency until centuries after the Exodus, as a term to refer to the residents of the southern of the two Israelite kingdoms: Judah (which is the name of one out of the twelve tribes of Israel). This was to distinguish them from the people of the northern nation of Israel, and has since (as of the Captivity or so) come to be applied to all Israelites.

Therefore, whatever faults The Ten Commandments has as a film (it assuredly has them), a failure to refer to the Hebrews as Jews is not one of those. This is especially significant since Moses, Aaron and Miriam (the main Hebrew characters) were all of the tribe of Levi, not Judah. Joshua, meanwhile, was an Ephraimite. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the film, but I don’t actually remember any significant characters in the film being from the tribe of Judah at all. Feel free to correct me on that last one – as I said it’s been ages and I can’t be bothered to look up the details of the cast right now.

Manliness, Art and Friberg

July 11, 2010

I haven’t time to write up a proper artist’s profile today since it’s my wedding anniversary, but I had to at least share the words of somebody else (the writers of the entertainingly-named The Art of Manliness blog) honoring the exceedingly manly yet positive and uplifting art of the recently-passed Arnold Friberg.

The Manly Art of Arnold Friberg.

I’ve loved Friberg’s work for my whole life, on so many levels. Naturally, I first encountered his work through his Book of Mormon illustrations, but his work stretches well beyond the bounds of purely religious subject matter and is well worth another look. It has a feel that reminds me a bit of the late, great Howard Pyle.

In The News: Frozen Body Found In elevator Shaft

November 14, 2009

This is actually a fairly old story that I meant to share much, much earlier this year but just never got around to posting. It’s fascinating yet disturbing that a once-great city has degenerated so far. I find the photograph that went up with this article to be quite haunting.

updated 11:04 a.m. PT, Thurs., Jan. 29, 2009//

DETROIT – It took three calls to Detroit authorities over two days before they recovered the body of a man frozen in ice in the elevator shaft of a vacant warehouse, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Image: Dead body frozen in ice

read more…

The geeks out there might find some WoDish badness here. Remember that the real world’s plenty screwed up on its own…

Halloween With Danny Elfman

October 31, 2009

Tonight as I was taking my cousin to drop her off at a singles Halloween dance, I had the idea to share a little something Halloweeny with all of you.

Well, who does Halloween like Danny Elfman? Nobody, that’s who.

So Here’s a selection of his rather Halloween-y tunes for your delectation. Enjoy!

Those first few are pretty widely known even to folks that aren’t all that familiar with Oingo Boingo, but here are a few more that might be less so… (more…)

Colossal Marionettes Walk The Streets of Berlin

October 15, 2009

In early October, France’s Royal de Luxe street theatre company came to Berlin to perform a several day street theatre spectacle dubbed “The Berlin Reunion” celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. As part of this event, a pair of huge marionettes known as the Big giant and the Little Giantess (an uncle and his niece, long separated by a wall that the gant himself has finally succeeded in demolishing) searched the streets of the city for one another and finally being reunited. Check out the full article from There are many more pictures to be seen. Totally worth checking out, and an inspiring piece.

This one above is beautifully shot.

I love how expressive the marionette’s eyes are even though they’ve got limited eyelid movement.

You can never go wrong with aviator goggles.

These are the coolest puppets ever.
This one of them embracing is actually quite touching.

All It’s Cracked Up To Be

July 28, 2009

Man, what a cheesy title.

Anyhow, I have wasted far more time than I’d care to admit to looking at stuff on Cracked. Here are a couple of things that I have found there that I greatly enjoyed, and I think you might as well. Also, a little bit of commentary.

5 Real Life Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like a Pussy, by Marc Russell.

This one’s really entertaining to me, partially because if there is anything awesome, dashing or fascinating, I seek after these things. Bonus points if there are weapons involved. And oh, are there weapons. Now, simo Hayha’s old bolt-action rifle is totally sweet, but come on… Fighting Jack Churchill took a sword and a war bow with him on raids against the Germans!

That part of the article made me a bit suspicious though, since it explicitly states that Mad Jack’s sword was a two-handed scottish claymore. Eccentricity aside, I didn’t find that likely so I decided to do a little bit more research. Much more likely and more suitable for the purpose, to my way of thinking about an English officer with a penchant for Scottish cutlery would be a basket-hilted claymore, the type of sword known more precisely as a “claybeg” and to D&Ders (and casual sword fanciers the world over) as a “broadsword.” Note that the above-cited wikipedia article specifically states that the basket-hilt is what churchill used. For a more in-depth look at the awesomeness of Jack Churchill, see this profile column by robert Barr Smith. Read it.

Also, the article takes a fictional hardcase for each real soldier and shows how the real thing was way more awesome. Look out for a twist ending, though.

6 Real Life Islands Way More Terrifying Than the One On ‘Lost’, by Rory Colthurst

I found the #1 to be a bit of a letdown, though it’s probably #1 for the stealth scary factor. However, the others are totally exactly what it says on the tin. Ramree Island is my favorite, though the #2 is utterly horrifying in almost every way that doesn’t have to do with being eaten alive. Well, once you get to the sharks part it’s that too.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown

December 25, 2008

I’ll admit I always liked the tree better before the kids put all the extra bling on it. This bit’s one I’ve always found touching, however. Again, merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to All!

December 25, 2008

I’ll make this brief, because we’ve all got stuff to do I’m sure.

Merry Christmas to all!

This day means many different things to many different people. Whatever your views on this precious reminder of who and what we care about (which hopefully does not in fact revolve around the collecting of swag) might be, I dearly hope and pray that your day is merry, the hours spent with those you love are many, and that the next year is better than the last.

God bless us, every one.