Friday, November 23, 2012

Primitive twig

My favorite thing I saw Sugarloaf craft fair at Montgomery County Fairgrounds last Saturday were these figures by Primitive Twig. Their website didn't really represent the stuff I saw, so I lifted this photo from a google search:

I don't know that I'd want one in my home, but I was entranced.

geometric silver rings

The Artsilver booth at the Sugarloaf craft fair at Montgomery County Fairgrounds (last Saturday) had tons of rings and other jewelry. There was a lot of stuff that wasn't my taste, but I really like the overall sensibility. They have a bunch of rings that can be split in two and flipped, changing the shape.

fine-line printed shirts

I saw these at the Sugarloaf craft fair at Montgomery County Fairgrounds last Saturday. The print designs are really nice. The fabric is soft. It's not as extremely thin as some, but it's still thinner that I would wear without wearing a second shirt under it.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Olympic photography

I was struck by this photo of Olympic show jumping by Alex Livesey. It turns out he's taken quite a few striking pictures of horses, including some skikjoring:

Some other excellent professional photos from the Olympics are being taken with an iPhone.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympic fashion - south korea vs norway

I love the fun hats on the female South Korean archers, and the rest of the shooting ladies aren't doing too bad in the fashion department. I'm not sure they're in the same league with the Norweigan curling guys of Vancouver 2010 though.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

NIH plays Peck and Bartok

The NIH Philharmonia performed two Concerti for Orchestra by modern composers last night. There was lots to intrigue me: one of my doctors was performing in the orchestra, the distribution of the age of performers (mostly 50+, next largest group was <30), the way my friend and I started itching like mad around the same time, wondering whether performers worry about the effect of peckzicatto on their instruments and the entertaining Nancia D'Alimonte's introductions to the pieces. She was riveting -- she would be a great host for a TV series about classical music. I was curious to what extent she scripted her introductions, because they were very well crafted, and when she lost her place, she seemed to pick up a precise thread, not a fuzzy one. Although they were certainly carefully planned,  the wooden quality nearly always found in scripted speech was absent, making me think they might not be completely scripted.

The first piece was Mozart Escapes the Museum (Peck), and the final piece was Bartok's unnamed Concerto for Orchestra. I enjoyed it and Signs of Life II much less than the first Peck piece, but that may have been due to the itchiness rather than the music. I'd hate to think I'm unable to appreciate the work of someone with the hair in this picture. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

More strange birds

The eastern rivers of Virginia are apparently a gathering place for funny-headed birds. After yesterday's kingfishers, today I saw two types of mergansers. The flock of 14 red-breasted mergansers dove for long times and distances. I only saw one pair of hooded mergansers, but they are even stranger looking to me. The bright white on the side of the male's head is quite striking, and the halo of brown on the female's is also intriguing.

The red-breasted merganser:

by Hilary Chambers via Flickr

The hooded merganser:

by Mr. T in DC via Flickr

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Slate breaks my brain

I caught earworms from Slate podcasts today.

Vulture capitalist - It's catchy. Having spent so much time hearing about venture capitalists in silly valley, I am particularly entertained. And, according to the first definition I could find (Investopedia), that's the genesis of the term. I wonder if its application to "agents of creative destruction" signals the breakdown of the support of conservative poor for the financial agenda of the conservative rich (i.e. if presidential candidate Rick Perry believes that breakdown is possible and wants to exploit it by criticizing Mit Romney of being an ally of the wealthy and not the poor).

Brainsicles - A brain on a stick, someone who is unaware or indifferent to their body.

Female belted kingfisher

I saw a belted kingfisher in the late afternoon today on the Chesapeake Bay. I didn't get a photo, but she was kind enough to stay in place for a while. Apparently only the females have the brown on the chest. The mohawk on the one I saw was pretty dramatic, and her head was black all over. Very cool. Photo by Len Blumin

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Surprised by fowl longevity

Banding studies show that many species of ducks and geese live to be twenty years old.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

When yarn attacks

That's aversion therapy, not advertising.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Ill-timed bad news

Is 20 minutes after New Year the time you want to be telling your customers you're likely to decrease the quality of their service?