Thursday, August 24, 2006

Will it Sink or Will it Float, Part 2: Beagles?

I have taken Daisy to the Res. and to Lake McBride which is right by my house several times and she had shown me no inclination that she can swim. My brother just threw his dog in the water for the test, it swam, but now is scared of water, so I didn't want to do that with Daisy. So, I got her a life jacket, (I know, pathetic), and just figured when she is ready she will swim.

So, we went out on the kayak, and she was scared, until we hit a big wave and she fell in. First, instant panic, then, "Oh wait, I float, this isn't so bad" She got back on the kayak and was relaxed the rest of the time and would go back and forth from the front to the back checking out stuff. Then Thomas, Daisy and I went out in a canoe and just canoed around Lake McBride. It is very peaceful out there, really a great afternoon.

Other notes of interest:
ABC news just reported some elitist, double planet hating scientists have just demoted Pluto from planet status in the face of the IAU new recommendations. This is clearly prejudice against Pluto for its size and status as a 'double planet' which makes some Plutophobes uncomfortable. More on this later.
Critical Hit Games...

A new gaming store is open in Iowa City, (actually in Coralville, on my way home from work, I pass it every day, uh-oh). The gaming itch grows... The store is by far the best gaming store I have been in. It has great organization, a board for posting meeting times for certain groups, tables for MTG, Pirates, and miniature games. It also has a great junk food and pop selection. Suddenly I feel like I am ready to gear up with Quinn, Marcus and Manji-Sahib and tear up some owl-bears. Ahhhh.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Will it sink or will it float?

Nicole started teaching 5-6th grade science this year, and we did a test run on an experiment at home tonight to make sure it would work. Apparently, acrylic beads are just the right density that is sinks in tap water and floats in water saturated with kosher salt. I have no idea why the experiment called for kosher salt, but it did and that's what we used. You can see nicely in exhibit A above, (the picture with the two cylinders), the left glass contains salt water and the acrylic ball floats, while it sinks in the tap water on the right. The picture above with the single glass shows the ball floating in the middle. I put the salt water in the bottom and gently poured the tap water in to keep them from mixing much. Just like oil and water, they stay separated enough for a while that the acrylic bead floats in the middle.

After our brief science experiment I found Daisy had ripped a hole in her favorite toy and was gutting it leaving that fluffy white stuff all over our living room. I was concerned it might be too late, but I took the chicken directly to the kitchen for an emergency repair with some 3-0 Nylon nonabsorbable sutures. I was able to repair the chicken's wounds, and within minutes the chicken was back being thrown wildly around. He will need some physical therapy for the first few days though.

Well, maybe we can keep finding some more science experiments to try and share. I want to test more stuff to see if it floats. David Letterman has a game called WIll it sink or will it float and it always amuses me. Does a can of peaches float? How about my cell phone? How about The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan? I think witches float.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Without the Shadow- Nothing

When I read that quote it really stuck with me. I found out it could have a lot of meaning that I didn't initially comprehend. I read it in the context of that 'If the eyes sow no tears the soul can know no joy', or basically that through life's struggles we come into more fulfillment and can be happier than before. I have come to truly believe this more than ever.

I found out that in Japan shadow has a different meaning. They have a saying, (Paul help me here if I screw it up), or rather a reply to how you are doing, “Hai, Okagesama de”, which means I am fine, I am under the shadow. Kage means shadow, (Ahhhh, NES game Legend of Kage anyone?), but this saying more means, Yes, I am protected by the Gods.
-'For the one without a shadow, love and success will always remain illusive.' - Gaku Homma

As for the pictures, Daisy found this pleasantly creepy praying mantis and wasn't sure what to think of it. It would turn it's head to look at me no matter where I stood. Mmmm. Also, I was going to make a shirt of my picture of muncher's picture of him wearing a shirt with my picture on it, but I couldn't find where I put my iron ons.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

2 Skinnee J's were right- Pluto is a Planet!!!

The 2 Skinnee J's tried to tell us this all before, but some didn't listen. (Check out the song from them off the album Supermercado, Pluto is a Planet, it really is a Pro-Pluto Political Rocker) Well, Pluto is a planet, along with Ceres, Charon and 2003 UB313, or better known as Xena. IAU has proposed a definition for a planet to be any object orbiting a star that has been pulled by its own gravity into a ball shape and is not a satellite of another planet.

Ceres was a planet in 1801, but got demoted to asteroid over a century ago. It rejoins the planet race after this long segregation. When asked about the reinstatement, Ceres quipped, "For over 100 years I have been ridiculed, laughed at, pointed at- ooohhh, look at him, used to be a planet, but now just an asteroid, hahahahhaHAHAHAHA, (pointing and snickering)". Clearly a delicate topic for Ceres, he went on to speak about his committment to the planet community and hopes that other planets out there get their recognition as well.

Charon is sort of been Pluto's moon, but the problem was that they orbit eachother, so they now both gain Planet status. Pluto has spoke vehemently before about the Earth's opposition to Same-planet unions, stating that, "The only reason Earth doesn't want to give my Charon planet status is for tax and insurance reasons, and now they want to demote me from being a planet because I am that kind of planet. Well, I am planet, so is Charon, and hear us roar!" Now, with the new IAU definition, both will be planets, and be our solar systems first 'double planet'. It is still unclear of the tax and insurance benefits that may follow.

Finally, 2003 UB313, or Xena will also gain planet status. It is the farthest known planet-elect in the solar system, and was unable to be reached for comment on Tuesday. Currently thought to be starring in an upcoming roll with Kevin Sorbo for a Hercules/Xena epic movie, she has been very busy.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

AstroZombie Brando

I got up at 4:30 this morning to run and nature said 'no you dinnit' by pounding North Liberty with a thunderstorm right when I got ready to go. So, I threw in some laundry and uploaded my first ever caricature. I wanted to be clear on the definition of caricature, because I wanted to know if I was really drawing one or not.

The first definition: A representation, especially pictorial or literary, in which the subject's distinctive features or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect.

These are carnival type caricatures that come to mind. But maybe a Undead-Zombie representation of Brandon is still a caricature, exaggerating his peculiarities. Mostly his tendency to drink blood and mutate into an Astrozombie one night a month, which happened to be exactly last night while I was drawing this caricature, on the full moon.
That picture of Brandon taking a sip of guinness on his blog looks innocent, until you picture that same drink, only last night taking form in hemoglobin-guzzling zombie ectasy. I salute you, Brando AstroZombie. Please don't drink my blood.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Long Hiatus

If anyone actually ever checks this page anymore, well, you need to get off the computer. I have been on a little 'sabbatical' for a while. I found I need to de-busy my life a little. It is nice to take some time to sit back and appreciate life, to be more of a human-being than a human-doing. We're not very good at that, at least I am not very good at that.

I have been doing a lot of drawing lately. I dig colored pencils, (preferrred by 3 out of 4 teachers!, and most importantly my wife the teacher). Interestingly, besides colored pencils, I used one other media on this picture. As I was coloring my pinky was bleeding a little and got on the picture, specifically at about 4:30, just on the right side of his cheek. So, I added the red everywhere, which I think made it better in the end anyway.