Chinese Checkers Elephant

Shot tonight over the edge of the couch.

Chinese checkers elephant

The reason you don’t see a full complement of marbles is that the cats methodically knock them to the floor one at a time and then bat them around the room endlessly – their favorite make-humans-crazy game.

Blue Dragon Mollusk

An animal so impossibly beautiful, so psychedelic, it leaves us slack-jawed in the face of nature’s awesomeness. From Wikipedia:

The normal size of this species is up to about 3 cm, depending on the animal’s age. It is silvery grey on its dorsal side and dark and pale blue ventrally. It has dark blue stripes on its face. It has a tapering body which is flattened and has six appendages which branch out into rayed cerata. Its radula bears serrated teeth on their blades.


Tons more shots of the Blue Dragon Mollusk here.

Cheeze Doodle Nirvana

When was the last time you experienced this much bliss?

Aleksander Gamme had been trekking the South Pole for 86 days, living on a meager diet of health food. He had lost nearly 50 pounds. Before he began, he had planted caches of supplies at 200k intervals. He had purposely not kept track of what each cache contained. Nearly out of food, he came across one of his last caches. This was his moment of extreme bliss, discovering a bag full of Cheeze Doodles, chocolate, and Mentos.

Part of Radiolab’s excellent Bliss episode.

Masterful Dreadlocks

Spotted at the sandwich shop today:

Masterful Dreadlocks at the Sandwich Shop

At first thought it might be Jaron Lanier, but nope – a construction worker on his lunch break. Had to wonder how many years it had taken to grow these, and what kind of ecosystem lived within.

Whatever his reasons, a respectable accomplishment.

Odyssey, Angel Island

Spent an incredible day Sunday traipsing around Angel Island with family and friends, immersed in the We Players’ interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey. Not so much a retelling of the whole story (which would be impossible) as an impressionistic series of vignettes, acted out in the many strange and wonderful old buildings scattered around the island. The audience hikes between settings (five miles total), with the players acting out bits and pieces of the opus in and amongst the audience – performing soliloquies, celebrations, music and poetry culled from the amazing 1200-year-old story of a hero’s voyage.

Continue reading “Odyssey, Angel Island”

Maker Faire 2012

Hard to believe this was Maker Faire #7 already – the Bay Area’s great festival of DIY amazingness. And it was the 7th annual pilgrimage for my son and I – haven’t missed one yet! Honestly, I have to admit its specialness is diminishing with every passing year. When Maker Faire launched, it felt amazing to see that O’Reilly had tapped into this hidden wellspring of invention that had been bubbling just under the surface. Steampunk was new, Arduino was on the outskirts, and welding goggles were only owned by mechanics and obscure artists.

Ball Chain Curtain

Now, seven years later, there’s a feeling of sameness to Maker Faire, and as the festival gets more packed every year, it also becomes less dangerous, and the really exciting stuff becomes more scarce. Despite that, it’s still one of the most stimulating things you can possibly do with a kid in the Bay Area – an endless well of creativity and self-empowerment, and we’ll never stop going.

Blown away by this duct tape garden, consisting of more than 7,000 individual mini-sculptures:

Duct Tape Garden

Bummed not to see the giant Mousetrap at this year’s faire – its absence was like a big hole in the day. But Cyclecide continues to be one of our favorite parts of the day – dozens bikes hacked and chopped into every bizarre configuration imaginable, and entire carnival rides made of bike parts. Nothing at Maker Faire is more interactive, or more twisted. Also love the companion wooden bikes.


See the Flickr set, or slideshow below

Hot Air Ballooning, Santa Rosa

Up at 4am for an amazing day with family and friends, 1500 feet in the air above Santa Rosa with Wine Country Balloons. Something I’ve  wanted to do since I was a kid, and worth the wait.  Kind of eerie how still and quiet it is up there – since you’re always with the wind, you’ll never feel the wind while in a balloon, which is what makes it so serene. Absolutely amazing experience, and a picture perfect day for it.


The 1500′ elevation is pretty unique – you just rocket past this height when ascending or descending in an airplane, but  getting to hang out at this medium height is magical – low enough to see everything on the ground clearly, high enough for it to be outside of your normal experience, and just a little bit scary. It’s magical for the same reason Kite Aerial Photography works so well (though the balloon is higher than most kites ever venture, you’re still well below the cloud line on most days).


Miles thought these two burners looked like faces. He was right.

Flickr set here, or see slideshow below. I actually didn’t include a lot of shots looking down here – while mesmerizing to experience, they’re not awesome as photos – just lots of trees and grass etc. The best ones are the series of the inflation and deflation, which you can almost play as an animation.

Something I’d love to do again, but unfortunately cost-prohibitive — more of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Finally got to check off that Bucketlist item, too.

Man Walks For Hours to Create Spectacular Snow Patterns

Reshared post from +Morgan ABBOU

Man Walks For Hours to Create Spectacular Snow Patterns

Artist Simon Beck must really love the cold weather! Along the frozen lakes of Savoie, France, he spends days plodding through the snow in raquettes (snowshoes), creating these sensational patterns of snow art. Working for 5-9 hours a day, each final piece is typically the size of three soccer fields! The geometric forms range in mathematical patterns and shapes that create stunning, sometimes 3D, designs when viewed from higher levels.

How long these magnificent geometric forms survive is completely dependent on the weather. Beck designs and redesigns the patterns as new snow falls, sometimes unable to finish a piece due to significant overnight accumulations. Interestingly enough, he said, The main reason for making them was because I can no longer run properly due to problems with my feet, so plodding about on level snow is the least painful way of getting exercise. Gradually, the reason has become photographing them, and I am considering buying a better camera.

Spectacular art for the sake of exercise!

source: inHabitat ~

In album Spectacular Snow Patterns (5 photos)

Spectacular Snow Patterns