Archive for the ‘Mental Health Break’ category

Kung Fu Pope v. Big Carbon

June 13, 2015

Via Slate, I came across this little bit of video:

Per Eric Holtas in Slate, this is the brainchild of some delightfully twisted Brazilian climate change activists.
My favorite shot?  Dawn-backlit papal Tai-Chi exercise.  IOW:  just watch this.
PS — the soundtrack could/should have been Inhofe and Santorum skull detonations.

Welcome To Hell’s Nightclub

August 9, 2014

Ladles and Jellyspoons!  I give you 36 seconds of the Guitar Center in Times Square.

(h/t @jodyavirgan)

Pity the poor workers there?

In that vein:  what’s the worst job you ever held? How long did you last?

Because Grinch, That’s Why

December 23, 2013

I don’t mind Christmas so much as these last two-days-prior. All my own fault, of course. I still have some gifts to get; there’s a bunch of stuff to shove off my desk and I’m inefficiently workaholic enough that the enforced leisure of a Christmas afternoon (aka the long dark pre-hangover of the soul) makes me mental and all that.

And so, because I am a generous man, I am more than happy to share the Christmas song that most captures the gestalt (though happily, not the actual details) of my pre-holiday feh:

“I could have been someone”

“Well, so could anyone…”

(Cue Glendower:   I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hotspur: Why so can I and so can any man./But will they come when you do call for them? (Henry IV Part I, Act 3, Sc. 1)

Yeah, I know.  Grump, grump, grump.  If I can’t say anything nice…

Just to show that I’m not wholly hostile to y’all and everyone else this time of year, here’s a fun little gift.  Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Christ Thile and Stuart Duncan doing some modern bluegrass inflected stuff — fast fingers all.  These are the things that remind me that for all the shite we may daily encounter, we do live in bizarrely wonderful times:

Top of the season, y’all. May your friends be kind to you and fail to offer you any a cocktail that floats red liquor on top of green.

Things You And I Don’t Have To Worry About: Spurious Fantasies About Obese Old Men

November 5, 2013

This is just too delicious not to share, thus breaking my promise-to-self not to blog till a particular bit of work got out the door.

Seems that the Guardian’s Agony Aunt (advice) column had a doozy of a problem presented a few weeks ago under this headline:

I fantasise [sic] about sex with old, obese men


It then goes on from there in a bit of a NSFW way — and it I’ll leave it to better forensic analysts than me to judge the likelihood there’s a real person behind the query. But the joy of all this is not the mild smut, nor the rubber necking pleasure that comes from watching a sentence start that can’t possibly end well, nor even the studied earnestness of the advice columnist’s reply (“…consider searching for the root…” and so on).  No, it lies with picture.  A shot of a very nice looking young woman in rather chic PJs, looking …well just about as you’d expect.  The catch is the person in the picture does not, in fact, lie back and think of geezers in the midst of her actual passions.  The model, Samantha Ovens, had posed for a stock shot a couple of years back, and she was as surprised as any to find out about her supposed illicit desires:

“I opened it up when I was with some friends,” says Ovens, who had been tipped off at the weekend by the Twitter whirlwind. “In fact, I was with my partner’s mum as well. I screeched with laughter and said: ‘Oh. You have to see this.’ There’s me looking very anxious, and I bloody well would be, wouldn’t I?”

Go check out the rest of the piece, also at the Guardian, snarking at the whole affair; harmless fun with which to ring in the cocktail hour.

Image: attributed to Anthony van Dyck, Drunken Silenus supported by Satyrs c. 1620

Take Notes, Children

July 30, 2013

Let’s keep the night alive with this gem:

So what off-coloratura* ripostes do y’all go going tonight?


Yr. Bargain Counter Tenor*

*stolen, brazenly, from the great Herr Doktor Peter Schickele/PDQ Bach, and the cast list from his half-act opera, The Stoned Guest.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Ralph Stanley

February 25, 2010

Born February 25, 1927.

This needs no words from me:

Bonus banjo track:

Friday Mental Health: Must watch sandpainting video

September 25, 2009

So — what work of art have you created today?

Watch World War II unfold in eight minutes, in sand, hands, light and music:

(h/t NPR, via my beloved’s attention this evening)

Sunday Arts Section: Amazing Sound Engineering/Music Video Dept./Stand By Me

May 17, 2009

What you have here is a truly wonderful conjunction of modern recording chops and a global sensitivity.  Enjoy.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “moogaloop.swf (application/x-shockwav…“, posted with vodpod

Pre-last Class Mental Health Reward

May 13, 2009

Some truly fine guitar playing and a great song besides from the legendary Richard Thomas:

And just for visual reference’s sake … (ah, I love the intertubes…):

Image:  Steve McQueen’s Vincent Black ShadowLightning.  Oops.

The Uses Of Opera: Why We Love High Speed Photography/Disgusting Video Dept.

April 24, 2009

It’s Friday, and that means we need some fun stuff, right?

Try this (h/t Sullivan):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Sneezing In Ultra Slow Motion Video“, posted with vodpod

On the theme of this blog (and of my writing over a long time) — this gets to one of the real drivers of scientific advance that scientists understand intimately, but that the broader audience may not.  And that is the role of instruments, of the tools of the trade, not just in working out ideas investigators may have already had, but in catalyzing new thoughts.

High speed and stop motion photography have provided a world of examples of this, as I should konw, being at Doc Edgerton’s home institution.  But the story goes much deeper than the obvious rewards of recent high technology.  I once wrote a book that argued that instruments are a great way to understand the history of science, because the tools we build make material the questions we want to answer with them — and yet, seemingly always, in doing so create new question and new perspectives.

For example, the telescope, it first seemed, was a device that could make what we already do — look for distant objects, say warships approaching Venice, at greater distances.  Same job, more power.  But then the same man who presented the new instrument to the leaders of the Venetian Republic pointed it in a different direction, and discovered these.

And from thence, much else flowed.  So it may be with the sneeze.  Though I would not, if I may say so, hold my breath.

Image:  Eadward Muybridge, “The Horse in Motion,” animated image made from photographs like these.