Sunday, September 14, 2008

May wonders never cease

I <3 finding out about new creatures - or seeing for a first time creatures only rumored to exist. The idea that we may not know everything about this world we live in thrills me. Who knows what beasties dwell in the Amazon, the African rainforest, or in the depths of the ocean that we have yet to encounter? A part of me believes too that behind a thin obscuring veil, the people of faerie are going about their lives. The possibilities, the potential to learn and discover more, the wonder....

Two stories struck me this week:

The first time an Okapi has been caught on film. Called the "African Unicorn", I love the patterns on its fur. (via TrendHunter)

The first photos and video of a live fringe shark. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may have figured out that I love sharks. This one is so funky looking - very alien when the fringe gills are flaired. The deep ocean must be an incredible place. I wonder if fringe sharks and Megamouth hang out. (via National Geographic)


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Happy Hippo and Not-so Angst Ridden Teens

Just a few book reviews today. I wanted to get this down and I'm still recovering from a bug that's had me wiped out and zomboid of late, so no great insights that you'd care to hear (though Fringe looks tres cool) - just books.

Book #19 - Moomin: The complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip by Tove Jansson. So the Moomins aren't exactly hippos, but they do kinda' look like them. The crazy characters in these comics are always up to something extra-ordinary. But Moomin would rather have a sedentary existence - "I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes, and dream!" - Ahhhh, doesn't that sound nice? I could use a bit of that myself right now....

Come on, they look a bit hippo-ish wouldn't you say? (Photo by Ksu on igougo Helsinki)

Book #20 - Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I promised I'd keep an open mind when trying this and I rather hate that I come off sounding like a book snob, but I just did not care for the style and I thought the story very poorly developed. The prose reminded me of the stories of sarcastic princes and tough talking young ladies that I wrote in high school. The characters weren't well developed - I really didn't care about any of them. Teen angst, much alluded to, was extremely wimpy. Drama and suspense, not a ton. After I finished, I found myself building out the story, rewriting it, adding characters, depth and backstory in an attempt to make it whole - but struggling with the lack of starting material. So it did linger, but not because I wanted to be with the characters longer, to live the story withe them, as with many of the books I love, just trying to fix it. A miss on my list.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

It's all about perspective

I'm sure most of you have seen the Dove Onslaught video/ ad. I thought it was great when I first saw it because I do appreciate that we can really end up messing with kids' heads with all of the fake stuff that's out there.

It's important to encourage self-esteem and positive self-image and reinforce that you can succeed. Although altering the system so that everyone achieves is a step too far and a whole 'nother story.

But I'm also increasingly conscious of the impact of the products that I use on the environment, and this response video by Greenpeace has been stuck in my head for days.

Do note the "update" in the Notes for this video - Dove has responded in a positive way. Let's see them stick to it. In the meantime, I may add Palm Oil to the list of ingredients I want to avoid.