Monday, September 29, 2014

Cute! Adorable Overload on Pinterest

This is what happens when you search "cute" on Pinterest and then zoom your browser out as far is it will go.


SO MUCH CUTE!  There are not only puppies and kittens, but baby HEDGEHOGS and mini BUNNIES, and jumping RED PANDAS, and DUCKS, and an ELEPHANT, and a TEACUP PIG playing the GUITAR!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Singalong! Relator by Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johannson

I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about this one.  I love the song, and I have always liked the little I knew of Pete Yorn.  So what's with the mixed feelings?  They come from the fact that I heard him in an interview say that he asked ScarJo to do the album with him before he even had heard her sing.  He just liked her aesthetic and thought it would fit what he was going for with the album, and assumed she would be able to sing.  I mean, the girl can totally sing, so he lucked out, but didn't he maybe think to hear a sample before he invited her to do an album with him?  Apparently not.  Glad you're so lucky, Pete!

Also, the lyrics are confusing.  I guess it's a description of an unhappy couple?


RELATOR
by Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johannson

When I met you,
I didn't know what to do.
I was tired,
I was hungry,
I fight.
Now I'm away,
I write home everyday and I see you on the TV at night.

[Chorus]
You can see that life's for us to talk about.
You can leave whenever you want out.
Whoa.
You don't relate to me,
no girl,
you don't respect me,
no girl,
no girl. Oh yeah.

When I met you,
I didn't know what to do,
but I noticed that I didn't really feel.
Now you're away,
you write home everyday.
I don't beg,
I don't borrow,
I steal.

[Chorus]

You don't think that life's for us to talk about.
You can leave whenever you want out,
you want out.
Well, you don't relate to me,
no girl.
You don't respect me,
no girl.
(you can leave when ever you want out)
And you don't relate to me,
no girl.
And you don't respect me,
no girl.
(You can leave whenever you want out)
No you don't relate to me,
no girl.
And you don't respect me,
no girl.
No girl. Yeah.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Learning! 10 Common Myths About Science



Science!  I like to talk about it like I know what I'm talking about, but sometimes (probably oftentimes) I don't.  Partially because I may have read an article somewhere about a study and then I think I know about it, even though science journalism is known to be shoddy/overly sensational, and I probably didn't even read the whole article.  Partially because I am still quoting things I learned in school and I haven't been in school for 7 years and science changes.  Mostly because I am not a scientist.

Luckily, your friends and mine at I Fucking Love Science came up with a list of commonly believed myths about science, and I am gloatingly-proud to say that I already knew some of these were false.

Here they are!  10 common myths about science:
  1. We only use 10% of our brains (not true!  We use the whole dang thing!  And I knew it!  By using my brain!)
  2. There is a dark side of the moon (there isn't!)
  3. The full moon affects behaviour (okaaaay well, I might have to disagree with them on this one - but I am aware I am going against scientific evidence in favour of the anecdotal when I do it.)
  4. Sugar makes children hyperactive (not so, Calvin was just a crazy kid all on his own.)
  5. Lightning never strikes the same place twice (I knew it!  It totally can and might and does, because it hits tall things and some things remain very tall.)
  6. Dropping a penny from a tall building could kill someone (they'd just hurt like walking into a pole but the size of a penny.)
  7. Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death (I knew it!  Our skin just gets all gross and dried out and recedes, giving the appearance of growth.)
  8. Cracking your knuckles leads to arthritis (nope!)
  9. It takes seven years to digest swallowed gum (imagine how many kids would starve to death with gum taking up all the space in their tummies if this was the case.  Also, I knew it!)
  10. Antibiotics kill viruses (do people STILL believe this?  THEY DON'T!  And shame on any doctor for prescribing antibiotics to get a virus-infused patient off their case.)
Read the whole list and their scientific evidences here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Inspiration! Alain de Botton's "What is Art For?" Video


Apparently this week I like videos, because this week's inspiration is the video Alain de Botton made for The Guardian, wherein he explains what few people have dared to even ask - what the utilitarian function is of art.

Honestly, at first I bristled at the question.  "Why does everything need to have a purpose?", I mentally argued, "Can't some things just be?  Just exist for the sake of existing?  Art doesn't have to serve a purpose, it's just there because we create it, and we just create it because..." and then I realized that I was about to say that it inspires us or gives us meaning or, heck, even just something to look at/listen to/think about once and a while.  All things that are functions, or purposes, to art.

Well, dang.  I guess I can't get all up on a high horse about how art should just exist for the sake of existing - something I don't even believe anyways, so who knows why I was arguing for it.

Go watch the video on The Guardian's website here and find out what art does for us.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cute! Giant Men Meet Tiny Kittens

We all have at least one "cool friend", right?  You know the kind I'm talking about - cool apartment, cool clothes, cool hair, cool things to say, cool job, and of course, cool personality so that you actually like them despite the inevitable inferiority you will feel in their presence.  And I'm talking straight-up "cool", not like "quirky cool", or "funny cool", or all the other kinds of coolness we categorize to embrace our oddity.  This person is cool, full stop.

Anyways, my cool friend Jeff told me about this video, and it made me very happy.  It's giant men meeting a whole bunch of tiny kittens!  Just thinking about and I make a high-pitched squeal in my head.



(PS: Sorry if I made you feel weird by pointing out how cool you are, Jeff.)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Singalong! O-o-oh Child by The Five Stairsteps

Sometimes you just need a reminder that things are going to get easier. Here it is.


O-O-OH CHILD
The Five Stairsteps

O-o-h child things are gonna get easier
O-o-h child things'll get brighter
O-o-h child things are gonna get easier
O-o-h child things'll get brighter

Someday we'll get it together and we'll get it undone
Someday when the world is much brighter
Someday we'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Someday when the world is much lighter

O-o-h child things are gonna get easier
O-o-h child things'll get brighter
O-o-h child things are gonna get easier
O-o-h child things'll get brighter

Someday we'll get it together and we'll get it undone
Someday when the world is much brighter
Someday we'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Someday when the world is much lighter

O-o-h child things are gonna get easier
O-o-h child things'll get brighter
O-o-h child things are gonna get easier
O-o-h child things'll get brighter

Someday we'll get it together and we'll get it undone
Someday when the world is much brighter
Someday we'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Someday when the world is much lighter

O-o-h child things are gonna get easier
O-o-h child things'll get brighter
O-o-h child things are gonna get easier
O-o-h child things'll get brighter
Right now right now

Friday, September 19, 2014

Learning! Why We Cry

Photo by Jenn and Tony Bot from Flickr Creative Commons.


I don't know about you, but I cry ALL THE TIME.  It's kind of embarrassing how easily I cry.  Back when I watched TV with commercials, I would tear up over pretty much any emotional commercial, even the most obviously sentimental and manipulative ones.  Watching TV, movies, and plays I cry when the characters cry, but also when people band together to support a cause or person, when a dream comes true, when someone says "I love you", has an unexpected success, gets a cute new pet, holds hands for the first time, or any other myriad of experiences.  Basically, any strong emotion comes out of my eyes in water-form.

So naturally, I am intrigued by this article in The Independent on the science of tears.  It's worth reading in its entirety, but here are some highlights:

We have three types of tears: basal, reflexive, and psychic.  Basal tears are pure function and keep our eyeballs from drying out.  Reflexive tears are also about function: they help flush foreign particles out of our eyes.  Then there's the psychic tears.  Also known as FEELINGS.

Psychic tears happen when our emotions get ahold of our brains and trigger our autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that can make your tears activate.

The other things that happen when we cry (sweats, slowed breathing, the lump in the throat) are a result of the sympathetic nervous system that also revs up in response to our emotions.

There's more!  Read it here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Inspiration! Portraits of Male Dancers

Despite the fact that (like so many things) when the world of classical dance began, women were banned from the practice, it is now dominated by the ladies.  So much so that when you think of a dancer, you're probably thinking of a woman, not a man.

Photographer Amy Elkins saw an opportunity here to explore gender and sexuality, photographing a group of male ballet and contemporary dancers after an intense rehearsal.  The result is a beautiful series of shots showing the variety of the masculine experience.  A lot of them look surprisingly sad (maybe it's just because they're tired), others proud, or even a bit feisty.  I love it.


See them all here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cute! Cat-ified Song Lyrics

How could this not make you giggle?  A very very clever lady, who I suspect is named Sofia Falcon, but has a Tumblr called Kitties & Bullshit, has made my day.  Actually, I discovered this months ago, so she has made my past few months.  Her task is simple: she takes popular song lyrics, puts cats into them, and then draws them.  What more could you want in life???

Here are my faves:

Blackbird

Call Me Maybe

Soul Meets Body

Get Lucky
There are more!  And you can get t-shirts and stuff!  TO THE TUMBLR.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Singalong! Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest

Many years ago a friend of mine made me a mix CD. When he asked what I wanted it to be, I helpfully replied, "songs that will make me happy!" He delivered, and the whole album was full of some delightful discoveries that really brightened my day. The peach on the top of the pile, however, was the final song of the album: the old hit by King Harvest, "Dancing in the Moonlight". What a joyful number! I remembered it from my days of listening to oldies radio, and to this day have a hard time listening to it without dancing, at least a bit.


DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT
by King Harvest

We get it on most every night
when that moon is big and bright
its a supernatural delight
everybodys dancing in the moonlight

everybody here is out of sight
they dont bark and they dont bite
they keep things loose they keep it tight
everybodys dancing in the moonlight

dancing in the moonlight
everybodys feeling warm and bright
its such a fine and natural sight
everybodys dancing in the moonlight

we like our fun and we never fight
you cant dance and stay uptight
its a supernatural delight
everybody was dancing in the moonlight

dancing in the moonlight
everybodys feeling warm and bright
its such a fine and natural sight
everybodys dancing in the moonlight

we get in on most every night
and when that moon is big and bright
its a supernatural delight
everybodys dancing in the moonlight

dancing in the moonlight
everybodys feeling warm and bright
its such a fine and natural sight
everybodys dancing in the moonlight

Friday, September 12, 2014

Learning! Free Will vs. The Call of Nature


While philosophers and scientists will argue over whether or not (or to what degree) free will actually exists, but you ask the Average Pat walking down the street and he/she'll say "hells yes, I have free will!"

Or will they?

Turns out, it depends.

A recent study shows that people will report believing they have less free will when they have to go to the bathroom, or when they are feeling frisky.  That's right, if you have to pee or are desirous of some good-time-action, suddenly you don't believe we have so much free will anymore.  When your body is calling the shots your brain realizes that it can only control so much.

Same goes if you're tired.  Interestingly, hunger did not have the same effect.  Could be because in Western society, hunger just means you have more choices to make - what you'll eat, where you'll eat it, if you'll make it yourself, and so on.

Source: BPS Research Digest.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Me & Ryan Gosling - when he got protective of me at a party

This gem from me and Ryan Gosling's long term relationship was from when we were at a cast party for a play I was in and he suddenly spotted a picture being taken.  While it was a friend, his instinct when cameras emerge is to protectively put his arm around me and stonewall his face against the paparazzi.  Next he would have pulled me out of the way and punched the sucker's lights out if he hadn't quickly been reminded that we were at a private party and among friends.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Inspiration! Weird is a Side Effect of Awesome

It was my birthday last weekend!  On top of getting older (which happens incrementally every single second of our lives anyways), I got this great card from my good friend Alison.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Cute! Maybe cats have good eyesight because they love carrots?

Gertie loves plant life. I cannot have anything green and alive in my apartment without her chomping it down. This time it was carrots from the local market. Good for her eyesight!



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Singalong! Happy Birthday by The Beatles

This weekend is my birthday! So... happy birthday from the Fab Four!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY
by The Beatles

They say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Ah
Ah
Ah
Come on
Come on

Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party

I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (Birthday)
I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Dance yeah

Oh
Come on

I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (Birthday)
I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Oh dance! Dance

They say it's your birthday
Well it's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Friday, September 5, 2014

Learning! How Tattooing Really Works

Another one from the excellent blog It's Okay to be Smart.  They've got pretty graphics and things that move around and are cute and make learning fun (like the one below!), so definitely look there, but here is my summary.

From It's Okay to be Smart

First, you stick a needle in your arm and that causes a wound.  So your body goes "oh crap!  Wound!  Get the immune system cells to the site!  We will inflame the area with macrophages (cells that eat the "invading material", or the ink, to get rid of the resulting inflammation from your wound)."

Then, some of those cells carry dye away with them to the lymphatic system, but others keep hanging out in your skin (aka dermis), and the ink they're holding onto stays visible because it's right there in the skin!

HOWEVER, your skin slowly heals, replacing the skin cells holding the dye with new, dye-less cells.  This makes the ones that are in the "gel-like matrix of the dermis" fade and are replaced.  Not all of the cells do this though!  Dermal cells are taken up by younger cells when they die, but the new cells take in the ink as well.  So that ink stays put.  Which is why tattoos get all faded and ugh-like after a while and you have to touch them up.  They are permanent - sort of.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Inspiration! 10 Secrets to Happiness from the Pope

Who would have guessed that I'd be getting inspiration from the Pope?!?

Photo by Bayat. Creative Commons. Text added.

Okay, it's really not actually that far off, especially from this Pope who just seems all-around great and I am all into being intentionally spiritual.  So without further ado, here are the Pope's 10 Secrets to Happiness:

1. Live and let live.

2. Be giving of yourself to others.

3. Proceed calmly in life.

4. A healthy sense of leisure.

5. Sundays should be holidays.

6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people.

7. Respect and take care of nature.

8. Stop being negative.

9. Don't proselytize; respect others' beliefs.

10. Work for peace.

How great is that?  First, as advice - I don't know about you but I can use a Sabbath in my life, Sunday or otherwise, and we all need to take better care of nature and be more positive.  Plus, hearing the Pope say "live and let live" and "don't proselytize" is kind of groundbreaking!  Go Pope, go!

Original story from The Catholic News.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Cute! Cat and Dog United Through Tummies

A week ago I Instagrammed this photo of my Gertie, with tummy on full, unabashed display.


Then a few days later I was at my friend David's and his puppy was lounging in similar repose.


Cute!