Archive for January, 2012

Dubstepping — an Artform?

January 31, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I posted a more “classical” dance routine (mixed with a lot of gymnastics).  Today we’ll take a look at a more contemporary dance[?] routine done on the Great Wall of China.  How does he do that?  My only advice . . . Closed Course.  Professional D[ubstepp]er. Do Not Attempt.  I’m just kidding.  If you can make your body move like this, then go for it!

College [w]Hoops!

January 30, 2012

While Murray State (#9) continues to remain the only unbeaten team, there were quite a few unexpected surprises during this “lighter than usual” week of college basketball. Michigan State won its only game this week (against the Golden Gophers of Minnesota) and are now half a game behind the league leading Ohio State Buckeyes (the Spartans can share the lead with a win on Tuesday).  Next up for the Spartans: the Illiois Fighting Illini (@ Champagne/Urbana), on Tuesday.  Go Green!

Upsets for the week included:
Missouri (#2) losing to unranked Oklahoma State.
Kansas (#5) losing to unranked Iowa State.
Georgetown (#10) losing to unranked Pittsburgh.
San Diego State (#12) losing to unranked Colorado State.
Indiana (#17) losing to Wisconsin (#25).
Connecticut (#19) losing to unranked Notre Dame.
Kansas State (#24) losing to unranked Oklahoma.

Ranked teams losing to teams with a higher ranking included:
Mississippi State (#16) losing to Florida (#13).
Michigan (#22) losing to Ohio State (#3).

And, the close calls (winning by two scores or less) included:
Syracuse (#4) defeating unranked West Virginia by only two points.
Baylor (#7) defeating unranked Texas by only five points.
Florida (#13) defeating unranked Ole Miss by only four points.
UNLV (#15) defeating unranked Boise State by only five points (in overtime) and defeating unranked Air Force by only two points (also in overtime).
Mississippi State (*#16) defeating unranked LSU by only five points.
Marquette (#18) defeating unranked Villanova by only two points.
Virginia (#21) defeating unranked North Carolina State by only one point.
Michigan (#22) defeating unranked Purdue by only two points.

Laugh Early, Laugh Often!

January 29, 2012

We all know that laughter is good for us.  It has been quoted as being “the best medicine,” it has been credited with reducing stress, it can boost your immune system, it can ease pain, and it can bring you greater happiness.  So why aren’t we laughing more than we do?  Why do we go through the day so serious all the time?  (The we that I’m referring to is really me . . . along with myself, and I . . . they go everywhere with me.)  Perhaps it is time to change this.  And to get us started . . .

The Very Bad Accident

Two men got out of their cars after they collided at an intersection.  One took a flask from his pocket and said to the other, “Here, maybe you’d like a nip to calm your nerves.”  “Thanks,” he said, and took a long pull from the container. “Here, you have one too,” he added, handing back the whiskey.  “Well, I’d rather not,” said the first.  “At least not until after the police have been here.”

“The most wasted day of all is that during which we have not laughed.”  — Sebastian R. N. Chamfort

Add Some Splash to Your Life!

January 28, 2012

In honor of the 100th birthday of one of my favorite contemporary artists, visit this web site to create your very own masterpiece (a la Paul Jackson Pollock)on your computer.   Simply moving your cursor will begin the paint stroke, clicking your mouse will change colors.  Go ahead, have some fun.

I created a fabulous masterpiece of my own.  Unfortunately, I was unable to save the file . . . but, it was a lot of fun to create!

For more information about this significant American painter, check out this link: http://www.nga.gov/feature/pollock/.

Reusable Paper?

January 27, 2012

How often have you found yourself wanting to reuse a piece of paper?  Have you ever gone to the extreme of erasing something entirely from the sheet so that the paper could be re-purposed?  Did you know that there is a word for this?  Apparently in the Seventeenth Century (when this particular word originated) this practice was commonplace.   I’ve heard of painters re-purposing their canvases (and painting over existing images), and it makes perfect sense that that the same could be done with a parchment or manuscript, especially if there were a limited supply.   I remember doing this very thing during my childhood.  However, while I was able to erase the words, the impressions in the paper were still there and somewhat discernible.  Even today, in the computer age, you can erase a file, but is it really gone (completely)?  Is there a digital fingerprint left behind somewhere?   An intricate palimpsest of characters hidden on your computer awaiting discovery?  Hmm, something to ponder while I continue to build my vocabulary.

palimpsest

\PAL-imp-sest\, noun;

a parchment or the like from which writing has been partially or completely erased to make room for another text.

PBR Soup!

January 26, 2012

No, the PBR does NOT stand for Pabst Blue Ribbon!  Instead, try potato, bacon, and ranch (dressing)!  I found this recipe, began salivating, and changed my dinner plans immediately!  After a quick stop at the grocery store on my way home from work, I was enjoying this delicious, hearty soup an hour later!  Yum!

Potato, Bacon, and Ranch Soup

Ingredients
6 slices of bacon (I doubled this)
1 onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 carton (32-ounce) chicken broth
10 potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 package (1-ounce) ranch dressing mix
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup sour cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Directions
1. Place the bacon in a large Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble and reserve for the topping.

2. Cook and stir the onions and celery in the bacon drippings until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth and potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender. Remove from the heat and mash about 1/3 of the potatoes.

3. In a large bowl, combine the flour and dry ranch mix. Whisk in the half-and-half and sour cream, beating well to combine thoroughly. Slowly whisk the sour cream mixture into the soup. Gently heat the soup over medium heat to warm, do not boil. Season the soup with salt and pepper. To serve top each bowl with a sprinkle of bacon crumbles (only a sprinkle? Be generous.), Cheddar cheese, and green onion.

Dee-licious!

An Eighth Wonder-ful Wednesday!

January 25, 2012

Now that all of the newly voted/latest natural wonders of the world have been highlighted, it is time to go back through the other twenty-one nominations to see which ones did not make the cut.  These are not necessarily in any particular order, but they were all obviously in the running for the final list before falling short.  It just further exemplifies the many beautiful and exciting places to visit on this wonder-full planet of ours.  Next up on the list, a place that I’ve actually visited: the Milford Sound (New Zealand).  The Sound is a fjord in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island which runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 3,900 feet or more on either side.  In addition to being New Zealand’s top tourist destination, it was also voted a top travel destination by TripAdvisor in their 2008 Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards.  It truly is a spectacular destination.

Another Rhapsody!

January 24, 2012

Yet another very entertaining version of the Queen classic . . . this time by Boca.   Enjoy!

College Hoops Hysteria!

January 23, 2012

Well, it was another wild week of college basketball.  Topping the list of notable games was the loss of two previously undefeated teams: Syracuse (#1) falling to Notre Dame (unranked) and  Baylor (#4) falling twice — to the Kansas Jayhawks (#7) AND to the Missouri Tigers (#5).  S0, the number of undefeated teams is now down to one: Murray State (#10) from the Ohio Valley.  Michigan State lost a heart-breaker (by one point) to Michigan (@ Ann Arbor) but recovered nicely to handle Purdue easily at home on Saturday.  Following the consecutive road losses, Michigan State is no longer the sole leader of the Big Ten — there is once again a log jam at the top (five teams were tied at the top at the start of the day on Saturday; by the end of the weekend, only three teams have a share of the lead).  Hang on, there are still plenty of games left in the Big Ten and anything can happen.  Next up for the Spartans: the unranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (@ East Lansing), on Wednesday.  Go Green!

Upsets for the week included:
Syracuse (#1) losing to unranked Notre Dame.
Baylor (#3) losing to Kansas (#7) and then losing to Missouri (#5).
Duke (#4) losing to unranked Florida State.
Michigan State (#9) losing to Michigan (#19).
Connecticut (#11) losing to unranked Cincinnati and losing to unranked Tennessee.
Indiana (#13) losing to unranked Nebraska.
Mississippi State (#15) losing to unranked Ole Miss.
Virginia (#17) losing to unranked Virginia Tech.
Michigan (#19) losing to unranked Arkansas.
Louisville (#21) losing to Marquette (#22).
Illinois (#25) losing to unranked Penn State and losing to unranked Wisconsin.

Ranked teams losing to teams with a higher ranking included:
There were not any this week.

And, the close calls (winning by two scores or less) included:
Kentucky (#2) defeating unranked Alabama by only six points.
Kansas (#7) defeating unranked Texas by only three points.
Murray State (#10) defeating unranked Morehead State by only six points.
Georgetown (#12) defeating unranked Rutgers by only two points.
Mississippi State (#15) defeating unranked Vanderbilt by only one point in overtime.
San Diego State (#16) defeating unranked New Mexico by only five points.
Creighton (#18) defeating unranked Missouri State by only one point.

Password Security!

January 22, 2012

Are you ever concerned that your assorted passwords are secure enough?  Here is a wonderful infographic that will help you create really strong and secure passwords.  (Courtesy of Killer Infographics.)  If you are interested in reading more about these various tips, check out this page.