Archive for February, 2012

A Twelfth Wonder-ful Wednesday!

February 29, 2012

Sundarbans, India

Located on the vast delta of the Bay of Bengal, the Sundarbans (which means “beautiful forest” in the Bengali language) is formed by the convergence of three separate rivers: the Meghna, the Brahmaputra and the Padma river. It lies along the eastern coast of India and the southern coast of Bangladesh.  The Sundarbans is the largest single block of tidal halophytic (grows in salt water) mangrove forest in the world and is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger as well as the sundari tree.  The Sundarbans was declared a world heritage site by the UNESCO in 1997.

According to the latest census in 2011, there are about 270 Bengal tigers (an endangered species) in the Sundarbans and attacks on humans are frequent (anywhere from 100 to 250 people are killed by tigers each year).  But the Bengal tiger is not the only endangered species in the Sundarbans.  Also on the endangered list are: estuarine crocodile, olive ridley turtles, hawks bill turtles, gangetic dolphins and king crabs.

Run For Your Lives!

February 28, 2012

Zombies!  Coming soon to a city near you!  For all you runners out there, here is a 5K race with a twist.  Combining this simple race with an obstacle course is not a particularly new idea, but when you intersperse zombies into the course along the way, getting to the finish line may not be quite so easy.  The goal: avoid the zombies and make it to the finish line.   And, if you’d rather not run, then why not volunteer to be a zombie?

Sounds like fun either way . . . check out this list of cities and start training today!

College Hoops!

February 27, 2012

Michigan State (#6) was challenged, but defeated a pesky Minnesota squad on the road earlier this week and then had no trouble at home against the struggling Nebraska Cornhuskers.   Thanks to a Buckeye loss today, the Spartans are the Big Ten Champs (guaranteed a share of the title) and remain in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten as we enter the final week of the regular conference season.  The Spartans have a two-game lead on both Ohio State and Michigan with only two games left.  Michigan State is playing really well right now and could possibly be in the running for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament if they continue their winning ways through the Big Ten Tournament.  Next up for the Spartans, a couple of top-25 match-ups: they travel to Indiana (#24) on Tuesday and then have the big showdown (@ home) against Ohio State (#9) on Sunday.  Go Green!

Upsets for the week included:
Missouri (#3) losing to unranked Kansas State and losing to Kansas (#5) by only one point in overtime.
Georgetown (#8) losing to unranked Seton Hall.
Ohio State (#9) losing to Wisconsin (#15) by only three points.
Florida (#11) losing to unranked Georgia.
Michigan (#13) losing to unranked Purdue.
Wisconsin (#15) losing to unranked Iowa by only one point.
Florida State (#16) losing to unranked Miami.
Louisville (#17) losing to unranked Cincinnati by only four points.
Notre Dame (#18) losing to unranked St. Johns by only three points.
New Mexico (#21) losing to unranked Colorado State and losing to unranked TCU.
Temple (#22) losing to unranked Saint Joseph’s.

Ranked teams losing to teams with a higher ranking included:
Florida State (#16) losing to Duke (#4).

And, the close calls (winning by two scores or less) included:
Syracuse (#2) defeating unranked U Conn by only 2 points.
Duke (#4) defeating unranked Virginia Tech by only five points (in overtime).
Michigan State (#6) defeating unranked Minnesota by only five points.
North Carolina (#7) defeating unranked Virginia by only three points.
Marquette (#10) defeating unranked West Virginia by only one point.
Murray State (#12) defeating unranked Tennessee Tech by only five points.
Baylor (#14) defeating unranked Texas by only five points.
Louisville (#17) defeating unranked Pittsburgh by only three points.
Temple (#22) defeating unranked La Salle by only one point in overtime.

The Michaelangelo of Caricature!

February 26, 2012

I’m referring to Honore Daumier, of course (born on today’s date back in 1808).  His claim to fame was his use of caricature to poke fun at 19th century French politics and society (during the aftermath of the French Revolution).  Daumier was also fascinated by one of my favorite literary characters, Don Quixote, and completed several paintings portraying Don Quixote.

For more information about Daumier’s life and works, check out this website:

The Significance of Color!

February 25, 2012

The weekend has arrived! And with the weekend comes the opportunity to tackle items from the “honey-do” list, many of which could be home-improvement-type projects (including painting).  Here is a wonderful (and colorful) infographic (courtesy of CertaPro Painters of Louisville) on just how color choices affect our emotions and senses (and which ones should be used [or not used][and why] for interior decorating and marketing).  I also found a very informative posting on the Art Therapy blog on Color Psychology.

Here’s to Crazy!

February 24, 2012
No matter how you say it . . . “ape, barmy, bats in the belfry, batty, berserk, bonkers*, cracked, crazed, cuckoo, daft, delirious, demented, deranged, dingy*, dippy, erratic, flaky, flipped, flipped out, freaked out, fruity, idiotic, insane, kooky, lunatic, mad, mad as a March hare, mad as a hatter, maniacal, mental*, moonstruck, nuts, nutty, nutty as fruitcake, of unsound mind, out of one’s mind, out of one’s tree, out to lunch, potty, psycho, round the bend, schizo, screw loose, screwball, screwy, silly, touched*, unbalanced, unglued, unhinged, unzipped, wacky” (courtesy of [* = informal usage] . . .
“Being crazy isn’t enough.”  — Dr. Suess
But then again, sometimes (or some places) it is . . .
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”    — Apple Inc.
Dare to innovate!

Bullfighting, Olé!

February 23, 2012

Bullfighting has been practiced for centuries and is still quite popular in Spain, Portugal, the south of France, and a handful of Latin American countries.  In Spain, the bullfighting season generally runs from April through September — in addition to weekly events, there are also numerous “festivals” that can last for a week or two and have bull fights every day during the festival.  The most famous of the festivals is the San Fermin (the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona) which gets underway on July 6th every year and runs through July 14th (there is probably still time to make plans to attend if you are interested).

And, speaking of bullfighting, I learned a new word this week . . . Olé!


\taw-romuh-kee\, noun;

the art or technique of bullfighting.


Wonder-ful Wednesday Number Eleven!

February 22, 2012

Or according to Google Translate . . . aon cheann déag de líon (“number eleven” in Irish).   This week takes us to Ireland to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher (in County Clare) which rise 710 feet above the sea (at their highest point) and stretch down the coast for five miles.  On a good day, if the weather cooperates, from atop these cliffs you will have one of the most amazing views of Ireland: you can see the Aran Islands in Galway Bay, the valleys and hills of Connemara, the lighthouse on Loop Head, and the mountains of Kerry to the south.    Erin go bragh!  (Ireland Forever!)

I still have not yet been to Ireland (I failed to make the trip on my last visit to the United Kingdom), but it is definitely on my travel bucket list . . . one of these days, I hope.

We Have NOT Cornered the Market!

February 21, 2012

When it comes to entrepreneurial spirit (especially with regard to technology), the Silicon Valley (California) has reigned supreme!  However, the rest of the world is slowly catching up as depicted in this wonderful infographic of entrepreneurial pockets around the world!  Enjoy!    Here’s a link to the original blog post by T. A. McCann (for Gist).

Just Around the Corner!

February 20, 2012

 T-minus two weeks until March (and the Madness)!   We had another exciting week of college basketball .  Michigan State (#8) defeated Wisconsin (#17) for the second time this season and continued their winning ways at Purdue yesterday.   The Spartans are now in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten following the loss yesterday by the Ohio State Buckeyes (to the Michigan Wolverines) and have defeated six top-25 teams.  Next up for the Spartans: the Minnesota Golden Gophers (@ Minnesota), on Wednesday.  Go Green!

Upsets for the week included:
Ohio State (#6) losing to Michigan (#19).
Baylor (#10) losing to unranked Kansas State by only one point.
UNLV (#11) losing to unranked TCU (by five points in overtime) and losing to unranked New Mexico.
San Diego State (#15) losing to unranked New Mexico and losing to unranked Air Force Academy.
Saint Mary’s (#16) losing to unranked Loyola Marymount.
Indiana (#20) losing to unranked Iowa.
Virginia (#22) losing to unranked Clemson.
Mississippi State (#23) losing to unranked LSU (by two points in overtime) and losing to unranked Auburn.
Gonzaga (#24) losing to unranked San Francisco.
Notre Dame (#25) losing to unranked Villinova (in overtime).

Ranked teams losing to teams with a higher ranking included:
Louisville (#18) losing to Syracuse (#2).
St. Mary’s (#16) losing to Murray State (#14).

And, the close calls (winning by two scores or less) included:
Syracuse (#2) defeating Louisville (#18) by only one point.
Kansas (#5) defeating unranked Kansas State by only six points.
Indiana (#20) defeating unranked Northwestern by only five points.
Florida State (#21) defeating unranked Virginia Tech by only one point.