Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Heroes of Olympus, The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Author Rick Riordan discusses a new series ... The Heroes of Olympus, The Lost Hero.

Charlie On The MTA - Kingston Trio

Charlie On The MTA - Kingston Trio - A theme song with a historical perspective for the Tea Party tax protestors in Boston of all places.

Roads in California

Early this morning I heard Bill Maher on his HBO special he was complaining about the state of roads in California and comparing them to how wonderful roads were during his recent visit to Europe. I suppose the implication being the Barack Obama can fix that too? Or that as a country we need to be more like Europe?

Did he not notice that he lives in one of the most seismically active areas on the planet? California will never be able to keep up with Mother Nature with regards to having smooth roads. This summer they actually did quite a lot of road work in Northern California, and the fact is ... tomorrow they could have a big quake and have to start again.

Between quakes and mountains, California is just not the ideal for roads.

Now that doesn't mean that Europe doesn't have earthquakes. But the major population centers in California are within the strike zone of the San Andreas fault. Maybe in a few centuries people will come to realize that rebuilding in the interior valley would be cost effective, and that the coast would really be prettier anyway if it wasn't dotted with houses.

Anyway, I live in Northern Nevada and have driven all over this region. With the exception of recently paved areas, the overriding truths of driving in this region was that when I leave Nevada the second I hit California is heralded by more road noise. Roads in California truly are awful. Why? California can't afford their social programs and to keep up with Mother Nature. California can't afford good roads.

Mr. Maher, we are seismically active here in Nevada too, but we have better roads. The national media might have you think that Nevada is populated by racist tea-partying greedy bastards. But, really, Nevada is more purple than red these days because so many blue Californians moved here to avoid the high taxes they voted into place in California.

I Love Oregon Pins from Zazzle

Custom "I Love Oregon" Pins from Create your own button by changing the wording.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Crazy Red Heart Heel Shoes

My mom told me she wants these for her bday lol  on Twitpic

"My mom told me she wants these for her bday lol on Twitpic"

Even if I thought these were the coolest things single sliced bread ... I'd fall flat on my face if I tried walking in these heels.

Sea Rabbits Tee Shirts by Chris Leavens

Sea Rabbits Tee Shirts from by Chris Leavens, the first artist featured on one of Zazzle's billboards. I wonder where they're going to put up these billboards? Big cities in Ccalifornia? New York?

I know where they can get good deal on a billboard outside Carson City, Nevada. I noticed a billboard on 395 that is still advertising a casino here in Reno that went bankrupt and shut down quite awhile back. I suppose if the owner of the billboard doesn't have anyone else that wants to rent out the sport inexpensively if someone figured out who they are.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stonehenge skeleton came from Mediterranean

Stonehenge, originally uploaded by Pepeketua.

There is an AP article via Yahoo today discussing that a Stonehenge skeleton came from Mediterranean. Tests on the adolescent's 3500 year old remains recently unearthed near Stonehenge show that the boy came from the Mediterranean. It isn't suprising to me that Stonehenge was impressive enough to attract people even during ancient times, I just wonder what the custom was. The image with the article indicates to me some form of ritual burial, which makes me think that he was likely traveling with a group of people that cared about him, or at least was burried by people that cared enough about the ritual to leave him his gemstone. Wish we had more information about the religious beliefs of ancient times.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Patterns in Soil

Patterns in Soil, originally uploaded by garlandcannon.

The photographer included a nice quote to described the parched earth desert photo:

"Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry."

---Richard Feynman, physicist

Magical Flight Digital Art Print

Magical Flight print
Magical Flight by annaleeblysse
View more artwork available on zazzle

Magical Flight Print from - Colorful digital art featuring a hot air balloon. The work created from a photo I took here in Reno at the Great Reno Balloon Race earlier this month.

Vdara's Death Ray in Las Vegas

Vdara, Las Vegas, originally uploaded by W&Ps Photos.

I caught the Upshot blog at Yahoo today talking about Swanky new Vegas hotel’s ‘death ray’ proves inconvenient for some guests. Why would the build a giant magnifying glass in the middle of the Mojave Desert? Crazy! And, kinda stupid. Or should I say ... swanky!

Mirrors on a curved building in the desert? Was it in their business plan to bake ants on the sidewalk? (For the record, I never ever killed an ant with a magnifying glass as a child as I loved bugs too much.)

Apparently all the money our government has paid over the years having Smokey the Bear remind us that "only you can prevent forest fires" has been for naught.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Art of Photography of Jerry Uelsmann

Jerry N. Uelsmann (born June 11, 1934) is an American photographer.

Uelsmann was born in Detroit, Michigan. When he was in high school, his interest in photography sparked. He originally believed that using a camera could allow him to exist outside of himself, to live in a world captured through the lens. Despite poor grades, he managed to land a few jobs, primarily shooting weddings. Eventually Uelsmann went on to earn a BA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and M.S. and M.F.A. degrees from Indiana University. Jerry Uelsmann dropped out of Indiana University before earning a degree. He began teaching photography at the University of Florida in 1960. In 1967, Uelsmann had a solo exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art which opened doors for his photography career.

Uelsmann is a master printer producing composite photographs with multiple negatives and extensive darkroom work. He uses up to a dozen enlargers at a time to produce his final images. Similar in technique to Rejlander, Uelsmann is a champion of the idea that the final image need not be tied to a single negative, but may be composed of many. Unlike Rejlander, though, he does not seek to create narratives, but rather allegorical surrealist imagery of the unfathomable. Uelsmann is able to subsist on grants and teaching salary, rather than commercial work.

Today, with the advent of digital cameras and Photoshop, photographers are able to create a work somewhat resembling Uelsmann's in less than a day, however, at the time Uelsmann was considered to have almost "magical skill" with his completely analog tools. Uelsmann used the darkroom frequently, sometimes using three to ten enlargers to produce the expected effect. Photos were still widely regarded as documentary evidence of events, and Uelsmann, along with people like Lucas Samaras, was considered an avant garde shatterer of the popular conception.

He reassures, “I am sympathetic to the current digital revolution and excited by the visual options created by the computer. However, I feel my creative process remains intrinsically linked to the alchemy of the darkroom.” Today he is retired from teaching and currently lives in Gainesville, Florida with his third wife, Maggie Taylor. Uelsmann has one son, Andrew, who is a graduate student at the University of Florida. But to this day, Uelsmann still produces photos, sometimes creating more than a hundred in a single year. Out of these images, he likes to sit back and select the ten he likes the most, which is not an easy process.

His photographs are in the opening credits of the television series The Outer Limits (1995), and the illustrated edition of Stephen King's Salem's Lot. In addition, his artwork is featured in the progressive metal band Dream Theater's seventh studio album Train of Thought (2003).

Pyramid of Cholula

Pyramid of Cholula, originally uploaded by openalva.

Found a interesting angle of the Pyramid of Cholula over at flickr today via their blog.

Light Circles Light Painting

Light Circles, originally uploaded by Inewcom.

Interesting light painting via flickr in a ranboe of colors. Looks like an old phone cord.

Magical Flight Mousepads from

Magical Flight Mousepads from ... new digital art created from a photo of a hot air balloon I took earlier this month at the Great Reno Balloon Race. Up, up and away ... in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

This is what is wrong with our school systems....

There is an article at Yahoo applauding President Obama: Obama presses for longer school years. "Barely into the new school year, President Barack Obama issued a tough-love message to students and teachers on Monday: Their year in the classroom should be longer, and poorly performing teachers should get out." He went on to say that: "We have got to identify teachers who are doing well. Teachers who are not doing well, we have got to give them the support and the training to do well. And if some teachers aren't doing a good job, they've got to go."

Doesn't he sound so nice? Giving second chances.

But, this could very well be the stupidest thing I've heard Obama's speech writers come up with yet. This attitude of giving second chances and not failing people that aren't producing is what has given us even more bad teachers than we had 20 years ago!

This is real life Mr. Obama. Teachers are adults that went to a University for four or more years to learn how to teach. It is basically as simple as good teachers that are going to educate children are already good teachers the first day they step in front of their own classroom. Experience will only make them better. Making excuses for people that can't do their job is fool-hardy.

The really sad thing is...

I got a job at a debt collection agency a handful of years after I gave up teaching for good and the trainer fired about 1/4 of our class before the first week of training was over. Isn't that a scary thought? That debt collection agencies are more worried about how well debt is going to be collected than the system is at thinking about who is educating our youth.

I Love Philadelphia T-shirts from

I Love Philadelphia T-shirts from shown here on a Ladies Spaghetti Top. These souvenirs can be customized or printed on other tees.

Lava Fountain

Lava Fountain, originally uploaded by AnnaleeBlysse.

A reworked image of the fountain in Sparks, Nevada. Heat map effect makes the water look like lava spewing out. The baby was enjoying watching and playing in the water.

Sunset on Morro Strand iPhone 26 Sept 2010

Wow. Lovely sunset in Morro Bay. I did visit Morro Bay years and years ago. A friend from collage had an aunt that lived her whole live in this lovely town. We went to visit her for a few days. She lived up off the water, but close enough that I could smell the Pacific. I remember foggy mornings. I never got the chance to see the water at sunet though. This is a lovely muted photo.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Leopard Spots Photo Frame Magnet from

Leopard Spots Photo Frame Magnet from A funky leopard spots photo frame template available on the square magnet.

Zebra Photo Frame Magnet from

Zebra Photo Frame Magnet from ... add your own photo to create a framed photo magnet for a unique custom stocking stuffer.

Holga-ish Effect at

The Holga-ish effect at Picnik, as well as the Film Grain effect, was applied to this image of a band of mustangs in the foothills outside Reno, Nevada.

Lomo-ish Effect at

Lomo-ish Koi Pond, originally uploaded by AnnaleeBlysse.

Here is a fun example of the Lomo-ish effect at Picknik applied to an image of a koi pond. The water droplets come from a waterfall.

Using the Lomo and Holga Effect at

Retro Bowling, originally uploaded by AnnaleeBlysse.

This photo was cropped square at Picnik (via my Flickr account), then two free effects applied ... Lomo-ish effect and then Holga-ish. There are several other effects at Picnik that give a retro look to digital photos without the hassle of film.

I'm very interested in lomography, but not all that interesting in film cameras anymore. I so much appreciate being able to clog up my harddrive instead.

Funky Circles Tie from

Black and white Funky Circles Tie from ... Free Shipping Weekend! Free economy shipping on all orders! Use Code: FREEECONSHIP LAST DAY!

I Love Sadie T-Shirt from

I Love Sadie T-Shirt shirt
I Love Sadie T-Shirt by annaleeblysse
Browse Zazzle for another tee shirt .

I Love Sadie T-Shirt from shown here on a red and white men's ringer t-shirt. Create your own custom tee on one of over a hundred different styles and sizes available. "Retro is back in style. Enjoy this vintage-inspired ringer Tee. The shirt body is light-colored with contrasting neckline and sleeve bands."