Thursday, March 28, 2013

May's 1st Wedding Anniversary

 On our wedding day

This coming Sunday, Matt and I will be celebrating our very first wedding anniversary! It's amazing to think that only two weeks after we tied the knot, our little Henry came along to change our lives forever. I was so sure he was going to be coming weeks later!

 On the day Henry was born

Happy Anniversary, darling! It's been a heck of a year! I'm so glad you've been by my side to hold my hand. :)

Related posts:
May & Matt Tie the Knot (Pics)
May Gives Birth
Henry's Homecoming

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

mARTch madness Begins & the Steampunk Art Exhibit Ends

mARTch madness officially opens tomorrow at the 1109 Gallery, but you can vote for your favorite piece of art online right now! Or you can vote, in person, at the gallery. (This one is mine, in case you were wondering.) The first elimination is Wednesday, March 27th, second round is Friday, March 29th, third round is Wednesday, April 3rd, and the final round will be Friday, April 5th. The winning entry in each pairing will be determined by a combination of juror panel rankings and popular vote (with ties decided by the jurors). They will be casting their ballots for the winner at the during the Final Round on April 5. And I will continue to keep you posted. :)

Meanwhile, the Steampunk Art Exhbit I've been part of for the last 2 months at the Teahouse & Coffeepot will be having its closing celebration this Saturday, March 30 from 2-5:30 PM. I'll be there at some point, though with Henry's wonky napping schedule, it's hard to say when, exactly. But this is your last chance to see some great Steampunk-themed pieces. I was happy to be exhibited with such an interesting mixture of art.

Related posts: 
mARTch madness: Tournament Art Exhibit
Event Pics: Steampunk Art Exhibit
Coming This Saturday: Steampunk Art Exhibit

Friday, March 22, 2013

2 Must-Read Posts on Steubenville

Sorry about posting late; I got my days confused.

I thought about saying something about what happened in Steubenville and the subsequent media fallout, but after reading a couple of posts that said everything I thought and more, I decided to link you to them instead.

Lauren Nelson in "So You're Tired of Hearing About 'Rape Culture'?"  examines how what happened in Steubenville is just one expression of a a systemic problem in our society.

Someone asked me today, “What is ‘rape culture’ anyway? I’m tired of hearing about it.” Yeah, I hear ya. I’m tired of talking about it. But I’m going to keep talking about it because people like you keep asking that question.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, no one says, “Stop.”
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, they can’t get anyone to come forward.
Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and adults are informed of it, but no consequences are doled out because the boys “said nothing happened.”
Read the rest here

Soraya Chemelay's response is "10 Small Changes You Can Make to Avoid Another Steubenville" which outlines individual actions that can collectively address what she calls "problems we face involving men with unchallenged power."
If you use the expression “boys will be boys,” think about why and what it means. Then STOP. Yes, boys and girls are different. I’ve got it. But, any two boys are as different from one another as “boys” are from “girls.” That expression reveals a myriad of beliefs related to gender essentialism, binaries, and stereotypes that lie at the root of sex-based hierarchies that subtly cultivate violence and the reduction of girls and women to the value of their reproductive potential. It’s commonly used to excuse behavior that is rude, entitled, and gender-privileged.
Read the rest here.

It is astounding and heart-breaking to me that these types of dialogues are still necessary. In no other violent crime is a victim mistreated by the media and society at large. Our culture will never truly flourish until it stops spending so much effort to keep half of its members living in fear of being brutalized, trivialized, mocked, or ignored for no other reason than physiology.

Related posts:
Pregnancy Should Bring Life, Not Death
Why Breastfeeding Should Be Seen
Trans Persons Encounter "Injustice at Every Turn"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

mARTch MADNESS: Tournament Art Exhibit

I'm excited to announce that I was one of 64 local artists selected to take part in the first annual "mARTch MADNESS" put on by the Lawrence Art Guild. From March 27 to April 5 the 1109 Gallery will display the competing artworks, separated into brackets, for the public to vote on. The winning entry will receive a solo exhibit a new Lawrence Creates Workshop space. The exhibit will open March 27, 5-9 PM. I'm submitting a mixed media piece from a goddess-themed series I recently completed. I'm interested to see how it's received. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Opening Tomorrow: Fernando Achucarro at the Zen Gallery in Art Closet Studios

 Image copyright: Fernando Achucarro, 2013

I am extremely excited because my friend and local artist Fernando Achucarro has a new show opening tomorrow evening! I met Fernando at the Slap-n-Tickle Gallery several years ago and was immediately captivated with his work. It was especially interesting to talk to him and discover that his work was based off of legends from his home country Paraguay. They were stories I had never encountered before and Fernando's depictions seemed to leap off the page to grip your heart.

Fernando Achucarro at the Zen Gallery in Art Closet Studios will open tomorrow, Friday, March 15 at 6 PM - 9 PM. The show will only be open until Wednesday, March 20. It's a must see!

Related posts:
"Evolution of an Idea" Opens Tomorrow @ the Kiosk Gallery
Our Lady of Perpetual Beginnings at the Slap-N-Tickle
Small Painting / Morbid Art at the Kiosk Gallery & Art Closet Studios
Kiosk Gallery/Art Closet Studios' Third Friday

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NASA Curiosity Finds More Evidence of Water, Probable Life

 Curiosity self-portrait via NASA

I've been following the adventures of the Curiosity on Mars and the latest news is quite intriguing. According to the BBC's science correspondent Jonathan Amos, the Curiosity has found rock with clay materials - something that could only be formed in or near water.

The rover drilled a powdered sample from a mudstone at its exploration site in Gale Crater, a deep impact bowl on Mars' equator. This was delivered to the two big onboard laboratories, Sam and Chemin, for analysis. The rock sample was found to contain 20-30% smectite - a particular group of clay minerals. Their high abundance and the relative lack of salt are strongly suggestive of a fresh-water environment for the mudstone's formation. 

The presence of calcium sulphates, rather than the magnesium or iron sulphates seen in previous rock analyses at other locations on the planet, adds to the evidence that the sampled rock in Gale was deposited in a neutral to mildly alkaline pH environment. Scientists think Curiosity probably drilled into an ancient lakebed. 

The analysis also identified sulphur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon - some of the key chemical elements for life. Additionally, it found compounds in a range of oxidised states, meaning there were electrons moving through the environment. Those could have been co-opted as an energy source by simple life-forms, if they ever existed in Gale.

"What we've learned in the last 20 years of modern microbiology is that very primitive organisms - they can derive energy just by feeding on rocks," explained Prof Grotzinger. "Just like on [a] battery - you hook up the wires and it goes to a lightbulb and the lightbulb turns on. That's kind of what a micro-organism would have done in this environment, if life had ever evolved on Mars and it was present here."

The rover is assembling quite a catalogue of water evidence in the crater. Already, it has seen the remains of an ancient riverbed system, where water once flowed perhaps a metre deep and quite vigorously. The picture that seems to be emerging is one where sediments were transported downhill from the eroding crater rim into a network of streams that then flowed into the lake environment represented by mudstone. (Source)
You gotta love recent scientific discoveries! They keep proving that the mystics, dreamers, conspiracy theorists and weirdos were right about so many things. Bob Frissell, for instance, has been saying Mars was once a habitable planet for decades. I love that real life keeps mashing up "fact" and "fiction." And, yes, I know nothing conclusive has been found yet, but I figure it's only a matter of time.

Related posts:
NASA Gangnam Style
Man Takes Ice from Glacier, Rips Off Simpsons
A Game of Conspiracy
How Supernatural Is Like the X-Files

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Harp Arrangements for Popular Songs

Image via Harp Twins 

My brother sent me a link to the Harp Twins a couple days ago. They're twins who arrange popular songs for the harp. Their slogan: "When One of a Kind Just Isn't Enough." That makes me giggle, but I enjoy their arrangements regardless. Harps used to be my favorite instrument, before cellos beat them out.

You can find more videos on their website.

[If you're reading this in your e-mail and don't see any videos, please click through to the blog].

Related posts:
Painting Music for My Mom
Q: What Do These Songs Have In Common?