Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 in pics

Every picture tells a story, don't it?

Came across this collection of photos of the year 2008. There are many more here.

These spoke to me and as I arranged them on this page the bigger story unfolded.

The solarpark array, a "solucar" in Sanlucar La Mayor, near Seville, Spain. The solar thermal power plant uses mirrors to concentrate the sun's rays onto the top of a 100 meter (300 foot) tower where it produces steam to drive a turbine, producing electricity.

Refocusing our energy production.

The Large hadron Collider's CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment Tracker Outer Barrel (TOB). The CMS is one of two general-purpose LHC experiments designed to explore the physics of the Terascale, the energy region where physicists believe they will find answers to the central questions at the heart of 21st-century particle physics.
Reminded me of a mandala.

The Guizer Jarl is silhouetted as members of his Viking Squad walk around a long boat with burning torches during the annual Up Helly Aa Festival, in Lerwick, Shetland Islands. Up Helly Aa celebrates the influence of the Scandinavian vikings in the Shetland Islands.
My Norwegian heritage calling.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama waves to the crowd at a rally in the rain at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va.

Hope springs eternal.

Eagles awaiting transfer to a warm U.S. Fish and Wildlife warehouse after being rescued from the cold in Kodiak, Alaska. They were among 50 eagles which dove into the back of an uncovered dump truck full of fish guts and became too wet to fly away.

The perils of excess.

Swiss pilot Yves Rossy, the world's first man to fly with a jet-powered fixed-wing apparatus strapped to his back, flies during his first official demonstration above Bex, Switzerland.
The eternal dream of flying is realized.


A trip to Sarasota Showfolks Circus Swap Meet and look what we found!

"Mr. Red" was revived with a little TLC and does a great Rudolph impersonation. As for Elise and Lynn - um would that be Transequine? Transpecies? Drag reindeer? Just plain silly? Much better quality - whoot - as we test out the new camera. The editing software bogs the computer a bit, once again a learning curve driving me in circles, but patience and a heck with it attitude got us through. Hope you have fun watching it. We had a blast making it. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Stuffed deer heads on walls are bad enough, but it's worse when they are wearing dark glasses and have streamers in their antlers because then you know they were enjoying themselves at a party when they were shot.
- Ellen DeGeneres

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hive mind
The crowd within. Ask me again in 3 weeks. and we'll average it.

The Wisdom of Crowds

The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, first published in 2004, is a book written by James Surowiecki about the aggregation of information in groups, resulting in decisions that, he argues, are often better than could have been made by any single member of the group.

According to Surowiecki, these key criteria separate wise crowds from irrational ones:
Diversity of opinion
Each person should have private information even if it's just an eccentric interpretation of the known facts.
People's opinions aren't determined by the opinions of those around them.
People are able to specialize and draw on local knowledge.
Some mechanism exists for turning private judgments into a collective decision.
  • Keep your ties loose.
  • Keep yourself exposed to as many diverse sources of information as possible.
  • Make groups that range across hierarchies.
You can view an interesting talk by James at TED here.

I would hope that I resemble "an eccentric interpretation of the known facts" as opposed to the ants going in circles.

“enlightened self-interest” (American democracy) vs "unenlightened selfish greed" (cause of the current financial crisis in US) = a Tragedy of the Commons.

Connectivism meets Connectivism the learning theory

I think I think too much

and still sometimes it doesn't make sense.

Britney Spears new video is targeted by Peta for the use of elephants and lions. Personally I wondered why it took them so long to drop their press release. I suppose they were waiting for maximum effect. Kari Johnson, elephant owner, states,

"My husband, Gary, and I do indeed have a long history with elephants. Our love of and infatuation with elephants started for both of us in our teens, 37 years ago. To say we care about elephant welfare is an understatement," Kari Johnson wrote in a statement to MTV News. "Have Trunk Will Travel has never issued a written endorsement, nor does it condone using electrical devices to discipline and control elephants except in situations where elephant or human safety is at risk. PETA very conveniently used a sentence out of context from a USDA request for public comments regarding policies on elephants in 2000."

Johnson went on to write that the elephants used in Spears' "Circus" video were supervised by a representative from the American Humane Association the entire time they were on set and that the elephants were treated kindly.

"The American Humane Association monitors animal action in film and television. A representative was on the set of the Britney Spears 'Circus' video with our elephants, Tai and Kitty, to ensure their safety and welfare," Johnson wrote. "Britney, the director, producers and the entire crew were respectful of the elephants' needs and comfort and a pleasure to work with."

I've known Kari and Gary for over 20 years. This summer I was present at a shoot with Tai for T Pain. Their elephants are pampered and well cared for. They work 24/7 caring for them. Always have.

Next up, "How to smuggle an elephant."

Seems the guard at the border loves the World Cup and for a price will look the other way. The elephants are headed to Thailand to work in the tourist trekking business. Nowadays even an elephant needs to work in order to eat. They've taken part in the decimation of their own forests and are unemployed. Their tusks and body parts are readily available for purchase as well.

In Sri Lanka tourists can visit the Elephant Orphanage, described as paradise.

Notice the large number of captive elephants being ably cared for by the mahouts.

In India " elephants are dying in ever-greater numbers as industrialization, deforestation, the pressure of human settlement and shrinking food resources cut into their numbers."

However this blog tells the story of a live elephant interaction in India in a humorous way.

From Visionaerialist

Let's come full circle back to the U.S. where Peta is exploiting a half-naked woman in a cage to draw attention to the use of elephants in the circus.

This video in it's combination of pics and music was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.

Oh, dear, can I say that? Oops, I guess I just did.

As the internets shrink the world in size it occurs to me we really are all one and elephants are an amazing magnetic being drawing attention to themselves and forcing us to recognize the fact that with their demise so goes our own. Heck of a run-on sentence that ;)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Artfest on YouTube

Fellow RTC clown, Gypsy Red, came across this video on YouTube.

Short and sweet, and the RTC Puppet Peeps ROCKED!

Thanks for the heads up dude!

We The People

It really is up to each and every one of us.
Tune out,
Log on,
Drop in
and see for yourself the transparency this president is committed to. The incoming administration is actively seeking your input. Speak up or hold your tongue. Change is going to do us good.

Go to and see for yourself.

'Barack' in Kenyan means blessing. Let's hope!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Prop 8, (Amend. 2 in FL) 6 weeks late

Darn, you think if this would have been seen

the elections the tide may have turned?
Campy, political, religious, gay, great combination IMHO.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Britney Spears at Big Apple Circus and more. . .

Would somebody puleeeeze clue these folks in to the proper use of the word?
She's not the first to use Ringleader vs Ringmaster, then again, maybe it is the right word.
Hmm. . .
From Merriam Webster

Date: 1503
A leader of a ring of individuals engaged especially in improper or unlawful activities.

Date: 1859
One in charge of performances in a ring (as of a circus) ; broadly : a supervisor or moderator especially of a performance or presentation.

Love the costumes and great circus animal action. WHoot! Lions and Elephants! Maybe once you dangle by your ankle 30 feet in the air we'll call you a "Circus Girl". For now you're a gadjo. May you have a safe and sane tour. . .

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Artfest 2008 Rehearsal Video

Quickly made stop motion vid from captured clips of a rehearsal vid all having something to do with light interrupted. Let me know if you figure it out. Don't blink.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Back at it

this blog is wonky
having a difficult time uploading for some unknown reason

Here's a link to CAT DANCERS - the film to be shown on HBO Monday, December 15 at 8p.m.
I had the great pleasure of working with Ron And Joy on Royal Hanneford and at The Crossroads in Wisconsin Dells.

I was inspired by their creativity, attention to detail and compassionate care of their animals. They included a rider in their contract that stated if they witnessed any animal mistreatment by others on the show they would be released from their performances and paid in full. I admired their commitment to the highest standards of animal care and training. That and Ron was the first to dye my hair. I haven't seen its natural color since.

Now to find someone with HBO reception. . .