Monday, June 20, 2011

Another "Elegant Astronaut"

"Elegant Astronaut" by eiran

You can read the blog, buy the dress, and now own a print of a different (and more masculine) "Elegant Astronaut." I stumbled across this fashionable explorer on the deviantART website. BEWARE: my computer was infected with some clingy scareware as soon as I tried to contact the artist. I have enjoyed looking at images on this site before, but I'm scared to go back. It took our tech services people an afternoon to clean up my computer.
   Nice work on the astronaut, though!

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Super 8" is Great!

        Movie scene from "Super 8." Directed by J.J. Abrams, Produced by Steven Spielberg. Pictured above are actors Gabriel Basso, Ryan Lee, Joel Courtney, and Riley Griffiths.

This is the first movie I've seen since "The Goonies" that convincingly captures the spirit of adventurous adolescents as they stumble across something much larger (and much more dangerous) than themselves. It is really no surprise to see both J.J. Abrams' and Steven Spielberg's names on this film. 
  Dysfunctional families sometimes spawn the best friendships, and probably everyone knows what it feels like when your object of desire likes your best friend instead of you. Combine this with an awesome train wreck, aspiring zombie actors, a real monster alien, a heroic biology teacher, an unethical Air Force (thank you, Mr. Abrams!), and your friends-until-the-end kids from around the neighborhood, and you have an instant classic.
   Congratulations, Mr. Abrams, Mr. Spielberg, and everyone at Bad Robot and Amblin! I am going to see your movie again this week. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Southern Black Widow

A penny for your thoughts? Photo by J. Lewter.
If this beauty could talk, she would have a southern accent. I found her outside of my apartment while I was watering my roses this week. The distinctive red hourglass shape on her abdomen is characteristic of the Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans.) People usually freak out and kill these spiders as soon as they see them, but there is really no need. They are not aggressive and would prefer to scramble away from you if given the opportunity. I once spoke to a medical doctor in northwest Arkansas who said he only treated 2 black widow bites in his entire 25 years of practice. One lady had been carrying firewood and a black widow crawled into the crook of her arm. It bit her when she flexed her arm. The lady, as well as the other bite victim from an unrelated black widow encounter, were both in the hospital on a morphine drip for about a week. Black widow bites, although rare, can be quite painful.