Saturday, February 23, 2013

Evolution Video

Evolution, the name applied to the strange creatures that inhabit this world:

A squeaky toy that does not require squeezing and defends itself with cuteness.

Who says Nature does not have a sense of humor?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In Case Of Emergency: Find Your Blanket

An unexpected gift arrived. Someone out there had sent me a random act of kindness. I looked at the unassuming cardboard box, but did not recognize the sender. A company that was likely used to package and ship exotic chocolates, coffee or biscuits. Perhaps a technological gadget?

With childlike abandon and exuberance, I unboxed the contents. I dug through environmentally (un)friendly Styrofoam peanuts to discover....

A BLANKET! A blanket?!!?

Not just any blanket. A gender-neutral plaid fleece blanket, rolled up in its very own space-saving bag. Who would send me such a thoughtful gift of warmth?

There was a generic card extending its gratitude for my patronage sent by my insurance company, The Profiteers.

The subliminal message was clear:

Dear customer,
in appreciation for your loyalty please accept our gift made out of plastic, a byproduct of the oil industry. Speaking of the oil industry, while we no longer cover any acts of Man, we are pleased to inform you that in the event of flooding, loss of electricity or flying debris, you are fully covered. With a blanket.

This multipurpose blanket, when spread out, will likely attract your loved ones and your pets. In case of emergency, simply roll up your cats and sprint for your nearest door or window.

Always thinking of you and your loved ones during these climate challenged times. Please remember that as long as you have your blanket, you are not on your own.

With utmost indifference,
The Profiteers

Friday, February 8, 2013

Communicating With Cats

I used to consider myself a dog person. Then I ended up with cats. That is when the confusion set in.

According to scientific anthropological speculation, dogs are better at reading the facial expressions of humans, because they have a longer history with humanity.  Cats are allegedly more intelligent due to the fact that unlike dogs, who are pack scavengers, cats are lone predators that congregate into colonies when feral.  I have read several articles that wild cats rarely vocalize, while our manipulative domestic companions have learned to.

I speak science, some other languages, but mostly science. I can understand dogs, but the language I fail to master is cat.  This does not stop the self-proclaimed most intelligent species on the planet at attempting to communicate with clever cats on a daily basis.

Among one of my most miserable failures at translating Feline into English was a rescued Siamese, who looked like a grey alien crossbred with a vampire bat and sounded like the dissonant bag pipe of the cat world. According to those that love the breed, the emission of unearthly wails of despair were the Siamese equivalent of "talking" and did not require emergency exorcisms for demonic possession.

Random Siamese kitten. Not a Chihuahua.

My attempts to make first contact with the aliens in my home continue to this day.  They blink, I blink back a reassuring I come in peace. Their incessant meows evoke a conditioned repertoire of routine queries: You want food? Here you go. Not this food? You don't want food? You want to play? Want to chase the string or the ball? Neither? You want to be petted. Patted? I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT! Hey, where are you going?

Misunderstood, tail held high, they walk off. Before I question my sanity, I remind myself that many human conversations are equally inconclusive.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Incredible And Innovative Art

Contemporary art can often be repetitive and unimaginative. Smearing gesso and white paint on a canvas (no matter how skillfully applied), and calling it "The Absence of Something #404" is not terribly innovative. Piling rusting "found objects" onto a modern art gallery floor as a "social commentary on our disposable consumerism...blah blah...yawn...blah blah", is a lazy explanation for re-purposing junk into junk, while making curators and wealthy collectors extremely happy.

Sometimes one has to know where to look to discover that contemporary art is far from dead, but thriving not so quietly around the world.

Reminiscent of old natural art history illustrations, artist Victor Stankovic cloned cephalopods with insects and created a new species on paper. His on-line animated GIF version only adds to the charm.

Cephalopodoptera by Vladimir Stankovic

This is Vladimir Stankovic's series Cephalopodoptera.

Engineer and sculptor Jonty Hurwitz created an innovative new approach to what Dali achieved without the aid of modern technology. The sculptures reveal their true shape in a reflective surface.

Frogs Are Endangered by Jonti Hurwitz
More can be found at

Artist Liu Bolin provides a truly thought-provoking social commentary of a society, where individuals are invisible. His disappearance act uses painstakingly applied paint only.

By Liu Bolin

More of his photographs can be viewed at

I will see you in a few hours.