When an object casts a shadow, the resulting shadow shape is dependent on a number of factors beyond the characteristics of that object itself. The angle and direction of the light, intensity of the light, number of light sources, and the shape of the surface onto which the shadow is being cast all play a role in the resulting shadow. When the surface in question is varied, the shape of the object casting its shadow gets transformed and distorted. Stairs, with their multiple planes, bend shadows that fall onto them into zig-zaggy shapes.
Albuquerque, NM. January, 2006.
At MIT, inside the Stata Center. April, 2010.
At MIT. April, 2010.
In New York City, going up to the High Line. March, 2012.
At the karate school, at a nearby Massachusetts town. February, 2013
This is part of set of china that was my great grandmother’s. For decades it was in the china cabinet at my grandmother’s house, but now is part of my own collection. I love the dark, bold pattern with its unusual color scheme of rust brown and black. And I love the quaintness of the egg cups, which seem like such relics of another era.
The odds and ends remaining of the set are in varying conditions. While most of the plates are whole, many of the teacups have cracks. One of the egg cups has a small chip, which prompted me to think of it for this week’s PhotoHunt theme, “chipped.”
For more “chipped” photos, pay a visit to tnchick.
A while back, I gave you a list of moths for a Themed Things Thursday list, and I said I’d get around to the other major set of lepidoptera shortly. So here is a collection of butterfly things, which I have carefully skewered with pins and lined up for your enjoyment.
A Butterfly Collection
- butterfly collecting: a hobby that involves collecting specimens of butterflies, and typically pinning them to a board and displaying them under glass in rows. It was a particularly popular hobby during Victorian and Edwardian times.
- The Collector (1965) A movie about a butterfly collector who kidnaps a woman to add to his collection of creatures.
- butterfly net: a type of handheld net used for catching butterflies (often for a collection). The image of using oversized butterfly nets to catch people is sometimes used in cartoons (or the imagery is evoked in humor writing). Particularly when depicting the “men in white coats” in pursuit of an escapee from a mental institution. (cf: this, this, or this cartoon.)
- “The Butterfly”, a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. A tale of a butterfly seeking a flower to be his bride. Unsuccessfully. In the end, he gets caught by people and pinned down, a state he likens to marriage.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. A picture book about a caterpillar who is hungry and eats a lot before becoming “a beautiful butterfly.” (Sorry, did I give away the ending?)
- Heimlich : a caterpillar (who is generally very hungry) from Pixar’s animated feature, A Bug’s Life. At the end of the movie, he emerges from his cocoon as a butterfly with wings disproportionatley small for his body, saying: “Finally, I’m a beautiful butterfly”?) (You can watch the scene on YouTube.)
- butterfly kiss: a nickname for the act of brushing one’s eyelashes against another person’s skin as an act of affection.
- In the Time of the Butterflies. A novel by Julia Alvarez about 4 sisters who participated in a resistance against a brutal dictator in the Dominican Republic. Their codename was “las Mariposas,” or “the Butterflies.” Also a 2001 TV movie based on the novel.
- butterflies in the stomach: an expression referring to temporary minor gastrointestinal distress triggered by stress, such as that due to an anticipated meeting or public performance. (Doesn’t that sound poetic?)
- The Monarch. A bumbling arch-villain from “The Venture Bros.”, a cartoon shown on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Wears a butterfly costume, as do his henchman.
- Madame Butterfly: an opera written by Giacomo Puccini about a Geisha in Nagasaki called “Butterfly.”
- “Butterfly”, a song by Weezer about catching a butterfly in a mason jar. It also makes reference to the opera Madame Butterfly, and is on the album Pinkerton, which is the name of the male protagonist from the opera.
- the butterfly effect:
An idea from Chaos theory whereby minor events can trigger a chain reaction of other events, which can sometimes lead to big events. Such as the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings leading to a tornado changing its path. (Also a 2004 movie.)
- butterfly ballot: a voting ballot notorious from the 2000 US presidential election, as its confusing layout may have led some would-be Gore voters in Florida to mistakenly vote for Pat Buchanan.
- The Sinister Butterfly: “Nefariously fluttering from leaf to leaf.” John’s blog. Which he doesn’t update very often these days. But he has posted some great photos there before, as well as some other stuff that’s worth reading.
Butterfly collection image source: Worcester City Museums, UK. The Monarch image was found herehttp://cakerockstheparty.wordpress.com/2007/09/24/ncaa-heisman-trophy-avatars/.
Posted in books, cartoons, collections, fairy tales, idioms, lists, movies, Music, randomness, things, ThThTh, TV
With Easter around the corner, and with nesting on my brain, it seems like a good time to break out the eggs. While there are loads full of eggs out there, to help moderate our cholesterol intake, I’ll restrict this ThThTh list to a dozen egg things.
A Dozen Eggs
- Easter eggs. Eggs that have been dyed and/or decorated as part of Easter traditions. Linked by some to the concept of rebirth. Linked by others to an anthropomorphic bunny.
- Easter egg: a hidden message or bonus in video game, DVD, or other (ususally digital) media. (Can you find my Easter egg?) They can also be found in print or other media, scuh as maps, as a means to protect from copyright infringement.
- Fabergé eggs. Elaborate jewelled eggs made by Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé, many of which were commissioned by the Russian imperial family. They often had surprises hidden inside.
- Chocolate eggs. Not actually eggs flavored with chocolate, which probably comes as a relief to many, but egg-shaped chocolates. I’m partial to Kinder eggs. A type of chocolate egg containing a plastic yolk with a surprise inside. When I was little, the toys were much cooler than the prizes you could find in, for example, Cracker Jacks. Cadbury Creme Eggs are pretty tasty, too, but the yolk contained within is messier to play with.
- “the egg scene” from Angel Heart (1987) (clip on YouTube) “You know, some religions think that the egg is the symbol of the soul,” says Robert Deniro during the scene where he malevolently peels and eats a hard-boiled egg.
- Humpty Dumpty. A nursery rhyme about an egg.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
It has quite a bit of lore associated with it. (Did you know it was a riddle in earlier forms, with the eggness of Humpty being the answer?)
- Palestinian egg story: A Palistinian folktale about an egg trying to discover its identity. I was exposed to it during a field methods class, where we worked with a speaker of Palestinian Arabic. I particularly remember the line [ʔɪnti mɪʃ Хudra], or “You are not a vegetable.”
- Eggbert, the Slightly Cracked Egg, a picturebook by Tom Ross, illustrated by Rex Barron. A story of an egg who is an individual. And a slightly cracked one.
- Horton Hatches the Egg, by Dr. Seuss. A story of an elephant who is talked into sitting on a nest.
- Look – (Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One) But There Were These Two Fellers (1968). An Avengers episode with an archive of clown faces painted on eggshells. (This was actually a Tara King episode, but one of the better ones.)
- “She was a bad egg.” An expression meaning “she was a bad person,” and a quote from the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) by Gene Wilder when Veruca Salt was dumped down the chute after being identified as faulty by the egg-dicator.
- “Egg Baby” Parenting an exercise or assignment sometimes used to teach teenagers about parenting and responsibility. Kids are given an egg to “care for” for a set amount of time. Featured in “First the Egg” (1985), an After School Special starring Justine Bateman. Also in the Buffy episode “Bad Eggs.” Of course, in this case, the eggs turn out to be evil demon spawn.
images (edited 2/7/2010, since people were wondering): The white egg is a public domain image from wpclipart.com, and the single colored egg images are ones that I made based using that image. The photo at bottom is mine.
Happy Valentine’s Day. Or what’s left of it.¹ Well, today is a day most strongly associated with one symbol: the heart. Whether it’s heart-shaped boxes of cheap-ass waxy chocolate, chalky-tasting little candy hearts with messages, or the good old-fashioned construction paper heart cut-out, Valentine’s Day is an affair of the heart. Or at least the heart shape. Because let’s face it, the actual organ itself gets the short shrift. So this ThThTh list is for you, you hard-working, blood-pumping bundle-o-muscles.
A list for the Heart
“The Tell-Tale Heart,” by Edgar Allen Poe. The sound of his victim’s beating heart haunts a murderer. (There’s a Simpsons episode that features a diarama of “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Someone out there has also made a Angel Heart (1987). This movie has a bit about someone eating a human heart.
The episode “Hush,” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is the one where everyone loses their voice. The villains in this one steal people’s voices in order that they may accomplish their goal of collecting 7 human hearts without the inconvenience of screaming victims.
There’s also the famous scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) in which a man rips the still-beating heart out of another man’s chest as part of a sacrificial ritual.
Aztec sacrifices: check out the Wiki bit (and do note the “” bit. I really have know idea whether this is true.)
Las Dos Fridas (The Two Fridas): a painting by Friday Kahlo with two versions of the artist with heart exposed.(Go have a look.)
Looking for something to impress the cephalopodophile in your life? Consider one of the lovely tentacled-heart images of Ben Lawson. (ht to raincoaster and MasterCowfish.)
Still want to give your true love the semi-traditional gift of candy? Why not consider the gummy heart, or the one-pound solid milk chocolate human heart?
The Aztec civilization used the heart as a sacrificial token during the sacrifice of a human being. The priest used a stone knife to cut into the thoracic cavity and remove the heart, upon which it would be placed on a stone altar as an offering to the gods. The greatest sacrifice under the reign of Montezuma involved the removal of the hearts of over 12,000 enemy soldiers.
¹ Here it is, almost 11:00, and I’ve been meaning to toss up a list all day. My plan, you see, was to post something heart-related. John suggests that I should prioritize sleep over posting a list. Pah! I scoff at your well-reasoned suggestion. And anyhow, I’ve got most of the damn thing already outlined.
image: The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Child’s Day, by Woods Hutchinson,
I love to have a variety of different cloth kitchen towels around. My grandmother’s house had a collection of them, unique linens purchased around the world. I’ve inherited some of these linens, and have accumulated my own collection. Some were gifts, such as from family members’ travels to distant locales. I have penguins from Argentina, sheep from New Zealand, and a towel with an Aboriginal lizard design from Australia. Others were purchases I made because I liked the pattern or color. My most recent additions to this collection have been some of these:
They are modern and elegant, whimsical and colorful.
And what’s really cool is that I know the designer¹. In fact, I’ve known her all my life.
I’d like to take this opportunity to rave about my sister. And to promote the textile business that she recently started. Mostly, I want to offer up some reasons why you might want to consider buying some.
You can feel good about yourself for buying Tikoli tea towels because:
- using cloth towels instead of paper towels reduces waste
- buying them supports a small business owner
- what’s more, the business owner is a woman
- and that woman is also a new mother
- and a very cool individual
- the tea towels are lightweight, so their shipping impact is relatively small
- they come with minimal packaging
Tikoli tea towels make good gifts because²:
- they are functional and durable
- They are low-priced, so that you can easily give 2 or 3 of different designs
- they are compact and easy to wrap (or you can get them wrapped)
- they are gorgeous
You can find these tea towels at the Tikoli online store, or at various retailers.
¹ Oh, and if you want to feel like you know the designer yourself, you can pop by her blog pantry permitting and say “hi.” She’d love to meet you. You could swap recipes and have a cup of tea together.
² Incidentally, these tea towels were recently listed among the favorite gifts of a magazine. You might have heard of them. A little publication known as Newsweek (see item #24 of their online holiday gift guide).³
³ I’m allowed to boast because it’s my sister.