Friday, May 23, 2008

Rube Goldberg Friday

We have found the only suitable use for a Cadbury Creme Egg.

Where would the world be without engineering students, I ask you???

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My name is Steve, and I'm a Vegan!

I can't believe I've never posted this video before! Crazy! Anyways, enjoy!

from the good folks at Olde English.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How lazy can you be?

I admit, I've gotten lazy over the past six months. Sure, I've been carpenting, yogaing, hanging out with friends, and working, but the lazy part is that I've been driving to do almost all of that. And it finally struck me like a brick to the forehead the other day- in no small part because I saw a gas sign with the numbers $3.89 on it.

In taking a look at my regular trips, only two- going to the scene shop and the "regular" (read: non co-op) grocery store actually necessitate a car. The rest can be accomplished on foot, by bus, or on bike. As much as I like my bike, it's a mountain bike, not built for practicality. So I'm going to have to ugly it up a little. The to-do list:

Kickstand. Although I appreciate the aesthetic look of no kickstand, it's a real pain in the ass when you're chaining the bike up, or even just parking it in the house.
Storage unit. I'll wear my backpack if I have to, but it's impractical for a co-op trip, for example. Probably just get some sort of double basket on the back wheel.
Fenders. I don't mind riding in the rain, but I'm not enamoured of getting soaked from below in the process.
Tires. I'm torn on this, because the knobby tires I have are nice in the wet. But I'm not riding off road, so when it's dry, they're really more of a hindrance than anything.

Not that any of you care about any of this. :) I just want to make sure that I've got a reminder out there somewhere of the stuff I need to get done. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Omnibus Cultural Post

This was originally going to be a street art post about the amazing Blu, but I got to thinking about all the other neat-o artsy stuff I always tell myself I should post about, but don't. So join me, won't you, as I go careening through the art appreciation portion of my brain. Hands and feet inside the cart, please!

Street Art:
The aforementioned Blu has just released a mind boggling new animation:

Also, I've posted some of Mark Jenkins' stuff before, but I happened across his Storker project when I was looking at some other stuff, and I was thoroughly amused.

Through Smile Politely, I became aware of Jane Boxall, marimbaist extraordinaire, and I'm just enthralled. Spend a few minutes on her page, and you'll get what I mean. The sound she gets out of it is so mesmerizing. I haven't caught her live yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

No matter how deeply I get into the Sonic Youths and Broken Social Scenes of the world, I've always got a soft spot for folksy sounds (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) and traditional instruments. And it just so happens that occasional commenter Andrea Simms-Karp from No More Decorators plays such music! Her homepage has some sample tracks that are really, really good- I love me some banjo, but it takes a skilled hand to make it sound as gentle as she does. I finally got around to ordering a copy of her debut album, which I'm looking forward to immensely!

Recently, my friend Molly, of Emma's K-9 Kitchen, has started the Vegan Etsy blog, a great resource that aims to simplify Etsy shopping for those of us who try to live cruelty-free. Another occasional commenter here, chaifae, is the current featured member interviewee for her shop, Bees Knees Jewelleries. She makes some great one of a kind custom made pieces- I've bought several from her, and the recipients love them dearly.

Well, I've kept you long enough. If I've done my job, you feel a little more enriched, and have spent some money. We here at guppybork are big believers in the stimulation of the economy (and lining the pockets of our friends), so get out there and stimulate, damn you! Stimulate.....

Friday, May 09, 2008

Republicans Hate Mothers.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you House Resolution 1113 of the 110th Congress:

H. Res. 1113

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

May 7, 2008.

Whereas Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of each May;

Whereas the first official Mother's Day was observed on May 10, 1908, in Grafton, West Virginia, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;

Whereas 2008 is the 100th anniversary of the first official Mother's Day observation;

Whereas in 1908, Elmer Burkett, a U.S. senator from Nebraska, proposed making Mother's Day a national holiday;

Whereas in 1914, Congress passed a resolution designating the second Sunday of May as Mother's Day;

Whereas it is estimated that there are more than 82,000,000 mothers in the United States;

Whereas mothers have made immeasurable contributions toward building strong families, thriving communities, and ultimately a strong Nation;

Whereas the services rendered to the children of the United States by their mothers have strengthened and inspired the Nation throughout its history;

Whereas we honor ourselves and mothers in the United States when we revere and emphasize the importance of the role of the home and family as the true foundation of the Nation;

Whereas mothers continue to rise to the challenge of raising their families with love, understanding, and compassion, while overcoming the challenges of modern society; and

Whereas May 11, 2008 is recognized as Mother's Day: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the House of Representatives celebrates the role of mothers in the United States and supports the goals and ideals of Mother's Day.
    Now, the Congress spends a lot of time on seemingly meaningless stuff like this- resolutions honoring someone's golfing buddy, naming post offices, etc. If you've ever watched C-SPAN after 5pm, you have an inkling of what I mean. And they pass by overwhelming majorities, making everyone feel good that Congress has some sort of idea of what the American people are for. The resolution above is no different- there's one done for every major holiday, and they always pass unanimously. Ah, but not this time...

    The vote was initially Roll Call Number 274- a nice clean unanimous vote. But then, Minority Leader Boehner and his minions asked for a reconsideration of the vote, and another vote was taken on the exact same measure, and the original vote was rescinded. Take a look at the no votes cast on Roll Call Number 275- I'll give you a quick translation; Republican names are in italics. Why, you ask? What would cause them to make such a cold hearted decision? Pure politics.

    I understand that the Repugs are all in a tither because the Dems were obstructionist before the balance of power shifted, but come on- Mother's Day? You really want to play politics with the mothers of America? How is this supposed to make those vaunted "soccer moms" feel?

    I have two quick theories:

    1. Some industrious staffer got on the Wikipedia and discovered that in the U.S., Mother's Day was started as a way to unite all mothers against war. And we all know how much the Repugs hate people who hate war...

    2. It's part of their wider campaign to reduce the role of women in society, by removing any acknowledgement that women care for and nurture many of the country's children. Pretty soon, they'll have women reduced to birthing vessels and nothing more, which is just how the wingnuts want it...

    Tuesday, May 06, 2008

    Street Art Tuesday

    Geek on this:

    Bonus points to the reader who figures out the stencil (click to enlarge) before reading the article over at Torontoist. Who says taggers aren't intelligent? Definite bonus points for originality.

    Spotted via Wooster Collective.

    Friday, May 02, 2008

    I nearly forgot!

    In all of my rantings and ravings lately, I almost forgot the single most important food related development in my life in the last six months!

    I found bagels!!!

    Kafe K (sadly, they don't appear to have a real website) in Champaign, a few short blocks from where I sit right now, serves honest to goodness east coast style water bagels, with many different choices of schmears, including my favorite, peanut butter.

    I am one happy camper.