Category: Thing of the Day

Some love for Birthday Salad

I think I discovered Birthday Salad shortly after I got my Vine account. While I never really gained any traction on Vine (I think I managed around 20 followers), I did enjoy the oddball stuff that people were doing with it, six seconds at a time.

Head and shoulders above most is Birthday Salad, a project by Brooklyn-based artist, musician, and illustrator Becky Lovell. Her Vines always loop perfectly–which was pretty hard to do before Vine introduced better editing tools–and juxtapose amazing found footage with awesome music.

I think Birthday Salad is now on the shelf. Lovell put the embedded complete collection of her Vines on YouTube a few days ago if you want to catch up. They’re a perfect waste of time … but not quite the same as having them loop over and over again. I recommend going straight to her Vine to watch these beautiful nuggets vex you ad infinitum.

Thing of the day: a chat with the sun

It’s extremely cold in Fargo-Moorhead today. The schools are closed and a good chunk of life has ground to a chilly halt.

I’m working from home today as a result, and in an effort to put an end to this madness I had a quick meeting with the one entity that could really do something about it: the sun.

The sun was out doing his/her work and looks to be putting in a full day today, and in our talk s/he made it clear that s/he is doing all we can really expect him/her to do.

“Can’t you do something about this?” I said.

“You’re the ones with the wacky atmosphere,” s/he said. “And, if I were to turn up the heat just for your sake, I’d probably do some damage somewhere else.” S/he proceeded to tell me that it’s 91 degrees Fahrenheit in Rio de Janeiro, and is it really fair to them to heat things up just because of our polar vortex?

S/he also brought up axial tilt, saying “you’re not expecting me to claim having anything to do with that, do you?” When I said, “well, maybe,” s/he replied defiantly: “prove it.”

By this time I was losing all feeling in all parts of my body so I figured I’d let the sun carry the day (pun intended). The sun, by the way, is a rather decent enough heavenly body. A little prickly and maybe a bit bossy, but generally a good mass of incandescent gas and gigantic nuclear furnace to have around. Conclusion: don’t blame the sun, but also don’t expect it to really give a fig, either.

Thing of the Day: something my four year old said, and synesthesia


Earlier today, I had to share the following anecdote with my Facebook friends:

Last night, we watched the Doctor Who ep where Amy and the Doctor visit Vincent Van Gogh. Edie said “he paints what he sees!” I asked her what she paints, not really expecting so concise an answer:

“I paint what I think. I paint what I feel.”

I wish I could communicate the simple conviction in her voice. It was awesome.

In particular, Edie was responding to a scene in which Van Gogh emphatically shares his perception of the world around him and the many wonders of nature he attempts to capture with his painting. At one point, he talks about the sounds that colors make. I, in no way, have any reason to doubt the historical accuracy of Doctor Who, but I was curious to know if Van Gogh was, indeed, a synesthete. Turns out he might have been.

Synesthesia could be considered another wonder of nature. In sensing one piece of phenomena, synesthetes will involuntarily experience an additional sensation, meaning they might associate a color with a certain letter, or a color with a certain type of sound. They can literally hear color, or see sound. I find that trait enviable for some reason. Seems to me like I’m missing out on something if I don’t get a bonus sensory release when I experience it.

Moreover, I find it endearing that her interest was piqued by seeing an artist talk about painting on her favorite TV show and made a connection based on that. And, she’s a pretty good painter–easily my favorite artist.

(Image from ‘Vincent and the Doctor’ via Wikipedia.)