Saturday, October 30, 2010

What is this bug trying to express? or What is this bug saying?

Are we built to last? By Lindsay

"Long after our society is dead and gone, will people pay good money to stroll through its ruins?"

I honestly wonder if we will have any ruins in our society to stroll through, especially from this recent era of the disposable lifestyle. Cookie cutter box houses are made to last about twenty years, anything of note gets plowed under before we can really see the value in it...

The Roman Empire lasted hundreds upon hundreds of years, and our baby country has little over 200 candles on its cake. The Roman's planned for eternal power, while our country, unfortunately, just plans for next week. 

The Egg Scale Card and Standing Stones from Sara

Hello all!
Soooooo nice to be home, partly because it's quite nice to have access to my laptop so I can now upload the postcards I have received!

The first is the card, and the question, that led to the post, "The Egg Scale."  Excuse its condition, it is a well traveled postcard, having visited three continents in the pocket of a beat-up pair of cargo pants.

The second is a new one from Sara...enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Where would you build your castle? By Lindsay

Remember the film Baron Munchousen, or that rather depressing, but visually amazing film, What Dreams May Come? Those fantasyland places where any, and everything, can happen would a good starting place for where I will build my castle. The castle needs to be grand, wacky, magical, Harry Potter-ish most likely. The picture on the post card with painted skies, cotton candy clouds, and reflecting waters stands in for a lovely location. I'll go with that. 

And my favorite room? Well, I would have to have a perfectly circular round room with an enormous billowy couch curving around the entire wall (probably purple or magenta couch, but who knows why), with floor to celling book shelves filled to the brim with any and ever book imaginable. The glass roof of the room opens to the sky. OH, and it also has a hidden secret passage way leading to a killer, fully stocked kitchen. 

That was fun. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Double Header - Two Postcards in One Day!

Surprise! This week I received two post cards with very interesting questions. I will post the front of the cards with my answers...

From Sara: Where will you build your castle? And what is your favorite room?

From Kris in Greece: Long after our society is dead and gone, will people pay good money to stroll through its ruins?

Now I've gotta think about those answers...

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Egg Scale

As a scientist, I suppose I am giving away a trade secret by publicly exposing the egg scale, a measurement system little known outside of the scientific arena.  Yet, within the field, the egg scale is frequently utilized and professional scientists are quick to memorize the most useful conversions, such as the fact that the average droplet of water is approximately 2.534 femto-eggs in circumference.

Every scientist also knows the origin of the egg scale.  It stems from a mandatory admission requirement for chemistry departments.  In order to apply for college, all prospective chemistry majors must first undergo the "egg test", an egg-mediated measurement of one's head to ascertain whether or not said head is of suitable egginess for acceptance into the field.  This test is the first in a battery of assessments, to prevent unnecessary administration of the more difficult, painful and potentially embarrassing pocket-protection detection and horn-rimmed-glassy assay.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oooh, This Could Be Dangerous, Post Card #2 By Lindsay

As a child and young teen I had a very vivid imagination, setting stage upon stage in my mind (my Barbies and I were very close). As an older teen, those kinds of internal plays got a little more dangerous. It became easy to fall into the fantasy of my own mind where everything ended up perfectly, everything exactly as I wanted it. Then real life came, knocked on my forehead, and reminded me that plays are nice, but they always end.  Unfortunately, part of my growing up included booting the players from the stage, and once you do that, they don't really want to come back (no matter how helpful it would be as a writer to have the little people in your head act out plot lines a la Robert Louis Stevenson...).

Post Script: "Robert Lewis Stevenson, famed spinner of dark tales, had his own little men in his head, that he exploited for fame and profit." Hear more about that here:  Radio Lab Fascinating stuff. 

Turning the inspiration tradition on its head

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. I am currently at an airport with no way to upload photos, yet I have had time to craft a response to the post card accompanying me on my travels. So I have decided to post the response before posing the question. My next post will be an answer to a question, edited to remove the actual question from the post. As only Sara and I know what the actual question was, I encourage readers to take a guess. When I am able, I will upload the postcard. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Week 2, Inspiration Tradition Format: Quotation & Question

"Shakespeare famously wrote: "All the world's a stage and all of us are merely players..." 

- Or something of the sort. 

  • Have you ever set a stage in you own mind and set players upon it?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Perspectives on the Happiest Place on Earth by Kris and Einstein

I must begin to answer this question by pointing out the obvious: one's joy or lack thereof at walking on another planet neither confirms nor denies the status of Disneyland as the happiest place on earth, as other planets, by definition, are not earth.  Now that we've gotten THAT out of the way... 
Clearly, to ascertain the happiest place on earth or any other solar body, one must consider Einstein's theory of relativity.  Indeed, while the happiest place on earth may be Disneyland to a small child, the happiest place on earth to me would most likely be something closer to a wine bar.  To my dog, Nate's Point or Coronado Dog Beach.  However, neither I, small child nor canine have the relevant experience to be considered experts on the relative happiness of all places on earth.  To truly answer this question, one clearly must have an unbiased account of ALL places on earth, a virtually impossible feat.  But I'd volunteer to conduct the experiment.

The First Post Card - Happiest Place on Earth?

By Lindsay

As a lifelong Disneyland visitor, and space enthusiast, I may have some insight on this question. At three years old I made my first trip to "The Happiest Place on Earth," and have experienced the park as a child, as a teenager ditching school with her best friend to ride rides, as a snarky young adult pondering visitor's wardrobe choices while people watching (really, stilettos? or, really, did you even change out of your nasty pajamas from three weeks ago?), and now as a mom of two young boys growing up with the park themselves. A funny thing happened, though, on my last visit. 

A tradition for my birthday happens to be a trip to the park (that is why I know I went there at three years old). Never lovelier, Disneyland in mid-September empties its summer bloat of visitors as children make their way back to school. I looked forward to this, probably twenty-somethingth birthday celebrated at the park, but the first ride set the tone of my day. Let's just get this out in the open. I HATE THE PETER PAN RIDE. I hate the claustrophobic line. I hate the fact that that freaking lame ride has such an enormous line.  

I ended up having a fine enough day, but my children, who still nap, began wearing thinner and thinner. Four or five hours in, my three year old's eyes glossed over and he was doing a pretty good impression of a Haunted Mansion zombie spook. My little one, barely two, through himself into limp bodied fits and tried to weave his way to the front of every line between the legs of Japanese tourists. 

So, Happiest Place on Earth? Very subjective. Seems to me there are more tantrum filled tears than smiley-laughs come 4pm on Main Street, and not just from worn out parents. 

Week 1, Inspiration Tradition Format: Question

This Week: Is Disneyland really the happiest place on Earth? 
-I would be filled w/joy to walk on another planet!

The Inspiration Tradition

In her infinite creativity, travel writer and scientist, Sara McBride, began what she called an Inspiration Tradition. Each week she sends an inspiring text in the form of a question, thought, recipe or story summary by postcard to fellow writer and scientist, Kristen Bower, and food writer Lindsay Natale. This blog was created on 10-10-10 as a place to share the inspiration.

The first postcard