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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Las Fallas

Valencia welcomes spring with the Fallas festival which focuses around ninots. Ninots are tiny figures (compared to the ginormous Fallas) which are life-like statues that are fashioned out of combustible materials such as wood, cardboard and plaster. These ninots are usually satirical renditions of political and other controversial figures from the Spanish life.
The grand celebrations of Las Fallas terminate on the 19th of March at midnight when the ninots are ignited and destroyed. Every year some of them survive the flames from a popular election called "Ninot indultat" (Pardoned Ninot).

Here are some of the ninots taken from various flickr photostreams

Image credit: xixarel1

Image Credit: Piper

Image credit : rachk2

Image credit: bostonian

Image Credit : rachk2

Image credit : Senyor F

Image credit : Piper

image credit : rach2k

image credit : rach2k

image credit : laura

image credit : Pyronious

Monday, March 28, 2011

W/W - The Guinea Pig Ate My Homework !

Rodney was doing his Math homework and playing with Oreo, our pet guinea pig, when the phone rang and he went to answer it.

Minutes later, he found Oreo munching on his Math paper. The guinea pig ate his homework literally.

And yes, his teacher bought his excuse.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ode To The Fart

Here's a cute e-mail forward to share.

Remember we all do it some time or another!

A fart it is a pleasant thing,
It gives the belly ease,
It warms the bed in winter,
And suffocates the fleas.

A fart can be quiet,
A fart can be loud,
Some leave a powerful,
Poisonous cloud

A fart can be short,
Or a fart can be long,
Some farts have been known
To sound like a song......

A fart can create
A most curious medley,
A fart can be harmless,
Or silent but deadly.

A fart might not smell,
While others are vile,
A fart may pass quickly,
Or linger a while......

A fart can occur
In a number of places,
And leave everyone there,
With strange looks on their faces.

From wide-open prairie,
To small elevators,
A fart will find all of
Us sooner or later.

But farts are all bad,
Is simply not true-
We must not forget.......
Sweet old farts like me and you!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Catalog Living

I stumbled upon this cute site that chronicles the lives of imaginary characters Gary and Elaine (and their kids) who live in our catalogs. Check out the site, if you haven't already.

Here are some of the captioned catalogs

Elaine so wanted to lounge outside, but when she saw a romantic moment between the two soda bottles, she left them in peace.

For heaven’s sake Gary, the tulips just naturally bend like that. They’re not “trying to steal the pie.”

Good news, Gary. Another couple has declined our New Year’s Eve invitation because our living room makes them seasick.

Nathan, for the last time, your shark robe hood does NOT have “shark breath.” Put it back on.

Gary and Elaine still aren’t sure where the kids’ slow progress in learning animal names is coming from.

While Elaine wondered where all the apples had disappeared to, Gary thought he had a good idea.

Elaine! The owl had an accident.

The kids have been eating a lot fewer cookies ever since Gary started making decapitated reindeer noises every time they open the jar.

In a final attempt to get the lilies to stand up straight in the vase, Elaine hung a picture and hoped they would get the idea.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Cracked Pot

Here's some good old Chinese wisdom to share.

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck..

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full...

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water...

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.' The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?' 'That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.' For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

Embrace the flaws and imperfections in ourselves and others. Perhaps the very things you perceive as faults in yourself and others are precisely the things that make us special and useful to the world.
So, to all of my cracked pot pallies, I love you just the way you are. Have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

Monday, March 21, 2011

W/W - Ice Cream Potong

One of my favourite things I grew up on was the sound of a handbell ringing in the distance. It could only mean one thing - the "ice-cream potong uncle" was making his rounds in the neighbourhood on his trusty old bicycle.

A peek inside 'uncle's container

"Ice-cream potong" literally translates as 'cut ice cream'. Back in those days, when not every household enjoyed the luxury of a refrigerator, ice-cream potong was a popular treat among kids and even adults especially on hot days in Malaysia where the weather is summery all year round. The popsicles were frozen in long rolls and wrapped in thin paper. 'Uncle' would cut the rolls into the length you requested, then skewer the cut popsicle with a stick made from the spines of coconut leaves. The popsicles came in a variety of flavours, usually durian, chendol, corn and red-bean.

A rarity nowadays, I was delighted and surprised to find an ice-cream potong seller on a recent visit to my hometown. Curious, I asked 'uncle' how his business was in these times. He lamented that kids don't seem to enjoy the traditional popsicle these days and he could probably be the last ice-cream potong seller we see around.

Saddened by the thought, I wistfully savoured my last 'real' ice-cream potong. Sure, you could always get them at the frozen department in supermarkets where the popsicles are sold in pre-packed boxes but they aren't nearly quite the same.
Nothing quite compares to the pleasure of hearing that familiar 'ding a ling a ling' sound and uncle's shouts of 'ice-cream potong' as we kids raced against one another, coins jingling in our pockets, to be the first in line to get the icy cold treat on a sweltry day.

Rodney enjoying his first 'real' ice-cream potong

Ice-cream potong sold in the supermarkets

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pete Mason - The Post Pop Art Man

Kate Middleton and Prince William

British artist Pete Mason aka The Post Pop Art Man creates these pixellated images from thousands of recyled postage stamps.
Each stamp has to be soaked to remove the envelope backing, dried and sorted into colours and then individually glued in place. The stamps are obtained from several different sources, friends, colleagues, students and family contribute but most are obtained from COURT PHILATELICS in Leighton Buzzard who are happy to supply those interested in the creative use of postage stamps.

Mr. Nasty (Simon Cowell)

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Cliff Richard

Margaret Thatcher

Nelson Mandela

The Queen

Princess Diana

Martin Luther King


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Craig Sonnenfeld - Money Origami

Dollar bill origami, also known as money origami, is just as the name suggests. It's origami using dollar bills instead of paper.
Handing someone cold hard cash as a gift may seem a little crass and money origami may just be the perfect solution. For a housewarming gift, fold a fish for good luck. If someone is graduating, fold them a shirt or a bowtie! Leave a tip that leaves an impression. Delight that waitress with a dollar bill puppy ! The possibilities are endless!

Enjoy these creations by Craig Sonnenfeld aka Craigfoldsfive on flickr.

Dollar Bill Flip Flops

Dollar Bill Pig

Dollar Bill Puppy

Dollar Bill Camel

Dollar Bill Shirt and Tie

Dollar Bill Butterfly

Dollar Bill Elephant

Dollar Bill Walrus

Dollar Bill Beetle

Dollar Bill Koi

Monday, March 7, 2011

Steven J. Backman - Toothpick Portraits

Check out these wow-worthy toothpick portraits by San Francisco based artist Steven J. Blackman who has been creating this unique art form for over thirty years.

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Tiger Woods

American Gothic

The Early Show

Oprah Winfrey

Frida Kahlo

Clint Eastwood

David Letterman

Billy Crystal

Queen Elizabeth II