Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Praying Mantis

Hopefully it won't be long until we can spot these guys in the garden. This looks just like the real thing! More origami  at the Oriland website.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Day, Earth!

Embedded image permalink

A few facts:

  • the average person throws away approximately 4 lbs. of garbage everyday
  • plastics and aluminum cans can take 500 years to break down
  • carpooling twice a week could reduce greenhouse gases by 1600 lbs. each year
  • an easy thing to do: be straw-free  
  • Humankind has not woven the web of life.We are but one thread within it.Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves

Embedded image permalink

Embedded image permalink

Exit Music

Dies Irae - Days of Wrath

Dies Irae is a term that frequently crops up in crossword puzzles. It refers to a medieval Latin poem about the Day of Judgement that was set to music and has since been part of the Roman Catholic and Anglican liturgy. More info about Dies Irae here .

The tune/chant of the Dies Irae is very recognizable:

\relative c' {
  f8 e f d e c d4 d \breathe
  f8 f([ g)] f([ e)] d([ c)] e f e d4 \breathe
  a8 c( d) d d( c) e f e d \bar "|."
\addlyrics {
  Di -- es i -- rae di -- es il -- la,
  Sol -- vet __ sae -- clum __ in fa -- vil -- la:
  Tes -- te __ Da -- vid __ cum Si -- byl -- la

No doubt you have heard it, if not as part of a requiem, then in more modern contexts referring to death or doom. 

Tom Allen, a trombonist/CBC Radio Two host has recently started to make musical videos which are both educational and entertaining. This wonderful, approximately 6 minute video released last week features the Dies Irae. 

On Saturday morning I was lucky to catch an interview on Radio One with Tom Allen in which he mentions that the video was filmed in a single "take" at Bishop Strachan School in Toronto. There is also a shorter video about the making of Exit Music:

Finally, if you are not asleep yet and are still interested, are a Trekkie and/or have time, here is Tom's first video, The Final Frontier:

Monday, April 21, 2014

You Have to See This!

A young Canadian, Darcy Oake, wows the audience and the judges at Britain's Got Talent two days ago:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Inspired by Religion - 3

Basilica of St. Francis, Krakow, Poland by JerzyW, via Flickr

Embedded image permalink
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran

Bali wedding chapel

Embedded image permalink
The Church of the Transfiguration of Our Saviour, Russia

St Andreas church, Dusseldorf

Embedded image permalink
Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, India

Gloucester Cathedral, England

Embedded image permalink
St. Catherine Church, Krakow, Poland

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Two weeks ago I was at the start of a 7-day cruise of the western Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy. We visited Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Mexico and Cozumel, Mexico. It was so great to soak up that Caribbean warmth (both weather and people) at the end of a long Canadian winter. Here are a few photos.

Looking aft

Looking aft

Looking forward

Turtle Farm, Grand Cayman

Costa Maya


Castaway Cay

It was an amazing get-away! I highly recommend a Disney Cruise to cure winter blahs!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Inspired by Religion - 2

Embedded image permalink
Cathedrale de Strasbourg, FRANCE

Embedded image permalink
Santuario de la Mare de Deu de Montserrat Spain

Embedded image permalink
Fatima Masumeh Shrine, Iran

Embedded image permalink
The Blue Church Bratislava Slovakia

 Embedded image permalink
Pagodas, Myanmar

Embedded image permalink
Barcelona Cathedral by Murray MacLeod

Embedded image permalink
Thistle Chapel, St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

Embedded image permalink
Notre Dame in Paris

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


The 2014 Decorah Eaglets have arrived. D18 hatched last Wednesday, April 2, D19 on Thursday, April 3 and finally, D20 yesterday, April 7.

Mom and Dad are suddenly much busier, keeping the little balls of fluff warm and fed. The nest is littered with carcasses of trout, squirrels and other small prey or road-kill. I snapped these pics with my phone this afternoon.

It's slightly addictive, watching on the live-streaming (24/7) web cam , with audio and, at night, infrared lighting. Often you can watch as an operator moves the camera remotely to catch a view of the surrounding area or as he zooms in for a closer look. There are also lots of videos available to watch if you miss something. The easiest place I've found to access these, with additional information is on the Decorah Eagle Facebook page .

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

More Hand Art

It's so surprising sometimes how creative people are! Found these on Twitter the other day:

Embedded image permalink

Monday, April 7, 2014

April Fools

I was away on April 1, but found this video when I got back and couldn't stop laughing.

Oh, and by the way, the cryptic notes found in the Western University Library recently have been officially declared to be "gibberish". Apparently the notes were part of a 200-note student project two years ago. The student involved wants to remain anonymous.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Inspired by Religion - 1

Embedded image permalink
Thorncrown Chapel, Arkansas

Embedded image permalink
The Blue Mosque, Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan (Central Asia) 

Embedded image permalink
Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Embedded image permalink
Milan Cathedral

Embedded image permalink
Yesil Vadi Mosque Istanbul, Turkey 

Embedded image permalink
Notre-Dame Basilica - Montreal, Canada

Embedded image permalink
Spanish Synagogue, Prague