Since I have nothing humorous or profound to say at the moment, I thought I’d share this video of Conan O’Brien’s commencement address at Dartmouth. The man is a darn good speaker as well as being funny. Especially around the 17 minute mark.
Coming Next: Speaking of Homeschooling…
The other day my wife posted a link on her Facebook page of this entitled “Procrastination”. It was a rather entertaining video, and led me to the official Youtube website of the young author, a British lad named Charlie McDonnell. Charlie is twenty years old at present and I think he started making his video blog about four years ago. My son Arthur (age 8 1/2) came in and we started watching more of Charlie’s videos. And soon realized it was hard to stop. They are very funny! This young guy is a natural entertainer. He’s fantastically inventive, witty, insightful, and has a delightfully endearing personality.
We soon discovered that Charlie (being British) is a huge fan of the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series. And he’s also a musician who is in a band called ‘Chameleon Circuit‘ who perform their own original songs about ‘Doctor Who’! And the songs I’ve heard are really fun! The band is working on their second CD right now. Here are some samples for all you fans of The Doctor out there:
I think this guy has a great future ahead of him in entertainment of many kinds. And Arthur and my daughter Fiona have been having a riot watching Charlie’s work on-line! So have I. Isn’t this Youtube thing pretty groovy? Anybody can post videos, but Charlie really has talent. Check him out.
A while ago I heard of this wacky video series called Green Porno that was made by Isabella Rossellini about the mating habits of insects and other animals. Actually, I first saw some photos from the series and thought to myself ‘Isabella is either nuts or amazingly cool’ (see above). But that was over a year ago. Then yesterday on the ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ TV show they had an interview with Isabella and talked about her work with training guide dogs (she’s quite an animal lover), and about Green Porno. It was fabulous! And it prompted me to check out the Sundance Channel website to watch some of the videos from the series. And there’s also a new series by Isabella along the same lines called Seduce Me.
I always liked Isabella Rossallini, especially after seeing Blue Velvet. That movie was amazingly disturbing! Probably my favorite performance by Dennis Hopper, too. She looks so much like her mother, who I fell deeply in love with as a kid. And she’s always seemed like such a creative person with many diverse interests, besides being a model and actress. I saw her on 30 Rock a few months back and she was delightful. Isabella seems like the kind of person who’d be tremendous fun to hang out with. I wonder if she’d visit us for dinner sometime? She lives somewhere in New York State!
So check out the videos. They’re short but incredibly entertaining, educational and funny as hell. I especially love this one on earthworm reproduction. It’s a bizarre coincidence, but after watching it last night we came down to let the dogs out this morning and there were worms all over the yard doing the exact same thing! Life is such an education!
I may never look at another earthworm again without thinking of Isabella Rossellini.
Next time, we look at the ever-changing world of Ubuntu, Unity and Gnome 3 for the Linux desktop…
Green moss on a dark, damp trunk,
gray sky, a pale glow bleeding down from beyond…
The first day of Spring.
Soft blush of light, wet hints of color, whispers of warmth to come.
And the earth is brushed with broad strokes of green
grass awakening to that luminescent hint of sun from above.
Sky is alive with sounds, birds flitter
scavenging winter’s husks to construct new nests.
Glorious shoots of crocus and daffodil thrust up through dun-colored leaf
and coffee-dark soil.
They seem to rise higher by the hour
lusting for the light and moist warm air.
Gazing out my back window, music lulls me into a dream
of past vision melding into the archetype of ‘Spring’.
“Come down in time”, the gentle voice croons.
This moment of awareness rooted in Now,
yet each memory reflects the echoes of the echoes
of echoes of memories of every springtime I have known;
echoes of selves that bridge the illusion of years,
like diamonds strung on a spider’s web.
Around and around, it all comes back again
to the cycles of life and death and life…
Now it is Spring.
Geese flew over this morning while I was walking to the bakery on a pastry run (raspberry turnovers, yum!). The sky was gray and it was chilly, but there’s hope Spring may yet arrive. Yesterday was brilliantly sunny, but now it’s raining. Rain is good. At least it means the temperature is rising!
Last night before going to bed my 5-year-old daughter began singing, as she frequently does. We were in her bedroom and she stood on her bed in her Princess nightgown and she began singing. Apparently she was inspired by a song she heard on the radio, by someone I can’t remember. Every line began with “Did you ever feel…” and then Fiona went into her stream-of-consciousness thing, adding whatever lyrics popped into her adorable head. And it was incredible! I was mesmerized as she belted out line after line, her voice rising and falling so rhythmically, the sweet inflections of that young voice like the chanting of an angel.
It went on for many minutes. And as I listened my body began slowly swaying to the tempo, just listening, as I flowed into a timeless, trance-like state. I forgot about everything else. It was truly amazing! And Fiona herself was carried along by the flow and power of her own awesome voice as she wove this magical spell within the space of her room. I think it lasted about fifteen minutes or so. And then she was done. Time unfroze.
But while she was singing I noticed some paper and a brown colored pencil and I started trying to write some of the words that came effortlessly out of her brain. I’m afraid I was only able to jot down a pitiful few words out of the stream of what I heard. The darn pencil was dull and I had to press hard to make an impression! But here’s what I managed to retain:
Did you ever feel… that you’re the first person to know you can be
whatever you want to be; a singer, an artist, a dancer, an astronaut, a teacher,
Did you ever feel… that you’re the best of everyone, that you can love everybody?
Did you ever feel… that you’re the most beautiful person in the world, like you’re
the first person to become a butterfly?
Did you ever feel… that you’re the first person to escape this business in New York,
that after one o’clock the whole world will shimmer?
Did you ever feel… like you’re the sun, to laugh and run and dance and sing
and no one can take that away from us?
Did you ever feel… that this is the day; you can be whatever you want to be
and together we can take over the world?
One of these times I need to record that little girl! We’ve made a few recordings with the computer in the past, but what I heard last night was absolutely amazing. That’s it for now. I’ll end with a quote:
If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing. –Marc Chagall