Tweet of the Day: @millie_ho

VERY good point, Millie.

Nudity: A Juxtaposition

Serendipitous synchronicity really is an amazing phenomenon. If your eyes, ears, heart and mind are open, you’ll actually notice that it happens all the time. As I move through my life, I’m often stopped in my tracks by two or more items that I discover, in close succession, from different sources, that happen to be related in some way.

Sometimes it’s sad, as in one case I noticed and blogged about back in May.

But these experiences can elicit a wide range of emotional reactions, and the one I came across this morning made me chuckle heartily.

From The Atlantic:

The Naked World of Spencer Tunick

For 20 years now, New York-based photographer Spencer Tunick has been creating human art installations all over the world, calling together volunteers by the hundreds or thousands, asking them to remove their clothes, and photographing them in massive groups. His philosophy is that “individuals en masse, without their clothing, grouped together, metamorphose into a new shape.” He aims to create an architecture of flesh, where the masses of human bodies blend with the landscape, or juxtapose with architecture.

From McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:

Spiritually Cleansing Naked Places: Some Insider Advice

By Dani Burlison

So you’ve been stressed. You need a vacation. The nagging tendonitis from hours of editing your unpublishable manuscript has left you frustrated, tense. A friend suggests you join her for a day trip to the semi-local Hot Springs resort. You can’t drink there, but you can get a massage and soak your aching, overworked body in hot mineral water while surrounded on all sides by rolling hills and wildlife and fresh air and naked men. Here are some crucial insider tips for making the most of your experience:

Always wear big, dark sunglasses. Again, the sun is bright out there in the wild, wild world of naked hot springs. You need protection. You also need those glasses to shield your delicate eyes from so many unwanted soul stares that are guaranteed while visiting the magic crystal lands of spiritually cleansing naked places. They also serve as a softening screen when presented with the many, many pale white asses and tenderly scalded crispy pink buns that come frighteningly close to your face. Bonus: Dark glasses make it possible for you to ogle the rare attractive man or woman lounging near the pool without looking like a total perv…

Be sure to check out the entirety of both pieces, the former as long as you don’t have a problem with images of nudity, especially at work, and the latter, as long as you can handle some explicit language, slang and otherwise, describing specific body parts.

Grounded

Video Fridays: Freddie Mercury

Every time I hear the song I’ve chosen for today’s Video Fridays installment, Queen‘s Somebody to Love from 1976, I’m deeply, deeply moved.

I heard it last night, and broke down, thinking about Freddie and his struggles as a gay man in a world even more hostile to homosexuals than, sadly, it is today, thinking how he tragically died at the age of 45, thinking of all the amazing music he might have continued to make if he had lived.

There have been some great Rock & Roll vocalists over the years, but Freddie Mercury was in a league WAY above the rest and all his own. He had a self-trained, 4-octive range that could growl with intensity, soar like an eagle, or sing the sweetest falsetto, and you can hear it all in Somebody to Love.

The song, heavily influenced by gospel music, is a pleading prayer, a desperate expression of desire for the healing power of love. There are aching lines about how hard he works, how he wants to break out of what feels like a prison cell, and I can’t help interpret this as representing his years of attempting to come to grips with his sexuality. After all, when it was released, he was still married to a woman, but had begun an affair with a man that led to the end of his marriage.

It’s a truly virtuosic piece of music, and I’m gonna shut up now and let you enjoy it.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Star Trek-iPad Debate Revisited

In October of 2011, I wrote a post about a scene in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that really freaked me out.

There, right before my eyes, was Commander William Riker, sitting alone at a table in Ten Forward, the Starship Enterprise bar and lounge, he’s sipping on a shot of the hard stuff, and he’s staring down at a tiny device on the table, poking at it with his finger, reading and stroking his beard.

It freaked me out, because that’s what I look like every single day at lunch in the dining hall on the campus where I work, using an iPhone 4 that came out in June 2010, while that episode of Star Trek was broadcast 22 years earlier.

Anyway, as I mentioned in my original post on this subject, all you have to do is Google “Star Trek + Apple” to see that, for years, there’s been extensive discussion on the similarities between Star Trek props and Apple iPhones and iPads, and today I’ve come across a new addition in The Atlantic.

The article makes the case that a Star Trek device called simply PADD actually proves that a device larger than the iPhone but smaller than the iPad is really the ideal size for a tablet, the latest in a growing number of arguments that Apple really should release a 7-inch iPad Mini.

Personally, I don’t own an iPad and a tablet hasn’t really appealed to me, because I have my iPhone, which is awesome for doing everything I need/want to do in terms of mobile communication and entertainment.

So, I don’t have a horse in this race.

I would just like to take this opportunity, as I did in October 2011, to remind all of these folks making the Apple-StarTrek comparisons, that the very first iPad was actually envisioned 20 years before Star Trek, by Stanley Kubrick in his 1969 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Tweet of the Day: @Glen_Hansard

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of Irish singer/songwriter Glen Hansard.

I’ve also mentioned how much I love the band R.E.M., and so it’s such a treat today to discover this version of a beautiful, obscure R.E.M. song performed by Glen Hansard on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Free Larry!

I can go days and days scanning the news headlines and only come away from the exercise depressed as hell.

But, every once in a while I see a headline and a story like this and I feel incredibly grateful for something so refreshingly heartwarming.

Man frees 17-pound lobster from Conn. restaurant

WATERFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut man purchased a 17-pound lobster at a Waterford restaurant, then released the crustacean back into Long Island Sound.

Don MacKenzie of Niantic tells The Day of New London ( http://bit.ly/MGvGHb) he knew the lobster, nicknamed “Lucky Larry” by local children, would have to be about 80-years-old to reach his current size and felt it deserved to live.

MacKenzie won’t say how much he paid The Dock restaurant to take Larry off the menu.

He took the lobster back to sea Tuesday, releasing it in a secret location.

MacKenzie received a send-off from a group of children chanting “Let Larry Live” and the lobster was given a salute from the Niantic River Bridge operator who sounded the lift bridge’s siren as the boat carrying it headed back to sea.