Wednesday, November 29, 2006

3 Cheers for Thinking!

There's a bit of coverage for the end of November, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), most of it, oddly, is in New Hampshire, but I ran across this article in the UK (where the Brits have blown us Yanks away with word counts!!) The icWales notes:
Full-time novelists spend their working lives alone. This is a situation most people would run from.

But in such isolation, like a monk entering a trance, writers delve into a fictional world. This is an alternative reality yet the people, experiences and emotions are drawn from the author's own existence. Such an enterprise sounds dangerous. It inevitably involves a confrontation with your own history, hurts and desires.

Around 75,000 people are taking part in this exercise right now, thanks to NaNoWriMo. That means a mass of humanity - eerily identical in size to the prison population predicted by the Home Office for 2006 - will spend this month watching less television and instead indulging in introspection.

In a society where so-called search engines flash diversionary advertisements and even the wilderness bleats to the sound of ring tones, it is exciting that thousands are sitting down to think. A true natural wonder.
I thought that was a nice way to put it. Sitting down to think. Actually, since I write to music blaring, I'm usually "bouncing and dancing around" to think but it's the idea that counts, right? :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

NaNoWriMo Days Near an End

And the validating power of Tuckerizations become known throughout the NanoWorld!!

I no longer live with a cat but if any of my prior 4-leggeds had even looked at the warm keyboard to sit on, that would have been the end of our love affair. Their sitting place is on my feet, thank you. How else am I supposed to keep my toes warm and tickled--and a cat playing "swat this piggy to market" with your toes can add an interesting diversion to killing people and blowing things up. On the keyboard, they're just shedding.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A World Gone Mad!!

It's sheer madness, I tell you. First, exploding grannies. Then, bomb-bears. Now it's Nazi gingerbread men and suicidal snowmen!! And if it all seems too much to take in, just have a little Hitler wine. Yee-gads!

Okay, the Nazi gingerbread men were a misguided artist's attempt to make people stop and think, but he's just coveting Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes (whose fictional home was in Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and their tormenting of snowmen for years. No one can destroy snowmen like lil' ol' Calvin. He can even do a whole fleet of them - Yay, Calvin :-) Parents and other sensible adults just don't understand.

Check out these comic / photo pairings at nBLOG for real-life artists who've tried before to imitate the great spiky-haired tyke. Beware the car! Jaws! *dah-dah-dum-dum* *dah-dah-dum-dum* *screeeeee* Spring is Coming!!

Agggghhhhh... I'm melting... melting. *need more Hitler wine*

But McGuckin sure has a new slant using gingerbread and dancing faeries in our heads against us. Here's the basic story of the Gingerbread Nazis from USA Today (the story was covered in Australia and the UK, too, but it happened right here in Ohio, America's Heartland, so I'll source the US press.)

Charlie Palmer, the owner of Watson Hardware on Main Street in Oberlin, Ohio, has thrown a blanket over the diorama and ordered it removed by tomorrow (Tues 28 Nov 06). Ohio artist Keith McGuckin has created displays for Palmer's store window more than once.

“He’s gone way overboard this time,” Palmer told the paper. “A few of his other displays were on the edge, but never that crazy.

How on the edge? Last year's window wonderland featured "a 'caroler bashing' snowman and a little boy excited about using his chemistry set to create crystal meth," the Chronicle-Telegram says.

McGuckin assembled his creation Friday, after Palmer went home. He said about 200 people showed up and only one complained. {...} the other part of McGuckin's display, remained uncovered: a suicidal snowman sitting in a salon chair under a hairdryer, trying to end it all after a former lover came out with a tell-all book.

Alas, I cannot seem to find a photo of this particular suicidal snowman. Methinks Mr. Palmer has threatened all cameras coming near the store window! If any of you finds a photo of this particular suicidal snowman, please do share!

McGuckin explained himself thusly:
“I want people to say ‘Oh, my gosh.’ And once they look at it, say, ‘It is kind of pretty,’ The lights and the shadows and the colors really make it a spectacular-looking piece of art. Maybe I just find beauty in bizarre places.”

Personally, I think he's just jealous of Watterson's Calvin and trying to out-do the little spiky-haired tyke. Cannot be done. Watterson was a genius. One of a kind.

We miss you, Bill!!

Exploding Teddy Bears, too!

Last week, we had exploding grannies (not the first female suicide bomber but the oldest). Now it's exploding teddy bears. From the IDF news briefs:

An IDF force uncovered a bomb-building facility in Nablus Friday night during a cooperative operation of IDF and GSS. In the laboratory they found three cloth belts filled with explosives, toy dolls with wires protruding from them, a hollowed-out coat used to hide the explosive material, 20 lightbulbs and bulb holders used to ignite the explosives, test tubes, an empty gas tank, empty pipes, batteries, 40 liters of oxygen gas, nuts and bolts, and more. The force detonated the explosives in a controlled manner

Great. What's next? Exploding babies? God help us all. Download and watch the WMV of the IDF'ers on site.