Archive for March, 2006

Monet on the Mind

San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk (1908), Claude MonetLast night Monica and I curled up on the couch to watch one of my favorite movies The Thomas Crown Affair (the 1999 remake). It’s cinema candy which I can’t help but stuff my face with now and again. Also, Monica hadn’t ever seen the film! That injustice had to be rectified. (And she still hasn’t seen Sneakers, the horror!) So, getting back to the meet of this message, I was walking across the Diag today on my way to class when I notice a girl walking toward me carrying a frame. At first I only see the back side of it and assume it’s empty, but as she gets nearer she happened to turn it over. Consider that it really isn’t often that I see people walking around town with framed prints. I can’t specifically recall any instances in fact, but I’m sure it happens and it is hard to imagine I haven’t seen it before. But, it is a rare occurance and even considering the popularity of Monet in the college-dorm setting I still think it is very freaky that she was carrying the very same painting that plays the featured role in The Thomas Crown Affair, Claude Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore by Twilight. ‘Sup with that?


Easy on the Eyes

It is true that the woman in this picture is hot, but is it wrong to think this is even hotter? Yes, I think it is; but, that doesn’t stop me from loving it.


Stereolab at the Majestic

Stereolab plays the Majestic Theater in DetroitLast night Christina, Katie, Jeremy, Monica, Heidi, and I went into Detroit to see Stereolab [Wikipedia] [Google] at The Majestic Theater. The sound and presentation was, in “a word” friggin’-sweet! The Majestic is a fairly spare venue in a somewhat questionable area—Monica had her car broken into just outside the Theater some time ago. But, it seemed to all work well for the ‘Lab and their sound. Afterwards the adjoining bowling alley was really hopping with the hipster crowd and we were pleased to discover our car safe and secure.  It was a tasty, cream-filled weekend; I’m still dabing the sticky spots at the corners of my mouth.


Fruit Snack Jackpot

Two Fruit SnacksI won the Fruit Snack jackpot! Last week, when Monica and I were studying in my office, we got the munchies and since all the businesses were closing early for spring break she suggested a vending machine. Though I knew there were some in the physics buildings I’ve rarely thought of them. Though Monica showed distain for my gummy fetish, I went for the gummy fruit, “made with real fruit juice” just the way I like it. Well, the money went in, the proper buttons were pressed, and the corkscrew turned and turned. Down fell one Farley’s Fruit Snacks and then… miraculously… a second one teatered on the brink, quivering with fruitiness, yearning to leap free! Their was a moment of hushed anticipation from the gathering crowd (Monica, two ion trapping experiments, and me), I gave the machine a few good whacks and down tumbled the fruitiness to a roaring crowd (except the ion traps, they have to say very, very quiet, ions are fickle creatures). Sometimes life is a glorious thing.


Toronto’s Population

Today, just before going to bed, I happened across an article describing why London would be a good setting for the new GTA4 (Grand Theft Auto 4), which is a game I have “some interest in” and that is due out later this year. At first glance the article has the intense stench of immaturity and longwindedness; it uses phrases such as “it is purest logic”.  Don’t bother reading it.  Better info about the game is at  Anyway, my point is not about GTA4, it is about Toronto and it’s population. The article lists some city populations to make a comparison between previous cities used as inspiration for GTA games (NYC, Miami, LA-SF-LV) and London (which may inspire GTA4). I took note that they listed Toronto’s population as 2.4M, fourth largest in the US and Canada behind New York, Los Angles, and Chicago. Of course, as the dicussion for the “List of Cities by Population” article on Wikipedia indicates, determing what should be included in a city and what even counts as a city can be tricky issues. In fact, the list of cities with highest population includes Toronto, but Chicago doesn’t make the cut (though rightfully even Toronto shouldn’t have made the cut because Hong Kong was excluded because it isn’t technically a “city”, a pointless issue to quible over to my mind.  Nevertheless, it seems clear that Toronto is similar in population, possibly slightly smaller, than Chicago. It is an interesting issue because I was discussion it recently with someone. I knew Toronto was the largest city in Canada (the metropolitan area contains about 1/6 of all the people in Canada), but it wasn’t clear to me that it was above 2 million or as close in population to Chicago, somehow it seems a little smaller than that to me.


Gordon Freeman’s CERN Adventure

As promised in a recent post, I have put a few old pictures from my first year at CERN up in the gallery.  They include some photos from the second time I explored the tunnels under 184, showing it off to the other students for the first time.  The folder is Week 20 from 2004.   There were later trips where we went farther, but I don’t think I took photos, these are fairly representative.


Gum on The Bay

The Bay by Hellen FrankenthaleI just heard on the Cobert Report that the Detroit Institute of Art had a little run-in with a 12 year old and some Wrigley’s Extra Polar Ice. The painting, The Bay by Helen Frankenthale, is worth over $1 million, and so every effort will be made to restore it to pristine abstract glory. But, there will forever remain a more fundamental tarnish: Steven Cobert has now added “non-representational art” to his Threat-Down (#3 or 4, I think). There’s an article about the incident in the Detroit Free Press.

Speaking of which. Not long ago I was browsing BoingBoing and came across an article about a special show at the Tate Britian that centers around The Nightmare, a painting that looked very familar. It turns out that the painting is in the DIA collection and I had visited the museum just a few weeks before (for a Rodin show). It’s nice to see that Detroit still has enough spark left in it that it can be loaning out art to the likes of the Tate Britian.

(BTW, now that I have been staring at the The Bay for the 10 minutes that it took to type this, I’m starting to realize it looks supiciously like that old/young lady optical illusion. It is very unnerving.  She has red lipstick.)



I’ve been really into Mythbusters recently. Here are a couple dramatic things I found referenced on their discussion boards while browsing this morning:

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“Spring” Break Toronto

I just got back from a short trip to Toronto with Monica. The pictures are in my gallery. The drive up was a little slow, a stretch of the highway between London and Toronto was not fully plowed and traffic sometimes was at a standstill. We stayed two nights and almost exactly 48 hours in the city. The hotel, Bond Place, which we found on Quikbook, was nice enough, very centrally located, and cheap. The first night we just did a little walking and had dinner at a pub, where I had a nice rendition of French dip, something I’ve been craving for the last week. The second day we visited Chinatown, The Art Gallery of Ontario, and Kensington Market as well as poking our heads into a few stores along Queen Street. Both lunch and dinner were extremely good: lunch at a Chinese dumpling place and dinner at a Peruvian place, Boulevard Cafe. At Boulevard Cafe I had what probably was the best prepared tuna steak I have ever had, of course you have to consider that we spent around $120CAD for the meal, including a good wine. On the third day we walked to the Distillery District, stopping in a few of the nice furniture stores along the way. After that we walked toward the water, enjoyed a bench for a short while, and then walked back up through downtown to Eaton Centre and then our car. Our final dinner, out of practicality (we were tired and it was right near our car), was at the Hard Rock Cafe; it was the first time I have been in one. Try as they might, we escaped without buying the Hard Rock Cafe Monopoly game. The drive back was very straightforward, it took 5h10 including a quick gas stop and at one point a slight course correction (somehow navigating is in Canada is not quit as easy as it is in the States, I don’t think the signage is quite as informative).

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