Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tiny hamsters and face-painting.

I made these about a week and a half ago, but didn't get around to taking photos.

More OpWall crafting, also from Knitting Mochimochi.  My sister saw the pattern for tiny hamsters and picked out scrap yarn from my box.  Coming soon: the tiny mountains I made the same weekend.

I spent Saint Patrick's Day face-painting with the fund-raising group.  It was a nice way to spend the day.  I only have this very awkward photo of my handiwork on myself though.

The swirly thing was by me, the shamrock was not.

I also went on this!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nature is majestic.

I had labs four out of five days this week.  They partly consisted of drawing pre-prepared slides.  Here is a three-day-old chick embryo:

I tried to select the one which looked least like an alien.  There wasn't one.  But at least this week is getting me drawing, it's been a while!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More than the sum of the parts.

I was raised as a Catholic.  It didn't work out.  The parts I agree with are common sense about being a half-decent person, and the parts I don't I really don't.  One can't easily avoid Catholicism in Ireland though.  Today, for example, is Ash Wednesday.  And one minor thing I take issue with is the instruction to
Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.
I believe this is meant as an instruction in humility - don't go thinking you're so great, you will wither and die and vanish.  This is certainly true regardless of whether you're religious or not.  But what does that have to do with anything?  The fine details don't matter - meat and chemicals and a calcium-based frame are a little more complicated than 'dust', but it's still just stuff, so no big deal.

Whether I care about this or not depends really on whether "You" addresses the individual or all members of the race.  I will live for about sixty more years, then I will die and in a hundred years few people will know my name.  Less, if I don't have children.  If it's the race, though, that's just silly.  These bundles of stuff can think and feel and know.  They can fall in love and burn with hatred and get their hearts broken.  They can create purpose and meaning and gods.  They can care and they can pretend it matters and they can try and try and try.  And I don't understand how that is cheapened by the fact that we're stuff.  I really and truly don't.   I think that's quite an achievement for dust or chemicals or whatever you attribute life to.  I mightn't be much as an individual, but as a phenomenon, I'm pretty fantastic.

Darwin put it much more aptly and more achingly beautifully than I could:

There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having originally been breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone on cycling according to the fixed law of gravity, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

Physics happens and geochemical processes happen and life happens.  Just how it goes.  Being everyday doesn't make any of them any less beautiful. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

iPhone cosy

This is my second OpWall crafting project.  I used the internet and my little brother's iPod to work out the dimensions, but I haven't seen it on an iPhone yet so I'm a teeny bit nervous on that front.  I'm also not sure how happy I am with the text - it was meant to look like the old blocky SMS text, but I don't know how apparent that is, it's a little hard to read.

The wool is still more leftover Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride - the yarn that just keeps on giving!  It is thick enough to protect a phone from the world, I think.