Anything I can do, you can do better

*sniff sniff*

This is my last official post for a while.  The school year is ending and I’ll be abroad next Fall in fabulous New Zealand.  I’ll try to send you guys updates on the foreign art scene once in awhile. I’m going to miss writing for arts,ink.  It’s a great job that has encouraged me to explore such fabulous things throughout the year.

I’m hoping to spend this summer not actually looking for new art, but creating it.  My muse has sadly been chained to a chair in horrendously orange corner of my mind for most of the school year to give me a chance to actually get my assignments done, but come Tuesday her constraints will rust and she’ll be able to burst free from prison (with more grace than Superman could ever muster).  I’m expecting to spend good portions of next week sitting in a corner of the Espresso on State St and just write.  I managed to spit out 50K words in Nov and am aiming to write at least 75K this summer.  (I could try my November pace, but my muse was so tired she actually willing donned those chains and has yet to return to that still as yet unfinished story)

I also am hoping to do at least one photo shoot and spend an hour a day on a mural I’ve wanted to get started on ever since last year.  Who knows if I’ll succeed (most of my New Years resolutions have gone up in smoke) but I’m willing to try and make this a productive summer.  I mean, playing Frisbee and going to Ben and Jerry’s almost every day is a great summer plan, but what will you have to show for it at the end?  100+ pictures, all so similar that your entire summer could fit on a single page in a scrapbook?  Trust me, having a completed work of art work will make you feel much for accomplished.

Thus I challenge you to create something this summer.  It can be a single poem, it can be a collage of leaves from every town you visit, or maybe you just produce a sketch book full of doodles.  Either way, I want to hear about it.  And look on the bright side, you get to actually cheat and do some of the work come the Fall semester cuz I won’t be here to know any better ^_~

So far well (for now).  May you have a great summer full of good times and good art.  I’m curious to see what you all create.

Your muse chainer,


A good doctor protects you from zombie attacks

I want to introduce you all to the great Dr. McNinja. The greatest doctor ever known to man. He’s got 23 degrees, including farming, and his best friend is a clone of Ben Franklin. His hero is Batman, when ever he’s stuck on a mission such as taking care of zombies or vampires on Mars Indiana Jones style, he always asks ‘what would Batman do?’ The answer is usually to bring the action to the badie and destroy him with either your pet raptor or a motorcycle that in a previous life had been a magical unicorn. But that’s all in between seeing his patients.  Considering that his office gets attacked at least once a story and that his secretary is a gorilla named Judy, for him to even have regular patients is a great testament to his doctoring skills.

Sadly his parents do not like his career choice.  Who ever heard of a ninja who took off to be a doctor?  They’re supposed to kill pirates! And the occasional person if the job demands it.  Either way, a ninja is not supposed to heal.  His parents (especially his mother who specializes in explosions) make their displeasure known by booby-trapping the family home every time he comes for a visit.  They get pretty peeved when the traps don’t work as they should because just because he’s a doctor now does not mean that his skills are rusty.

The good doctor usually has help for the missions that he gets wrapped in.  I’ve already mentioned Judy.  She’s all muscle and even McNinja has learned to not take her hot dogs.  And then there is Gordito.  His father was part of a raptor riding gang McNinja took down, but the 12 year old boy stayed put.  He grew a fantastic mustache out of pure will; there was no way McNinja could have gotten rid of him.  Ben Franklin helps on occasion too, helping out with the sciency stuff as it appears and his family will grudgingly help out if they have no other missions lined up at the moment.  Stay away from Dad McNinja if he’s in a interninja fight.  He came to the conclusion that ninjas tend to avoid things that are on fire (must be all the light that leaves them very little shadows to hide in) and thus lights himself on fire to fight them.  I have no idea how he’s managed to survive this far.

The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is an amazing web comic, which means you can read it for free.  Updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  I’m going to advise that you wait until after exams to starting reading however because there is no way you’ll want to stop once you start.  It’s a radical ride that keeps you on your toes with absurd plot twists and quite easily convinces you it is the best thing in the world.  Ready to start with issue one?  Click here then to start the first adventure of Dr. McNinja vs Ronald McDonald, who is not all that he seems to be.

Simply put, Dr. McNinja is the best thing out there.  Who else would save you from this?

Your ninja loving blogger,


Not your average road trip soundtrack

For Easter I decided to drive to Chicago and celebrate with my family.  Road trip!  And what road trip doesn’t have a soundtrack?  Actually, most of my solo ones.

As much as I adore music, I find it is too easy to tune out while I’m driving long distances.  Plus flipping through radio stations can be a pain and popping in a CD is annoying because I don’t was to hear the same thing in the same order multiple times.  So instead I listen to audiobooks.

I mean, it’s hard to ignore the person chattering at you in the front seat so if you want something to keep you awake and prevent you from getting velocitized, words are the way to do it.  It also means you don’t look like a fool to the people passing you because you’re singing along.

Typically I like to read my books, not listen to them, but when I’m driving I find that the time goes by quicker when I’m engaged in a story.  And it’s typically hands free too.

Don’t know what to read/listen too?  Here are a couple of free podcast books you can download, via iTunes of course.  If you’re on the look out for others,  search podiobook.

*Somebody Somewhere by Tom Lichtenberg A psycho stalker kidnaps his would-be girlfriend, gets chased by the cops, runs out of gas right outside your house, where you and your spouse are enjoying a quite evening and now the pair of you are hostages at gunpoint and surround by police.

*The Rookie by Scott Sigler (the King of podcast novels) This is set amongst a lethal pro football league 700 years in the future. Aliens play positions based on physiology, creating receivers that jump 25 feet into the air, linemen that bench-press 1,200 pounds, and linebackers that literally want to eat you. Organized crime runs every franchise, games are fixed, and rival players are assassinated.

*A Man and his Unicorn by Anthony Matthews Vern was an ordinary college instructor and looking forward to spring break. But on the last day of classes and dreaming about a gorgeous gal, he woke up in a white washed world with nothing there! … That included his clothes (oops).  After meeting a few individuals who wanted to slice, dice, or otherwise harm him, Vern got into a quest. Then he met a beautiful Red unicorn stallion with magical powers. The unicorn took immediately to Vern. He was thrilled – then he remembered why unicorns took to certain people … Vern didn’t have too much success in dating (he swore he was a good kisser). Hopefully, he’ll have more success in staying alive.

A Not So Silent Night

I’m a sucker for music or rather background noise and music is my favorite thing to listen too.  Doing homework, folding laundry, walking to class, and occasionally even getting to sleep I have something sounding in my ear.

Once in awhile I like to listen to something other that Celtic reels or Daft Punk beats.  I go outside  and just listen.  I was thrilled last Monday when I actually woke up to birdsong!  Nature has it’s own melody going on, one that I usually drown out or simply ignore.  Taking the time to listen to it forces me to slow down and essentially recharge.  Who has just sat on the beach and listened to waves roll in?  It’s the same thing, I just sit under a tree near the CCRB and listen to waves of students instead of water.

I’ve heard lots of nature sounds, but the night sky has always been silent.  Sure, you can hear crickets in the night or a breeze through the trees but the stars themselves are silent.  I know satellites make noise, who hasn’t heard Sputnik’s electronic beeps?  But other sounds I’ve always loved to imagine.  Do stars crackle and pop like bonfires or do they produce a roar?  Yes yes, I know technically they can’t produce sound because space is a vacuum, but it’s fun to imagine.  Do you think the sound of methane rain on Titian is the same as water rain here on Earth?  Does the storm that is Jupiter’s Red Spot sound like ten thousand thunderstorms with crashing booms or more like ten thousand tornadoes with a whining wind?  Or perhaps it sound more like the upper registers of a canary.  Don’t you wonder at all what space sounds like?

Apparently yes, some one does have the same weird taste as I do. WhiteVinyl designs aka Luke Twyman has created SolarBeat, an ambient music box based on the motions of the planets (and one asteroid) around the Sun.

The planets move at the correct speed relevant to each other and every time they cross the line a chime sounds, a different pitch for each orbital body. You can speed up the tempo or slow it down and even pause it to compare the location to the planets to each other.  At the bottom of the page is the number of times each planet (well, Ceres is an asteroid in the Kuiper Belt) has crossed the line of music and produced a note.  Mercury is a speed demon, it went around 1031 times before Pluto even sounded once.

While the default speed of SolarBeat is in the middle of the tempo range, I wouldn’t recommend you adjust it too much to either side.  Too slow, there is a lot of empty sound space and it’s hard to discern a melody other than Mercury’s waily chime.  Too fast, and a lot of the notes sound together and the pattern of the piece is lost.  Either way, I can finally listen to space without needing a really big hearing aide or having to bundle up from cold weather. I wonder how long it’ll take for Pluto to cross chime 10 times…

Your planet-listening blogger,


Thinking in 3D

Paper has been a part of my life since I can remember.  It filled the pages of the books by parents read for me and later the coloring books I scribbled all over.  And even in today computer driven world it fills my textbooks, houses my notes, and displays my assignments.  It has become such a part of my life that now I really only pay attention to it when I get a paper cut or realize my printing allocation is not going to last the semester.

Peter Callesen is a true artist, able to see the unique and beautiful in the ordinary.  Those who can breath new life into objects, can step back not only see things in a different light but share that view with others are extraordinary. Callesen breaths new life into paper.

All of his work are made from A4 paper, the common variety that is usually used in printers, and not a single bit of it is wasted.  Callesen usually limits himself to using just the paper and sometimes uses glue stick things together when creating these works of art and I am amazed at the detail he can create at such a small scale.  I suggest checking out In the Shadow of an Orchid (detail), he even managed to show the hair on a spider’s legs.

Callesen doesn’t limit himself to the small detailed work however, some of it is quite large. This paper castle is over seven meters tall and was constructed from a single piece of paper. Big Paper Castle is the tallest piece in Callesen’s portfolio, but not his most detailed.   Even so, I’m impressed.  He didn’t even use glue for this piece of art, everything is folded into place.  I would never have the time to create something like this, nor the patience.

Callesen was born in Denmark and while he has worked with other medium that paper, it is by far his most favorite.  He gives the following reason on his website:

Lately I have worked almost exclusively with white paper in different objects, paper cuts, installations and performances. A large part of my work is made from A4 sheets of paper. It is probably the most common and consumed media used for carrying information today. This is why we rarely notice the actual materiality of the A4 paper. By taking away all the information and starting from scratch using the blank white A4 paper sheet for my creations, I feel I have found a material that we are all able to relate to, and at the same time the A4 paper sheet is neutral and open to fill with different meaning. The thin white paper gives the paper sculptures a frailty that underlines the tragic and romantic theme of my works.

The paper cut sculptures explore the probable and magical transformation of the flat sheet of paper into figures that expand into the space surrounding them. The negative and absent 2 dimensional space left by the cut, points out the contrast to the 3 dimensional reality it creates, even though the figures still stick to their origin without the possibility of escaping. In that sense there is also an aspect of something tragic in many of the cuts.

Sadly, at the moment Callesen does not have an exhibits here in the United States, but that doesn’t mean you can’t check out more of his work at his homepage. I recommend taking a look at the floating castle that was large enough for Calleson to walk around it.

Your paper loving blogger,


Steampunk Taxadermy

I have always found dead stuffed cats to be creepy.  They’re so stiff and fake looking that at times it is hard to tell that they are not toys/decorations and had at one point been alive.  I mean seriously, do you want your dead friend perched at the end of your couch? It’s so unnatural.

So for those crazy taxidermists, how do you make it more acceptable, how do you sleep knowing that not that far away, the body of say a dead deer, is staring at you?   Answer: take the animal and distort it even more so it becomes something else entirely.  It becomes, well, a piece of art.

Ron Pippin is an artist.  He’s created everything from detailed ships to overflowing adventure journals.  He has also given an antelope guns.

I would have no qualms with having this critter in my house.  He’s interesting to look at and all that metal makes me wonder if there will ever be a time when it’s open season on humans.  But that thought is so distant, so improbable, I can deal with that much easier than a stuffed cat at the foot of my grandma’s bed.

To check our more of his work, click here.

Your blogger,