Archive for April, 2005

Spirit Dancing

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

I’ve found this new blog that I’m really enjoying called Spirit Dancing. She’s had some really great puppetry stuff on her site including this awesome entry about the puppets in the His Dark Materials stage performance. That was really exciting.

I was planning of waiting to post about this till later, but today I was really surprised by what I found there. There was a google ad on the side bar for the Sarah Lawrence summer puppetry workshop. The one taught by my professor. I knew the puppet world was small, but that still surprised me.

Anyway, check it out!

math and economics

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

Tonight for my economics class I am reading “A Theory of Marriage” by Gary S. Becker. Besides being totally ridiculous and quite sexist, it has far to much math in it. Less then half way through I came across this footnote:

clearly...

ARE YOU SERIOUS?? I don’t think it should be legal to use the word “clearly” to lead into an equation with that many variables.

At the beginning of the year I read a critique of contemporary economics which had a whole chapter on the abuse of math in economics. This included an story from the cold war period. There once was a communist country which banned all imports of economics textbooks and journals, except for one (I wish I could remember which one it was). This journal contained so much math (and made so little sense) that the censors deemed it harmless to communism. They felt there was no way to understand capitalism through this journal. My homework tonight feels like that.

UPDATE: I talked to my Economics professor about this. Apparently it was in Romania.

dyeing experiment – the results – and notes on Basil Twist

Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

tea dye 2

Tada! Sorry, it’s not a very good picture. Actually… I’m not particularly pleased with how it came out. I think I used the wrong kind of fabric. I should track down cotton next time. Oh well… live and learn.

I’m just stressed out because, since my professor is on tour right now, Basil Twist is coming to our class to critique our work tomorrow. I’m a little intimidated by that prospect. Basil has done some really phenomenal work in the puppet world. I went to see his show Symphonie Fantastic in December, and it was possibly the most mesmerizing performance I have ever seen. His other claim to fame (which I like to tell people who have never heard of him) is that he worked on the most recent Harry Potter movie. The CGI of the Dementors was based on underwater puppets Basil built for them. And he is coming to see my work tomorrow… just a little bit nervous.

dyeing experiment

Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

Because I just don’t have enough work to do, tonight I decided to try dyeing some fabric to dress my marionette with. I’ve never actually dyed fabric with tea before, but I figured it was worth a try. So here is what it looks like tonight:

tea dye

I think I should have made more tea for the amount of fabric I used, but so it goes. It also looks a lot more yellow in this picture than it really seems. I think thats the flash as opposed to my dark kitchen. I put five tea bags in the boiling water and let it steep for about 15 minutes before I put the fabric in. I don’t actually know what kind of fabric it is… I stole it from the scraps in the costume shop. In the morning we’ll see how it looks.

Feel free to give me advice on how I should have done this if you happen to know something about it. Then maybe I can do it right next time instead of just making it up.

economics lecture

Monday, April 18th, 2005

Today, after a lecture about the rise of the new right and the precarious position of the present economy, my economics professor closes out with this performance – “You all look kind of depressed. But really, you shouldn’t be depressed because…” he trails off genuinely thinking for a reason. After a pregnant pause, a chuckle ran through the lecture hall. “No, really, I’ll think of something.” he says, and then finally says, “Knowledge is Power.”

Really the point being, we’re screwed.

ahhhh! tech week!!

Monday, April 18th, 2005

Yesterday I entered into tech week for the show I’m directing. Despite the fact that the show is in a really good place (my actors are wonderful) some how I’m still nervous. And it certainly is taking up a lot of my time this week…. so if there is scanty posting going on this week (unlike every other week?), that is why.

Since I am at a lack for any good stories from tech, instead I will leave you to ponder this line from my show -

Ginger: But I also have the feeling the species doesn’t want us to know it controls us like this, because we think of ourselves as free, you know. We think we have dreams and needs and all, but maybe we just have bodies. But it’s some kind of big secret.

yeah! ponder that!!

Unusual

Friday, April 15th, 2005

In January, after an investigation that had turned up no culprit, police in Truro took the unusual step of asking all men in the community for DNA samples, a move that brought criticism from civil libertarians.

I found this story really interesting the when it first surfaced in the news months ago. Its a weird to try and sort out this idea of a general call for DNA samples to find a suspect. I imagine if this had happened in my community, and I was asked to volunteer a DNA sample I would probably refuse. It seems like a witch hunt just waiting to happen. My brain is flooded with the idea of a community split between the “cooperators” and those who “obstruct justice.” Once you have oppositional groups like that, just throw in a dash of polarization, stir, bake for a couple months, and the next thing you know kids are getting beaten up in school about it.

Not that I think it would be better to force people to participate in a tactic like this. Tyranny certainly doesn’t seem like a better answer. It just makes me think…

Life without the INTERNET

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

Last night I came home to find that the internet was down on my entire campus. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!! I didn’t know how to handle myself. I became panicked in the face of a catastrophe. I thought about all the things I needed to do that used the internet. Read my email, get my reading for class, do my taxes, wish my brother Happy Birthday. SO MANY THINGS. And since it was 1 in the morning by the time I got home, there weren’t a whole lot of other solutions.

And then I started thinking – “How did I get by before the internet?” to which I replied, “I DIDN”T!” which is true, I don’t believe I have ever really had to problem solve without the internet in my life. Except maybe when I’m in the woods or something, but generally you are solving different kinds of problems then. I mean, I know it seems foolish. People must have lived before the internet, I know that. Maybe they just didn’t do they’re work at 1 in the morning. Maybe they had bigger piles of paperwork. There must have been a way. I just don’t know what it was.

This morning the internet is fixed (deep sigh of relief). Again, I feel a little foolish, so I am solving that by using the internet to communicate my feelings. Enjoy.

P.S. Happy belated birthday Peter !!

NYTimes – Gossip Column style

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

hand kiss

This is a totally fascinating article. In a style that reminds me of a gossip column we get a little picture into what it would be like to be at the Pope’s funeral at the part of the service where you are asked to turn and shake hands with your neighbor. And just like any other stereotypical funeral, we see feuding elements of the family are forced to sit in the same room with each other.

“Well it was really easy to ignore how irritating Uncle Joe is when I never have to visit him in California, but now that we’re both here at this forced family reunion I guess I have to decide weather or not we’re on speaking terms….. hmmm…. ” Only! instead of Uncle Joe, it’s the president of SYRIA !! Sadly I’ve noticed though that generally after you all go home after the funeral not very much changes.

P.S. if anyone can find any more pictures of this nature, I would love to see them. I’ve been looking and I can’t find any.

Overheard in New York

Thursday, April 7th, 2005

Overheard in New York is a very funny blog I’ve started reading occasionally. Its a daily collection of things people have overheard in New York City. It’s almost as good as doing the eavesdropping yourself.