Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tiger Mom Loves Baby Piggies or False Advertising

According to an email I received the other day, there was a poor Mama Tiger in a California zoo who gave birth to tiger cub triplets. The poor cubbies died and the mother got depressed. She was failing to thrive.
The Zoo personel felt that if she could foster some other cubs it might reinvigor her desire to live. They contacted other zoos but were unable to find any orphaned tiger cubs.
What they found instead were a litter of piglets whose mother had died.
The zoo personel wrapped the piglets in tiger skins and put them in the habitat with the tiger. They then waited to see if the piglets would be a treatment tool, or if they would become lunch.
I thought this story was incredibly sweet and good blog fodder if it was true, so I checked it out on
Unfortunately the whole story was not true.
The pictures were actually taken in a zoo in Thailand at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo. This zoo has more than 400 tigers and occasionally gets bored with the normal tiger habitat exhibit so they cross exhibits by putting the tiger cubs in with a mother pig or vice versa.
This was the case with these pictures. All the same, these pics are adorable and serve to be a sort of Lion-laying-down-with-the-lamb example.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Square Root of a Duck

Random wanderings on the internet bring up interesting findings. For example, someone on Yahoo Answers asked "What is the square root of a duck?"


. .

Even more interesting than the question were some of the answers.

See for yourself:


Answer #1, given by Questor

D=500 (roman numeral)

u=(.000001) (prefix of of millionth)

C=100 (roman numeral)

K=1000 (metric system)


DuCK = (500)(.000001)(100)(1000)




sqrt*50= +/- 7.07

And you may add the inverse of Duck is roasted duck lying on its back in spices and sauce. (kind of makes me hungry, what's for dinner?)


Answer #2, given byDylan:
Well, I'm sure you've heard 2+2=fish, so a fish=4, so the square root of fish is 2.
Ducks and fish are closely related, they both live in/on lakes, both have 4 letters and are both part of the canine family. So the square root of a fish must be very close to 2.
Therefore the square root of a duck is 2.2
Dylan cites his source as: Personal experience in being a duck.
Answer #3, given by 3k1yp2:
I disagree with Dylan. I have been a duck and a fish, and ducks and fish are very different. I can make blow kisses to everyone when I'm a fish, but not when I'm a duck.
When I'm a duck I have an indescribable desire to wiggle by butt. So butt wiggling considered, and also considering that a duck has only 2 wings (unless it is a dragon duck) so... the square root of a duck must be 7.
Yes, 7. But not seven. Just 7.
There were a few other answers given, but I felt those 3 were the most worth posting.
Do you have a better answer? (Mike, you should take this as a direct challenge.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010


In a few minutes of blog surfing during a class break today I found a great video by a music group I had previously never heard of.
Apparently this group, Ok Go, is better known for their videos than their music. This video is a good reason why. The song, "This Too Shall Pass" is cool, but way better for being in this video.
Call the kids in to watch. You're going to want to see it more than once.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alice in Wonderland, a Review

I was able to see the new Alice in Wonderland in IMAX 3-D this weekend with my family.
My personal experience was that it was a delightful, visually delicious, modern remake of a very old story, written by Lewis Carroll in 1864.
This creative story has been through it's own rabbit hole of evolution since it was first told as a bedtime story. From verbal tale to book, to cartoon movie, to 3 dimensional film, this one time children's story has taken on life and adventure of it's own.
As with any book made into a movie, those who have been fans of Alice and her experiences in the rabbit hole for years may be disappointed by the changes in the story line and the calignosity (it means darkness, look it up) of parts of the movie. Not to say that it was gothic or had a dark mood, it just wasn't luminous and bright in every scene. If you are familiar with any Tim Burton movies you should expect that darker element.
Part of what made the movie so visually captivating was the changes between the bright and colorful scenes and the grayer, starker scenes. I found myself waiting anxiously for the brightness again. I have always felt that the books had a slightly dark side. I remember being terrified of the Queen of Hearts when I read the book at the age of 8.
The characters were bold and entrancing throughout the film. Alice actually seemed a little boring to me, although she had some really great outfits. My personal favorite was the dress made out of curtains while at the Red Queen's court.
(Not the one pictured below.)
Let me clarify that I have never been a die hard Johnny Depp fan, like so many females, but in this movie, any time that he was not on screen was just not as engaging. From his first appearance as the Mad Hatter when he walks the length of the table at the tea party, to the very end when Alice bids him goodbye before returning to her world, I enjoyed the movie more when he was in the scene.
My favorite scene in the movie was a relatively short bit where the Mad Hatter is walking through a tulgey wood with Alice on his hat and he quotes a bit from the poem, the Jabberwocky:
"'Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimber in the wabe: all mimsy were the borogroves, and the mome raths outgrabe."
One critical addition to the plot of this movie was the integration of Lewis Carroll's poem Jabberwocky.

(Thanks to for the picture.)

(You can learn more about Jabberwocky by clicking here.)
I particularly enjoyed this addition as I have always loved "Jabberwocky". I recognized that this would be an element from the first time a character referred to the "Frabjous Day".
With the release of Avatar a few months ago, we have entered a new generation of film making and viewing. Use of computer animation, special effects and 3-D has taken movies into not a new chapter, but a new book in film making history.
Movies will never be the same.
Many of us tell our children about the days before cell phones, not so long ago. I believe our children will be telling their children about the days when we watched everything in 2-D.
Alice in Wonderland will be to our children what The Wizard of Oz was to children a few generations ago and moving pictures were to their grandparents.
This movie was not just a retelling of a classic tale, it was a recreation of a story in a form never seen before.
Even if you are not interested in Alice's plight I recommend seeing this movie, and the film Avatar if you haven't already, for no other reason than that it is unlike any movie experience you have ever had and you will be witnessing movie making history.
Enjoy! And pour some m&ms in your popcorn just for me.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fue De Joie

In case you aren't aware, because I haven't announced it here, I have returned to college.
I am working on my RN degree, to finally, finally reach the dream I have had for 30 years, to be a nurse.
With a lot of studying and God's grace, I will graduate in about a year.
I am super excited and I am really enjoying school.
For my English class I wrote a paper that I have been mulling over in my head for about 14 years. It is about a morning and a sunrise that I witnessed when I was 18 years old and had just moved out on my own.
This was a special morning for me. Special enough that I still remembered it clearly enough to write about it 14 years later.
I decided to post it here for posterity and anyone else that might be interested.
Please read, but don't steal. This is my own work and plagiarism will get you kicked out of school.
Fue De Joie (Fire of Joy)
I let out a slow breath and closed my eyes with a tired smile as I leaned against the wall by the time clock. The last 12 hours, all through the long night, had been exhilarating. It was my third shift on the OB/GYN floor and I had witnessed my first on-the-job birth. It was my second birth to be present for. Assisting my sister in her labor and delivery three years before had cemented my desire to work in L&D. After CNA classes, a volunteer internship, and countless hours of dreaming, my wish had come true.
Still smiling, I walked out of the double doors into the cool darkness of the early November morning. In the arid Southern Utah town of St. George the morning air was crisp and chilly, but not cold, as it would have been in my hometown of Provo, Utah, in the mountains far to the North where they would surely be getting snow very soon.
Walking across the blacktop of the parking lot towards my car, I rounded the corner of the sprawling five story building, suddenly revealing on my left an edge of pink and gold along the rugged black skyline in the East. I stopped in my tracks and stared at the early morning light peering over the horizon. The hints of bright color and the pulled cotton clouds low in the sky promised a beautiful sunrise.
After my long graveyard shift fatigue pulled at my body and I debated for a moment the choice of driving home to the warm and inviting bed in my new apartment. But the desire to watch the sun come up over the city that was now my home pulled harder.
The parking lot was already becoming an ant hill of people. Employees, doctors and nurses showing up for duty, and patients arriving for early procedures were already crawling in and out of the hospital doors. It seemed an unceremonious place to witness a small miracle of nature, although the labor ward had been perfect for the one I had witnessed during the night.
Folding my gazelle-like legs into my maroon Volkswagen Rabbit, I remembered the park I had just found the week before on the bluff to the North of the city. Looking again at the glowing coals on the edge of the sky, I wondered if I would have time to get to the high park before the glory of the dawn was over.
Judging that the sky just might wait for me, I pushed my gear shift into drive and pulled forward out of the lot and onto 3rd West. The avenues of my new city were dimly lit by street lamps. As the town and its roads were still new to me, I paid careful attention to the street signs as beams from my headlights bounced off of them. I drove quickly, but carefully, not wanting to miss the sunrise, or the road that would lead to the park. I found the right street and carefully maneuvered on to it.
Urging my little rabbit up the steep hill, I rounded the hairpin turn and summited the rise. Brighter now, the Eastern sky was directly in front of me. An infusion of pure white light battled for territory into the darker shell that covered the earth. Quietly creeping upward, the light overpowered the stars that dared to rest too close to the rim of the horizon, winking them into invisibility. Hints of pink, bronze, yellow and gold glistened on the bottom edge of the wispy low hanging clouds.
Excited, I turned my little, puttering car into the park and rounded the narrow lane to the parking area. This park was not a typical grassy lot with children’s playgrounds, but was a playground of a whole other sort. Intruded only by the one lane road, a few parking and picnic areas, this park was several acres of the red sandstone characteristic of “Utah’s Dixie”. Rocks, boulders, cliffs, crevices and solidified mounds of what looked like thick red pancake batter spread all around me. I parked, and wrapping my light jacket around me, hopped out of the car.
One huge boulder sat aside from the smaller cliffs. I ran to it, across and around the other rocks, the light growing behind me. At the boulder I found the crevice on the inner side, hidden from the front, that supplied hand and foot holds to the careful climber. My red scrubs and white Nikes were poor rock climbing gear, but I mounted the huge rock with a little effort.
Pulling myself up, I stood triumphantly on top of my sandstone monolith and surveyed the world below me. Beginnings of daylight just began to unveil the shadows of the wind-and-rain crafted rock formations spread around the base of my vantage point. To the South, at the base of the bluff, sprawled the city. The white temple in the middle of the town glowed among the other buildings like the beacon that it was to this town’s early settlers. If I looked carefully I could make out I-15 snaking around the neighborhoods.
To the East the sky grew more luminescent with each passing minute. The lowest edge along the mantle of the earth was electric white. Shining brass grew and spread above the white, tingeing the clouds with metallic red.
Ruler of my kingdom, I took my seat on my boulder throne facing East and watched as the conflagration before me grew. The orange ozone deepened to crimson and traveled upward, higher in the sky. Where the blush collided with the clouds new explosions of colors appeared. Purple and burgundy lined the nebula. Silver spread along the crest of the earth, shining, glistening and shouting out to the world that day had arrived.
The caliginosity over my head retreated slowly, giving way to a dark blue, then lighter, then crisp, ceruminous azure, lifted by the purple, red, bronze, and gold inferno. The stars of the firmament dimmed and disappeared one by one, as the night surrendered its grasp.
The battle of light over darkness continued in the celestial sphere as I sat above the world and witnessed the glorious rebirth. Brilliant pigments appeared not only in the sky, but in the earth below me as the nocturnal gloom crept hesitantly back like a beaten dog.
Like the infant that had entered the world just a few hours before, a new day was born. In only a few hours I had been privy to two fantastic miracles of beginning. My chest felt full of unwritten poetry; glorious, descriptive words, thoughts and ideas that had been spelled out by the incendiary vision that I felt I alone had witnessed; scripted across the plane of the heavens in better pigments and fonts than I could ever have translated into a mere humans English. Sitting on my throne, on top of the world, surrounded above and below by the cacophonous morning, I felt invincible.
The new day had begun, not just for my city and the people who still slept in the houses below me, but for me. In a new town, my dream job, my emerging independence and new adulthood. This was my sunrise; my day to seize, my future to grasp.
I stood again on the stone tower above the world, and raised my arms to the East. Closing my eyes, I let the morning light pour over me. Bathed in the brilliance and hues of God’s palette I faced my Day. My beginning. My sunrise. My feu de joie.
Finally, the sun, following its radiant prelude, lifted majestically over the horizon. The symphony of colors emblazoned the celestial sphere all around it. The piercing light stabbed my weary eyes, and my body achingly recalled the last 20 hours I had spent awake.
I lowered myself carefully from my lofty perch and walked smiling, face to the sun, back to my car. It was the new day of my adulthood, but this day would be spent curled up sleeping in my bed.