Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Buddy, Can You Spare $8Billion?

Harvard Hit by Loss As Crisis Spreads To Colleges
By John Hechinger and
Craig Karmin
912 words
4 December 2008
(Copyright (c) 2008, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)

Harvard University's endowment suffered investment losses of at least 22% in the first four months of the school's fiscal year, the latest evidence of the financial woes facing higher education.

The Harvard endowment, the biggest of any university, stood at $36.9 billion as of June 30, meaning the loss amounts to about $8 billion. That's more than the entire endowments of all but six colleges, according to the latest official tally.

Harvard said the actual loss could be even higher, once it factors in declines in hard-to-value assets such as real estate and private equity -- investments that have become increasingly popular among colleges. The university is planning for a 30% decline for the fiscal year ending in June 2009.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Who are these Aliens Anyway

In my last post, I pointed out the unusual power aliens have over the indwelling spirits of Earthling machinery. Now I wonder if the aliens actually are those spirits. It makes sense. These techno-sprites would have planted the seeds of technical inspiration in human heads. They would be the real ghosts in the machine. So in films like The Day the Earth Stood Still, the techno-sprites are reminding us that they, not we, are the true inventors; if we thing think we are in control of our gadgets, well, think again!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!

These famous words are from The Day the Earth Stood Still. Noticing that a remake is coming out, I was reminded of the demonstration of alien strength in that flick. Klaatu has come to warn us Earthlings to mend our nuclear ways, or our planet is toast. To demonstrate the aliens's awesome power, he arranges to have all machinery on Earth (excluding that in hospitals and suchlike places) stop functioning for half an hour. The aliens don't have to go to the power plants; they have power over all machines: cars, telephones, watches, electric lights. The indwelling spirits of machinery* are in the power of the aliens. Bad-guy aliens, such as those in It Conquered the World, also have this power. Like Klaatu, the ICTW aliens could make exceptions to the general disablement of world machinery; they allowed the cars and jeeps of their Earthling allies to work.
Perhaps my readers can supply other examples of this power.
Please enjoy the picture of my new MacBook Pro.
* Such as Coily the Spring Sprite.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My New Blurb Book

I finished a new Blurb book filled with old photos I scanned then prettied up in Photoshop. You can preview it at the left.
Primarily From my E...
By Colleen Bryant

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Yogalicious Weekend at Kripalu

Last Friday, my friend Laureen and I took the bus from Boston to Lenox, changing buses at Springfield. Above see a charming little garden in the Peter L. Picknelly Bus Terminal.

Here I am in the woods near the lake near the Kripalu complex. Laureen and I did yoga, meditation, yoga, whirlpool, yoga, meditation, and I did another whirlpool.

The Kripalu building was originally a Jesuit Monastery, and its cheapest quarters are rather austere. I was in the top bunk of this bed in a 9-person room for my first night, after which, it was revealed to me that I snore. So I got moved to a 2-person room with another snorer and a pair of earplugs. I didn't bother to wear my earplugs and slept just fine. My roomie wore hers, and , thus, did not hear the alarm clock and would have overslept if I hadn't awakened her.

See more esciting pictures in my Picasa web album!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Down-Memory-Lane Monday: Young Love

Around the time I took this picture, Karen, Louise, and I were fans of Paul Revere and the Raiders. We watched them on TV; it must have been the show Where the Action is. Though they appeared in a later show called It's Happening. In either case, we did watch them regularly and were particularly enamored of Paul Revere. We decided to send him a gift of chewing gum. I can't remember whether it was bubble or grown-up style. Some time later, we received a thank you note: a form thanking Kare, Louise, and Colleen for our "groovy gift." I don't know who kept the letter. Perhaps Karen will remember.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Down-Memory-Lane Monday: My Room

This was taken in the 111 Beryl St. house, in what used to be Conrad's room. After I left for college, he asked if we could switch rooms. As you can see, the wallpaper features ships, railroads, and other such stuff. My room's wallpaper had a golden, curvey pattern.
It had not occured to me that I had got the better room. Conrad had never complained to me. But my room had all the advantages: it was on a corner, giving it views in two directions, and was right next to the bathroom, and was farther away from our parents' room.
Now I wonder if he was resenting my superior quarters all those years. Perhaps that's why, when I was away at college, he buried my fossil collection in the compost heap.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Down-Memory-Lane Monday: Hair Continued

When I was a little girl, I wanted long hair swinging wildly down my back. My mother said that if I was going to have long hair, it would have to be styled. She thought long hair just hanging around was sloppy. So I spent many nights sleeping on spoolies, a 60s innovation. Finally, I gave up and consented to a pixie cut, which appears in almost all my young photos.
I can now sympathize with her. Long hair catches on things, gets easily tangled, and is generally a lot of work for a mother trying to keep her daughter neat. Can I find some low-upkeep substitute for long hair? I haven't so far.I wanted hair like that sported by Vinnie Ream, sculptor of the Lincoln statue in the Capitol Rotunda.

My mother insisted on some arrangement like this lady's.

I ended up going the short, practical route.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Photo Phaux pas

This is what happens when you max out the zoom, hold up the camera over your head, and click. The orange thing is the podium in front of President Faust. She's introducing Al Gore for a festive day of Sustainability.

I got some hot cider, then I spilled it on my hand.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Down-Memory-Lane Monday

This is my Kindergarten picture. I look pretty grim. My mother wasn't pleased with the shot, but ordered copies anyway, so as not to hurt my feelings...which leads me to think that school photos were a racket! Whom did you have to know, bribe, or sleep with to get the school-photo contract?

At the time, I hated being photographed, since it seemed to require wearing clothes I didn't like and showing happiness I didn't feel. Since then, I've realized that these were not necessary conditions. I had a similar epiphany about haircuts, which in my early days were always done with a razor. So haircuts always hurt. I didn't realize that razor cuts were a fad. One day a hairdresser used scissors to cut my hair, and I was shocked. Scissors were OK? I had assumed that razors were mandatory for some, perhaps hygienic, reason.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Down-Memory-Lane Monday

Mardi Gras Party my Freshman Year

The other day I was remembering Sally Cruikshank's short cartoon Quasi at the Quackadero, which I saw some 30 plus years ago and thought, "Gosh, everything's available on the web these days. " So I found SC's blog and ordered a DVD of her films. She likes pulsating things that change into other, not necessarily related, things, over and over again. It's like when you're nearly asleep, and you see all these shifting images underneath your eyelids. I often wish I had movie cameras on the underside of my eyelids to record them.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Simmons-Bond Inn, Bed & Breakfast

I am eager to stay here, should I happen to find myself in Toccoa, Georgia. Apparently it's close to the Coca-Cola Museum.
"Staying in the Colleen [a room in the Inn] means taking yourself on an African safari adventure. Featuring antique African artifacts, safari murals on the wall, a private bath found through a secret passageway behind a swinging bookcase, and a truly unique canopy double bed, this room will make your stay an unforgettable event. Maximum number of guests in the room is two."

Other Amenities Include:
Color Television with Cable (60 channels)
Hair Dryer
Iron with Ironing Board
Ceiling Fan
Air Conditioning
Coffee and Tea
Complimentary full course breakfast

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Lovely New Phone!

Above, on my old wicker phone-holder, see my brand new phone. Right below it is my old phone, disconnected and ready to be packed away against the day it becomes a valuable antique.

And since it's fall, I include some stereotypical New-England-Fall photos.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

HTML Advance

Check out my web site, why don't you. It's an exercise in intro html. Thrill at the sight of my clip art.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

BSO Opening Night: September 24, 2008

My neighbor Rosemary does a heap of volunteer work for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and that's how I happened to get a free ticket for Opening Night. There was a no-flash-photography sign at the entrance, which I complied with most of the time. As a result, very few photos were sharp enough to keep. For really good photos of Symphony Hall, I suggest you use Google Image Search.

My ticket entitled me to one glass of sparkling wine and all the grub I could get my hands on.

At the far left please notice the swiveling stool on the podium. James Levine can't stand up through performances any more, so he swivels on the stool. Weeee!

This is the view from my seat: ORCH 1 NN. See the seating chart for more info.

Oh yeah, the music:
Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila
Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin
Pictures at an Exhibition
James Levine, conductor
Maija Kovalevska, soprano

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Fates are Against Me!

Last night I finally got an image on Flickr to tile into the background of my blog. The next day I find my background tiled with notices that my image is not currently available! Why? ? ????
OK. I moved my background image to Picasa, and now it works.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Cactus Garden is Growing

Thanks to the plant sale at Philips Brooks House, I have 2 new cacti. The one that is 3rd from the left is actually not very prickly...but it looks mighty weird. I've never seen any of these types of cacti in the wild. Perhaps they are monsters created by genetic engineering.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Watch More TV... I like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but you can also see Fantasy Island, Lost in Space, and a whole lot more for free on your computer. You always wanted to spend more time on your computer, didn't you?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

50s Sci-Fi Interpretation

A former co-worker told me, when she noticed I had checked out the video I Married a Monster From Outer Space, "You know, that was about Communism." I had heard that interpretation before. Hostile 50s movie aliens, especially those who assumed human form, were supposed to be a veiled reference to Communists. (They look just like your neighbor, but they are evil and aim to take over.) Of course, there were also wise, nice aliens that the ignorant earthlings, especially belligerent small-town sheriffs, wanted to destroy. I suppose those films could represent the viewpoint of Communist sympathizers, the sheriff character being a veiled portrait of Joseph McCarthy. I've never heard it suggested, but it might appeal to proponents of the first theory.
But the whole theoretical edifice topples when we consider Red Planet Mars (1952). The Martians in this flick are born-again Christians! An American scientist (Peter Graves) gets Bible quotes in messages from Mars. There is an evil Nazi who claims to be sending all the messages--which inspire the Russians to abandon Communism--but it actually turns out that the Martians really are Christians. (Don't worry that I've spoiled the movie for you; it is so bad that it's beyond spoiling.) The Martians destroy Communism. Everybody wants to be Christians, just like the Martians.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

We Belatedly Celebrate Lynn's 50th Birthday

Here we are at the Hungry Mother, a southern-style eatery not very far from my place. If you make a reservation for before 6pm, they'll get you Kendall Theater Tickets for $6 a piece. Wow! The food is pretty good too. We saw "Tell No One."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I Just Discovered that My Camera Can Take... in sepia, like this one of ye olde-fashioned Harvard Yard. I've been actually reading the camera's instructions, which they gave me in Acrobat form. And there are several things I haven't made it do. I could shoot in extra vivid color or in black & white. I could make the ISO setting higher (with the side effect of noisiness). I could change the shutter speed. I could shoot in Burst mode. What a smart little camera!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Office Space has Natural Light!

Wow! I have a windowsill, so I bought a cactus plant and brought in some translucent pretties.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Finished my Canadian Rockies Web Album

Please check out this selection of the 200+ photos I took in Canada. Let me also take this opportunity to strongly recommend the film Bottle Shock, about the rise of the Napa Valley vintners in the 70s. It's hilarious.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I'm Back From Canada

This is a grizzly bear we saw on our Old Fort Point hike. The Park people say to keep 100 metres away from bears. When we saw this bear I wondered, "How far is 100 metres anyway?"

Stupid metric system.

When we drove in Calgary I noticed signs saying "Maximum 110," and I freaked until I realized they meant km/hr. We rented a Camry hybrid. At a gas station, one of the attendants asked about its "mileage." Yes, they use km/hr, but they don't use kilometreage.

Stupid metric system.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Vacation Photos..

..will be posted after I get back from Canada. In the meantime enjoy this one from Chuck 'n' Jerry.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chuck Wanted to Know... my garden was growing. Here you see the catnip plant I bought, and in the background you may notice green things sprouting. They may be the things I planted, or repeats from last summer. You should also note my new patio fence. Note that it is a hot day, nearly 90, and that it is supposed to be hotter and humider tomorrow. Then it will rain, and the slugs will come out. The cats are always bringing slugs inside, and then slime gets on the carpet.

I did a little more scanning today. I found out that the scanners at the Science Center computer lab were better than the one at Lamont.
My Dad was here on Monday-Tuesday, back from an African vacation. He took a ton of animal pictures and got a gruesome movie of lions killing an impala. He's supposed to post them someplace so I can look at them.
I am going to the Canadian Rockies the week after next.