Venus de Milo
Drawers coming out of people
People without faces or with flowers for faces
People with animal heads
Peter and I went to the Dali Universe museum in London last weekend. Some of the stuff was quite familiar as we'd seen similar pieces years ago at a Dali museum in Paris. I'd also seen a great surrealism exhibiton at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.
I just love Dali's work. It's so awesomely weird yet somehow all seems to fit together in a bizarre and unexpected way.
Dali's art is not all totally weird though. Some of it is only a bit weird. This includes one of my favourites - Alice in Wonderland. Alice in Wonderland is a 4ft tall bronze sculture of a woman with a long flowy dress. Her hands and hair are blooms of roses and her face is covered with leaves.
My first thought when I saw this sculpture was how pretty the roses were and how elegant the lines of the flowy dress was. When I stood back for a moment and looked at the sculpture as a whole, my next thought was that the line of her centre of gravity appeared to be just outside the base of her gown. For some reason, this seemed to be more incongruous to me than the fact that her hair and hands were made of roses.
When looking at surrealist art, or any art for that matter, I can suspend disbelief for just about everything - except gravity. Woman with flowers for hands. Fine. Guy with drawers coming out of his stomach. Sure. Venus with the neck of a giraffe. Whatever. As long as they appear to be complying with the laws of gravity then they can be as weird as they like!
I did an average of 10 the other day and got 37.98 seconds! I was quite happy with this as it's faster than my average (usually ~40 seconds). For non-cubers reading this, I should explain than an 'average of 10' means doing 12 consecutive solves, discarding the fastest and slowest and then averaging the remaining 10.
I used Chris Hunt's JNetCube application to randomly generate the scrambles, and also to time the solves. Here is the summary of the average of 10:
Average: 37.98 secondsHere are the scrambles.
Individual Times: 39.58, 38.28, 41.03, (46.41), 36.94, 39.16, 37.19, 35.96, 37.80, 32.66, (31.72), 41.24
Fastest Time: 31.72
Slowest Time: 46.41
Standard Deviation: 02.54
Scramble 1: D2 B2 D2 R2 B D' B2 U2 D2 R2 F' U' D' L2 U2 F L' F' U F2 L D' R' L F2
Scramble 2: D F2 R2 B2 L' F2 R U2 R B2 R L U2 D L D L' U F2 L D' U' R' D U'
Scramble 3: L2 D R2 B2 F' L' R2 D' B' L2 F2 D' U2 R F B2 U' B' R L2 F' D R' U' L
Scramble 4: B2 F R L D B2 L2 F L2 B U' L U' L' B' R' L B L2 U R' D R F2 L'
Scramble 5: B' L2 B R' L D R' B' U2 L' D U2 R' U' F' L' F' B D2 F R2 D2 U2 F2 D2
Scramble 6: L2 U2 R L2 F' B2 U' L F' D2 B2 R B' F R2 B' L R2 D2 U' R L' F R2 F
Scramble 7: U2 B2 L R' F' D B' L U' F B2 R F2 B' L2 F2 L2 D2 R' F' D2 R2 U' R B
Scramble 8: L F2 R D2 R' B2 L2 D' L R F' B' U' D' F' R U2 D2 L U2 D2 R' D2 R' U
Scramble 9: F2 D2 L' U' B' R B L D' U2 R' B D' B L D' L' R' B' D U2 R' F' D' F2
Scramble 10: U B' L' B2 D' B2 F2 L2 U D' F' B D2 U' B' L2 R B' L' B R2 L2 B2 U2 D'
Scramble 11: F2 L' R D2 U L' F2 U2 B' L B' L2 R F' D' L' D' U2 B' D2 F' U R' U' D
Scramble 12: L' D U B R U B' L2 U' F2 U2 L' B R D B' F2 D2 L' R B L2 B U D'
Peter and I had dinner at Papageno tonight. I've been interested to try this restaurant since the first time we walked past it months ago.
There are two reasons why I was keen to visit Papageno. One reason is because of its name. Papageno is a character from my favourite opera, Die Zauberflöte. The other reason is because of the awesome interior. Their website describes the interior as "a busy concoction of colourful stage props, flamboyant artwork, gilt furniture and heavy drapes" and the decor as "an exuberant cross between an opera set and Aladdin's Cave". Lots of draped purple and burgundy fabric and gold trimmings. I just love it! Very much my sort of thing. :)
As for the food, our entrees were good, but the main meals were fairly pedestrian. As we were finishing our main meals we saw someone setting up a keyboard and music stand. Turns out that there was going to be some live opera later in the evening! Even though we were both quite full after two courses, we decided to order coffee and dessert so we could stick around for the opera.
For dessert we had a very nice crème brulee. It was definitely the yummiest part of the dinner. After dessert, the second very nice surprise happened (the first being the live opera). The waitress brought out a complimentary fruit platter! We were both so incredibly full by this point that all we could manage was a few strawberries and a kiwi fruit. Mmmm.
These two adorable black kitties are Jade and Ajax. They live with my friends, Ellie and Mark. I met Jade and Ajax when they were tiny little kittens. They had endless energy and would bounce and play for hours and hours. Ellie tells me that they've settled down a bit now. They're still just as adorable though!
Peter and I went to Cambridge last weekend to visit our friend Doug. It was a great weekend and Doug was an excellent host! He showed us around Cambridge and the University (including the beautiful King's College Chapel) and took us punting on the River Cam!
The train to Cambridge departs from King's Cross station in London. This is also where Hogwart's Express departs from. Here's a picture of Mr Cookie and I at Platform 9 and 3/4. Cookie was quite keen to visit Hogwarts, but we'd already bought tickets to Cambridge. :)
I'm glad that many of my friends have blogs. Makes it much easier to keep track of who's doing what and where and when.
My preferred medium for catching up with everyone's blogs is to sync the latest entries to my iPAQ hx4705 using an aggregator. For this I am currently using Egress. Then I can read them on-the-go without having to be online. My most common blog reading time is on the train, or while waiting for the train.
Some of the blogs I regularly read had RSS feeds already. For those which didn't, I had to hassle the authors to set this up. ;) (BTW, thanks guys for doing this.) Fortunately, they were all using Blogger and it's very easy to publish an XML feed if you have a Blogger blog.
Something else I noticed is that I think Blogger might now have the RSS feed turned on by default. I suspect this because of the following exchange via comments with one of my friends who blogs:
I gather from this exchange that she hadn't actively turned on RSS, however, it turns out that her blog was actually publishing the XML feed. There had just been something wrong with my net connection at the time which prevented me from grabbing it.
Me: Have you thought about turning on the RSS feed for your blog so I can
sync it through my RSS feeder (Egress) on my hx4705?
Friend with blog: Do I want to what with my what now?
The World Rubik's Games Championships 2005 have been announced!
News article: Starwave Mobile Licenses Rubik's Cube and Rubik's Brand; World's Best-Selling Game Crosses Over to Mobile Space
"NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. & NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 14, 2005--Starwave Mobile, a mobile publishing and licensing label from the Walt Disney Internet Group, today announced it has obtained exclusive worldwide mobile rights for the classic Rubik's(R) brand of puzzle games including the world-famous Rubik's(R) Cube.
Under the terms of the deal with Seven Towns Ltd., license holder of the 25-year-old Rubik's franchise, Starwave plans to launch a line of mobile games based on the popular Rubik's brand of casual and puzzle games later this year."
Pocket PC Thoughts had a link to this great comparative review of top end Pocket PCs, including the hx4705. The review is quite comprehensive and I'd definitely recommend taking a look at it if you are considering purchasing a VGA Pocket PC.
Peter gave me a cat-a-day 2005 desk calendar. Each day has a new kitty and a kitty-related comment or quote. Here's the quote from yesterday:
Honour or Pity?
When cats bring their prey back home, it's quite possible that they're providing for someone they view as lacking hunting skills. Keep this in mind, and treat the gesture as an act of kindness.