Wednesday, July 31, 2013

La Cotorra Puertorriqueña

Today, I was curious about the name of the conference room - Cotorra - we were in the entire day in our Puerto Rico facility. As always, I asked the mighty internets and learned that the word itself means Parrot in Spanish, and in context it uniquely refers to the Puerto Rican parrot which is a bright green bird with a red band on its forehead, a white ring around its eyes, and blue primary feathers.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

* Strained Pineapple

Today's touristy adventure was a visit to Barrachina Restaurant in old San Juan where the first Piña Colada was mixed by Ramón Portas Mingot in 1963.

If you find your way to this rustic looking restaurant, make sure you try their Mofongo as well. You will not regret it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

* La Isla Del Encanto

Honestly, I was not expecting much of a good weather when my coworkers and I landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico late last night under the dark skies made heavier with even darker clouds. However, after spending the day hard at work in an air-conditioned conference room with a view to a cemetery, we made it back to our hotel at exactly 5PM local time, and allowed ourselves a half hour to change into our vacation personalities. We took a cab to old San Juan for we all wanted to enjoy an abundance of the best Mint Mojitos in the world. Our very young taxi driver dropped us at the Morro Castle, where we were immediately surrounded by the lemonade sweetness of the weather flavored with cool ocean breeze and fresh-cut grass, decorated with kites flying high above our heads.

Since the castle was about to close, we took the path to the depths of old downtown. Old San Juan is achingly reminiscent of southern European countries with its narrow cobblestone streets:

Ominous doors:

Secretive windows:

Lascivious sculptures:

And ornate balconies:

We concluded our day at a highly-recommended seafood eatery with orgasmic food - yes it was that good - and returned to our temporary dwelling on the ocean front with a sense of great accomplishment courtesy of above mentioned mojitos. 

I already love this tiny jewel of an island, and have every intention to come back to dip my body into the bioluminescent bay waters of Vieques Island...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nonstop Chirping

Just landed in Puerto Rico to be greeted with the endless chirping of the Puerto Rican Coqui. Don't be fooled by the strength of their vocals - these tree frogs are only an inch long and sing only at night.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pardon My Dust

My heart sank the moment Peter Han started erasing the beautiful ephemeral art - which he prefers to call Dynamic Sketching - in this video demonstrating his craft

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sugar Glider

Strangely enough, marsupial things keep finding their way to my browser. Sugar Glider is a nocturnal arboreal marsupial that resides in the Southern hemisphere mainly in Australia and Indonesia. This cute little animal seems like a strange hybrid between a squirrel and bat with a sweet tooth and an ability to glide through air.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Mouthful Of Instruments

Although I've seen plenty of beatboxers before, my jaw dropped when saw Tom Thum's performance at TEDxSydney. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We Are All Recycled Stardust

I watched a very short video today about our earth and the universe. Nothing on it was news to me except the fact that the distance from the highest point on the highest mountain to the lowest depths of the oceans, is only 11 miles. I am not sure if I'm disappointed or thrilled by this new piece of information...

Oh, and to decipher the title of this post - which is a phrase I have coined and repeated for decades now - just watch the video...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tiny Tack Castle

Tired of paying rent Melissa and Chris Tack built themselves a 140 sqft. tiny solar-powered home complete with all the minimal amenities they and their cat Seth need. The best part of this cute dwelling is it is on wheels!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sledge On My Feet

As a very normal woman, I love love love shoes. However, I also care very much about my feet's health so try to buy brands that come with comfort as much as style. For the past year, I had been seeing HRH Kate Middleton in patent beige colored high-heel pumps, and trusting her royal preference, finally today I found out that they are the Sledge by L.K. Bennett. The only thing I need to decide now is which color(s) to get! :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

* A Last Gift To The World

When I opened the package I found in front of my door this morning, I was deeply moved by the book I found in it. I was moved without even reading it because it is David Rakoff's last book he wrote before his death almost a year ago, and just recently got published. As the perfect manifestation of his humorous and witty disposition, Mr. Rakoff wrote his farewell novel Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish in rhyming iambic pentameter.

Thank you, David Rakoff!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Marsupial Water Bottle

If you are a hiker, biker, runner, or just someone like me who grabs a bottle of water when leaving home, then the Contigo AUTOSEAL Kangaroo Water Bottle with Storage Compartment is the thing for you. This bottle has an outer compartment that will hold your key, money and/or cards for your convenience.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Imaginary Landscapes

Kim Keever creates landscapes in a 200-gallon glass tank filled with water, that gives the scenery a feeling of timelessness and localelessness. It is almost impossible to tell if his imagined landscapes are from distant past or distant future or distant planets. They immediately absorb you in like a fairy tale from your childhood that you never want to come back from...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Smile Man

It showed up as an ad on YouTube; one of those you can skip to proceed to whatever it is you are there to view, but I was compelled to watch the entire 9 minutes and 42 seconds of it. It was a short movie starring Willem Dafoe. The Smile Man is a beautiful dance in irony. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gyana Mudra

I learned today that one hand pose I naturally did while saying the OM mantra was in fact a very important mudra that is known to energize the nervous system while bringing peace, calm, and spiritual awareness. Gyana Mudra is achieved by joining the tips of the index fingers with the tips of the thumbs, and while this mudra invites meditation, practicing this posture for 5 to 20 minutes for 15 days, can increase memory, intellectual power, calming your anger, and give relief from headaches and migraines.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Camponotus Saundersi

This ant will self-destruct in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Pfffft

Camponotus Saundersi a.k.a. exploding Malaysian worker ants are suicidal, and can explode as an act of self-defense, spraying a poisonous sticky compound from their mandibular glands.

Monday, July 15, 2013

* The Passion Of The Crisis

Ladies and Gentlemen!

It is a unique privilege and pleasure for me to introduce to you my dear friend (and Jen's charming fiancé) J Verano, and his band Identity Crisis! I just received their latest album The Passion of the Crisis (thank you, J!), and my ears are having a feast with the zesty beat of their perfect blend of hip-hop and underground sounds.

If you haven't already clicked on the links above click here to purchase this amazing album, and click here to follow Identity Crisis on Facebook!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Rosa Branca

My lovely mum introduced me to a Portugese singer today. In all her sweetness she told me she watched this beautiful Portugese woman with very short blond hair sing on a tv show with a voice like fresh water, however she could not remember her name. While talking to her, a quick search on the oh-so-magical internet revealed that the singer was Mariza who is a masterful fado singer. Not only did I learn about this singer from my mum, today, but I also learned what fado style music is. For those of you who are too lazy to click on the link - fado is the traditional urban folk music of Portugal.

Thank you, mum!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Canyons Of An Onion

I love love love the photography of Edward Weston, especially his sensual work of vegetables. However, I've never seen his photo of the onion cut in half, and when I saw it for the first time today, I knew it was one of his without even seeing a name for I immediately felt that familiar flaming sensation I feel every time I look at his photography. Absolutely beautiful!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Let Trees Light The Way

Imagine you are walking down a street at night where there are no street lights, yet the glow of trees light up your path! Sounds magical even Avatar-ish, right?

Now stop imagining because this is about to become real thanks to the Glowing Plant Project successfully funded via Kickstarter! Be sure to click on the link and watch their amazing video about the details of the project! You are welcome! :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Terracotta Solaris

Thank you, Tegolasolare, the Italian company that manufactures the clay roof tiles with solar photovoltaic cells that blend seamlessly with the old world style homes. This is proof that technology and innovation does not always have to manifest itself in modernism.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Mad Scientist

Today - on Nikola Tesla's birthday, director Mihael Anton made an announcement that he is changing the name of his latest masterpiece from The Mad Scientist to TESLA, to honor one of the most amazing scientific figures of history. Cheers to that! Cannot wait til the movie is released!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Future Past Perfect

Finally, I came across someone even more crazier about clouds than I am! German artist Carsten Nicolai has created the short film Future Past Perfect using his 12 years worth of footage he took during commercial flights:

While his fascination by math, science, and technology manifests itself in his art, I am even more fascinated by the limpidness of his website. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

* Unidentified Pink Round Soft Sea Creature

Today while taking my daily walk on the beach, I came across a pink round soft sea creature, and took a picture of it in hopes to learn what it is by doing an image search on the internet.

When the image search was unsuccessful with a handful pictures of pretty pink flowers, I typed 'pink round soft sea creature' in the search box, and the search engine came back with a whole lot of interesting things that were not the answer to my question. The closest sea creature that fit my description was the Pink Sea-Through Fantasia:

Although the name sounds like a piece of sexy lingerie, it actually is a kind of deep-sea cucumber found in the west Pacific. However, when you execute a search with the words 'pink sea-through fantasia', more than half of what it returns are most certainly not sea creatures!

I really would like to learn what I found on the beach today is. Let me know if you have any information!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

PhantomX Hexapod

I am a sucker for robots, and when I saw this home-made robot, the unfulfilled robotics engineer in me woke up once again: 

You can buy one of these hexapods at Trossen Robotics. They are great around toddlers!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

* CD Player Repurposed

For as long as I owned a smartphone, it has been a hassle to use it as a GPS without a proper holder to keep it visible to me while not blocking anything else, so it always ended up sideways in the cupholder between the two front seats. Finally, a few days ago, my search was over when I came across nGroove MT5000 by Mountek - a successful indiegogo project, that mounts to the CD player of my car which had long become useless due to the very same smartphone's (the one that it would be holding up) ability to house mountains of my music playable via Bluetooth.

Today I received my nGroove MT5000, and immediately took it out for a ride. Not only it is very simple to install but very versatile with its rotating and expanding snap head to house any smartphone or tablet without obstructing my view of the dashboard or windshield. This was one of the best investments I've made both for my car and my phone.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Death By Goosebumps

I've always loved the sound of bagpipes, and having Scotland as my birthplace has engraved that in me. Today when I found out about he European Pipe Band Championships held in Forres, Scotland, and listened to some of the bands, I just died of goosebumps.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Curvaceous Symbol

Treble Clef is my second favorite symbol after the OM symbol. For years, I've looked at that symbol guiding me through my classical guitar, and choir classes but never once wondered how it came to be. This article in the Smithsonian magazine give the history and evolution of this curvaceous symbol.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Love Is A Bourgeois Construct

I just pre-ordered Electric - the new album by Pet Shop Boys that is due to be released on July 16th, 2013. Click on the band's link to get a taste of their delicious new music!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dirty Thunderstorms

Although sounds like the name of a killer punk rock band, dirty thunderstorms are weather phenomena that occur when lightning is produced in volcanic plumes due to the static electrical charges generated when rock fragments, ash, and ice particles collide.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Located in Vatnajökull National Park, Vatnajökull is the largest and most voluminous glacier in Iceland occupying 8% of the total area of the country. Under its enormous icecap, it covers several volcanoes some of which are still active. Due to the light bending effects of atmospheric refraction, Vatnajökull can sometimes be seen from the Faroe Islands some 340 miles (550 km) away!