Tag Archives: Street View

Sunday Smiles: Marine biology geek-outs & knockwurst

New Zealand went into summer time today, which means the clocks went forward through the night.  I’m super excited about being one step closer to summer, but mildly unimpressed at losing an hour of sleep.  You win some, you lose some.  And waking up to bright sunshine definitely helped, particularly since a couple of days ago, the forecast for this weekend was solid rain.

So on to this week’s Sunday Smiles:

  • First off, this photo of the Space Shuttle Endeavour flying over San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is rather amazing.  I was totally into space and astronauts when I was little, and I still find the Space Shuttle awe-inspiring.  Even if it’s attached to a 747 (or whatever kind of plane that is).
  • The Great Barrier Reef has been put on Google Street View.  I’d heard that this was going to happen, but thought it was currently still being photographed.  Clearly I’m just behind in my news…  Anyway, it’s amazing, fabulous for procrastination and we totally had a marine biology geek-out the other day in the lab.  We’re super cool like that.
  • Clearly it’s marine biology geek-out week, although if you’re a little squeamish, you might not be too keen on this one.  The technicians have some starfish in tanks at the moment (possibly for a lab, but I’m not sure) and on Friday they were consuming some little crabs that were in the same tank.  I’m not sure if they were supposed to do that or not, but regardless, it’s rather awesome.  Because the starfish are attached to the clear sides of the tank, you can see the trapped crabs, and, totally exciting, the starfish’s stomachs.  Quick biology lesson: many starfish species digest their prey outside their body by everting their stomachs.  It’s kind of utterly amazing.  And also pretty slow I think.  I’m rather intrigued to see what state these crabs will be in tomorrow (there’s actually a tiny little crab to the right of the larger one, but it’s difficult to see in the photo):

  • Check out these amazing light paintings set around Los Angeles.  I really like the dinosaur ones (because dinosaurs!), but the one of the campers is so clever.  People are so skilled!  I can hardly draw on paper, never mind with light in a photograph.  Just wow.
  • I’m not the greatest fan of London’s Underground (give me Paris’ metro any day – oooo controversial), but these guerrilla Underground signs make me want to take it just to see if I can spot one.  They amused me.
  • And finally, it appears that OPI have brought out a Germany collection of nail varnishes (I’ve no idea why).  It’s not clear whether a miniature painting of the Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies comes hidden in the bottle of My Very First Knockwurst or not.*  (If you’ve landed on this page after some strange search and haven’t found what you’re actually looking for then I do apologise.)

What made you smile this week?

*If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, you should watch ‘Allo ‘Allo (British sense of humour highly recommended…).

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Introducing a new blog feature: Sunday Smiles

I have a confession (and it’s a bit of a heavy one).  I’ve been feeling a bit miserable lately.  And by lately I really mean a few months…or even the past year.  I’m thoroughly fed up of always feeling down, but I can’t seem to shift it.  Of course it fades when I’m out having fun, doing things I love, like visiting the zoo, or watching the All Blacks, but it’s only temporary and I know that the feeling will be back the next day, which is frustrating.  I’ve tried not to make it noticeable in my blog posts, but I’m not sure how well I’ve succeeded.  Anyway, in a vague attempt to improve things, I’ve come up with a new blog feature: Sunday Smiles.

It’s a simple and straightforward idea – basically I’ll list some of the things that have made me smile over the past week, whether they’re new discoveries, things I’ve read, or just pretty things I’ve seen.  I guess it’s similar to the “Friday Favourites” lists that I’ve seen on a few blogs (but since I tend to post a recipe on Fridays, that doesn’t really work for me).  The point is basically to focus on good things, happy things.  Oh, and I’ll post it every Sunday.  See?  Simple!  Do let me know what you think – good idea or not really that interesting and rather self-indulgent?

So for this week, my Sunday Smiles are:

  • Google released Street View for Antarctica on Wednesday.  This is totally utterly amazing and full of totally educational procrastination potential…  I love that you can see inside some of the research stations.  And the penguin colonies, of course.  Antarctica fascinates me and I would absolutely love to go there, but only ever as a scientist, since I firmly believe that no tourism should be allowed in Antarctica whatsoever.  The only flaw in this plan is that there aren’t any elasmobranchs in Antarctica (that we know of).  So I’m not sure how I’d ever wrangle that one…
  • I picked up these roses at the farmers’ market that I went to last weekend.  I love roses (as corny and cliché as that may be), and I really loved the dusky and faded “old rose” look of these ones.  I nearly always have flowers or plants in the flat because I find that they really brighten things up, but I’m not very good at keeping them alive…

  • One of my highlights of the week remains my Kiwi labmates’ reaction to the kumara and chocolate cookies that I made the other day – I’m still not over their genuine surprise and excitement at the concept of using kumara (sweet potato) in cookies
  • I made macarons for the first time since moving to New Zealand yesterday, and thus the first time with my oven here – and they worked!  Ok, so the feet could have been a little more developed, but I’m still happy with them.  I only had time to make the shells yesterday and will be making the ganache filling later today, but feel free to guess the flavour based on the shells…  They’re a little more purple in real life.  Clue: they’re alcohol-based.  Ok, that wasn’t much of a clue since nearly all the macarons that I make are alcohol-based.  Better clue: the alcohols involved will be covering my entries to both this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge (ingredient: black currant) and AlphaBakes (letter: W).  Can you guess?  All will be revealed in Tuesday’s blog post…

What made you smile this week?

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