Where there is a will there is a way

Saturday, July 24, 2010

At the Edge of the World-- documentary (2009)

I just saw At the Edge of the World, a documentary about the Sea Shepherd's fight against Japanese whaling. It was as gripping as any show on a dangerous activity. Truly the good guys against the *insert rude word here*. In modern times, the pirates are good, and the people about their offical business in the sea are evil. Every season thousands of whales are killed (will get their stat.) People from all over the world of every background risk their lives to stop/bring attention to whale poaching-- which was banned from the world in 1986. Way to go Japan NOT.

I was just really disappointed that the Japanese would do that. I know it's part of Asian culture that one can take in the power of the animal by eating it/using its essence, but in this case they are destroying that special thing and taking it from the earth. (And apparently their flesh is very polluted now due to human impact anyways.)

Must watch it! It's really good.
For those of us who aren't going to jump on the boat and risk ourselves from our families, fear not, we can donate. I am definitely going to as soon as my family can handle the diversion of resources. http://www.seashepherd.org/ 
More about commercial whaling and the poor state of whale populations: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/whaling/

Update October 2012 - since this post I bought my son a tshirt from their organization to support them, and will be going to an Auckland fundraiser (expensive) event soon, to support the cause of protecting whales.   (It just makes me sick that people are still killing them!)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Craft Advice

1. Relaxing music is best. Not as you would think, intense music. I listen to classical music, folk music most of the time. ANYTHING CALM. Let your spirit be calm, not excited.

2. Believe in yourself. Not too much, and not too little. The craftsman's edge is the humbleness, and critical eye, but also you have to believe in magic. Always be aware of how you are feeling-- know your nature-- curb yourself if necessary, urge yourself if necessary! Make a leap.

3. Good enough. Don't be perfectionist, you won't be able to move on. Just do "good enough". You'll get in the flow then, and when you are in a higher flow, will go back and fix easily what you now can, naturally.

4. Listen, listen, all the time. Otherwise, what is the point? I often find myself knowing I should do one thing, and ignoring it for a minute-- but a minute later I change it, as I know I should listen.

5. All the time, you can work on your discipline and patience. If you are about to work, but have to do the dishes first, but feel impatient-- do the dishes! After all, that is how you will work.

It's worth it. After all, what could be better than being the universe's pencil?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

How to cut out a Real Six-sided Snowflake (aka Stellar Dendrite)

Awhile ago I found some photos of real snowflakes on the web, and also remembered that kids activity people did with me where you fold and cut out snowflakes. But the one my mother knew of resulted in 8 sides, not the real six! I tried to figure it out mathematically, but we couldn't figure out a simple way.

I recently ran across this meteorology book with a really simple way to cut out a six-sided snowflake! You just use a compass (I used a mug) to make a circle, and then you fold it in half, then into a third (see image below) towards the middle. Then you fold it out and just cut out the inbetween spaces between the fold lines. (I think you fold it in half again to cut out the decoration along the edges to ensure greater symmetry.)

Credit: Meteorology by Graham Peacock, Wayland Publishers, East Sussex, England (1994). Credit: Snowflake Cut-out by Savannah Dale.

Here is another diagram that shows how snowflakes are formed that I found on the web, "Snowflake Morphology" (Translation: How snowflakes change.)

I don't know enough meteorology to understand it fully, but I get a gist from this diagram! They turn out different ways due to different conditions.

The amazing photo at the top of this blog was photographed by Kenneth Libbrecht, a professor of physics at California Institute of Technology. He photographs snowflakes in the field and in his lab. To see more snowflake photos, go to


You can also learn more about the snowflake types! The beautiful crystals we picture when we think of snowflakes are called stellar dendrites.

Tibetan Children's Colouring Book

A great find! Ok, I found it awhile ago, but I wasn't blogging then! (Or finishing any goal quickly, let alone sharing something in a simple, finite way. I ran across Eternal Creation awhile ago, clothing made by tailors in Dharamsala- the home of Tibetan refugees, and the Dalai Lama. I loved the Tibetan-western fusion clothing and amazing design, but couldn't afford the clothes. But I DID order something called a "Tibetan Children's Colouring Book. It really is the ornate drawings of monks, that your child can colour in. It's so special. Definitely something I love for my children to soak up.

Click here to order a "Tibetan Children  Colouring Book" from Eternal Creation.  If the link gets changed, it's at www.eternalcreation.com, then Gift Ideas , then Children's Books.

Oh, hey, something strange I forgot until I just ran across it! On the back of the book was a curious message, emploring the receiver.

No matter what is going on 
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country
Is spent developing the mind
Instead of the heart
Be compassionate
Work for peace
In your heart and in the world
Work for Peace
And I say again
Never give up
No matter what is going on around you
Never give up

- H.H. The Dalai Lama