Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Woodland Jaunt at St. Edwards Park and More Mysteries

The nature of Washington State is just so beautiful. I've been trying lately to spend more time out in the woods where everything is magical and mysterious and calming and exciting. Yesterday, I went to St. Edwards Park and hiked through the woods to the shore of the lake and then back through the woods. 

The sun was out! It exists, even in the PNW!

I love finding fungi and mushrooms while in the woods. It always feels like such a treat! Like a hidden surprise! Someone should invent an interactive hiking game involving spotting forest fungi. 

The creek was half frozen. It has been a very cold winter. 

An ordinary tree or the home of some sort of magical creature? I can definitely imagine a little elf peering out from this tree. 

Someone lost their little yellow bow. 

I found my swimming spot once summer is here. 

Earlier I mentioned the mystery of the woods is part of what makes it enticing, but it is not just the woods that is full of mystery. The world in general is a weird and wonderful place. I just heard about a very mysterious story. 

There are many people who grew up in the 1990's who fondly remember a beloved movie from their childhood. The movie is about a genie played by Sinbad who helps out a little kid by granting wishes. The movie is called Shazam. Real life plot twist! This movie never existed! Despite many people from all around the country convinced they have seen this same movie, and all of them remember Sinbad int he movie and remember the name of it being Shazam, no evidence exists that the movie ever happened. Sinbad says he was never in the movie. I was a kid in the nineties and unfortunately, I do not remember the movie, although I like the idea of being swept up in this mystery. 

Some people think it is a huge conspiracy. They claim that Sinbad must have been embarrassed by his association with the movie and took drastic measures to erase all evidence that it ever existed. 

One explanation is that all these Shazam fans are actually thinking of a movie about a genie called Kazaam which starred Shaq. Believers of Shazam say 'No!', they are not talking about Kazam, they remember a separate movie and some people even say they thought it was weird when Kazam came out since Shazam already existed.

Another more interesting theory that involves a whole new mystery is that some people think the Shazam story is an example of the Mandela effect. Nelson Mandela died in 2013, but there are many people who are convinced he died in the eighties while in prison. They even remember seeing the news footage on it. Some people believe that this shared belief or remembrance of Nelson Mandela's death did not come from a mistake of the memory, but is related to parallel universes! Somewhere in a parallel universe, Nelson Mandela did die in prison in the eighties. This is how the Mandela Effect was named. Somehow, something weird happened and some people from the parallel universe ended up in this universe and still carry the memories of their original universe. Shazam could be another example of the Mandela Effect. The people who remember the movie remember it because in the parallel universe where they grew up, Sinbad did indeed make a movie called Shazam. 

The Shazam story reminds me of a story my friend told me in seventh grade. When I was in seventh grade, the movie 'Ransom' starring Mel Gibson came out. My friend told me that she had seen the movie before. She had seen it years ago when she was still little. She knew everything that was going to happen in the movie while watching it. She new every plot twist before it happened. My friend was not the lying type, so I believed what she said. It seemed such an eerie thing to know this entire movie. There seemed no normal explanation. Every explanation seemed fabulous and amazing. Maybe my friend was psychic or maybe when she was little she was in a parallel universe where the movie came out earlier or maybe she was a time traveler. 

But it turns out, like most movies, Ransom's source material was from a story already told. It was told in 1954 in an episode of an old TV show and it was told again in a film entitled Ransom! in 1956. So of course this doesn't rule out completely the possibility of time travel, but it is much more likely that my friend saw the old movie Ransom! and this is why she remembered the details of the plot so well. 

But just because there are reasonable explanations for many of life's mysteries, it doesn't mean every mystery has a reasonable explanation. Somewhere out there, there is a mystery ready to be solved with the most outlandish yet true explanation 

Learn more! Shazam and Mandela Effect.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hello Crazy Vegas!

I went to Las Vegas! I had a wild and crazy time.....attending the animal care expo! I got so drunk....on excitement over learning more about animals! It was a really fun trip and I loved having the chance to learn more about how to make an impact on animals lives through shelter and rescue work. It turns out my first trip to Vegas was for work rather than play, but the best type of work is where I got to learn and I got to be around inspiring people. And even though it was not a 'traditional' Vegas adventure, I did have an opportunity to go out on the town and explore a bit. I liked all the replications of artwork and world renowned attractions. My favorite part of going out on the strip though was the street performers. I love street performers! They are so impressive and give a place more personality. One street performer I liked was a friendly accordion player. Another street performer I saw is almost impossible to describe. He was a dancer. He wore an outfit that when he was crouched so his palms were touching the ground, the outfit looked like two people holding hands. Then he would dance around (like dancing while in downward facing dog position) so it looked like the two people were dancing. It was super cool!

My first Vegas trip was a success! Not financially though as I didn't go home winning a jackpot. I gambled a dollar and lost all but fourteen cents which didn't seem worth using the voucher to reclaim. Vegas has never been a place I have been interested in exploring, other than in the sense that anywhere never experienced before is interesting on some level. But once I was there, it was more interesting than I expected! It felt very surreal and otherworldly. It was an absurd and fantastical and gaudy place and I couldn't help but want to feast my eyes upon every nook and cranny! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Botanical Adventures

On a recent cloudy day, I visited all the plants over at the botanical conservatory in Capitol Hill. I love the conservatory and wish I could live there. I'd set my bed up in the jungle room and I'd do art in the succulent room. I'd eat scones and drink tea in the sparsely populated flower room. 

Plants are really beautiful and make the world a more pleasant place. But plants are more than just pretty to look at. Science is beginning to wonder if plants may have some level of intelligence. After a bunch of plants heard the sound of a caterpillar munching upon a fellow plant, the plants emitted a defensive chemical. Despite not having ears or a brain to process and react to sound, the plants somehow recognized the sound of a threat. I have been a vegetarian for many years now. I might have to rethink it all! 

Here is a really interesting article about plant intelligence if you want to learn more: Plant Intelligence.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Goldfinch Ale

I had the privilege recently (if several months ago still counts as recently..haha!) to design a tap handle label for a beer for local brewery, Hellbent. The beer is called 'Goldfinch Ale' and it is delicious! The Goldfinch is Washington's state bird.

Here is my design:

And here it is as a tap handle:

It is pretty exciting! Of course it is an honor to have my artwork anywhere, but I also really like Hellbent and all their beer.

The goldfinch is the Washington State bird. I saw one once at Golden Gardens state park. It was beautiful! It was bright yellow and perched in some dried out shrubbery. I'd never seen one before and the yellow color of it's feathers was almost unreal especially for the nature of the Pacific Northwest. Bright colors belong in the natural world of the tropics, but here in the PNW, were used to more muted nature colors.

Although I admire the little yellow Goldfinch, I'm not sure it is the most accurate representation of the ornithological world of Washington. I think I would pick the noble crow as the state bird. Crows are everywhere in Washington. People in Washington love our crows! Or at least I do. They are smart, resourceful and bold!

I also think that a starling would be a good fit for Washington. Today, I was walking to work when I came across the most darling site. A bunch of mighty little starlings bathing in a half frozen puddle. They were splashing around and chirping little songs. I wanted to stop and watch them revel in all their birdie merriment, but this guy walking in front of me scared them off with his fast paced brash walk. I wanted to holler to him "Stop Sir! I want to observe those starlings playing in the puddle longer! Could you please slow your pace and walk around them instead of straight at them?" But I decided against it. The bathing starlings flew away, up toward the telephone wires. When I looked up, there were hundreds more starlings, sparkling in the winter sun and chirping to each other. There were more starlings across the street clinging to the branches of a bare tree. There were even more on top of a billboard. It was starling world and I was just a tourist.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A New Years Eve Day Hike

Happy New Year! Let's hope that 2017 will be better than 2016, although it is hard to feel to optimistic based on what is going on in the world. Some things in the world will happen that will be out of our control, but every individual still has the ability to decide how they react to the bad things that happen in the world. In order to make the world better for the future, we all must stay compassionate, stay curious, and stay proactive. 

On New Years Eve day, I went on a beautiful hike on Little Si. Little Si is a mountain in Washington, the little sibling of Mount Si, a much larger mountain. The trail curled through a beautiful mossy forest and led to the top of the mountain where the view was spectacular!

Here is the first view of the hike. Little Si is know for it's view, but this is just a teaser.

Mountain hikes are always very rocky! 

I love hikes full of ferns and moss. Ferns and moss transform the woods into something full of magical possibilities. I feel like I will spot a little elf or mythical animal wandering around the woods.

Little Si is definitely a popular hike for Washingtonians, especially Seattlites because it is fairly near to the city. The view from the top is spectacular! From the rocky perch where I stood a top the mountain, I could see thousands of trees and beautiful snow covered mountains.

 There is nothing like being out in nature to make you appreciate the world a little bit more. Standing a top Mount Si was a perfect way to say good bye to 2016.