January 22nd, 2021

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Making a Crystal Ornament for the Window

These pictures show the progress as I make a crystal ornament from a set of loose prisms and a tree branch.  I spotted the crystals online really cheap during my holiday shopping, and couldn't pass them up.  Previously I had seen window ornaments made from multiple crystals attached to a hanger of some sort, so I knew that I could cobble up something.

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Birdfeeding

Today is clear and cool with a breeze.

I fed the birds.  Earlier I saw some sparrows and a cardinal.  Now it's the same odd combination of cardinals: 3 males and 1 female.  Possibly they are siblings, or they might actually be a M/F pair and a M/M pair. 
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Dancing Stormtroopers

At first glance, these folks are just a nerd's dream come true.  But look closer. 

1) Their costume designer is brilliant.  Those costumes look  a lot like Stormtroopers, but have a great deal more room for movement.

2) They are dancing and doing gymnastics in armor.  Look at the joint between the pelvic plate and the abdominal plate.  As the dancers do hip and chest moves, they must exert superlative control over abdominal orientation to avoid snagging those two plates together and disrupting the move.  All the time.  That amount of control is just mindblowing.

3) They're not just piggybacking on "everyone loves Star Wars."  They're playing with expectations.  This part of the act is not fully matured yet, but that's okay, I want them to have room to grow into whatever they want it to be.  There are two ways to take this: play with the original content more (they barely touched on Star Wars music) or play with discrepancies (mostly what they did, but probably not as precise mimicry as possible).  There is so much potential here, because the world is full of famous visual imagery that they could lampoon in this way.

I would really love to see them continue dancing in more outlandish costumes that are so challenging to control.
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Crows Make Art

I'm fascinating by this example of crows making art, not just for themselves, but for human friends. 

Of all the animals that have interacted with humans, crows are the first I've seen make an exchange of material goods.  I'm not sure whether they mean it as a gift economy or a barter economy, but it's happening more than once.  That they would go beyond found items (which many birds and some small animals enjoy) to making  things is especially interesting.  
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Today's Smoothie

My partner Doug wanted to try out the prickly pear honey in a smoothie, so today we made one with:

1/2 cup pear nectar
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup yogurt
1 pear
1 tablespoon prickly pear flavored honey
1/2 cup ice

We would've used a full cup of pear nectar but didn't have that much left.

The smoothie turned out creamy and pink with definite floral notes.  The prickly pear honey is sort of a dark pink, almost red.  It's pretty good, although not as good as some others I've had.  I wouldn't mind doing it again.