Category Archives: Personal

Finding the Artist Within: Chapter One

I picked up The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain on Tuesday, then Laura and I took a trip to Pat Catan’s to pick up some art supplies. After we got home, we both did the first three exercises in the book.

  1. Self-Portrait. Not too bad. I squished my head a bit on the horizontal, and I had a real problem with the lips, but it came out much better than I expected.
  2. Portrait from Memory. Simply dreadful. I started and stopped no less than half a dozen times. I tried my maternal grandfather, my maternal grandmother, my father, my friend Rob and a couple of other people and erased my futile efforts in each case. I could see each of these people in my minds eye, but when I tried to focus on their features I failed miserably. According to the author, this is not at all unexpected.
  3. Non-drawing Hand. Weird. The end result came out very lumpy, but it was definitely recognizable as my hand.

I have to read the rest of the chapter so I can get to the next exercise. The author goes into great detail about the assymmetrical nature of the human brain and the studies that have been done surrounding the separation of the hemispheres. It’s all very interesting stuff. Laura and I are (I think) going to try to do the exercises together whenever possible. Perhaps I’ll scan some of the drawings and post them for all to see when I’ve finished.

And another thing…

Two or three other things, actually. My trip to the Great Lakes Mall Monday night was pretty fruitful. The “It’s a Puzzle!” store was selling all their stuff at deep discounts, so their inventory was pretty sparse. They were all out of puzzle glue and their selection of puzzles was fairly sad. They did have a few in the 9,000-to-18,000 piece range that looked very interesting, in a “there’s no way in Hell I could possibly finish that” kind of way.

There was, however, a game kiosk that had puzzle glue as well as a Disney Photomosaics Winnie the Pooh puzzle. Our guest bedroom has a combination Winnie the Pooh/Aquarium theme going on, so I thought that it’d make a good addition. Plus, it look suitably difficult without being frustratingly so.

When she found out that I was going to the mall, Laura asked me to pick up a copy of Yourself! Fitness for the Xbox. Oh, not for her. No, no, no. For me. So, I can now use my Xbox as a personal trainer and dietitian. I have yet to pop the disc in the drive, as I’m afraid of what Maya will instruct me to do. Perhaps Saturday I’ll bite that particular bullet.

I also snagged a used copy of Syberia for the Xbox, a game that I’ve wanted for some time now. I believe the genre is technically adventure game, but it could probably be called a story-driven puzzle game, too. It’s very pretty.

That is all!

…looming like a shadow over everything we’ve built here.

With the final casualty toll of the Boxing Day tsunamis still undetermined, scientists have begun to take a closer look at how future geophysical events might affect various regions of the world. Seismologists, geologists and other experts have uncovered a number of scenarios that could spell disaster for millions of people.

Catastrophe experts have warned that a 12-mile long shelf of rock weighing approximately five hundred million tons might fall into the ocean when the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma next erupts. This would result in gigantic tsunamis that could potentially lay waste to the eastern seaboard of the United States. One northeast Ohio man, however, thinks there is danger much, much closer to home.

“It could happen right here in Ohio,” says Elyria resident Leonard Dalton. Elyria, a suburb of Cleveland, is one of many towns the would be utterly destroyed by a Lake Erie tsunami, according to Dalton.

“There is a fault line running right under Lake Ontario,” Dalton told reporters at a press conference on Monday. “If a volcano erupted there, all of southeastern Ontario would fall into Lake Erie, creating a massive tsunami that would obliterate everything on the southern coast.”

Ontario: Our deadly northern neighbor.

That includes all of northern Ohio as well as parts of Pennsylvania and New York. “Yes, there is a fault line under Lake Ontario,” confirmed Dr. Alan Meadows of Ohio’s Division of Geological Survey. Dr. Meadows spoke from the division’s laboratory at Alum Creek State Park, north of Columbus—well away from the potential danger zone. “This fault line is very stable, and there is no indication that future earthquakes of significant intensity will occur along the line. Additionally, there is no volcano on that line.”

Dr. Meadows also pointed out that Ontario and La Palma are very different. “The situation in the Canary Islands is unique,” he said. “On La Palma, you’ve got an unstable slab of rock that could very feasibly slide into the ocean. Ontario isn’t an island, and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that any part of it could break away, even in the event of a catastrophe of the type Mister Dalton describes.”

Leonard Dalton disagrees. “It’s easy for the bureaucrats and the white coats to dismiss this,” he said. “They’re all sitting warm and cozy in Columbus. They could care less if Cleveland, Toledo and Buffalo were under fifty feet of water.”

Dalton’s seismological background consists largely of watching films like Earthquake, released in 1974, and Volcano and Dante’s Peak, both released in 1997. “I’ve seen what happens when we ignore the signs,” Dalton warned a group of reporters and passersby outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located near the Lake Erie shore. “No one conceived of a volcano in downtown Los Angeles, either.”

Ontario could not be reached for comment.