Friday, December 30, 2005

Goodbye 2005!

So long to the worst year ever! Yep, that's me, falling on my ass during a surfing lesson in Waikiki. How bad could a year be if I managed to surf in Waikiki, you ask?

The answer - uber crappy. Craptastic. Suck-o-rama. Awe-inspiringly awful. Disgusting, dispiriting, disorienting and downright disappointing.

Why? Well, death mostly. Yeah, death. Lots of it. Funerals and mourning and loss. Grief for friends, relatives, and relationships lost forever. Time and energy wasted on events and people that neither cared nor gave back. The huge black hole of death, disease, addiction, and exploitation that nearly sucked me down into its depths for good. But you know what? I'm still here. I might fall on my ass, but I'm gonna keep getting up despite scrapes from the coral, aching arms, and uncooperative waves.

Goodbye dear, strong Aunt Janet, taken by lung cancer. So long to dear, heartbreakingly funny Natalie drinking herself to death in the Rite Aid parking lot on Sunset Blvd. Friends of friends passed too soon. Another friend's father was taken by cancer.

My boss lost one of her bridesmaids to breast cancer about a month ago, and the woman's 19 year old son got up at the service and just said "FUCK CANCER!" -- to much applause. Well said! FUCK CANCER!

While we're at it: fuck tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, and fires. Fuck alcoholism and cigarettes. Fuck George Bush, Dick Cheney and all their cohorts. Fuck war, lies, and genocide. Fuck users, exploiters, and the self centered. Fuck fear. Fuck those idiots on their cell phones in their cars who honk at you when you're waiting for an old man with a cane to cross the street. Just calm down, everyone. Put down the phone/blackberry/Ipod/mascara wand and breathe.

Hello truth. Some may find this trite, but believe me after this goddamn year it ain't. Hello peace, love, and compassion. Welcome forgiveness, belly laughs and adventure. There are many reasons still to be grateful. Thanks to family and friends who kept me from sinking too deep to find my way back to the surface. Thanks to helpful co-workers, health insurance, steady income and cheap DVDs. Thanks to that mysterious force that connects us all and gives a reason to look forward to 2006.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Gorgeous, Handmade Clothes!

My friend Stacy is an expert weaver, as you can see from the photo of a beautiful cape she made. Check it and all her other stuff out at

Handwoven and knit clothing and accessories each uniquely dyed for a one of a kind feel. e-mail:
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Cool paintings and drawings by artist Dan Krall. More viewable at Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Polaroidize Now!

From the Tayster -- Tay Bass:

So here's what you do. Go to this site-

and give it the URL of a picture. Let's say

Add the caption to the remarks/text box "Good thing they wore their helmets..." and press Polaroidonize Now. Presto, you have a nice graphic you can paste into other docs.

Haleakala National Park's the Oheo Gulch, also known as the Seven Sacred Pools, is a series of waterfalls and plunge pools. Fed by a stream, the pools lead, one by one, downhill to the ocean.
 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Why Stop at Intelligent Design?


What about Spaghetti Monsters? This open letter to the Kansas School Board takes it to task for teaching "Intelligent Design" (Biblical Creationism tarted up in scientific dress) in schools. The author points out that there are several competing theories that Kansas could teach its students, including the popular thesis that the universe was created by a "Flying Spaghetti Monster." There are pictures, too. (see above)

"I'm sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. I cannot stress the importance of this, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why this must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long. The concise explanation is that He becomes angry if we don't."

Huge Table Gives Food for Thought

From BBC News:
The sculpture is a tribute to the loneliness of writing
A table and chair the size of a house have been captivating visitors to north London's Hampstead Heath. The 30ft (9m) sculpture, The Writer, will be on Parliament Hill for four months before returning to Italy.

The tribute to the loneliness of writing is meant to inspire visitors to the heath, which has associations with writers Keats and Coleridge.

Leslie Mare, from the Corporation of London which runs the heath, said: "People seem to love it or hate it".

Giancarlo Neri, who used to play soccer for New York Apollos in the seventies, chose the heath, one of London's most popular parks, after hearing of its artistic heritage.

The Naples-born artist used six tons of steel and 1,000lb of wood to create the giant sculpture.
It's almost a reminder of the heath's hidden heroes Leslie Mare Corporation of London
He said he wants people to interact with it, using it as a picnic spot or using the legs as goal posts.
When it was on display in Rome two homeless people were said to have lived underneath it.
Ms Mare told BBC News: "People talk about it, look at it, some people have even graffiti'd on it but it's really engaged people.

"It's almost a reminder of the heath's hidden heroes, and hopefully will encourage new young budding artists and writers."
The sculpture will be officially unveiled at a party on the heath on Wednesday, during the first week of Art Fortnight London.
Posted by Hello

Giant Popsicle Melts, Floods NYC Park

NEW YORK - An attempt to erect the world's largest popsicle in a city square ended with a scene straight out of a disaster film — but much stickier.

The 25-foot-tall, 17 1/2-ton treat of frozen Snapple juice melted faster than expected Tuesday, flooding Union Square in downtown Manhattan with kiwi-strawberry-flavored fluid that sent pedestrians scurrying for higher ground.

Firefighters closed off several streets and used hoses to wash away the sugary goo.
Snapple had been trying to promote a new line of frozen treats by setting a record for the world's largest popsicle, but called off the stunt before it was pulled fully upright by a construction crane. Authorities said they were worried the thing would collapse in the 80-degree, first-day-of-summer heat.

"What was unsettling was that the fluid just kept coming," Stuart Claxton of the Guinness Book of World Records told the Daily News. "It was quite a lot of fluid. On a hot day like this, you have to move fast."

Snapple official Lauren Radcliffe said the company was unlikely to make a second attempt to break the record, set by a 21-foot ice pop in Holland in 1997.

The giant ice pop was supposed to have been able to withstand the heat for some time, and organizers weren't sure why it didn't. It had been made in Edison, N.J., and hauled to New York by freezer truck in the morning.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Chimpson Pollack

From NPR's "All Things Considered."
Three paintings by a chimpanzee named Congo sold at auction in London Monday for about $25,000 -- after having been expected to fetch less than $2,000. The winning bidder was Howard Hong of Pasadena, Calif.

Congo died 40 years ago of tuberculosis. In life, he was a frequent and popular guest on Zootime, a British television show hosted by animal behaviorist Desmond Morris. Congo left behind some 400 drawings and paintings.

In 1957, Morris curated an exhibit in London of chimpanzee art, which included a number of works by Congo. Morris was interested in exploring chimps' ability to create order and symmetry and in our human impulse toward creativity.

It's an idea that also intrigues Hong. "Who is to say that humans have a monopoly on the ability to concept abstractly?" Hong says. "I think many pet owners would disagree with that statement."
Posted by Hello

Cuteness Rules!

I've tried to stay away from adorable animal shots and so on with this blog, despite my own tendancy to melt at the sight of puppies and kittens. But now I say -- let the cuteness begin!

Lisa Wong Moore sent me this adorable computer screen cleaner. It's free!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Before the vote : An Iranian girl stands among women queueing up outside a polling station in the Shiite holy shrine of Mahsoumeh for Iran's presidential elections. (AFP/Patrick Baz)
Posted by Hello

Ladies, here's a great way to overcome fear...

New reseach shows that female orgasm appears to shut down the centers of the brain that allow women to feel fear and emotion. From "New Scientist:"

“At the moment of orgasm, women do not have any emotional feelings,” says Gert Holstege of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands....As the women were stimulated, activity rose in one sensory part of the brain, called the primary somatosensory cortex, but fell in the amygdala and hippocampus, areas involved in alertness and anxiety. During orgasm, activity fell in many more areas of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex, compared with the resting state..."

In one sense the findings appear to confirm what is already known, that women cannot enjoy sex unless they are relaxed and free from worries and distractions. "Fear and anxiety levels have to go down for orgasm. Everyone knows this but we can see it happening in the brain," (Holstege) explains.

From an evolutionary point of view, it could be that the brain switches off the emotions during sex because at such times the chance to produce offspring becomes more important than the survival risk to the individual. Holstege points to the extraordinary behaviour seen in some animals during the breeding season, such as March hares, when the urge to mate seems to override the usual fear of predators.

On the downside, researchers were able to tell when women were faking by seeing which parts of the brain were active during orgasm. (Thanks to Wendee Higa Lee for this link.)

When women genuinely achieved an orgasm, areas of the brain involved in fear and emotion were deactivated. Those areas stayed alert however when women were faking it.

The researchers also found that the cortex, which is linked with consciousness, is active during a fake orgasm but not during the real thing.

"The deactivation of these very important parts of the brain might be the most important thing necessary to have an orgasm," said Holstege.

"It means that if you are fearful or at a very high level of anxiety, then it is very difficult to have sex because you really have to let yourself go," he added.

The brain scans for men during orgasm were less conclusive, according to Holstege.

But they did show that different parts of the male and female brain are activated and deactivated during sexual stimulation.

The researchers found less deactivation in the males in the areas of the brain linked to emotion and fear when they were sexually stimulated.

They are now planning further studies to compared the male and female brains during orgasm.

I Want That Dog!

Tay Bass sends footage of a real dog really and truly skateboarding. Damn, the little guy's having a blast!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Triumph vs. Michael Jackson

Triumph the Insult Dog interviews folks waiting outside Michael Jackson's trial. You gotta take a couple minutes and watch the video sent to me from Brian Pope, who says:

"This may possibly be the funniest thing I've seen all year."

He ain't kidding. Click on the link below...

The Benefits of Piracy

From -- Engrish hilarity on badly bootlegged Star Wars DVD

Badly translated subtitles on a pirated copy of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith provide many happy moments of beverage-through-nostrils yukkage. Sample: Anakin to Obi-Wan --"I was just made by the Presbyterian Church." Hard to believe this is real, but even if the post were a hoax, it's a fun one.

Reader Comment (from boingboing): Paul Berger says,
I posted a similar story last week on my blog . Unfortunately I don't have a photograph--it came via an email from my mother-in-law, of all people. She wrote, "My first attempt brought up the subtitles, probably the funniest thing about the film. An attack from the rear is translated as 'he is coming into my behind'."
Posted by Hello

Good thing they wore their helmets...

Naked bikers ride during the world naked bike ride to protest against cars and agressive drivers in the streets of Madrid. (AFP/Philippe Desmazes)
Posted by Hello

Berry's Laws

My Father came up with, I believe, 10 Berry's Laws. As a dutiful daughter, I can only remember the first three.

1. When in doubt, go to your left. Corollary: Or your right.

2. The significance is not increased by the mass.

3. There is no third law.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Pharaoh Tutankhamun Reigns Again!

This small coffin, made of gold and semi precious stones, held some of Tut's internal organs. It'll be on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art starting tomorrow along with tons of other goodies. Oh yeah. I'll be there. Posted by Hello

Beautiful Things

Here are the doors to Tut's tomb as they looked in 1923, still sealed after over three thousand years. After he opened the door, archaeologist Howard Carter peered in and was asked, "What can you see?" He had trouble answering, so awed was he. "Beautiful things," he finally replied. "And gold. Everywhere the glint of gold." Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It's like herding cats.

Veterinarian Lisa Wong Moore sent in the link for a very funny short film. She says, "This has always been one of my favorites...perhaps a reflection of my life?"

Click on the link to below:

You'll have to skip one ad and then sit through a brief video ad before watching the film.
Posted by Hello

Sleep Well Tonight

From Tay Bass, a site he checks every morning showing all the seismic activity in California.

Tay says, "It shows the quakes in California for the last week. Most people are surprised/concerned when they see the caption such as "365 quakes on this map." Also of note is is that red indicates a quake in the last hour. It automatically raises thoughts- Is there one near you? Did you feel it? But most of these are much too small to be felt. It takes a minimum of a nearby 3 for most people to discern a difference between a quake and a passing truck.

"OK, so you already know that California is more seismically active than the 48 states. But how much? Click on this link-

Yup, almost all the activity is indeed in California.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Sponge Monkeys!

Have you seen that crazy Quizno's ad with those weird critters? Apparently, they are called Sponge Monkeys. The photo above is by the same strange guy. Matt Chapman found the link where you can see the original insanity that inspired that ad. Matt says:

"The strangest and most amusing thing I have seen in a while: I saw these guys on a Quizno's ad back in 2004, and thought the spots were brilliant. Evidently a UK group that puts these bizarre videos together. Like watch some sort of acid trip car wreck. Enjoy! :)"

Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

"The Flight" by Quint Buchholtz, one of my favorite crazy German artists.  Posted by Hello

Sand Art

Wendee Higa Lee found this nifty site, where you can quickly create your own sand art.

Ton's of color choices, control of sand volume -- from trickles to rivers to storms!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Beautiful Music

A two-page aria written by Bach was just discovered in the Anna Amalia Library in Weimar. You can hear this lovely, short piece performed by going to:

A printed copy of the lost score, written in October 1713, the first vocal work by Bach to surface in 70 years.
Posted by Hello

Lite Brite

Prankmeister Tay Bass submits this link which allows you to travel back to childhood, with an online version of the fabulous toy, Lite Bright. Making things with light!

Who can resist?

I tried to make a face, but it came out looking like a big purple Nixon.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Honey?! Where'd you park the truck?

From Kat Munchmeyer Hand, a photo demonstrating how they park their earth moving equipment in Cyprus. (Click directly on photo to make it bigger)

And I thought my garage was small.

Isn't Nature Wonderful Dept.

Biology maven Cathy Kliegel sent me a hilarious little video of an octopus. She says:

"What this species does to sneak away from an enemy is it wraps its legs around itself so it looks like a coconut, and then it runs away ON TWO LEGS!"

You'll need Quicktime to view this, but the site will prompt you to download it if you don't have it.

Monday, June 06, 2005

So long, and thanks for the sponges...

Researchers suspect the sponges help the dolphins avoid getting stung by stonefish and other creatures
Posted by Hello

Dolphins - The Tool Using Mammal

Turns out dolphins use sponges to protect their noses, the way gardeners use gloves to protect their hands.

Whack the Penguin

For those of you who know Diane Stengle, it will come as no surprise that the very silly link below is from her.

Click on the Abominable Snowman to start it, then click again to WHACK!

At least I think it's the Abominable Snowman.

Lost and Found

From "Bloom County" by Berkeley Breathed.
(Click on it to make it larger.) Posted by Hello

Fiery Flight

Photograph by Yann Arthus-Bertand
From "Visions of Earth," National Geographic magazine, June 2005

Flaming feathers of scarlet ibises contrast dramatically against the dark mudflats of Venezuela's Amacuro Delta.
Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 04, 2005

"Magnolia, turning the corner..."
Watercolor by Wendee Higa Lee Posted by Hello

Friday, June 03, 2005

Bellows Beach, Windward Oahu - My favorite spot in the world. Posted by Hello

Cheese Worth the Broken Bones


June 1, 2005. Chris Anderson (lower right) snatched victory and an 8-pound (3.5-kilogram) wheel of Double Gloucester (lower left) at Gloucestershire, England's annual Cheese Rolling and Wake. The win came slightly curdled for the 17-year-old, as a sprained ankle landed him in a stretcher. Of the scores of cheese chasers, 3 suffered suspected broken bones, and 18 were treated for minor injuries.

To win his race the second of four Anderson had to chase a rolling cheese down a nearly vertical hill and be the first among many contestants across the finish line.

The event, which may have begun as a pagan ceremony, goes back at least 200 years. Time, it seems, has done little to dim the local fervor for it.

"The pain was worth it," Anderson, clutching his tasty trophy, told the Associated Press. "This cheese is going straight in a cupboard when I get home. It's definitely not for eating."
-- written by Ted Chamberlain
Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Waimanalo, Oahu Posted by Hello

Letters from Dad

My father, Doc Berry, is an eloquent man with an acute sense of the absurd. Here's a bit from a recent email:

"Yesterday AM I ankled over for a cup of coffee at Starbucks and encountered along the way no fewer than six parents with infants in arms. It became a kind of census of youthful happiness. One man had his toddler on his shoulder, a hat on the runt, a floppy hat on himself, and an umbrella over them both. Shade as happiness. A woman had her kid bare to the sun, the boy smiling and waving shyly to passersby. Others were kootchy-cooing as their kids trundled along in elaborate baby buggies. Each of the kids looked so secure and happy, as did the parents, which led me to yearn not for a kid to carry, mind you, but for someone to roll me around in a buggy of my own."


A gem by Christopher P. Campbell, my senior prom date, buddy, expert frisbee player, and all around genius.

Little cock-a-roach
Bam bam bam! Bam bam! Bam bam!
I missed you each time.