Sunday, April 4, 2010


I realize I just started this blog, but I got A Whole Lotta Love!... so I changed the name and the web address. You can find and follow my blog here:


Love, Adrienne

                       source: sophie blackall

Thursday, April 1, 2010

¡slooɟ lıɹdɐ ʎddɐɥ

Happy APRIL!!! I always loved April Fools Day growing up... toothpaste in the Oreo cookies, salt in the sugar bowl... I may look innocent, but I have a bit of prankster in me (its all in love). Fools day, to me, was a day you could do stupid things and somewhat get away with it...although I did get my one and only detention for saran-wrapping one of the toilets in school :( That was a little mean.

Anyway, I love reading about all the pranks that have been done by big companies, radios, tv stations etc. This year, Google has changed its name to Topeka (since Topeka wanted to change its name to Google), as well as introducing a new app where you can translate animal sounds into human speech, and all their vowels seem to have gone missing on some pages :).

Also, YouTube is letting you watch videos in text mode. I actually really love the following video in the text mode almost better, but somehow its not letting me transfer it that way... you have to actually go to the YouTube page. This video is awesome though, and I'm so glad I came across it today via their little prank. It is such reflection of the beautiful spring weather and the sun shining today - coming out after the long winter and the jazz makes me want to dance.

Last year British supermarket chain Waitrose placed ads in newspapers announcing the availability of a new fruit, the pinana (a combination of pineapple and banana).

    You can read the Top 100 April Fools Hoaxes of All Time here. One of my favorite is the Taco Liberty Bell

    Taco Bell Buys The Liberty Bell
    In an effort to help the national debt, Taco Bell is pleased to announce that we have agreed to purchase the Liberty Bell, one of our country’s most historic treasures. It will now be called the “Taco Liberty Bell” and will still be accessible to the American public for viewing. While some may find this controversial, we hope our move will prompt other corporations to take similar action to do their part to reduce the country’s debt.
    Motivational - I Pity The Fool Pictures, Images and Photos
    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.- Abraham Lincoln

    A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.- William Shakespeare

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    Water water everywhere...

    Its raining again today. Well, thats March - and I'm thankful for it because I know that it will bring out the blossoms I crave even sooner... so I can live with a few days of rain. Also, I recently watched the most amazing documentary, called Water, the Great Mystery.

    Its an incredible molecule that we take so for granted! Life would not exist if it were not for water and we humans are mostly made from water. And even though it is the most basic and common thing on earth, it is still not truly understood. There are some pretty strange claims in this video, especially that water has a 'memory'. This is a fascinating thought. Also, one thing it talks about is the research of Dr. Emoto, who studies the effect of human conscious thought, music, or the environment on water. He fast freezes the water and then observes the crystals that are formed.

    There are many images of these and more on the net, but I got this image at and there are more images there if you want to see them.

    Another interesting thing that the documentary talks about is the power of prayer on water and why it is important to give blessings for the food and water we ingest. Anyway, I encourage everyone to watch this video. As a scientist, I'd like to see more data on the experiments and I don't want to believe something just because a "Dr." says it is true (the white coat effect).. but as a spiritual person and a scientist, I believe that there is much more in this universe that meets the eye and I am intrigued by the research put forth here.

    You can watch the rest here or directly on my music/video page under science documentaries.

    Sunday, March 28, 2010

    My spot

    Last week my husband was reading the NY Times and noticed that there was a front page article (at least in the online version) about our area in VT. This area is a very literary and artistic community and we have had our fair share of authors living and writing here. The article talks about Naulahka, the house that Rudyard Kipling lived in and wrote The Jungle Book.

    One of my favorite quotes from the article about this area:
    During a trip overseas, he confessed to a friend “a desire to be back on Main Street, Brattleboro Vt. U.S.A. and hear the sody water fizzing in the drugstore ... and get a bottle of lager in the basement of Brooks House and hear the doctor tell fish yarns.”

    An epicenter of local culture, Main Street is only four miles from Naulakha and retains the architectural patina of Kipling’s time while offering engaging contemporary diversions. Dragonfly Dry Goods, in the old Brooks House, the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, the Latchis Art Deco cinema, and innovative boutiques, bookstores and restaurants make for fine excursions.

    I didn't grow up in this area (although I do have family from here going back to the 1800's and spent many a vacation here). I grew up in the city, but somehow I turned out a country girl through and through. A couple of years ago though I was wondering about moving, as there aren't exactly many jobs in epidemiology around here and I had a recent Yale degree in hand. I found a site called where you answer some basic questions about what you like and what's important to you. They give you 10 or so towns or cities and a nice 4 page write-up about each place. And guess where one of my spots was? Brattleboro! ... exactly where I was already living. Then a few weeks ago, I went and answered the questions again just for the fun of it to see where it would lead me. And same thing! This is a little quote from it:
    Framed by towering Mt. Wantastiquet to the east and the foothills of the Green Mountains to the west, Brattleboro exudes New England charm, and has struck a perfect balance between big city culture and small town charm. 

    Here are some of my photos from around town... my ABC's of Brattleboro (and surrounds) :)

    We have numerous art galleries and on the first Friday evening of every month we have gallery walk, where the shops often have live music playing and sometimes some nice munchies too!

    Only a few places in town... but lots in the area.

    Lots of orchards, cider-making, apple-cider donuts etc. Yum. This tree was in  my yard.

    Ok.. this doesn't really symbolize the area... but every year the sugar houses open their doors to the public and one I went to last year has an Alpaca farm too. So cute.

    This town likes to bike. Every 4th of July, the kids all decorate their bikes for the parade too.

    Bridges (Covered)
    Our state is known for them

    We have at least 3 used book stores and some very nice rare book stores as well. For the last 9 years, we've also had an amazing literary festival. This year its October 1 - 3rd.

    Skiing. Need I say anything more?

    Some great places to chill. Good food, good wine, good beer, good friends.

    One of many very funky stores on Main Street

    Lots of places to grow spiritually... whether its in one of these buildings or not.


    Every year we have a parade called Strolling of the Heifers. I know it sounds strange, but its very fun and brings people from all over. Lots of free ice cream, yogurt, and cheese samples too!

    Vermont is well-known for our colorful trees in autumn.

    More coffee

    Country stores

    I'm sure there's more I could share, but I think thats plenty for now. I think you get the idea... Brattleboro is my spot.

    I also wanted to include the book,
    The Naulahka, in this post. You can read the full thing here. I've never actually read it... but it sounds like I probably should at some point. It was written with Wolcott Balestier, Kipling's brother-in-law. I'm also including a poem written by Kipling.

    To Wolcott Balestier

    by Rudyard Kipling

    Beyond the path of the outmost sun through utter darkness hurled --
    Further than ever comet flared or vagrant star-dust swirled --
    Live such as fought and sailed and ruled and loved and made our world.

    They are purged of pride because they died, they know the worth of their bays,
    They sit at wine with the Maidens Nine and the Gods of the Elder Days,
    It is their will to serve or be still as fitteth our Father's praise.

    'Tis theirs to sweep through the ringing deep where Azrael's outposts are,
    Or buffet a path through the Pit's red wrath when God goes out to war,
    Or hang with the reckless Seraphim on the rein of a red-maned star.

    They take their mirth in the joy of the Earth --
    they dare not grieve for her pain --
    They know of toil and the end of toil, they know God's law is plain,
    So they whistle the Devil to make them sport who know that Sin is vain.

    And ofttimes cometh our wise Lord God, master of every trade,
    And tells them tales of His daily toil, of Edens newly made;
    And they rise to their feet as He passes by, gentlemen unafraid.

    To these who are cleansed of base Desire, Sorrow and Lust and Shame --
    Gods for they knew the hearts of men, men for they stooped to Fame,
    Borne on the breath that men call Death, my brother's spirit came.

    He scarce had need to doff his pride or slough the dross of Earth --
    E'en as he trod that day to God so walked he from his birth,
    In simpleness and gentleness and honour and clean mirth.

    So cup to lip in fellowship they gave him welcome high
    And made him place at the banquet board -- the Strong Men ranged thereby,
    Who had done his work and held his peace and had no fear to die.

    Beyond the loom of the last lone star, through open darkness hurled,
    Further than rebel comet dared or hiving star-swarm swirled,
    Sits he with those that praise our God for that they served His world.

    Food, glorious food...

    I've never really thought about taking pictures of what I cook before, but since I started this blog (and recently got a new camera), occasionally I have started taking out the camera and snapping a few shots while I cook. Even though cooking is an art, I've never looked at it before as a 'subject' of art before. Sometimes even the most basic things can be beautiful when you really look.

    I like to cook, but I'm not the fanciest chef. I like meals that are fairly easy, but taste good... and are hopefully somewhat healthy :) I hardly ever use a recipe, but do occasionally look up recipes online or in a book... and then end up using my own flair or change it according to what ingredients I actually have.

    Here are a few pizzas I made when we had some friends over. I like doing 'different' pizzas. One is an Alfredo sauce base, with broccoli, tomato, and peppers. Another is pesto base with fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and peppers. And the third is a black bean and corn salsa base with tortilla chips, avocado, peppers, and tomato.

    Below is pasta in an alfredo sauce, with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and peppers. Very easy. Very good.

    Below that is Eggplant Parmesan, one of my favorite dishes. Can you tell I like Italian food?

    Below is a dish I usually like to make is autumn, when we have an ample supply of apples. This year I cut up and froze some apples though. This is pork, marinated in sherry and cooked with some onions, herbs, cinnamon and brown sugar. I also cook the asparagus in the same. Delicious! I recently also cooked a similar dish with blueberries. My husband said it was the best thing he's ever eaten... although he says that with many things I make. Flattery will get him everywhere :)

    These are some vegetables I was stir-frying for a Chinese dish I made. Love the veggies!

    Is your tummy rumbling yet?

    Do you see what I hear?

    I recently watched this documentary on Synesthesia, which I thought I would share. This is a fascinating condition, in which the 'stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway'. In other words, people have their senses crossed, so that, for example, they not only see visual images, but they can also 'see' sounds or even numbers (which is a great help in math). Or other examples would include someone who can taste words or someone who sees letters as having a particular color.

    Even though I am not a synesthete (someone who has this condition), I have often wondered if certain sounds would have a particular color if our brain could register these things. After all, sound is just the vibration waves that our brain interprets as a particular note and color is simply what our brain interprets as a particular wave length.

    Even though this condition might be quite annoying, those who have studied the condition feel that it also heightens creativity in those who have it. From Wikipedia: "Famous synesthetes include David Hockney, who perceives music as color, shape, and configuration, and who uses these perceptions when painting opera stage sets but not while creating his other artworks. Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky combined four senses: color, hearing, touch, and smell. Vladimir Nabokov describes his grapheme-color synesthesia at length in his autobiography, Speak, Memory and portrays it in some of his characters. Composers include Duke Ellington, Franz Liszt, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Olivier Messiaen, whose three types of complex colors are rendered explicitly in musical chord structures that he invented. Physicist Richard Feynman describes his colored equations in his autobiography, What Do You Care What Other People Think?"

    Anyway, here is the documentary:
    Imagine having the taste of earwax in your mouth every time someone says 'Derek'. Weird as it may sound, this is an abnormal condition that James Wannerton faces. Scientist have discovered that this condition is due to mixed up senses. Some people can see colours of certain words or numbers and some can taste them.

    For years scientists dismissed it, putting it in the same category as séances and spoon-bending. But now, synaesthesia is sparking a revolution in our understanding of the human mind. 

    Castle Courtyard I, 1908 by Kandinsky 

    Friday, March 26, 2010

    Books do furnish a room

    I remember a number of years ago I saw this book in a bookstore: Books Do Furnish a Room. Even though I don't own this book, I always remembered this title and the book... because I remember it having a lot of great photos, but also because I completely agree with this title. I love a room filled with books. Good thing thats what I do for a living. Here are a few photos I've collected over the years. 

    I have no idea where I got this picture, but I just love it.

    Even a room with messy books has a certain romance to it.

    Someone here made wallpaper out of book pages! Awesome.


    I have no idea what this picture is... but I obviously thought it was cool enough to save

    This is just dreamy
    Can books furnish a body too?
           via cupcakemugshot

    A room without books is like a body without a soul - Cicero

    Thursday, March 25, 2010


    I've been thinking a lot about size lately, as my post about perspective, and yesterday's post about tiny and large sculpture probably show. Then when I went to Magic Wings on Saturday, it inspired me to find a documentary on insects. This one is incredible. Its called Microcosmos. There is no speaking... it just shows the insects in their amazing beauty. I'm not usually a big insect fan in person... but they are wonderful to see on screen.

    You can watch the full thing on my science playlist.

    One of the thing I love about looking at the world of the small is that it makes you think about things differently. A rain drop can be killer to an insect.. like a meteorite falling... and a drop of water appears to have a 'skin' that needs to be punctured like a balloon.

    I loved 'Honey I Shrunk the Kids' when I was young. Here's a clip from it. The special effects look SO outdated now. At the time, they looked so cool.

    Another crazy thing to think about is how the human body is like its own ecosystem. 90% of the cells in our body don't actually contain human DNA, but instead belong to microbes. Another fun fact, is that there are more viruses in a cup of sea water than there are humans in the world.... and there's a lot of sea water out there! Ok.. I realize I'm a geek, but this just fascinates me.... I guess thats why I have a masters in the epidemiology of microbial diseases. FYI, there's a great documentary on viruses on my science playlist as well.

    Anyway, thats my thoughts on the world of the small today. I'm off to drink a tonic. It's sitting here on the table and says 'drink me'. Hey, what could it hurt?

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    Through the eye of the needle

    I just discovered the work of Willard Wigan. His sculptures are incredibly so tiny that they are created within the eye or tip of a needle. His materials are made from dust particles.

    As I was looking this up, I also discovered Ron Mueck. He makes huge, life-like sculptures... a little freaky. I thought it would be interesting to post some of his work as well though, to show the contrast of working with the very small and the very large.

    I feel a bit like Gulliver.


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