Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The effects of light and shadow on photos and paintings...

I was thinking about famous paintings and photos, and I realised what made them so great; effects of light and shadow!!
Here are some examples of photos from Google Images:

I am not that great at said skill, although I am willing to give it a fair try. I think that some areas of art are much harder than others, like drawing lines could be classified as art, but that's not too hard is it? I would say random artwork like Picasso's are much harder to imitate and actually pull off!!
For my artist that we have to attempt to do a self-portrait in the style of, I have decided to do Salvador Dali. He was a Surrealist, and according to "Salvador Dali, exploring the irrational" (a book by Edmund Swinglehurst): he was finally expelled from the volatile group because his art and vision encompassed much more than mere ideology.
He was a fantastic artist, and even years after his time, his artwork continues to astound and inspire. Here are some of his famous works:

The Persistence of Memory (Soft Watches)

The Face of War

Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire

He has some really interesting paintings, especially of his wife Gala, and numerous animals and other cool objects and double-effects (like the picture above, can you see the people and the bust?). Now ... as for the one I'm going to base my self portrait on ...
Possibly The Man with the Head of Blue Hortensias (top), or Sleep (bottom)...
Quote of the day: The world only goes round by misunderstanding. - Charles Baudelaire

Monday, March 30, 2009


Here I shall publish a bit of work we did this morning:
Learning styles and classroom environments for better productivity
-How does loud raucous music affect our ability to concentrate and/or work?
Today in class we listened to some "drum and bass" style music (by Conchord Dawn) while first just listening and some of us reading, then reading some posts and comments on Mr Woody's and Bubbles' blogs, and after that we attempted to drum out the beat on our desks with our hands. The beat made me more energetic and twitchy than usual, and this made me do reading, writing, and other such activities a lot faster than I normally do.
Music in the classroom affects (or effects) me in different ways: Slow or classical music makes me feel kind of sleepy, and slows me down a bit, but fast-loud-rock-metal type music makes me do things a lot quicker, and wakes me up more. It definitely makes me do more work, and it affects my overall work outcome for the better. It helps me concentrate and think, I am also less affected by the people around me and the overall class when the loud music was playing.
I think that next time we could try some softer music and see how that turns out!
Quote of the day: The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet. - William Gibson

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Balloons over Waikato

The Balloons over Waikato festival is upon us once again!!! It is an annual festival where a bunch of hot-air balloons come and fly around Hamilton each morning for a few days, and then there is a "Night glow", where all the balloons inflate but don't fly at night, and they all glow really bright, here is a night glow picture from last year from a website:

This morning the conditions were foggy, though a few balloons went uo later in the day. Earlier on my blog, I talked about Earth Hour, and how it coincided with the nightglow, and I found out that the streetlamps on one of the main roads in Hamilton are going to go out for an hour, two words: ROAD CRASH!!!!!! I also heard that for the hour between 8:30 and 9:30 the balloons will also go out???? This will mean a bunch of people who go along for a nightGLOW will be standing round in the dark for a while!!!!
Here are some pictures my family have taken in the morning when the balloons went up:

Above: a wide spectrum of all the balloons.

Above: the birthday cake balloon.
Above: the lucy the ladybug
For more information, and a guide to the balloons, visit the Balloons over Waikato website
Quote of the day: To teach is to learn twice. - Joseph Joubert

Wear odd socks day!!!

I recently (this afternoon) learned that tomorrow, the 27th March, is "Wear odd socks day". This holiday is to support the blind and vision-ally impaired, and for them, some everyday activities can be very challenging. Choosing matching socks and other clothing are some of the many challenges they face, so this day is to support them. The Royal Society for the Blind (RSB) is a sponsor of "Wear odd socks day", though I think they are based in South Australia. Another place that support "Wear odd socks day" and a school in Gambia is Sicklinghall Primary School in the UK. The Wetherby News says: "Pupils decided to wear odd socks to school for the day to raise money for their chosen charity The James Ogoo Memorial Nursery School in Gambia. The school’s council planned a variety of fundraising events and publicity to help raise money for the less fortunate school in Gambia". I think it's a great way to raise money for charities, and have fun in silly socks!!!!!

Quote of the day: America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up. - Oscar Wilde

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Countries in funny places

Today, when I checked my "FEEDjit", I was stunned to find that someone from Saint Lucia had visited my blog!!! I know who it was, but can any of you guys guess who??? When I thought about how many countries I had on my Clustrmap (23 including Saint Lucia), I wondered how many left to go, and what percentage of all the countries in the world I had. After visiting About.com and finding out that there are 195 countries in the world, I quickly found out that I have 172 countries to go, and I have hits from around 12% of all the countries in the world so far. If you believe you are a geographical genius, see how many of the countries you can name. I didn't even know lots of them existed!!! Like Berkina for example, or Nauru and Suriname. Also, if you can do that (unlikely), then try and name their capitals (some have more than one). Now you're never going to get that!!!
There are only 192 member states of the UN, they do not include Vatican City (Holy See), Kosovo or Taiwan. Taiwan was a member state of the UN until 1971 when China claimed them as a province of China. Taiwan meets all the requirements of an independent country, and continues to press for full recognition as an independent country, but it is also due to political reasons that it continues to fail this struggle. The US department of state also only recognizes 194 countries, also leaving out Taiwan.
However, you need to recognize that there are dozens of places that are sometimes called "countries" but aren't at all - they're governed by other countries. Places commonly confused as being countries include Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Greenland, Palestine, Western Sahara, and even the components of the United Kingdom (such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, they come under the umbrella of the UK- they're not fully independent countries).
Either way, I am enjoying blogging, having fun learning all this stuff, and I hope you enjoy it too.
I got most of my information from About.com: Number of countries in the world and Capitals of every country in the world.
Quote of the day: The greatest mistake is trying to be more agreeable than you can be. - Walter Bagehot

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Really cool scenery

Some time last year (I think), my family went on a walk around Lake Mangamahoe, and I took some really cool pictures:

DSC00050DSC00055 DSC00056DSC00069 DSC00058

It’s near New Plymouth (Taranaki, west coast of the North Island), off State Highway 3. I got a ton of photos, but I only put these ones on. It takes about 2 hours to do the circuit walk, but you would want to stop and admire the view for a while!!

Quote of the day: The 'Net is a waste of time, and that's exactly what's right about it.
- William Gibson

Earth Hour

Have you heard about Earth Hour? It is coming up, and soon. It is one hour when you should turn off your lights, TV, computer, and save the world!!! As it says on the Earth Hour website "1,539 cities and towns in 80 countries have already committed to VOTE EARTH for Earth Hour 2009, as part of the worlds first global election between Earth and global warming". At 8:30PM local time, wherever you live on planet earth, Saturday 28 March 2009 you should turn out your lights, and support the earth. Sign up at the Earth Hour website: http://www.earthhour.org/, or click the widget at the bottom of my blog to vote green. Plus, if you are in NZ, you could be in to win a Toyota Prius!!!! The HTML for the widget at the bottom of my blog was sourced from the downloads section of the Earth Hour website (http://www.earthhour.org/downloads/). Earth Hour is a great way to save you power, and draws attention to what measures we should be taking regularly to save electricity, and the world. YOUR LIGHTSWITCH IS YOUR VOTE, VOTE EARTH IN THE ELECTION AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING!!!!!
Quote of the day: I'm a godmother, that's a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that's cute, I taught her that. - Ellen DeGeneres

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I saw in the paper last night a most interesting article:

Group conference for youth

A teenager who wet his pants after a pensioner hit him over the head with a rolling pin as he tried to break into her Hamilton home has been referred to a family group conference. The 15-year-old smashed the window in the back door, reached through to unlock the door, became stuck during the early-morning incident last month. When police found the youth he was stripped down to his boxers and crying. Sourced from the Waikato Times, click here to read the full article online.

Quote of the day: You are not superior just because you see the world in an odious light.
  - Vicomte de Chateaubriand

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Map picture

Here is the rough location of our camp in Pauanui :-)

Pauanui is on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, North Island of NZ

Quote of the day: I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure. - John D. Rockefeller

Da Vinci Machines

I went to the Da Vinci machines exhibition today, and it was AWESOME!!!!! It was a really enjoyable display of some of his machines, categorized by Flight, Machines of War, Mechanics, Hydraulics, and Optics and Others. I bought a guide book that contained sketches, a description, and a bit about 56 of his inventions, plus a bit about him. The exhibition was great, and I would definitely recommend it. It is open from the 14th of March to the 29th of June (this year of course), although the tours are only today and tomorrow (14th and 15th of March ‘09). I liked all of the inventions there, but my favourite interactive ones were the “Archimedes Screw” and the “Fly Wheel”.

I must thank “Artisans of Florence” for creating this exhibition, and “Stainless Design”, “Waikato Times”, “Media Works”, and “Beca” for sponsoring this exhibition!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Located at The Waikato Museum: Waikato Museum; 1 Grantham Street; Hamilton.

Quote of the day: Who is more busy than he who hath least to do? - John Clarke


I'm back from Pauanui, and I'm liking it. I got a bed that was big enough to fully stretch out my legs in, and not have to worry about being chucked outside for talking to my friends before 7am, or having a cold shower in the morning. The term's pretty much all downhill from here, and I'm gonna enjoy it. Camp was a lot of fun, and there was some great scenery, if you have any pics, I would like to put some of them on my blog (If that's all right with you). There was SOOOO much walking on camp, on one day we must have done at least 5 hours altogether. Before camp, I told you I was looking forward to 'overnight', but it was not as cool as I had hoped. I will type some of my camp diary here to show you what it was like.

On Sunday we got to camp and did a HUGE mountain walk up Mt. Pauanui (about 3.5 hours), and everyone was pretty tired.

On Monday we went kayaking, but we didn't have the keys, so we had to go back to camp and come back after lunch instead. Then we went snorkeling, but I stopped because I had leaky goggles that caught in my hair, a leaky mouthpiece (I swallowed seawater), and I kept falling over in my flippers. After that we just hung round the estuary for a bit, and got some mussels off the docking pontoon. Then we went back to camp and had dinner, and I got a sore stomach, I think it was from eating that seafood pasta, with the fresh mussels in it.

On Tuesday we went to over night by bus (at least we didn't have to walk the 26kms there with all our gear!!!). We did like 5 or 6 hours walking and I got aching calves, because alot was uphill. Dinner was fairly nice, even though we had to cook it ourselves, and there was TOO MUCH CHICKEN SOUP MIX, thanks to my friend. I only slept about an hour (or a half) because the wind was so strong that the overhang on our tent got broken, and we had to go out the back. Also because the two back pegs on our tent came out, and our tent was pretty much crushed and blown away by the winds.

On Wednesday, we climbed Mt. Paku, but it was easy, and the view was spectacular!!!! We also got back from our horrible experience at overnight as well.

On Thursday, we went "orienteering", a 3.5 hour trek round Pauanui, to all the parent's stations. It was kind of like the amazing race, except we weren't in taxis. In the end we were 16th, and it took us about 3 hours, 43 minutes. The winning team did it in about 2 hours, and it went from 9am to 1pm. Thursday night was the camp concert, a range of talent, from none, to a fair bit. There was a freestyle guitarist, who made up the words on the spot, and a few cool skits, and so much else. it went from about 8:45 to about 11:30, it was a very late night.

On Friday, we packed up all our gear (the girls took a bit longer), and hung roung camp for a while. After an 11 o'clock lunch, we set off (all 99 kids, plus adults) in two buses, one of which had two TV's that were playing a movie, and had really comfy seats (the one I was in). After a week, it was nice to have a really comfy bed, my family, and a constantly hot shower.

Overall, camp was cool as, and it was a really great experience. I would like to say a big thanks to all the parents who cooked and looked after us on camp.

Quote of the day: Any war that requires the suspension of reason as a necessity for support is a bad war. - Norman Mailer
The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting. - Henry James

New Application!!!

I discovered this new program called “Windows Live Writer”, that you can use to publish posts to your blog without actually being on it, I am using it right now!!!

I am going to inform you of everything that has been going on at camp soon, because I AM HOME, FINALLY!!!!!!!!!

Quote of the day: Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.
- Evelyn Waugh

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mouse in the house!

At approximately 2am friday morning, my cat was at the back door, mewling for entry. When my parents finally gave up trying to go to sleep, they let her in (It was Tatty). A while later, and the cat was still mewling for their attention. So my mum got up to see what was going on, and Tatty was sitting in the hallway, proudly showing off the mouse that she had caught. The "dead" mouse was liberated from the cat's jaws, and thrown into the outside bin. Imagine our suprise when this morning, we opened our bin to find a (very much alive) small mouse peeping out from the top of the rubbish bag, where it had nibbled a little escape hole. We managed to get the little rascal into an icecream container, from where he (or she) was deposited into the park down the road. We managed to get a picture:
Keep an eye out for this mouse!!!!
Quote of the day: A signature always reveals a man's character - and sometimes even his name. - Evan Esar

Friday, March 6, 2009


As of Sunday, I shall be at Pauanui. We will be having a bunch of fun, while you are stuck wherever reading my blog :). Hope the weather improves, at the moment it is drizzling down outside, the type that is not hard and cold, but warm, light, and sticky. I hate the rain, if you are not already aware of this, try reading my previous post (Rain, horrible rain). Camp will most likely be super fun, but it also means that I will not be able to post on my blog :(. I just thought I would let you know that, and also that I will write a large post Saturday (I get back on Friday).
Sayonara, Caio, Buenos Pronto, Goodbye, and See ya,
The Other Boy

Quote of the day: The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything. - Walter Bagehot

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Favourite Artist

The Mona Lisa Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man

My favourite artist would have to be Da Vinci. He was one of history's great intellects, inventing what he could not build, writing what others could not read, and thinking what others could not even possibly understand. He was an inspiring man, he designed helicopters, Leonardo's studies in science and engineering are as impressive and innovative as his artistic work, and he recorded all his ideas and drafts/sketches in his notebooks (overall about 13,000 pages of notes and drawings(WOW!!!)). Leonardo Da Vinci was an Italian, and a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, painter, sculptor, architect, musician and writer. He is often called one of the greatest painters of all time, and in my opinion, the greatest man in the 15th-16th century (sorry if I offended anyone, I don't know many people from back then). There is a Da Vinci exhibit coming to Hamilton on the 14th and 15th of this month (BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL). I will probably check it out, at Hamilton Museum, and a guided tour is given, but you have to book!!! The exhibition is $12 for adults, and $6 for children. These reasons and more are why Leonardo Da Vinci is my favourite artist, and one of the greatest men ever!!! (not meaning to be sexist or anything)
Quote of the day: The truth is always a compound of two half-truths, and you never reach it, because there is always something more to say. - Tom Stoppard

Monday, March 2, 2009

More about my Aim

If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you will know that I set an aim to get as many views as possible from around the world. This aim is coming along nicely, and I am slowly becoming a bit more recognised globally. Last time I checked, I had had views from about 7 countries worldwide, most of whom I knew (As I told Bubbles, "I have sent my URL to friends and family round the world, and hopefully they still check their emails. I sent it to people from Aussie, Ireland, quite a few in England and NZ, Germany, Canada, and also other places that I can't remember"). Although there has been a few mystery views, like my dot from the US and A, who must have got on to my blog somehow.
Quote of the day: If not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled. - P. G. Wodehouse

The Cool, the not so Cool, and the just plain not Cool

This is my list of the cool, the not so cool, and the just plain not cool. This is what I think:
THE COOL: Books, Computing, Science, Math, Reading, The Internet, Blogging, Electronics, customised iGoogle, and a bunch more that I cannot be bothered naming.
THE NOT SO COOL: The new layout of Microsoft Office, Dial-Up Internet connections, stuff that doesn't work, Cutting down trees to make paper, the Nazi regime, and so much else.
THE JUST PLAIN NOT COOL: Poverty, Smoking, Disease, and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots more that I can't even be bothered thinking about because they are not cool.
Quote of the day: Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come. - Matt Groening