Saturday, July 29, 2006

Culo in Puppywars

Culo is now officially part of Puppywars, so be sure to vote for him when his picture comes up.
Culo at Puppywars

I uploaded the picture on Thursday and now he's in rotation. So far, he's been in battle for 7 matches:
* Won: 4 [67%]
* Lost: 2 [33%]
* Drawn: 1

It's a picture of Culo enjoying his 9th Birthday cake last January. The dog bone shaped cake was from Five Paws Bakery of Los Altos. To pet haters who don't believe people should do silly things for their pets as long as there is hunger in the world, the cake was less than $15. You can't get a custom made human cake for that much.

By the way,
Puppywars has a dog blog called the Daily Puppy. Check it out if you can't get enough doggyness.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hoaxed by the Quintuplets Lady

June 29, 2006, 11:57:51 AM Update

A thoughtful blogger let me know that the story below was a hoax.
[Devans Cosmos] 6/29/2006 11:57:51 AM

Turns out,it was a lie. I just wonder how her husband didn't know.

I should have known it was too weird to be true.


Super-sized Belly Ends a Prank

By Jessie Tao (
Updated: 2006-06-15 17:23

Related: Super-sized Belly

As people are widely concerned about the health of Qiao Yubo and her five babies in her phenomenally big belly, the super pregnant woman confessed Wednesday to the local reporters and doctors that the whole thing was made up.

Qiao Yubo, an ordinary woman in Ningjiang District of Songyuan city, northeast China's Jilin Province, has been put into the spotlight since Jilin News' report on her quintuplets and 175-centimeter waistline earlier this week.

,,Qiao Yubo,,,
Qiao Yubo's super-sized belly "disappeared" on June 14, 2006. [Jilin News]

However, when a hospital in the capital city of Changchun offered a free medical check-up, the woman and her husband taken flee from a window, thus unfolding the true story behind, reported Jinlin News.

When the doctors finally found her in a washing room in her sister's house, Qiao knelt down, cried out, and told them she was not carrying quintuplets, Mr Li, chief of the hospital, told the newspaper.

Calming down, Qiao pulled out the staff she had been cramming into her belly, including three bed quilts, a dozen sweaters, shirt, cushions, hats and so on, Li said.

Staff pulled out from Qiao's belly on June 14, 2006. [Jilin News]

Qiao had been pregnant twice before, once with twins and the other with multiples, but had miscarriages both times. Fearing the second miscarriage might be a hard blow to her husband, Qiao hold back the truth.

Qiao became pregnant again a month after her second miscarriage, which gave her an idea -- to make up a belly with clothes and other staff before the belly got really big so that her husband would get the truth. She then filled something inside every day, and her belly grew accordingly, Li was told by Qiao.

She has been pregnant for three months in fact, Li said.

Surprisingly enough, even Qiao's husband had no idea Qiao was having a fake belly until the arrival of the hospital staff, and he was the first to inform of media of the quintuplets.

"I was thinking I could not afford five babies, so I hoped the media exposure would arouse the society's attention and some people might give a helping hand." the paper quoted her husband as saying.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I Bleeve I can Fly

Spanish Recortador

Click for Larger Picture

Modern day Spanish Recortador continues bull leaping tradition that goes back to the legendary King Minos from Crete's Minoan civilization. This lovely picture of a recortador jumping over a wild cow during a show in Pamplona, Spain on July 8, 2006 is courtesy of Eloy Alonso, Reuters. What is it with Mediterranean folks and jumping over livestock?

Minoan Bull Leaping Fresco
Bull Leaping Fresco from the 2000 BC Palace at Knossos

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dedication to former UCSC Chancellor Denice D. Denton

As a University of California, Santa Cruz alumna and Lifetime UCSC Alumni Association member, I'm dedicating this blog posting to former UCSC Chancellor Denice D. Denton.
UCSC Chancellor Denise Denton border=

Denise Denton was a scientist who encouraged women and girls to study science, technology, engineering and math and was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her legacy includes the doors of opportunity in science and engineering thrown open wider for women and men of color.

Even though Ms. Denton was after my time at the school, I'm still proud of what she accomplished. I'm sorry to read about all the negative things she went through during her time as UC Santa Cruz Chancellor. From physical intimidation to being under a microscope 24/7.

As a former student, I remember how idealist and vocal people could be. Unfortunately that came without the life experience to really judge how big a deal things actually are. I didn't think anything anything Ms. Denton was involved in merited people throwing large objects through her window, as I read in some articles. I'm in the camp of people to believe that the University of California Governance, Office of the President and Board of Regents, failed her by not giving her the support she needed to succeed. I don't care if previous Chancellors needed the same type of support or not. Each person's situation is unique.

Some articles and websites if you want to read more about the death of former UCSC Chancellor Denice D. Denton.

Tragic Death of Chancellor Denice D. Denton
UCSC Alumni Association
Tuesday, June 27, 2006 4:48:57 PM

Dear UCSC Alumni:

In case you have not already heard, it is with deep sadness that we bring you the news of the tragic death of UCSC Chancellor Denice D. Denton who died on Saturday, June 24, 2006, in San Francisco. For more information please see

As the campus community mourns her loss, the following memorial arrangements have been made:

Memorial service:

The life and extraordinary achievements of Denice D. Denton, ninth chancellor of UC Santa Cruz, will be celebrated at a memorial service at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 29, in the Recital Hall of the UCSC Music Center. A reception will immediately follow the service.

The memorial service will be simulcast both at the campus's Media Theater and outside the entrance to the Music Recital Hall.

Parking is available at the Performing Arts parking lot. Overflow parking is available at the Core West parking structure; shuttles will be on hand to transport attendees to and from the Music Recital Hall from the Core West parking structure.

For more information about the memorial service, please contact the UC Santa Cruz Special Events Office (831-459-5003) or

Memorial fund:

A memorial fund has been established to honor Chancellor Denton's vision and priorities for UC Santa Cruz. Memorial contributions may be made by visiting our web site at:

Condolence notes and flowers can be sent to her family:

c/o Office of the Chancellor
200 Clark Kerr Hall
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Friday, July 07, 2006

Dark Days NYC Tunnel People

Dark Days 2000

Last night I saw an incredible documentary called Dark Days (2000). It was about a group of people living in a mostly abandoned train tunnel under New York City. The relative isolation and lack of regular homeless people threats allowed the residents to retain some measure of independence and dignity. As one tunnel resident says, "Ain't nobody in their right mind gonna come down (here)." The movie, music (courtesy of DJ Shadow), artwork and lettering were woven together contributing to a sublime experience.

I like how Roger Egbert describes the people and the community:
One thinks of documentaries about life at the bottom of the sea, where giant worms live in the warmth of sulfur vents. Life is opportunistic and finds its way everywhere, and there is something Darwinian about these tunnel dwellers, who have found a niche where they can survive. They are not, they emphasize, "homeless." [Marc] Singer heard about the tunnel people on a news broadcast. He went looking for them, and then came back to film them.
In the perpetual darkness of the tunnels, people make their homes. They build shacks out of cardboard and lumber, and fill them with furniture dragged down from above. Tapping into city lines, they have light and water, and many have stoves, refrigerators and TV sets.

A range of stories explain how people ended up down there. The main point being there is no simple, hard and fast rules that cover every situation. I was suprised to see the ages range from young adult to almost senior citizen with everything in between. Expectedly, most residents were men but two were women. The women felt relatively safe since the neighbors watched out for each other.The History of the NYC Subway Tunnels

Besides the movie, the special features were very good. "The History of the NYC Subway Tunnels" told about how the are evolved from Shantytowns to tunnels, built so that the well off didn't have to deal with ugliness of The story about how the film came together was as compeling as the film itself. My favorite was the obligatory "where are they now" update called 'Life After The Tunnel'. I was impressed that almost all of the old tunnel residents who are still alive continue to do well. It just goes to show you that when some people are down, they just need a little hand up to get back on their feet. They are not lost causes.

Lucky for us, Marc Singer is on to his next project, Dark Days in Iraq. I can't wait to see what he'll come up with next.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July 4th Holiday Northern CA Trip

Over the 4 day 4th of July Holiday weekend, I took a trip to northern California with my dog, Culo. I stayed in Yreka and did a day trip to Crater Lake. I was stiff from all that driving and needed a day to recuperate but all and all, it was a good trip. Below are some of my favorite pictures.

Culo Assumes the Position in the Back Seat

Culo assumes the position in the back seat. Kennel ready for any naps that need to be taken.

First Bathroom Break

First bathroom break for Culo off Cherry Glen Roach, between Fairfield and Vacaville.
Yreka, CA Map of Downtown

Click to see larger map of Yreka California, put out by the local Chamber of Commerce. When you drive through the route, it looks like a typical old west California downtown neighborhood from the 1800s to the early 1900s. But if you look closer, you'll see placards on the front of many houses giving information about the original owners, like doctor, mayor, teacher and other prominent citizens. Sometimes, it'll say something about the archtectural style: Eastlake, False Front, Federal, Gothic Revival, Bungalow and Bungaloid, Queen Anne, Neo-Classical Revival, Gothic Style, Richardsonian Romanesque, Art Deco, Neo-Classic Romanesque, Neo-Classic Rowhouse, Classic Box. It's like driving your car to visit a museum.

Grandma's House Resturant in Yreka

Grandma's House Resturant in Yreka. Excellent pancakes. Huge, fluffy, delicious.

Klamath River Rest Area

Klamath River Rest Area off Highway 5 north. Had outdoor pancake breakfast.

Ashland, OR Chamber of Commerce

Outside the Ashland, Oregon Chamber of Commerce. Home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Horsefeathers, Ashland, OR

Culo's girlfriend (NOT), guarding the Horsefeathers store. I picked up two moose with springs for legs.

Klamath Falls, OR

Pee break at park in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I'm STILL scratching some flying creature bites I got from sitting by the lake there.

Lodgepole Campground Crater Lake

Stopping to play in the snow at Lodgepole campground and picnic area right outside Crater Lake park.

Crater Lake View and Wizard Island

Crater Lake, OR view and Wizard Island

Volcano Blasted Trees at Crater Lake

Volcano Blasted Trees at Crater Lake, OR

Another View of Wizard Island

Another View of Wizard Island in Crater Lake, OR

Edge of the top of Crater Lake

Edge of the top of Crater Lake

Closer View of Top Edge of Crater Lake

Closer View of Top Edge of Crater Lake

Mount Shasta from the North

Mount Shasta from the North driving down Interstate Highway 5

Shasta Dam and Lake Shasta

Shasta Dam and Lake Shasta far view

Shasta Dam, side view

Shasta Dam, side view

Shasta Dam, Down Spillway

Shasta Dam, looking straight down spillway

Shasta Dam, valley view from top of dam

Shasta Dam, valley view from top, right of dam