Friday, January 12, 2007

Go Chargers!

"Solar Labyrinth"


Lauri Astala

Lauri Astala's "Solar Labyrinth" comprises two parts; a stone labyrinth and a sun dial hidden inside a stone tower in the centre of the labyrinth, mounted on a low platform. The sundial is a semicircular bowl, with the dial, signs and markings indicating the time and date on the inside of the bowl.

"Solar Labyrinth" is the largest and most expensive single project realized by the Helsinki City Art Museum in the 1990s. The work was unveiled on Helsinki Day on June 12, 1999.

The artist has created a work whose size and massive shape forms its own miniature world in the park where it is located. Placed on a hillock, it dominates the surroundings. On the one hand, "Solar Labyrinth" is a landmark, a place for children to play, a meeting point and a place to sit down and relax. On the other, it is an environment unto itself, its dimensions, materials and details of form all carefully balanced to form an artistic whole. The work is an object carefully placed in an environment that has been molded by the artist.

These pictures really don't do the Solar Labyrinth justice,

it is truly beautiful when you see it in person!

There is yet a third aspect to the "Solar Labyrinth". To find the sundial one must first clear the labyrinth, and to use the information the dial provides, that is, to tell the time, one must first master the contents of its brass table. Astala presents the viewer with challenges and tasks which pose questions about the movement of the sun and other celestial bodies, the universe and the essence of time. "Solar Labyrinth" is like a window opening to another world - once you look out of the window, you want to know more about what you see.

Go Chargers!

I have a busy weekend ahead of me, how about you? Have a safe and happy weekend, everyone.


N Posted by Rain at 1/12/2007 10:34:00 AM

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

With Sadness...

Wednesday was a very difficult day in the Rain household.

My son Rainman lost a good friend and long time classmate 16-year-old Dana Hooter this morning. Police were called early Wednesday morning on a non breathing female. The paramedics arrived and attempted to revive her, unfortunately she was pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation revealed that the girl's boyfriend, Erin Correa, allegedly gave her an injection of a “street drug,” Rooney said. He declined to say what type of drug was involved. He has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Needless to say, Rainman among others were devastated when they heard the news. Unfortunately there were not any grief counselors present at his high school to help deal with all of Dana's friends. I will tell you that the entire staff at Rainmans school handled the situation the best way they knew how and I give them kudos for a job well done.

Rainman and I have always had good communication and tonight over dinner there were more questions than answers. I warned Rainman of the problems associated with rumors and speculation especially in a high school situation. It makes me feel good that Rainman feels that he can talk to me openly about anything without fear of getting into trouble. To be honest our conversation left me emotionally exashusted and grateful that I can tell him I love him, give him smooches, hugs and that I know exactly where he is tonight.

Dana will missed by all of her friends and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hooter family.

I will continue to follow this story in hopes that justice will prevail. Sigh.


N Posted by Rain at 1/10/2007 11:58:00 PM

Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Glamour, a Day Late

Monday's Glamour on Tuesday

Alfred Hitchcocks
"dial M for Murder"
Ray Milland, Grace Kelly and Robert Cummings

Memorable Quotes from Dial M for Murder (1954)

Tony Wendice: People don't commit murder on credit.
Tony Wendice:
Do you really believe in the perfect murder?
Tony Wendice:
How do you go about writing a detective story?
Mark Halliday: Well, you forget detection and concentrate on crime. Crime's the thing. And then you imagine you're going to steal something or murder somebody.
Tony Wendice: Oh, is that how you do it? It's interesting.
Mark Halliday: Yes, I usually put myself in the criminal's shoes and then I keep asking myself, uh, what do I do next?
Margot Mary Wendice: Do you really believe in the perfect murder?
Mark Halliday: Mmm, yes, absolutely. On paper, that is. And I think I could, uh, plan one better than most people; but I doubt if I could carry it out.
Tony Wendice: Oh? Why not?
Mark Halliday: Well, because in stories things usually turn out the way the author wants them to; and in real life they don't... always.
Tony Wendice: Hmm.
Tony Wendice: No, I'm afraid my murders would be something like my bridge: I'd make some stupid mistake and never realize it until I found everybody was looking at me.
I have watched this movie at least six times in my lifetime. I love all of Alfred Hitchcocks movies!

Grace Kelly and Robert Cummings

Robert Cummings Trivia;

Cummings began a long career on television in 1952 with the comedy My Hero. He was in the first performance of Twelve Angry Men to be televised, a live production that aired in 1955, and received an Emmy award for his role as "Juror Number Eight".

From 1955 through 1959, Cummings starred in the celebrated sitcom, The Bob Cummings Show (shown in reruns as Love That Bob), later followed by The New Bob Cummings Show, 1961–1962. He also spent a season starring in My Living Doll (1964), another sitcom. His last significant credit was the 1973 TV movie Partners in Crime, also starring Lee Grant.

Cummings married five times and sired seven children. He was a staunch advocate of natural foods and a healthy diet and authored the book Stay Young and Vital (1960) on health foods and exercise.

Grace Kelly and Ray Milland

Ray Milland Trivia:

Gave the shortest acceptance speech of any Oscar winner: he simply bowed and left the stage.

The popular hard rock band Local H recorded a song entitled "Ray Miland" (whether or not the actor's name is misspelled intentionally is unclear) as a b-side to their album "As Good as Dead." The song's lyrics describe a person experiencing moments of clarity in what seems to be an alcoholic haze.

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly Trivia;

She was the first actress to appear on a postage stamp. (Source: The Book of Useless Information, 2002)

Grace Kelly is mentioned in Billy Joel's history themed song "We Didn't Start the Fire" ("Princess Grace").

The French haute couture fashion house Hermès named one of its most famous, and now most sought-after, products for Grace Kelly—the "Kelly Bag." Waiting lists of up to two years are not unusual for this handbag, and prices start at $5000 for the small version in plain leather and soar over $50,000 for crocodile skin or other unusual materials. The late Diana, Princess of Wales had to wait for almost a year to get an ostrich skin version of one.

The classic head-cover of a silk scarf crossed under the chin and knotted at the side or nape of the neck is universally known as the "Grace Kelly". This chic look is still copied by many female Hollywood stars when they wish to retain a degree of anonymity in the public eye. Famous users include: Sharon Stone, Madonna, and Annette Bening.

When I was a little girl I wanted to be Grace Kelly! She was so beautiful, I suppose that it is nearly every girls dream to one day be a "real life" Princess. Maybe someday my Prince will come..

Have a great day everyone!


N Posted by Rain at 1/08/2007 11:53:00 PM

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Emperor of the United States

Joshua Abraham Norton
(1815-January 08, 1880)

Joshua Abraham Norton was born in England in 1815 to John and Sarah Norden. His parents emigrated to South Africa in 1820. He lived there until his father passed away and settled in San Francisco in 1849.

Norton was very successful in the real estate market and had accumulated a sizeable fortune. In 1853, China was experiencing a severe famine and had placed a ban on the export of rice. Norton decided that he wanted to corner the rice market in San Francisco so he purchased an shipload of rice from Peru. Unfortunately he did not bargain for the constant shiploads to keep coming and the market plummeted. Norton lost his fortune and declared bankruptcy in 1858. He promptly left San Francisco and went into exile.

Now this is when the story gets really interesting, because when Norton returned to San Francisco his behavior had become somewhat odd and began to exhibit delusions of grandeur. He was disgruntled with the legal and political structures of the United States and on Sept 17, 1859 he sent letters to the newspapers proclaiming himself “Emperor of these United States.”

At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S.; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of Feb. next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.
NORTON I, Emperor of the United States.

Norton also issued numerous decrees on matters of state. On October 12, 1859 he issued a decree that formally dissolved the Untied States Congress. Of course is decrees were ignored by congress and the military. At one point Norton also abolished the Democratic and Republican parties.

The people of San Francisco loved Norton
so much, they allowed him to make his own currency,
and accepted it as payment

Norton’s delusions of grandeur continued to the point that he wore a blue uniform and on a daily basis inspected the streets, sidewalks and cable cars. He even stopped a riot by standing between the rioters and their Chinese targets and with a bowed head began to recite the Lord’s Prayer repeatedly. Shamed everyone went their separate ways without so much as a stone thrown.

Now most people would have thought the man to be insane however, the people of San Francisco loved Norton. Though he was considered insane, the affluent and poor celebrated his presence, his humor and his deeds. Mark Twain was a co-resident in San Francisco during Norton’s “reign” and the King in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is reportedly modeled after him.

In fact in 1867 a police officer named Armand Barbier arrested Norton for the purpose of committing him to a involuntary treatment for a mental disorder. The good citizens of San Francisco wrote letters of protest to the editors of the local newspapers. The Chief of Police, Patrick Crowley ordered the Emperor released immediately and issued a formal apology on behalf of the Police Force. Crowley released a statement saying “that he had shed no blood; robbed no one: and despoiled no country, which is more than can be said of his fellows in that line.”

Norton was allowed to issue an “Imperial Pardon” to the officer that arrested him and as a possible result of his arrest, police officers would salute Norton as he walked down the street.
During the later years of Norton’s life, he was the subject of many rumors and speculation. Some people said he was the son of Emperor Louis Napoleon or that he was going to marry Queen Victoria. Also it was rumored that he was in fact supremely wealthy and just lived like a miser.
On January 8, 1880 Norton collapsed as he was walking on the streets of San Francisco. He died having a single sovereign to his name. After establishing a funeral fund by his friends he was buried at the Masonic Cemetry. As many as 30,000 people lined the streets to attend his funeral.

Want to know more?


Cech, John (1997). A rush of dreamers : being the remarkable story of Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. New York: Marlowe, 215 p.. ISBN 1-56924-775-7


Imperial Councils of San Francisco

Quarterly of California


Museum of San Francisco


I am having a wonderful and relaxing weekend! I hope you are too!

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N Posted by Rain at 1/07/2007 01:26:00 AM