August 30, 2012
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Some craft projects are both devastatingly simple and exquisitely effective, such as this, the Crayonosaurus!


Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts…


Find out more, like how to make it, at Craftster!


Of Space and Muppets

August 26, 2012

When I first stumbled across The Muppet Show the part I liked best, and missed most when it wasn’t featured in an episode, was Pigs In Space. I was born with the “I want to be an astronaut gene” and was happy to suck up anything space related, like a little black hole with a discriminating streak. And what could be better than the anarchic fun of the Muppets, plus space! Bliss.

Space plus Muppets = Perfection…

This week has also seen a fusion of the two subjects, but this time on a sad note.

Earlier in the week Jerry Nelson, who played Dr Julius Strangepork in Pigs In Space, passed away. Nelson performed a wide variety of other Muppets, but the one most will remember was Count Von Count. Through his work on Sesame Street he leaves behind a legacy of that most special of things, teaching that doesn’t feel like learning. There is no greater gift that a person can bestow upon society.

Now Neil Armstrong, a man almost too humble to take his place in history, has left us. He’ll obviously be remembered forever as the first man on the moon, but his legacy is not as some showman who chose to market himself on an accolade he knew took the support of thousands of others to achieve. His greatest gift was that he put the Eagle down safe and sound, and through his actions he inspired a vast army kids to take up science and engineering as careers.

Thank you gentlemen, you helped change everything.

5-ah ah ah-4-ah ah ah-3-ah ah ah-2-ah ah ah-1-ah ah ah-Bon Voyage.

We Are The Champions!

August 23, 2012
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The Olympics came, we saw, and it conquered!

Everyone thought the opening ceremony was excellent. The games themselves were superb in every respect. The closing ceremony was a little bit on the patchy side, and after the holographic Tupac at Coachella, the video screens with Freddie Mercury on weren’t what I hoped for (but then I did hope for a 90 foot animatronic Freddie holding Roger Taylor and Brian May in one hand during a performance of We Are The Champions and then eating them at the end of the set) but it went out with a bang, thanks to The Who, who were utterly perfect.

Given my love of the Olympics, it’s weird that I didn’t say anything about them here. However, I was pretty active on other blogs.

The Mars Rocks! are great fans of all big events, except for the ones they don’t like, and they enjoyed the Olympics to the exclusion of everything else, even invasion of their planet.

On a professional level, I was intrigued by the rules used to make fencing better in the face of humans that will do all they can to win, regardless of whether they make their sport look bad.

I also endeavoured to bring the Olympic spirit into the home, but in a less sweaty, space consuming way, with a series of Games Made Form Everyday Things.

I’m now counting the days to the Winter Olympics, which I love even more than the Summer Olympics.

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Curiosity Down!

August 7, 2012
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NASA has managed to land its latest (and greatest) rover on the red planet! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to appreciate how hard this kind of venture is – I believe Mars mission currently have a success rate of only 50%.

Of course, even successful missions pose a problem if you’re an actual Martian.

Mars Rocks! cartoon about the Curiosity rover

See more Mars Rocks! cartoons here…

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Genevieve Packer

August 3, 2012
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A couple of years ago I was in a gallery, The Dowse in fact, well, the shop, to be specific, looking at jewelry and books and whatnot. Amongst the generally good stuff a cushion with a cunning kiwi (I don’t mean this as literal as being pictures of kiwis) print stood out.

Genevieve Packer cushion

Then we noticed the label; this cushion turned out to be a handmade product by Genevieve Packer, a who we knew, and still know, just in case the past tense disturbs you. It’s always good to see things that friends have created, but it’s even better to see something and like it, and then realise that a friend’s made it – there’s no fear of bias in the judgement.

Since then we’ve seen Gen’s work in shops in Queenstown and the Koru lounge in Aukland airport. Right now she’s taking on the quite insane task of producing a pattern a dayand you can keep up with her. efforts here.


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