Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

I’m a bit late to the Shakespeare love floating around online yesterday, but I did track down a few pictures from a 1999 trip to London. I had a few days at the end of a tour to wander around, and having just graduated with a drama degree, I had to visit the reconstructed Globe Theatre. I mean, seriously: Shakespeare.

Globe Theatre Outside

I also stopped by the Criterion Theatre, where the RSC was presenting — no, the other RSC: The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s “Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

Reduced Shakespeare Co

One of these days I’ll track down the negatives and get a better scan.

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Professor Jones’ Grail Diary

Indy: Grail Diary and Bullwhip

Today, a group of comics bloggers have gotten together to recommend lesser-known gems of the comics world. Comics are more than Brightest Day and Heroic Age, and you just might want to…read this too!

(Photo: Indiana Jones’ Bullwhip & Grail Diary at Comic-Con 2010.)

San Gabriel Snow, Light, and Clouds

San Gabriel Snow and Clouds

Wednesday morning on my way to work, I looked over and saw the San Gabriel Mountains practically glowing with the morning light of the sun. A layer of cloud blocked the sun where I was, making the distant peaks look that much brighter. I stopped at a spot where I knew I’d have a good view of the mountain range.

It turned out to be a really interesting view, as you can see from the panorama below.

District Snowy Mountain Panorama

By lunchtime, the sky above was mostly clear, and clouds were bunched up against the mountains, completely blocking them. I was indoors most of the morning, but it seemed as if the cloud layer had just blown northward until it hit the mountains, then stopped.

Click on either image to go to its Flickr page.

(Reposted from K-Squared Ramblings)

Okay, that should do it for this week’s photos from after the storms. Next week: back to “classic” photos from my Flickr collection!

Skull & Vampire Halloween

My wife carved this incredible anatomically-correct skull Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween yesterday.

Pumpkin Carving

In Katie’s words:

I used a pumpkin that was pretty much already shaped like a skull, and drew on it with a wet watercolor pencil following illustrations I found online. For tools, I had a $.99 “5-in-1″ saw thingy, a plain sharp kitchen knife, a two-pronged olive pick, and an X-Acto. I opened the pumpkin from the bottom, leaving the mastoid/styloid area temporarily uncarved, and discarded the chunk I took off. After cleaning the pumpkin, I carved the spaces between the teeth first with the 5-in-1, leaving the top and bottom rows connected in the middle, then used the kitchen knife and the X-Acto to shape the tooth sockets and remove the…well, skin of the teeth. Once they were skinned, I sliced out some space between them and shaped the tooth surfaces. Warning: the teeth are fragile after skinning, so you should use the finest/sharpest cutting tool you have for shaping them. The X-Acto worked great, but I’d have loved to have been able to find my Pumpkin Masters fine saw. *grumble*

The nasal opening was done by sawing the central vertical lines first, then the rest of each hole. I skinned the septum with the X-Acto…carefully. The orbits and the spaces around the mandible/maxilla were very easy. I enlarged the inside parts of the orbits, flaring the holes inward to look more hollow, and did some X-Acto shaving on the outside for a more sculpted look.

The cranial sutures were mostly made possible by tool #4 of the 5-in-1: a little outcropping on the handle that strips off a neat line of pumpkin skin. It took too much pressure to use on the parts near holes, though, so I had to angle the X-Acto for things like the jaw hinge area. The foramina were made by twirling the olive pick like a drill, and then cleaning up the outside of the holes.

When all the lines were done, I carved the mastoid and styloid processes and cleaned up the lines of the mandible. I rinsed the whole thing under running water to get rid of “sawdust” and scrubbed off the pencil marks. We displayed it by setting it on the AC unit and leaning it against the wall, with a candle underneath. It was a lot simpler than my original plan of hanging it from a plant hook with an LED tealight somehow secured to the occipital bone.

Trick or Treat

Katie Vampire

It seems to have worked as a “yes, we’re handing out candy” signal. Last year we didn’t get any trick-or-treaters. (We also didn’t put up any decorations that year, either.) This year, they started arriving while I was taking photos of the pumpkin…and while Katie was opening the bags of candy!

She dressed up in her vampire costume, which got some great responses. One trick-or-treater asked about the fangs. She overheard another walking away from the door and wondering, “Do you think she was a real vampire?”

By 8:50 we were down to only three Starbursts left to hand out, so we brought the pumpkin inside and called it a night.

Earlier in the afternoon, I ran some errands and deliberately went to the Spectrum so that I’d have a chance of spotting the Great Park Balloon in the air while it still had the Jack-O-Lantern face on. I thought this view made for a nice image of the Great Pumpkin, rising up over the trees.

Re-posted from K-Squared Ramblings