Origami n' Stuff 4 Kids

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mindblowing Cardboard Entertainer from Italy


Ennio Marchetto is a world renowned and awarded comedian who has created his own theatrical language mixing mime, dance, music and quick change costumes made out of cardboard and paper. In 18 years Ennio has performed in over 70 countries for more than a million people. His show has received numerous awards and international critical acclaim.

He does impressions of stars and singers using paper costumes that transform from one person into another.



Friday, December 11, 2009

Need help sticking to your diet this holiday season? Here's some unappetizing things you can deep fry...

Deep fried scorpions...




Deep fried soda...




View the complete list of artery busters here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mystery Spiral in the Skies Over Norway




And an animation of the scientific explanation...spiral ejecta from a failed Bulava ICBM launched from a nuclear submarine in the White Sea...




Monday, December 7, 2009

Surfers Riding on the Backs of Monsters, December 7, 2009






And photos of Waimea Bay by MICHAEL GOULDING, The Orange County Register:

 

They came from all over: veteran Australian surfer Tom Carroll, who severely injured his ankle while surfing at WaimeaBay.
 


Anyone got a spare?
 

High Surf at Shark's Cove, North Shore O'ahu

This is where I often go tide pooling, off of Pupukea.




A view of Shark's Cove, the same area seen when the video pans left. The size of people standing on the pool's outer rim give you a sense of scale. Bigger waves are expected tomorrow, with the High Surf Warning extended through Wednesday. Organizers are 90% sure that the Eddie Aikau Invitational will be held tomorrow.



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kuntz-Kamera Museum of St. Petersburg

'Kuntzkamera' (is) a museum in St. Petersburg. It’s a really strange place, was founded by Russian Tsar Peter the First. He collected different weird stuff all over the Russia to this museum: freaky people and animals preserved in alcohol, torture instruments, strange paintings and much more.



Monday, November 9, 2009

Writing Workshop with Pat Wood, November 14

Best selling author, Pat Wood, will be holding a one-day writing workshop on Saturday, November 14, at the University of Hawaii Lab School Campus.


8:30-12:30: WRITING WORKSHOP
Bring writing samples and Pat will work with students on pitch and synopsis, plus give sample critiques. The morning session will be geared toward writers of all genres of FICTION (literary, mystery, historical, YA, romance, supernatural, etc.) and those who write memoirs. $85

1:00-3:30: THE BUSINESS OF WRITING
Lecture format talk about publishing and the business of publishing. Find out how to query, if you need an agent? Should you have your complete manuscript written? Q&A to follow. $50.

Take both sessions for $125 ($10 discount) plus an opportunity for individualized feedback on your revised piece (after the conference) from author Patricia Wood by email.

For more information, contact Jacqui Pirl: 224-4008 or tropicalparadise@hawaii.rr.com.
Limited openings. Only 25 openings left.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Finished digital art for a children's book

And here's the finished work, from a book I wrote and illustrated, Whales' Tails and Turtle Trails:





©2009 Tammy Yee
All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kseniya Simonova, a testament to the power of art

Sand artist Kseniya Simonova moved audiences to tears creating an animated painting on an illuminated screen memorializing the Great Patriotic War, which killed one in every four Ukrainians.

Hands dancing across the table in a choreography of fine finger strokes and broad sweeps, she transforms lovers into bomb raids, flames and finally, hope.



Ms. Simonova is the winner of Ukraine's Got Talent.

Friday, September 4, 2009

creating a digital albatross for my latest children's book, feather by feather

The Laysan Albatross (Moli, or Phoebastria immutabilis), with an 80 inch wingspan, breed in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.




1. Creating feathers using a general leaf template.




2. Next, grouping feathers together.



3. Now it's time to create a framework on which to paste my feathers.










4. Finally, colorizing the feather patterns completes the albatross.





5. Now that I've established the distinctive markings of the albatross, it's time to stylize the bird so that it's more appealing to children. I've enlarged the eyes and the beak, and have added a lei:



©2009 Tammy Yee
All rights reserved.

Ed Rondthaler:The nonsense of english spelling

Saturday, June 20, 2009

freaky frogs...the Surinam toad


The Surinam toad is one nature's most unusual creatures. It's actually a frog, which spends its entire life cycle in tropical South American rivers and canals.

With its flattened body and triangular head, it can easily be mistaken for leafy debris while waiting patiently for a meal to swim by--unsuspecting fish, worms and bugs are sucked into its large mouth with surprising speed.




What makes them unique is their reproduction. After the female lays her pea-sized eggs, the male places them on her back and pushes them into her spongy skin. The eggs incubate as mom's new skin slowly develops and covers them, keeping them safe and out of sight.





Eventually the eggs hatch inside the skin pockets, and the babies develop through the tadpole stage. In 70 to 120 days, fully formed froglets pop out of mom's back!







Here's a video of a Surinam "toad" giving birth:







©2009 Tammy Yee
All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

crazy for cats


Cats, cats, cats.

With 88.3 million cats in U.S. households, they've replaced dogs (74.8 million) as America's most popular pet. That's a lot of kitty litter.

What is it about these sharp-clawed predators that fascinates us? Ask the ancient Egyptians, who kept them as pets 4000 years ago.

What began as working relationship (mouse eats grain, cat eats mouse–when pharaoh is happy, everyone is happy) later became an obsession as cats became associated with Bastet, the goddess of fertility and motherhood. Pampered at temples devoted to Bastet, they were mummified and buried in huge communal graves.


What most don't know is that this devotion wasn't always pretty. Cat mummies became so popular that by 300 B.C., young kittens were sacrificed in large numbers as temple offerings. So many, that in the late 1800s an English company bought 38,000 pounds to sell as fertilizer. That's 180,000 cat mummies in a single shipment!

However, Egyptians weren't the first cat-lovers.

Kitties have been coughing up hairballs and dead birds on earthen doorsteps far earlier. In 2004, a human and a cat were found together in a 9,500 year-old Cyprus grave. And in 2007, a study in the journal Science found that the granddaddy of all house cats was a desert wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica, which roamed the Middle East 10,000 years ago and continues to do so today.



Now that cats are here to stay, here are some funky facts about our fickle feline friends:
  • Wild species of cats are native to all continents except Australia and Antarctica...Sadly, most of the thirty-six cat species are in danger of becoming extinct within the next twenty-five years.
    (Natural History Museum)

  • Cats have remained relatively unchanged since they first appeared 30 million years ago.

  • A house cat can jump nine to ten times its height, the equivalent of a professional basketball player jumping more than 60 feet.

  • A group of cats is referred to as a "clowder", a male cat is called a "tom" (or a "gib", if neutered), and a female is called a "queen".

  • A domestic cat's sense of smell is about fourteen times as strong as a human's.

  • Cats have a third eyelid, the nictitating membrane. And unlike humans, they do not need to blink to lubricate their eyes with tears.

  • Cats lack a gene required to taste sweetness...which would be unnecessary, since such a gene is only advantageous in animals that consume plants.

  • Most cats sleep 12 to 16 hours a day, to conserve energy between hunts.


Cat records:
  • Smallest cat: the Rusty-spotted cat, Prionailurus rubiginosus, found in India and Sri Lanka. Less than half the size of a domestic cat, it stands seven inches high and weighs less than three pounds.


  • Largest cat: the Tiger, Panthera tigris. Males can weigh as much as 700 pounds, are ten to eleven feet long (not including tail), and can eat 80 pounds of meat in a single sitting.


  • Rarest cat: Iberian lynx. Only 100 to 150 are believed to survive in the wild, a result of dwindling habitats and decline in prey.



Be sure to make some Big Cat origami I've designed:





©2009 Tammy Yee. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 10, 2009

aurora borealis

Astronaut Don Pettit creates a time lapse video of the Aurora Borealis from the International Space Station. NPR Science Friday, April 10, 2009.

candy corn in space...

NASA astronaut Don Pettit experiments with candy corn aboard the International Space Station to demonstrate the hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties of soap. . From NPR's Science Friday, April 10, 2009. Hosted by Ira Flatow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

is a bird in the pot worth two in the bush?


Let me tell you about a chick named Peep.

I refer not to the marshmallow confections so ubiquitous this time of year, but to a pet. We had returned to the Philippines for my father-in-law's funeral, and my son had more questions than I could answer. The open casket in the living room, the constant stream of visitors during the week-long wake and the oppressive tropical heat left me drained. What better way to occupy a young boy than to give him that everlasting symbol of life, a newly hatched chick? Seeing him smile with a yellow ball of fluff on his shoulder and bird droppings running down his back was the highlight of what was to be a long and somber visit.

So imagine my delight when news of Peep arrived from the Philippines. It was a letter from an aunt, thanking my son. Peep, she wrote, had fed many neighbors and the consensus was that he was exceptionally delicious. Enclosed was a photo of a fat happy chicken, minutes before his neck was wrung.

"What's that, Mommy, is it Peep?"

"Yes it is, and look how he's grown!"

Thus began a series of small lies, The Legend of Peep, if you will. Fifteen years later, he still doesn't know the truth. Was I squeamish discussing death with him? No. I was simply at a loss for words having to explain why anyone on a U.S. pension in the Philippines would need to eat a pet, especially one associated with a dead grandfather.


Which brings us to the Worcester's buttonquail, an elusive, flightless bird found only in the Philippines. Last seen 100 years ago, the spotted quail has never before been photographed, and was thought to be extinct. Its appearance in a bird trapping documentary astonished Desmond Allen, the World Bird Club member who identified it, and soon the world of ornithology was abuzz.

The problem? The only Worcester's buttonquail ever caught on film was sold for 10 pence, simmered in a delicate broth of vinegar, and eaten as quail adobo. I have no evidence for the exact preparation, but adobo is as good a guess as any.

The name of the documentary? Bye-Bye Birdie.

But it doesn't end there.


According to the AFP (Ultra-Rare Shark Caught and Eaten, April 7, 2009),
"A megamouth shark, one of the world's most elusive species, was caught, carved up and eaten by fishermen from a town in the Philippines, the environmental conservation group WWF said Tuesday."

Discovered in 1976 off the shores of Hawaii, only 41 specimens of this ancient shark have ever been found. And this time I do have a recipe. Take 500 kilos of megamouth, stew in coconut milk, and you have enough kinuout to feed a village!

As humans encroach on natural habitat, more such encounters shall occur. However, it would be naive to expect that education and strict poaching regulations will solve the problem. Fueled by civil unrest, dwindling resources and deforestation, the bushmeat trade has become a wildfire:
"Because there is nowhere else for people to turn for protein, and because of poor enforcement, bushmeat hunting has continued in many parts of the world, despite regulations that make most of the hunting illegal. (Discovery News, Bushmeat Ban Not the Answer)"


A fire that not only endangers biodiversity, it endangers us.

There have been 14 ebola epidemics in Africa since 1976, in which 80% of the victims hemorrhaged to death within a few days, and which have been traced to bushmeat. Outbreaks coincide with the dry season and the birthing cycles of the virus's reservoir, fruit bats. Because primates often inhabit the same trees, they are exposed to blood and placental fluid released during bat birthing. Villagers contract ebola through contact and consumption of primates and fruit bats:
"Consequently, public awareness programmes and an input of food supplies essential for the needs of remote villages during the dry season should help avoid Ebola virus transmission from the bats to humans." (News Medical: Fruit bats a reservoir for Ebola virus, Jan 2006)


Ah, but that's in Africa, you say. So was HIV. Evolved from SIV, the simian or primate variant, HIV has jumped from primates to humans at least seven times.
"That suggests that new strains of an HIV-like virus are circulating in wild animals and infecting people who eat them, sparking fears that such strains could fuel an already disastrous global HIV pandemic." (New Scientist: Bush-meat trade breeds new HIV, Aug 2004)


And in December 2008, Ebola-Reston was confirmed in four pig farms in the Philippines, raising fears that the disease may someday be transmitted from pigs to humans.


So stick to the marshmallow Peeps, peeps. Once we, and biodiversity, are gone, I doubt we'll be resurrected.

©2009 Tammy Yee

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008


Clash of eagles, Poland. By Antoni Kasprzak, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008.



An adult Southern Right Whale, (Eubalaena australis) encounters a diver on the sandy sea bottom at a depth of 22-meters off the Auckland Islands, New Zealand. Photograph by Brian Skerry.



Snowstorm leopard winner of the Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife. Photograph by Steve Winter.



Sub-adult male black crested macaque, Indonesia. Phoptograph by Stefano Unterthiner.



A critically endangered Morelets tree frog, Agalychnis moreletii, battles for its life with a cat-eyed snake. Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Belize. Photograph by David Maitland.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

jake, udabest...

Our own ukulele virtuoso, whom I HAVE to share...so weep on, dear friends...

Friday, January 2, 2009

have a cosmic new year...

Supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud


V838 Monocerotis

NASA Hubble Telescope views of a space phenomenon called a light echo. Light from a star that erupted nearly 5 years ago continues propagating outward through a cloud of dust surrounding the star. The light reflects or "echoes" off the dust and then travels to Earth.

Eta Carinae

On the brink of destruction,
Eta Carinae is highly unstable and prone to violent outbursts. The last of these occurred in 1841, when despite being over 10,000 light years away, Eta Carinae briefly became the second brightest star in the sky.

Eagle Nebula

Appearing like a winged fairy-tale creature poised on a pedestal, the Eagle Nebula is actually a billowing tower of cold gas and dust rising from a stellar nursery. The soaring tower is 9.5 light-years or about 90 trillion km high, about twice the distance from our Sun to the next nearest star.

Reflection Nebula NGC 1999

In the constellation Orion.



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