Categories and Tags

I just learned about categories and tags the other day after it occurred to me that I had never really known the main differences. It seems like something so minimal and dull, but it’s actually really interesting.

Still trying to get multiple blogs in one WordPress. Until then, I’ll be categorizing to separate “blogs”.

Here’s the article I referred to. It’s pretty interesting: http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/categories-vs-tags-seo-best-practices-which-one-is-better/

The CourageMakers Podcast #046: Perfectionism, Gratitude & Daily Practice

I love “The CourageMakers Podcast” in general. It’s an interview podcast about creatives and their stories of courage. I listened to episode 046 today. If you’re a recovering perfectionist like me, I HIGHLY recommend it.

https://thathummingbirdlife.com/podcast-episode/wendy-de-jong/

 

How Ducks Drink

I haven’t blogged in a while, but it’s been on my mind constantly. Decided that there’s no time like the present to start back up again. On that note, I changed my blog’s title. Not sure if that’s the last time. It went from “The Misadventures of Sarah Stroud” to “The Various Musings of Sarah Stroud”. We’ll see if it sticks. Now, back to the point of this post.

Today, I went to the Oregon Zoo for a few hours to sketch. In the petting zoo area, there were some ducks. Quite a few of them were drinking water, which caught my attention. It wasn’t the fact that they were drinking water, it was HOW they were drinking it. It was so strange. Check out the short video I took below.

Also, fun side fact, apparently ducks blow bubbles in their drinking water. It’s to clean out any dirt, feed, or anything else that may be stuck in their nostrils!

I haven’t been able to find a whole lot on how ducks drink (pretty much nothing), but I imagine it is tied to the way they eat. So here’s a little on that:

  • Lamellae are a part of the ducks’ bills. They act like sieves, but look like teeth.
    • Ducks don’t chew food. They sift through water and mud with their bills, then expel the liquids through their lamellae while keeping the food (seeds, bugs, etc.). in their bills.
    • Because ducks don’t chew food, they can’t eat food without drinking water. They’re at risk of choking otherwise.
  • Even though they don’t chew food, they still need to digest it. They do this with their gizzard instead of their teeth. The reason for this is actually a flight requirement.
    • If they had the jawbone structure and teeth required for chewing, they’d actually be too top-heavy to stay balanced while flying. They need an even distribution of body weight in order to maneuver well in the air.
    • The gizzard (aka the digestive part of the stomach), as you’d expect, is still pretty heavy though. As a result, it’s actually located more central in the body cavity.
      • The gizzard size of the waterfowl is directly linked to what and how much each species eats. This way they only have as much weight as they need.
        • IE: Those with more fibrous foods have larger gizzards than fish eaters.
  • What waterfowl (of which ducks are a part of) tend to eat is usually reflected in the size and shape of their bill. I’m not sure what kind of ducks the above are, so I’m going to review ducks in general.
    • Mallards will generally eat anything they can swallow… anything from grain and small seeds to insects, salamanders, frogs, and small fish. Their bills are wider, longer, and generally bigger than other ducks’ bills.
    • Wigeons are mainly grazers, so their bills are stubbier and narrower than those of mallards… this way they can more easily shear off the tops of green shoots.
    • Mergansers have serrated pincer-like bills to grab fish.
    • Shovelers’ bills are extra-wide and flattened to act as a scoop and sieve so they can skim invertebrates from the water.

I’m not a scientist, just an interested artist. So if anyone knows more info about this topic, feel free to comment on this and share! I’d love to hear more! Also, on that note, here’s a little sketch I did today of a duck drinking (don’t mind the note-to-self below it).

20180707_ORZoo_DuckSketch

If you’re interested in reading more, the references I used are below. You may find them pretty interesting.

References:

Here Be Monsters… A History

Scully mentions to Mulder in “The X-Files” that in history, mariners used to mark unmapped areas as “Here Be Monsters” on their maps. This was in Season 3, Episode 22.

I found a podcast on the unknown called “Here Be Monsters”. My curiosity is peaked, but I’ll save that for another day. Here’s the link: https://www.hbmpodcast.com/.

I started with a Wikipedia article, but you always have to enter at your own risk with Wikipedia. Anybody can edit those articles, so you’re sort of at the mercy of the Internet when it comes to truth or falsehood. If nothing else though, it’s a place where I always start my research adventures because it gives me a jumping off point (there’s tons of tidbits to get good search words and ideas from). Plus, it’s usually always entertaining. Here’s the first one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_Be_Monsters!

Okay, so it turned out to be about a book (which seems interesting, and I’ll check out later–Wishlisting on Amazon for now. Apparently that book inspired Laika Studio’s stop-motion animated film, “The Boxtrolls”). But then there’s this second Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_be_dragons, and now I have something to go on.

When I clicked back to my Google search, I stumbled upon this article (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/12/no-old-maps-actually-say-here-be-dragons/282267/). Apparently the correct phrase was “Here Be Dragons”. So I adjusted my search terms.

Also, on a side note (I have a lot of those–I have ADHD, so my mind jumps around a lot–just warning you now–it’s fun for research purposes though, anyways…), if you’re interested in cartography, one of my all-time favorite books (and trust me when I say I read A LOT), is “Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Open Floor” by Hali Felt. The link is here: https://smile.amazon.com/Soundings-Story-Remarkable-Woman-Mapped/dp/1250031451/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509819071&sr=8-1&keywords=soundings.

It’s about the brilliant woman, Marie Tharp, and how she took on the project of a lifetime by trying to map the whole ocean. She was on teams of mainly only men, and defied a lot of their orders to get her work done. Her business partner (not in the legal sense in the word, but her partner in her business), Bruce Heezen, was a big reason she was able to do this… he stuck up for her and helped her in her pursuit for knowledge. Anyways, it’s written so well and it’s a quick read, but you’ll find yourself trying to slow it down so you can revel in it as long as possible.

Now back to “Here Be Dragons”. The terms used slightly vary by language (a few are “Here Be Lions”, “Land Unknown”, etc.), but all were generally used to described unknown territories and/or dangerous areas. Like “Here Be Monsters”, none of them actually said “Here Be Dragons” (other than the rare Lenox Globe ca. 1503-1507), from what I understand, but they were illustrated with monsters, dragons, and the like.

Here’s a picture of the Lenox Globe:

lenox-1
Source: https://mannaismayaadventure.com/2015/01/18/photos-lenox-globe-is-oldest-to-show-the-americas/

Here are some interesting articles on this topic too:

That’s it for now! Enjoy!

Koji the Illustrator Interview

I like Koji’s work, but I really love what he does in this video series by Cut. He interviews kids about different topics and draws their responses. I love seeing kids’ imaginations come to life. I love his style too.

I also love the marketing aspects of this. I think it’s a brilliant move for both the company and the artist.

The interview is below, found on the WatchCut Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FWatchCut%2Fvideos%2F872945272868361%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Stranger Things: Millie’s Season 1 Rap

Everything about this is perfect. Her outfit, her movements, the camera, the colors and smoke, the words, the beat… everything. Obsessed with “Stranger Things”.  The source is The Tonight Show’s Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FFallonTonight%2Fvideos%2F10155950598423896%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Stranger Things… Obsessed

I’m taking a short break from a project to document my love of Stranger Things. Caution: There may be spoilers.

I am IN LOVE with this show. It is probably my favorite show of all time. That’s a HUGE thing for me to say too, since I love so many shows. The writing is incredible, it fuses my love of sci/fi, fantasy, the feelings of nostalgia/romanticism, and color. It’s just so gorgeously done. I also can’t believe how fantastic season 2 was. I didn’t think it could get much better than season 1.

I am going to post a bunch of fun facts here. I’ll do another post later (or mean to, but forget about it) on the cinematic/visual storytelling aspects, but for now, here are some fun facts.

The design of the demogorgon video: https://www.facebook.com/NowThisEntertainment/videos/1567030260058327/

I watched the whole Netflix series “Beyond Stranger Things” after the second season.

screen_shot_2017-10-26_at_1
Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/stranger-things-aftershow-set-at-netflix-1051984
9ffcd6ce589cfa0854c42d521c63ec2f41820ddf
Source: Netflix

This special afterseries is on Netflix with Jim Rash (best-known probably as the Dean in the show, Community) interviewing different actors and the exec producer, Shawn Levy (also director of a few episodes), along with the creators/writers, the Duffer brothers (Matt and Ross, who also directed some episodes–many episodes in fact). Anyways, some fun facts I took down while watching:

  • A hilarious story by the Duffer brothers (I’m terrible at telling them apart–sorry!)…
    • Duffer Bros: We had to give these kids notes that you would never be able to give anybody else.
    • Jim Rash: Like what?
    • Duffer Bros: Stop slapping each other between takes! It’s turning your faces red!
  • The demogorgon was mainly inspired by Jaws in first season, Lovecraft in second season.
    • Jaws=latches onto prey and drags away. You don’t 100% see the monster.
    • Lovecraft=More of a cosmic terrifying entity that you can’t understand or reason with.
      • The monster had more of a motive in the second season too.
    • Stephen King=The writers latched on to specific kid-like qualities in the kids to bring the show a sense of humanity.
      • IE: Dustin’s lisp. Getting frustrated at the video game. Etc.
  • The actor who plays Mike told Millie Bobbie Brown (plays Eleven) “I’m coming in” in a ventriloquist way before kissing her so they could time it right.
  • Sean Astin didn’t tell anyone he was trying out for season 2. He submitted a tape.
  • Dustin’s purring was the actor’s improv. It grew from his Chewbacca impression, he asked if he could do the purring that spawned off of it, and it ended up being really worked into the season.
  • Playing music on sets is a great way to give the actors a sense of what you’re looking for.-Shawn Levy (BRILLIANT!!)
    • He first started doing this with the little girl who played Holly in the first season. Words are sort of useless with an actor so young (she was 3 years old, or around that), so he just started playing music for her.
      • He played the music while they were doing those shots so she could feel it as she acted (non-voice parts).
  • Bill Nye appeared in the 5th episode. He talked about hive mind, which is cool, but I really wish there was time for him to dig into the deeper science of the show.
  • The first season was mainly practical effects, while the second season was mainly visual effects (larger scale monster problem).

There are so many great movies referenced in this series, but also in the afterseries. I really want to write them all down and make sure I can watch the ones I haven’t in the future (I did watch Jaws while working yesterday–a bit too terrifying for my taste, but I see why it was so groundbreaking).

The second season ended up being much more cinematic than the first. I love the concept art that resulted from it:

  • *The concept art that was shown in the afterseries… I haven’t been able to find it yet. But when I do, I’ll update this with the images/sources.
    • I REALLY hope they come out with an art book!!

Here are some awesome articles on Stranger Things. If you haven’t seen it by now (which you should have before reading this), I HIGHLY recommend you check it out.

I’m also totally going through withdrawals. These are some ideas on what to watch if you’re like me (others’ ideas–I may follow their advice at some point):

Also, I’m purely fanning out, but I REALLY want this even though I can’t afford it:

And I love this actress too. I think she has a really good head on her shoulders. I hope she stays that way and doesn’t go down the stereotypical downhill path of the child actor.

Anyways, I’m super obsessed with this show. I can’t believe how much thought went into it too. It’s incredible.

Spielberg Documentary…Thoughts

Watching HBO’s documentary on Spielberg. Apparently, as a young 20-something, he snuck onto Universal’s lot off a tour and requisitioned an office for himself (he stuck a sign on the door and everything). He apparently went undisturbed for 6 months.

I started applying to animation studios in 4th grade. If I’d have seen this back then, studios would’ve had their hands full with me. It wouldn’t be as cute now (although, I have the training now, and am able to go the traditional routes 😛). Lol.

In all seriousness though, I’ve seen so many documentaries on animation and film greats, and they were usually able to take the non-traditional routes like that. It wasn’t as cut-throat as it is now. Now, there’s an element of fear and rigidity. I wish we could have some of that same nostalgia now. I wish that those who dream big could make it through pure determination, passion, and creativity. You still can now, but it’s a hell of a lot harder. That journey can crush people super quickly too.

Anyways, the documentary is good so far. Here are the links to…:

 

PhD Thesis Blogs

Since I’m out of the apartment tonight, I’m really enjoying some of these (if they’re indented, it means I found them at the site previously non-indented):

 

Still on my search to create the perfect research log. I know I at least want to keep some of it public. Not sure what to do past that, but it’ll be a fun personal project (with some frustration involved… but learning after).