Piano duet for the elderly

November 4, 2009

This is Fran & Marlo Cowan (married 62 years), playing an impromptu piano recital together in the atrium of the Mayo Clinic.
Via Nurse K (wicked Emergency Medicine blog, by the way, worth checking out. I’m pretty sure the writers of Showtime’s excellent Nurse Jackie read this blog and used Nurse K as inspiration for Edie Falco’s character.)

Gorillas in love: so dreamy

September 4, 2009

A new male gorilla is due to arrive at the London zoo later this year. To prepare them, the keepers gave each of the zoo’s three adult female gorillas a picture of their pending paramour, and the gorillas went, uh, ape.


One female gorilla shrieked in delight, while another wedged the poster in a tree to stare at it. A third, clearly overcome by emotion, held the photo close to her chest — then ate it.


This made me very happy.
Via Zeldalily.

Improv Everywhere throw an impromptu wedding reception

June 3, 2009

Improv Everywhere, the NYC troupe that all stood still in Grand Central Station last year, threw an improvised wedding reception for a random couple who’d just gotten married in NYC’s City Hall.

First dance as a married couple.  That's the bride's actual father videotaping.

First dance as a married couple. That's the bride's actual father videotaping.

The IE members came decked out in suits, tuxedos, and inexpensive matching “bridesmaid’s dresses” from Old Navy. One member approached the couple and their family, pretending to be throwing a free reception “courtesy of the mayor’s office”, and invited them out into the park for a party.

Bride and Maid of Honour meeting for the first time!

Bride and Maid of Honour meeting for the first time!

The bride and groom had never met any of the improvisers before, but they went along with it and had an hourlong party in the rain, complete with cake, cider toasts, bouquet, and dancing. Full story and lots of nice photos here.

I love that there are people in the world who spend their Wednesday afternoons putting this kind of event together, and I love that the couple & their families just said, “uh, ok!” to the insta-party. Awesome possum!
Via Kottke.

Kept together by the bars between us

March 2, 2009

Here’s a link to a story that appeared in the NYT last month, written by Amy Friedman, a woman who married a man who was halfway through a 15-year prison sentence. Fascinating, beautifully written. (Kinda sad though).

Touching Strangers

November 14, 2008


What if a photographer approached you and asked you to pose for a photo right there on the street- holding hands with a complete stranger? Richard Renaldi did this; here is a neat article about it.

You know, I like to think of myself as the kind of person who would totally be cool and play along if someone asked me to do this. But to be totally honest, it would depend on who the other person was- or more specifically, what the other person smelled like. People who smell like products- even annoying products, like Axe body spray or Opium perfume or something overpowering like that = fine. People who smell like food, or up to a couple days’ worth of sweat = also okay. People who smell like pee = not okay. I’m just being honest here. I do like these photos a lot though.




October 6, 2008

Last summer my boyfriend (nope, not that Scott Hepburn, this Scott Hepburn) went to a comic book convention in San Diego. While frolicking in the ocean, he dove face-first into a wave that contained a sizeable jellyfish.

This caused several sorts of unpleasantness: the unpleasantness of the jellyfish’s neurological toxins making his face burn and sting for an hour, and the added unpleasantness of all his friends offering to pee on his face to ease the burn.

He’s very manly, so although his eyes watered, he didn’t cry. Instead, he used the Dune mantra to overcome the insult to his face, reminding himself and anyone who would listen that “Just because your face feels like it’s on fire, doesn’t mean it’s actually on fire. It’s a trick.”

I know, totally hot, huh?

The other day I was feeling handsy, so I made him a little present to belatedly commemorate the experience.

Next up I’m gonna make a life-sized soft-sculpture of his head using pantyhose stuffed with cotton batting, and then make a whole bunch of jellyfish with velcro on them and we can toss them against the pantyhose head and see if they stick. Fun with crafts!

Pixar, oh Pixar.

July 22, 2008
Illustration from Lots of Bots, a Pixar storybook by Ben Butcher.

Illustration from "Lots of Bots", a Pixar storybook by Ben Butcher.

Okay, this is an AWESOME story.

A year ago, a woman named Courtney discovered she couldn’t watch the preview trailer for Wall-E without bursting into tears every time Wall-E said his name. Half-embarassed, half-amused, she made a little video of herself watching raptly and crying on-cue, which started to circulate on YouTube. People from Pixar eventually saw it and some sent her little emails thanking her for sharing her connection with the film. They even sent her some Wall-E swag for Xmas. Nice, right?

It gets better.

Out of the blue, Pixar invited her to the Wall-E wrap party, flying her across the country and putting her up in a great hotel. The wrap party was attended by a thousand of the Pixar employees who worked on Wall-E for four long years, and before the screening, writer/director Andrew Stanton gave a little speech thanking them all for their commitment and talent:

“Six months ago, when the first trailer for Wall-E came out, we were only halfway done with the film, and we weren’t exactly sure how we were going to get it done. We were exhausted.
And then, one day, a movie showed up on YouTube, showing a girl watching the trailer for Wall-E. And every time she watched it, she would cry on cue. When we saw that, we knew we were on the right track.”
Everybody in the theater laughed at this knowingly.
“Well,” Andrew Stanton said. “We invited Courtney here tonight.”
A gasp went through the theater… Stanton asked her to stand up, and all one-thousand sets of eyes in the theater turned to find her, and thunderous applause broke out.

Best of all, Pixar never tried to use this story to promote Wall-E at all; they just did it as a treat to their employees and a thank you to Courtney- a way to allow people who had connected only indirectly to finally meet in person.

Here’s the Wall-E trailer, and the video of Courtney watching it and crying. It’s pretty fun to watch- I just checked it out at work and cried all over myself, then some dude from the mailroom wandered by and gave me a weird look as I sat there with a big doofy grin wiping my nose on my arm. And Courtney’s boyfriend wrote about the experience on Metafilter.