January 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

My last post was on Scary Animals, and I failed to include a shark picture within the post, so I felt is was my duty to make my second to last post all great shark pictures (thanks once again to google images).  A quick note: sharks have been eternalized as a scary maneating villian and I felt it necessary to (although these pictures may will show otherwise) to once again state the claim that more people are killed by vending machines every year than sharks.

This is a great picture which shows the ferociousness of the great white shark. This shark had to come up out of the water for his prey and looks like he is on the mark.  I like how you can see its teeth and down the back of its throat.  You can really see how the seal doesn’t have much of a chance here.

I think that it is pictures like these that help to fuel the belief that sharks are just violent man-eating machines.  I mean my first reaction to looking at this picture was “wow, that shark looks mean.”  He just looks like a bully and looks ready to kill.

I like this picture because it shows just how amazing Great Whites can be.  This one leaps completely out of the water, not just a little out like in the first picture, but all the way out, and is able to catch his prey.  There is definitely a beauty involved with the sharks and I think that pictures like this one captures  some of that beauty.

Finally,  I just wanted to look at a hammerhead shark, because they might be my favorite type.  I can only imagine what it would be like to be under the water with all of these sharks, it must just be amazing.


Scary Animals

January 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

In a previous post, I wrote about cute animals, now (after I just had a runin with a terrifying spider)  I would like to turn my attention towards scary animals.  This is almost the complete opposite of what I wrote about in my previous post, but I think that scary animals are a part of life.  There are a number of reasons for animals to be “scary,” maybe there is a negative connotation like dangerous associated with them besides just their appearance that leads them to be considered scary, or maybe they do look scary.  But for whatever reason google images has labeled them as a scary animal.

I love this first picture for a couple reasons. First, the shot of the horse makes it indeed look a bit frightening to me.  It is shot at the right moment where the horse looks like he wants to eat the kid, but what gives the horse its scariness is not necessarily that its scary, its that the kid’s face shows just how terrifying it actually is.  He is absolutely terrified and so the viewer naturally sees the horse as terrifying.

I’m not sure if this photo is real or not, but even if it is not real, this lizard doesn’t appear all that scary to me.  Yes it look a bit weird and kind of like an alien, but to me this doesn’t really strike fear.  Now I’m sure that I would jump out of my shoes if I saw one in the wild, but this picture doesn’t seem to be all that frightening to me.

I thought this was an appropriate picture to end on after our studies of Grizzly Man.  I do think that there something a bit frightening about the bear and his jaws and teeth that would tend to scare most people away.  I think for me, it kind of puts into perspective just how firm and strong Treadwell must have been to be able to stand up to and survive with the bears.

I think that some animals look scary to frighten humans (and other animas?) away from them.  Like a baby’s adorableness draws people in, I think that the scariness drives people away.  Maybe its like certain bright colors on animals warning people that its dangerous by trying to frighten them away.

Revisiting Childhood – Harry Potter 1

January 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Before I was good enough to read the Harry Potter series, I listened to it on tape. The very first book on tape, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, was given to me at christmas when I was seven. I can remember taking it with me on the plane to Costa Rica, not knowing what the story was about or how much it would change my life. The second I started listening to it, I was hooked. I can remember not sleeping on the plane in order to continue listening to the book. From that moment onward, I became a Harry Potter fanatic. I have listening and read all of the books many times but it has been a few times since I have listened to the first book again.

As I began listening to the narrator, Jim Dale’s, melodious voice, I immediately returned to the very first time on the plane when I began listening to this very same tape. Even after all of these years when I have supposedly been getting wiser, and after listening to this book many times, I still enjoy it. For me, Harry Potter is more than just an interesting book series. It is a source of comfort. When ever I start a tape or open a book, I am reminded of the times before when I have started the same book; what I was doing, thinking about, worried about. Since I listened to the series throughout my childhood, the various books can bring me back to different times in my life.

As I was re-listening to the first book just now I began to think about what it was about this story that made the series so successful. There is obviously something unique that makes the Harry Potter series the highest number of copies sold for a given book. I think that to both children and adults, the books offer an escape from reality. The world of Harry Potter, although mythical, is very believable. When I was younger and my eleventh birthday was approaching, I seriously thought that I was going to get an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. The world that J.K. Rowling creates is not only somewhat realistic but also enticing enough for readers to get lost in.

Also, It was interesting for me to read the books throughout my childhood because I ended up growing up with the characters. When it came to the social stuff in the books, I understood their actions. We were almost the same age (the characters were 3 years older) so i felt that I could relate to the social issues that they were dealing with. But even if you are not the characters age, I still think that even with all of the differences, they are easy to relate to. Probably another reason why so many readers enjoy the books.


My First Tearjerker

January 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Disney’s Lilo and Stitch was both my first memorable movie theater-going experience and the first tearjerker I’d seen. I very clearly remember craning my neck to watch that little blue alien land on a Hawaiian island next to my dad because we were sitting in the very front row (we had a late departure because I couldn’t find my jacket). My dad has always been a huge kids’ movie fan but this time he was sort of unaffected by the unconventional retelling of the ugly duckling. Lilo and Stitch, although not my favorite Disney movie has a lasting imprint on my childhood and revisiting it I was able to find much more literal meaning, and maybe less emotional meaning, than before.

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January 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I was in Hawaii with the basketball team over break, we often had short periods of 15 minutes or so where we had to wait for everyone to get ready and take showers ect. During this time, what better was there to do besides watch TV, Spongebob Squarepants in particular. Somewhat strangely, while watching Spongebob, it did not seem as if our sense of humor had matured at all as we laughed constantly at the pointless jokes made by the sea creatures of Bikini Bottom. The episodes were certainly still as funny as they had been seven years ago and although the new episodes were certainly not as good as the old ones, whenever the old ones came on we would be flooded by memories of the good old days and all of our favorite episodes. I mean, who could ever forget the Band Geeks episode or the episode with the colorful Krabby Patties? We were even able to quote many of the lines made in the episodes, even though we hadn’t seen them in years. Weird how we can remember little things like these but have trouble memorizing things such as facts about Reconstruction in America even though we spend 100 times the amount of time studying Reconstruction as we do hearing that single line. Overall, reliving this one childhood experience was refreshing. Refreshing to sit back, relax and just enjoy a TV show that isn’t over complicated or filled with drama or romance, but also refreshing to know that childish humor still remained in all of us.

“Forget to Think”

January 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

A friend recently told me I needed to stop over thinking everything.  In Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, he reasoned that the more time you kept thinking about something; the less intuitive your conclusions would be. Romeo says it best when Benvolio told him to stop thinking so much about Rosaline, “O, teach me how I should forget to think.”

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The End…A Farewell

December 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hello all,

It has been wonderful being in a class with all of you. I had a great time and it was easily one of my favorite classes, in no small part due to the our awesome class. I doubt many of you will read this – what with the class being over and second semester seniors to boot – but I wanted to thank all of you for such a great semester. Especially Carla, since it’s not often that I get watch The Lion King and call it research =D


Have a great 5 days and 2011 everyone!

-Matthew Roy, “sǝɹıɟ & sɹıɟ”