Author Archives: beth

About beth

Ann Arbor-ite writes about enjoying life with all of its ironies and surprises.

russia!

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russian festival day

a little taste of everything

lots and lots of happy dancing

 traditions, tea, wine, beer, language, music, religion, art, history

loved experiencing this culture

 the people so passionate about it

and all so new to me. 

“a nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”

-mahatma gandhi

fury.

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back in the 60’s

so excited to begin my modeling hobby

 black fury arrived

took out all three of the pieces

two horse halves and a tail

 laid them out

along with my airplane glue

after reading the directions

carefully matching the halves

adding the tail

it’s black plastic body

smeared all over with glue

but it was together

 i had made it all by myself

gave it one last little squirt of glue

for good luck

which missed and went into my eye

my joy turned to dramatic squealing

zoomed off to the eye doctor

went home and looked at fury

with my one good eye

not sure what went wrong

learning not to add

one more little dab of something

when a project is finished

and began my foray into my new hobby

stamp collecting.

“when things go right it’s hard to figure out why,

but when things go wrong it’s really easy.”

-steven soderbergh

 

toys r (all of) us.

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National Toy Hall of Fame Reveals 12 Toy Finalists

Which toys will make it into the National Toy Hall of Fame this November? The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, announced the 12 finalists for induction into the hall: American Girl Dolls, Battleship, billiards, Cabbage Patch Kids, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Mahjong, Masters of the Universe, piñata, Risk, sand, The Settlers of Catan, and toy fire engine.

“These 12 toys represent the wide scope of playthings—from one of the most universal playthings in the world like sand to a game-changing board game like Risk to the popular adult game of billiards,” says Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections. “Whether old or new, for kids or adults, all 12 of these toy finalists greatly influenced the world of play.”

The Hall of Fame receives thousands of nominations annually, and this year, fans may vote for their favorite finalists from September 15 to 22 as part of a “Player’s Choice” ballot at toyhalloffame.org. The three toys that receive the most public votes will be submitted and will join the other top-three submissions by members of the National Selection Advisory Committee. (The public will collectively act as one member of the 23-member committee.) The final 2021 toy inductees, chosen based on the ballots, will be announced by The Strong museum on Thursday, November 4, at 10:30 a.m.)

to cast your vote, visit www.toyhalloffame.org

and may the best toys win!

The museum recognizes toys that have engaged and delighted multiple generations. Criteria for induction include: Icon-status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered); Longevity (the toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations); Discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play); and Innovation (the toy profoundly changed play or toy design). Anyone can nominate a toy to the National Toy Hall of Fame. Final selections are made on the advice of historians, educators, and other individuals who exemplify learning, creativity, and discovery through their lives and careers.

To date, 74 toys have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, some of which are: alphabet blocks, Big Wheel, blanket, bubbles, Candy Land, cardboard box, checkers,  Crayola Crayons, dollhouse, Easy-Bake Oven, Etch A Sketch, Frisbee, G.I. Joe,  Hot Wheels, , jack-in-the-box, jacks, Jenga, jigsaw puzzle, jump rope, kite, LEGO, Lionel Trains, green army men, Magic 8 Ball, Matchbox Cars, Monopoly, Mr. Potato Head, paper airplane, Radio Flyer Wagon, rocking horse, Rubik’s Cube, sidewalk chalk, Silly Putty, Slinky, Star Wars action figures, stick, Super Soaker, swing, teddy bear, Tonka Trucks, Twister View-Master, and Wiffle Ball.

i’m totally on team ‘sand’

and while pinatas are one of my favorite things in the world

sand is the best toy ever

Sand may be the most universal and oldest toy in the world. Educator Maria Montessori has argued that sand “is only one substance that the modern child is allowed to handle quite freely.” Children recognize sand as a creative material suitable for pouring, scooping, sieving, raking, and measuring. Wet sand is even better, ready for kids to construct, shape, and sculpt. Sand provides unique opportunities for tactical, physical, cooperative, creative, and independent free play.

“to this day, i have the most fond memories of some of my old toys.”

-michael keaton

 

 

credits: s. rhinewald, strong’s national toy hall of fame

www.toyhalloffame.org

museumofplay.org

whole picture.

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always a good idea to look at things a bit closer

before drawing conclusions

 you might learn a lot more

 

“the only people who see the whole picture, he murmured, are the ones who step out of the frame.”

-salman rushdie

 

 

 

artist credit: scott johnston

swiping left.

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The octopus is one of nature’s smartest and most enigmatic creatures, seemingly able to engage in some of the more complex thought processes in nature while also taking advantage of its unique physical abilities. Recently, some angry cephalopods were discovered to be assaulting fish by striking them with an arm.

Their taste for violence doesn’t end there. A new study demonstrates that when an octopus wants to be left alone, it’s not above tossing the nearest object at the noggin of its target.

Researchers at the University of Sydney published their findings in the science journal bioRxiv, and it’s clear that octopuses have a low tolerance for unwelcome visitors. Observing them off the eastern coast of Australia, scientists witnessed octopuses hurling shells, algae, and other debris at other octopuses in an effort to warn them off.

Octopuses don’t “throw” objects the way a human might. Instead, they use their arms to position the object in front of their siphons, which can produce a jet stream of water that propels the material into their adversary.

This behavior has been observed before, but this new study shed some fresh light on their motivations. The footage obtained via GoPro cameras captured a number of female octopuses throwing shells at would-be male suitors, a kind of swiping left, using blunt force.

In these cases, the males were not always discouraged. One bachelor was hit 10 times but stuck around. Others attempted to dodge the projectiles. Octopuses can toss objects for other reasons. They may, for example, want to clean up their living space by removing clutter. In some cases, that unwanted clutter may also mean a pushy mate.

“you want trouble, you can get trouble” 

s. rotslach

 

 

credits:

Photo- S. Rotslach/Getty Images, Mental Floss/J. Rossen, Science Alert/ M. Starr, University of Sydney/bioRxiv

the guesser.

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writing on his well-worn pad

then guessing out loud all day

birthdays, weights, ages

at 10 dollars – 40 dollars to play

he was a winner each and every time

 amazing and flattering his crowd

even when he gave away a toy

what did the guesser have to lose?

“guessing a thing ain’t knowing a thing.”

-patrick ness

holding infinity.

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a fine and special treat shared

as we begin our adventure together

 homemade foraged ice cream

“to see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower –

hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.’

-william blake

9/11 after 20 years – never gone.

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Messages at NYC’s Union Square after the 9/11 attack – North Sullivan

 

“it has been said that time heals all wounds. i don’t agree. the wounds remain.

time – the mind, protecting its sanity –

covers them with some scar tissue and the pain lessens,

but it is never gone.”

-rose kennedy

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