Thursday, June 28, 2007

new things

New Zealand is all over pop culture these days, it seems. Not one, but two New Zealand movies are being released stateside: Black Sheep, a strange-as-they-come little flick about sheep gone wild, giving in to their carnivorous, man-eating desires (and in a land in which sheep outnumber people by a ratio of at least 10 to 1, it stands to reason that flesh-eating sheep might perhaps be a communal nightmare), and Eagle vs. Shark, a quirky-sounding movie about two oddballs in love. And then there are those advertisements all over the New York subway system these days touting the hilarity of HBO's next big thing, the Flight of the Conchords, which seems to be perhaps something similar to early Tenacious D, though since I don't have HBO, I really have no idea. And then of course there is the rise and fall of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. I happen to be quite fond of New Zealand wines, in general, and thought that this New York Times article was slightly on the harsh side in terms of the decline of NZ sauvignon blancs. But I was pleased that they disliked Spy Valley wines just as much as I did.
I learned a new definition for "curator" the other day. Or rather, I'm sure the definition has been around forever, but it is new to me. I've only heard the term in the context of museums, but apparently a curator can also mean "a guardian of a minor, lunatic, or other incompetent, especially with regard to his or her property."

Today I learned about a new career possibility, mentioned in an article about researchers looking for Bigfoot in Michigan. Seriously. Apparently there is such a thing as a cryptozoologist, a zoologist who specializes in the study of animals that have not been proven to exist. Grover Krantz, a now-deceased professor at Washington State University, was a specialist in this field. Washington State University, as you may or may not know, is the alma mater of both of my parents as well as the place where my paternal grandfather, for many years, was a zoology professor. He was not a cryptozoologist, but rather specialized in the field of parasitology, and had the good fortune of teaching Gary Larsen in a course or two, perhaps single-handedly bringing the world of paramecium and protozoa to the forefront of the comic world through the popularity of Larsen's Far Side comics.

Josh gave me a CD for my birthday last week, Mend, a newish album by a little Scottish band called De Rosa. I'm not sure how long they've been around, but this is the first I'd heard of them, and it's a great album. Kind of in the vein of the Shins, I suppose. Thank you, Josh. You rock.

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