Monday, March 10, 2008

Updates: T-shirt quilt, Mt. Everest, Fourpiter, Twopiter, and Dinky

Here's a photo of my completed T-shirt quilt!

So I did decide to make one after all, to replace a picnic blanket that I own (and will now freecycle). There are cottage businesses for making custom T-shirt memory quilts (like this one), but doing it myself had a few advantage. One is price - it is NOT cheap to have it done. Another is the creative control of designing it EXACTLY as I want it. And the last, unexpected, bonus was that in taking the time to do it myself, I had time to reflect on the memories embodied by the t-shirts. And since I'm the T-shirt Queen, the story of my life is written in t-shirts - this quilt touches on everything from my junior and senior high school days, college and dorm life, choir and band, my spouse, first jobs, friends, travels, and shows I've seen.

While working on this, though, I did come to the realization that it's a VERY time-consuming project, especially for a non-quilter like myself. Definitely something to undertake only while taking time off from work :) And I don't blame the professionals for charging a lot to make one of these!

As for other stuff I've been up to...

The Grand Decluttering continues. I've been recycling, freecycling, and selling old junk on eBay (and incredibly, people are bidding on it!).

Recent reading & viewing: I read two books on the disastrous 1996 Mt. Everest climbing season and one on the 1967 climbing disaster on Mt. McKinley. Also watched three documentaries on Everest. Don't worry, I'm not planning to climb it, I prefer armchair mountaineering.

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster

Climbing High: A Woman's Account of Surviving the Everest Tragedy

Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters

Mountaineering disaster books are a guilty (and probably sick) pleasure. You get to read real-life tales of conflict, suspense, and harrowing tragedy, set in the some of the world's most dramatic settings, while lying in your bed eating ice cream.

Recent astronomy-related activies: We went to a talk called New Worlds and Yellowstone: How Common are Habitable Planets?, which was part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series at Foothill College.

The lecturer, Dr. Geoff Marcy, related a story about naming extrasolar planets: "I have gotten suggestions from a lot of school kids. For example, if you're looking at this schematic of Upsilon Andromedae with the inner, middle, and outer planets, I got a letter from a school kid -- now it's been two or three years -- and she was in 6th grade and she said: “Dear Professor Marcy, I just read in the newspaper that you discovered three planets around Upsilon Andromedae. I don't know if you have names for them, but I have suggestions for you” and I thought oh boy, here it comes and she said: “Well, the outer planet I saw in the newspaper has four times the mass of the Jupiter, so I think you should name it Fourpiter. I kept reading in the newspaper and the middle planet they said it has twice the mass of Jupiter, so I think you should name it Twopiter. The inner planet, I think you should name that Dinky.”

Fourpiter, Twopiter, and Dinky! Love it!!!

And here's a bonus, something that we saw at a recent astronomy club meeting...a video of a volcano erupting on Io, a moon of Jupiter:

The frames were captured by the New Horizons probe. The plume of volcanic debris is 200 miles tall!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Superb job! I wish that I had thought of the T-shirt quilt.