Thursday, November 29, 2012


It is interesting how one thing leads to another.  Yesterday I was reading the Arts and Entertainment section of an old Sunday newspaper. I read a book review and an adjective was used: "coruscant".  "Coruscant"!  Isn't that a city planet in the Star Wars universe?
I love learning new words, so I had to look this up.  I googled the word and looked in online dictionaries.  Coruscant is an adjective meaning sparkling or gleaming, the verb coruscate means to give off or reflect light in bright beams.  And I looked at related words (I can't help it, I am a geek) and found another new word for me: fulgid.  An ugly word for resplendent or shining brilliantly.
But Coruscant is also part of the Star Wars universe.  It is a planet located in the galactic core completely covered by a planet-wide city.  Hmm... that makes me wonder if the planet or the city is Coruscant?  Time for another google search!
An urban dictionary defined Coruscant as the combination of Star Wars and Tokyo.  Wikipedia states that Coruscant is a planet in the fictional Star Wars universe.  Wookieepedia explains that Coruscant was originally called Notron.  The planet was located at the intersection of major "hyperlanes" (I am guessing an advanced form of trade routes) and given the hyperspace coordinates of 0,0,0.  That made it the center of the galaxy and served as the capital city for various regimes over the centuries.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hats of the Old Republic

I love video games, especially role playing games.  I never got into the MMOs, at least until Star Wars: The Old Republic!  My sweetie and I have been playing since the game was released.  I am really enjoying SWTOR but there is one thing I have to complain about - the hats! 

You can get some deadly weapons and some cool-looking armor - except for the head slot!  For those of you who haven't played a role playing game, in most games you can get armor to wear that prevents or decreases the amount of damage an enemy can cause.  The armor can include a slot for the head, a helmet of some sort.  The options in SWTOR are awful!  Silly hats!  Ugly helmets!  Sometimes you can find something that is not a hat or helmet, but is a face piece or a head band.  Or things that are a combination of face piece and helmet.
I wondered if any one else was as disappointed with hats as I was.  So I googled it!
Do you like my hat?                  What?  That's a hat?!?
I found a couple of  places where people complained about the hats or posted pictures of the awful hats they found in the old republic.  The best was on TorWars.  But I am sure that I can find even better examples so I thought I would start with this one.  This is my republic character wearing a horribly ugly blindfold.

I like the idea of finding more on the hats of the old republic so keep an eye on this space!  :D

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

ZIP Codes

The inspiration for today's blog comes from this past weekend.  My sweetie and I were watching a TV show and they were talking about a ghost town in California.  It had become a thriving town during borax mining in the early 1900's.  They were showing old photos of mining, buildings in their prime compared to now, and so on when a guy said that the town had been so big that it even had its own zip code.  My radar went off - I thought zip codes came into effect after the town declined!  My new google search!
The precursor to our modern zip code system began in the 1940's.  Codes were first used in large cities in order to help quicken mail distribution.  The volume of mail increased dramatically after WWII and the US Post Office needed to adopt a new system nationwide.  Zip codes became mandatory for 2nd and 3rd class mail and bulk rate mail in 1967.  The zip code system expanded in the 1980's to include +4.  The +4 zip code is required for bulk mail.

I found out a few interesting things when I looked into this subject.  First of all, the zip code system was necessary because the amount of mail after WWII increased dramatically.  But the increase was due to business mail; personal correspondence (you know, letters) was actually decreasing and is now estimated to be less than 10% of the mail sent in this country.  Zip codes are not mandatory for first class mail (single piece)!  And lastly, I was surprised to find out that zip codes do not actually designate towns or even post offices but distribution centers. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Updating Papercutting

I am excited to be sending out Christmas cards this year; we purchased some E-Art Christmas cards!  We have decided on the custom piece we want - a picture of Noah's Ark.  The artist is having another show this weekend: Temple B'nai Torah and the JT News are hosting a Hannukah Gift Fair on Sunday November 11th, from 9am-2pm. The Temple is located at 15727 NE 4th in Bellevue, Washington.  I asked her permission to post some of her papercuts here, but believe me, pictures don't do her artwork justice.

This one is my absolute favorite!  In real life, this piece is about two feet long.  The detail is phenominal!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I went to see the works of a local artist earlier today.  She does papercutting, and her artwork was beautiful!  So that was the inspiration for today's google search.
Papercutting is an extremely old art form consisting of, obviously, cutting designs into paper.  Its origins are generally attributed to China, where paper was invented.  The art form spread worldwide and was adopted by many different cultures.  Some papercutters use scissors on flat or folded paper, while other papercutters use a knife to cut a single sheet or multiple sheets of paper on a cutting mat. 
Each culture seemed to have put its own spin on the art of papercutting.  I was amazed to see so many different kinds of artwork, from traditional to modern art, from folk to fine art.  Papercutting pieces were also melded with other types of art forms, such as origami or painting.

The artist I saw today specializes in Judaica.  When she first told me about it, I had images of her sitting with a pair of scissors but she wields a knife as easily as she works with a paintbrush.  The design is traced on the paper and then, with the paper on a cutting mat, she cuts the paper with a knife.  Her designs run the gamut from simple to very complex.
I am so impressed that we will be ordering a custom piece!  Check out her work here on Facebook!  E-Art Judaicuts!