Inspirations, art, beauty, thoughts, colour, things that I like.... things that I love...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

a few thoughts about 2008

I am very very tired tonight. I guess it is because it is the second last night of the year and I went for an 8 km run around this small town. Yesterday I went for a shorter run but I am feeling better. My rash has nearly gone and I am ready to start 2009 fit and healthy.
Jason is making empanada filling for a New Years Eve/Birthday Party we have tomorrow night and I am so exhausted. Joaquin has been a very good little boy today. He has been teething and dribbling and not having his dinner. But last night and tonight he had his dinner and is feeling better through out the day and not so much dribbling. He loves playing outside with the toy trucks and inside with his Thomas trains. He hides his toys behind the lounge like a magpie. He loves going on the motorbike and can say Sally (the dog) and loves watching her and gets close to inspect her and the cat (meow meow) Aussie.
I have had a great year, it has been tough with a new baby and being a bit sick and travelling twice to Argentina and trying to write papers and keep up with the academic side of my life. It has been hard but so worth it. I love my little munch munch of a son, he is gorgeous and loving and so inquisitive and learning new words every day.
Maybe in 2009 I will be ready for another little one!
Best wishes for all, and happy happy new year for 2009. I do hope there is peace, happiness and health for all and love is strong and keeps our world going for everyone.
besos Yami

Friday, December 26, 2008

christmas day in Australia

Christmas was about
making empanadas on Christmas eve
making a chocolate cake on Christmas eve
open presents
sitting outside with a cold drink
eating desert
doing my hair with a hair straighter
watching Joaquin go on the motorbike with his daddy
watching Joaquin enjoy his trains sets and motorbike ride

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joaquin holidays in Scone

food chocolate cake and all

I am getting ready for Christmas lunch tomorrow.
We are making empanadas
Here Wiki tells you how to make them.

Tomorrow I will be making a fresh beetroot salad. But I am not sure how to make it. I have made beetroot salad for myself but I do not know how to spruce it up.
There will be a lot of prawns and scallops and baby octopus. We made some marinade for these today which involved a lot of fresh ginger, garlic and chile.

For desert I will make a chocolate cake based on Jamie Oliver's Party cake recipe. I will add dulce leche in the middle instead of cream and peaches.
The recipe is here and here.
But once I make it and take photos hopefully I will add it here.
There is also fruit cake home made and Christmas pudding.
Too much food me thinks!
I am also going to make bellini's for the adults to drink.

Recipe for Jamie Oliver's Party Cake
Jamie's Party Cake recipe from his book " The Return of the Naked Chef"

3 rounded tablespoons cocoa powder
200gr/7oz caster sugar
200gr/7oz butter
3 large eggs
200gr/7oz self raising flour, sifted
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
1 handful of flaked almonds
200ml/7fl oz double cream (heavy cream)
1 large handful of raspberries
1 large handful of strawberries

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.

Line the bases of 2 x 20cm/8 inch cake tins with greased greaseproof paper.

Mix the cocoa powder with 4 tablespoons of boiling water until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy, add the cocoa mixture, eggs, flour and baking powder. Mix well, fold in the nuts. Divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for about 25 minutes. When cooked, allow to cool then remove from the tins.

Chocolate Topping -

100gr/4oz butter
100gr/4oz best cooking chocolate
100gr/4oz icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk

Melt the chocolate topping ingredients in a bowl over some slightly simmering water. Stir until blended well and allow to cool.

Whip the double cream to soft peaks and sweeten with a little sugar.

To assemble the cake, remove the greaseproof paper from both sponges. Drizzle each one with a little sherry, if you like. Spread the cream over one of the sponges, then sprinkle the fruit on top. Sandwich the second sponge on top and press down. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to smooth it off and drizzle over the chocolate topping.

Happy days, you've done it! But allow the chocolate topping to firm up slightly before tucking in.

Places in Sydney where you can get empanadas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

holes in the font

This is cool!
A Dutch company looking for ways to reduce the environmental costs of printing has developed a new font that it says cuts ink usage by about 15 per cent.

In essence, the "Ecofont" has little holes in the letters.

You can download it from here

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cabinet of Curiosities

I really would love this book

Albert Seba's Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, being a zoologist and all. I would love to flick through the book, and I even saw somewhere that an interior designer cut out the pages and framed them for her son's room. How cool!
Albertus Seba (1665-1736) was born in 1665 in the East Frisian town of Etzel, chose a profession (apothecary), with close ties to natural history. In Amsterdam he was proud indeed of his collection of natural specimens, the work of many decades. Having emphasized its uniqueness in a letter to a potential buyer, composed in c. 1725, he expanded further on its scope, writing that it included all sorts of exquisite pieces from the East and West Indies, among these no less than 700 jars containing the rarest exotic animals and many particularly rare snakes.

Cabinet of Curiosities is a term which in the past described a room rather than a piece of furniture. The first of the cabinets of curiosities were assembled in the mid-sixteenth century. These rooms had encyclopedic collections of types of objects whose categorical boundaries were, in Renaissance Europe, yet to be defined. These objects included to natural history (sometimes faked), geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious or historical relics, works of art (including cabinet paintings) and antiquities.

Example of a cabinet of Curiosities from Wikipedia

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dinosaurs in Africa

Ok enough blogging about art and design. I really need to do some paleo work so here are some inspirations. These are photographs from Mike Hettwer which I found in the site The Big Picture thanks to Dinosaurs and Robots site.
Anyway these photos are form the Green Sahara depicting what remains of the Green Sahara. About 9,000 years ago, a very wet climate prevailed in parts of the Sahara Desert called the Neolithic Subpluvial period. Lasting several thousand years, this Green Sahara was home to many grassland and woodland animals as well as humans.
Hetter met Paul Sereno the dinosaur paleontologist ( I have met him as well this year in southern Argentina in a Paleontology conference but that is another story) o and was on expedition with him in Niger in 2000 and they found a human burial area containing hundreds of human skeletons from two distinct cultures, each thousands of years old - the Kiffian and Tenerian.

Also found in the dry and desolate site were hunting tools, pottery, and bones of large land animals and fish (thats the stuff that I am into).
Mike Hettwer's photographs have appeared in 2,500 magazines, newspapers books and web sites - many of these photos are from his article "Lost Tribes of the Green Sahara" in the Sep. 2008 issue of National Geographic.
This cast of a Suchomimus dinosaur seen in Agadez, Niger, was donated to the country of Niger by paleontologist Paul Sereno at the Flamme de la Paix ceremony, that celebrated the end of a five year civil war. Suchomimus was a 110 million year old meat eater with a dinosaur's body and a crocodile's head. Over 20 new species of dinosaurs and crocodiles were found on this three month expedition. (© Mike Hettwer) #
Renowned dinosaur hunter Paul Sereno fights an 80 mph sandstorm that eventually tore apart the team's tents in the highly deforested Gobi Desert, Mongolia. (© Mike Hettwer) #

In the city of In Gall, Niger, men from the Wodaabe tribe dance and sing at the Gerewol festival just as a massive sandstorm hits. The Gerewol is an annual courting festival where the men try to look as beautiful as possible so they are chosen for mates by Wodaabe women.The Wodaabe may be related to the ancient human groups that lived in the Gobero area thousands of years ago. (© Mike Hettwer) #
This 8,000 year-old giraffe rock carving in DaBous, Niger is considered one of the finest petroglyphs in the world. The giraffe has a leash on its nose implying some level of taming the animals. It dates to the Kiffian era of 7,000 - 9,000 years ago. (© Mike Hettwer) #

Monday, December 15, 2008

artist desk

I love looking at Flickr and seeing how artist work. I guess I am procrastinating all the work I have to do. (writing projects for a postdoc so that during the recession I will be bringing in some income and my partner can be a stay at home dad!) Anyway I have a bit of insomia going back to bed (maybe it is because I ran 8km yesterday and my body is still on a endorphins rush)
From Gustavo an Artist born in Buenos Aires who lives in Patagonia Trewlew and I love his work
from iloveart

from cristoforo-nowak

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Buenos Aires design

These photos were taken from a magazine Australian House and Gardens issue November 2007 of the Buenos Aires home of Juana Santillan and Marcelo. It is a 1930s four level home. I can't believe Australian design magazines are featuring homes in Buenos Aires. There is a lot of red, a lot of light. The light is very harsh in Buenos Aires, I think here in Sydney the light is softer. It is funny but I notice this when I have returned from Buenos Aires to Sydney. I love both cities though, each has their beauty and craziness.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dulce de Leche

What I love about the internet is how easy information is available and how one can move from one idea to the next so freely.

Here I am up at 4.30am on a Friday morning with loads and loads of work to do. I have to correct a paper (on little mammal prints from approximately 150 million years ago), I have to write up a project and finish photos of little fossil mammal skulls and jaws and the list goes on..
I have to go to the gym at 9.30am this morning and organise my little one to come with me to the creche (breakfast feed him, dress him, play with him, walk 20 min to the gym) all this morning in a few hours! and all I am doing is blogging about dulce de leche.

It started with the biscuits here thanks to Loobylu and her link to Gourmet and their amazing article on Favourite cookies from 1941-2008. I have never imagined so many cookies and biscuits and shortbreads in my life and the photos are beautiful.
Then I saw the 2008 cookies and read how dulce de leche has influenced cookies in the last few years. Well then I found these beautiful cookies to make with dulce de leche.

Dulce de leche and nut butter truffles

and dulce de leche half moons

Then all the dulce de leche photo goodness available in flickr......
Recipie on how to make dulce de leche with condensed milk at Coconut & lime

Dulce de leche I buy when in Argentina is La Salamandra or Havanna

wish i could buy it here in Australia............ I guess I have to stick to how to make dulce de leche (from scratch) the secret is to add marbles in the pot when stirring constantly so the sugar and milk do not burn and stick to the bottom of the pan!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Photos from Flickr Commons

Policeman helps woman with group of girls to cross a city street
Photo from the State Library of New south Wales collection circa 1935 Sydney. Love the look on their faces. Taken from here Flickr Commons

From the Flickr Commons and State Library of NSW
Huskies pulling sleds in Antarctica from First Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914 Thus photo is originally from the collections of the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Thursday, December 4, 2008

design blogs

A blog list of over 100 blogs in spanish and english about design, art, architecture, new technologies

The site has been updated on an irregular basis: this is the fourth version and it was updated in May 2008 thanks to the contribution of Fubiz, a great French blog At the bottom of the list you can find the detailed explanation of the selection criteria.

Also another list of top 50 design blogs in Spanish en espaniol.

It seems all the rage. Design and techno blogs!

Also I found this very interesting and inspiring lecture (thanks to Diego Quintana a chilean graphic designer) by Randy Pausch "The Last Lecture" series. He was very sick with cancer during this lecture in September 2007 but it is still so inspiring and wonderful. Pausch was a pioneer in the field of virtual reality and Time magazine included him in the list of the 100 most influential people in the world. However, all of that isn’t what inspires me the most. What inspieres me most is his sense of being so down to Earth.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Inspiration for success

Inspired by this writer for the New York Times:
His blog

He was born in the United Kingdom, to an English father who is a civil engineering professor at the University of Waterloo and his mother is a black Jamaican-born psychotherapist, and he was raised in Ontario, Canada.
His new book called Outliers and an extract a story about success and how successful people are as such: it is opportunity, but hard work. He writes in his book that most successful people start young at doing what they really like to do and have done over 10 000 hours of work on their "passion".
What some people have to say about the book and how there are a lot of gladwell0-esk books that use anecdotes to explain science.
person number 1
person number 2
Here is another article about him
A video of Gladwell speaking. Thanks to Big Picture

Another inspirational writer close to my heart and bones is the paleontologist and evolutionary theorist Stephen Jay Gould.

Photo from Wikipedia

Photo from here and there are a lot of excellent black and white photos of him there.
Here i found a webpage the unofficial Stephen Jay Gould Archive with a lot of articles written by Gould.