Category Archives: Music

Vantablack, Garden Glow and Some New Music

Happy Friday friends! Hope you all had a great week. Cold and darkness has enveloped Spy Garden as of late and we’re a bit behind in the raking, garlic planting and other fall garden to-dos…But one highlight of our week was watching Disney’s The Humpback of Notre Dame. Makes me want to read the original by Victor Hugo. As we watched it, the Spy (he’s 9), remarked,

“This is a little dark for Disney.”

Hahhahaha

Speaking of darkness, here is an excerpt from an interesting article about a new invention called Vantablack…

…the blackest black ever seen, or, actually, not seen….

Vantablack, for Vertically Aligned NanoTube Array, is made by “growing” carbon nanotubes on a metal surface. (A nanotube is a billionth of a meter thick, or about the width of three gold atoms.) Light is trapped between the tubes and bounces around until it’s absorbed, so almost no light gets out.

Vantablack has enthralled not just the tech world but also artists and architects. Ben Jensen, 48, a founder and the chief technology officer of Surrey NanoSystems, spoke by telephone from his laboratory in Newhaven, England, about the material’s applications and why it might not be quite right for your home. (This interview has been edited and condensed.)

Q. Why are people so excited about Vantablack?

A test sample of Vantablack Credit Surrey NanoSystems

A. The coating reflects so little light, three dimensions seem to disappear. When you look at Vantablack on some wrinkled aluminum foil, it looks like a black, flat, featureless void, even with your eyes right up to it. That and the fact that it’s the darkest material ever created.

How did all this start?

­Growing carbon nanotubes isn’t new. But typically they’ve been grown at a very high temperature: 750 degrees centigrade. That would destroy most underlying materials, so they grew them on things like silicon, diamond and sapphire, which can stand high temperatures. We’re building on work to grow nanotubes at a lower temperature for microelectronics.

What’s special about carbon nanotubes?

­It’s almost like an alien material from “Star Trek.” Imagine a drinking straw, closed at one end, with a wall one-atom thick. This straw is one-ten-thousandth the diameter of a human hair, but it is 10 times stronger than steel, and 10 times better at conducting heat than copper. It’s been known to exhibit what is called “ballistic transport”; electrons travel through it with almost no resistance. Vantablack packs billions of these straws together. (to read the full article in the NY Times click here)

Fascinating concept; and imagine the possibilities for artistic application of vantablack! In other color and light news…We are excited to visit Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden next week. Garden Glow is expected to sell out, so get your tickets soon!

I hope I can get some cool shots at Garden Glow; I always struggle trying to take decent photos at night. I’d also like to make a Spy Garden Garden Glow one day!

It's a start! hahahaha

It’s a start! hahahah

I’ve also been doing a little crocheting this week. Crocheting is such a great thing to do when it is frigid out!

Hat for our friends' newborn!

Hat for our friends’ newborn!

I do love a good pom pom

I do love a good pom pom

I made the same shaped hat for myself in black wool. I’m making some leg warmers for Baby out of the same purple (super soft!) yarn. Baby demanded the leg warmers. Then she demanded I unravel them (a request I did not accommodate) Hahah She also demanded this morning…

“I want to listen to Taylor Swift RIGHT NOW!”

What Baby wants, Baby gets!

What Baby wants, Baby gets! hahahhaha

And some “new” music for the Spy too…

Notice the similar aesthetic in the album insert.

Notice the similar aesthetic in the album insert.

And some Led Zeppelin, one of the Spy's faves.

And some Led Zeppelin, one of the Spy’s faves.

A few more random shots from the week…

Choo Choo

Choo Choo

24-Karat Carrot Cake Cupcake at Jilly's

24-Karat Carrot Cake Cupcake at Jilly’s

Missouri River Sunrise

Missouri River Sunrise

A Cold Road

A Cold Road

Have a great weekend!

44. Music Appreciation

When I was a freshman in college Nabster came out and I downloaded several hundred songs. Many of those songs were live versions of “new, up and coming” artists that someone told me were “cool” and the songs were many, many things, but no one would accuse these songs of being catchy.

Because apparently making a catchy tune does not make you cool. Wholesome, family-friendly and upbeat also severely endanger coolness in music world.

Just ask these guys:

And come on Mmm Bopp is so HAPPY! Those boys are adorable.

And come on Mmm Bopp is so HAPPY! Those boys are adorable.

But this post is not about adorably wholesome kids. It is about music.

My number one favorite band on earth is Thin Lizzy. They made the best songs and are arguably the most underrated band of all time. Music is not my strong suit. I sing (quite badly) along to the radio and at church and I learned to play the right hand side of “Once in Royal David’s City” on the keyboard via youtube a few Christmases ago because I really like that song. Especially this version of that song. And that pretty much sums up my musical talents.

I was made in Louisiana. Brittany Spears was born in Louisiana. I was born in 1982, Brit 1981. We both have two kids. If paparazzi were documenting every trip I ever took to a gas station I guarantee they would’ve snapped a shot of me looking something like her. I mean, come on, you’ve never worn sweatpants in public? Grungy flip-flops? If I was worth as much money as Brittany and had people following me around taking pictures of me and my kids I would probably shave my head and try to attack someone with an umbrella.

So basically, I can relate.

And really, who can’t relate to these lyrics:

Wo uh oh oh oh oh Ow woaaaahhhh  oh

Wahoh uh uh uh oh oh woahh ohhh

And this type of music is useful in many ways. I do something I like to call Dance Party Clean-Up. Turn the music up loud and you clean up the house. While dancing around. Brittany music is pretty much perfect for this. So is Ke$ha. In my appreciation for Ke$ha I’ve actually considered changing this blog’s name to $py Garden. HahhahHAHahhahaha Ok, clearly I am joking. But, this song IS catchy. And another perfect tune for Dance Party Clean-Up.

But this post is supposed to be about music. And I do realize that technically Brit and Ke$h are classified under “awful” and not “musicians” so lets get back to an undisputedly amazing musician:

Phil Lynott

Phil Lynott

Phil Lynott is Spy Garden’s Official Favorite Musician
So listen to a few Thin Lizzy songs (Cowboy Song, Whiskey in the Jar, Randolph’s Tango are a few of my faves) or at least read the lyrics. It’s the kind of music that can be actively listened to. Van Morrison or Stan Getz makes great background noise at a dinner party. But listening to Thin Lizzy is its own special activity. We call it “Rocking Out” and is one of the “Spy’s” favorite things to do on a Saturday night.

Phil Lynott

Phil Lynott

It’s just amazing to me that there is a new TV show coming out called “Vanilla Ice Goes Amish” and people will watch it. And people know every word to “Ice, Ice Baby” but barely anyone has heard of Phil Lynott. Of course, he is dead so it would be difficult for him to appear on bad reality television. But you get my point.

Nanopop

Nana and Pop visit! If they had a “glog” it should be called Nanopop!

Checking out the harvest

Checking out the harvest

Lip-smacking good beans

Lip-smacking good beans

A yard-long bean

A yard-long bean

White acorn squash, giant yellow eckendorf beets and a tigger melon

White acorn squash, giant yellow eckendorf beets and a tigger melon

Garden pizza party

Garden pizza party

Click for my pizza recipe!

Garden pizza party

Garden pizza party

Puppy wants pizza too!

Puppy wants pizza too!

For dessert we got the first taste of a Tigger melon!

Tigger melon

Tigger melon

Pretty good!

Pretty good!

Delice de la Table melon and Serpente di Sicilia edible gourd

Delice de la Table melon and Serpente di Sicilia edible gourd

After-dinner entertainment

After-dinner entertainment

Juggling!

Juggling

Juggling