It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a…Drum Major?

I love 35 drum majors caught in the moment, a Drum Corps International (DCI) photo gallery of drum majors in moments of extreme focus, glory, and raw emotion. The drum major uniforms are fantastic, and the shots are perfectly timed to capture some really intense musical moments. Some of these young band leaders look rather like superheroes, evil villians, or full-blown rock stars. I was fortunate to be a drum major in my own high school band, many years ago. My uniform had a red Power Ranger concept art vibe to it.Drum Major I cherish the experiences I had on the field and can totally relate to the excitement captured in 35 drum majors caught in the moment. Even if you were never involved in marching band, you’ll still enjoy these great photos.

Join Me and My Cousins at the Global Family Reunion

canvas4-150x150 In June I’ll be attending my very first family reunion—and boy will it be a big one! In fact, it’ll very likely set a new record for the biggest family reunion in history!

It’s called the Global Family Reunion, and it’s being billed as a “family reunion meets a world’s fair meets a music festival meets a TED conference.” Activities include musical performances, guest speakers, concerts, and demonstrations. Sounds amazing. I’m in!

The event is being organized by AJ Jacobs, a fascinating writer and “human guinea pig.” Some of AJ’s previous projects include outsourcing his life, reading the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica, and living biblically for a year. What’s different about the Global Family Reunion project is that everyone is invited to participate. I’m taking him up on it!

Soon after hearing about the Global Family Reunion, I visited WikiTree to look for a connection to AJ. WikiTree is a massive, collaborative, online family tree. New WikiTree users begin by uploading their own family tree information. They can then find any common ancestors from other member trees, and upon confirming the relationships, the trees can be merged together. This is where the real magic happens. As more connections are made, the tree continues to grow and becomes even easier to connect to. It’s been steadily growing in this way since 2008.

I joined WikiTree over a year ago and have made a lot of new connections, so I was eager to log in and try my chances at finding a relation to AJ. I entered my WikiTree-ID into the “100 Degrees of AJ” connection finder, and within seconds I was able see a path to him in 31 steps! Hooray!

Being a confirmed relation to AJ will qualify me to participate in a record-setting family photo, which I’m really excited about–I love records! What’s more–AJ has already discovered that he’s related to the likes of Albert Einstein, George W. Bush, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Daniel Radcliffe, just to name just a few, which means I am too!

While the Global Family Reunion sounds like a day chock-full of fun, it’s also interesting to think about the larger, long-lasting implications of how we’re all related. Spreading the idea that we’re all related is a great service to all of humanity. This awareness can only help to make the world a better, more connected place.

The Global Family Reunion will take place on June 6th, 2015,  at the The New York Hall of Science, on the grounds of the World’s Fair. All proceeds will benefit Alzheimer’s. I hope to see you there, cousin!

 

Found Items: Dungeon Map

This was found in an old bass clarinet case previously used by a middle-schooler. I thought I’d have some fun with it.Dungeon
Are you in the market for a new home? Seeking adventure? This one-of-kind dungeon may be just what you’re looking for! It features many of the hottest trends in minimalist, underground living.
Facts:
  • Easy access to Dwarven city
  • Multiple all-purpose dungeons can be easily transformed into a home theater, sitting room, or office space
  • Main living space features a large, open floor plan
  • Comes with starting supplies and wood
  • Large monument spanning two walls in main living space is a great conversation starter!
  • Numerous hidden doors with chambers of various sizes (not shown on map)
  • Off-the-grid geothermal heating/cooling
 Contact Dungeon Master now for private showing!
Dungeon Map

Game of Thrones: A Song of Cardboard and Packing Tape

Five kings kids. One Throne. In celebration of HBO’s fifth season of Game of Thrones, I’m reposting some pictures of the cardboard keep, complete with iron cardboard throne. Castle, front viewView from above Photo Aug 24, 10 51 01 AMflagpoleUnfortunately, the cardboard keep no longer stands. We eventually had to reclaim our playroom floor space. The cardboard was repurposed as a Dalek costume.

Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 12th at 9PM. While you’re waiting, check out Sesame Street: Game of Chairs.

How to Find Walking Labyrinths 

labyrinthMy family recently came across a walking labyrinth for the first time and now we’re hooked. We literally stumbled onto it during a college campus visit. Thinking that I would be the only one excited about this, I was surprised when both of my young kids jumped in and walked the entire length with complete focus.

Of course, I was quite impressed by this. It was a ten minute, non-digital oasis when I didn’t have to field questions about snacks or break up arguments. They were totally in the zone.
It is a simple, yet powerful, principal; you are set into forward motion, you have momentum, and knowing the end is not too far away, you’re committed to twisting, turning, and spiraling until you reach it. What a great exercise for focus in an age when people (of all ages) can use it the most! I left wanting more, so I’ve since tracked down several other nearby labryinths and we’re excited to visit them.

To find labyrinths near you, visit labyrinthlocator.com, where you can search a large database of labyrinths that includes useful information such as: directions, accessibility, hours, pictures, etc. You can search by city, zip code, or state. Both private and public labyrinths are listed, and while some aren’t open to the public, it’s still fascinating to view the pictures and marvel at these labors of love.

Sorting through data by state produced too many results over too wide of an area to sift through. Yet, I didn’t want to exclude any nearby small towns located in other zip codes that were still within reasonable driving range to me. A map of nearby labyrinths would be ideal, but since that wasn’t an available feature, my solution was utilizing zipmap.net to make a short list of a few zip codes within an acceptable driving range, then searching each of them on the labyrinth locator. I quickly found several labyrinths very close to me, and was especially surprised to find that I drive right past a few of them daily. Now that I know they are there and available to the public, it’s on my spring to-do list to hit as many as possible.

A day or so after our first labyrinth find, I noticed something interesting about a carpet at preschool. Carpet LabyrinthI think this may be an example of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon at work. It’s amazing what you can notice, or miss, depending on how you look at things and whether or not your mind is primed.

If you visit any labyrinths near you, send a picture and I’ll post them here! Stay curious and keep exploring!