Scenes from Today's "Maine Maple Sunday"

"Maine Maple Sunday" happens every year about this time, when maple syrup producers all over the state open their doors to visitors so they can see (and taste!) the wonderful alchemy which turns 50 gallons of watery sap into just one gallon of gorgeously golden maple syrup!

Today, my hubby and I hit the road and went to about half a dozen sugar shacks in western Cumberland County, enjoying the heavenly, sweetly humid aroma of the saphouse and sampling goodies like homemade vanilla ice cream with fresh hot syrup, homemade doughnuts with fresh hot syrup, maple baked beans, maple snow toffee, freshly baked bread with maple butter, maple-glazed roasted nuts, and more! What a great day!!

Anyway, here are some random shots of the fun... Enjoy, and you oughta plan to join us in Maine for all the sweet maple-y goodness next year!

The Mona Lisa painted entirely by sheep (and more!)

After having seen this video link for the hundredupteenth time, I finally clicked on it, and now I understand exactly why it's gone viral. It is pretty amazing! Enjoy!!

Surreal art and the blog

I used to rely on the blog to share fun links, but now I find it better doing that more on Twitter. When I have time, I use *Michelle's Mental Clutter* for longer essays. In the meantime, I thought I'd begin to catalog some great art pieces that I encounter through Google Reader that are worth far more than just an http address! To start off... (from left to right)

Erik Johannson (from Brainpickings)

Desiree Palmen (from PicoCool)

»Under Discussion«, 2005 by Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla (via VVORK)

»Undecidability Meme Diffusion«, 2007 by Sam Basu (via VVORK)

Weird History: "Vampire" Discovered in Venetian Plague Grave?!

I've never, ever heard of anything like this, and I can't wait to learn more!

"A SKELETON exhumed from a grave in Venice is being claimed as the first known example of the 'vampires' widely referred to in contemporary documents.

Matteo Borrini of the University of Florence in Italy found the skeleton of a woman with a small brick in her mouth while excavating mass graves of plague victims from the Middle Ages on Lazzaretto Nuovo Island in Venice."

More here...

(Incidentally, Venice essentially invented quarantine, and the Lazzaretto Nuovo was the quarantine holding island for potentially-exposed people who were not yet symptomatic of plague. More info on the 1575 epidemic previously on MMC.)