Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The weather outside is so beautiful that I simply had to say something about it—however, nothing really fit the bill. And we all know that when you have nothing to say, you say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Hope it is as nice in your neck of the woods.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Film Spotlight | Fantastic Mr. Fox

Have you ever noticed that some films become part of your everyday life? You pull out a quote from it while you are in conversation with friends. You think back to a scene from it when something similar happens in real life? Usually, I have found that this occurs mostly with classic films, but Fantastic Mr. Fox is a welcome exception.

I have not read the book by Roald Dahl, but I am a fan of many of his other works (i.e. Matilda, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Following in the fashion of others that have depicted Dahl's novels, the style in which the movie is presented is unique and perfect for telling the story. I am a fan of stop-motion animation and it allowed for plenty of interesting visuals throughout the whole film.

I recommend that you buy this film. However, if you are not a fan of personal video libraries, stop by your local video rental store or add it to your queue on Netflix. Fantastic Mr. Fox will not disappoint.

Image via an internet search

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In full bloom

Despite all my talk about not going to the 98th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, I went. Yes, there were crowds, but there was also plenty of sunshine and we (my sisters and I) were in a great mood. The cherry blossoms had blossomed, so we had plenty to photograph. The kites were also out and it was an all-around great day to be on the National Mall. To see some of the moments, visit my flickr page.

Image via flickr/newfoundjoye

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The city of my dreams

Ah, Paris! How I miss you. Since I live so far away, I can feel close through this awesome panorama. Check it out! It's by gillesvidal.

Words you might enjoy(e) | Installment III

There are many words that define people's careers and jobs. You could be a zoologist, an acrobat, an anesthesiologist or a photographer. However, I think that many people shy away from today's word—horticulture.

Horticulture is the study and practice of growing plants. True horticulturists might have a garden. If you were planning on growing herbs, fruits or vegetables this year, you are getting a late start. For advice with gardening, trust Martha (yes, I refer to Martha Stewart as Martha because she gives off a personal vibe) to help you out.

Thursday Traffic | 25 March

I'll take my Thursdays with a 45-minute commute and an extra helping of traffic, please. Talk about annoying. However, in an effort to "beat" the traffic, I left earlier. Instead of getting to work fifteen minutes late, I got to work fifteen minutes early. Oh joy!

Living around DC causes you to deal with things that are happening in the city. Did you know that this weekend will celebrate the 1912 gift of cherry blossoms from Japan to the United States? Do you know what that means? Traffic. However, you will have two weeks to see them and enjoy the start of spring. If you are interested in coming down/over/up to DC to see them in bloom, check out the official National Cherry Blossom Festival website. I suggest that you bring patience, a very good camera and a good mood. You will also be able to see some great kites if you come out on Saturday, so I suppose you might have a reason for coming out on opening day.

The Metro will be busy, but you won't be able to find a parking spot either. I suggest getting an early start and just having a good time. My mother dearest wants me to go to the festival, so I might (but really might not) be there.

Image courtesy of E. David

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Break it on down

I had a rant about "green" products months ago. I believe that if producers truly want to be green and eco-friendly, they would create their products "green". It would not be more expensive to choose green and it would be something that consumers would be forced to do. Well, slightly following with my preferences, SunChips has created new packaging for their products that is completely compostable. This means the bag is printed with environment friendly inks and can be returned to dirt when you are finished with it. It's smart, it's simple and it is a great step in the right direction. It is also a loud bag, be warned.

For more about SunChips' compostable bag made of plants, check out their site. You can watch the bag in action below.

Image via SunChips website screenshot

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rita's hot!

When you see design every day, you are often surprised by the level of creativity people are born with. This is no exception for Canadian design studio, Rita. I feel that people often draw a very strict line between art and design and Rita has managed to cushion that line to bring out the best in their work. Some of their work is flat, some is dimensional—some of it is a very nice marriage of the two. I hope you will take a look at their site, but if you are in a hurry, I have more of their work available after the jump.

Absolutely divine

I was catching up on posts at Packaging of the World and came across the Divine Black Edition designed by Samy Halim. I was sold not because of the very gorgeous cross-hatched bird, cat and horse, but because of the use of patterns. Argyle, houndstooth and polka dots are my favorite patterns. I think they used them very nicely for each bottle. For more images, visit Packaging of the World.

Images via Packaging of the World

Print grows trees.

You've all heard it lately, haven't you? The print industry is suffering. Whether it is magazines, newspapers or books, they are all being replaced by digital media. This should save trees, shouldn't it? Allow for more forests and parks and a renewed interest in the environment, right? Well, in fact, it does not. Tree farmers make a profit for growing their trees and selling them to paper mills for paper making. They have an incentive to continually plant more trees after chopping down old trees. With the "death" of printing, farmers are beginning to chop down trees, sell land for other uses (like another cookie cutter neighborhood), or turn to a different kind of farming (cattle or crop farming).

Believe it or not, the print industry created a nice circle in terms of tree production. It was a bit of a win-win situation (even more so when people recycle their used paper). So, find out how you can help print grow trees. The site will help you make an informed decision about printing or staying digital. I believe this is an important step for designers to consider and I hope that they will continue to print materials. While digital is nice, something about print media is more personal, more creative and completely tangible. Sooner or later, digital could become so normal that a real book or paper will be something sought after. I certainly hope that is never the case, but you have to think of those possibilities.

Image via a screen grab of the website

Monday, March 22, 2010

What I am watching on television...

Last night, I began watching the 11-part mini-series of Life on Discovery. Like Planet Earth and Blue Planet, you are given a glimpse of nature in amazing detail. You are shown frogs the size of a fingernail with so much clarity that it is a bit scary. Following in the steps of its predecessors, Life allows you to learn more about our environment in hopes that we will take steps to save it. Oprah is not a bad narrator and overall, the show keeps you interested. If you would like to watch and rate scenes, visit the Discovery Channel's website.

Image via Discovery Channel

Film Review | Up in the Air

Up in the Air was finally available for rent. I was thrilled to see it because I missed watching it in theaters. With the recent buzz from the Oscars, I was anticipating a great film. I watched Juno and enjoyed it, so I had high expectations. Honestly, I think that Jason Reitman presented a phenomenal story (although I have not read the novel, so I cannot compare). George Clooney played his role expertly and brought Ryan to life. The cinematography was excellent. There will be several moments when you will be blown away by the fact that these places are in the United States. By the end of the movie, I really wanted to do some traveling. You will be able to discuss this one with your friends. It has several heavy stories within it. It is definitely a feeling of real life. You are often confronted by very real correlations between the film and reality. I think that is what makes this film so incredible.

Grade: A

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Time is money

Thursday Traffic | 18 March

Today was another interesting commute to work. Traffic was traffic, but it is what it is. Hopefully you readers fared better. Possibly due to my recent rant about the US education system, I was thinking about things passed down.

You might have lots of stories of stories being passed down from generation to generation in your family. That is how things were done in the past. Secrets for recipes were entrusted to the successor of a company; methods for making goods were carefully shown within closed doors. That was how it used to be. Looking over my life (yes, all 23 years), I realize that I have a few things I can show to my future children or some odd child that is interested. They are not that great, but I am somewhat proud of them.
  • I can show them how to make snickerdoodle cookies. They are one of my baking fortes.
  • I can show them how to crochet scarves and doilies (no pattern necessary).
  • I can also show them how to make some books thanks to my book arts lessons in college (kudos to Lisa-Beth Robinson for the instruction).
It is interesting when you think about the vast wealth of knowledge that you possess. Think about what you have to offer the next generation. What do you want to stay continue existing in the world once you are gone?

Image Carriage traffic outside Stephensdom via flickr/Talie

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Words you might enjoy(e) | Installment II

This second installment of words you might enjoy(e) celebrates the word auspicious.

Auspicious is an adjective and it often refers to a positive sign or something that brings about good/favorable results. For some, unusual eyes can be considered auspicious. Others may believe that a family heirloom carries auspice. Do you have anything like that in your life?

Take-out Fortune I

So, we ordered Chinese food at our house tonight. I love getting take-out and I always look forward to the fortunes that you get when you order. I always find it amusing that the fortunes are so random (and often not about the future). To chronicle these, I will now be posting "Take-out Fortunes" here at NewfoundJoye whenever we order food. Hope you enjoy!

☺The Chinese ancient civilization attracts you ☺

Daily Numbers 3 4 8
Lotto Six #'s 35 26 3 38 45 5

Monday, March 15, 2010

Leave them behind

I am not a fan of the "news" really. It is usually biased and depressing. However, I really have to voice my opinion about the "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) overhaul. Quick disclaimer: I do not have children in school and I am not a teacher. Because this is a rather long story, it is available after the jump.

Image via a quick internet search; story via CNN

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday Traffic | 11 March

Another Thursday, another Stau (pronounced stow; German for traffic jam). After last week's disappointment with Alice in Wonderland, I will never talk movies for Thursday Traffic again. Instead, I will stick to my observations and reflections.

As spring creeps up on us, we are having an abundance of daylight. Since Daylight Saving Time doesn't hit until Sunday, I have been awakened by bright sunlight every morning this week. It's kind of relaxing and I have been in a good mood as a result. Perhaps others in the area have had the same morning and have suddenly decided to ride the bus. I notice that in winter, people seem to favor their own cars. They shy away from public transportation like the plague. However, the moment the weather gets warmer, public transportation becomes extremely attractive. The result? Crowds. Don't forget that DC is a huge tourist destination. Soon, there will be students on fields trips and people taking vacation. It is during this time that I loathe public transportation the most. It's not because there are so many people, it is due to the fact that people are rude. How can you avoid being the rude commuter? Try following these simple rules:

  • If seated next to a window with an empty aisle seat beside you, keep the aisle seat clear in case someone needs to sit.
  • If an elderly or handicapped person enters the vehicle and there are not any empty seats, give your seat to them
  • Try to maintain your personal "bubble". When buses and trains are packed, it is difficult to stand without touching someone else. During these times, it is best to keep your hands to yourself as much as possible and cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze.
  • Use you inside voices. No one wants to hear your conversation.
  • Wait your turn. Whether you want to believe it or not, everyone will be able to exit and enter a bus or train. Don't elbow your way on. Just wait your turn like everyone else.
  • Walk like you have a destination in mind. Even if you are just whiling away the time, don't stand in the middle of the way. If you are lost, step aside so others can pass by.
  • Smile. Everyone needs a good smile in their day. It will make you feel better.
  • Keep your complaints to yourself. If the bus/train is delayed everyone is being held up. Don't point out the obvious. Keep your thoughts to yourself instead of trying to think of corny jokes and stupid comments.
  • Keep your kids under control. No one wants to deal with your kids. Keep them seated and quiet. I understand that babies cry, and not much can be done about that. In the occurrence of the latter, don't give evil looks at the parent(s). They are probably doing what they can.
  • Stay fresh. No one wants to smell your funk in a tight situation. Clean yourself and don't make everyone suffer because of your bad hygiene.
So, if you follow those rules, you might just have a great commute. Hope you enjoy your Thursday!

Image via ReadysetDC

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Someone who really knows how to deal them

Did you ever try to make a house of cards when you were younger? I used to make the ordinary one that ended up looking like a pyramid. However, Bryan Berg deserves his Guinness World Record for his replica of the Venetian Hotel in Macau. The above image shows him and his work. Pretty snazzy, eh?

Image via Metro

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Words you might enjoy(e) | Installment I

Language is a great thing. I enjoy hearing other languages and I wouldn't mind learning a few others (like French and Swedish). However, there are certain words in every language that are fun, special and unique. I would like to bring those words to the forefront every once in a while. This first installment celebrates the word persnickety.

Persnickety can be defined as being particular to detail, or being snobby. An alternate meaning can refer to a need for perfection. I must admit that I am often persnickety about type, grammar, spelling and layout. My persnicketiness is helpful for my profession though. Isn't that a relief?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Film Review | Alice in Wonderland

I honestly don't think I have been this excited to see a movie in a while. I have been looking forward to Alice in Wonderland since I saw the first preview. However, I might have been a little too excited. While promising, Alice in Wonderland was nowhere near as good as it could have been. I hate to say it, but it definitely fell short which is strange for a Tim Burton film. To keep the spoilers to a minimum, the full review is after the jump.

Grade: D

Image from Disney Dreaming

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday Traffic | 4 March

How I love to see the traffic on a Thursday. I don't really, but I'm overly used to it now. I am actually quite patient on the bus to the metro and on the metro to my workplace. In fact, I really surprise myself. However, my patience is wearing thin for what will be released in theaters tomorrow. Lately, my thoughts have been about seeing Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland in amazing 3D.

Yes, I'm 23. Yes, I shouldn't be this excited about a film considering that I'm not a kid. However, I have grown to really appreciate Tim Burton's style over the years. He is not afraid to touch on darker and edgier themes for his films. Like many other artists, his style is so much his own that no one can really imitate him. Besides, Alice in Wonderland is a classic. I'm very interested in seeing Burton's take on it. The Disney cartoon was not bad, but it fell short of the written work.

I wish that they would build a Tim Burton theme park. It would be absolutely terrifying, but thrilling at the same time. You'd see some of the wildest things you ever imagined there. I can already imagine a roulette themed roller coaster with Oogie Boogie in it. Can you imagine it? However, that is neither here nor there. Look forward to a film review for Alice in Wonderland here on NewfoundJoye and enjoy your Thursday.

Image via US Military Vets MC

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Newfoundjoye honors the man of rhyme

Today, I hope you take out time,
To celebrate the man of rhyme,
Whose books I read as a child,
With mouth agape, eyes round and wild.

Of course, I speak of this one man—
Dr. Seuss—of whom I'm a fan.
If you have never tried to read
A book of his, how sad indeed.

Maybe during your break for lunch,
You can try this little Hunch
To find the tale that's right for you.
Now I must work, reader, toodle-loo.

Dr. Seuss Books - get personalized recommendations at

Tempus Fugit

If the blizzards, earthquakes and landslides of 2010 weren't enough, now scientists believe the earth's axis might have been tilted after the Chilean earthquake over the weekend. The result? Shorter days. The change is so minuscule that we won't notice, but that's something that shows how we are all sharing one planet and every disaster affects us all. To read the entire article, visit CNN.

Image via a quick internet search.