Monday, May 31, 2010

3 Steps to Obscurity

I turned my dorm room into a pin hole camera using the 'camera obscura' technique. My post the other day, which included a performance of the band by the same name, got me looking online on how to do this myself. Scientifically I have no idea how this works but I can explain how to do it.

Step 1: You will need a small to medium sized room with one window and an empty white wall opposite that window. It works best if it is really bright outside.

Step 2: Make sure that the room is completely dark. Block all light from coming into the room. You may want to duct-tape large thick black trash bags to the window to keep that light from coming in.

Step 3: Make a hole in front of the window the size of a quarter or half dollar for the focused light to come through.

Here is the view outside my window:

And here is what the wall looked like (with the image of the outside projected and flipped):

It is really, really cool to experience this first hand.

I went to the Broadmarsh Bus Station at 2 AM last night to see off my friend Ariel who headed back to California for the semester. Some girls really like to drag out their goodbyes. I'll miss the friends I've made here but I have gotten so used to leaving people since I am constantly moving around. It's kind of sad actually. Anyway, I get back in 18 days and I'm sure the time between arriving at Logan and starting my staff training at Camp Farley will be completely filled. Between studying abroad, camp, and college I won't be able to see a lot of my Mashpee friends this year.

In other news I bought my first ever roll on deodorant today and I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed.

Speak easy,

Saturday, May 29, 2010


A little less than 3 weeks left and I'll be back in the states. The weather here has been pretty good up until today, which was rainy and cold. I've got my last final in a few days and then I will be one semester away from finishing college. I am looking forward to getting a degree and not being tied down to scholarly pursuits. Within the last day or so I have been reading through my uncle Dell's novel which he is trying to get published. Dell, if you're reading this I would like to say that I am enjoying it a lot and look forward to talking to you about it. It's actually kick starting me into writing again. For the last few weeks I have been holding off on writing due to my studies but I think I'll be able to get a good portion done before I get home.

I have been listening to the song I Love How You Love Me on repeat almost all day. There are three separate versions that I have been listening to and variations are great.

Also, went to see Prince of Persia. Fun and the kind of film you should see in theaters but not really a good film.

Speak easy,

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Studying for my literature final. Which in UK you would say 'I'm revising for my exam'. If you said studying for your final they might now immediately get what you're saying. I can hear the coffee brewing all the way from the kitchen. As a quick study break I am buying myself some homecoming gifts. The first is a DVD that I ordered last summer and I waited for months and it never came in the mail so instead of dealing with all of the fuss that comes with dealing with the postal service I am ordering it for the second time (youtube doesn't have a trailer for the film I am buying, so here is a trailer to the first film in the series). And secondly I am getting David Levithan/John Green's new book Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I will need something to read during day camper rest for the first week of camp.

Speak easy,

Thursday, May 20, 2010


This is Hamish, Edinburgh's resident mascot and beloved furry cow. He used to be fat because tourists would feed him a lot of junk food but now they offer "Hamish food" in the gift shop (a healthy and efficient way for them to monitor his food intake more closely). I bought a poster of Hamish to bring home with me. Overall, I would say he's a pretty cool guy. The tour guide we had said that some people used to grab onto his horns and so they had to put up a second fence to keep people from doing this. I don't think he minds though.

This is Greyfriar's Bobby. Many, many years ago there was a grounds-keeper at the Greyfriar's cemetery in Edinburgh. This grounds-keeper was very lonely so he got himself a small dog and named him Bobby and they became quick friends. They did everything together. After two years the grounds-keeper grew ill and died. They buried him in the very cemetery that he and Bobby watched over. Bobby was very, very sad that his master was gone. Instead of moving on, Bobby sat on his master's grave awaiting his return. For years Bobby sat patiently, waiting and waiting. The new grounds-keeper fed the dog but before long this grounds-keeper died as well. The story of Greyfriar's Bobby became more and more popular as the years went on. The town offered to pay to keep Bobby healthy and happy. After fourteen years of loyalty, Bobby too passed on. Many people tried to petition to allow Bobby to be buried at his master's side but due to state law, it was illegal to bury a dog in a human cemetery. They buried him as close to the cemetery as possible. However, they did put a headstone in the cemetery in honor of him. Some people leave flowers for him. Others leave sticks because it is believed that he would have loved to play with them.

Man's best friend.

The cafe on the third floor here is where JK Rowling famously wrote the first two books in the Harry Potter Series. It is also said that Grayfriar's graveyard is where she went for inspiration. In fact, some of the headstones are where she got names for various characters.

Speak easy,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lennon, Kafka, and Spiderman

It's been a while since I've last updated but that's mainly due to 1) Travelling and 2) Laziness, I guess. I was trying to get my plane ticket changed so I could go back early in June but that didn't work out so I am stuck here until June 19th. These are some pics I sifted through. They are from my trips to Prague, Berlin, and Amsterdam. I've got stuff to say about each place but I'll save that for later.

Speak easy,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

An open letter to young mothers.

Dear Young Moms,

Don't bring your 4 year olds to see Iron Man 2 for their birthday. They will just spend the entire time talking loudly to themselves asking if War Machine is okay and wondering whether or not Samuel L. Jackson's character is a pirate. They are young and get restless easily. They should not let anyone under 8 years old to get into a PG-13 movie. Also, don't talk on your cell phone in the middle of the first act. It is crucial that I understand the motivations of the characters on screen. Please be considerate in the future.

Yours Truly, Neil Everett Johnson


Speak easy,