I’m Feeling More Sparkly than Edward Cullen Today!

I’m not sure why… but I like it!

And whether you love Twilight to use this… or hate it to take a jab at it, it certain beats the boring old feeling “good” or “great” expressions. Ask a Twilighter if you don’t know the reference in my answer.

I wish more people were creative with the answers to how they’re feeling or how they’re doing.

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Printable Where the Wild Things Are Placemats (12″ x 18″) and Photos (6″ x 4″)

I found some of these large graphics from the movie and children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. I enhanced them with more colour and resolution to make some wallpapers. However, some of the graphics were big enough I though I could enhance them to a size big enough to be a pretty good sized picture, but I just didn’t want to make some big pictures. That’s when I had the idea of placemats.

This was stuff for kids, as well as adults, but the original was a children’s book kids loved, so I thought, wouldn’t they love it if they had placemats of it?

Some pictures for stuff they had, whether to put on the size of their pencil cases or notebooks, or in their room, wouldn’t hurt either.

So here it all is below… with a banner 28″ long to boot!

These are not official merchandise so please do NOT sell them… just make them for your own family fun.

The photos you can just print at your typical photo machine.

There are 7 placemats so plenty for the kids. They are the typical 12″ x 18″ in size, but you can get that printed at a Wal-mart or some other place. Make sure you get them heavily laminated, though. If you’re going to use it as a place mat, it’s going to take a lot of beating, and the prints will cost you something like $11 in Canada, plus tax, so do laminate them well.

Otherwise, just print it as a big print for your kids’ room… or yours. 🙂

I also have Where the Wild Things Are wallpapers for monitors and backgrounds for iPhones, Palm Pre and Blackberry Bold 9000s.

Enjoy!

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Where the Wild Things Are Movie and Book Drawing Wallpapers (All Sizes)

This is a far better collection of wallpapers than that on the Where the Wild Things Are movie website because there are:

  • Wallpapers for more monitor sizes, including gigantic wide screen 2560 x 1600 pixels, and other wide screens like 1920 x 1200 pixels and 1440 x 960 pixels.
  • More images from movie scenes, like book illustrations, the video game and fan art.
  • More saturated images with punchier colours.
  • Cleaner images with advertising removed, among other features to enhance the graphics I found.

The collection below is ordered by wallpaper size, listed in the titles, then characters in the picture by alphabetical order. Please note that if you have a monitor size different than the ones listed, one of those listed should be able to work for you because:

  • 1024 x 768 pixel wallpapers are also good for 800 x 600 monitors
  • 1280 x 960 pixel wallpapers are also good for 1152 x 864 and 640 x 480 monitors
  • 1920 x 1200 pixels wallpapers also good for 1680 x 1050, 1280 x 800 and 960 x 600 pixel monitors

The wallpapers of book illustrations are quite detailed so please be patient upon loading (1-2 MB pending wallpaper size).

Make your own customized screen saver from these Where the Wild Things Are wallpapers.

Get Where the Wild Things Are backgrounds for the iPhone, Palm Pre and Blackberry Bold 9000.

Get wallpapers of other themes on this site.

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87 Where the Wild Things Are Backgrounds for iPhones, iTouch, iPod Touch, Palm Pre and Blackberry Bold 9000s (480 x 320 pixels)

Where the Wild Things Are is an award winning and well-loved children’s picture book written in 1963 by American author Maurice Sendak. Just 338 words and 18 pictures long, it is about the wild adventure of a boy named Max who is sent to his room without his supper by his mother as punishment for misbehaving. There, he has adventures where he meets strange creatures, the “wild things”, while in his wolf costume. It is an endearing favourite, and has won the Caldecott Medal in 1964, among many other awards. However, it is the general population’s love for it which has made it a masterpiece.

Out of this short book comes a highly anticipated full-length movie due in theatres, including IMAX giant screen theatres, on Oct 16 2009.

Beyond the appeal for children, this story has a lot of appeal for adults as well. There have been an incredible number of articles, popular and academic, analyzing everything from its mythology to psychology. Two examples include a favourite of mine, Monsters Ink (Boston Globe, Oct 4 2009), and one I chuckle at for being over the top called Where the Wild Things Are: Sendak’s picture book and the monsters personified, sanctified and glorified (PDF) by P. Fitzsimmons. Mind you, if you think that’s over the top, you should see what the Anti-Twilight crowd does to thrash Twilight books!

Anyway, despite all the anticipation around this movie, I wonder if it’ll get the same kind of fan base as Transformers, GI Joe, Twilight and such who will do things like carry its image around on their iPhones, iTouch, iPod Touch, Blackberries and Palms. I have my doubts, but the only way to find out is to put it out there to see. There’s a cute little child and some furry monsters, nothing charismatic like the human actors in those other movies, or fancy robots. But we’ll see. Regardless, I’m going to have to get out and see what the hype to this movie is all about. The trailers above looked great and fun. It’s taken them a long time to get the film produced the way Maurice wanted (story), but it looks like they’ve got it right. I really like the song, too! It’s called Wake Up, by the Arcade Fire.

These backgrounds were made from images I found on the Internet, touched up, removed crap on, cropped and resized for the iPhone, iTouch, iPod Touch, Palm Pre and Blackberry Bold 9000. I grabbed some from trailer screen captures as well so there are some “new” graphics here. To get the backgrounds, please:

  • Click on an image to see it full size.
  • Right click and choose Download or download in whatever ways your browser does.
  • Click Back to go back to this page or click a thumbnail below the large picture to move on to the next one.

You’re on your own to put it on your iPhone, iTouch, iPod Touch, Palm Pre or Blackberry, I’m afraid, cause I can’t justify the need for me to spend money on one so I haven’t got a clue how to do it!

Enjoy!

Please click here for other theme backgrounds for iPhones, iTouch, iPod Touch, Palm Pre and Blackberry Bold 9000s.

While you’re decorating your iPhone or other cell phones, redo your voice mail with a singing message if you don’t have to worry about getting professionals calling you.

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What’s Your Song of Love? (Part 6 of 7 of the World in Six Songs)

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Book and Theory Background

Daniel J. Levitin wrote an absolutely brilliant book called The World in Six Songs, supported by a great website with the many music samples referenced, among other great related material.

My basic paraphrasing of the concept is this. All the songs in the world could be fit into at least one of six categories providing an evolutionary benefit to humanity, often ultimately tied to our social nature.

The book and website offer far more detailed interpretations, of course, but I will expand on my paraphrasing with each post and the associated topic.

Daniel J. Levitin and The World in Six SongsIn a series of posts, I will describe each of the six categories in brief, one at a time:

  1. Friendship
  2. Joy
  3. Comfort
  4. Knowledge
  5. Religion
  6. Love

I will describe what the categories are about because they are not as limited in scope as the category names suggest. I will then supply one of my choices and ask all readers to do the same if they so wish. In the seventh post of the series, I will offer the chance to put the song choices all together so readers can read the entire set on one post. I do this because it would be a long post to describe all six categories at once, but to have all the answers in one place might be nice.

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This post focuses on Songs of Love

July 30th add-on in italics, from Dan Levitin in a summary article
Love songs serve as an expression of emotion, commitment, and honesty. They play a role in mating and bonding. Love provides an evolutionary advantage because it is altruistic, and corresponds with commitment, which leads to better care of children, which is an obvious fitness advantage. With altruism, the greater good comes before the individual, strengthening infrastructure.

Some may question whether there would be much to say in this chapter because intuitively, I don’t think anybody would say they couldn’t name a “love song”. But that’s a love song in their definition, or a romantic love song, not a song of love as Daniel defined it, backed up by some very prominent names. Indeed, the chapter opens with a quote by Frank Zappa that says “Romantic love songs are a sham that perpetuate a lie on unsuspecting young kids”.

Somehow, I don’t think it stops at young kids.

Frank further follows up with “I think one of the causes of bad mental health in the United States is that people have been raised on ‘love lyrics’.”

Polar opposite Joni Mitchell then jumps in to agree with “There’s no such thing as romantic love. It was a myth invented in ancient Sumeria, repopularized in the Middle Ages, and one that is clearly not true. Romantic love is all about ‘I’ this and ‘I’ that. But true love is about ‘other’.”

And if I were anybody, I’d have jumped in to agree, but I’ll just have to agree on my blog. Songs of love by Daniel Levitin’s theory, and in the purest sense of the word, are about intense feelings for another of any kind. That could be parental, friends, god (no caps on purpose), country, idea, etc. It is about something external and bigger than the self, and bigger than even we, never mind just me, like so many love songs are often about. And it is this something bigger and external to the self, the ideals we have in many aspects of life that develops pillars in our lives and society, that help create the social structure necessary for society and raising children (along the same belief that it takes a village to raise a child).

A note should be added here to clarify that while religion is also about something bigger and external to the self, it is about a search for meaning. Love songs are about the motivation and the doing, without that greater meaning of placement, using the something greater towards creating a favourable social architecture for increasing our chances of survival and evolution.

As for how romantic love songs fits into all of this, they are just a smidgeon of songs of love, and likewise, romantic love of love in the greater sense. The world is full of bad love songs, then, if you think of romantic love songs as representatives of the love song category, for the most part. They are still important, but think of it as strength in numbers rather than true strength within for the few. Many romantic love songs are just for the here and now, to get us there and hold us a bit until either another one comes along or something else comes along to help us. I don’t mean their popularity on the charts, but rather their relevance to us for a moment. They are also an “honest” signal harder to fake than language because it’s harder to hide an emotion via a song than in speaking a phrase. By the way, keep in mind we have only had recording devices to use songs the way we do today in about 0.0001% of our evolutionary history, so the honest signal theory  that we sang the songs ourselves to communicate, comparing to speech to say something, applies well to our history. Most of our ancestors could not request or play a song for someone like we can today.

To defend his point that romantic love is just a tiny part of love in the bigger sense, Daniel Levitin presented a very compelling physiological and neurological argument of how romantic love is just a chemical high. In contrast, the idea of love being about the “other” and not the self, is what truly drives us to raise our children, who take far longer and far more resources to develop into a self-sustaining adult than any other babies in the animal kingdom. Romantic love songs only use the “conveyance” component of language, the easy one to get to the here and now, not the computational component that is much longer term. Romantic love songs are about the moment, not the long-term future.

Love, in the real sense of the word that is about the “other” and not the self, is easily just as deep as religion, and the chapter shows it with a lot of deep material touching everything from the psychological, physiological, neurological, philosophical, evolutionary and other aspects of love. It is not challenging to read for reading level required, but the ideas will take time to think about and absorb if you read it seriously. Religion only seems deeper because of its theoretical boundlessness, and because simple romantic love songs have made love seem so trivial. However, I don’t think anybody would disagree that love is what ultimately binds us all together most, and to that end, the Beatles may well have been right that all you need is love. Well, maybe not all as life might still be difficult if that was all you had, but for sure, love is the most imporant thing we need.

Audio sample of songs from the Love chapter in The World in Six Songs can be found on the website. No direct link was available, but click on the Songs menu option and appropriate page number range link carrying pages 229 to 289. Please note that not all songs are meant as samples of Love songs. Some are just referenced material in the book text.

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Author Daniel Levitin chose

Bring ‘Em All In, by the Waterboys, not just as an example of a love song suitable to his theory, but also as the ultimate love song to fit the example (lyrics).

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My choice for Song of Love is

We are the World, written by Michael Jackson and performed by a collective of artists (listed with lyrics).

Of the many songs I love as love songs, all are of the romantic love song nature that is but a petty part of the songs of love defined by Daniel Levitin in his World in Six Songs theory. It is really tough to think of a song that unites us all in a caring cause, for the future as much as now. However, I think this one does pretty well, talking about the world, the children, in a call to action (now) for a brighter day (future). I am just very saddened listening to it to see how far Michael Jackson has fallen from a pop star with the often cited Greatest Album of All Time in Thriller (MTV, even in Apr 2009), to someone who could write a song as this, to what he is now.

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What is your choice for Song of Love?

Please leave your choice as a comment.

Lyrics and YouTube/audio link would greatly enhance your answer so readers can know more about your choice. They are not necessary, though, and not possible if no lyrics or version exist.

You can include songs you wrote as a choice, too!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.1