another astute work of social commentary by ryan byrd

Since none of us were raptured, the only logical conclusion is for all of us to join the marijuana-fueled Krishnas down in Spanish Fork. Who’s with me?

This video was shot at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah. Their annual Festival of Colors was a great opportunity to test the slow-mo capabilities of Brian Thomson’s Canon 7D.

My latest book, All You Need to Know About Babies, hits the bookstore shelves Tuesday. I thought I’d give my loyal readers a few teasers from this epic tome (the first in a four part investigative series.)

First a pro/con list for those considering becoming parents:

The Pros of Having an Infant:

  1. Whatever babies do is cute. They can vomit all over your face and somehow it’s still adorable.
  2. If the end of the world is May 21 and we all need to cram onto a Martian spacecraft to avoid utter destruction, a child’s fare onboard is likely 1/2 price.
  3. In the newborn stage, babies mainly just stay where you sit them down. There’s little worry that they’ll steal your car for a joyride.
  4. If you’re an insomniac, having a baby awake at 3am keeps you company.

The non-Pros of Having an Infant:

  1. They’re not good at running errands for you. “Baby!”, I urged my daughter, “I could really use a ham sandwich.” But she just lay there looking off into space, sucking on her hand.
  2. They occasionally vomit all over your face.
  3. As kittens become cats, so do infants become teenagers. As it stands, I dislike teenagers.

So there you have it, a comprehensive baby evaluation list which you should print off and discuss with your spouse.

You’re welcome.

Rampant, ridiculous rumors have been circulating about claiming that I had been commissioned to design a meticulously-crafted, imposing, life-sized Roman solider from discarded lumber. I would like to immediately disabuse my readers of any such notion, unless, of course, the rumors were referring to this:


It’s true, I like art. For the third year in a row, I’ve attended the Utah Arts Festival in downtown Salt Lake City (see 2007 Utah Arts Festival and 2006 Utah Arts Festival.)

Honestly, though there are some impressive artists, my favorite part of the event is not the artwork, but wondering around with a slushy watching the motley crowd of attendees. The UAF has got to be some of the best people watching ever. I snapped a few pics for you to enjoy. Yes, I paid the ten bucks admission fee because I was too lazy to try and get a press pass. Maybe next year…

2008 Utah Arts Festival
Click the image for the complete gallery

playdoh2.gifI’ve never done a claymation before. When I was walking through the grocery store the other day, I noticed that they were selling a tube of various knock-off PlayDoh tubs for a couple dollars. Never one to pass a bargain, I was sold.
What I used:


Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Perhaps you’ve wondered what tomfoolery goes on inside office buildings after hours? In what riotous buffoonery do those cube-dwellers engage? What manner of insanity occurs post-COB hours? Five words for you: It is the Monster Mash! And part of that mashing is the decor. No self-respecting company would NOT decorate their offices. That’s where the gingerbread comes into play. Sure, you’ve built gingerbread houses in late December, but have you tried them in October? I’ve been freeing gingerbread from the chains of a solitary holiday for years now, but I think the picture gallery below will talk for itself.

You’re probably asking yourself, “is this fantastic work of art available for purchase?!?” Yes! The prestigious Ebay auction house is managing its sale: “Haunted” Halloween Gingerbread House (starting bid only 95 dollars!)

Get your bids in now, because time is running out!

Haunted Gingerbread Castle
Click the image for the complete gallery

rachel.pngA rotational “ambigram / inversion”*, is a word coined by Douglas Hofstadter, to mean a word or phrase written in such a way that it can be rotated 180 degrees to read as the same text. Hofstadter described it as “calligraphic design that manages to squeeze two different readings into the selfsame set of curves.” The word image at the above right, for example, will read “rachel” from two vantage points. Try kennedy1.pngprinting it out and spinning the paper. It’s quite the amusement. Wondering if your name is ambigramable? I found ambigrams for christopher, michael, matthew, ashley and others. A little google image searching should help there.

* from Latin ambi- “on both sides” and -gram “drawing”

pic src:

plaster_of_paris.JPGAs a part-time artist, it should come as no surprise to others that I was browsing through the craft section of a megastore just the other day. Passing over the paints and brushes, the wooden cut-outs and magic markers, I spotted Kids Kreations’ All Purpose Plaster of Paris. “Awesome,” I thought out loud, “just what I need for my next project.” I turned the product over to skim the instructions when a large warning label caught my eye. It read:


plaster_warning.JPGWhen mixed with water plaster hardens and becomes hot. Do not submerge any body parts into the plaster as severe burns may result. When plaster is being mixed, dust may cause irritation to eyes, nose, throat or upper respiratory system. If eye contact occurs, flush particles from eye with water. Do not take internally. Call a physician immediate if ingested. Children should not use this product except under adult supervision. Warning: This product contains crystalline silica, known to the state of California to cause cancer.

Many things in this warning merit further review. In case you missed them, I’ll summarize and enumerate the salient problems of this vile substance for you:

  1. 1. It gets hot. BURNING hot. (Yet, in the application section it lists “Hand prints” as a fun activity idea.)
  2. 2. The dust will BURN your eyes and scorch your respiratory system
  3. 3. The plaster is likely POISONOUS. Good thing kids NEVER eat stuff they play with…
  4. 4. Even with the name “Kids Kreations,” this toxin is NOT child friendly.
  5. 5. PLASTER OF PARIS CAUSES CANCER, (at least in California)

And yet, there it was, sitting on the store shelf, ready to attack the next unsuspecting artist with burns and irritation and cancer. Sometimes the most innocuous substances are the most virulent.

as promised…

Utah Arts Festival 2007
Click the image for the complete gallery

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