Tuesday, March 20, 2012

on ballet, and fish

So, we just got through the craziness of the March school holidays. It's only about a week really, but because it is a holiday, we were pretty much compelled to fill it with activities. Some of these were plain hard work - like Becky's preparations for her RAD ballet exam - but some were really lovely, like going to see Swan Lake! B really appreciates the ballet now, and sat through almost three hours of it with undiminished enthusiasm.

Swan Lake is a beautiful ballet, as you probably know, dating from the mid-1890s, and many lovely, haunting pieces (composed by Tchaikovsky) come from it as well. Swan Lake is famous also for its Danse des petits cygnes, or Dance of the cygnets, in the second act. I personally love this very difficult dance, which features four dancers in a line with arms crossed and hands held. When done in unison, it is simply lovely, and I'm happy to say the cygnet dance we got to see was quite perfect.

Understandably, though unfortunately, we could not take any pictures in the concert hall; I did, however, find this little gem on Youtube:

Then, another wonderful thing we got to do during the holidays was a visit to Underwater World at Sentosa. I love the sea, and always enjoy a good aquarium visit (though I must admit feeling doubtful about how happy the inmates are; I know the merits of aquariums and zoos are debatable).

Well, Underwater World is noteworthy for its massive aquarium tunnel, through which you can go and see the fish swimming all around and about you. The animals in it, which include sharks, moray eels, eagle rays and giant groupers, already look pretty enormous behind the thick acrylic; however, they actually appear about 30% smaller than they are in reality - truly an awe-inspiring glimpse into the wonders of the deep (more Underwater World fun here).

I just wanted to share though, something which wasn't in the tunnel, but in its own tank.

That animal is a giant isopod. They live in cold, deep oceanic waters, and average 8 to 14" in length, maxing out at about 30". Now if you're like me, and just staring at the thing in fascination, you will be interested to know that yes, it is related to the woodlouse. Yep. Also, while looking up "giant isopod", I saw links to keeping giant isopods as pets, and a giant isopod "care sheet". I did not look at those.

Then, while getting my little video link off Youtube, I couldn't help glancing at the links on the side to other people's isopod films (yep, there are other people who do this!). The first thing I clicked on was this gem below. And I'm sorry, but o.. hahahaha.. those comments.. I'm afraid I was thinking much the same thing! Happy Tuesday everyone :D

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