Sunday, August 02, 2020

Knife & Chainsaw-Carrying Baboons on a Rampage



One of my former teachers who reads this blog sent me this story.

It seems like humans are not the only species sowing chaos right now!...

Yahoo News:

Of course, though, it is the humans who are the assholes, not the animals:
"But now, some staff are concerned that the baboons are being given weapons “for a laugh” by park-goers, according to the Sunday Times."

The primates are breaking into people's belongings, as they tend to do, and one reportedly got a hold of a chainsaw. I'm sure the baboon didn't rev it up & start chasing people, but it makes for a crazy headline.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Strange Leaf Growths

I was walking along the woods in my backyard and saw one leaf covered in these weird protrusions:


by Paul Micarelli

I don't know if it was some kind of fungus, parasitic plant, or tiny alien pods?

Here is a look at the rest of the leaves, showing they were unaffected.


Sunday, July 19, 2020

Remember This Guy??

This COMPLETELY EXPOSES the Bidin/Pelosi/COVID-19 connection!!!!

🦠🇺🇸☠️🤯



In all seriousness, the propagation of misinformation and outright lies that are online is one of the most difficult issues we are facing as an entire human species. The Internet, the greatest information tool ever created, is simply that... a tool. There are inevitably "bad" uses,  as there are "good" or "neutral" uses.

How we address the negative consequences of digital information and social media is one of the major questions of our time. Disinformation & malevolent propaganda are the source of many of the global, national, and local problems in modern society.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Monkey Gangsta

On one end of the primate spectrum, you have enlightened Monkey Buddhas... and on the other end, you have badass Monkey Gangstas.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Little Green Bugs

In the summer I love being outside & spending time in nature. My backyard has an wide array of wildlife and insects. I'm always on the lookout for things that are interesting, but might be too small to see normally.

Here's a couple I got photos of recently.

by Paul Micarelli

This tiny green insect was crawling through my leg hair, like it was an impenetrable forest. I didn't have my macro lens on me, so I got as close as I could with my iPhone camera.


My finger for scale:


I also saw this small green praying mantis hanging on one of our outdoor flower pots. Hopefully he goes after the beetles that are munching on our roses.


Sunday, July 05, 2020

Medical Animation Gone Beserk


All these years,  I've been brushing my teeth all wrong....



adult swim

The video is like a medical computer animator decided to take massive amounts of psychedelics and just go nuts. Technically, the computer graphics are top-notch - which makes the surreal presentation so much more enjoyable.

Pure genius, in my opinion.

I love the reference at the end to the video "The Inner Life of the Cell", which I posted here before.



The Monkey Buddha Archives 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Fractal Water Droplets

Continuing my experimentation with macro photography of water droplets, here is another photo from a household item instead of nature.

by Paul Micarelli

This is a closeup of the drops of condensation on the clear lid of one of our kitchen pots. It forms a fractal pattern that has at least 6 distinct levels of scale. 

It almost becomes abstract without the context of the surface it was on.


Saturday, June 13, 2020

Paul Giuseppe Micarelli - Born 6-13-20!

 
Let me tell you the story of the eventful birth of my son Paul Giuseppe Micarelli, the survivor- who has already lived through so much with me & Loretta, his warrior mother...

In the midst of the craziest time in modern history - with pandemics, riots, and social upheaval - Paul was born into even MORE crazy circumstances.

We planned to have a natural water birth in our home, with the assistance of a midwife. Things did NOT go according to plan, to say the least!

Loretta's water broke around 12 midnight on Fri. 6/13/20 after having a few days of contractions, so we called the midwife. We were as prepared as we were going to be, and after the midwife arrived were waiting through the early contractions.

The midwife decided to do a check around 3AM, & I walked out of the room to give the women privacy. After a minute or 2, I was called back in to horrible scene that I will never forget. My wife was on her hands & knees crying, and the midwife looked panicked. The midwife told me she had already called 911...

The umbilical cord was in front of the baby's head. If he continued to come out, there was a chance he would have the cord's circulation cut off. I woke her mom Donna up on the couch & told her to get up. We went back in the room trying to comfort Loretta, but were both absolutely terrified.
We had cops & medics at the house within minutes. Loretta went in an ambulance to Jefferson Hospital, still on her hands & knees with the midwifes hand inside her the whole time, who was holding the baby's head up to prevent his oxygen from being cut off. Loretta had to get an emergency C-section, due to a prolapsed cord. Her mom came with me & we followed the racing ambulance, full of worry and fear for Loretta and the baby.

We were all very scared & upset that this happened. We were rushed into the ER, and met with the medical team who insisted on putting Loretta under for the surgery. Loretta (still in the same uncomfortable position & midwife holding the baby's emerging head!) pleaded for a risky spinal, even though she couldn't sit up, so she could be awake for the birth & because she was afraid to go under anesthesia. She had a very bad feeling about losing consciousness at that time.
The team walked out of the room to discuss, & then reluctantly agreed to give her the shot while on her side- with the stipulation that they would only try the spinal once & then they would have to go with the original plan.

Loretta was taken away for the longest few minutes of my life while the shot was given... & it worked! I was rushed into the operating room, where Loretta was already being prepped for surgery.
The procedure only lasted 5-10 minutes, and I tried to comfort Loretta as much as I could, although I was scared out of my damn mind... When we finally heard the baby's cry, we both let the tears flow out of pure joy & relief.

The surgery was a success! Paul Giuseppe Micarelli was born at 5:25am on June 13, 2020 weighing 6lb 13oz.

Everyone is fine now! Paulie is such a good baby. We’ve been holding him & loving him like there's nothing else in this world, grateful he's still alive. He’s so peaceful, both when sleeping and awake.
Loretta is recovering from the C-section & is already walking around after 1 day.

This has been the wildest emotional roller coaster of my life, & as I write this I've cried once again- out of remembering the pure terror of the beginning & then the indescribable joy of his successful birth. It's all still very overwhelming.

We are so grateful for everyone's love and support through such an important time in our lives. We look forward to you everyone meeting this amazing (& cute) little guy!

Here's an album of photos from our time in the hospital after his birth:

 
P.S. I was really excited that the day he was born, "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" was playing in the hospital room! My wife turned on the TV just as Luke was training with Master Yoda. We will be watching these movies together for many years to come!


Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Cosmic Droplet

"Cosmic Droplet" by Paul Micarelli 

I took a macro photo of a tiny dew drop on a clover leaf.

When my wife saw it, she said the reflection inside the droplet looked like Earth from outer space.

by Paul Micarelli 


So, I decided to create the video above, zooming out from what appears to be the macrocosm, but is actually the microcosm.

 Music Credit: "Elixir of Time" by Magitoria


*Finger for scale:


Sunday, June 07, 2020

COVID Monkey Thieves


 Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse....

 The Guardian

"Monkeys mobbed an Indian health worker and made off with blood samples from coronavirus tests, prompting fears they could have spread the virus in the local area."

I have nothing else to add. Everything is just off-the-rails-crazy at this point.


Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Trump Bible™

Our wise & righteous Leader has inspired me once again!!!

President Trump's triumphant walk through the area in Washington DC, where masses of protesting American citizens were dispersed by tear gas, was truly a sight to behold.

As our glorious President waddled up to the front of the church and held the Bible awkwardly aloft, there was no doubt that this was a very special, totally-not-cynically-pandering photo-op. This is one of the many great moments in Trump's United Empire of America™ that will go down in history.

In honor of America FINALLY being "Great Again", I am presenting this special offer to all MAGA acolytes & true believers:

TRUMP BIBLE™
(Only 66.60!)

(click to enlarge)


*All proceeds go directly into the pockets of The Trump Family

Seriously though, what the hell is this shit?!?!?! He's so ridiculous & stupid...

Sunday, May 31, 2020

"Chakra Ascension" Video


After many years, I've finally created the video version (above) of the series I made:

 by Paul Micarelli



In 2003, I created seven 3D images that I intended to be a series.

 Image Gallery:
by Paul Micarelli

The images show a solitary, meditating figure in different environments. Each setting corresponds to the ancient metaphysical energy system within the body, known as "chakras".

I am not a skilled chakra meditation practitioner, so I approached this as a metaphorical work of art. I've posted the "Chakra Ascension" series, for other people to appreciate & contemplate.

*In addition, I've made the series into a free e-book, in PDF format, that anyone can download:

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Ancestral Wisdom


Although I've never connected directly with the spirits of my ancestors, I doubt they would have much to tell me that could guide me any better than I can guide myself.

As Luke Skywalker said, "A thousand generations live in you now" & I do deeply feel the legacy of my ancestors in my genetic and behavioral makeup. I often think about the countless people (& even more ancient lifeforms) that preceded me, and how I will never know anything at all about these beings that resulted in my existence. It's one of those strange existential ponderings... like the vast size of the universe... that kind of short-circuits your brain.

That being said... I most closely identify with my ape-man ancestor, grunting angrily in primitive efforts at communication.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Tales from the Loop

 
I recently finished watching the series "Tales from the Loop". The show is based on the artwork of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, who is also executive producer.



The show is like a modern Twilight Zone, but very unique and thought-provoking in it's own right. The aesthetic draws from Simon Stålenhag's surreal paintings, which combine the look of the 1960's & 70's with futuristic, almost alien technology.

Check out his Facebook page with great examples of his art:


The series threw us threw a loop (pun intended) right off the bat - as the main character in the first episode has my wife's name, Loretta. The awesome thing about the show is that each episode is a self-contained story, but they all interweave the same characters and situations that take place in the same small town.

The town is built above an underground research facility known as "The Loop" which contains a mysterious source of weird phenomena that spills over into the residents above. Some of the strange effects include- alternate realities, time anomalies, machine consciousness, mind-swapping, and other bizarre ideas.

At the same time, the poignancy of our human experience is explored through the lens of these inexplicable happenings. The characters, although often awkward and almost humorously detached, are placed in circumstances that are deeply relatable.

Almost all the episodes had my wife and I talking extensively about the ideas presented, and were really fascinating & creative. I would highly recommend the series for anyone interested in sci-fi, mysterious phenomena, novel visual approaches, or just good storytelling. We really enjoyed it, and hope that another season is produced.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

A Tiny Mother's Day Flower

A tiny, but lovely, wild flower for all the mothers & amazing women who do so much for their families, friends, and community.

No matter how small & unseen you think your efforts may be, they ARE appreciated.

by Paul Micarelli 


My hand for scale... I told you it was tiny! Still beautiful, though.


Monday, May 04, 2020

Kenneth Copeland's COVID-19 Wind of God Remix

 
This Coronavirus crisis has been a challenge for humanity as a global society, and as individuals trying to deal with it.

There is only thing that has kept me going through this overwhelming struggle (besides my wife & my unborn son, who will be born in about a month).

The spark of light that has guided me through all the insanity is the "Wind of God" Remix, featuring televangelist Kenneth Copeland. In this work of musical genius, the usual flim-flammery produced by this charlatan has been put over sick beats - to create the catchiest tune of the pandemic.



I hate that I can't get this song out of my head, but it's a testament to the sheer brilliance of its creation.


Here is part the original ludicrous sermon by Copeland, in which he is using the "wind of god" to blow the Coronavirus out of existence... it clearly worked. Anyone who watches this demon-in-a-human-suit and falls for this absolute madness is simply mentally unfit to function in society. That's a goddamn fact.



This POS has been scamming for so long, that I remember seeing him selling his prayer cloths on TV decades ago when I was in high school. He has made so much money off his marks, I mean followers, that he can afford private jets. Televangelism, especially the obviously predatory version,  is one of those phenomena that pushes me this >< close to the edge of completely losing faith in humanity.


Monday, April 27, 2020

The Leadership of Donald Trump



I made this graphic because I thought the Leadership that President Trump has provided, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, is perfectly exemplified in his own words:

"No, I don't take responsibility at all." 
- Donald J. Trump, March 13, 2020


Friday, April 24, 2020

Darth Crawl

Since I'm posting nature photos, here's an insect I saw outside that looked like it had the Sith markings on Star Wars character Darth Maul.

So, I decided to call him "Darth Crawl".



*Bonus photo - This multi-legged creature crawled out of my sink drain... so, after going "WTF!," I caught it to throw outside after taking a pic.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Ridiculously Tall Amaryllis Flower


My wife & I have an amaryllis bulb that has bloomed for the 2nd year.

I added it to my album of nature photos:


It is a large, beautiful red flower & sits by our back door in our kitchen. Because it's propped up against the glass door, it grew to this ridiculously tall height, over 5ft.

I love the Spring time as life begins to re-emerge and the outdoors become green & colorful... Nature doesn't care about humanity & all our issues, and the cycles of time continue no matter what.




Sunday, April 12, 2020

Trump is Risen Through Christ

Like President Trump, I too look for the spiritual embrace of 7ft tall smokey Jesus.

On this Blessed Day, let us remember what is truly important... that Jesus himself hand-picked Donald J. Trump to lead us through one of the worst crises in U.S. History.   🇺🇸🙏
 
We are lucky to have a President with the deep wisdom, humility, compassion, & moral purity needed for this difficult time. I am especially grateful for all my fellow Americans with the good judgement to support President Trump and his superior, Christ-like leadership. God Bless the USA!

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Game Review: Assassin's Creed Origins


 Since I received a PS4 from my wife last Christmas, I have been primarily playing 2 games - Star Wars Battlefront II and Assassin's Creed Origins. Assassin's Creed has occupied most of my limited gaming time for the past 4 months, due to the sheer expansiveness of the game.

I previously posted about the use of The Flower of Life motif in the game, but since I just finished the main storyline I can write a full review.



Let me start by saying that this game is absolutely awe-inspiring. This is coming from someone who has played video games all my life... and I can say that this is as close to the perfect game as I have ever had the privilege to experience!

Because of the camera feature, I was able to screenshot images of some of the amazing visuals that can be seen throughout the game. All the images in this post are from my gallery below. There is so much to see & experience in Origins that it is impossible to document it all.

Click the link below to see my gallery:

Google Photo Album:

The main story is very engaging, and I never got tired or bored of the missions or even the side quests. It follows Bayek of Siwa, who is a Medjay (Magi) or protector of Egypt. He and his wife Aya seek justice for the murder of their son by the Order of the Ancients. The Order searches for relics from a lost "First Civilization" that they use to control mankind. Bayek & Aya eventually form the Brotherhood of Assassins (the "Origin" of the Assassins in the other games of this series) to destroy this Order of the Ancients.

I love history, especially ancient history, and have always been fascinated with ancient Egypt. AC: Origins is set in Ptolemaic Egypt- which was a couple thousand years ago, but the Giza pyramids were already thousands of years old, even back then. These pyramids, as well as other landmarks such as The Great Sphinx, Djoser's pyramid, and countless temples are all present and can be fully explored and climbed upon like everything else in the game.



The Great Pyramid of Giza, 
with it's limestone casing & gold capstone in place

Yes, you can climb to the top of the Great Pyramid!
(It takes awhile to climb, but you can slide down the side to get down)

 The Great Sphinx, with the paint still intact.
(although the head was probably originally a jackal, guardian of the underworld)

The Egyptian temples were absolutely stunning.
There are many more photos in my gallery linked above

Not only is Egyptian architecture and culture showcased, but ancient Greek influence in Egypt at the time is also heavily represented. Alexander the Great and the Ptolemaic pharaohs from Greece had a lasting impact on Egyptian society, through the establishment of Alexandria and the infusion of the Greek pantheon of gods & their temples.  

 The legendary tomb of Alexander the Great.

At the top of The Pharos, or lighthouse of Alexandria.

One of the many temples influenced by Greek architecture.

In addition to the historic landmarks, Assassins Creed titles always put the player in the presence of famous historical figures and situations. In this one, you are involved with pivotal events involving Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Ptolemy XIII, and Pompey the Great.

Talking with Cleopatra along the Nile River.

Cleopatra becoming acquainted with Julius Caesar.

This is how you encounter Pompey the Great-
decapitated & impaled on a spike by Caesar's army.

As with all the Assassin's Creed games, the historic events are masterfully woven into the main storyline. The great thing about these games, however, is that you are not forced into a linear playthrough. You can go off onto side quests, or just explore at your leisure. It is a true sandbox style experience, where you can go anywhere or just do nothing but look around at all the captivating scenery, if you want. 

Even though there are important figures from history in the story, my favorite aspects were just the ordinary slices of life that are captured everywhere. The level of detail is so astounding, that I was often in total disbelief that something like this could even be created! It truly is an epic work of art that gives a better sense of human history at all levels than any textbook or class could ever approach.

A random merchant's stall, with a dozen detailed items to inspect.

A closer look at the merchant's goods. 
The level of detail, even in this little section, is crazy.

Just some dudes hanging out at the baths.

Street musicians entertaining passersby.

On the other end of the spectrum, another aspect of Assassin's Creed games that make them great are the mythical elements, revolving around the mysterious "First Civilization". This is a race of technologically-advanced beings who created humanity, but were destroyed by a cosmic cataclysm in the distant past. They have left seemingly magical artifacts and "Vaults" containing knowledge incomprehensible to the human race. Although there wasn't as much about Those Who Came Before in this installment, the aspects that were included were pretty cool.

One of The Vaults from the First Civilization
 was hidden below the Great Pyramid

Bayek and Aya discover another Vault,
with a holographic map of the Earth.
They obviously think this is some sort of magic.

The settings in the game, both natural and man-made, are very immersive. There is abundant wildlife, common people doing their daily routines, and beautiful architecture throughout the ridiculously vast map. I still haven't explored and unlocked anywhere near all the areas, despite finishing the story.






The various landscapes and vistas in the cities, towns, and surrounding wilderness are enough to make you often just stop and observe. Then you may be jolted into action by an attacking alligator or cobra out of nowhere!

Crazy random shit happens, like wild animals attacking each other...

...or wild animals attacking you!
 

One really cool feature is the ability to use of your hawk Senu as a scout, to get a literal birds-eye view of the locations, including the enemies and treasures there. You can also use the camera while in Senu mode to get awesome aerial shots.


There's just so damn much to rave about with this game... I put off writing the review because I knew it would take me at least a couple hours. If you've read this far, and haven't been convinced to play this 1st class title, then there's nothing more I can say to persuade you. It's an absolute masterpiece.

I will leave you with a final picture of, not a Monkey Buddha, but of Babi the baboon god... I guess it's close enough!

• Official Monkey Buddha Rating: 10+ out of 10!