Monday, July 04, 2022

The International Flag of Planet Earth

Today is Independence Day in the U.S.A., or the Fourth of July. It is the day we celebrate breaking away from British rule and becoming a sovereign nation.

There are a lot of American flags flying today, and the red, white, & blue flag is symbolic for our unity as a country. I saw this article about The International Flag of Planet Earth, and how it should be used a symbol to unite the whole of humanity living on this planet, once we expand outward into the solar system.

Inverse:
If Humans Go to Mars, We Need an Earth Flag 

I think it's very optimistic to think that humanity, with all its primitive tribal instincts, would be able to unite as a collective, instead of continuing to exist as competing factions. I would like to think that colonizing space would be a reason to join the people of this planet together, but even space travel will not be able to overcome the monkey mind that drives us to form different sub-groups.

Still, it is a good idea to create a symbol to represent the Earth as a singular political entity.It would at least represent the idea of the people of this world joined as one, even if it doesn't practically work out that way.

I definitely like the use of the Seed of Life configuration of circles. I created a game using the larger Flower of Life pattern called Da Vinci's Challenge, so I am familiar with the powerful visual impact of this symbol.

I have seen some variations on this flag design, & I prefer the "closed/flat" look, especially because the original looks asymmetrical to me:

Hopefully, the human race continues to progress and eventually travels into space to other worlds. Then, perhaps we will be able to minimize our differences to see the common goal we have been working towards since life began - to survive, thrive, & continue the process of life in new places.



Monday, May 16, 2022

Paul Giuseppe - Jedi or Sith?

It's crazy how busy it gets when you have children... Working full time & having a toddler sucks all the time from my day, but I'm grateful to have such a full life. 

I realized I haven't posted in a month, so I thought I'd share a proud dad moment. 

Anyone who knows me or has followed this blog knows I'm a lifelong Star Wars fan. Recently, right around Star Wars Day (May 4th) my son Paulie took his "first step into a larger world".

First of all, I made the mistake of bringing home an electronic Darth Vader bank from my parents' house. 

You push a button and Vader lights up, talks, & moves while blasting The Imperial March. Well, my son has become completely obsessed with this thing. He has already worn out 3 sets of batteries from activating it over & over (....& over & over) again. Sometimes he'll push the button 20+ times in a row. My poor wife is so sick of it, she's ready to Force choke someone out. I never thought I would need a break from hearing The Imperial March, but here we are...

He was playing the thing so damn much, I had to give him a Darth Vader action figure just so that he would leave the bank alone & eat dinner.

Now, he loves watching videos with Vader from the films or Star Wars Kids animations. He also says "Vay-er" in the car until I play The Imperial March through the stereo.

Since he has seen clips of lightsaber duels, I've begun his Jedi padawan training - with an intro to lightsaber combat. He seems to prefer the Jedi lightsabers, while I use the double-edged Darth Maul one. So, even though he is enthralled by The Dark Lord of the Sith, he prefers Jedi weapons. He's a strong little guy, so he wields the toy swords pretty handily.


Really, his first exposure to Star Wars was Yoda & Grogu "Baby Yoda". He still loves these characters, mimicking my imitation of Yoda's laugh "Hmmm-hmm-hmm" & continuously watching the Lego Star Wars video of Grogu in the snow to the point where he knows each part of it. His grandmother gave him a Baby Yoda doll that he was carrying around all day today.

I made another big mistake of showing him a Darth Vader case in his closet, that's full of Star Wars figures, that I was saving for when he is old enough to play with them. Now, he goes to his closet, pointing up to the case & saying "Vay-er" until I take it down. I'm letting him look through them and play with them, but putting them back so he doesn't lose them.

So being such a huge Star Wars fan, it's pretty cool that my son loves it so much already. It's fun to watch video clips online with him, and I can't wait until he's old enough to watch the movies & series with me. Hopefully he embraces the Light Side, and doesn't follow Vader into the ways of the Sith...

Sunday, April 10, 2022

You Are Connected to the Entire Universe

 Originally posted to Conscious Living for You

 

 

You Are Connected to the Entire Universe
Graphic by Paul Micarelli 

It has been shown that the large-scale structure of the cosmos is an interconnected web, similar to the net of neurons in our brain, which in turn is similar to the ever-fluctuating connected patterns of the quantum field.

There are theories that at the Plank scale of subatomic realm, all information is connected in a holofractal unified field.

This endless array of connection, that exists at all scales, is an aspect of the fundamental unity of reality of which we are an integral part.

We are a part of The All, and The All is a part of us.



Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Size of the Orion Nebula

Considering that I was just looking at the constellation Orion as I brought in my trash cans from the road tonight, this is a good video to share now. I always look up at the stars, amazed by even the limited number of stellar lights that I can see in the night sky at my house. 

 Orion is one of the most obvious constellations, and was associated with Osiris & his resurrection in ancient Egypt. One interesting fact about this arrangement of stars is their spacial orientation, which is obviously not on a flat plane as it appears. This is a cool diagram showing their relationship in space, from the previous article:

 I love computer animated videos like the one below, because they give a perspective that is almost impossible to achieve strictly through verbal descriptions, or even numbers. Nothing can give you a quality existential crisis like a well-produced 3D animation like this, since it can clearly illustrate certain truths that reveal the mind-boggling nature of our reality.

This video was produced by Epic Spaceman & shows the scale of the nebula in the 'sword' of Orion, compared to our Sun. You just think about the incomprehensible vastness of space, and the mind & ego just "poof" away like an ephemeral cloud of dust.

The Orion Nebula vs The Sun: Scale of the Universe


Sunday, March 13, 2022

The Fractal Brain Theory


I finally finished reading The Fractal Brain Theory by Wai Tsang, after a long slog of 2+ years. It might be the longest it's ever taken for me to read a book.

I was slowed down by the birth of my son, & having very little time to myself over the past couple years. The book is also fairly science-heavy, with a lot to conceptually chew on, so I would only read a section at a time.

The central premise of the book is that the structural organization of the brain, and therefore the mind, is "fractal"- recursive or self-similar at various scales.

To me, this is an obvious assumption, since the whole of Reality is fractal in nature. However, this is not a widely recognized characteristic of our brain. The makeup of brain & its functioning expresses similar patterns & qualities as we observe the various scales from the molecular > neural > cortical columns > overall brain.

The ultimate goal of Wai Tsang's investigations is to be able to understand how the mind works so we can create a functional A.I., a truly thinking machine. The way to do this is through a holistic understanding of all the brain's processes, which give rise to the emergent phenomenon we call "consciousness".

Of course, the answer to "How does the brain work?" is the same as the answer to "How does the Earth work?" There is no simply way to sum up all the complex cellular, chemical, & energetic functions that are taking place within the brain at any one time. It is an intricate interplay of systems and components that cannot be teased apart as easily as traditional science would have us believe - with specific areas for language, vision, memory, emotion, etc. The workings of the brain are much more intertwined and distributed than could be described by any one theory. However, Wai Tsang in this book attempts to offer a key to unlock a more integrated picture of the human brain that could help understand it more thoroughly.

Although some of the more technical aspects of the book were a bit over my head, which focused on the mathematical & programming correlations to understanding the brain's functioning, I found the ideas presented intriguing. I think the fractal approach can be applied to many different areas of inquiry. Again, since the Universe exhibits fractal qualities, the aspects of it which we are trying to understand would also exhibit these qualities, true to fractal form. Especially the brain, which is a biological instrument used to perceive the fractal Universe, would then be expected to be organized in a fractal hierarchy.

The stated goal of the book, to discover a path to developing advanced A.I., is a controversial one. There are so many areas where artificial intelligence working on a level beyond the singular or collective capabilities of the human mind would be an unimaginable benefit. However, as a fan of sci-fi such as The Matrix, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Mass Effect, I'm also very wary if the dangers that advanced thinking machines could pose. The outcome of A.I. development will depend on humankind making the right choices in the process. Therefore, we are probably completely fucked.

So, I would recommend this if you are interested in the scientific study of the brain & consciousness, and are also interested in the elegant field of fractal geometry. It's not the easiest book to read at times, but it is thought-provoking and gets the fractal cascades of mental energy flowing through the cerebral cortex.


Saturday, February 19, 2022

"PARENTHOOD" - 'Thinking Aloud' with 2 Paul Micarelli's

*Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog


7-24-21
 
Paul Micarelli & son Paul Giuseppe take a walk and talk about interesting topics. 🤔💡👶🏻 
 
***Please LIKE & SHARE, Thank You!*** 
 

 

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Future Beach

 

If there's one thing I love, it's weird shit... & it doesn't get any weirder than this video by Nadia Lee Cohen

The artist's style is a surrealist approach to fashion photography that is unsettling and totally bonkers.

 FUTURE BEACH



 

Thursday, February 03, 2022

Movie Review: Matrix Resurrections


The Matrix is one of my favorite movie series, a mind-bending story fusing philosophy, technology, and exploration of the human condition. My wife & I recently asked my parents to babysit so we could take a rare trip to the movies while Matrix Resurrections was still playing. 

We had watched the original trilogy fairly recently, so the story was fresh in our minds. Nothing compares to the original Matrix, but we both really enjoyed this movie and thought it was a solid continuation of the story of Neo and Trinity. The trailer got me super-hyped to see it, and thankfully it lived up to my hype. It had a lot of cool, thought-provoking takes on the Matrix story, and didn't seem like a cheap cash grab.

 There are probably going to be spoilers below, but I'll try not to give too much away...


The story starts out with Neo once again living within the Matrix as Thomas Anderson, now a successful game designer. He created a game, The Matrix (a game within the movie - referencing the movie itself! Woooah..), but is haunted by the feeling that his memories and subconscious connections to the game have some deeper reality... or is he just mentally ill? He is seeing a therapist who is prescribing him blue pills (of course) to help with his seemingly delusional breaks from his current reality.

The fact that there is even a movie with Thomas/Neo after he clearly died in Matrix Revolutions is a mystery. Is this really Neo? Did he survive somehow? This is explained later on as the rabbit hole opens up once again, and we dive deep down into it.

One thing this movie does brilliantly is hold a mirror up to the absurdity and craziness of our "normal" world - the dependence on manufactured pharmaceuticals, ubiquitous technology, inauthentic social relationships, corporate fealty, and our own behaviors based on our limited grasp of reality.

There is also a lot of "meta" self-parody in this movie, exposing the bullshit aspects entertainment & mass media. This is mostly done through humorous situations & conversations involving Mr. Anderson's game company. There is a discussion how Warner Bros. is demanding a new Matrix game, even though Thomas doesn't want to make one. The production company & the money are in control, not the creator.

I thought it was interesting how the advances in real-world technology since the flip phones of the original movie were addressed. One scene I especially liked, that's shown in the trailer, is where he is in an elevator & looks up into the mirrored ceiling to see everyone staring into their mobile devices. We are becoming more "jacked-in" to our Matrix, the Internet, all the time. People's brains are addicted to this connection to virtual space in a way that is making it inseparable from our natural conscious experience.

Inevitably, Thomas Anderson finds out there is more to his reality, as he has suspected all along. After assimilating & neutralizing the threat of Agent Smith in Revolutions, it turns out the machines have kept him and Trinity alive. The machines have kept them in special pods, close to one another for decades after reviving and rebuilding their biological bodies. As the Anomaly, their presence and proximity to one another somehow stabilizes the Matrix for all other humans.




One thing I thought was a great continuation of the story was that after Revolutions and the peace Neo's actions ushered in, the machines began to integrate into human society. Zion was destroyed by continued warfare, but the machines were able to join & help humans in the new city of Io to greatly improve their quality of life. The original Matrix movies had a very "us vs. them" approach to the human relationship to machines, until Neo realized the only way to end the conflict was to merge into a more symbiotic existence.

Although the real Morpheus apparently died after leading the High Council of Zion, a "virtual Morpheus" was created by Neo. Although he was a program that appeared like Morpheus within the Matrix itself, thanks to nanobot-like tech he was also able to manifest in the physical world. Again, it was an interesting concept using advances in technology to come up with fresh approaches to the storytelling.



Eventually, Neo reconnects with Trinity, who is living a fake virtual life with a bot husband, (maybe unironically) named "Chad" & their bot children. The great human mysteries of "Love" & "Choice" once again play the ultimate role in the fate of the two protagonists... and the rest of humanity, as a result.

The ending of this movie is a callback to the end of the first Matrix, but this time Trinity saves the day, and makes me think there may be more to the Matrix story to come.

Although I really like the movie, there were some things that kind of bothered me. The relationship between man & machine was kind of confusing, because there was apparently a peace brokered but people are still in pods and there are still hostile machines and programs. 

 I was really thrown off by how easily both Neo and Trinity eventually got out of their V.I.P. pods in the middle of the machine city. Wouldn't the machines have robots monitoring & guarding these pods with an immense level of scrutiny? Yet, there were no machines to be seen as they were being extracted. The whole "rescue" attempt was probably the part of the movie that bothered me the most. 

I also didn't understand how Smith would still be able to exist, even if his form was altered... and if he was still around, wouldn't he still be able to cross over into the real world?

Anyway, these complaints didn't get in the way of my enjoyment of this visually and conceptually impressive movie. With so many reboots & expansions of fictional properties proving to be shallow or rushed, I was extremely happy to experience such an awesome return to one of the most intriguing fictional worlds in modern media.

I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who was inspired by the original Matrix and the other movies & offshoots, such as the Animatrix. It was a deep, innovative journey into the mind and the real & virtual worlds it can inhabit. 

 

 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Dear Alice - A Utopian Vision


This video by The Line Animation Studio presents a vision of a future where a green utopia results from a harmonious, symbiotic relationship between humans, technology, and nature:

Although it was created as an ad for Chobani, it transcends the usual corporate marketing, to provide a hopeful and authentic ideal that we could be striving toward.

When we look at the greed, economic oppression, environmental destruction, and reliance on the shittiest possible ways to do things that are prevalent in our world, it's easy to get totally disillusioned with humanity.

However, we have to remember that there are better ways, and practical solutions to the problems we face. It is through positive creative reinforcement, like this animation, that we can look for ways to develop a brighter future. I like how it personalizes the message through the letter to Alice from her grandmother. 

"Our job is to plant the seeds, so our grandchildren get to enjoy the fruit." 

It is a beautiful message, and having a child of my own has given me an even deeper appreciation for the future we need to fight for - not just for our own kids, but for the entire human race that will live on after we're gone.

 
 


Sunday, January 09, 2022

No Touch Baby System

 
click to enlarge

 "No Touch Baby System" - Wash Station 💦👶

This is a funny concept I've been wanting to make since my oldest nephew was born, 13 years ago. Now that I have a son, Paul Giuseppe, I finally decided to make this graphic... before he gets too old!

I originally posted this on the Facebook page for Paul Micarelli Design:

No Touch Baby System @PaulMicarelliDesign 

Before I had a child, I always said that I would do anything to care for my kids - except change their diapers! The idea of wiping up poop totally grossed me out. The idea of the "No Touch Baby System" was that a parent could just dip their kid into the Wash Station, & it would automatically clean their ass.

Well, after having a kid, I can proudly say that this is no longer a concern. In fact, I actually enjoy changing his diaper, since it gives me a chance to comfort him & sing to him songs I've made up - like "Stinky-Dinky Spider", "Monkey Submarine" (to the tune of Yellow Submarine, w/ monkey lyrics & sounds) and a country ballad called "Powder Them Balls".

I have become completely unfazed by getting baby crap on my hands & wiping up disgusting mounds of my son's poop. It's truly amazing how parenthood changes you. The downside is the worry and fear that comes with being responsible for a little human being, as well as the constant exhaustion. I have not once felt well-rested in the 1.5 years since he's been born. I can wake up after a decent night's sleep, and incredibly, I'm still tired. I've just come to accept it at this point. The upside is pretty much everything else.

I'm not sure having a No Touch Baby System would actually dramatically improve the ease of childcare, but it was fun to make this concept after having it on my mind for so many years!


Sunday, January 02, 2022

New Years Resolution: 1920x1080

This New Years Resolution I saw on r/surrealmemes is one I can clearly envision. Looking forward to a year full of new experiences in crystal-clear, high definition! Next year, maybe the resolution will be upgraded to 4k...




Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Santa vs. Krampus - No Gifts This Year?

I'm getting in the Christmas spirit & excited for my son to celebrate his 2nd Christmas, so I figured I'd share some fun holiday artwork:

does it mean there will be no gifts this year?
by Jakub Rozalski

I'd recommend looking at his other artwork, there is a lot of awesome fantasy & horror imagery. There are many crazy themes other than Santa being in creepy situations.

Jakub Rozalski

Sunday, December 12, 2021

COVID +


It's been awhile since I last posted, about the science behind the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine & how it was designed.

Visualizing COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines

Unfortunately, since then, my 1-1/2 year old son was infected, from being around unvaccinated family members who went to a party where many people ended up getting sick. After he got sick, my wife and I also tested ourselves, and at first both tested negative. Paulie was sick last Monday, and thankfully he was back to normal within a couple days.

However, I started getting sick this past Thursday, so I stayed home from work on Friday. I guess a lot of people are getting sick now, because pharmacies are sold out of the COVID rapid tests. My mom finally got a pack of tests for us, so I tested myself again today & it came up positive.

My wife is a nurse, so she has been going in to her hospital to get tested. Through luck & her own diligence, she has remained negative so far, despite being in the house with us. She has been making sure we stay masked in the house, and we have been trying to avoid contact & have been sleeping in separate rooms.

I am grateful that my son recovered quickly, and also that my symptoms were relatively mild. I had a slight fever the first couple days, but nothing crazy. Mostly it has been like a really bad head cold. Some people would point to this as proof that the vaccine doesn't work, but those people are idiots. The vaccine is not a 100% guarantee against being sick. I see it as the vaccine preventing me from developing more serious symptoms, as a result of direct exposure.

Speaking of idiots, a comment on my last post reads as follows:

"Don't Believe these videos! They are Faucci Propaganda tapes to control us and take away our Freedoms!! If you love America, for the love of God, take off your masks!!! The Globalist Pedo Scumbags want to feed our children to the elite and jab us with this poison!!!"

It's a sad state of affairs when I honestly can't tell if this is one of my brothers trolling me, or a seriously deluded jackass commenting on a scientifically-based post.

Anyway, since my son was born, my wife & I have been worrying about raising a baby during this pandemic. We have done our best to protect him & ourselves from exposure, but we were never willing to completely isolated ourselves from our families, who in some cases were nowhere near as conscientious as we were about the danger of the virus. We knew this would result in risk of eventual exposure, and it finally happened. We couldn't force other people take it as seriously as we did, and this is the result. The only way it could've been totally avoided was years-long quarantine from loved ones, and we just weren't willing to do that.

I have to say that all the talk of "independence" & self-determination, freedom from government control, distrust of the science, etc. is all bullshit once you're the one severely ill, in the hospital on oxygen, or dead - as many people we know personally have unfortunately ended up.

People, especially self-centered "freedom-loving" Americans, hate the idea of mandatory vaccines & masks. However, how else is the government supposed to keep this kind of infectious disease under control, when the population is too ignorant, misinformed, & fucking inconsiderate to do the right thing for the welfare of the community, as a whole? It's a real problem, and the reason why issues such as nationalized health insurance are so difficult to advocate for - anything that helps other people is seen as "socialism," which in this ass-backwards country is bad thing.

In other words, we're fucked as a society... because of all the selfish fools who think that they are actually the geniuses.

 



Sunday, November 21, 2021

Visualizing COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines

 

One of my favorite uses of computer graphics is for visualizing scientific concepts that humans cannot otherwise experience, when the scale is beyond the realm of our senses.

I have posted before about the use of 3D renderings to illustrate microbiology, and it never stops fascinating me. The workings of living organisms at the molecular and cellular scale are mind-boggling.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:
Cell Biology

I recently saw this computer animation by The Vaccine Maker Project detailing how mRNA vaccines train the body's immune system to neutralize a coronavirus & thought it was a brilliant educational video.

YouTube Link:

My wife & I were hesitant at first to get the vaccine, because of concerns regarding conceiving another child. However, as a nurse she was eventually required to be vaccinated, & so I followed suit. I was never really against it, but I never got flu or other vaccines either... it was a sort of ambivalence since I am very healthy and rarely get sick. (One time as an adult, I got a bad case of the flu and felt like I was going to fucking die, & I still didn't bother getting flu vaccines even after that experience. However, I did finally get the flu shot recently after getting the COVID vaccine.) Even before we got vaccinated, we still followed all the other recommendations & protocols for preventing infection. However, having a toddler while being vulnerable to getting sick with COVID was very stressful.

After researching actual scientific papers on the mRNA vaccine process (& no, not relying on some bullshit Facebook or other website research), I understood how amazing this biotech was & felt very confident in getting vaccinated.

Watching this video gave me an even deeper appreciation- not just for this vaccine technology, but for the astounding way that our microbiology functions. The fact that these interactions are continuously playing out billions of times throughout each of our bodies, while we are completely unaware of this entire universe of living processes within us, is just an incredible & utterly incomprehensible phenomenon.

I highly recommend watching and sharing this video to educate other on how this amazing bit of biological engineering works.

BONUS:

In the recommended videos alongside the one I posted above, I also saw the following video that goes into another aspect that I was very curious about - how is the vaccine actually designed & manufactured?

This video gives a glimpse of the awesome scientific effort that goes into the production of something like the Coronavirus vaccine:


 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Asian Lady Beetle

 

We recently had a infestation for a day or two of what I thought were lady bugs, but it turns out they were Asian lady beetles. These beetles are actually an invasive species.

I saw one on my countertop and got some macro photos of the tiny creature. 

 Nature Photography by Paul Micarelli

Here are some facts about these beetles, which I didn't know existed:


 

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Beholding the Terrifying Nature of the Divine

 

On r/TIHI (Thanks, I Hate It), I saw this video of a "biblically accurate angel" specifically one of the cherubim, based on a description in Ezekiel 10:

I looked, and I saw beside the cherubim four wheels, one beside each of the cherubim; the wheels sparkled like topaz. As for their appearance, the four of them looked alike; each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as the cherubim went. The cherubim went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went. Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their four wheels. I heard the wheels being called “the whirling wheels.” Each of the cherubim had four faces: One face was that of a cherub, the second the face of a human being, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

The creepy-ass CGI video is by Alex Howard:

Biblical angels be like: BE NOT AFRAID

Imagine coming across this spectacle while walking along in the wilderness, minding your own business!...

If the descriptions in the Bible described an actual encounter, it's hard to imagine what was actually being experienced - was it an extra-dimensional being, a hallucination brought on by plant entheogens, or some other altered state of consciousness? The description could just as well describe an extraterrestrial spacecraft, seen by someone with a limited linguistic toolkit to accurately convey the information about what they experienced. The other option, of course, is that it's just a made-up story.

The idea of an angel seems to describe a spirit or consciousness beyond our ordinary experience, which can take many different forms. It is not limited to the glowing humanoid with wings, which is usually depicted in Western religious art.

The specific angelic form depicted above, the cherubim, have been portrayed in different ways over the centuries. The traditional artistic representation is almost like the typical angel I just mentioned, but with multiple animal heads:


Modern artists have been able to create more abstract depictions more properly conveying the spiritual nature of such an entity:


I have never encountered any kind of spiritual, energetic being such as a ghost or angel, so as far as I know, they don't exist. However, I am open the idea there are beings or levels of consciousness that might be outside our realm of experience.

While reading comments on the original post, I saw the video below from The Onion, a one-on-one interview with God. The concept of "God" is an even more difficult one to pin down than angels. God, being the creative force underlying all of Reality, is, by definition, impossible to understand or even singularly experience. It is literally ALL THAT IS, the unity of everything, from the quantum to the cosmic levels, & everything in between. 

 If someone wants to ask me if I believe in God, I would say that we have to describe what we think God is first. If it's the Old Testament deity, Yahweh, who is a Zeus-like human personality that loves, judges, seeks vengence, etc. & interacts with humans on a personal level - then my answer would be "No," that's mythology.

If we define God as something akin to The Force or the Unified Field, the flux of base, subatomic energy that gives rise to all the patterns of the Universe - then "Yes," of course that exists.

Anyway, I thought this video was a funny representation of how The Infinite would be perceived by a finite human mind. Such awe-inspiring insight into the nature of reality can be approximated in certain altered states of consciousness, when the mind expands outside its normal modes of experience:

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Skateboarding Dr. Monkey

I've posted before about The Absurd Creations of Alan Wagner (@truewagner) & saw this fake DVD cover that he posted. I wish this was a real movie:

Skateboarding Dr. Monkey

Interestingly, there is a movie about a skateboarding chimp, "MVP-Most Vertical Primate"



Saturday, October 16, 2021

Futuristic Monkey Fighter Pilot

Seen on fUSION Anomalog, a cover of Heavy Metal magazine with a futuristic monkey wearing a high-tech fighter pilot helmet:



Tuesday, October 05, 2021

3D Portraits by Hadi Karimi

  Salvador Dalí by Hadi Kamiri

I've had some experience in 3D computer graphics, and I love to see all the amazing artwork people create in that medium.

Artist Hadi Karimi digitally sculpts likenesses of historical figures in such a realistic manner that they look like photography. Being an expert in photo retouching, I can pick out fake images easily. However, these renderings are so convincing that they appear like real people, even to me.

www.hadikarimi.com

The artistry displayed here is absolutely astounding. As I look over these portraits again, I am baffled that someone can even do this! Not only is the sculpting of the faces impressive, but the coloring & textures, hair, clothing, and especially the lighting all lend to the realism of these images.

For each portrait, there are multiple viewing angles, again adding to the sense of dimensionality of each figure.

I would highly recommend visiting the artist's website, to marvel at the technical and creative skill shown in these 3D renderings.

I believe this is a step to digitally re-creating people of the past - both famous and of personal importance. I could see an industry of providing "virtual loved ones" that can be seen and interacted with using VR or holograms.

Technology like Deep Nostalgia, combined with this kind of realistic 3D modeling, could allow a person to choose from a library of historical figures, or the creation of an AI-generated avatar based on personal photos and video. 

Maybe when my son is an old man, he will be able to generate a virtual version of me to converse with. People are inherently social and nostalgic creatures, so it would surprise me if that kind of application wasn't developed at some point in the future.

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Eastern Influences of Star Wars


 This morning I was reading this excellent article about "Visions," the new series of animated Star Wars stories. It went into fascinating detail about the influences of Japanese and Asian culture in general on the development of Star Wars.

The Ringer:
‘Visions’ Brings ‘Star Wars’ Full Circle

I haven't seen this series of anime adaptations yet. However, being a lifelong Star Wars fan, I am quite familiar with the cultural, artistic, & mythological references from around the world that make up this modern day classic. I was fascinated by the book "Star Wars: The Power of Myth", which only touched the surface of the cultural makeup of the story and characters.

George Lucas borrowed heavily from visual storytellers like Akira Kurosawa, religious philosophies like Buddhism, and countless sources of inspiration from all over the globe & all areas of human experience.

 

I'm not really into anime, but I did enjoy the anthology, "The Animatrix," similarly a collection of animated stories set in the world of The Matrix. If "Star Wars: Visions" displays the same level of creativity and love for the source material, I'm sure I'll be into it.

Star Wars has always been my favorite work of fiction because of the richness & depth (much of it subtle) that draws on so many other interesting aspects of cultures around the world. I still love the imaginary universe that Star Wars has built, although I think Episodes 7-9 of the Skywalker saga were a fucking trainwreck (so much so that I am considering making a profanity-laced video of a tirade directed toward these movies).

Star Wars will be a source of inspiration itself for a long time, to people in places far, far away. It has been awesome to grow up alongside these moves & media, and it will be interesting how they continue to affect people in the future.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Half a Nice Day

 A friend of mine bought me a copy of an adult coloring book full of grotesque imagery, by Alex Pardee.

"TRY TO RELAX!"
DOWNLOADABLE COLORING BOOK

I finally got around to digitally coloring & adding effects to one of the images, "Half a Nice Day," with a mangled happy face:



Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Why the U.S. Failed in Afghanistan

I was looking through The Monkey Buddha Archives, and I think I finally discovered why the United States' 20 year occupation of Afghanistan ultimately failed...

We did NOT follow this super-simple chart, outlining Afghanistan Stability:

 


Sunday, August 29, 2021

Katydid Macro Photos

 

I recently saw this large katydid on my screen door, & went to grab my macro lens to take some detailed photos. 

 Nature Photography
by Paul Micarelli

 I mistakenly referred to it as a "grasshopper" when I posted it to a NJ Nature & Wildlife group I joined on Facebook. Some of the other members corrected me on what kind of insect it was, which is one of the nice things about social media- when you actually get correct information!

Here are some more photos, including extreme close-up shots of the leg & wing, which has evolved to mimic a leaf:

Thursday, August 26, 2021

"LANGUAGE" - 'Thinking Aloud' with 2 Paul Micarelli's

 *Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog
 

4-10-21
 
Paul Micarelli & son Paul Giuseppe take a walk and talk about interesting topics. 🤔💡👶🏻 
 
***Please LIKE & SHARE, Thank You!*** 
 

 

 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Deep Dive

 

Deep Dive
by MathisNoiz

 I saw this mind-bending animation on r/imaginarylandscapes & thought it was pretty crazy.

 

It was made using Deep Dream neural network software "that uses a convolutional neural network to find and enhance patterns in images via algorithmic pareidolia, thus creating a dream-like psychedelic appearance in the deliberately over-processed images."

I've used similar software to create some images that I've posted here.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:
Deep Dream Images

The process for creating this imagery is definitely analogous to the bizarre visual experiences present in altered states and dreams. The brain is a pattern-recognition machine, and this software uses computers to simulate the unfiltered feedback loops that result in these kinds of hallucinations in the mind's eye.


Monday, August 02, 2021

Heilung

 
It's not often that I experience new music that completely blows me away. However, I was recently putting my son to sleep, feeding him a bottle & rocking him while playing songs that I've bookmarked for him on YouTube. After finally getting him to sleep with a relaxing instrumental track of Eastern zen-inspired music, I was scrolling through the recommended videos... & stopped at a live performance that looked interesting. 

As I started listening to it, I was enthralled by the droning sounds & rhythmic drumming. It looked & sounded like an ancient shamanic ritual. Having a deep interest in the spiritual & artistic dimensions of early human culture, the performance immediately piqued my interest. Then, the lead vocalist Maria Franz (who looked like a nature shamaness, donning antlers reminiscent of the Cernunnos on the Gundestrup Cauldron and veiled eyes, clicking bones together) began to sing.. & I was like, "Woooooahhhhh!" 

Then some other crazy male medicine man figure, Kai Uwe Faust, began growling in an animalistic call & response. I paused the video, put my soundly snoozing little son in his crib, grabbed my headphones & invoked the plant medicine to open me up fully to this new auditory experience.

The band I had discovered was Heilung, which means "healing" in German, and they are a neo-pagan return to primal music that reverberates deep into the soul, connecting us to our distant ancestors. In addition to the other 2 members I mentioned is Christopher Juul, a studio engineer & producer who has helped create the otherworldly sound experience of Heilung.  From their own description on Apple music:

Combining ancient melodies with otherworldly vocals, field recordings, dark ambient soundscapes, and shamanic rhythms, Danish pagan folk act Heilung create a trance-inducing blend that evokes the very dawn of civilization.

From Wikipedia:

Heilung is an experimental folk music band made up of members from Denmark, Norway, and Germany.[3] Their music is based on texts and runic inscriptions from Germanic peoples of the Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Viking Age. Heilung describe their music as "amplified history from early medieval northern Europe". Their music is usually about Norse deities, jǫtnar, and valkyries.

The first video I had watched was a live performance of "Krigsgaldr" & it is fucking awesome. I don't understand a single damn word, other than the English that the medicine man grunts in the middle of the song- but it doesn't matter. The performance, costumes, set, and music itself are all iconic- and evocative of a lost shamanic experience, the mystical perception of nature and that connection to ourselves that draws us back into the ground of being.


I immediately started listening to their other songs, and they have a lot of great music that is thematically unique and technically brilliant. Every time I listen to one of their songs, I'm amazed at the arrangement of language and sound that creates such a magical effect.

Love this one too, "Traust". Just such a great sound:


If these first 2 songs interest you, then definitely check out their other music, too. I'll let the music speak for itself, & it speaks to the remote beginnings of our ancient heritage.

It is such an unbelievable display of artistry on all levels- lyrically, musically, visually, & spiritually. I'm so glad I came across this band and their amazing music; it's a real soul-churning experience that I'll keep coming back to from now on.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Alternate Realities CG Challenge

 
VFX artist Clinton Jones challenged computer artists from around the world to create unique video creations using a simple base animation:

The result is an absolutely mind-blowing collection of wildly different interpretations that are ALL astounding.

Having dabbled in 3D computer art, I can appreciate the level of skill that went into creating each one of these videos.

3D Art by Paul Micarelli

However, the compilation of the top 100 animations is almost overwhelming in the sheer talent on display. I have watched it several times already, noticing new details each time.

It is truly a visual and mental treat, & I cannot recommend enough that you just take time to watch the top 100 montage:


Monday, July 12, 2021

Paul Giuseppe Micarelli: First 12 Months

  

I created this video from photos I took every month of my son's 1st year of life:


Paul Giuseppe Micarelli:
First Year, June 2020-2021 

It has been an awe-inspiring experience watching him grow and begin to develop a personality. My wife Loretta & I always knew he was going to be a strong spirit, but he continually amazes us with his willpower, intelligence, and sense of humor... even though he can't talk yet! 

Being a father has proved to be the most challenging, & simultaneously the most rewarding, experience of my life. It has allowed for little time to do things that I used to enjoy, but spending time with my little buddy and helping to raise him is my top priority. Nothing else matters when I see his smiling little Plumpkin Head. My years of cultivating mindfulness and appreciation of the present moment are now giving me the ability to deeply engage the process of raising this little child. 

I pray every day that he lives a long, healthy, & happy life, and that I get to see as much of it as possible. If his first year is any indication, he will have an eventful and memorable life. We feel blessed to have this light in our lives, & we hope he brightens up the world. I love you Paul Giuseppe Micarelli, my son!!!

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Ever-expanding Fractal Triangles

 Sierpinski Sierpinski Sierpinski by Sam Palmer

I am endlessly fascinated by fractal geometry & I saw this animation on /r/woahdude that grabbed my attention. I just kept staring at it's mesmerizing simplicity...

The animation is a brilliant use of Sierpinski triangles to create endlessly looping motion. 

It appears that the triangles are moving relative to each other, but it is just the expanding self-similarity of the recursive fractal pattern shifting through the triangular boundaries.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Summer Flowers & Wildlife

I love the summer & being outside in nature. Our house has a lot of plant & wildlife that I observe and am introducing my son to.

My wife and also enjoy gardening and have many flowering plants around our house. I've been taking pics of some of the beautiful blooms emerging this summer:

Nature Photography by Paul Micarelli

 These are awesome- fire red lilies that I planted last year & are one of my favorites:


A batch of these orange tiger lilies were already at the house, but I love when they bloom, too:

 
This might be my favorite flower, because I have been trying for a couple summers to get vines to cover a trellis, but the landscapers kept cutting it down. I had to put up barriers to prevent them from trimming the vines. Finally, the vines are covering the trellis & it has begun to flower!
 

Within the past couple days, a 2nd large, purple flower has bloomed on the vine!

Bunches of pastel blue/white/yellow hydrangeas:



As for wildlife, we have several creatures inhabiting our backyard, including 3 large groundhogs:


We also have wild turkeys. This momma & her chicks have been hanging around, and my mother-in-law snapped this photo of them standing on our deck railing!