Sunday, March 26, 2017

"Illumination" by Paul Micarelli

I updated this image in my album of 3D Art.

The colors are now bolder, and it's a higher resolution. Feel free to download it for a wallpaper or desktop. If sharing it, please credit me or link this webpage. Thanks!


(Click to Enlarge)

by Paul Micarelli

  "When you look deeply 
into the center of your mind...
you'll see the dynamic void,
from which the fire of creation 
continually ignites."

* Buy Prints & Products with this design, at The Monkey Buddha Bazaar:
http://www.cafepress.com/monkeybuddha/14480027

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Passing Through the Death Experience


"Dying" by Alex Grey

Seen on DailyZen:

Passing Through the Death Experience
"An ancient Zen text recommends that when people are dying, they should contemplate their mental and physical elements as being void of ultimate reality, having no independent being and no identity of their own.
Further, they should contemplate the true mind as being formless, neither coming nor going, the essence of mind not coming into existence at birth and not going out of existence at death, being forever tranquil.
By this means, people can leave the world; they will not be drawn to beatific visions or frightened by horrific visions, such as they may experience at death, according to their mental states. The mind will be forgotten and merged with the cosmos."
- Muso Kokushi (1275-1351)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Seed of Life- Teal Glow


I have a gallery of 3D rendered art that I created, with hi-res images that I'll continually add to.

by Paul Micarelli

Here is another addition to the gallery, a sacred geometry symbol. It's a glowing arrangement of circles known as "The Seed of Life", reflected to form an overlapping design:

 "Seed of Life- Teal Glow"
by Paul Micarelli


Feel free to download any images for use as wallpapers or backgrounds. If you share it, please give credit or a link.

I used to make a lot of 3D art using Vue software, which was intuitive for me to learn. My previous computer became obsolete, so I wasn't able to run the program anymore. Last year for my birthday, my wonderful fiancée helped me pay for a purchase of a newer Mac Mini. I downloaded the free Vue Pioneer program, and I have been starting to create more 3D art.

I don't run any ads on this site, but I'd appreciate it if you check out my Cafepress shop. There are prints and products with this design available:

The Monkey Buddha Bazaar:

Saturday, March 18, 2017

"Da Vinci's Challenge" Game - IWC Schaffhausen Edition


"Da Vinci's Challenge" is a strategy game that I created as a senior graphic design student in 2001. It was published in 2005 and earned the highest awards in the toy industry and overwhelmingly positive reviews from customers on Amazon. The game board is the pattern of interlocking circles, known as "The Flower of Life". I developed the game with the concepts of the field of study known as sacred geometry in mind.

A new edition of "Da Vinci's Challenge" was recently produced by Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen. It was used as a promotional item for their line of "Da Vinci" luxury watches.

One of the reps from the company came across the official Facebook page for "Da Vinci's Challenge", and reached out to me about licensing the game from me.

Facebook:

The game has been out of print since the publisher was bought out several years ago. I have not had much luck finding a new publisher to produce a retail version of the game, so I was excited to have this opportunity for the creation of a new edition. IWC made a very high-quality item, and I was extremely pleased with the results.

The game comes in an embossed box, wrapped in a ribbon and a metal IWC medallion. The game board is dark stitched leather, with a felt bottom. "The Flower of Life" pattern, the sacred geometry symbol that forms the playing surface, is raised in the leather so the pieces don't slide around. The oval & triangle game pieces are beautiful marbleized acrylic, and come in velvet drawstring pouches. The game rules have an embossed metallic ink logo, and I was directly involved with the design of the print materials.

I created an album of photos I took of one of the sample games I received. I'll post some of the photos here, but you can click the link to see more:

Photo Album:






 

"Da Vinci's Challenge" Game design & rules © Paul M. Micarelli

Monday, March 13, 2017

3D Comparison of Sizes in The Universe


In my opinion, one of the most important uses of digital media is to visualize concepts that would otherwise be difficult (if not impossible) for our minds to comprehend.

On io9, I saw this new video by Reigarw Comparisons that compares the scales of objects & phenomena in 3D.


I have previously posted several different comparisons of scale that look at our reality from the subatomic to the cosmic level. Animations like these help us wrap our head around the practically infinite depth and complexity of The Universe.

• Cosmic Eye: Scale of the Universe

• Scale of the Universe 2 

• Powers of Ten (10)

• The Known Universe

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Spiritually Solid

I saw this somewhat humorous meme on The Weird Wide Web, and I feel it describes my attitude perfectly.


"When they think
 they have some type of effect on you
but you're spiritually solid
and nothing can phase or destroy you."


Many years ago, I found my spiritual core and the center of my being. Through meditation and deep self-awareness, I've cultivated this psychic strength to protect against being affected by outside disturbances. Nothing anyone can do or say can destroy this foundation, or penetrate my inner peace.

I approach the world as an observer- always keeping my perceptions open, and just letting phenomena flow through me without perturbing my consciousness.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Exposing "The Deep State"


With the crazy ongoing public feud between President (*gag*) Trump and elements of the American intelligence community, I thought it might be worthwhile to share this detailed essay I saw on Brainpickings. It was written by Mike Lofgren, a Congressional staffer who had top security clearance, and describes the un-elected (and mostly unaccountable) aspects of government, law enforcement, and military known as "the deep state":


I had bookmarked this essay last week, but was prompted to post it today by the initial release by Wikileaks of a large collection of CIA documents, known as "Vault 7".

Washington Post:

One of the major takeaways from this leak is that the CIA has been implementing ways to hack into or exploit most electronic consumer devices, like computer software & mobile devices. Anyone with any common sense already suspected that the government was working to spy on the population through our digital devices. This just exposes the various ways they've been going about it.

A lot of people have been commenting on the timing of this data dump, and how it helps Trump cast doubt on U.S. intelligence agencies. It has also been noted that Wikileaks isn't in the business of releasing Russian or Chinese intel. This has led to suspicion that these countries are part of the Wikileaks efforts to expose American secrets.

It's hard to make sense of everything that is going on, and who is behind the various events that seem to get crazier by the day. On the one hand, I think that black ops and secret agendas by the "deep state" can be very dangerous. On the other hand, maybe these entrenched institutions can also be a safeguard against a clear threat to the Republic like the Trump administration. I don't think the simplistic binary "good or evil" paradigm works for things that are this complex.

I'm not sure if the established order is falling apart, or if certain aspects are in the process of solidifying & strengthening, but it is fascinating to watch the accelerating unfoldment of history.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Animatronic Yoda Battle


 On my recent birthday, I posted about how Yoda is one of my favorite characters.

Then, on Reddit the other day, I came across this goofy video by a guy who bought a bunch of animatronic Yoda toys on sale. For the amusement of himself and the Internet, he filmed the Yodas engaging each other. It made me laugh out loud at the absurdity of it, so it's worth sharing!


Friday, March 03, 2017

Organ Grinder Monkey Mayhem

This is what's really going on inside the mind of a monkey playing one of those musical organ grinders:


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Boards and Pieces- "Da Vinci's Challenge"


After my weekend at Toy Fair a couple weeks ago, I have begun to contact game publishers about ideas for new products. I am especially interested in getting the award-winning game I created, "Da Vinci's Challenge", back on the market.

Recently, a new edition of "Da Vinci's Challenge" was produced as a high-end promotional item for Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen. I still have to post pics of this version here on my blog, but you can see photos on the offical Facebook page that I made for the game. Please 'Like' the page if you'd like to get news & info about it:

Facebook:

Anyway, I was doing a Google search for something related to the game, and I discovered a site called Board and Pieces that archives classic abstract strategy games. It was started by James J. Bond, a librarian from Richmond, Indiana.

I was excited to see that there is an entry for my game, that describes the history behind the concept and the basic rules of play.

Board and Pieces:

It is always amazing to see a reference to something that I created, especially alongside so many other classic games.

I am working diligently to bring this timeless and fun game back to the market. My intention was always for "Da Vinci's Challenge" to be an enjoyable way for people to learn about visual pattern recognition, ancient history, and the mystical ideas of sacred geometry. I'm always encouraged by people who tell me they have seen or played it, and I hope that many more get to experience the wisdom it contains.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Microtubular Origin of Consciousness


The mystery of consciousness is the nexus of our understanding reality with our experience of it.

Science can be used to investigate the mechanisms that give rise to conscious thought, but there will always be a somewhat magical quality to it. If one looks at the world through a mystical lens, then no amount of descriptive explanation will erase the feeling of wonder that the world inspires.

In my efforts to learn more about science and the nature of the mind, I came across the theories of Dr. Stuart Hameroff, an anesthesiologist who used his knowledge of controlling the mind state of patients to study the origin of conscious experience. He has been working with physicist Roger Penrose to uncover the nature of the mind.



I recently saw an article regarding Hameroff's theory on the website for The Resonance Institute, which was started by Nassim Haramein. Listening to one of Nassim Haramein's lectures about Sacred Geometry and the Unified Field was a rare instance where I had a complete cognitive breakthrough that gave me a drastically new outlook on reality. I felt a similar mind-expanding experience after listening to Hameroff's theories.

Resonance Science Foundation:

I would suggest watching Dr. Hameroff's many videos online where he elaborates his ideas.



The gist of his theory is that the conscious activity which we recognize as "mind" is not simply a function of neurons firing & interacting at the cellular level.

Consciousness is actually an emergent phenomenon, that begins at the quantum level and is facilitated by microtubule structures below the cellular scale. These tiny biological structures act with the unique molecular properties of water, to operate like interconnected quantum computers. They are working on a subatomic level, collapsing wave functions to create coherent states of experience.

I'm not sure if I'm describing the process exactly right, but his theories would bridge the fundamental level of quantum energy with the levels of neural cells & the brain as a whole. His ideas also address the transmittal of information across a range of scale, explaining how consciousness forms through these different levels within the brain.

Science Daily:

I feel like this is the right path toward a deeper understanding of our own mental activity, and how it arises from biological processes that result from interdependent complex systems.

Here is an animation of the energy dynamics of microtubules within a neural cell. It gives a sense of the rapid, interconnected exchange of information being carried out at the microscopic level, in every cell of our body.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Yoda & the Wisdom of Age

Today I mark another year of my life, and I feel grateful for all I've seen and experienced in my almost 4 decades in this world.

Despite being what is considered my mid-life years, I try to keep a youthful mindset and a fresh outlook on everything. I am engaged to the woman of my dreams, saving for a house, finding new avenues in my professional life- in many ways I feel like I'm just getting started!

One of my life-long favorite fictional characters, who has deeply inspired my outlook on philosophy, religion, personal conduct, and Reality itself, is Jedi Grand Master Yoda from Star Wars.

I saw this awesome image by Meg Owenson on Reddit.com/r/ImaginaryJedi/ of a serene Yoda standing in the swamps of his planet of exile, Dagobah. It embodies the mindset I try to cultivate- one of tranquility, wisdom, and attunement to nature & the living spirit that flows through everything.

by Meg Owenson

I might not live to be 900 years old like Master Yoda, but I plan to live to at least 140!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Buddha" by Octavio Ocampo

Today I had a student write me, asking about a painting I posted about a few years ago.

The Monkey Buddha Archives: 

In going back and researching more about the artist, I found a gallery of his fantastic artwork.


I really was struck by his portrait of Buddha, with the superimposed images of his life and the spiritually symbolic composition.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

NYC Toy Fair 2017

This weekend I made my annual trip to the Toy Fair trade show, held in midtown Manhattan at the Javitz Center.

It is a huge convention, featuring new products from toy & game manufacturers from around the world. I love seeing all the cool, fun things that are coming out on the market. There's definitely a lot to see, and I covered a lot of ground in the day that I was there, walking the whole show in 5-6 hours.

I also used the opportunity to make contacts with game publishers and toy companies to pitch ideas I'm personally trying to get to market, as well. I am especially focused on getting the strategy game I created, "Da Vinci's Challenge", published for retail again. Recently, a new edition of the game was produced, to be used as a promotional item by Swiss watchmaker, IWC Shaffhausen. I'll post up pics here soon.

Here is an album of all the photos I took at Toy Fair:


Here are a few highlights, but click on the link above to see the whole album:

 An oversized monkey mask

 A cool figure of my favorite superhero, The Green Lantern.

I was feeling spaced-out around The Teletubbies.

 Samurai-styled Darth Vader & Imperial Royal Guards

 This awesome, life-size Dr. Strange statue had glowing rings of magical energy.

A googly-eyed Yoda doll sitting cross-legged.

Friday, February 17, 2017

BREAKING NEWS!!!: President Trump is Revealed to be Andy Kaufman

This would be the ONLY way that any of this makes any sense at all... 

... if the national embarrassment that we now have as President was actually subversive comedian Andy Kaufman - still alive & pranking the world with an elaborate disguise.

(seen on Weird Wide Web)

After listening to Trump's ridiculous & obnoxious media-bashing press conference yesterday, I don't know which is more unbelievable- how much of a narcissistic moron the guy really is, or that there are still people who actually listen to his self-centered ramblings and aren't disgusted by what a clueless shithead he is.


In fact, it's apparent from reading comments from his supporters that they actually think the press conference was an awesome beatdown of the "fake news". This is as delusional as claiming that a braying jackass is singing Italian opera. Trump looks and sounds like an absolute dope to anyone not brainwashed by right-wing propaganda & their own cognitive biases.

I think Howard Stern was right when he said Trump just wanted to run for President to get exposure for his brand & TV show. After he actually won, it quickly became clear that he was in waaaay over his head. His incompetence and conflicts of interest are already catching up to him in his first month. We'll see how long this flaming train wreck can barrel along, but maybe there's still a chance that the mask will be ripped off to reveal it was all just a big joke.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Shadow President Steve Bannon


We're only a few weeks into the Trump Presidency and it's already as crazy as anyone with the least bit of foresight could have predicted.

He just asked for the resignation of Michael Flynn, his National Security Advisor- because due to his illegal collusion with Russia, he was a danger to national security! This falls in line with Trump picking the worst possible candidates for high-level government positions, like Betsy DeVos for Education, Rick Perry for Energy, Tom Price for Health & Human Services, and on & on & on...

Trump is truly an ignoramus, and he has been busy signing executive orders that he doesn't understand fully. These hastily-crafted orders either have no chance of being implemented, or have already met resistance from the court system, due to their questionable constitutionality. It's clear that the administration is testing the limits of our system of checks and balances that limit Presidential power. Trump & his sycophants are autocratic fascists and would love to have authoritarian control with no oversight.

So the question is, if Trump isn't formulating these executive orders, who is pulling the levers behind the scenes? There are a few close advisors who have been in the spotlight. Probably the most important is former editor of pro-Trump propaganda outlet Breitbart news, & consummate asshole, Steve Bannon.

Cosmo:

Bannon was Trump's campaign manager, and was rewarded for his influence with the position of chief strategist and senior advisor in The White House. On top of these roles, Trump elevated him to a role on the National Security Council, while limiting the roles of the military and intelligence advisors. This completely insane move would be as if President Obama placed Arianna Huffington, Bill Maher or some other liberal media figure on the Security Council.

People see Steve Bannon's fingerprints on most of the actions & orders The White House has undertaken since the inauguration. This is very disturbing to anyone who is not caught up in the Trump cult of personality, because of Bannon's warped worldview and ideology.

Politico:

Bannon has a long history of offensive statements and wacked-out views. However, there are a couple of direct quotes that I think sum up the danger of this man being the controlling force behind the most powerful office in the world:

"Darkness is good," says Bannon, 
"Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That's power. 
It only helps us when they..."
(I believe by "they" he means liberals and the media, 
already promoting calls for his ouster) "...get it wrong. 
When they're blind to who we are and what we're doing."


“I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.  
Shocked, I asked him what he meant.  
“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. 
I want to bring everything crashing down, 
and destroy all of today’s establishment.” 




Friday, February 10, 2017

Communism, Hypnotism, and The Beatles


About 5 years ago, I came across this cover of a pamphlet from 1965, entitled "Communism, Hypnotism, and The Beatles".

I thought it was humorous & ridiculous, so I've had it sitting in my emails, but never posted it. Recently, on BoingBoing I saw more about this weird convergence between the rise of rock n' roll and the "Red Scare".

BoingBoing posted a link to a PDF of the full pamphlet, and also a YouTube video with an audio version & lecture by the author himself, David A. Noebel (who sounds like a really fun guy...).




The Beatles are definitely my favorite band, and I believe they were geniuses who were unparalleled in music history. They were a huge influence on my Dad, when he was a kid in the 1960's. The first band that he joined emulated the style & sound of The Beatles. He exposed me to the amazing catalog of music The Beatles produced when I was very young. So, I grew up appreciating the wide range of styles & creative depth of their work. 

Therefore, when I hear people like Noebel talk about the music of The Beatles as 'subversive', 'communist infiltration' or 'mind control', I immediately feel revulsion at the simple-minded dismissal of their artistic brilliance.

After reading the pamphlet, his main premise appears to be that The Beatles music "hypnotizes" the listener through specific beats and other harmonic effects that alter the nervous system. Yeah, well, no shit! The purpose of music is to effect the nervous system and the energies of the body. Where Nobel goes off the deep end is to claim that The Beatles music was specifically engineered by communist scientists, to warp the minds of the Christian youth & destroy Western culture.

Back in the Dark Ages of the presidency of George W. Bush, I used to get pamphlets by Lyndon LaRouche denouncing Bush, Cheney, & their neoconservative cabal. He also denounced The Beatles, claiming they were part of a Satanic social engineering program. This was something I just couldn't jive with, regardless of how much I agreed with the rest of his rhetoric against the corrupt government and elite.

These old-school, uptight jerks are just looking to divide everything into a simplistic view of "good" vs. "evil".  They are always looking to find an enemy in things they don't agree with. It also seems that they cannot comprehend the forces that move artists to create work that resonates and moves the masses. They dismiss this powerful creative influence as "mind control", that must be orchestrated by some nefarious, behind-the-scenes puppet masters.

Now, I'm not saying that there are no people or groups attempting subversive or downright evil influence through art & entertainment. There are definitely people with manipulative and even malicious agendas in control of various aspects of society. However, I think it's ridiculous to say that The Beatles were controlled by such a motivating factor. If anything, they were actually trying to open people's minds and break the cultural programming that so many other forms of media perpetrate.

They definitely helped expand my own mind to new ideas & modes of creativity. They are one of my biggest inspirations and have been a positive influence on countless people, especially musicians, spiritual seekers, and other artistic personalities. To say they were some kind of malevolent and corrupting force is just ignorance of the worst kind.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The Fascist Color Palette

As a designer, I am trained to find visual patterns. One of the many things I notice is color schemes used in advertising, art, & design.

Even political movements can have a visual identity. The word "fascist" has been thrown around a lot since The Gold Shithead, aka President A$$hole, Donald Trump defied all rational understanding of reality, by becoming President of the United States of America.

Let's look at the exact definition of "fascist" to see if it truly applies:

Fascism:

1. a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

2. a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

If we take these definitions at face value, then yes, Donald Trump is the very definition of a fucking fascist:

Trump is the militaristic "law & order" candidate, despite never having actually served the country in any way at all • he thinks that he alone is the solution to all the country's problems • he absolutely cannot tolerate opposition or criticism in any form • dismissal by his administration of any news or information that contradicts their assertions as "fake" • he favors nationalist rhetoric over the idea of personal freedom • he is already creating a government "for-the rich-by-the-rich", that increases the already unacceptable gap between ultra-wealthy & the poor • he thinks he can just sign executive orders & do whatever he wants, with no checks or balances • and most of all, he fosters a devotional cult of personality where he seeks constant adoration.

I could go on & on, but I think this pretty well sums it up.

Since sometimes visual symbolism is more effective than words, I decided to make a graphic comparison using "The Fascist Color Palette"- consisting of black, red, & white.

These colors subconsciously represent danger and power. They were used most notably by the Nazi Party, and also by George Lucas in Star Wars to visually define The Galactic Empire- controlled by the quintessential fascist dictator, Emperor Palpatine and his fellow Sith Lord, Darth Vader.

It just so happens that these colors, including the black suit, white shirt, & "red power tie" make up the common wardrobe of Donald Trump, as well. Is it just a coincidence? Maybe. I'm just pointing out the obvious similarity. It's up to Trump & his administration to prove me wrong. Unfortunately, I'm not confident at all that he will...

(click to enlarge)

... and yes, I realize that other Presidents and leaders have wore this color combination. Any position of power, including the U.S. Presidency dances around the boundaries of fascism and authoritarianism. However, this has become Trump's signature look, and he has already tried recklessly stomping over that boundary, in a way that makes his administration's intentions clear. They would love a Trump™ Dictatorship with no opposition. The only things stopping them are the genius of our system of check's and balances, the free press, and the the resistance of the American people who didn't vote for this stain on our country's history.

Friday, February 03, 2017

"Flower of Life" Yoga Mat

I have started posting about examples of the "Flower of Life" pattern used in commercial design.

The Flower of Life is an ancient symbol of interlocking circles that I used to create a strategy game, "Da Vinci's Challenge". It is a beautiful pattern, so it is not surprising to see it used in design applications.

My fiancée bought her mom a yoga mat for her birthday, and The Flower of Life was used in the package art.

The company is Gaiam, and they also made the yoga block I posted about before. Their logo is actually the central floret of The Seed of Life


Considering they create products for yoga, meditation, and spiritual fitness, it is not surprising that they incorporate sacred geometry principles into their graphic design.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Cosmic Eye: Scale of the Universe

On Reddit's r/space, I saw this animated GIF that is one of the most important things a person can watch to get a glimpse of the nature of reality.


It is a journey through the known scales of the Universe, from the farthest cosmic expanse (macrocosm) down to the subatomic quantum level (microcosm). The human being lies somewhere in the middle of this seemingly infinite continuum, the conscious nexus of experience.

Here's a video version in HD:




There have been other attempts to visually represent the vast scales of inner & outer space, some of which I have posted before:

Scale of the Universe 2

Powers of Ten (10)

The Known Universe

All these are tools for our minds to help comprehend the incomprehensible- the very nature of the Universe of which we are an integral part.

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Little Golden Book of Alternate Facts

In the Trump era of "fake news," a new term has been introduced to confuse the public & obfuscate the truth.

President (*gag*) Trump's senior advisor & propaganda minister KellyAnne Conway used the words "alternative facts" during an interview on Meet the Press. She used this ridiculous phrase to describe Press Secretary Sean Spicer's claim that Trump had the biggest inauguration crowd ever, a demonstrable lie. She couldn't even say it without laughing, because she knows what a load of bullshit she's spewing.



Artist Tim O'Brien took this absurd declaration and showed us how to properly educate our children in this age of extreme double-speak, by creating "The Little Golden Book of Alternate Facts":


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Crazy Trippin' Fashion Dude

I've been posting on this blog for so long, that sometimes I remember posting things... but forget where & when I posted them!

Recently, I was looking for this image of a guy in an insane, ridiculous outfit. However, I couldn't remember what I named it, or what I posted it under.

I just saw the photo again on FFFFound!, which is where I originally saw it. I had to do  a reverse Google Image search, & luckily my blog post came up on the front page. The post was about a crazy abstract website, that unfortunately seems to no longer exist.

The caption I put on it was "Crazy Tripping' Dude" which, considering his fashion choice, was pretty accurate. Now, it is archived again, for the benefit of humanity & my future reference.



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Thinking or Listening?

I saw this quote by one of my favorite thinkers (...or is it listeners?), Terence McKenna, on Awakening Our Truth.

It refers to to the mystery of consciousness and the inner voice we experience.

Where does this voice come from?...

The McKenna quote is appropriately accompanied by the image of a thinking chimp, being manipulated by an alien entity- with what appears to be The Flower of Life over his third eye. This process of evolving consciousness is mediated by the psylocibin mushroom.


"Half the time you think you're thinking,
you're actually listening."
-Terence McKenna

Sunday, January 22, 2017

For Approval


I saw this video on Reddit, and thought it was appropriate with the current climate of nonsensical reality we find ourselves in.

It is called "For Approval" by Mainframe design studio.


It is a good example of how creative use of photo-realistic computer graphics can fool our senses and warp our expectations.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Inauguration of President A$$hole

Today is the day, where against all odds & common sense, Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as The President of the United States.

This is truly a historic event. For the first time, a shitty businessman, expert in casino bankruptcy, con-artist, reality TV host, sexual predator, and person of orange color will be the most powerful person on the planet.

I have no doubt the coming years with Trump as the head of the Executive Branch will be a epic disaster. His shameless ignorance and ego-maniacal narcissism, as well as his endless ethical conflicts of interest, will lead to corruption in government that will make everything that came before it look like child's play.

Of course, I would prefer more than anything to be wrong, and I'd love to see a successful Trump administration lead this country with positive results. That, unfortunately, is foolish, and like being in a bus with a irritable monkey driving toward a cliff and hoping the monkey quickly figures out how to hit the brakes or steer away. 

Although he hasn't made any official decisions yet, his ridiculous first press conference & his cabinet picks are all the indication I need to see where this is going. Rick Perry for Dept. of Energy? Tom Price for Sec. of Health & Human Services? Betsy DeVos for Sec. of Education? Get the fuck out of here with this shit. These people either are clueless about the departments they are supposed to run, or actively want to destroy it. Trump is simply fulfilling the Republican dream of dismantling the federal government from within. I don't think the government is the solution to all our problems, but there are some things government is needed for, and these people want nothing more than to hand all services and authority to corporate and private interests.

I was watching him talk at one of his donor events last night and it was mind-numbing to think this self-centered doofus is going to have so much power.

Anyway, I made the picture below back in 2011, during the days of the "birther" controversy, when Trump was leading the charge for Obama to show his birth certificate. I couldn't stand this asshole back then, and would never have imagined that America was so masochistic & fucked up that we'd actually elect this buffoon.

My Nostradamus-like visionary powers are both a blessing and a curse, but this graphic could never be more appropriate than this day of national reckoning.... or is it "wreck-ening"? ...We'll see soon enough.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

"Flower of Life" Yoga Block

I previously posted about examples of the pattern known as "The Flower of Life" used in the design of commercial products

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

For New Years I was over my brother's house, and his soon-to-be wife had this yoga block with a sacred geometry motif. It has the center circle of the Seed of Life symbol, and is covered by The Flower of Life pattern.


Yoga is a discipline that is intertwined with spirituality, so it's not surprising that this design is incorporated into such equipment.

Incidentally, I am heading with my fiancee to a "Yin-Yang Yoga" class tonight. I have taken yoga classes before, and she found a new place close to where we live so I'm going to check it out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cursed City of the Monkey God



A couple years ago, I posted about the ruins of the "City of the Monkey God" that was found in the jungles of Honduras.


It turns out that exploring the lost city is even more difficult than anticipated. Besides the remote, overgrown nature of the location, there are vipers and parasitic diseases which make visiting the area extremely dangerous. Many of the team members exploring the site were infected after being bitten by sand flies.

National Post:

This has given rise to the idea that the city is "cursed" in some way. However, it is more attributable the fact that it is in a wild and hostile jungle environment. Having a legend around the city makes it more exciting and dramatic, but the fact is that rainforests are usually inhospitable due to predators and disease.

The only "curse" is that of human mortality, in the face of dangerous circumstances.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Geometric Techno Buddha

I liked this fusion of techno-spiritual elements that I saw on Inner Cosmos.

The face of a buddha is overlaid with The Flower of Life sacred geometry pattern, a spherical hexagonal grid, and digital circuits emanating from the "third eye" pineal area.

The black & blue-green color combo also happens to be one that really appeals to me. It is a color that feels serene, yet futuristic.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Our Personal Bacteria Cloud


I am fascinated by microbiology and the idea of lifeforms and ecosystems existing at levels below the threshold of our perceptions.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

I've posted previously about how microorganisms exist in the atmosphere. Well, it turns out that bacteria also form a cloud around the immediate space around every human being.

Gizmodo:

This doesn't really bother me because I don't fear germs or microbes. I see myself as living in symbiosis with them.

I try to eat well & stay healthy so my immunity isn't compromised, which is how these organisms take hold in the body. If you take care of yourself so your biological defenses are strong, it's less likely you will be infected by a pathogen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Don't Whiz on the Electric Fence


When I was a kid, my siblings & I would watch the awesomely demented cartoon "Ren & Stimpy". It's one of the reasons I now have a slightly warped sense of humor & an appreciation for the absurd.

I previously posted about the ridiculous jingle for a toy "Log" that was in one of the episodes.

The Monkey Buddha:

There was another episode where Ren comes home to find that Stimpy & his cousin have ruined their home and all his collectibles. His rare dinosaur droppings were painted like Easter eggs & his collection of incurable diseases were poured into the sink.

Ren was rightfully pissed off (pun intended), so he decided to pee on the board game they playing at the time. Unfortunately, this game was "Don't Whiz on the Electric Fence".

This insane game also had a catchy, hilarious jingle:



Here's the scene where Ren comes home & ends up finding out why the game has its name:



Monday, January 09, 2017

Fractal Branching

One of my favorite topics is the mathematical field of fractals. I think it is one of the most important conceptual tools to understanding the nature of reality.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

I saw this animated GIF on the Tumblr blog Crystal Realities


The animation shows the fractal branching pattern that forms in so many natural processes. This mysterious, self-organizing pattern maximizes the use of a given area, and is present in phenomena as diverse as blood vessels, leafs & plants, rivers & waterways, and lightning.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

"Fake" News

2017 is going to be a hell of a year. Here in the US, we are going to have a thoroughly corrupt President who is a pathological liar with narcissistic personality disorder, and a Republican Congress whose very first act was to attempt to dismantle their Ethics Committee.

To exacerbate the situation, our modern age has endless media sources that propagate information, opinions, and ideas from all perspectives- regardless of accuracy or intent.

When I was growing up, the idea of "fake news" was limited to media like The Weekly World News, with stories about Bat Boy and the President meeting with aliens.


Now, there are so many people and outlets creating content that it is increasingly difficult for the average person to distinguish fact from fiction. There are people taking advantage of this muddled media environment to raise thousands of dollars in ad revenue by making up fake news stories. They do this by taking advantage of people's willingness to share items on social media that reflect their worldview, regardless of the source.

Digiday:

Unfortunately, the population is severely lacking in the one skill that would help cut through the bullshit- the ability to think critically. People have not been taught how to be skeptical, research, and be objective. The result is that people either believe nothing at all, or they only trust what already reinforces their existing belief system.

It's so bad, that websites are giving advice on how to spot "fake news". These tips may seem like common sense to those with the ability to critically analyze information, but it is evidently something that much of the public needs to learn.

Washington Post:

Here are the points from the article above:

• Determine whether the article is from a legitimate website
(although some people would argue the "legitimacy" of certain websites)
• Check the ‘contact us’ page
• Examine the byline of the reporter and see whether it makes sense
• Read the article closely
• Scrutinize the sources
• Look at the ads
• Use search engines to double-check

In this era of "click & share" this checklist is more than the typical person is willing to do. However, it's a good guide for the person who wants to make sure a source isn't completely full of shit.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: The Twilight Zone

It's New Year's Eve, January 31, 2016... the arbitrary designation of the end of one year, and the beginning of another.

Although it is a cultural and social creation, the idea of a new year is a symbolic time of change & renewal. Personally, this past year has been very transformative for me. I got engaged to the love of my life, celebrated my Dad's retirement, enjoyed vacations in the Poconos & the shore, and experienced significant professional growth.

For the world at large, 2016 was a crazy year, perhaps defined in the minds of many by an event that would have been considered totally absurd a year ago. Narcissistic womanizer, reality show host, & life-long con artist Donald J. Trump won the Electoral College vote to become President-elect of The United States of America.

It was an outcome that stunned most people, and it still feels like an episode of "The Twilight Zone". I saw this image of Rod Serling in front Trump at the Oval Office and thought it summed up the feeling perfectly.

 seen on Weird Wide Web

If a moral, competent, and wise Republican had existed & won the election, the sense of dread would be much less. However, the majority of the country (who did not vote for this dangerous buffoon) is horrified that they are now subject to all the idiotic decisions he will undoubtedly make, or pass off onto his cabinet of swamp dwellers & a regressive Congress.

He hasn't even been sworn in yet, and almost every day he's making headlines with his ignorance, shameless lying, and crass behavior. This was his New Years' message, calling his fellow Americans "enemies" instead of "opponents".



We are so fucked with this man-baby running things...

He just gave his first press conference as President-elect, and for some bizarre reason had Don King out there with him, wearing a ridiculous outfit & waving American, Israeli, and Russian flags. Can you imagine the conservatives heads exploding if Obama made a spectacle of himself like this? I'm going to make a list of all the things Trump's done already, but imagining the reaction from right-wingers if it was Obama doing it instead.

Trump is completely incapable of giving a detailed, well-thought answer to any of the questions, because he doesn't really know or truly understand a goddamn thing. He thinks whatever comes out of his mouth, no matter how inaccurate o downright wrong, should just be acceptable.



Then I read comments of more conservative websites, and it makes me think we are now a nation of internet trolls, or half the country has completely lost their minds.

I'm getting ready to enjoy a New Years Eve out in Philly with my fiancee & my family. We will be enjoying ourselves & not worrying about the potential disasters the next four years will bring. However, the country and the world will soon be faced with the unimaginable circumstances of a President Trump.

The important thing is to take of yourself and your loved ones, and do your best with any situations that may arise. I don't make any New Years resolutions, because if I want to do something, I just do it. The key to a fulfilled life is self-awareness and motivation to live fully and in the present moment. I will continue to live this way into 2017 & beyond...

Friday, December 30, 2016

Samplerman

I recently came across the work of French artist Yvan Guillo, aka "Samplerman", and thought it was a really unique concept.

tumblr:

He basically digitally remixes old comic strip art into surrealist imagery that is psychedelic and mostly nonsensical. It is really intriguing and forces the brain to look for meaning where there is none, by design.

It's Nice That:

These are a few examples of his work, one resembling a spiritual mandala and another reflecting his usual abstract approach.


He also creates animated images: