Sunday, January 03, 2021

The Future of Fusion

A conception of a compact fusion power plant,
developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology -
Alexander Creely


As we start a new year (& here in the United States a new Presidential administration), it is a good time to look forward and plan how we are going to advance as a civilization.

For Christmas I received the game No Man's Sky Beyond, which I think is awesome, & is based on interstellar space travel and futuristic technology.


This game, & also imagining the future of my son Paul Giuseppe have got me thinking a lot recently about what we as a human species should be striving to achieve.

As I've said here many times before, I think space travel is one of the most important priorities of humanity. Traveling & living off-planet is crucial to our long-term survival as a species, and we need to take it much more seriously.

To be able to reach this goal of thriving in outer space, we need to first make advances in technology that will allow us to do so. One of the main obstacles to long-distance space travel is adequate power sources. 

I have been seeing a lot of articles and information lately about the development of nuclear fusion power. Breakthroughs in this field are going to revolutionize our lives, in ways we cannot currently imagine.

Here is a video explaining some of the basics behind fusion-generated energy: 

I was reading this encouraging article about American scientists developing fusion technology, which led me to write this post.

Science Magazine:
U.S. physicists Rally Around Ambitious Plan
to Build Fusion Power Plant

This is a video (slowed down) of just a couple seconds of a reaction inside a fusion reactor. The plasma torus is a thing of sublime beauty, and is the first glimpse at a future of unlimited energy.

Fusion power is one of those technologies that always seems to be "...just a few decades away". However, with enough money and dedication to the process, we can achieve anything we can put our collective minds to work to solve.

Monday, December 21, 2020

2020 Winter Solstice & The Great Conjuction


 What does this mean??????

As the Christmas holiday approaches, today we enter the Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year, after which the daylight hours start to increase again.

This has been traditionally a very important seasonal marker in all of human society, for agricultural and cultural reasons.

This year, this holiday season and solstice have an added feature: the conjunction in the night sky of the 2 largest planets in the solar system, Jupiter and Mars. The planets are going to appear to be the closest they've been in centuries. I've been watching these celestial bodies inch closer together in the sky over the last few weeks & it is an unmistakable formation that stands out even when the stars aren't very visible.

Although it is certainly visually very interesting, is there any significance to these planets being in close proximity? 

My answer, as usual, is two-fold... 

On a cosmic level, no, there is no significance. End of story. It just happens to be two visible objects that are nowhere near each other, looking like they're close together in our visual field. 

On a personal level, you can apply any significance that you want...
Is it a good or bad sign from God?...
Is it a celestial prophecy, of the death (Saturn) of a leader (Jupiter)?...
Is it a reminder of the Star of Bethlehem that heralded Jesus's birth?....

Sure, all the above! It can mean whatever the hell you want it to mean... "Meaning" is not something inherent in The Universe. It is an abstract creation of the human mind, a narrative applied to external objects & circumstances by our thought patterns.

This does not take away for the value of the experience, as well as any subjective meaning you place upon it.

As we continue through the holiday season, I hope that the people of this world begin to find more value in these kinds of awesome experiences. If we can see the depth and beauty of the Universe, and appreciate the infinite wonders it contains, the human race would go a long way toward progress and enlightenment.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Slogan of the Internet

I saw this graphic on r/inspirobot:"An artificial intelligence dedicated to generating unlimited amounts of unique inspirational quotes for endless enrichment of pointless human existence."

 It perfectly encapsulates so many people online, especially on social media platforms.


"Be dead sure
about things
you know
noting about"

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Leaf-mimicking Moth


I saw this insect (that I think is a moth) on my front porch. It looked exactly like a leaf & I wouldn't have even noticed it if it wasn't on a white surface. I thought it was pretty cool-looking, so I got my macro lens and took some closeups.

Nature Photography
by Paul Micarelli

It's amazing how these creatures evolve to mimic leaves, foliage, and other plant-like textures. From the front, it looked like a stealth fighter jet with a little alien head & legs:



Saturday, December 05, 2020

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

 *Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog  

 

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

10-17-20 
 
Taking a walk with my son Paul Giuseppe and talking about interesting topics. πŸ€”πŸ’‘πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 
 
***Please LIKE & SHARE, Thank You!*** 
 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

A.I. Literature


 Being a creative professional, I feel (& hope) that my graphic design skills aren't replaceable by computer algorithm in the near future. 

The Monkey Buddha Archives:
A.I. Logo Design

However, I see the various ways that artificial intelligence is increasingly being used to for creative applications and know that it is only a matter of time before there is serious competition from computer-driven solutions to literary and artistic endeavors.

Writing & literature is one area where A.I. is making noticeable progression. I came across this article that was composed using OpenAI language generator, in which a prompt is given & the computer creates text. In this case, the prompt was "Focus on why humans have nothing to fear from AI".

The Guardian:
A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human?

 

After seeing this article, I then saw this website called Shortly, in which you start a story or essay and the A.I. generates more content.

www.shortlyread.com

I started a story about my son Paul Giuseppe, & the website produced a coherent and interesting continuation of the text. 

It was pretty amazing, actually, and offers a glimpse at the creative power that machine learning will contribute to culture. (I was about to write "..contribute to human culture", but I don't think culture is solely a product of the human mind anymore...)


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Molecular Landscapes of a Cell

ArtStation Link

Cellular Landscape Cross-section Through a Eukaryotic Cell,
by Evan Ingersoll & Gael McGill  

I saw the above image & was mesmerized by the complexity and intricate beauty of this representation of a tiny cross section of a single cell.

Being a visual artist, these kind of informational tools are much more effective to me than descriptions or formulas. The creation of this visualization is almost as impressive as the biological system itself.

I've posted about 3D renderings of cellular biology before, and it never ceases to amaze me that all this is going on in every one of the trillions of cells in each multicellular life form. The really amazing thing is that, per the creator's description, this is not even as dense as the real cell & its components!

To sit and really ponder the infinite array of interconnected systems making up our body at all scales is to eventually have the mind drop away, & be faced with the stark reality that "Reality" is imponderable in its totality.

On the ArtStation page, there is a link to a website (see below) with interactive images in which you can isolate the various components & proteins in the imagery. This is really interesting, and allows exploration of these fascinating mind-bending visuals.

Digizyme - Knowledge Through Visual Science
Molecular Landscapes


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Black & White Furry Moth


 This moth with a cool black & white pattern landed on our kitchen table, so I grabbed my macro lens to get some closeup shots. 

 Nature Photography
by Paul Micarelli 

Some of the detail was awesome, like the structure of the antennae & the fuzzy texture that looked like it was wearing a fancy fur coat!





Tuesday, November 10, 2020

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

 *Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog 
 

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

10-14-20 
 
Paul Micarelli & son Paul Giuseppe take a walk and talk about interesting topics. πŸ€”πŸ’‘πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 
 
***Please LIKE & SHARE, Thank You!*** 
 

Monday, November 09, 2020

The Tremendously Classy Trump Presidency

Well, Joe Biden has been elected to take the place of Donald Trump, the living embodiment of humanity's worst qualities. Although it was always clear that Trump would never leave the office quietly or easily, at some point his sorry ass has got to go...

I haven't posted a lot about politics during Trump's term, mostly because every damn day there has been some new outrage or absurdity coming from the malignant-narcissist-in-chief. I barely have time to post now that I have an infant, & it's totally impossible to keep up with the stream of corruption & incompetence coming from this administration.

Anyway, looking back at the insanity of the last 4 years, it's hard to pick the most ridiculous moments. I decided to narrow down 2 of my Most Tremendously Classy Trump White House Moments™:

1: Serving McDonalds fast food to college athletes, framed by golden candelabras & with Abe Lincoln looking on utterly perplexed:

 

2: After Ivanka got called out on social media for promoting a can of Goya products, President Trump posed at The Resolute Desk, looking like the complete turd that he is, with a bunch of fucking beans:


Many people cannot wait until the day we never have to hear about this fascist, idiotic, cartoon
character of a person  again. Until then, I'm sure he'll continue bringing attention to himself in the worst ways possible.

Sunday, November 01, 2020

A Monkey Buddha Family Halloween

 This was the first Halloween for my son Paul Giuseppe Micarelli. My mother-in-law brought Paulie a monkey costume, so I thought it would be fun for me & my wife Loretta to dress like a monkey family.

I originally wanted to wear robes & be "Monkey Buddhas", but it's hard enough trying to get things together with an infant! So, we were a plain-clothes Monkey Buddha family. 

Since he's still a baby & we weren't interested in pandemic trick-or-treating, we individually visited his grandparents and one of our friend couples. It was a lot of fun & we look forward to a more conventional Halloween when he's older.


Monkey Buddha Family Halloween Paul Loretta Micarelli


Saturday, October 31, 2020

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

 *Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog 

 

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

10-9-20 
 
Paul Micarelli & son Paul Giuseppe take a walk and talk about interesting topics. πŸ€”πŸ’‘πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 
 
***Please LIKE & SHARE, Thank You!*** 
 

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

In the Lair of the Widow

"In the Lair of the Widow"

Just in time for Halloween, I took some closeup photos & video of a Northern Black Widow that was hiding in an empty trash can. The picture above is one of my favorites I've ever taken, it's like something out of a horror movie.

Nature Photography
by Paul Micarelli

I was surprised at first, but of course I had to reach into its web to get some footage. 

 

She was desperately trying to save her egg sac, & now that I'm a parent I guess I empathized! So, I gently placed her in the woods away from our house with her eggs close by. When I told people I saved it & the potential brood, they thought I was crazy, but the spider is harmless as long as you don't threaten it. I'm not one to kill bugs anyway. They are life forms trying to survive as we are.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Borat 2


 Last night my wife & I watched Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

 

It was as bonkers as I had hoped it would be, & we were asking "WTF?!?" as much as we were laughing. 

Besides poking fun at some of the ridiculous conservative elements in American society, it also shed light on the many absurd ideas and behaviors all of us humans engage in.

The premise is genius - since Borat is already recognized by Americans from the last movie, he dons various nutty disguises so actor Sacha Baron Cohen can unleash his madness on unsuspecting people. His mission from the Premier of Kazakhstan is to deliver a gift to authoritarian strongman "McDonald Trump" through his VP "Mike Penece" (Penis). At first, the gift was supposed to be a pornographic monkey, but his daughter stows away in the monkey's crate, eating the monkey & taking the place as the potential gift.

The one scene that made the news before the movie was released involved former NYC mayor, President Trump's personal attorney & fellow idiot Rudy Giuliani. In the segment, Borat's "daughter" Tutar inteviews Giuliani, who becomes creepier & creepier by the minute. He takes her back to a hotel room "for drinks", where she takes off his mic & it looks like some sexy time is about to go down. However, before things can get too risky for the actress, Borat barges in yelling, "NO! She's 15. She's too old for you!!!” LMAO

As always, conservatives are tying themselves in knots trying to justify the awful behavior of their leaders. However, the issue is not as much whether Rudy was actually going to try to engage in sexual activity with the young girl. The real issue is that he was so easily compromised and put in a questionable situation. It makes you wonder how much blackmail by foreign intelligence agencies there might be on these high-profile shit-for-brains scumbags around Trump. It's the only way to explain some of the actions and positions they take.

Anyway, the movie was insane & hysterical. When I asked my wife whether she thought it was legit humor or liberal propaganda, she said she needed time to process it because there was so much crazy shit in it. If you're a conservative you will probably see it as biased, but it really takes on many aspects of our country and the human experience.

"Very NIIIICE! Highly recommend!"

Also, I saw this clip of a speech Sacha Baron Cohen gave that reveals some of his motivations and shed some light on why he goes after certain groups & people. He may not be entirely correct about all his views, but I think he has the better interests of humanity in mind:



Friday, October 23, 2020

Flower Macro Photos





 These are some closeup macro photos I took of the pistils & stamen of flowers.

 Nature Photography

by Paul Micarelli

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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

 *Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog 

 

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

9-28-20 
 
Paul Micarelli & son Paul Giuseppe take a walk and talk about interesting topics. πŸ€”πŸ’‘πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 
 
***Please LIKE & SHARE, Thank You!*** 
 

 

Post settings Labels Published on 10/21/20 10:41 PM Permalink Location Search Description Options Creating new post...

Saturday, October 17, 2020

"DEATH" - 'Thinking Aloud', with 2 Paul Micarelli's

 *Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog 

 "DEATH" - 'Thinking Aloud', with 2 Paul Micarelli's

9-28-20 

Paul Micarelli & son Paul Giuseppe take a walk and talk about interesting topics. πŸ€”πŸ’‘πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 

***Please LIKE & SHARE if you'd like to see more!*** 

More info at: www.ConsciousLivingForYOU.net

 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Zoom into the Pillars of Creation

 This awe-inspiring video from Hubble images shows the view from the Milky Way, then zooms deeper into the starfield to the Eagle Nebula & its "Pillars of Creation" which are vast columns of interstellar gas & dust.

The weird thing is that these features are so large (several light years across) and not actually that colorful, so they would be indistinguishable if a person were actually in their vicinity.

The scale of the area shown in this video is just impossible for the human mind to truly grasp. It is humbling, terrifying, and beautiful all at the same time.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

"FEAR" - 'Thinking Aloud', with 2 Paul Micarelli's

 *Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog 

  

"FEAR" - 'Thinking Aloud', with 2 Paul Micarelli's

9-20-20 

Paul Micarelli & son Paul Giuseppe take a walk and talk about interesting topics. πŸ€”πŸ’‘πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 

***Please LIKE & SHARE if you'd like to see more!*** 

More info at: www.ConsciousLivingForYOU.net

 

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Eye of a Walking Stick - Macro Closeup

 Have you ever looked deeply into the eye of a walking stick bug?

As I used my macro lens to zoom into the barely visible head of the insect, I realized there was a discernible eye on the side of it's antennae.

Nature Photography

by Paul Micarelli

From this close, it really looks like a strange alien head of some sort, proving that we don't need to look to other planets to find interesting life forms.

Here is the walking stick a bit more zoomed out:






Sunday, October 04, 2020

"MIND" - 'Thinking Aloud', with 2 Paul Micarelli's

 *Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog


9-12-20 

Paul Micarelli & son Paul Giuseppe take a walk and talk about interesting topics. πŸ€”πŸ’‘πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 

***Please LIKE & SHARE if you'd like to see more!*** 

More info at: www.ConsciousLivingForYOU.net


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

1st Trump & Biden Presidential Debate of 2020

"Will you shut up, man?"

Ugh, what an absolute shit-show

I've sat through some bad & really bad Presidential debates in my time, but this one doesn't even deserve the term "Presidential". I expected it to be really bad... and my expectations were still way too high! Just all-around fucking awful. 

 I'm not even going to show the video, because I don't want to be responsible for subjecting people to such a cultural travesty.

My wife & I watched the whole thing, pretty much disgusted & horrified that this is the state of American political discourse. She asked me if we were in the Twilight Zone, & I couldn't confidently answer in the negative.

Trump was what he always is - a complete moron, & an utter, insufferable, obnoxious A$$HOLE. The knuckleheads who already love him will think he dominated Biden with all the idiotic ranting and interruption, but to any reasonable person he comes off as a complete mental patient & a total jackass.

Biden was basically steamrolled by Trump's nonstop spew of bullshit & lies. He wasn't nearly as aggressive as he needed to be when faced with a shameless, unhinged narcissist. Biden landed a few frustrated jabs, and unfortunately the only effective counter was getting low with the name-calling and mockery - calling Trump a "clown","a fool", and "Putin's poodle". Trying to hold a rational debate with a deranged, compulsive liar is an almost impossible task.

This quote came to mind:

“Never play chess with a pigeon. The pigeon just knocks all the pieces over, shits all over the board, then struts around like it won.”.

I think Biden's best moments were when he directly appealed to us, the American people, & our families. Trump only spoke in terms of how good HE was doing at everything, as usual.  However, Biden just looked completely befuddled a lot of the time & stumbled over his words, as Trump just gish-galloped his way over the other people on the stage.

Which brings me to the 3rd person on the stage, moderator Chris Wallace. For a Fox News employee, Wallace is fairly objective. Unfortunately, he was horrible at moderating this debate and had little control over the Trump Bullshit Train. 

The one thing I've seen many people commenting & agreeing on is that (especially with someone like Trump) there needs to be moderator control over cutting the sound to the individual mics. When one person's time is up, CUT THE GODDAMN MIC. That's it. That would vastly improve these horrific displays, with people talking over each other and spending half the debate about respecting the rules & exhibiting self-control, something that The President of the United Fucking States seemingly can't comprehend.

Ok, I'm done. I've already wasted enough time talking about this nonsense. The fact that 30% of this country see the way Trump acts and thinks he's fit in any way to run anything, proves that our country is full of idiots. We have two 70+ year old white guys haplessly arguing on a stage about the most important issues facing our country, and there's barely any substantive information presented at all. It shows why our country is such a dumpster fire right now & why I don't even bother posting about politics much anymore. I hope other people are also fed up enough to stop this madness and work toward government that is functional again, for the well-being of this country and the people in it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Longwood Gardens 9-13-20


  Recently my entire family went to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. My parents bought us all tickets last Christmas, and we were finally able to all get together to go. It was the first visit for my baby son Paul Giuseppe, so it was extra special for us.

I have been there several times, and it never gets old. There are so many wonderful things to see and experience. The natural beauty and artistry of the grounds inspires a deep appreciation of plant & animal life.

I uploaded an album of photos, with some of my favorites shared below:

Longwood Gardens 9-13-20

 












 


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Beetle Face

 

by Paul Micarelli

I used my macro camera lens to get an extreme closeup of this beetle's head.

The iridescent green & texture on its exoskeleton was awesome.

Here's a slightly more zoomed out image:



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

"LIFE" - 'Thinking Aloud', with 2 Paul Micarelli's

*Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog

 

"LIFE" - 'Thinking Aloud', with 2 Paul Micarelli's

8-26-20 

Paul Micarelli & son Paul Giuseppe take a walk and talk about interesting topics. πŸ€”πŸ’‘πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 

***Please LIKE & SHARE, Thank You!***

More info at: www.ConsciousLivingForYOU.net

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Neuralink Unveiling

 

Recently, tech entrepreneur, visionary, & hype-man Elon Musk publicly introduced the Neuralink technology - a brain-computer interface that will allow the mind to directly connect to machines.

Right now, the most promising aspect is the potential to help control artificial limbs or give paralyzed individuals a way to access electronic devices. However, Musk envisions direct mind-to-mind communication, or be jacked-in to a digital space in which the possibilities for cognitive enhancement are truly limitless.


 The smartphone & portable digital devices have revolutionized our personal and social experiences, just as the development of computers did before them. This is clearly the next step in human technological evolution, whether everyone is ready for it or not. 

As with any new tool or system, there are unforeseen positive and negative consequences that will arise as a result. In many ways it will advance human consciousness beyond anything we can imagine. We currently have the entire catalog of human knowledge at our fingertips, but perhaps we will be able to access it on multiple streams at the speed of thought. On the flip side, this kind of human augmentation will likely segment society in even more extreme ways than social media and other digital tech is doing today.

This article from Wired presented some good insight into what Neuralink offers now, what is possible in the future, and what difficult issues researchers face in advancing the technology.

WIRED:

Neuralink Is Impressive Tech, Wrapped in Musk Hype

The largest hurdle in fully realizing the potential of this technology is our limited understanding of the brain/mind itself. I am currently reading "The Fractal Brain Theory" by Wai Tsang and it is a technically immersive look into the complexities of the brain's architecture at various scales, and how they intermesh together.

I think the progression of this technology to completely integrated neural circuitry is inevitable. Although it has not fulfilled my vision of an "Apple iThink" implant that I presented over 10 years ago, the road is clearly being paved in that direction.




Monday, September 07, 2020

Coral-like Puffball Mushroom


 

I saw this interesting puffball fungus in my lawn. It had a nice texture that resembled coral, & was about the size of a baseball.

After some research, I think it is Calvatia cyathiformis.

 See more nature photos in my album:

 Nature Photography

by Paul Micarelli

 Here is my hand for size comparison:


 

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Mating Western Tailed Blue Butterflies


This summer I've taken a lot of nature photos & video, so that will probably be much of my upcoming posting here.

I'm fortunate to have all kinds of plant and animal life on my property, so there's always new things to photograph. 

Nature Photography
by Paul Micarelli

In my yard, I spotted these Western Tailed Blue Butterflies that were mating in the grass. I was able to get close enough without disturbing them to get some quality footage of bug porn.


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker - Force Ghost Edit

 

As a life-long Star Wars fan, I've posted plenty about my favorite series on this blog. I've also had my share of criticism, especially for the finale of the Skywalker movie saga

Review: 

"Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker"

My biggest of the many criticisms, that you can read at the link above, is the omission of Anakin Skywalker from the sequel trilogy.

A fan name Josh edited an excellent sequence together from the final battle between Rey & her grandpappy Palpatine. It shows what was egregiously missing from the actual movie - the spirits of the Jedi aiding Rey in defeating the Sith Lord once & for all.

STAR WARS Rise of Skywalker- Rey Vs Palpatine (Force Ghost Edit)


My only grievance with this edit is that a legion of past Jedi weren't all shown behind Rey. I think a similar inclusion of a crowd of Jedi spirits should also have happened on Tatooine at the very end, when Luke & Leia's ghosts appear to her. They should at least have included Anakin, but no... who gives a damn about the character that the entire story was based on? Grrrrr....

This relatively simple edit by a fan shows how easily the shitshow of The Rise of Skywalker could have been made into something truly epic.

As I said in my review, & I'll repeat here, Kathleen Kennedy, JJ Abrahms, Rian Johnson, the Star Wars story group, & everyone involved in the production of these movies basically fucked it up. My optimism regarding Disney's acquisition of the franchise was definitely misplaced.

If only they had hired someone like me - with just a bit of creative vision, who actually gives a crap about the integrity of the property. Although I will watch the movies with my son & still enjoy them, I think I will be bitter about the way it was handled for the rest of my life.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Green Praying Mantis Macro

 

There has been a green praying mantis hanging out on the rose bush on our deck, eating any invasive insects that might have come its way.

 I took some photos using a macro lens, and also some video. I saw it eating a small fly, but by the time I grabbed my lens and ran back outside, the fly was already devoured & the mantis was cleaning off it's front grabbing legs.

You can see it's tiny black pupil looking back at me.

 Nature Photography 

by Paul Micarelli

 

 

 
Here is a video I took right after it ate a small fly: