Sunday, June 04, 2023

Movie Review: Arrival


My wife & I recently watch the movie "Arrival". It is a movie about the sudden appearance of enormous alien spacecraft around the world, and the effort to communicate with their inhabitants.  It was a very interesting exploration of the intellectual challenge such a scenario would present to the entire human race.

I don't watch a lot of movies, so going into it I have to know it's good & worth experiencing. My wife usually balks at my choices, because they're usually sci-fi or some kind of documentary, but she ends up admitting it was good!

The movie is based on a short story by Ted Chiang:

The Story of Your Life

We both enjoyed this movie & it spurred some great discussion on language and communication, which is already mysterious enough between human beings. Trying to exchange ideas or information with another species is absolutely mind-boggling... just really think about the idea of somehow recognizing brain patterns in another biological system- from a distance. Although the process of deciphering the alien language was simplified for movie purposes, it still provided real insight into the difficulties that would be involved.

"Arrival" imagines another aspect of a situation where alien life appears around the world. How would different nations and governments act when presented with this scenario, and how would they interact with other countries? You would hope that people would realize the existential importance of such an event, to come together as a species. However, the primitive monkey mind of human beings is still a powerful influence on our collective behavior, something the aliens in the movie realize and work around.

The key insight that's highlighted in the story is this- the type of language used by a living being is a defining factor in their mindset, and even the basis of conscious experience itself. The inverse is also true- the way a sentient being perceives the world will be reflected in the way they communicate.

In "Arrival", the alien heptapods are found to perceive time-space holistically, meaning they see time as a fourth dimensional space that can be perceived as a whole. This is reflected in their writing, consisting of dynamic, ink-blot circular forms. These round symbolic creations are layered multi-dimensionally with vast amounts of information and meaning.

Medium:
Arrival — Decoding the Universal Language of Time

I would recommend this movie to anyone interested in the mysteries of language, the likelihood of extraterrestrial life, and the nature of consciousness. As I mentioned, it created some deep discussion and really makes you think about these profound, universal issues. When a movie or any work of art can do that, it has succeeded.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Transhuman Sexuality

It's so disheartening to see that, despite all of humanity's technological & informational advancement, there is still so much primitive hate & fear for other people. There is currently a serious backlash against LGBTQ+ lifestyles in the U.S. and other places. Although I'm a straight white dude, I think other people should be free to pursue whatever experiences make them feel good. However, I also think that there needs to be limits - such as intentionally causing harm to others, or subjecting your will to non-consenting parties. Having a son now, my wife & I often discuss how we're going to deal with the complex issues of sexuality / identity. I don't think it's appropriate to force these ideas on young kids, but you also can't shelter them forever. Although what should be displayed in public is very subjective, especially when children are involved, common courtesy & discretion are ideas that I think are generally beneficial.

Sexuality and gender is such a contentious subject because it is such a basic & important aspect of being human. Sex = survival of our species. However, we have gone beyond biology in many ways - allowing us to experiment & experience possibilities outside the evolutionary imperative. So, I don't think the importance of biological purpose is enough of a reason to restrict anyone's sexual preference & other forms of personal experience. 

I feel bad for people who are still offended by alternative orientations, such as homosexual or transexual. Guess what??? Things are going to get waaaay more interesting... with the explosion of A.I., as well as advancements in both physical & mental cybernetic augmentation, and bio-hacking the body to create "un-natural" biological systems. What we understand to be "human" is going to continue to evolve & change. Fear and resistance will not stop the change, any more than it stopped the transition into the Information Age.

Besides the morphological changes humans will undergo due to technological advancements, it is also inevitable that people will be straight-up fucking robots or virtual entities. So, people who are currently disgusted by people's "unnatural" sexual preferences for other human beings will absolutely lose their minds when they see the techno-debauchery to come! 

There are many things about emerging technologies, especially artificial intelligence, that freak me out. However, I also know that things will always be changing... so you have to be open, ride the wave, & realize that the future is coming, despite your fears and feelings.


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Flowering Clematis Vine

 


Nature Photography
by Paul Micarelli


After a few years of training a Clematis vine to grow over a trellis in our backyard, this Spring it is absolutely bursting with huge purple flowers.

It looks awesome, & it's probably our favorite plant in our gardens. We have a lot of plants in our gardens & in our house, but this is the one that I'm most proud of. It just makes me happy to come home & see it flourishing now.

 
In previous years, our landscapers cut down the vines, which totally destroyed the growth process that I was working so hard to cultivate. After telling them numerous times & putting up some garden fencing around it, they finally got the hint to leave it alone. Then, Loretta unknowingly cut off the old growth last Spring, thinking it was "dead" vines. I made sure she left alone this Spring, & it is blooming like crazy now. 

We also now have a little garden helper who likes to water plants (& soak himself with the hose). We call my son Paulie "Nature Boy" because he loves the outdoors, and he is always right there helping us with gardening or any other yard work.







Friday, May 12, 2023

Trump & The Anti-Christ Archetype

 

Now, I'm not saying Donald Trump is "The Anti-Christ"... but I am saying that he's the complete opposite of the idea of Jesus Christ that has been passed down to us.

The fact that Trump is still campaigning for President, and even more so that people are still backing him, is beyond absurdity. With the prevalence of social media & endless connectivity permeating our lives, American culture itself is becoming increasingly psychotic, especially when it comes to national politics. Trump is the ultimate manifestation of that cultural psychosis.

When I was younger, the idea of an "Anti-Christ" really was weird to me, for the reason in the graphic above. I didn't have the life experience to see the power in cults of personality & the appeal to authoritarianism that would make such a phenomenon possible. Now, I see that it's not only possible, but probable. However, I view the concept of an Anti-Christ as more of an archetype than any singular individual.

I'm not a Bible literalist by any means, but what confuses me is that someone who does truly believe in the danger of an Anti-Christ figure would not look at Donald Trump & immediately go, "Ummm, I'm pretty sure that guy fits the description."

Could American Evangelicals Spot the Antichrist?
Here Are the Biblical Predictions:

via www.benjaminlcorey.com

Sunday, May 07, 2023

Unpleasant Gradient

Besides the emerging disruptive technology of A.I. image creation, this is a graphic designer's worst nightmare:


"this unpleasant gradient shows up at your front door"

seen on r/19684

Friday, April 21, 2023

Spider vs. Yellowjacket

I just posted about some nature photography of flowering plants I took, but this one is not as serene as those pics. 

I was watching my son playing on his swing set, & saw that a jumping spider had pulled a yellowjacket wasp into a nook by its head.

It was in a crevice in the swing set, so I couldn't get too close. I got close enough to see that this little spider wasn't letting go of his prey, & the yellowjacket was finished. Hopefully my spider friend catches a lot more of those bastards.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Early Spring Flowers - Macro Photography

It's that wonderful time of the year (in the Northeastern U.S. anyway), where nature is coming back to life in the Spring & the plant life begins blooming again. 

One of my favorite pastimes is taking photos of nature & trying to find interesting sights, especially on a small scale. My in-laws gave me a macro lens for my phone that allows me to get much closer shots. I use it all the time, because it lets you see the beauty and intricacy of our world on a level that's not in our usual field of awareness.

Here are some photos of flowering plants emerging in the Springtime, with regular photos & my hand for scale:







Sunday, April 02, 2023

***LOCK HIM UP!***


 ****LOCK HIM UP!***


Donald Trump is finally facing his 1st indictment for *some* of his criminal activity (…with more to come), but for some damn reason, there are people who think he doesn’t deserve this- that he's being politically persecuted. They're NOT in the majority, nor are they in the right. Most of the country is looking at the MAGA zealots predictably freaking out in their echo chamber about Trump’s indictment, & thinking, “What the HELL is wrong with you?!?” Party of Law & Order, my ass. 


All the people foolishly supporting Trump need to realize that maybe it’s not a “Deep State Conspiracy”, maybe it’s not a “Weaponization of the Justice System”, maybe… just MAYBE… Trump is actually guilty of numerous counts of provable criminal activity. 


He’s not just a brazen career criminal, he’s a breathtakingly stupid career criminal - which is why he is now in this situation. He has only gotten away with so much for this long because he’s rich & famous. It’s unbelievable that he’s never been held accountable for his unlawful behavior up to this point (other than having his scam companies shut down, for fraud). 


Are other politicians corrupt? Yes!! Are other public figures engaging in illegal activity? Of course.!! However, Trump is on a whole 'nother level. He constantly engages in immoral or illegal behavior, because he has absolutely NO morals or personal values, besides self-aggrandizement. Like I said, it was ultimately his unparalleled narcissism & foolishness that led him to get caught for all these crimes. Other offenders are smart enough to fly under the radar, or cover their tracks. 


The fact that anyone would still defend such a clearly & obnoxiously immoral person is completely fucking insane, and goes to show how the far-right media as propagandized and misinformed people in this country. To all the conservatives saying “Well, guess what… now this could happen to a Democrat president!” or “Now they can come after YOU!” - Yeah… that’s the point, dumbass!!! Trump, or any other person in America, should not be above the law. If you do illegal shit, you face the consequences. End of story. 


The difference between the Cult of Conservatism & everyone else, is that if a Democrat is legitimately found guilty of crimes, people in that party would say “Ok, that sucks... but bring them to justice.” Republicans only know how to circle their wagon, cry about being victims, & go into rabid denial. In the conservative mindset, blind tribalism always “trumps” accepting the reality that goes against their personal views. I’m an Independent voter, so party affiliation isn’t as important to me as it is to someone who is invested in their “team”. 


Although I think Trump is a horrendous human being, I’m really not happy that he’s getting indicted... I think it’s a shameful stain on our county that such an idiotic low-life was ever elected, & I also think it’s shameful that a former President has to be formally charged for his blatant corruption. 


It’s not the fact that he’s a Republican or a “people’s patriot” (*gag*) that’s gotten him into trouble- he deserves to be on trial because he’s a Criminal & a Crook. A Criminal - because he clearly breaks the letter of the law in numerous ways… & a Crook - because he’s a blatant liar, cheat, and con-man. 


He makes even bad politicians look like amateurs when it comes to being unethical. Anyone who doesn’t realize this by now is pretty much a lost cause. I would say it’s time to do some deep soul-searching, to find out how they became so detached from reality, but I’d be wasting my breath. It seems like Trump Lovers are adverse to serious self-reflection. The writing has always been in HUUUUUGE letters on the wall, but those who worship their false golden idol simply don’t want to see it. So they squeeze their eyes shut, put their fingers in their ears, & whine, “Political Witch-Hunt!”


People who still have any illusions that Donald J. Trump has any redeeming qualities whatsoever need to snap out of their delusion. It’s just pathetic & ridiculous at this point. He’s an objectively bad person, who has spent his whole life doing morally and legally questionable things. 


Trump’s going to have more charges coming his way from other states & the US Justice Dept. for all the illegal activity he’s done. He’ll be spending by the rest of his despicable life in jail or fighting charges. He deserves nothing less.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Information Overload

"Digital Self-Portrait"
by Paul Micarelli

When I started this blog in the ancient past (2005), it was a pre-social media Internet world where Myspace had just come into existence. Society was void of smartphones, so people were still mostly tied to desktop computers for access to online information.

Since then, the world and our relationship with online information has transformed dramatically. My personal relationship with the Internet has also changed. When I was in my 20's & 30's, still a bachelor living on my own, I blogged often & was very politically outspoken. Nowadays, I don't post nearly as much as I'd like. The biggest factor is having a son who's a wild and energetic toddler, with my wife & I now expecting a baby girl this summer. I work full-time as a graphic designer at a busy print shop. When I come home, I'm trying to balance getting stuff done around the house with spending time playing with my son, and still trying to share some rare moments alone with my wife. (Oh yeah, I sometimes get a few minutes for myself, too...) Life is very hectic right now, but I am trying to enjoy every moment of it.

Due to the whirlwind that I live each day, there is a combination of exhaustion & overload that prevents me from fulfilling my personal creative drive in the same way that I used to. Luckily, my career is very creative and productive, which gives me a lot of fulfillment. 

When it comes to speaking out on social and political issues, I think my attitude now is mostly, "Why the fuck should I even bother?" It goes back to the title of this post - "Information Overload". The Internet & social media is now an outlet for every ignorant motherfucker on the planet to spout off stupid takes & misinformation, right alongside reasoned commentary and insightful wisdom. Debating politics with people never changes anyone's mind, and everyone is now online just arguing past each other. "Opinions are like assholes - everyone's got one, & they all stink". I still feel strongly about politics and current events, but I feel like trying to express my own stinky opinion is just futilely shouting into the wind...

So why am I still here, spouting off my thoughts? I don't know, I guess I feel like I have an obligation to continue creating content on this platform I've started. Of course, I also still have the urge to express myself for the benefit of others, even if I feel like it is drowned out among all the other noise. I have an additional motivation now, which is to leave some remnants of myself for my children to possibly discover in the future. Who knows if Blogger will even be around when they get older, but maybe my posts will be archived somehow for them to read and get a glimpse into their Dad's mind.

With the sheer volume of information online, along with the advent of mass usage of Artificial Intelligence (like my dabbling with AC: Artificial Creativity), the human brain simply cannot handle the digital infinities emerging before us. Not much shocks me, but as a creative professional, the rapid emergence of A.I. art has given me an ongoing existential crisis. Even our collective consciousness is struggling to adapt to these rapidly shifting paradigms. As I write this, we have not yet truly faced the consequences of deep fakes, A.I creations, and misinformation used for deception & social chaos. What happens when we can no longer believe anything at all that we experience online, or in the media?

Perhaps human ingenuity (augmented with A.I.-driven solutions, ironically?) will find ways to deal with these frightening prospects. Perhaps we will suffer from a digital apocalypse where humans disengage from technology and go back to analog, tribal living. Most likely, we will continue to barrel along headfirst into a techno-dystopia, where these emerging tools are used to consolidate power and control over the masses. I'm not a complete pessimist, though. I think Life will go on and people will continue to adapt, as we have since the Ice Age almost wiped us out.

I hope for my children & humanity's sake that things don't go horribly wrong and society collapses or something crazy like that. There will always be suffering and chaos, but I think that people will continue to survive & thrive one way or another. How we handle the "information overload" is going to determine our path forward and our future as a species.

Friday, February 10, 2023

AC: Artificial Creativity

 
"zen monkey looks into the cosmos"

-Images: Stable Diffusion AI Software
-Prompts & Curating: Paul Micarelli

I have been tinkering with A.I. generated art, using Stable Diffusion software. I am simultaneously amazed & disturbed by the novel imagery that computers are now able to create. As an artist & graphic designer, the A.I. phenomenon makes me feel like a carriage maker at the onset of automobile manufacturing.

The software I'm using is relatively basic, but it can still produce really cool art (as well as hilariously bad formulations). I actually give the software top billing on my posts, because all I'm doing is entering prompts. Yes it's a tool just like Photoshop, but the computer & code creating the imagery is almost spooky and makes you examine the nature of consciousness itself. What we understand to be consciousness or mind is an emergent cascade of phenomena, as is machine learning. However, the ability to explain the system doesn't make it any less mysterious.

The endless amounts of objectively fantastic artwork flooding social media now is just mind-boggling. Just like the Internet itself, there is no way to understand exactly where this technology is going to take society.

I have started social media pages for the A.I. art that I'm collaborating with the machines to produce. If you're reading this, I would greatly appreciate it if you check them out & follow:

Instagram:

@ac_artificial_creativity

Facebook:

@AC.Artificial.Creativity

There are so many questions & issues that arise from this technology...

• What does it mean for the human artist & creator?

• Will A.I. art be required to be detected & distinguished from human art, in certain circumstances? Or will that prove impossible, and proof of process will be required to verify human-made art if desired.

• Are we entering a "post-reality" reality, where we trust absolutely nothing, and objective truth no longer exists in the digital realm?

...It's all so crazy... what the hell is happening? We'll just have to buckle in & find out!

Here are some articles I've read recently about the topic as I try to wrap my head around it all:

My Modern Met:

Art Trend of 2022:
How AI Art Emerged and Polarized the Art World

Wired:

What AI-Generated Art
Really Means for Human Creativity

These are some of the images I've prompted that have really blown me away, but there's so much more to come:

"a futuristic organically inspired city with greenery and sleek rounded architecture"

-Images: Stable Diffusion AI Software
-Prompts & Curating: Paul Micarelli


 "jim morrison as a da vinci painting"

-Images: Stable Diffusion AI Software
-Prompts & Curating: Paul Micarelli

"robot in a float tank"

-Images: Stable Diffusion AI Software
-Prompts & Curating: Paul Micarelli


"scene in your mind when you die" 3

-Images: Stable Diffusion AI Software
-Prompts & Curating: Paul Micarelli


"the face of god"

-Images: Stable Diffusion AI Software
-Prompts & Curating: Paul Micarelli



Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Chunky Beef N' Beer Canned Combo

 I have been hard at work & created a delicious new product, the canned Chunky Beef N' Beer Combo. 


πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

Sunday, January 22, 2023

"THE INTERNET" - 'Thinking Aloud' with 2 Paul Micarelli's

*Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog
 
 
 

  "THE INTERNET" - 'Thinking Aloud' with 2 Paul Micarelli's

11-20-21
 
Paul Micarelli & son Paul Giuseppe take a walk and talk about interesting topics. πŸ€”πŸ’‘πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 
 
***Please LIKE & SHARE, Thank You!*** 
 


Sunday, January 08, 2023

Intact Frog Skeleton

 


This is a slightly morbid post to start off the New Year, but I thought it was pretty interesting.

Nature Photography
by Paul Micarelli

I found this completely intact little frog skeleton, & the weirdest part is where I found it... This was in the light fixture up in my bedroom walk-in closet. I have no idea how a tiny frog would have got up into that area!

Hopefully this is not an omen for how 2023 is going to turn out.

Here's a picture next to my finger, for scale:


Thursday, December 22, 2022

Donald Trump NFT Collector Cards

 

 I couldn't believe this is real... I thought it was some A.I. or "deepfake" video:

 

What a total fucking clown! This is like those crappy late night infomercials I used to watch & make fun of as a kid. After being in the position of the most powerful man on the planet, Trump is back to what he does best - selling bullshit products to absolute morons.

I've mostly kept my mouth shut through all the corruption, treason, egregious criminal activity, & multiple pending indictments, but this is just too much for me! πŸ˜† 

To anyone who thought this con-man was EVER worthy of being anywhere near the Presidency... you should 1) Go look in the mirror 2) Take a good, hard look at yourself, then 3) Smack yourself in the face 10 times, repeating "I'm a dummy!, I'm a dummy!" 

This might sound rude or harsh, but I have absolutely no time or sympathy for all the idiots who thought Trump had any redeeming qualities. If you think Donald J. Trump was a good President or is a good person in any way, you're judgement is on par with someone who thinks the Sun is a mass of fireflies huddled together.

If you want to show just what a fool you are, go ahead & say something about Joe Biden, Hunter's laptop, Dr. Fauci, or anything other than addressing what a stupid goddamn jackass this guy is, and how foolish Republicans were for nominating & voting for him. 

To be fair, my wife & I were talking about this in disbelief, and agreed he is a particular kind of genius - in the same way televangelists are brilliant at getting people to believe their nonsense & send them money. 

Here's the post where the doofus announced the collection before the absurd video started making the rounds:


The cards did sell out- which means there's alot of dumb Trump supporters with $99 to throw away, or (just as likely) it's a laundering operation to funnel dark money into his pockets.

The silly art on the cards showing Trump playing dress-up in imaginary roles, the horrible video editing (because they probably had to do endless takes with his dumb ass), the pure cheesiness of it all... what a shit-show!!!

Anyway, here's a gallery of these "rare" cards that I took from the website. Feel free to donate $99 to me instead. It will be much better hands than Trump's tiny little pale claws. They're all so ridiculous, it's hard to pick out my favorites:

Click Here for More:
Donald Trump NFT Collector Cards





Thursday, November 17, 2022

Elan School & The Business of Torturing Children

 

Now that I am a father, my perspective on many things have changed & my sensitivity to the experiences of children has heightened.  

I've always been inspired by the innocence and purity of vision that little children possess. They see everything in the world with fresh eyes, and they are trusting little blank slates who depend on the love & guidance of adults to grow.

Seeing my son joyfully experiencing life, full of curiosity & enthusiasm, has brought me tremendous happiness that is hard to describe. However, it has also brought me profound sadness... as I think of the terrible circumstances that so many unfortunate babies & children are exposed to. I always thought that child abuse in any form, physical or mental, is the most most heinous offense a human being can commit. Now that I have a child of my own, seeing reports or stories of little kids being abused by adults ignites a white-hot fire of rage in my heart. What kind of fucking damaged person could possibly look at the face of an innocent child and want to hurt it in any way? It's so sickening that it makes me despair at the state of the entire human race.

So, when I read a lengthy web comic about the now-closed Elan School, I was both engaged by the insane story & utterly horrified by the idea that institutions like that have existed (& sadly still exist).

Joe vs. Elan School

I would recommend reading through the comic, but it is definitely not for the faint of heart. It's better to directly experience the powerful graphic journey, rather than try to describe it.

What really disturbed me is the idea that parents would allow their kid to be basically kidnapped and isolated in some reform school, without direct observation of their situation. My son is a toddler now & crazy as hell. He is hyperactive, defiant, and rough bordering on violent. However, he is also extremely smart, sweet & loving, and just a very friendly little guy. I'm hoping he grows out of some of the negative "terrible two's" qualities and we can guide him to be a well-adjusted person. Even if he had behavioral issues when he gets older, I cannot for the life of me imagine just handing him off to some assholes running some disciplinary school to "set him straight". 

The most messed up part is that some of these kids were not even really that bad, they were sometimes just rebellious, smoked some pot, or some dumb shit like that. Young people have been separated from their families for YEARS, while these institutions milked the parents for money and straight up tortured kids whose minds have not yet fully developed & cannot truly comprehend the hell they've been placed in.

These kind of abusive "correctional" methods are still going on with places like the "pray away the gay" camps, or conversion therapy for kids exploring their sexual identity in ways that their families don't approve of.

Even conventional day cares & schools can breed abusive environments that cause unnecessary trauma, but institutions like Elan School appear to be systematic in the abuse & torture of society's most vulnerable members.

It's overwhelming to think of all the suffering going on in the world, especially to little kids who don't deserve the cruelty that so many of them have to endure. I hope that by bringing some light to it, the world can reduce these dark aspects of human nature that propagate through the generations. 

 




Thursday, October 20, 2022

Human Evolution According to A.I.

"Evolution" by Stable Diffusion software

One emerging technology that I've been watching very closely is the use of artificial intelligence (A.I) software to create artistic imagery.

As a graphic designer, the idea of computers creating art & design comparable to humans makes me uneasy- in the same way a horse-drawn carriage maker must have felt watching automobile factories coming online. I think that the human mind will continue to have a unique place in the creative process, at least for the foreseeable future. However, I look at some of the results coming from A.I. image processing programs & I'm like fuuuuuuuuck... this is amazing. 

From what I've seen, a lot of emphasis has been on the generation of fine art and illustration, creating images using descriptive keywords and style references. What worries me is the use of A.I. for design-related projects like logos, where many options can be generated in a speed & variety that no human designer can match.

Business Insider:
Artists say AI image generators are copying their style
to make thousands of new images — and it's completely out of their control

I wanted to talk about this topic after seeing a post in r/damnthatsinteresting in which human evolution is "imagined" by the A.I. Stable Diffusion software.

Human evolution generated by AI Stable Diffusion

 


I just stopped typing so I could mess with the program a little bit, and now I'm even more amazed & perturbed. 

This image was generated when typing in the name of my blog, The Monkey Buddha:

This is so crazy to me... I mean, what the hell??? This just shows that even human creativity is just an emergent phenomenon, that can be simulated and improved upon. These technologies and A.I. applications are going to be just as revolutionary & disruptive to culture as the Internet itself was. 

I'm pretty good at spotting Photoshop work, but it's going to be impossible to distinguish the source of photos & images in the near future. It will be interesting & disturbing to see this all unfold, but there's really no way to put this technology back in the box. So, we humans have to do what we do best, adapt & improvise - something it looks like computer networks are beginning to emulate.

Prompt: "computers taking my graphic design job"


In addition to the monkey at the beginning of this post, here are some more screenshots I pulled from the video above:


 
Finally metamorphosing into complete abstraction...


 

Friday, October 07, 2022

Let's Grow Brandon!!!

I was inspired to create this graphic by the announcement that President Biden is pardoning federal marijuana convictions, & also directing agencies to review the absolutely absurd Schedule I status of the plant.

I added it to my online shop, too:

The Monkey Buddha Bazaar:
*** Let's Grow Brandon!!!
***
(Click for Products)

The fact that this relatively harmless psychoactive plant has been an illegal Schedule I drug for so long has created a human rights catastrophe in the United States & the rest of the world, following suit. Cannabis has been used as a medicine & mind-expanding catalyst since before recorded history. Yet, in the last century, society was brainwashed to believe it was bad, despite it's ancient legacy as a healing tool.

National Library of Medicine:
History of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system


I'm not going to get into the long, sordid history of marijuana criminalization, but it is bullshit that so many people's lives have been ruined by the government, law enforcement, and our "justice" system outlawing a plant that simply makes you feel good & alters your consciousness, usually in a positive way. Of course that is exactly why it was made illegal...

In modern times, special interests like pharmaceutical companies & private prisons have been the biggest opponents of legalization (for obvious reasons). However, the majority of Americans, around 3/4, want to end the nonsensical "War On Drugs," specifically on Cannabis.

States are continually dismantling the tenets of the drug war as decriminalization & legalization happens around the country. Being able to buy some nice bud at a dispensary is a pretty liberating feeling, after having to feel like it's this illicit thing for so long. It's only a matter of time when everyone just says, "Enough!" and stops this ridiculous crusade that has needlessly destroyed so many people's lives, worse than the plant itself ever could.

I saw the news, and thought this would be a good play on the dumb "Let's Go Brandon!" meme that has been cracking up conservatives for a year, while everyone else just kind of shakes their head in pity. :(

This is my way to encourage Biden, the government, & society as a whole to change it's perspective on drug laws, specifically regarding Cannabis. Really, Republicans seriously fucked up by not adopting decriminalization first, as a "personal freedom" issue that would appeal to more progressive people, too. However, their perpetual circle-jerk of contrived morality & religiosity would never promote something that brings people actual pleasure and comfort. To be fair, I have been reading conservative forums & comments that agree with this action, even if they don't like Dank Brandon himself.

Anyway, I was not a big Biden fan either, & saw him as a pretty typical politician. He seemed like a fairly normal human being- which was the main qualification against a total scumbag of a human being like Donald Trump. Yeah, I know about Creepy Joe, and it totally sucks that we have to choose between two people like this. Even though I figured Biden would just be maintaining the status quo, I think he's at least trying to address the major issues the country faces, somewhat successfully. Taking an honest look at the drug laws in this country & reforming them would be a huge accomplishment.

So, let's hope that positive social change continues, and as a society we can address these festering issues that are infecting our society - drug laws, health insurance, student loans, incarceration, wealth disparity, corporate power... and the root of it all - money influencing politics

If we don't ultimately deal with the corruption caused by money influencing political decisions, then all efforts to make any other meaningful change will go up in smoke.

Monday, October 03, 2022

Watching the Hatchlings

This summer, a bird built a little nest in a decorative watering can we keep by our front door. We were able to watch the eggs hatch & the baby birds grow until they flew from the nest.

We tried to avoid going in & out that door too much so we didn't disturb them. 

When they were in the featherless stage, with gaping beaks, chirping & awaiting a meal from their mother, they looked kind of creepy. Then, when they grew feathers I guess they smartened up, because they would stay quiet when they heard or saw one of us. Then, one day *poof!* they were gone...

Nature Photography
by Paul Micarelli

 


 
 



 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

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

*Originally posted to the Conscious Living for You blog


8-21-21
 
Paul Micarelli & son Paul Giuseppe take a walk and talk about interesting topics. πŸ€”πŸ’‘πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 
 
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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Home Honey Bee Extraction

 
This summer, we had a gap in the siding of our house that became home to a hive of honeybees 🐝 They weren't any trouble & I would watch them come to the bird bath to drink. However, we could tell there were a lot of bees in the siding, & didn't want them to compromise the structure of the house. So, we had local beekeepers from Swazey Farms come out to extract them. 
 
On their first visit, they used infrared imaging & fiber optic cameras to determine the extent of the hive. It was like Ghostbusters for bees.
 
Next they scheduled a visit for the extraction, & came back to relocate the hive. 
 
 

 They took apart a small section of the house, & removing as much of the honeycomb as possible. They sucked up the bees using a low-pressure vacuum & transported them in ventilated buckets. 
 

 
 
It was pretty awesome to watch, & we were glad they were able to move them without harming them, since they're so important for the environment.
 
We also got to taste some of the honey... You can't get any more local than your own house!!! My son Paulie kept licking the honey off his finger & going "Mmmmmm!"
 


*As a special, fun bonus... they also discovered a very large hornet's nest (about the size of a bowling ball) hanging off a tree on the side of our house. It was right next to our gardens, & I can't believe we didn't notice it. Thank god we didn't disturb it on accident. 
 
It was right at eye level & one of the guys almost walked into it, so they recommended that we let them remove it because they are a super-aggressive species. 
 
I was going to try to spray it myself, but Loretta said I was being cheap & completely insane (she was correct). So, we told the guys to go ahead & take care of it.
 
They suited up in all their protective gear (even though they didn't bother wearing any protection for the bees). As soon as they started cutting branches around it, the hornets swarmed them, trying to attack their faces. It was at this point that I thought, "Yeah it was probably not a good idea for me to try to handle this..."