Sunday, October 06, 2019

Visualizing the Speed of Light

The nature of light, including the speed at which it propagates through space, is something that's difficult for the human mind to understand fully.

Add relativity into the mix, and the properties of energy and light become downright mysterious.

This GIF by James O'Donoghue using NASA imagery, although showing the speed that light travels, really highlights the vast cosmic distances that exist beyond our human & planetary scales.

This visualization illustrates the difficulty that the human race is going to have with space travel by "conventional" means - by which I mean trying to accelerate through physical space to a percentage of light speed to reach other star systems.

I think the answer is the development of technology that has been imagined in Star Trek and described by Bob Lazar, who claim to have worked on reverse-engineering spacecraft at the S-4 facility near the once-secret, now-infamous Area 51 test site.

We need to create technology that is able to manipulate gravity in such a way that it can warp space-time, so that the traveler is warped to the destination faster than light would be able to travel through the same space. I think the ideas of Nassim Haramein are leading us in the direction of technology.

Whether it's eventually feasible remains to be seen, but it seems to be the only way to travel through interstellar space without taking generations of humans, or centuries of sending out AI-driven machines.

Perhaps another option is to become beings of pure light ourselves, so that relativistically time stops altogether. However, then our need to explore and physically experience things would be irrelevant anyway...

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Extremes of Vehicle Gendering

Recently, I've come across a couple vehicles in the town where I live that stopped me in my tracks.

They represented the extreme opposites of masculine/feminine duality that exists in so many aspects of life, apparently even in automobiles.

The first one was a truck that I saw in the parking lot of a liquor store, dubbed "The War Wagon" according to the spray-painted lettering on the side. It resembled a vehicle that would be present in a Mad Max, post-apocalyptic hellscape. I guess South Jersey is close enough...

Right down the road, I saw this pretty little Jeep at the local supermarket. Painted black with pink trim, and, yes, eyelashes on the headlights - this model of mobile femininity was the perfect balance to the gritty machismo of "The War Wagon".


This is a RV that I've seen parked in various locations that I call "The Yahweh-Mobile".
It's covered in religious sayings, Bible verses, and the general feel of insanity that manifests through people covering their car in obsessive text or imagery.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


I recently posted about reaching 1 million page views, and it made me realize how rewarding my 15-year blogging journey has been. I've been able to share all kinds of interesting, weird, and awesome things. I've archived some of my own life and my creations, as well.

I am in my forties, and equal parts cynically jaded & also stuck in perpetual child-like wonder. I still love science, art, spiritual philosophy, and all types of knowledge- but the flood of information in modern digital media makes it difficult to pick topics of sufficient interest to share or discuss.

Especially when it comes to politics, I've become numb to the sheer stupidity and corruption of it all. When I was younger, this blog was a political forum for my disdain and ridicule of the George W. Bush Administration and neoconservative lunacy.

With the election of Donald Trump as President and our plunge into a political situation that is ridiculous and regressive to levels that were unimaginable previously, it is easy to want to throw up your hands and just say "Fuck it all". The human race will die out one day, the Earth will be swallowed by the Sun, which will eventually burn out, and the rest of the Universe will go on in the endless patterns of creation and destruction for billions of years. None of this crap matters in the cosmic scheme of things, yet here we are. So what do we do?...

I'll tell you what we do... we express the absurdity of the situation and break down mental boundaries like the artist know as Beeple (Mike Winkelmann). All of Beeple's art is mind-blowingly amazing, but I saw this gem on Instagram and was like,

"Wow, this is some exquisite non-sense!" 

This pretty well portrays the wackiness that we humans are immersed in right now.

by Beeple

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Monkey Buddha - 1 Million Page Views!

Between working my full time job as a graphic designer, keeping my side businesses going (Paul Micarelli Design and Fantasy Photos), helping my wife with our brand Conscious Living for You, being a husband, and trying to find time for myself, I haven't been able to post on my blog nearly as much as I'd like.

So, I opened up Blogger to post something tonight and realize that I missed a milestone I knew was creeping up...  The Monkey Buddha has passed 1 million page views since I started this blog, back in 2005!

June 28, 2005

It took me almost 15 years to get that many views, but I've never advertised or really promoted this blog in any way. It has always been simply a creative outlet for me to share and write about the things that interested me.

As you can see in the screenshot above, my most viewed post is, much to my continued amusement, "The World Was Always Awful".

I have had many people contact me over the years or leave comments through the blog. I've even met some friends and clients from it. It has been rewarding to hear how people enjoy enjoy reading it, and it's mind-boggling to think about how many people may have been affected, influenced, or just entertained in some way over all those years.

If you happen to be following The Monkey Buddha, or just landed on this post somehow, leave a comment below with your thoughts on this virtual information outlet I've created. Hopefully I can continue to post here for at least another 15 years! By then, I will be uploading information to the holo-blog through my Apple iThink implant.

This about sums ups my feelings right now:

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Super Zoom into a Pen

I saw this animated GIF on Reddit and loved how well it demonstrated something I've talked about on this blog many times. The Universe is not discrete levels - such as quantum, microscopic, macroscopic, or cosmic.

The Universe is actually a continuum that can be "zoomed" in or out to practically endless degrees.

This world , which we get to experience in our limited capacity, is infinite and full of incomprehensible detail.

Here is the trippy original video, titled "The Super Zoom," which is actually a digital rendering. It also shows the scales at which the zoom is taking place.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Summer Nature Photography

I have been spending a lot of my free time outdoors this summer. I am working a full-time graphic design position, in addition to keeping my own businesses going on the side, so any chance I get I like to be outside relaxing & enjoying nature.

I've added a bunch of new photos I've taken over the past couple months to my album:

by Paul Micarelli

A wasp eating honey off my plate after I finished eating breakfast outside.
Closeup of a tiny ecosystem in the soil of a potted plant.

Macro photo of a tiny spider that was hanging by our back door.
A closeup of a small praying mantis that was hanging on the side of our deck.
A purple flower growing in our garden.
My wife Loretta is trying her hand at growing some vegetables, here is a closeup of a ripening cherry tomato.

My wife Loretta is trying her hand at growing some vegetables, here is a closeup of unripe cherry tomatoes that look like little watermelons.
This plant seemed like it had died, but my wife Loretta brought it back to life.
Loretta was sitting in the grass next to me & jumped up when she felt this frog bump her butt.
Deer grazing in my back yard early in the morning as I was getting ready for work.

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Connected Universe

 This past weekend my wife and I were relaxing at home, and she took a break from her continual viewing of old episodes of The Sopranos since I felt like watching a video.

When it comes to philosophy, spirituality, & science, we both have similar views. Even where we don't agree, we have really in-depth discussions. I felt like watching something thought-provoking, so I put on "The Connected Universe"

I have posted here previously about the theories of Nassim Haramein, who has attempted to formulate scientific theories that connect the micro (quantum) and macro scales, and describing the nature of the energetic unified field that is the fundamental base of reality.

This movie was very interesting, and featured the general ideas behind his scientific theories. However, I found it to be more of an inspirational project, especially compared to his more informative lecture that completely blew my mind open, "Sacred Geometry And Unified Fields".

By looking past existing paradigms and incorporating the patterns of sacred geometry into the logic behind his theories, Nassim has opened an avenue of study that can lead humanity into leaps of evolution in both technology and the human condition.

If I had to sum up his theories, it would be that all of space-time is filled with "vacuum" energy at the most fundamental scale. Information is interconnected at all points throughout this field, in an infinite array of Plank-scale feedback loops.

These cycles of increasing complexity lead to self-organizing principles and emergent features that we experience as - matter & energy > life > consciousness - in a unified (yet endlessly varied) dance of creation and destruction.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Nature Photography at Scotland Run Park

My wife and I both love the outdoors and nature, and try to get outside any chance we get. For me, it is like a mental and physical recharge, especially when I can just quietly observe the sights, sounds, and other sensations of the natural world around me.
We've been going to a lot of state & local parks to swim and/or hike. Recently we went to Scotland Run, a local park, to walk the trails there. We went fairly deep into the woods, and I ended up getting a poison ivy rash up my right leg.

Otherwise, it was a great hike and I got a lot of nice photos of the plants and wildlife. I uploaded them to my photo album:

by Paul Micarelli

Wilson Lake @ Scotland Run Park

A tiny frog crossing our path

An orange fungus
I thought this moss was pretty cool. It was white with a branching structure.

This little caterpillar also had an intricate branching structure coming off its body.

I managed to capture this dragonfly resting on a branch.

This butterfly landed in the sand just long enough for me to snap a photo.

A closup of a large flower with little insects inside it.

A purple flower cluster over the cloud-reflecting lake surface.
My wife saw this and asked, "Are those beetles banging???"

A flower cluster 

Some of the freshwater snails on the lakebed.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Poconos 2019 - Flea Market Finds

Every year my family takes a vacation in the Poconos in Pennsylvania, where we enjoy being on the lake and relaxing, fishing, and swimming.

Unfortunately, this year my time there was cut short by the death of a close family friend. Before I left, I went to the Blue Ridge Flea Market with my family on a close to 100ยบ day. I never really buy anything at flea markets, I just like to look at all the crazy shit people are selling.

A selection of my favorites are below, but the whole album is at this link along with some other photos from my time there.

Google Photo Album:

This was literally just an inkjet printout of John Lennon for $10

I thought this "The Commando" playset was amusing in it's cartoonish depiction of war.

Just a big rock with a dog's head mounted on it. Just when I think I've seen it all...

This cross-stitched (?) picture of King Tut's mask was actually kind of cool.

A stuffed turkey, and not the kind at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

An angel holding a chalice that I assume is meant for a candle.

Sometimes I look at stuff like this and wonder, 
did the person who designed this think they did a good job? Because they didn't.

A coat/hat rack made of hooves.

This one speaks for itself (to cats, especially).

Friday, July 19, 2019

Nature Photography at Wharton State Forest

Recently as part of our anniversary celebration, my wife and I camped out oat Wharton State Park.

Besides just relaxing and enjoying the outdoors, I took some photos of the plant & animal life I came across.

by Paul Micarelli

Here are the photos I took while connecting with nature:

Atsion Lake in Wharton State Park
My wife and I were hiking a trail around the lake, and we started getting rained on about halfway through. Luckily we anticipated it, and wore bathing suits and had plastic bags to keep the few things we were carrying dry.

Wild blueberries growing around Atsion Lake that I was eating as we walked the trails.

Loretta spotted these caterpillars swarming a branch.

Can you spot the lizard?

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Visual Brain Implants

Being a graphic designer & visual artist, the sense I value most is my sight. Not being able to see would a nightmarish scenario to me.

Technology now exists for cameras connected to brain implants that create partial vision in blind people, bypassing the eyes & optic nerves.

The Guardian:

Not only is the prospect of being able to tap directly into the visual cortex amazing, but it opens up a whole new aspect of cybernetic augmentation which goes beyond the "normal" senses.

What if we could "train" the brain to experience light from connected inputs that could sense the spectrum outside the visible wavelength, or even other forms of energetic emissions like Wi-Fi signals? Is there a limit to how many different "senses the brain can process?

The next step is augmented vision & other senses that I predicted in my iThink concept 10 years ago.

Apple "iThink" - Upgraded

 I think this opens up the whole idea of consciousness into new realms that people really aren't prepared to venture into. Personally, I think it's awesome technology that , and like any other tool or tech, can be used for good, evil, or neutral purposes.

 Deep Dream Eye
by Paul Micarelli

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

"Strange Planet" by Nathan Pyle

 "Strange Planet" by Nathan Pyle is a clever comic using cartoon aliens to expose the absurdities in human behaviors and customs.

There's pretty much an endless stream of human weirdness to draw inspiration from. The Instagram page is a source of the newest Strange Planet comics.


This one is currently relevant to me, since I spent last weekend at the beach aquiring star damage:

Bedtime... where I always need a hydration cylinder by the bed, & try to imagine pleasant nonsense:

Monday, July 01, 2019

Bodhi Tree

I love nature and being outdoors. Being outside and surrounded by greenery is like therapy for me. As evident from all of my nature photography, I love to observe all the details of the natural world.

In our backyard, we have this large tree that has a clearing at the bottom where I sometimes sit and meditate, to clear my mind and experience the wordless beauty of nature. When I first saw the tree, it made me think of the legendary Bodhi Tree, where The Buddha gained enlightenment.

The Buddha was a prince who became disillusioned with his privileged lifestyle and went off to seek spiritual realization. After pursuing all sorts of disciplines and practices, including intense self-denial and asceticism, he was exhausted and sat beneath a tree. Here, he "awakened" and came to the understanding of reality that he formulated as the 4 Noble Truths, regarding the unsatisfactory nature of human existence. To address this state of suffering we all face, he then prescribed the Eightfold Path, defined by the "Middle Way" or living in a balanced state between indulgence and self-denial.

Siddhartha Gautama, who would be called The Buddha (simply meaning "awake"), was not a god or supernatural being, despite later religious iconography & legends. He was a man who achieved mental discipline, moral clarity, and spiritual refinement through the act of paying attention and living in a conscious manner.

The tree under which Siddhartha gained enlightenment has many layers of symbolism. The tree is an example of both stability and growth - rooted firmly in the ground, but expanding upwards and outwards in all directions. In ancient cultures, "The World Tree" was an archetypal feature of mythology- in which the underworld, earth, and the heavens were all connected. Shamans and visionaries would travel throughout the levels of reality via The World Tree.

Plant life and trees are also sources of life force and sustenance, as in the mythical Tree of Life. The tree contains a connection to our primitive past when we were connected more deeply to the forests and wilderness.

In an abstract way, the tree also has visual similarities to the fractal pattern of the spine and nervous system, where the energies of our consciousness and perception flow. This is a more subtle link to the idea of the Buddha's back being up against the tree, as the energy of enlightenment propagates throughout his neural fibers.

Anyway, all these things come to my mind when I look at & sit under this tree in my yard. This picture is of myself at the base of this majestic tree, embodying the peace of mind and connection to natural rhythms that The Buddha taught about. There is no time when I feel more at peace and more connected than when I am quiet and relaxed, immersed in nature...

Bodhi Tree - Paul Micarelli

Monday, June 24, 2019

Spring Nature Photography

I have been working full-time for a print & sign company for a few months now... between my job, still working on freelance projects on the side for Paul Micarelli Design, and leading an active life with wife, I feel a real time crunch. As motivated and efficient as I am, it's very difficult to fit everything I want to do into my schedule.

On my free time, the one thing I always take time to do is to enjoy nature, especially now that the weather is nice. This past Spring, I took photos outdoors of plants, landscapes, and various creatures I came across.

I added them to my album of nature pics and included some below:

by Paul Micarelli