Friday, July 22, 2016

"Tao" by Paul Micarelli

I don't really post about my art as much I should... but I guess I don't see this blog as a commercial venture. I've written here for 10 years because, as a professional graphic designer, it is another creative outlet for me that I enjoy.

On my Cafepress shop, The Monkey Buddha Bazaar, I have abstract images, some that I've never posted about.

This one sums up my artistic sensibilities & personal philosophies. It's simple, but represents the merging & emerging of dual polarities. This dance of creation & destruction is happening at all scales in the Universe. It is the oscillation & vibration of reality. It is Creation, God, The Field, Tao...

Click here to buy a print or other product. The image below is a hi-res digital wallpaper. Thanks!:

by Paul Micarelli

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I haven't posted in a week, since I had some vacation days & really haven't been on the computer.

When I logged on, though, I noticed an uptick in page views for some reason. I appreciate anyone who takes time to read posts on this blog, but today I have about 5x as many views as usual! It seems like my post about Star Wars Day from a couple years ago got linked somewhere. Thanks to any new visitors, and I hope that you read through The Monkey Buddha archives.

Speaking of space themes, I came across this awesome image on Inner Cosmos, of a boy looking upon our world through a window of a space station or ship.

by Dmitry Bogolyubov

This painting is reminiscent of another image I posted about awhile back, "Grandma" by Chase Stone.

It speaks to the sentiment that most of humanity has not felt yet- the complex emotions that undoubtedly arise when a person views the planet of our ancestry from off world.

The Overview Effect 

& Cosmic Consciousness

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tiny Robot Buddhist Monk

Buddhism, at its essence, is more of a philosophy of mind than a religion, as most Western cultures understand the term. Although certain sects worship deities & believe in a Pure Land, the historical Buddha simply taught people how to awaken their consciousness and cultivate awareness.

Because of this philosophical trend, as opposed to religious dogmatism the Abrahamic religions, Buddhism has been uniquely open to scientific inquiry. The Dalai Lama has fostered extensive conversations about the mind, quantum physics, and other scientific disciplines.

Scientific American:

This embrace of science & technology has manifested in the playful, yet functional, development of a little robotic monk, named "Xian’er", by the Longquan temple in China.

I saw this linked on fUSION Anomalog and thought it was interesting development in the approach to studying spiritual matters.


Xian'er can answer simple questions about Buddhist ideas, chant mantras, & move around via voice commands.

The merging of spirituality and technology is one of those things that seem paradoxical- but only if your perspective is still immersed in the duality that Buddhism & meditative practice seeks to dissolve.

See also:

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Telepathic Posting

This is a test...

I'll be using my telepathic powers to post here:

"I will be posting telepathically today.
So, if you think of something funny, 
that was me."

Seen on All Hat No Cattle

Motion Capture with 3D Effects

This video that I saw on Neatorama is a impressive demonstration of the use of motion capture technology, combined with cutting-edge 3D animation effects.

The video was made by Method Studios, as a demo reel for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers

Method Studios:

2016 AICP Sponsor Reel - Dir Cut from Method Studios on Vimeo.

It's amazing what realistic (and surrealistic) results can be achieved through digital simulations. We are truly blurring the line between reality & fantasy.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Future of Food: World's Largest Vertical Farm in NJ

I have been exploring the future of agriculture, nutrition, & food tech in my "Future of Food" series.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

One development that holds a lot of promise for changing the dynamics of food production & distribution is the vertical farming approach. This is the modern method of using tall buildings with indoor aeroponics or hydroponics & LED lighting to grow plants in a more efficient way.

There is no soil to be depleted, much less water used, no insects to destroy the crops, and a fraction of the land area needed in traditional farming.

I was just reading that AeroFarms, a company that has developed environmentally low-impact vertical farming techniques, is planning on opening the world's largest facility in my home state of New Jersey. We have many traditional farms and produce distributors in this area, but I'm glad to be close to the cutting edge of this kind of food-production technology.


There are many food-related advancements that will completely change our relationship with what we eat in the near future. I think vertical farming is a major game-changer, and we will see many more facilities popping up as the process becomes more cost-effective and productive.

Monday, July 04, 2016

July 4th Celebration

 From the album Political Madness

Today is Independence Day in the USA, and I'm glad to be living in this country with all it's strengths and faults.

I'm definitely not a nationalist or a very patriotic person, but I'm happy to celebrate the freedom I have with a weekend of BBQs & parties. Here I am eating clams & crabs yesterday, while sporting a USA tattoo & wristband.

 I was drinking Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale, from the Yards Brewing Company's "Ales of the Revolution"- based on recipes by the founding fathers.

I'm off to another party today, and am grateful to have time to enjoy after weeks of packing, moving, and having yard sales.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Baby Gorilla Beating Chest

I'm almost done moving from my current place of residence- with all the organizing, packing, cleaning, and weekend yard sales that it entails.

I've been living at this place for 10+ years, even before I started The Monkey Buddha... in the early days of blogging! :) The house I lived in was built in the 1800's & had a lot of history. I've had a lot of great memories & time spent there. However, the nature of the Universe is change, so I'm ready to move out & move on.

Until I'm settled & can blog regularly on my free time, my posts have a bit more been sporadic than usual. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled anti-programming soon.

On Reddit I saw this great GIF of a little gorilla beating his chest and taking a fall. The look on his face after he looks up is priceless.

Here is a video, with more of his reaction afterward:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Original Light of the Unified Field

 From the "Chakra Ascension" series
 by Paul Micarelli

Last night, my girlfriend & I were having one of our usual deep discussions. She had read something by Osho & asked me what I thought of him. When looking up information about him, this led to our discovery that Osho's parents practiced Jainism. I told her that she would identity with that belief system- because they were not only vegetarians, but they avoided harming or killing all living things, including plants.

This, in turn, led to me discussing the idea that our human consciousness is only one form of consciousness. Any living system that receives input, then interacts & communicates with other living systems is fundamentally conscious.

Even vegetarianism is narrow-minded, in the sense that thinking it's okay to kill a plant, but not an animal, ignores the fact that you are still destroying & consuming a living system to absorb it's stored energy and physical nutrients. Just because it doesn't have "consciousness" in the form of human senses & thought-language, does not mean that it does not have some form of consciousness. A plant can sense changes in its environment, send signals to other plants or animals, and react to stimuli.

Then, I took it a step further & said that on a quantum level, consciousness is all-pervasive, even in seemingly non-living forms. The base energy field, from which our reality arises, is inherent in all things, and must be able to store and transmit information for any observable coherence to exist, at all.

This information snowballs into ever-increasingly complex systems & forms:
Quantum fluctuations give rise to -> atomic waveforms -> elements -> molecules -> larger biological & elemental structures.

This cumulative formation of complexity is nothing more than a infinitely intertwined play of energy- originating at the deepest level of the single, unified field of all being.

This "unified field" is talked about frequently in religious philosophy & spirituality, as well as physics. It can go by any name you'd like - God, Tao, Quantum Field, Brahma, The Source, etc. As soon as we name it, however, we lose it. It is not something that can be conceptualized. It is beyond conception.  

It is EVERYTHING, on all dimensions & scales.

Anyway, what really spurred me to write this post was seeing the quote below on Daily Zen. It describes the difficult notion of a single, seamless reality- "The Clear Light" -that is beyond our limited conceptions of separateness and individual phenomena.

"When the stains from old habits
Are exhausted,
The original light appears,
Blazing through your skull,

Not admitting other matters.
Vast and spacious,
Like sky and water merging
During autumn,
Like snow and moon
Having the same color,
This field is without boundary,
Beyond direction,
Magnificently one entity
Without edge or seam. "

- Hongzhi (1091-1157)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Amish Hex Sign Rosette Patterns

I haven't been able to post because been very busy lately, moving out of my current home. I've been clearing out the place I rent, packing up my belongings, & having yard sales. Once I make the move & finish the transition, I'll have more time to post here.

My girlfriend's parents sell items they find at auctions and estate sales on eBay. Their store is called "Posha '05", and I designed their logo & eBay banner. Anyway, they always come across interesting things I've never seen before.

Last night, I was looking through their latest set of finds & saw a folder with the rosette pattern, which is found in the center of the "Flower of Life" symbol. This is a geometric construction of interlocking circles that is the basis for the design of the strategy game I created, "Da Vinci's Challenge".

The Official Facebook Page: 

Since my eye is trained to look for this symbol now, it jumps out at me whenever I come across it. I knew that the rosette design is common in Pennsylvania Dutch, or "Amish", art.

When I looked at the contents of the envelope, there were several patterns featuring the rosette in a circle. These templates were used to guide artists who wanted to create are with these features.

I thought it was pretty cool, so I took some photos of the cover envelope & pages to post:

Legendary Pennsylvania Dutch
Hex Sign Patterns
©1964 Jacob & Jane Zook

The rosette pattern is much older & more widespread than just the use by the Amish. Here is a Flikr photo gallery showing ancient uses of "The Flower of Life", and the simpler "Seed of Life" & rosette designs:

scroll down to see examples

Monday, June 13, 2016

Ocean Cleanup

Awhile ago, I saw a post on fUSION Anomalog about the invention of 20 year old Boyan Slat of the Netherlands.

He invented a system of floating arrays that skim garbage of the surface of the ocean, while preventing the aquatic plants & animals under the water from being disturbed.

Unfortunately people create a tremendous amount of waste & garbage that has built up in the environment. This is especially problematic in the oceans, where materials such as plastic are dumped and have accumulated to form the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

If implemented, this invention is projected to remove almost half of the plastic waste from that patch over 10 years. It would take thousands of years to clean using conventional methods.

His foundation recently raised enough funds to conduct a trial of the skimming technology in the North Sea.

I firmly believe that humans can use technology and intelligence to solve any problem, even ones that we create. Hopefully innovators like Boyan continue to create solutions to the most pressing problems facing our world.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

I'm the Best Graphic Designer

I saw this paradoxical shirt on BoingBoing, created by Zoë Quinn.

As both a connoisseur of bad design & a professional graphic artist with a sense of humor, I found it to be amusing yet visually disturbing.

Buy it Here:

Monday, June 06, 2016

"The Tree of Life" Storybook

I am illustrating a storybook, called "The Tree of Life".

I was contacted out of the blue by the author Danny Ling. He had found my website The Monkey Buddha while doing a Google search for his story. He shared the manuscript with me & I thought it was an awesome story, so we decided to work together to make this vision a reality.

"The Tree of Life" is a story of cooperative problem solving, featuring animal characters with their own unique personalities. However, they must come together to save the ancient "Tree of Life" that is the center of their world.

The logo above is a design that I made for the social media pages about the book.

* Please "Like" or "Follow" the pages if you want to follow our progress. you will be able to see the animal characters I've drawn, as we release them!


Google +:


 Here is some info about the project:


“The Tree of Life” is a story by Danny Ling, that explores the interconnected nature of all living things.

Danny serendipitously found artist Paul Micarelli on the Internet to help bring his idea to life. We have been collaborating to turn this idea into an illustrated storybook, in the style of zen ink drawings & watercolor paintings. 

Our vision is to create a beautiful and enjoyable book which instills enlightened ideals into the younger generations. 

By introducing these insights to children, we hope to help raise the consciousness of the whole world. 

These concepts include problem-solving through cooperation, appreciating the sanctity of life, and having a deep connection with the natural world.


Follow us to be a part of the ongoing development of “The Tree of Life”. We look forward to sharing images & ideas related to the creation of the book!

To contact us about ‘The Tree of Life” project, please email:

We hope you will join us, to find unity through art & storytelling.

Thank You!

Friday, June 03, 2016

Elon Musk- "We Are Already Cyborgs"

This week I posted about the "Deus Ex: The Mechanical Apartheid" trailer & how it serves as a warning for the dangerous possibilities of cyber-human interfacing.

Raw Story posted this talk about A.I. & cybernetics with one of the greatest visionaries of our time, Elon Musk. He's also sounding the alarm about the difficulties that we will face as computer intelligence continues to outpace that of humans, on an individual & collective level.

Like "The Matrix" movies, Musk's answer to the problem of emerging artificial intelligence is one of symbiosis

However, his concept of a "neural lace," to connect the biological nervous system with digital networks, seems like it could present as many problems as solutions. This is the complicated nature of all technology.

This approach sounds similar to my concept of an "Apple iThink" neural-computer interface.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Deus Ex: The Mechanical Apartheid

I saw this thought-provoking trailer, titled "The Mechanical Apartheid," for the game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

It is a harsh look at some of the possible dangers that may come along with the inevitable augmentation of human beings- through cybernetic prosthetics & other digital technologies.

A lot of the issues in this trailer seem distinctly within the realm of possibility. Of course, there will likely be other complicated effects of human cyber-augmentation that we can't even imagine right now.

I played Deus Ex: Human Revolution awhile ago, and although the game was okay, it bought up many questions about the merging of man & technology. These concerns are being further explored in this new game, and perhaps the fictional scenarios will serve as a warning to prevent humanity from creating real suffering through these advances.

No matter how much merge with machines, biology is still primarily a vessel for preserving & propagating genetic information.

As long as people still reproduce through sexual means, there will still be human qualities such as family, intimacy, and love. 

If we somehow overcome that fundamental, biological reproductive function (& all its resulting behaviors), then there's no telling what kind of consciousness the individual and collective consciousness of human beings will develop into...

It is the function of art and creative thinking to help lead humanity into the best possible future for people, and all life. Works of fiction like this help us avoid pitfalls that we would otherwise blindly stumble into. We still might have to face these challenges, but at least there will be some collective anticipation of it- and that is necessary to overcome any of the seemingly insurmountable problems that we face.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Chimps at the Bar

Today is a holiday, so I scheduled a post with this funny animated GIF that I saw on The Weird Wide Web. Just 2 chimps having a good time at their local bar...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Teotihuacán’s Lost Kings

Last night I watched an episode of Secrets of the Dead on PBS, about the ancient city of Teotihuacán, located in Mexico.

PBS Secrets of the Dead

One of my favorite topics is the cultures of pre-conquest Mesoamerica, including the Maya, the Aztecs, and Inca peoples.

The origins of the awe-inspiring city of Teotihuacán are still a mystery. Amazingly, it was already ancient when the Aztecs discovered it. The name that they gave the abandoned site, Teotihuacán, means "The Place Where the Gods Were Created". The lost civilization that built the pyramid-lined avenues left behind some of their art & the magnificent architecture, but no written language.

I found the documentary to be very interesting. It was about a recent archaeological find in the city, by Mexican archaeologist Sergio Gomez Chavez.  

After a rainstorm, an area in front of the pyramid known as "The Temple of the Feathered Serpent" fell through, revealing a subterranean shaft. This shaft, which Chavez descended not knowing what he'd find, ended up leading to an underground tunnel. This tunnel extended to the direct central axis of the pyramid above. It was part of a symbolic attempt to connect the heavens, the human realm, and the underworld.

The "Feathered Serpent" was the deity whom the Aztecs called Quetzalcoatl. This dragon-like figure, called Kukulkan by the Maya, represented the combination of earth & sky- a merger of matter & spirit. 

After laborious excavation efforts of the tunnel, many artifacts & secrets about the city were uncovered. Many of the objects found were of ritual significance. It seems like the tunnel was a recreation of the mythological underworld, from which the world was created.

Even before watching the documentary, I had been following this archaeological discovery, interested in the implications for understanding the culture's rituals and spiritual practices. 

One thing I was intrigued by was the reported use of pyrite, or "fool's gold", that was embedded in the walls. From what I read, it sounded like there were small balls of this metallic material placed around the tunnel. 

However, when watching the show, I was glad to see that they elaborated on this & showed that there was actually a granular, reflective dust that was used. The effect in the dark corridor, when lit by torches, was like a sparkling starry sky under the ground. This, combined with the artificial lake that was created at the end of the chamber, gave the impression of visiting the mythical underworld to the priests & pilgrims entering the sacred area.

I'm sure that this mystical setting, along with the psychoactive substances or techniques they undoubtedly used, resulted in a conscious-altering experience- similar to the rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries practiced for thousands of years in Greece.

The spiritual aspects of ancient & indigenous people have always fascinated me. This documentary gave me some insight into the culture of one of the most mysterious sites in the world, and how their mythology shaped their society. I would definitely recommend watching it if you are interested in Mesoamerican history, religions of the world, or human spirituality.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"Star Wars IV: A New Hope" in One Infographic

On BoingBoing, I came across this amazing piece of art that combines two of my favorite things: Star Wars & graphic design.

Swiss artist Martin Panchaud created an amazing, scrolling infographic that details the entire Star Wars: A New Hope movie. Click the link below to view the entire graphic:

(Star Wars A New Hope)

The exact measurements are a ridiculous 1024 x 465152 pixels / 27 x 12307 cm / 10.6 x 4845.3-inches. If the entire thing were printed out, it would be over 400ft long!

As someone who works in Adobe Illustrator daily and appreciates how complicated detailed art files can become, the scope of this project makes my head spin.

Here is a screenshot of the work in progress- featuring Princess Leia's CR90 Corellian Corvette (the Tantive IV) & its pursuant Imperial Class Star Destroyer:

Here are some of the vector objects he created, to use throughout this truly impressive graphic:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Solar-Powered Water Desalination

There are many enormous problems that the human race is facing in the near future.

Despite the seeming impossible nature of some of these challenges, I believe that the power of human intelligence has the potential to solve them. Things that once seemed insurmountable can be made trivial by a leap in understanding & technology.

One of these problems is how to feed and supply fresh water to the exploding population. There is an abundance of salt water on Earth, so if we can find a way to convert it to fresh water efficiently & cheaply, it would go a long way to preventing hardship or violence over water shortages.

This idea for a portable solar desalination unit won the 2015 Desal Prize, a contest run by USAID to figure out ways to deal with the looming water crisis.

This is the explanation of the process by David L. Chandler of MIT News:

"Electrodialysis works by passing a stream of water between two electrodes with opposite charges. Because the salt dissolved in water consists of positive and negative ions, the electrodes pull the ions out of the water, Winter says, leaving fresher water at the centre of the flow. A series of membranes separate the freshwater stream from increasingly salty ones."

Here is the link for the webpage associated with the contest:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cloud Buddha

I saw this image of The Buddha, as an apparition in the clouds, on the blog, Water people, not grass.

It is an excellent representation of The Buddha's teachings on impermanence & the transience of form.

 "All compounded things are impermanent."

"This life of separateness 
may be compared to a dream, 
a phantasm, a bubble, a shadow, 
a drop of dew, a flash of lightning."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spymo Toys

On BoingBoing, I saw this funny "bootleg-style" toy of the actor Bolaji Bodejo, who played the xenomorph from the movie Alien.

 "Alien Man"
Because He Dared to Dream, and Never Stopped Believing

This handmade item is a part of a collection of ridiculous handmade toys from Soler Design in the UK. Here are some of my favorites:

"Cosmic Moron" 
Fully Poseable, Heavily Intoxicated Nuisance of the Spaceways

"Space Seed"
Of course I had to post this astronaut, accompanied by a chimp.  

"JAWS: Bruce"
 No One Knew the Depths of His Pain

 "DMT Warrior: Water Witch"

described by author Philip K. Dick.

Friday, May 13, 2016

"Da Vinci's Challenge" Game- Intro & Story Video

My brother works in video production, and a couple years ago we filmed footage for a possible crowdfunding campaign for the game I created, "Da Vinci's Challenge".

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

He recently edited some of that footage into a short (3:30 min) video, in which I explain the basics of the game play and the history behind the concept.


"Da Vinci's Challenge™" is an award-winning, classic strategy game, based on the ancient wisdom of sacred geometry. The gameboard is the circular design known as 'The Flower of Life' symbol. This ancient geometric pattern has been used in the art & architecture of many cultures around the world, for thousands of years.

I have been looking for ways to bring the game back onto the market, and also develop an electronic version to play on consoles or mobile devices.

Please visit & follow the Facebook page below for more info about the game, sacred geometry, & Leonardo da Vinci. Thank you!

Official Facebook Page :

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Face Swap with Michelangelo's David

I have been having a lot of fun recently with the MSQRD app, especially the "face swap" feature.

At my girlfriend's parents house, they have a small replica of Michelangelo's "David " sculpture. So, of course I had to try to swap faces with it...

American Robin Nest

My brother is a videographer & has filmed some interesting nature footage. He just posted this video of the activity in a robin's nest in his backyard.

He was able to get nice closeup footage of the robins taking care of the nest & their baby birds through the foliage.

One thing that I didn't realize was that the baby birds create fecal sacs, which basically hold their excretions so the parents can remove them & keep the nest clean. Apparently, sometimes the adult birds eat these 'poop sacks' (as we've been calling them). You can see the adult pull one right out of the baby's butt, at about the 2:00 mark.

Despite the subjective grossness of some of it, the life cycles of animals are truly a wondrous phenomenon.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Chakra Light Animation

On Awakening Our Truth, I saw this animated GIF of one of artist Alex Grey's paintings- showing a meditator with the colored areas of the chakras lit up. The chakras are a conceptual system of naming the energy centers in the body. The clear white light is coming from the pineal gland in the brain, a mysterious light-sensitive organ that is traditionally associated with the mystical third eye.

Our scientific & medical experts would say these chakra energy centers don't really exist. However, despite all their benefits, the institutions of science & medicine have been completely wrong about many things. There is probably a correspondence to these theoretical locations and actual aspects of the anatomy, such as nerve bundles and major organs.

I think the energetic aspects of the body are a vital aspect of our whole being. We tend to concentrate on the physical aspects of health & disease. How energy flows through our body & mind is usually an overlooked aspect of our overall state. Even if the chakra areas & colors don't have an existence that is verifiable by current science, it is an important visualization tool. Perhaps focusing on these areas can cause a feedback loop of positive physiological and psychological effects. There are many secrets the human body has yet to reveal...

Awhile ago, I made a metaphorical series of images, based on the chakra system. It is available as a free PDF ebook, and my post about the series is here:

by Paul Micarelli 

I also made this animated GIF, that cycles through the stages of "Chakra Ascension".

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

"The Problem with the World"

On Geek Universe, I saw this print by Brazilian artist Butcher Billy.

It is a well-dressed ape, in Pop Art style, reciting a quote that has been variously attributed to W.B. Yeats, Bertrand Russell, and Charles Bukowski.

"The problem with the world is that intelligent people are full of doubts, 
while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

by Butcher Billy

Monday, May 02, 2016

Microsoft Encarta Memories

As a graphic designer, I'm always interested in the development of digital art & technology. I saw this article about early computer graphics that caught my attention. 


While watching the accompanying video, by prescient computer scientist John Whitney from 1968, I began to think about my early experiences with computers as a teenager. I'm not sure exactly when my family bought our first computer (early 1990's?), but it was crucial to my understanding of digital technology.

I remember we bought it from some sparsely-decorated showroom, with random electronic devices sitting around. We were in Georgia visiting relatives. My Uncle Hank was good with electronics, so he was helping us pick out a machine. It ended up being a disaster, since the computer had all kinds of problems & wasn't really working. My Uncle spent most of our visit trying to fix it & figure it out.

Eventually, we got another computer that used DOS & Microsoft Windows 3.1. One of the things that showed me the power of digital technology at that time was the CD-ROM encyclopedia that came with the system, Microsoft Encarta.

As a kid, I loved reading books, & especially encyclopedias or other sources of random information. The idea that all this knowledge could be accessible from a disc was awesome. This was waaay before the Internet as we know it, so the CD-ROM was the best way of offering content to the user digitally.

Even more impressive was the ability to experience media- such as pictures, audio, or video. I remember showing my parents the short, low resolution clips of the moon landing & one of John F Kennedy's speeches. I was trying to show them how great these tools were, using events from their generation. Thankfully, they've always encouraged my interest in computers & learning, in general.

Microsoft Encarta was one of those influences that shaped my understanding of the world and the possibilities of digital media. Here is a video that explores the software & brought back some memories of using the CD encyclopedia..

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Storm Print City

Russ Muits is an artist who was in high school art classes with me, and also ended up pursuing a creative career.

We recently reconnected through an alumni soccer benefit. He told me about his ongoing project, where he is making prints from the designs on city manhole covers. He has collected designs from all over the country. I always want to support the endeavors of other artists, especially people I consider a friend like Russ. Check out the prints on his website, where you can also buy them:

Here is his Instagram page with the many designs he's captured.

We're friends on Facebook, and I just saw him link to this recent article he was featured in, highlighting his printmaking:

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Data Nanostorage in Quartz

Recently, I came across this article about a new kind of data storage developed by researchers in the UK. Using nano-structured glass, it stores 360 terabytes of info on a small piece of quartz. This information is theoretically stable for 14 billion years.


Here is the link to the university doing the research:
University of Southampton:

I am very organized, especially with all my digital files. I have archives going back to my college years, at the turn of the millennium. When it comes to saving data & preserving information, I look at it from 2 perspectives:

A basic truth to this universe is that everything changes. All composite forms eventually break down, or are transformed into something else.

In 100,000 years, it's possible that very little trace of current human culture will still exist.
In a million years, it's doubtful that anything we've created would survive.
In a billion years, there will almost certainly be nothing left of human existence at all.

If this is true, then why do we bother doing anything at all?

That is the eternal question, and the only answer is that we do what we are compelled to do. The source of this compulsion is our desire to overcome our fear of impermanence. We do this by trying to make a lasting impression on others and the world.

So... I know everything that I'm doing will eventually cease to exist in its present form. However, I still seek to preserve aspects of myself, my life, & my digital data.

I am here, experiencing this life, so I do what I feel driven to do! Cosmic perspectives are important, but a fully aware person must dwell in the personal realm, as well.

There is a lot of myself and my creative work stored online now. I feel like this is an opportunity to preserve some aspect of my life into the future, more so than people of past eras were able to do.

Of course, a global catastrophe could happen anytime that could knock out the global information network & perhaps even our power grid. This could be avoided by getting data storage off-planet, into outer space. Even if we avoid this fate, it is questionable whether anyone would be around in a million (forget a billion) years to experience anything we are doing now. Even if there were, the next question is- Would they even be able to access the information we have left, in a way that is meaningful to them?

Perhaps this would be a situation like the mysterious "crystal skulls". They could be a 3D quartz data storage system from a lost civilization, but we have no idea how to access it!

Oh well. I guess it's not worth worrying about whether or not anything we do is truly lasting. We just have to make the best of our individual situations, & try to be a positive influence on the consciousness of as many people as possible.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Monkey Mind-Controlled Wheelchair

The interface between biological and cybernetic systems is becoming more interconnected.

I saw an article about a study that was done by Duke University, testing the integration of brain & computers. Although I disapprove of animals being used in lab experiments, this is an undeniably fascinating development.


In this study, a monkey in an electronic wheelchair was able to navigate around a room, using an interface directly with its brain.

This will eventually lead to mechanical means of movement that will allow paralyzed people to regain movement. It will also result in unforeseen consequences of developing a brain-computer interface.

The lab of Dr. Miguel Nicolelis is also conducting experiments in rats to establish brain-to-brain sharing of sensory information, and also an interconnected "brain network".

This work is amazing & somewhat frightening in its implications. It is the groundwork for creating a technology similar to my concept for an "Apple iThink"- in which human minds are connected & augmented through electronic implants.