Monday, September 29, 2008

Rock News

If you want something to last as long as possible, put it in stone.

Ancient cave art is fascinating. It is a glimpse into a mysterious world of transcendent shamanic vision that has been forgotten from Western culture for centuries. These resonant underground chambers were used to induce altered states of consciousness through graphic art, drumming, chanting and the possible use of ego-annihilating psychoactive substances.

On Neatorama, I saw a link to a seemingly anachronistic phenomenon: 19 -century Australian aboriginal cave paintings depicting European sailing & steam vessels. The article has a interesting slideshow with great photos.




In other Rock News, I came across a bunch of cool pictures of Sarah Palin's worst nightmare: An area in Bolivia full of petrified dinosaur footprints. Even crazier is the fact that the footprints go vertically up the rock. The ancient ground has been pushed up sideways over millions of years by the Earth's massive tectonic forces.



Of course, it is possible that the footprints are actually from devils running up & down the cliffs as their master, Satan was being tossed into the pit of fire by a pissed-off Yahweh.

You have to consider all options...

iPreaching to the iChoir

This awesome, and fully factual, piece of street art in San Francisco was photographed by Allan Ferguson.


RE: Presidential Debates 9/19

I stayed in & had a few beers Friday night to watch the debates w/ a few other people. I wasn't that impressed with either candidate- for different reasons.

Since I've never seen a John McCain performance that could be considered remotely impressive, I wasn't expecting much from him.

On the other hand, I personally think Barack Obama would be a more positive & effective President, but many people still don't really know his views or ideas. Therefore, I thought he really needed to completely discredit McCain's outdated worldview, philosophically & stylistically, to make an impact with the audience.

I was wrong, since almost all the polls showed voters, especially Independents, moving strongly toward the long-legged mack daddy.

Like in his acceptance speech, I didn't think Obama hammered enough on the countless failures & crimes perpetrated by the Republican administration & the Bush/McCain approach to governance. I'm a tough critic, though, & always think I can do things better.

Alot of people have still probably never even seen Obama speak in more than a soundbite... so apparently the fact that he wasn't up on stage acting like Flava Flav was impressive to the rest of the country.

This ridiculous Photoshop job was found
on that bastion of political incorrectness,
Ebaums World

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Uncle Paulie!!!

Maybe it's because I'm so full of personality, :D but people have given me alot of nicknames over the years: The Monkey Buddha, Paulie Platinum, Paul Mic, Paul Wall, Paulie Walnuts, Mr. Amnesia, P-Diddy, Crazy Legs Pauley, Mr. Sleepy Guy, Paulie Pretzel Bites, etc.

My favorite nicknames so far are 'Uncle Paulie', which started with my cousins & friends who are a little younger than me, & 'Uncle Paul Michael' which is what my cousin's little kids call me to differentiate me from my Dad.

Yesterday I officially became an uncle! My sister Mandi had a healthy 9lb 5oz baby boy, Greg III. I told Greg that I'm going to try to make his first word 'Dude' which is like a code-word with the guys in my family. He was all for it. Mandi just shook her head & laughed. I was holding the baby & softly chanting "duuuuuude". When my brother Justin showed up after rushing up from a job in DC, he held him & sang "Rock-a-Bye Baby" but replaced all the words with 'Dude'. My family is funny & crazy, and 'the littlest dude' is in for quite an experience.

It is amazing to look at a new life and think about all the things he will see. The night before my sister went into the hospital, we were sitting around the table at my parents' house joking that 70 years from now, Greg ^3 will be sitting in a hover-car telling HIS grandkids how he was born during the 21st Century Depression.

My brother-in-law wanted to bring his son home wrapped in the hide of a bear he shot up in Maine, but my sister is having none of that. I think they compromised on a cowboy outfit. Anyway, it is my parents' first grandchild & a special day for all of us.

My sister will probably hate me for posting a picture of her - but it's much, much too happy of a moment to not express.

Greg, Mandi w/ Lil' Greg, Me

Uncle Paul Michael w/ Baby Greg

Uncle Justin w/ Greg

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Valuable Wisdom from Mr. T

I saw this great page from a Mr. T. coloring book on the blog Branded in the 80's. This site is so great & looking through its archive brought back a ton of childhood memories:

• The obvious, Star Wars

• Garbage Pail Kids that I have seen & (somehow) haven't seen.

• "Pre-Crazy" Thriller-era Michael Jackson

"Galaxy High", one of the countless cartoons that have been shoved to the back of my brain.

• Hulk Hogan's Rock n' Roll Wrestling


• ...and of course the A-team's Buddhist Zen Master, Mr. T...


"I pity the fool who ain't introspective!"

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fighting the Robot Revolution

ED-209
The Future of Law Enforcement
?

Humans at their worst are characterized by violence, greed, and a complete lack of empathy. It should be expected, then, that autonomous creations by humans such as robots and corporations can exhibit similar negative characteristics - if not designed to behave otherwise.

Just like humans have rules to follow, banks and corporate institutions should have regulatory oversight. We are currently witnessing the undeniable results of rotten leadership with no accountability allowing unchecked institutions to ransack the American economy.

Just like the world hasn't fully experienced the repercussions of this grand economic fraud, we haven't been able to truly foresee the consequences of creating military robotic systems. Ever-advancing technology is being used under the guise of military support or law enforcement.

The ideal control system to prevent extreme scenarios like in the Terminator or the Matrix would be Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. Of course, I've written before about the rapid advancement of military robots & obviously these laws have been completely ignored by mankind.

Thankfully, some courageous visionaries are trying to head off the possible robocalypse. Millionaire Ben Way has created WAR (Weapons Against Robots) as an avenue to research counter-robot measures of all kinds.


Although such efforts could one day prevent the elimination of humans by overwhelming forces of silicon-based destruction, I'm sure his work is seen as almost terrorist in nature by certain authorities. Who is the true terrorist, though? The one who seeks to prevent the destruction of human life by killing machines? or the ones who enable the destruction of human life by those same machines?

Perhaps, the robots won't even have to battle us to gain control... Once everyone has an iThink implanted in their head, the machines will simply override our nervous systems and make us zombie-like automatons, in an ironic reversal of roles.

Perhaps... it has already happened.


Needless to say, robots aren't ALL bad-

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What is Graphic Design?


Ah... nothing like questioning the "man on the street"!

This video
was on FormFiftyFive.com & it is really amusing. I always wonder when I tell people that I'm a graphic designer if they know what that entails. Design as a general category encompasses all forms of sensual & perceptual communication.


Graphic, interactive media, print, fabric, lighting, floral, architectural, mechanical, video, and others are only a few of the lables that can be applied to different fields of design. The great thing about art in the the Computer Age is the unlimited ability for creativity through imaging & multimedia software.

I'm just glad to live in a time where I can manipulate pixels of light through the magic of Photoshop. As much as I appreciate the work of the classical masters like Leonardo da Vinci & Michelangelo, oil painting just isn't my thing.

Mind TV: Wildlife Rehabilitation

The internet is phenomenal.

I saw this public access show about a month ago w/ one of my brothers & it had us enthralled & entertained. It is basically 2 people from the Schuylkill Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic sitting in a cubicle talking about wildlife. They are a real pair of characters, but the dude Rick Shubert, is totally serious about the animals.


I just saw it on again earlier tonight so I tried to record some video on my phone to email to myself. Unfortunately, his face in the video is washed out, & for some reason I was laughing out loud over his serious advice that I will now transcribe:

"Some of the ways you can tell if an animal obviously need your help would be if you come across an animal, perhaps it's on the side of the road maybe hit by a car, it's bleeding... or if it's a smaller animal and it's obviously lethargic, flies landing on it, maybe fly eggs or maggots, *(swallow)* there's something wrong with that and it's something that needs our help... all of the critters that are out there to help really just need their space in the world to survive & they don't want to hurt you & they're very stressed and scared by being around people & they will defend themselves if you put your hands on them..."

...and he doesn't stop. It really must be watched to be appreciated.
I didn't put any periods in his big run-on sentence because he doesn't take a breath. The poor lady doesn't get a word in edgewise with such an uncontrollable fountain of wildlife knowledge next to her.

Thankfully, through the infinite power of Google I found video on the website for MindTV.
I typed in 'wildlife' & voila! A whole series of videos starring the 2 local champions of wildlife rehabilitation.



Maybe it's the artist in me speaking, but I don't understand why you'd spend money to produce a segment about nature & not put a plant or a picture of animals somewhere. It looks like they're in a padded cell inside the Death Star!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hulk vs. Bear

Besides the 'political endorsement' edited onto the end,
this is a hilarious bit of video from The Incredible Hulk, a show that I used to love as a kid.

Watching clips from these old shows makes me realize how much our culture's sensibilities have been refined in the span of decades. That, of course, may be debatable given some of the current content on TV & other media .

My brother is a Marvel Comics nut & since my sorry ass still has PS2, he lent me the awesome game Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, & that is more believable than this segment.

This is so ridiculous I had to link it after seeing it on iambored.com.

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

The Forbidden World of Giordano Bruno

There was a link on monochrom to an interesting article about the infamous philosopher who was burned at the stake in 1600 - Giordano Bruno.

New Yorker:
"The Forbidden World"
Did a sixteenth-century heretic
grasp the nature of the cosmos?

He was murdered by the Catholic Church for challenging one of it's countless falsehoods - the perceived central position held by the Earth & mankind within the Universe.

I think Giordano Bruno had a superior conception of an infinite world system, especially compared to the cosmic mythologies of Genesis. However, actually living my life is much more important than defending some abstract & non-existent perception of "Truth" to a bunch of sadistic ideologues. Therefore, I don't think I would have been as openly defiant to the Inquisition as ol' Giordano was. Subtlety is sometimes a better vehicle for subversion. >:)

Another aspect of Bruno I found interesting, but completely unable to relate to, was his methods of memory. I find this aspect of his work to be completely incomprehensible. Maybe I'm just to lazy to apply such a complex system. I have a really good memory about trivia and all kinds of generalized & specialized knowledge. If I'm tryin to remember something, it usually 'pops up' in my mind at some point. Imagining all kinds of imagery, like interlocking wheels, just seems like a colossal pain in the ass.

Chaotic Markets- Due to a Fractal Economy?

"Illumination"
by Me


...or is the seeming 'chaos' in the economy due to inhuman levels of malfeasance?


I've posted alot about the amazing mathematic & graphic constructs known as "fractals".

The fractal is an expression of chaos theory, which attempts to quantify complex, 'chaotic' systems.

Colorful fractal designs are also very interesting from an aesthetic point of view.
I saw this article that ponders the chaotic nature of our economic marketplace and the possibility of a better understanding their dynamic nature:

"How Fractals Can Explain
What's Wrong with Wall Street"


That whole article, though, seems like a bunch of crap after reading one of the astute comments that really hits the nail on the head:

"We have criminals in charge and they ran a pyramid scam on the American people disguised as a real estate "boom". You don't need a complicated mathematical model to predict how a pyramid scam will end, unless you're stupid."

The capstone of America's Greatest Pyramid Scam is topped by the figurehead & puppetmaster that are supposed to be dutifully managing The United States of America: George Bush & Dick Cheney. Now can we impeach these scumbags & let them go down in history as the national disgrace that they are? Please? Pretty please?


No? Oh, ok...

Help us Congressman Kucinich, you're our only hope!

Monday, September 15, 2008

We Are the Toys

To offset the righteous indignation of my last post & the despicable 'liberal' rants that it contained, I'm linking to this funny video.


I got this in an email at my studio, & forwarded it to myself.
As a designer who has worked in the toy industry for years now, and as someone who owned most of these toys when me & my siblings were little kids... I found this video to be highly amusing.


Republicans = Bankrupt America


I am no financial whiz, but it's pretty obvious that the disasters happening in the economic sector are just more examples to add to the long line of scandalous and truly epic disasters of the past 8 years.

Of course, our current state of affairs is the the direct consequence of the blatant scam against the American people known as "The Presidency of George W. Bush".

Under the Republican leadership of Bush/Cheney and the GOP who had the Majority in Congress for most of those years, our country has been deteriorating at an amazing rate. Anyone who denies the overwhelmingly negative results of the supposedly "conservative" right-wing leadership is a fool. You'd be a damned fool, at that, because it is an enabling of an agenda that viciously ruins the lives of millions, if not billions, in the US and throughout the world. American taxpayers have been swindled and violated in the worst ways by the GOP's vast arsenal of idiotic outlooks and policies.

Are the Democrats a party of perfect ideas?... NO!
But... are the Democrats a more ignorant, corrupt, and hypocritical group of closeted creepy pervs than the Republicans?... NO!!!

Of course, if you have the thought capacity of somone like this,or maybe like this, you can be forgiven for believing the GOP to be a organization that does not represent the cesspit of humanity.

It just astonishes me that there is any enthusiasm for a Republican ticket after what the "Conservative" label has been shown to represent.

"Conservative" now means reckless deficit spending on Imperial Wars that only fatten the bank accounts of military contractors & oil companies.

"Conservative" now means intruding the homes and personal lives of innocent citizens through electronic surveillance & draconian 'security' measures.

"Conservative" now means breaking the law with contempt for the American people in plain sight & moving right on to the next scandal before anyone can pay attention.

I could go on- but it's a waste of breath. The old, white guy (who can't even use email) will probably be sworn in. He and his gun totin' church lady sidekick will continue to guide our country into economic, social, and structural ruin.

Of course, Obama might get elected.
Then... all this will end up being his fault- according to the imbeciles that thought Bush was great for the country.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

John Lennon Animated Interview


I posted the other day about my favorite Bush Hatin' Hip-Hop Videos. I said how different the style of these rappers compared to protest music of the 60's. No artist since I've been alive has remotely compared to the most influential counter-culture figure of that time, John Lennon.

My Dad had me listening to the Beatles since I was old enough to know what music was. If I could only listen to music from one group of artists, it would be the Beatles. John Lennon's political and artistic efforts outside the group have always inspired my world outlook.

At Infographics.com, I saw this amazing Youtube video of an animation illustrating a 14 year old's informal, yet insightful, interview with the legendary icon. The boy, Jerry Levitan, grew up & now has a website I Met the Walrus for the Academy Award nominated animated short film.

There are so many profound & witty quotes in this little bit of tape- it shows what an amazing mind John Lennon had. It also shows why the forces of death had such an interest in eliminating him.


"War is big business.
They like war, because it keeps Them fat and happy.
I'm anti-war, so They want me out."

"Violence begets violence."

"They got all the money and the weapons. They now how to fight the violence. They've been doing it for how many years suppressing us. The only thing They don't know about is nonviolence & humor."

"We're all Hitler inside and we're all Christ inside.
It's just to try to work on the good bit of you"

"Oh I see, well, those kids-
they sound like squares."

"The messages are all there on all levels...
It's about everything... It's about nothing...
It just is."


Fact: Jesus Walked with Dinosaurs

Wikipedia- Creationism:
"According to a 2001 Gallup Poll about 45% of Americans believe that 'God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.'"

...Well, we obviously know that half of American people can't be crazy!!!

We also know that the GOP's True American™ Choice for Vice-President™, Sarah Palin™, would have the collection of stories known as Genesis taught in American science classes.

I have to assume that she is also in favor of teaching the size of Heaven in Astronomy 101.

To promote the further acceptance of counter-intuitive & nonsensical ideas over physical reality, I wanted to link to this great bit of Creation Science news:

"Scientists Prove
Jesus Walked with Dinosaurs"


Everyone sing along,
"Jesus loves the little raptors,
all the raptors of the world..."

Monkey Wedding


Thank god monkeys are no longer are considered second-class citizens!

I was browsing Neatorama & saw the story about 2 monkeys being wedded at a zoo in China.

That was basically a publicity stunt, but I also saw reports of this wedding in India between two monkeys that reflects the religious reverence Hinduism holds for these creatures.


Of course,
...the Bonobos want nothing to do with any of this silliness.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bush Hatin' Hip-Hop

Rebel music in today's beat-driven musical landscape is much different than the protest rock of the late 60's.

Like all forms of art, both genres of music are mediums of unique expression for all of life's emotions: joy, anger, frustration, angst, outrage, etc.

The past 8 years of Bush, Inc.'s brazen lawlessness, fiscal irresponsibility, and moral subversion awakened in me a political concern and general disgust that is shared by most people who don't have their head up their ass. The disaster of a Presidency has brought out endless opposition and commentary through books, music, video, and other media.

So, partly in retrospect & partly in anticipation that the BIG-TIME gangstas and hustlers, Dick Cheney & George Bush, will soon be gone (hopefully)....

Top 3
Bush Hatin' Hip-Hop Videos

1. Eminem - "Mosh"
I'm starting with the oldest video- from the 2004 election, when Eminem tried to warn the country of the consequences of electing The War Monkey again. He hits everything from the profiteering behind America's wars of conquest to the true nature of Osama bin Ladin & Al-Qaeda

Of course, the fatal flaw in his video's conclusion is that cozy assumption that all of us citizens going out and voting is an honest, & therefore effective, process. Regardless, I think this is one of the greatest protest songs ever... against the Worst President Ever.



2. Juvenile - "Get Ya Hustle On"
I've been a Cash Money fan since Guerilla Warfare & 400 Degreez, and they're pulling up the #2 & #3 slots.

I already liked this song, & the "What's Happenin'" cut at the end of the video even more, but the video showing footage of New Orleans after Katrina w/ kids wearing masks of the Republican administration definitely makes it another favorite of mine.



3. Lil' Wayne - "Georgia Bush"
He may not be the Greatest Rapper Alive, but Lil' Wayne is obviously one of the most prolific hip-hop artists out there. He's on every other rap song out recently. Weezy basically calls The President a bitch in this song.

Cash Money has produced a couple good protest songs when they take a break from rapping about ho's, cars, & ice - although I enjoy those, too. I heard this song recently on Sirius Radio & pulled up the video. This made me think about the other good hip-hop songs blasting The Bush Presidency to make a Top 3 list.





I got to looking up other protest songs & wanted to add these on...


***Old-School Honorable Mention***

• Public Enemy - "Fight the Power"
Public Enemy was one of the first rap groups that I listened to as a kid. I bought Fear of a Black Planet & Apocalypse '91 cassette tapes (ah yes, cassette tapes), waaaay back in middle school.

Although it reflected my eclectic taste even then, that is when rap started becoming fairly mainstream. However, Public Enemy was much too controversial to be considered mainstream, which is why my adolescent mind found them to be so excellent.





***Classic Honorable Mention***


• Edwin Starr - "War"
The justifications & patriotic facades may change, but the greed and lust for power that always motivates War will remain the same.

"War cannot give Life - it can only take it away."
This song really does say it all.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

McCain Madness!!!


I barely stayed conscious through John McCain's acceptance speech tonight. It had some heartfelt moments, but most of the time it bordered on idiotic. To make it worse, watching Sen. McCain try to figure out how to physically present himself for the audience & cameras actually makes me feel awkward for him.

To sum it up in one word:
Wacked.

Nobody denies he has served his country & has lots of experience.
I just don't see any indication of the insight, wisdom, or the ability to inspire that the most powerful figurehead on Earth should have.

I really feel like my precious life was wasted by watching some of the RNC speeches, but I am interested in politics & feel like I have to try to see all sides to make truly informed opinions. My opinion is that zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Palin Power!!!

So... I forced myself to sit through the speeches by everyone's favorite drag queen Rudy Guiliani & America's newest & feistiest VP sweetheart, Sarah Palin. (Applause)

Despite being an out-of-left-field pick, Gov.Palin doesn't seem horrible & she definitely doesn't exude soul-sucking evil & despair like our current vice-president. However, America cannot afford the destructive economic & military policies of a continued extremist Republican agenda.

It's a shame that John McCain himself ruined her special moment- by coming out and looking like he had absolutely no idea where the hell he was or how to get out.

Sitting through the entire Republican convention would be like a nightmare for me. On most issues I consider myself moderate, but the idea that people still can get excited by the Republican Party scares the living crap out of me. How can anyone think that the Neocon approach of the past 8 years has improved our economy, our military, or our overall state of affairs? By all measures & observations, it simply hasn't.

Whatever... The debates are the next spectacle to behold. Here are my predictions:

• In the heat of argument, Joe Biden pimp-slaps Sarah Palin, and then she shoots him with an assult rifle. His impenetrable teeth block the bullets & he escapes.

• John McCain's latent Manchurian mind-programming kicks in & he tries to eliminate Obama.
Barack Hussein Obama dons his 'Traditional Muslim Garb' and calls out to the jihadists who drop from the ceiling.

I can't wait!!!!!!