Friday, June 28, 2013

Cowboy Monkey Rodeo

On IAB, I saw this ad for the real 'greatest show on earth':


I previously posted a truly inspiring speech, by the man running this crazy show:

Monkey Buddha Archives:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The World's Oldest Mask

While browsing Reddit, I came across this image of the oldest surviving mask.

It is made of stone, from the modern-day Palestinian territories in Israel & dates to 7000 BCE, making it 9,000 years old!

Musée de la bible et Terre Sainte 

It is an simplified, archetypical human face, whose generic appearance would make it seem familiar to people in any time period.

Is it any wonder that this ancient mask also resembles the "happy face" ☺, probably the most used emoticon in today's digital communications?

On a side note, I definitely think that this should be the mask of choice for political & civic protests from now on.

Besides being an expression of what the late Terence McKenna called "The Archaic Revival", it is a perfectly creepy & uniform visage for protesters to hide their faces.

People should start wearing these en masse- instead of the Guy Fawkes mask from "V for Vendetta", which is owned by corporate giant Time Warner. Instead of ironically paying a faceless corporation for protest masks, individuals should print out or make their own 3D versions of this neolithic mask.

It would represent a conscious return to basic human values & those timeless qualities that we all want to uphold:

Creative freedom, artistic expression, the right to some degree of privacy, the ability to explore our multifaceted identities, & the simple pleasure of personal happiness.


Hypno-Bachmann

I started a profile on Cheezburger.com so I can post some of my crazy creations there.

My favorite sections to browse are FAIL Blog, Picture is Unrelated, Señor GIF, & Totally Looks Like.

Anyway, the first image I decided to post was this mind-bending animated GIF of ol' crazy eyes, Michele Bachmann.

Click on the link to give it an upvote:

Señor GIF:





Simple Advice

There is always some kind of hardship & misery in life.

However, we are in this world for a short time, and so much of the experience is wasted. Many people are too caught up in their day-to-day thoughts & activities to take a step back from it all.

There are endless self-help books, articles, & talks with instructions on how to make the most out our lives. The simple advice below is all you need to remember whenever you feel overwhelmed or frustrated by life's inevitable burdens.

Even if it's once a day, remembering to take a couple deep breaths & feel the joy of being alive can go a long way to improving our outlook on the world.


"Take a deep breath
and enjoy your life"

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Profoundly Wrong Fortune

My brother found this & I thought it was a great Zen koan, an undecipherable riddle.

Here is your fortune for the day... (Read it twice.) 




Q: What is contain it everything?

A: Wisdom.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Big Paul's Adventures in History

 Happy Birthday to my Dad, Big Paul! 

My Dad is a cool dude, but works hard & has a crazy commute each day. When he gets a chance to sit down, it usually turns into a snooze-fest. I have dozens of photos of him sleeping at family parties & holidays. My friend Dan J gave me the idea to photoshop Big Paul sleeping his way through the most important events in history. I made prints of these & he couldn't stop laughing when he saw them.

Everyone who knows him can agree he's a good guy & fathered some awesome people :D 

In his honor, I'm reposting his album of 'History Adventures'. He's snored through some amazing events...

Picasa Web Album:

Movie Review: "Man of Steel"



I went to see "Man of Steel" in 3D the other night & I thought it was excellent. They finally made a great Superman movie!

Usually, I pick apart superhero movies, but this was really well done & I have no major criticisms at all. I can't even sit through any of the old Chris Reeves Superman movies & I didn't even bother watching 'Superman Returns'. In this film, though, the awesome special effects were able to properly show off Superman's powers & the action was beyond intense.

The movie stayed true to the comics, but the story & visuals had effectively fresh treatments. Henry Cavill played the part of Superman perfectly.




General Zod ended up being a pretty cool villain, with epic super-battles between him & Kal El, aka Superman. Though he didn't appear, there were also hints of Lex Luthor, on trucks marked "LexCorp." in a couple scenes.

My biggest complaint is that Lois Lane should have been a brunette. For some reason, I couldn't get past her having reddish hair. If Amy Adams had this look instead, it would've been way better.


There were a few other nitpicky faults I could find with the film, but overall I really enjoyed it. It is definitely the best live action depiction of Superman so far.

One other thing I don't understand is- WHY they haven't produced a video game to go along with this movie?!?!?!?! It's unbelievable.

 The Official Monkey Buddha Rating:  8.5 out of 10

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Alien Lab" by Paul Micarelli

I've added another image to my online album of 3D art.


This one shows an alien clone suspended within a vat, inside a futuristic lab. 
Is it aboard a spaceship? Is it on another planet? Is it deep underground, beneath a military base here on Earth?... It remains a mystery, like the alien enigma itself.
by Paul Micarelli 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Park Lake Panorama

If it's nice out on the weekend, sometimes I eat breakfast in a lakeside park near my house. 

I sit by the water, trying to clear my head by watching the scenery while listening to the wind & birds chirping. It's great to relax in nature, so I try to take advantage of living close to a park.

This weekend I was experimenting with the panorama feature on the iPhone camera. I took this shot of the area by the edge of the lake, where I was sitting.

click to enlarge



Justin in 4-D

This weekend, I was telling my brother about taking panorama photos on the iPhone.

As I was showing him the camera feature, we wondered what would happen if someone was moving through the scene. He marched across the lawn & I tried to keep him in the frame as I moved the camera.

The resulting image is a bit surreal, like a photographic version of a Marcel Duchamp painting. It is a choppy 2D visual representation of time, as a fourth dimension that we are moving "through".

click to enlarge



Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Grand Dude"

I created this graphic to put on a T-shirt for my Dad for Father's Day. It came in late so I'll be giving it to him for his birthday instead.

He is enjoying being a Pop-pop to my nephews, so I know he'll be wearing this alot.

The design is on my Cafepress page, for any other cool grandfathers out there!

The Monkey Buddha Bazaar:


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Art of Living

As an artist myself, with a great appreciation for the Surrealist movement, I was very amused by this comic:

by Grant Snider


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Uncle Sam: "I See YOU"

After writing my last post about the latest revelations concerning the NSA & "Big Data", I saw this great animated GIF graphic by artist Mike Mitchell:


It's a super-creepy twist on the iconic WWI 'Uncle Sam' Poster.

Library of Congress:
James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960) 

Instead of the patriotic call to arms, "I Want You"- this dark version of Uncle Sam is looking at us through his magic surveillance goggles, & reminding us, "I See YOU"...


Monday, June 10, 2013

Privacy, National Security, & The Digital Overmind


 graohic from the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Edward Snowden is the latest whistleblower making headlines over "leaks" that expose the inner workings of government spy agencies & intelligence contractors. The massive surveillance & data collection activities of these entities are now public knowledge. Most people who know anything about information technology realized this kind of thing was probably going on for many years. The former CIA employee has now single-handedly brought the debate over corporate & government overreach to the forefront.

The Guardian:

There were many people during the Bush years who tried to warn about the inevitable bureaucratic & technical nightmare that was being put in place, under the guise of National Security. It was clear that a real danger existed in the emergence of these vast data collection capabilities & also in the unchecked power granted to various unaccountable agencies, in the name of the quixotic "War on Terror"™.

My family often talks about the issue of privacy, & how modern technology erodes certain aspects of that away. We joke about how it's impossible to "stay off the grid" & have a completely private life anymore, with mobile devices like the iPhone that keep you connected continuously. Especially where family & friends are concerned, I actually don't think there's anything inherently wrong with living more open, public lives through social sites or other digital presence.  

The human experience is becoming more interconnected, whether we like it or not.

The basic feature of life is connectivity. Online services like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, etc are amazing tools that help people to connect to the entire realm of human information & directly to other people.

Despite their positive aspects, these tools are also inherently subject to abuse. The people who are citizens & customers of these services must stay vigilant to prevent policies that are likely to result in negative effects for society.

I personally think "privacy" is one of those nebulous subjects, that only exists as far as people agree it exists in certain circumstances. At this point in the Digital Age, though, most people (including myself) would argue for the need of some degree of privacy in one's personal life. Ideally, it would be up to the individual how much of one's self to make public, & with whom they choose to share the information.

The areas of National Intelligence & Telecommunications are enormous, complicated endeavors. They clearly have capabilities which are beyond the comprehension of the average person. Although Big Brother may not be personally listening to every conversation you have, society needs to debate the use of these systems & how to protect against their abuse. You can never trust any authority or power structure to NOT abuse their power.  Unfortunately for privacy advocates, I don't know how the hell you can stuff the massive information genie back into the bottle marked: "PRIVATE!".

This problem was bigger than Dubya himself, even though it was escalated under his administration... & it's bigger than Obama, despite the continuation of these questionable activities. The President probably has little operational control over all this spying madness. I'm sure he doesn't like some of the things going on, but how does anyone even begin to reign in the many out-of-control aspects of the intelligence & security industries- not just in the U.S., but around the globe?

The Internet is being flooded with data, every moment now. We are constantly feeding into the growing virtual hive mind, that is integrating human consciousness into a luminal layer of virtual information & shared experience.

Either 1) we decide to completely eliminate the augmented lifestyle offered by our digital devices & the web, or 2) we need to accept the unavoidable aspects of the situation and strive to make it work with us, & not against us.

These kind of topics always make me think to the future and wonder how these evolving issues will be dealt with as our tech & our minds evolve. Once we have computer brain implants like the Apple iThink, then a telepathy-like messaging system, using thought alone, will likely be possible. We will need to create virtual mechanisms for blocking & allowing certain messages, and also have a way for your status stay hidden from others if you want. Before receiving such a implant, people will probably still demand ways to virtually "unplug", to prevent your signal from connecting to the network, at your will. Hopefully, this kind of future technology won't have to be synonymous with the way the government & telecom companies currently conduct business.

In the meantime, anyone who risks their own freedom to expose the truth about problems within government and corporate operations is doing society a service. The State may give them serious prison time & ruin their lives, but a responsible whistleblower believes in the selfless mission of informing the populace of wrongdoing so that others will benefit from its change.


Friday, June 07, 2013

An Out-of-this-World Drinking Buddy

It's Friday, so that means it's time to grab a cold Space Beer with your favorite giant squid alien!
 

Using the magic of Google Image Search, I discovered the creator of this masterpiece is artist Bob Eggleton:


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Snake Love

 I uploaded a nature video I shot this weekend while relaxing outside. My backyard is like Wild Kingdom.

Not long before filming the video below, I also heard something walking around the side of my house. All of a sudden a wild turkey almost as high as my chest walked up on my patio! It surprised the crap out of me & I yelled "WTF!" The turkey ran off into the woods before I could get any pics of it, but then I witnessed this serpentine spectacle:


I recommend watching it on YouTube, using the HD 720p setting.

Here's the description of the video:

"I'm always seeing interesting wildlife in my yard... On a Friday after work, I was sitting outside on my back patio enjoying a beer. All of a sudden, I heard a rustling in the leaves near my woodpile.

When I went over to check it out, there were 2 large snakes (at least 4ft each) intertwined with each other. It was pretty freaky, but my first instinct is usually to take pictures when I see something crazy. They were going at it for awhile, so I tried to get as much video & photos as I could.

At one point they were completely twisted up, like a braid, but I didn't get a good shot of that. I had to get within a couple feet of them to get the footage & I think they realized I was there and both looked in my direction, which was freaky since I was so close to them.

They finally finished up & the one snake slithered into the wooded area. The other one hung around the woodpile for a bit so I got the pic of it alone, at the end of the video. I'm not sure what kind of snakes they were. I was pretty close to them, so I'm glad they didn't try to attack my hand.

I sent my brother some of the photos & he said, "Dude what are u filming snake porn?" which is technically correct. It's still funny, though.

Here are some of the still photos I got of the 2 snakes:





This isn't the first time I've had a crazy snake encounter. While hiking in the mountains, I almost stepped on a large rattlesnake:

Pocono Serpent Quest

TOTALLY GROSS: Snake Eating a Frog

Snake Lunch Buddy