Saturday, December 17, 2005

New JibJab Video: "2-0-5"

JibJab has made some hysterical political animations, & this one is no exception. It is about Dubya's predictably disasterous 2nd term, and all the troubles that have been plaguing him as a result of the incompetence & corruption of the Bush Family Evil Empire.

Click Here for the JibJab homepage,
and click on the big "2-0-5" box
w/ the Commander in Cheat's smirk.

UFO Daylight Video - Bulgaria

This video is pretty crazy. It shows a UFO hovering by a building & zipping away. It looks pretty real, to my discerning eye.

Click Here
to see video

Sunday, December 11, 2005

"Da Vinci's Challenge Articles" update

Updated the post with links to various articles about the Da Vinci's Challenge game that can be found online.

Added the Courier Post article, a article from the Calgary Sun about a 'game night' with Da Vinci's Challenge, and an online review by Tom Vasel that I've seen posted & linked around the web.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

"Meet the World"

This is a very interesting campaign by a Brazilian artist using the different color areas in a country's flag to represent certain statistics about that country. The data is from actual UNICEF or United Nations studies. For instance, the American flag conveys the spectrum of sentiment about the Iraq war:

Monday, December 05, 2005

Da Vinci's Challenge - Courier-Post 12/3/05

I am posting scans of the article that the South Jersey Courier-Post ran about Da Vinci's Challenge on Saturday, Dec. 3rd 2005.

Click here for the Courier-Post online version.

The article exceeded my expectations. Reporter Frank Halperin, photographer Chris LaChall, and the editors & staff put together a really cool piece. At first I thought it was going to run in the Sunday paper, but Frank called me on Saturday to tell me it was in that day's edition.

My Dad stopped by my house to pick something up right after I got the call, so we both went over to the Wawa down the street to check it out. We saw the banner on the top of the front page, and opened to the Living section to see a my mug & Da Vinci's Challenge taking up the whole front page! I have to admit I gave out a "Wooo-hoo!!!" in the store.

It was really important to me to have my Dad there, with a big smile on his face, to see my efforts really starting to pay off. Both of my parents raised me to always do my best, and anything that I ever accomplish in my life is to their credit.

The depth of the article was great, also covering my employers/partners Alan & Alice Gorney, our company 3 Amoebas, the toy company Briarpatch, and the creation of Da Vinci's Challenge at Rowan University.

Click on an image for a larger scan.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Secrets of "Da Vinci's Challenge" (relinked)

Relinked to this post for the benefit of anyone who is visiting my blog as a result of the article that will be in the Courier-Post paper and website this Sunday, Dec. 4th.

"Secrets of Da Vinci's Challenge"
(There are more links down the right side
of The Monkey Buddha main page.)

This is a computer-generated 3D model I am working on
of the 'Classic' version of Da Vinci's Challenge
that I created as senior design student at Rowan University.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Da Vinci's Challenge in Target Ad

Da Vinci's Challenge was shown with other 'Party Games' in the Target weekly circular ad for 11/26/05.

Since looking through the Sunday circular ads to see what's new or on sale has been a weekly ritual in my parents' house growing up, it's cool to see my creation in there.

Here is an image of the page, click on the picture to expand it. Da Vinci's Challenge is in the bottom right photo of games - it's at the bottom of the stack.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Mystery Initiation

The initiate is placed in the psychic condition of a person at the moment of death, his consciousness withdrawn from externals, restricted to and focused upon his mind's internal content, which he is directed to explore and contemplate.

The person initiated begins to experience a force kindled within him, his true spirit. A new being has entered him and become active in his life. Forces slumbering within are awakened; he begins to experience inspiration from a Higher Source and feels the necessity to act in such a manner that he can share in the life of others. Spiritual transformation--re-birth--has occured, bringing about a change in that part of him that is open to "intuition," the voice of "the teacher within."

The Higher Mysteries

Esoteric Christianity

(Essays from the Metaphysical Section
of The New Enlightenment website)

There's a
Monkey Buddha
in all of us!
: )

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Da Vinci's Challenge Articles

I am going to use this post to keep an ongoing record of all the print and web articles that mention or feature the Da Vinci's Challenge board game.
Rowan University Magazine
Micarelli's Game is Serious Business
2005 Holiday Guide - Get Smart! Toys for Kids

South Jersey Courier-Post
Are You Game?

2006 Toy Fair
Press for new Da Vinci's Challenge games

Washington Post
Da Vinci's Challenge - Easy to Learn, Hard to Master
Top 10 Mass Market Games of 2005
Top Toys of 2005Best Teen Toys
Top 10 Ancient Egyptian Games
2005 Mensa Winners
Da Vinci Code Games

Edplay Magazine
Top 10 Fabulous Products

Vineland Daily Journal
The Da Vinci Challenge

Calgary Sun
Oh the Games People Play!

The News Journal of Delaware
Toys Aren't All Fun & Games to This Mom

The Tennessean
Reap the Riches of Family Game Night

Top Toys of 2005 - Preteen

Family Fun Magazine
8 Great New Games for Families

Wikipedia Article
Da Vinci's Challenge

All Info
All Info About Da Vinci's Challenge

Board Game
Da Vinci's Challenge reviews

Bella Online - The Voice of Women
5-Star Review - Da Vinci's Challenge

Hall of Fame - Da Vinci's Challenge

Da Vinci's Challenge Review
Article by Tom Vasel

Rowan University News & Happenings
Classroom Project Becomes Award Winning Game

Toy Directory 2006 Preview
Da Vinci's Mancala
Da Vinci's Challenge Card Game

Boston Herald article (on WTOP website)
Marketer's Follow "Da Vinci" Success with Merchandise

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

StarWars Battlefront 2

Figured I might as well do a trilogy of Star Wars posts. I couldn't hold off getting Battlefront 2 after watching the Star Wars saga on Saturday. I enjoyed the first game, and they somehow made this even more fun.

*Any game that lets you be these guys
is on the top of my list:

Craziest Fight Scene Ever

Yoda vs. Emperor

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Star Wars Marathon

This past weekend, my sister Mandi & her husband Greg had a Star Wars Movie Marathon at their house. We watched all 6 movies in a row in a span of... 16 hours!!! There were a bunch of family & friends coming and going throughout the day, but us 3 and Mandi's friend Warren stuck out the whole saga.

We started Ep. I at 10AM and finished Return of the Jedi by 3AM the next morning. They had a projector hooked up to a laptop, and we used their large spare room as a mini-theater, with one entire wall as a screen. It made me not want to watch it on a regular TV! Both our family, Greg's family, and many of our friends are fans of the series, and this was an occasion we really enjoyed.

We were half-babbling burnouts by the last movie, but it was great to see the entire story play out at one time. The Emperor and Vader are just the best characters. Episode III, Revenge of the Sith is my favorite Star Wars movie, despite the cheesy love scenes & dialogue that even a 5 yr. old can make fun of. These movies are such a great source of entertainment and imagination, that things like ridiculously bad acting in a few scenes can be overlooked.

I actually predicted that Episode III was going to be called 'Revenge of the Sith' at least a couple years before the title was announced. I guessed it based on the names of the other prequels mirroring the original triology movies.
Don't believe me? I made this in 2002:

Monday, November 07, 2005

Meeting a Master - Alex Grey

This was a very exciting weekend for me.
I had the opportunity to attend a presentation by visionary artist Alex Grey called "In Search of Truth."

He was a great speaker who captivated everyone there with his wisdom, wit, and powerful art.

After the program, he was signing books and calenders for the people who attended.
His wife, Allyson, was trying to move the line along and selling calenders.
At first, it was kind of hectic, so my brother Justin & I waited for the crowd to die down.

When we did get to the table, I gave Allyson a copy of my "Da Vinci's Challenge" game for their family. Allyson gave me a hug, and Alex complimented the production value and look of the game! Alex asked me for some contact info, so I happily gave them my business card!!!

They took some time and talked to us, and Alex signed some items for us. Allyson was kind enough to give me a free copy of Alex's 2006 calender (Since there were alot of people standing around, she pulled me aside and said it would be a trade-off for the copy of the game that I gave them!)

All in all, it was a inspirational night that I will never forget.
Both Alex and Allyson were wonderful to us, and we left absolutely thrilled!
Even typing these words, my mind is still reeling from the fact that I had the precious opportunity to shake hands with a creative genius whose art has inspired me so greatly. (I tried to explain it to my Dad by telling him it would be like him getting to meet Eric Clapton.)

Alex Grey is my favorite living artist, and I consider him a modern master with a style and content that is as revolutionary as Cubism or Surrealism... it is a Visual Mysticism that must be seen to be appreciated.

I am posting a scan of the picture, called "Painting" he signed for me:
"To Paul - Blessings on your creative path - Alex Grey"

(click to enlarge)
I'm also posting an image of the picture that my brother Justin got signed,
called "The Visionary Origin of Language" that depicts our psychedelic cognitive beginnings.

Alex signed it with the unforgettable suggestion:
"To Justin - Listen to the Hyperspace Elves - Alex Grey"

(If Justin remembers to bring over the pic that he actually got signed, I'll scan & post that, too.)
This is close enough for now:

New Da Vinci's Challenge Box

You know what they say... there's always room for improvement.
Here's a sneak peek at the new Da Vinci's Challenge box that will be shipping in 2006.
(Click on each image for a larger version)

The side panel on the top of the box will list the awards the game has won:
I also made some improvements to the front of the box:

The "Da Vinci's Challenge Card Game" and "Da Vinci's Mancala" will also be in stores by this Spring.
(I'll post more about these games closer to their ship dates.)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Merry Fitzmas!

Patrick Fitzgerald, model of American integrity

Leave it to an Irishman to take on the tough battle! The indictment of Vice-President Cheney's staff, Lewis Libby, is the first indictment of a White House official in over 100 years. Patrick Fitzgerald, the non-partisan special prosecuter for the 'CIA Leak' case is a true hero for taking on the Bush mafia.

People are always complaining about corruption in politics, but the Bush Administration has continually taken it to whole new levels. This is only the first step in exposing the amount of illegal behavior going on.

**You might think, well, all this crap about exposing a CIA agent's cover and lying about weapons of mass destruction... and the only counts against Libby are about lying to the Grand Jury?!? Why didn't they indict anyone for the original crimes? Well......
1) If people are intentionally lying to you and the Jury, that means there are false stories being floated around and you need to get to the bottom of what the facts really are. Therefore....
2) The fact that the investigation will continue under a new Grand Jury means that the trail leading to Karl Rove and higher is still being followed and the Bush Presidency will be plagued by the uncovering of this specific crime and the entire illegal process that led to the American wars of aggression in the Middle East.

"Catch me if you can, bitches!!!"

Karl Rove
Model of an American Pig-Headed Asshole

Thursday, October 27, 2005

9/11 Coincidence Theory

'Conspiracy Theory' has such a negative tone when used to describe government or military activity. It creates images of shady, powerful people behind the scenes creating evil plans of destruction and exploitation for strategic goals. We all know that U.S. government officials, especially within the Bush Administration, have way too much integrity and morality to cause such horrible situations!

"Yeah, too much integrity.... now f*ck off!"

Sooooo, let's just look at a few of the 'Coincidences' from the above link (which in no way should be taken to suggest that 9/11 was some kind of government/military/corporate/intelligence operation.... that's crazy talk!!!).

Remember, it's all simply a coincidence...

"That so many influential figures in and close to the Bush White House had expressed, just a year before the attacks, the need for a 'new Pearl Harbor' before their militarist ambitions could be fulfilled, demonstrates nothing more than the accidental virtue of being in the right place at the right time."

"That Afghanistan is once again the world's principal heroin producer is an unfortunate reality, but to claim the CIA is still actively involved in the narcotics trade is to presume bad faith on the part of the agency."

"That FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds accuses the agency of intentionally fudging specific pre-9/11 warnings and harboring a foreign espionage ring in its translation department, and claims she witnessed evidence of the semi-official infrastructure of money-laundering and narcotics trade behind the attacks,
is of no account, since John Ashcroft has gagged her with the rare invocation of "State Secrets Privilege,"
and retroactively classified her public testimony."

"The mention of Israelis with links to military-intelligence having been arrested on Sept 11 videotaping and celebrating the attacks, of an Israeli espionage ring surveiling DEA and defense installations and trailing the hijackers, and of a warning of impending attacks delivered to the Israeli company Odigo two hours before the first plane hit, does not deserve a response. That the stories also appeared in publications such as Ha'aretz and Forward is a sad display of self-hatred among certain elements of the Israeli media."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

'Boondocks' TV Cartoon

Excuse me, everyone,
I have a brief announcement to make...

Jesus was black,
Ronald Reagan was the Devil,
and the government is lying about 9-11!

Trailers for the "Boondocks" cartoon on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.
(click here)

This is one of my favorite 'Boondocks' strips:(click to enlarge)

Monday, October 24, 2005

We are a Human/Bacteria Hybrid

If you are a paranoid germ-a-phobe, you definitely don't want to read this. You might pass out.

I don't think most people would believe the fact that less than 10% of our entire mass is actually human cells, while over 90% of our mass is bacteria and other single-celled organisms!!!!

This is just another reason why seeing a human being as some kind of singular entity, separate from the rest of the world, is ridiculous. We are a constantly morphing collection of cells, organisms, energy, and other elements in a process of continual change existing before, during, and after the time frame we call 'life'.

The idea that each one of us is an individual, self-contained 'person' is a figment of the imagination.

(I'm not even going to get into the very real theory that all life on Earth originated from bacteria-filled meteors that originated from Mars when it had life billions of years ago.)

Here is what 90% of your body mass is:

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Faith in Reason and Creative Thinking

"If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false,
then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims,"

"No one who wants to understand the world
can ignore the basic insights of theories as key as
evolution, relativity and quantum mechanics."

- Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama participating in the creation of a sand mandala;
an intricate pattern memorized by the monks,
created with fine colored sand,
and finally swept up and dispersed
as a symbol of transience and awareness.
Longwood Gardens' website has a great visual description
of the process of making and ritually destroying a sand mandala.
Page 1: Creating the Mandala
Page 2: Dismantling the Mandala

Worlds Within Worlds

Don't click if you are afraid to experience
a mind-bending trip through the infinite scale of the universe.

Fractal Reality

Monday, October 10, 2005

Broken Jesus

From the blog Operation Eden, a personal chronicle of the New Orleans disaster by a resident.

"For what is the nature of your life?
Why, it is but a mist,
which appears for a short time and then
is seen no more."

- James 4:14

"You live on earth only for a few short years which you call an incarnation,
and then you leave your body as an outworn dress and go for refreshment
to your true home in the spirit."
- White Eagle

"Normally we do not like to think about death.
We would rather think about life.
Why reflect on death?
When you start preparing for death you soon realize
that you must look into your life... now
...and come to face the truth of your self.
Death is like a mirror in which the true meaning of life is reflected."
- Sogyal Rinpoche

Since everything is but an apparition,
having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection,
one may well burst out in laughter.

Smurf War Atrocities

This idea for a Belgian anti-war commercial by UNICEF and the family of the Smurf's creator 'Peyo' is as brilliant as it is freakin' disturbing. There's nothing that will jolt a person's consciousness like using a symbol of childhood happiness & innocence treated in a way that causes unease or even horror.

Cartoon characters' village bombed in anti-war TV commercial

Of course, we all know that it was that Capitalist, Zionist bastard Gargamel and his feline enforcer Azreal who bombed the Commie Smurfs for refusing to become his economic commodoties!!! Oh c'mon, you never heard the theory that "The Smurfs" was really an allegory about communism and capitalism? It's sooo crazy, it simply has to be true! Right?


Sometimes there are no words...

The Secret Liberal Plot of Bush & Cheney!

Wow, it all makes so much sense now!!!

click to enlarge

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"Going Tribal"

The series "Going Tribal" on the Discovery Channel is one of the best shows on TV.

The episode I saw tonight ("African Vision Quest") was awesome. Here is a synopsis from the website of another crazy episode I've seen...

Bruce learns the secrets of the spirits when he joins the Sanema, a group of indigenous people who live in the Upper Caura region of Venezuela, to discover the strange dual-reality world in which they live. The Sanema believe spirits dwell in everything — the river, the rocks and the animals around them — in a world as real to them as the jungle they live in. And their shamans can commune with such spirits through the use of hallucinogenic snuff. Now Bruce faces the task of training as a shaman to get an insight into their experiences.

Modern Civilization has a short attention span, and we seem to forget, despite the clear evidence, that all religion and mystical knowledge of the human race traces back to the shamanic experience, a tradition found in every part of the globe, from the beginning of human consiousness. These are not the backwards beliefs of wacky primitive people, but the true Eden. These practices represent the original spiritual nature of man; deeply connected to the world, both the seen and unseen. All the rigid social constructs and symbols "civilization" has created are pale shadows of such mind-altering, ego-dissolving mystic initiations. Lack of such transcendent experiences leads to the cultural schizophrenia present in the modern world. We go through our lives learning facts, figures, and dogma in school and in life, but we are no longer taught wisdom of what we really are, the possibilities of the mind, or the nature of reality.

Evolve TV

Evolve TV is a new site that (so far) has two great interviews by the web's most influential progressive bloggers. The interviews are broken up into segments you can view at your leisure.

Duncan Black, aka Atrios, of the widely-read blog talks with Dr. Paul Myers regarding Evolution and Intelligent Design. Duncan was kind enough to post about Da Vinci's Challenge in exchange for designing a new Eschaton logo for his site. This is an insightful interview with excellent discussion covering many aspects and viewpoints of this topic.

I personally wish the very un-scientific term 'evolution' would be discarded in favor of 'natural selection', which is observable fact. Here are my views on this ridiculous 'controversy.' The fact that this issue is even getting a hearing in a Pennsylvania court is a goddamn national disgrace. We look like a nation of ignorant fools when it comes to matters of science vs. religion.

Also, Markos of discusses topics regarding the Iraq Occupation and the Middle East in general with Dr. Juan Cole, a history professor and expert on Middle Eastern language, culture, and current events. Watching this interview is more informative than a year's worth of Fox News reports.

Leonardo on PBS & the Met Museum

Caught the end of an interesting show on PBS about Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks and studies.

They have a nice website with some good links:

One of links is for the exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY - "Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman" that was shown in the winter of 2003. I had the priviledge of seeing this huge collection of Leonardo's drawings and sketches in February with my sister and a group of friends for my birthday. It was overwhelming trying to experience and appreciate all the work displayed.

Seeing this exhibit and the DalĂ­ show in Philly were 2 of the most significant events in my life, because I have studied those two artists since I first started learning about art as a kid. I remember reading a book on Leonardo's biography & artwork for a book report in like 5th grade. The third great master left that I want to see is Picasso. There needs to be a exhibit for ol' Pablo soon! There are his pieces in the Phil. Art Museum, but I'm talking about a large-scale exhibit. Seeing the volume of work of great artists like these is pretty awe-inspring.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Crazy Wisdom Quotes Updated

I updated my collection of Crazy Wisdom Quotes.


Psychic Mind Reader

This is a pretty cool game:
Flash Mind Reader
Read the directions carefully, see what symbol represents the number you come up with, and click the crystal ball.

I actually looked online to see how they did this.
Don't read until you try to figure it out yourself!!!

Here is a simpler explanation (highlight to read):
Every answer to the formula is a multiple of "9" - 18, 27, 36, 45, etc
The symbols are randomized every time,
but the multiples of 9 always show the same symbol.
This symbol will be the answer.

'Party of Values'

Guess what the 'values' are? Money, Power, and Political Revenge!

To all my GOP friends & family... it's never too late to register as an Independent!

Scandal Stalls Bush's Second Term

House of Representatives:
House Majority Leader Tom Delay Indicted in Texas Fundraising Probe
Tom Delay Exercises His Right to Incriminate Himself

Inquiry into Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's Insider Trading Upgraded to Formal Investigation

White House:
A White House Smear
Cheney Directly Involved With CIA Leak Scandal
Bush Directly Involved With CIA Leak Scandal
(This scandal is the worst because it involves the exposure of an important undercover national security operation for nothing but vindictive political payback.)
What do ya expect to happen
when Americans don't care about politics & government?!?

Heh, heh, heh...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Truth in Numbers

The anti-war rallies around the country 9/24/05 were obviously not aimed at our soldiers. How can you have anything but the utmost respect for people of your own generation willing to give their life for the safety of our country?

What the majority of Americans now understand is that the civilian leadership has intentionally misled and incompetently handled this entire invasion/occupation in a way that is hard to describe except for 'criminal'.

It is not the military, or even war, that is objectional. I consider m
yself pacifist, but I recognize that national defense is an unavoidable reality. However... what is not just objectionable, but truly dangerous, is misleading the country into a war of aggression that violated international conventions and America's ideals, and then entangling our military assests in a nationalist insurgency. Meanwhile, our domestic situation is grim and our Treasury has been reduced to one big I.O.U. There needs to be complete and overwhelming opposition to this Administration's destructive policies. These protests and demonstrations are one step in holding the government leadership accountable for their failures.

Washington, DC
September 24, 2005

• Pro-Peace: @100,000-300,000 People

• Pro-War: @200-400 People

"Please tell us more lies, Mr. President!!!!!"

"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9)

"War creates peace
like hate creates love."
- David Wilson

"Terrorism is the war of the poor,
War is the terrorism of the rich."
- Peter Ustinov

"A patriot must always be willing to defend
his country against his government."
- Edward Abbey

"Winning a thousand battles is not the supreme excellence.
The supreme excellence is to subdue the armies of your enemies
without even having to fight them."
- Sun Tzu

"If there is one principle more deeply rooted
in the mind of every American,
it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest."
- Thomas Jefferson

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can,
only as one who has seen
its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."

- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Secrets of Da Vinci's Challenge

As a designer, I feel that all my work can be considered art - regardless of whether it's a package graphics, art for stationery products, or toy/game design. "Da Vinci's Challenge" is a special case for me, though, because it carries more of a classic sense of what art is; a creation that can evoke intellectual and emotional response, holds symbolic meaning, and has a unique aesthetic value.

The most amazing thing about "Da Vinci's Challenge" as a piece of functional art is its timeless heritage. The pattern of interlocking circles that defines the playing surface of the gameboard is an ancient symbol known throughout history by various names; The Flower of Life, the Language of Light, and the Language of Silence... all of which hint at the transcendental and mysterious essence of this beautiful design.

Flower of Life Carving at Osirian Temple in Egypt

The oldest known physical example of this symbol is in the 6,000 year old Osirian Temple in Abydos, Egypt. The temple was a subterranean complex dedicated to Osiris, the god symbolizing death and regeneration... the afterlife and resurrection. The once-underground chambers are the most ancient of all the ancient Egyptian ruins. "The Flower of Life" symbol is carved with laser-like accuracy on huge granite blocks in the temple walls.

In the context of ancient Egyptian mystery religions, "The Flower of Life" represented the infinite, yet structured matrix that subtly forms the reality we experience. This underlying order can be called God, the Universe, the Quantum Field, the Tao, or whatever you prefer to call it. It is the complete, all-encompassing flux of the world- from the smallest electron fields to the largest scales of the cosmos.

This symbol was used by ancient priests and spiritual initiates as a mandala, a geometric or symbolic pattern that is used to focus on a particular state of mind or experience. "The Flower of Life" was used as a meditation on Unity and Interconnectedness. This is not some metaphysical, abstract mumbo-jumbo, but reflects the basic nature of the world we live in.

Every aspect of the universe is connected and meshed at a base level. Science has firmly demonstrated the mystical concept that the cosmos is nothing but patterns of energy vibration interacting at different levels. The real Mystery is how this seemingly random quantum soup organizes itself into recognizable forms and a mind that can perceive these forms. It's easy to say, "God does it all." God IS the mystery, though, so in order to really understand this statement, one has to really investigate the Mystery!

When you look into ideas such as sacred geometry, divine proportion, fractals, physics, cosmology, and other such disciplines, you gain a greater appreciation for the beauty and unexplainable complexity of the universe. The greater your awareness of the structure and nature of reality, the better prepared you will be to utilize it to the benefit of yourself and others. Because of the connective neural structure of the human brain, our mental perceptions of the entire universe are based on our perceived patterns of causal or physical connection. "The Flower of Life" perfectly illustrates this ordered intricate web of scale, structure, and vibration that defines the world. "The Flower of Life" represents the face of God more ideally than any anthropomorphic painting by Michelangelo.

Besides the philosophical meaning that can be drawn from "The Flower of Life" symbol, there is also rich mathematical knowledge that can be found within the perfectly symmetrical form of interlocking circles. Leonardo da Vinci used his keen intellect and sense of observation to study the geometries found within the Flower of Life.

Flower of Life Studies 
by Leonardo da Vinci

The pattern is deceptively easy to create. It is begun by simply overlapping 2 identical circles, so the edge of each circle touches the midpoint of the other.

This symbol itself is one of the most ancient and universal symbols known to man. The intersecting circles form a central shape called the 'Vesica Pisces' which, in Christian art, is the basis for the 'Jesus fish' and also the symbol of the womb that the Virgin Mary is often portrayed within. This is a symbol more widely used and much older than Christianity, though. It is a symbol of life, creation, vision, and birth. Incidentally, the Vesica Pisces also defines the energy patterns that lead cells to organize into vital human forms such as the eye, the urethra, the womb, and the mouth. When you start to see such patterns in nature, it is almost as if you are looking into the programming code of reality and the mind.

The third circle is added by placing its midpoint on one of the places where the first two circles intersect. Now the pattern has been establish and it becomes a self-replicating pattern. This step in the pattern can be seen to symbolize the Trinity where a third-dimension of Spirit and Space define the Creation pattern so it becomes a self-regulating phenomenon. From now on, a circle can be placed with its midpoint centered anywhere that the edges of two other circles intersect. The pattern can continue to be repeated and extended endlessly.

A circle is considered rightly to be the perfect form. It represents 'oneness' and 'completeness' its edge has no beginning and no end, but a definite form. This is the fundamental shape that represents the planets, the stars, the moon, the eye, bubbles, water drops. It is the most efficient and sound way to structure matter.

A circle is also the most pleasing to the eye, because of the structural self-similarity. This is easy to prove through understanding human nature. When we are first born, our mind is programmed to search for circles!!! We are automatically drawn to the circular eyes of our mother for recognition, and the round nipples of our mother for nourishment.

This is truly the universal form, and has become the optimal natural shape to guide the survival instincts of human life. Even when we grow older, we are entranced by the circle and compelled to reproduce and continue our species through such mechanisms as our attraction to the 'round' parts of the anatomy. This is part of the wonder of the process of nature and how it is organized in such a fascinating, yet effective way.

The symbol made from the seven circles at the center of "The Flower of Life" is called "The Seed of Life". It can be seen as a metaphor for the 7 days of Genesis from which all Creation expands out of the One, the single center circle. From this basis, the pattern of Creation can expand indefinitely and can contain endless number and types of forms. "The Flower of Life" is a representation of the infinite, yet orderly, matrix that describes both the interconnected structure of the mind and of the Universe that it perceives.

The shapes and colors of the game pieces in "Da Vinci's Challenge" represent the duality that seems to be ingrained in our mental experiences and perceptions. The patterns that are made using these shapes on the game board can be seen as a representation of the infinite forms that can arise from the underlying matrix of order in the Universe and in our brains. The dual black and white colors, as well as the triangle and long oval shapes can be thought of as representations of yin and yang, male and female, active and passive, 0 and 1 binary characteristics that our duality-based consciousness is trained to experience.

By contemplating the overall, random pattern these shapes make when they are all placed on the the underlying matrix of the game board by the end of the game- you can draw comparisons to the structure and nature of the universe and the infinite forms that also arise from basic elements and principles.

All good art and symbolism packs the maximum amount of information in the minimum amount of space. "The Flower of Life" has been recognized throughout history as a symbol of prime importance because of the infinite amount of geometric, spiritual, and symbolic information that it can represent.

I encourage you to explore the concepts I've talked about here to help deepen your understanding of your own mind and the world we experience through the limiting filter of the mind. From the beginning of its conception, "Da Vinci's Challenge" has always been intended to be a source of insight, inspiration, and a connection to timeless wisdom for everyone who encounters it.

Most of all, I hope it continues to be a source of enjoyment and bonding for those who play it.

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