Friday, June 29, 2007

Monkey Buddha Birthday

I just realized, looking at the archive links down the side of the page, that The Monkey Buddha blog is 2 years old! It seems much longer since I made the first post, about the Da Vinci's Challenge game I created. Time flies when you're flinging knowledge around like monkey poop!!!

Blogger is a great creative tool, and I can only hope that Google or the whole internet isn't hit by some cataclysm that destroys the work of millions of people. That would suck. Ok, enough doom & gloom...

Since The Monkey Buddha is a virtual entity,
the best way to celebrate is with a virtual monkey cake... Enjoy!

Mmmm, those are some tasty-looking pixels!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Top 3 Reasons I'm Not Getting an iPhone

There are only 3 reasons that I'm not getting the iPhone, which is a revolutionary piece of technology. I would be a filthy liar if I said I didn't really, really want one.
However, to keep myself from an expensive impulse buy, I'm telling myself....

3. I'd rather have a better version w/ initial bugs worked out.

2. $500

1. I don't want to switch my carrier to AT&T

I will probably wait until my current phone contract is up & see what the deal is. Apple is going to have to get on board with other carriers eventually. If Verizon & Apple sign a deal in the near future, I may well end up at least $500 poorer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Iraqi Archaeological Playing Cards

The only thing as appalling as the widespread destruction of innocent life caused by our occupation of Iraq is the loss of precious art & artifacts. The looting of the Baghdad museum waaaay back in 2003 was one of the first things that convinced me that the strategy in Iraq was actually not to bring Democracy, but Destruction.

We were never there to save anyone or help the people in the Cradle of Civilization, we went in there to divide and decimate it. It was obvious to people with clear vision 4 years ago, and it should be obvious now to any idiot with a little hindsight. Our vital military and national resources have been misused in a disgraceful way that has only profited oil companies and military contractors. The Neocon ideology that has ruled the White House considers American troops to be mere political pawns in an international chess game, instead of what they are - citizens fighting for the good of their nation.

The U.S. government has recently issued our soldiers playing cards depicting Iraqi archaeological treasures and info on how to protect them. If this isn't a case of 'too little, too late', I don't know what is.

Impeach, Then Convict

This diary from DailyKos provides an example of how people of all political stripes are finally coming to their senses and realizing that the Bush/Cheney White House is a lair of villains:

"Bush should be tried as a war criminal after impeachment, says former Reagan official."

It's depressing that there is even still a debate whether Bush & Dick should be impeached. The reality is that they should be subject to much more severe consequences. The idea of these madmen slipping out of office in 2008 to retire to Paraguay (or wherever fascists go to hide) is almost as disgusting as the idea of them being in charge of the U.S. government in the first place.

Of course, there's the possibility that the insanity of Bush Inc. (a subsidiary of Halliburton) is necessary in some cosmic way. Perhaps we need to witness the depths of human depravity before we can grow and transform as a global culture into something that transcends such destructive paradigms.... or maybe they are just a bunch of a-holes.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Monkey Crotch Playground

It's hard to offend a Monkey Buddha,
but this is just obscene on so many levels...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mayan Art Links

I've found some cool sites about the art one of the most fascinating ancient cultures - the Maya, of what is now Yucatan Mexico and the surrounding region. Although they suffered from the same tendency to institutionalized violence as any other large & imperial society, they were also creators of written language, art, and science that was pretty sophisticated. However, the Mayan style was so unique, creative, and alien that I wonder how much of it was influenced by Teonanácatl, the ancient sacrament known as 'The Flesh of the Gods'.

This link has zoomable images of sculpture & carving:
National Gallery of Art: Courtly Art of the Mayans

The link to A Masterpiece Revealed on the following page has an awesome interactive tour of a 2,000 year old mural uncovered in San Bartolo, Guatemala. It is a great feature that really helps give context & meaning to art that can be initially very confusing to look at for someone unfamiliar with the style.
NOVA scienceNOW: Maya

Here are some pages from Mesa Community College website that are very informative and have further links to explore:
K'ul Ahaw - Divine Lords and Shamans of the Forests
Main Mayan Studies Page

Microsoft: Photosynth Demo &... iPod Design?

Even though this is Photosynth technology that has probably been stolen by The Great Satan, Microsoft, it is pretty interesting. It seems a little clunky, though. The demos I've seen of touchscreen technology make me much more giddy.

Speaking of Microsoft, there is a video spoof on how it would re-design and utterly destroy the brilliance of the iPod & its packaging. As a designer who is all about Apple, I find this spoof to be hysterical:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rome Reborn Rome Reborn

The art and technology of computer visualization is changing our whole human experience. Human consciousness is going to have to transcend itself simply to keep up with the tidal wave of visual and virtual information being produced around the globe.

One thing I really enjoy is reconstructions or visualizations of ancient architecture, art, & tech. The "Engineering an Empire" series is great because of the detail and accuracy produced. I saw that there is a project called 'Rome Reborn' by the University of Virginia that maps the layout and architecture of ancient Rome. The great thing about this work is that it will be built upon. The level of detail will improve, life such as plants, pets, and citizens added, more realistic shading, etc.

I've always dreamed of a system in which a pair of glasses could be worn that impose a virtual historical representation of the place you are at. So if you were in Rome, a super detailed version of the ancient version of the city would appear in the shades and allow you to be immersed in the environment. Perhaps the tiny, powerful, & networked computer of the near future could even impose ancient 3D representations of the actual people around you into the image, to prevent you from bumping into someone!

It's encouraging to see such amazing work being done that fuses boundaries between art, history, technology, and archeology. 'Rome Reborn' Model Pushes Frontiers of 3-D Simulation Ancient Rome Brought Back to Life

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mike Gravel - Rock

The first I heard about Democratic Presidential Candidate Mike Gravel was from my parents. I didn't see the first Democratic debate, & my Dad was saying something about "this crazy old guy". In my family, 'crazy' is not necessarily a bad term, so I had to see who they were talking about. Even tough I'd throw him in to replace Bush or Cheney any day, this video convinced me... I'd much rather have a quirky Zen master in charge of things than an obnoxious cowboy-wannabe.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Diamond-Encrusted Platinum Skull

No, it's not the severed & skinned head of Paris Hilton...'s what is being called the most expensive piece of contemporary art. With a multi-faceted name, "For the Love of God" by Damien Hirst is a platinum cast of an 18th century skull. It has been covered with 8,601 flawless diamonds to create a thought-provoking work of stunning contrasts;
macabre vs. glitzy
impermanence vs. durability
biological carbon vs. crystallized carbon
worthlessness vs. pricelessness
Links:, Financial Times,

Of course, this mere decoration is powerless compared to the unfathomable cosmic powers of the Mayan Crystal Skulls! ...or is it?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Will Ferrel "George Bush on Global Warming"

Will Ferrel once again proves that he does the best impersonation of our deranged 'leader'. All his related videos on the Youtube page are comedy gold, too.

click to watch"Commander in Chief of the World"

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Sopranos Finale

I have watched the Sopranos on and off since it began and think it is a pretty awesome show. Like most people, I didn't know what the hell was going at first when the screen just cut to black as Tony looked up at the diner door his daughter was coming in. The more I think about this choice for an ending, the more I appreciate it... because it's making me think.

At first me & my brother got up and walked around, wondering out loud what we just saw. It might not be how I would have thought to end the show, but there is a great Zen aesthetic to the approach. The sharp cut in the scene hit millions of people in the head like a Shaolin Master's cane. Some people just rubbed their head & said "Stupid!" Many, however, have fulfilled the creator's intention by pondering and participating in the dialog that extends to our own lives and imaginations. The Sopranos is a powerful show and the greatest effect of the story is to make people analyze their own minds and motivations.

The buildup in the last scene gave the viewer an overwhelming sense of the paranoia and anxiety that would be experienced by someone in Tony's position. It made the abrupt end all the more startling. In a show where the superficial are obsessed with who gets whacked in the most creative way, the creator has given a very real and direct lesson about death. It won't come at a convenient time when we have put all our loose ends and problems away. As the use of the band 'Journey' indicates, it's the quality of and perceptions created in each life's journey that determine how the ending goes for the individual.

So kudos to Zen Monkey Buddhist master David Chase for revealing the empty nature of reality to the masses, who have filled it with their collective consciousness.

"Hey, take that Zen crap
an' shove it up your ass!"

Saturday, June 09, 2007

American Idiots

This video would be depressing if it weren't so funny. Probably my favorite comment was from the old guy who claimed that "Al Qaeda is a wing of the Masonic Order."

This guy pictured below had another great line which illustrates why people can't even understand the Middle East situation, no less figure out a solution:

click to watch
"Ok, I'm a little mixed up
over the Palestinians and the Israelis...

which one's throwin' the rocks?"

It's amazing how little of an understanding some people have of the world we live in. I'm not going to be a hater and say all Americans are stupid, since I'm an American and consider myself very wise for a mere mortal primate.

I will say that the myth of American Superiority in ALL Things is very exaggerated almost to the point of national delusion. Especially under the administrations of criminals and fools like 'Saint' Reagan and Bush, Inc., our country's infrastructure & democratic ideals have been continually eroded to the point we are now, teetering on the edge of catastrophe. Instead of an prosperous & noble power, our country is becoming a stumbling, crooked monster.

There are plenty of 33 percenters featured, who are morons based soley on the fact that they respect & trust the Criminally Insane War Monkey.

Super Hero Dating Quiz

Which mutant or super-powered being are you most compatible with? Now you'll now with the Superhero Dating Quiz! Make sure you specify whether you are looking for a super female or super male. My super-match is the sexy red-clad daughter of arch-villain Magneto: The Scarlet Witch.

"Scarlet Witch has altered the probabilities
and has given you a chance to date her.
If you're into chaos, magic, and tight corsets,
she's the girl for you.
Just be careful, you might find yourself in an alternate reality...
or dead if your date goes poorly."

Sunday, June 03, 2007 Fun Games to Play With Your Kids

I came across this article featuring 6 games that are fun to play with the whole family. One of them is my creation, "DaVinci's Challenge"...
"Fun Games to Play With Your Kids"

Here's a link to other articles featuring 'Da Vinci's Challenge' games on

Friday, June 01, 2007

Monkey Portraits by Jill Greenberg

The Monkey Buddha treasures all things of the Monkey Realm.
Therefore, these striking photos of Monkey Portraits have to be shared and commended. Some of these images of our fellow furry life-forms are pretty hair-raising, stupid pun intended.

On her website, The Manipulator, Jill Greenberg also has portraits of other subject matter, including the only TV host that I watch every single day, the great Jon Stewart of The Daily Show.

The Vader Project

I caught some of the Legacy of Star Wars programming on the History Channel this past weekend, so I've had The Greatest Movies Ever Made on my mind. Then, I came across this interesting artistic experiment using the unforgettable armored breath mask of my favorite character, Darth Vader.
"Underground Artists Take on the Sith in
The Vader Project"

I think there is a really funky mix of interpretations, some I like more than others, but they are all interesting and/or amusing.

Here are a couple of my favorite mind-benders:

(Click on the pictures for the photo set on Flickr)

Morphing Female Portraits

I think this is pretty cool... an almost psychedelic video of 500 years worth of female portraiture continuously melding into one another. It's a dynamic study of the timeless and ephemeral nature of the beauty of women and the classic art that tries to recreate it. While you stare at this, it becomes eerily alive and almost like an amorphous female deity with schizophrenia.

click for video