Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Costume - "Reptilians for Romney"

"Top Secret Reptilian Agenda'
click to enlarge
I sincerely apologize to any Reptilians out there 
 for exposing your secret agenda

I recently went to a Halloween party, but didn't really have a costume to wear.

Jokingly, I told one of my friends who was going to the party to be a "Reptilian Bilderberg"- along the lines of something from a conspiracy website.

Since my friend was being Mitt Romney, I decided to be the shape-shifting Reptilian myself. I also made last-minute "Reptilians for Romney" stickers & the "Top Secret Reptilian Agenda" at the top of the page.

If anything, the whole Reptilian Conspiracy could be a metaphor for people in power who are operating at a lower, more 'lizard-like' limbic system consciousness. On the other hand, I have a ridiculously open mind, so the idea of shape-shifting reptilian beings running around doesn't seem completely impossible. The world is a weirder place than we can imagine... I've personally never seen something that crazy, though, so for me it's nothing more than wild speculation.

Below are some pics of my costume, which I threw together for less than $10.
For the reptile skin, I found some green textured fabric at AC Moore. Latex fake skin was used to both adhere it & to build up the wound. Red makeup around the edges helped it look a little more realistic. I bought a set of crappy 99¢ fangs to finish it off.

It was crazy enough to make people give me a second look, & it was a bit of twisted fun.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lotus Meditation - Visual Inspiration for the Spirit

In addition to The Monkey Buddha Visual Archive, I've now started a YouTube page: Monkey Buddha Vids.

This is my first upload- an animation I made in 2005, using Vue 3D software, with the purpose of uplifting the spirit.

I wanted to create a simple, yet illuminating vision of certain metaphysical & spiritual insights:

• The lotus flower, rising toward the sun from the muck beneath the water, traditionally symbolizes the soul's journey toward enlightenment.

• Gnostics were a tradition with the idea that the physical world is a sort of prison of the spirit or light body.

• Using inward examination & an attitude of awakened consciousness, one can recognize the impermanence & fundamental immateriality of the world we experience.

• Through meditative practice, one can also cultivate an expanded awareness & calmness amidst the chaos of life.

• We are part of a reality with relatively infinite expanse, intricacy, & possibility.

When I was in my early 20's I had a near death experience, where my normal consciousness fell away. Instead of the black of sleep, though, I experienced what I can only compare to the idea of 'Clear Light' consciousness, from certain Buddhist teachings. The experience was just all-encompassing white light. It wasn't Heaven, in the sense of a place with spirits. There was no objective forms or ideas at all. Nothing, but a space of white light. It completely changed my perception of reality and the mind.

What does the mantra "Om Mani Padme Hung" mean?

Explanation by the Dalai Lama:

Here Comes "Hurricane Sandy"

I live in New Jersey- which I've always considered to be a relatively stable location, in terms of natural disasters.

The only major events are hurricanes, where flooding is a major problem. When Hurricane Irene came through, the wind wasn't bad, but my basement got flooded almost knee-deep. Right now, I'm in the beginnings of Hurricane Sandy, which is basically engulfing the East Coast.

The one thing that's guaranteed when a storm like this is coming, is that people go crazy stocking up on supplies.

My Dad, Big Paul, is a supermarket manager & has great stories about the madness before a storm. Last nite, he was telling us that someone asked to buy bales of hay from a Halloween display. This is in the city, by the way.

I'm not going crazy stockpiling goods. I just make sure I have plenty of containers & buckets of water, and some food. If the power goes out, I got candles, wood for the fire, & books to read. As long as a tree doesn't smash through my house or something else crazy happens, I'm just planning on staying calm & riding it out.

Here is "Third World Skeptical Kid"'s take on 1st World disaster preparedness:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Problems with Electronic Voting

Politics is a necessary aspect of civil society.

As much as people complain about it, democratic government (with all its political baggage) is currently the best way to run a nation.

Unfortunately, democracy is a messy affair. The most basic component of democracy is the vote itself. If there is doubt about the counting of the ballots, the whole system is thrown into question.

The problem is not with voter ID fraud by the voters, as GOP legislators in certain states would have us believe. The greatest danger to democracy is in the counting of the ballots.

Problems with electronic voting, or "e-voting", have plagued our country since it first started being used. If it wasn't for corporate and political corruption this problem would be already solved, quite easily.

I have been personally criticizing our e-voting problem since at least 2006. Looking back at the post below, I also recognized how the unfunded wars in the Middle East were an obvious economic liability:

Muonkey Buddha Archives, Jan 14, 2006 :

To eliminate most challenges to the veracity of the voting machines, you need just ONE absurdly simple feature. The fact that this hasn't been remedied yet is very suspect...

*Each vote should produce 2 paper receipts!!!*

• These receipts would be printed, once the voter verifies his choice.

• The voter keeps one receipt & the other one is deposited into the machine

• The receipt could have a bar code or QR code that could be scanned & visually compared if a recount is needed.

The argument has been made countless times - if an ATM machine can generate a receipt for each transaction, why wouldn't this be applied to something as important as a cast ballot?

I remember the voting inconsistencies during the 2008 election. Hopefully we don't see similar shenanigans this November.

It's difficult to convince people that votes actually matter if these kind of issues can't be resolved.


This article is disturbing in its own right, but especially with the circumstances developing in this particular election:

Common Dreams:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Player Hating on Romney

Romney seen through the glasses from "They Live"

Last night was the 3rd & final debate between the 2012 Presidential candidates.

President Obama definitely showed the benefit of actually having the Commander-in-Chief job for 4 years. He sunk Mitt Romney's battleship on a number of occasions. Gov. Romney sweated & sputtered his way through numerous incoherent positions, as Obama schooled him on the proper way to handle world affairs. Romney didn't really give any substantial differences between his positions & what the President is already doing. 

To be fair, the debate was mostly bullsh*t... revolving around sucking up to certain Middle East countries & threatening other ones. There was no discussion of things like the Eurozone or the Mexican drug wars, which are huge foreign policy issues for the U.S. This is more due to the incompetence of Bob Schiffer as a moderator than the lack of initiative by the candidates.

Of course, the cable news pundits continue to act like Romney didn't give embarrassing, piss-poor performances at the last couple debates. Every instant poll showed Obama winning, but commentators want it to be a tight race, keeping suspense (& ratings) high. Obama screwed up the 1st debate, so we'll have to see if bringing his A-game to the others can make up for it. Romney supporters choose to stay in denial about his inability to best Obama & refuse to admit defeat. Few people are admitting how bad Romney really comes off.

My own mind is made up, & there's simply no way I'll vote for Romney over Pres. Obama. I know the Long-Legged Mack Daddy is a flawed human being & I'm aware of his record. The job of President is mind-bogglingly difficult- a fact I could appreciate even when the walking disaster, George W. Bush, was in office. However, I've learned enough by looking at Romney's record (& by looking at the man himself) to see that he's not going to fight for the same priorities & values that Obama has at least tried to push.

Anyway, now I'm going to use this post to unload some Mitt material that I've bookmarked.  It's my way of expressing personal dissatisfaction with such a crappy candidate.

Google Image Search:

First of all, Mr. Romney is clearly an advocate of corporate power over people power.

-Mitt Romney

Think Progress:

His experience at Bain Capital certainly doesn't qualify him to handle the unique problems involved in running a country of citizens- who represent more than just the bottom line on a financial statement.

Village Voice:

Then, there's the fact that Romney refuses to release details of his tax plan & how he'll pay for all the crap he's promising, while still cutting taxes across the board...

for Details on Mitt Romney's Tax Plan

Despite the constant lament that there's no real choice between the 2 major parties, I vote because there are real differences between the candidates. Even a slightly different policy approach, on certain matters, could affect millions of individuals, the country, & the wider world. 

Yes, a vote is just a drop in a bucket, but enough drops can fill an ocean- or drive the policies of a nation. I also feel that by practicing my civil responsibility, I can comment on politics without looking like a total hypocrite. 

Of course there are serious problems with the voting system (which I'll post about shortly). However, I can't be a complete cynic, so I vote with the hope that my choice is being counted.

Finally, on a more humorous note, here is an awesome album cover & a video made for Mitt Romney's alter-ego, "The King of Bling" R-Money:

The video below is funny, but could be considered offensive (to people with no sense of humor) & NSFW, so watch at your own discretion:

seen on

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Sculpture Diaries: Landscape

I just finished watching The Sculpture Diaries- "Landscape".

It was a very insightful look at several man-made earthworks & megalithic structures from around the world.

Here is a YouTube playlist with the episode in multiple parts.

Unfortunately there are translations on these videos, but it's still interesting to watch.

Most of the sites featured have cosmological significance.

They are aligned to the cycles of the sun & stars- such as the equinoxes and the solstices. Our ancestors were much more intimately connected to the cycles of nature. They also relied on the accurate tracking of seasons for agricultural & spiritual purposes.

Some of the most wondrous ancient large-scale constructions are examined, with refreshingly logical inferences as to their real purpose:

Stonehenge: This well-known megalithic structure in England is most likely the remnants of a sacred area that was used as an astronomical timekeeping device. It's ritual purpose might have been related to seasonal fertility rites between the Sun & Earth. For instance, during the midsummer sunrise, the shadow of the standing stone penetrates the round enclosure of stones.

Machu Picchu: The Inca city that was lost for centuries on a mountaintop peak in the Andes. There are many natural & man-made markers that refer to the surrounding mountains, and also the sacred sun.

Stone Walls of Cusco: Another example of Inca engineering, in their ancient capital. The masonry techniques used to create these perfectly-fitted walls of irregular giant stones is still mind-boggling.

Nazca Lines: Another Peruvian site covered with large geoglyphs that can only be seen by air. A very reasonable explanation was presented for these images etched in the Nazca plains. The lines and geometric forms were like signposts to show were water resources could be found in the dry landscape. I also wonder if the Inca perhaps had some sort of hot air balloon technology to float over the plain & see the images.

In addition to these ancient landmarks, the show also covered a few modern monumental works.

Roden Crater: I've never heard of this site, built inside an extinct volcano crater in Arizona. However, it is absolutely amazing & encodes the same cosmic knowledge as the ancient archaeo-astronomical sacred sites. It was conceived by artist James Turrell, & is a profound expression of man's connection with the cosmos. I would definitely recommend watching this segment to get the full impression of its intent.

Sun Tunnels: By artist Nancy Holt, these are simple concrete tubes laid at right angles in the desert. Their large openings are aligned to the solstice sunrises. Also, the holes bored into the sides allow the sun to create images of certain star constellations on the inside of the tunnels.

People have always strived to create art that outlasts themselves and their generations. Monumental earthworks or megalithic structures have the best chance to last for millenia- to be seen by other humans in the distant future. It's possible that thousands of years from now, people will look upon the sculptures in Mt. Rushmore, wondering who these men were & how they were carved into a mountain.

The best way to ensure that they can understand these enduring monumental works is to have them reflect a language that transcends any particular human culture or time. The best way to do this is to use the knowledge of the regular cycles of nature and the sky, which any civilization should eventually be able to re-discover.

Monkey Buddha Archives:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2012 Presidential Debates: Round 2 

USA Today:

Most people are understandably cynical towards politics & government, but they are still necessary aspects of society.

If politics is an inevitable part of being an active citizen, it's best to try to improve it. There needs to be a balance between institutions like private business & government. Neither one is inherently evil- but unscrupulous people can corrupt either system.

I try to avoid getting cornered into conceptual boxes when it comes to my political thoughts. Although I'm registered "Independent," I usually find Democratic priorities more agreeable. The GOP have gone off the deep end in certain areas, especially "social" issues.

However, their biggest fault is their mindless, unyielding party-line opposition to initiatives that could help the country & its economy. Their primary focus is to unseat President Obama by blocking everything on the agenda- regardless of the havoc it wreaks upon the rest of us.

Anyone who follows Congressional votes, & the battles waged since the 2010 midterm, knows that major legislation is not happening without the cooperation of the Republican-led House.

If you are conservative, you might be happy about the lack of government activity. However, it's therefore much too simplistic to blame the President for the nation's economic problems if Congress is not cooperating with passing jobs bills & effective stimulus measures.

President Obama has done a good job, in my opinion. He's been a business-friendly, centrist technocrat who has bent over backwards to compromise with conservatives- he's definitely not a hardcore socialist, or even extremely liberal. I'm well aware of his failings, the undelivered promises, (...close Guantanamo, end drone strikes, faster economic recovery, etc...) and the fact that he's a politician. I am also aware that he is just a man like everyone else. However, I generally agree with the gist of the legislation he's advocated & overall vision for how the country should be run. If anything, I don't think he's been forceful enough in pushing a "progressive" agenda.

Last night was the best that I've seen Obama in fighting back against the many nonsensical Republican policies & ideas that have dominated political discourse, for which Mitt Romney is now the standard-bearer.

To be fair - in the first debate, Obama was horrible. I really couldn't believe how much of a snoozefest it turned into. I knew everyone was going to declare Romney the winner, because of his borderline-obnoxious manic aggressiveness. He apparently activated the "fear" area of people's primitive lizard brains, overcoming Obama's futile attempt at measured reason.

After the debate last night, I watched & read the many analyses on various websites with their reader comments. I like to get a spectrum of opinions & perspectives, even if they're idiotic.

I thought that last nite Pres. Obama clearly overwhelmed Gov. Romney, stylistically & substantively. The President asserted himself as a thoughtful, responsible, yet tough, leader. This time, he didn't let Mitt Romney continue to be his usual douchebag self, without response. Do I think either of these guys have all the right answers?... of course not. However Romney has no answers to anything. His stated fundamental approach to economic policy is a 3-card monte game. There's no way he can 1) cut taxes 2) increase the bloated Pentagon budget, and 3) reduce the national debt, without crippling the federal government (which is probably the actual goal). It's absurd on its face.

It always cracks me up how government-hating politicians want to attain & maintain power within the government they think's no good. I guess it's about the idea of infiltrating something, to destroy it from the inside out. The problem is... if democratic government is severely limited, society becomes unbalanced, then financial & corporate power is free to prey on the people.

Even though the CNN poll showed Obama 'winning' the debate overall, I was baffled to see the pundits on the different stations were downplaying it. The low expectations for Mitt Romney are Sarah Palin-esque... while Obama apparently needs to heal someone on stage, then punch Mitt out to make an impression. I'm not sure if the media is trying to keep it a horserace, or if people are really that clueless. It's most likely both.
Anyway, I understand why Romney supporters would go into denial. As a candidate, Mitt sucks & so they can't let Obama have any slack whatsoever. For Team Romney, it's better to bullshit your way to imagined victory than to accept defeat. It shows the whole right-wing mentality of winning at any cost, even if it's at the expense of consensual reality & one's own common sense.

When Obama had a lackluster performance last time, his supporters universally acknowledged it & demanded better, for the sake of the national discourse.

This time, The President showed why he has been elected to one of the most difficult jobs on Earth. He handled Mitt as an intellectual, moral, and rhetorical inferior- which he is. Gov. Romney was left awkwardly stammering on several key moments, when Obama gave him an oratorical smackdown.

Mitt just never looks comfortable in his own skin, while Barry O. is usually the coolest guy in the room. I don't know if it's Romney's uncomfortable personality, the disturbing lack of empathetic emotion, or just the fact that he's an out-of-touch plutocrat who acts like a jackass... he just doesn't seem like a person who can relate to the average person's problems. Case in point, his recent comments about people, with no insurance, being able to get care in an emergency.

He has absolutely no clue how society works for most people... yet, he's going to be in charge of running the country?!? Let's hope not.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Romney is totally incompetent. He surely wouldn't be as much of a disaster as Dubya was- or as some of the GOP primary contenders would be. However, the ultra-rich have already had a field day at the expense of society-at-large. These are Gov. Romney's base. Therefore, a vote for him basically concedes the Republic to his special moneyed interests, whose only goal is to reap endless profit from the people.

There's still another debate to come, but I'm pretty sure I'll be sticking with "The Long Legged Mack Daddy" After the experiences of the last four years, he has undoubtedly learned lessons on how to govern effectively that will hopefully inform him if he wins a second term.

Monday, October 15, 2012

"Flower of Life" Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci

As a college student, I created a strategy game that would eventually become "Da Vinci's Challenge".

I was originally inspired for the game design when I saw the ancient pattern of interlocking circles, known as The Flower of Life. This symbol had been used in sacred art since Egyptian times, but was also studied by Leonardo da Vinci. I tried to make the game an expression of the fusion between art, science, engineering, and mysticism that Leonardo instilled into his work.

Here are a couple studies of the Flower of Life pattern from da Vinci's notebooks. I've been familiar with these 2 drawings since I did my original research for the game:

However, I recently came across another example of a Flower of Life study by Leonardo, shown below. Supposedly, it's from the collection of work known as the Codex Atlanticus.

This pic was on a Tumblr blog, Passenger. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was an image I'd never seen before:

Da Vinci diagrammed 2 configurations (in the upper right corner) that are used in the game as "Secret Symbols" - the 'flower' & 'circle'.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Visionary Artist - Android Jones

There are many talented people creating visionary art, especially with the ever-increasing power of computer imaging software.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

It's always cool to randomly come across people's amazing work, such as the creations of Android Jones:

This image, "Dream Catcher", conveys the sense of consciousness dissolving into digital & cosmic infinity.

 It's one of the many awesome images in his portfolio.

I tried to capture the same feeling in my "Digital Self-Portrait," that is featured on "Can You Draw the Internet?"

click image for hi-res

From The Monkey Buddha Visual Archive:

"A digital self-portrait
representing the mind integrating with &

transcending physical technology
through immersion into the realm of pure energy.

The Internet is the beginning of a conduit
into a non-local experience of consciousness."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Here is an Old Picture of Me... as the Cosmos

Yes this is a picture of me... and everyone else... back when our atoms were in other configurations throughout the cosmos.

We are all made of stars:

This quote by spiritual teacher & extremely chilled-out dude, Eckhart Tolle, also expresses this basic unity with the rest of Creation:

A good friend of mine made me aware of Tolle & he has great insights into our situation here in the human form.

I saw both these pics on fusionanomalog

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Frontline: The Choice 2012

Last night I was watching a Frontline documentary profiling the 2 Presidential candidates, President Obama & Mitt Romney.

It's an excellent documentary. I found it to be objective, giving accurate looks at the lives of both candidates with no partisan spin.

It should be required viewing for anyone voting this year.

Watch it online or find it on TV when it's on again.


Having watched it with an open mind, there's still no way in hell I'd vote for Mitt Romney. His whole life, his mission has been to save the bottom line- saving money for rich investors at the expense of any other people who may get in the way.

The importance of Profit vs. Humanity is central to this election. If you think rich people should make more money, poor people should be left to fend for themselves in the streets, & public institutions should all be corporatized, then Gov. Romney's your man.

I never thought Obama was going to be a messiah for the country, but do I think he has worked toward improving the country in tangible ways. The problem is, like all Presidents, he's a cog in a soul-crushing bureaucratic machine. He & his most fervent followers were perhaps too optimistic in the hope that the culture of Washington DC could be quickly & permanently changed.

Most of the problems that people ignorant of the political process attribute to Obama are actually the result of an ineffectual Congress. America's low-information voters got whipped into a frenzy during the 2010 midterm elections & were sucked into the corporate-backed Tea Party movement. This faux movement, funded by right-wing special interest like the Koch Brothers, preyed on foolish people's frustrations & blind patriotism.

The Republican majority in the House of Representatives has openly done everything to block Obama's attempts at progress, with shockingly little regard for the effects on the nation.

The first Presidential debate was a snoozefest, with the idiot pundits declaring Romney the winner because he acted like an aggressive a-hole. After everyone fact-checked his bullcrap, it became apparent that Romney is a snake-oil salesman, who will say absolutely anything to get elected. He contradicts himself so much it makes the "flip-flopper" label given to John Kerry in 2006 seems quaint.

All politicians are masters of B.S., but Romney really is shameless in his lying during the quest for power.

There are a couple more debates & a few weeks left before America chooses the person to represent it's vision of the future.

Hopefully it's not handed to the socially-awkward billionaire corporate toolbag, but we shall see...

"Now" Clock

The past & future are illusions, constructs created & held by the mind.

There is only one true experience of time... the continually-unfolding, present moment of NOW.

This idea has been done in a wristwatch, too.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

"World of Religion" Infographic

Most of the hatred in the world comes from a lack of empathy & understanding for people who are different.

Since religion is one of the most personal and all-encompassing aspects of a person's life, it easy to see how incompatible views between individuals or cultures could lead to animosity.

The first step in overcoming ignorance & fear is to objectively examine the things you don't understand. 
Infographics are are a great way to communicate complex concepts & otherwise incomprehensible data sets. The graphic below show the many belief systems around our richly varied world.
 If the fundamentalist's dream came true & all people were strict followers of one way of thinking, the world would be a much less interesting place.

I don't believe in dogma or ideology, & don't consider myself to be part of any religious organization. My religious practice is simply making the most out of every moment I am blessed to experience.

"God" or "Tao" or "The Universe"... has no religion.

Reality is created indiscriminately, without the judgements or labels used by the human mind to try to make sense of it all.

(Click the Graphic for Larger )

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

More Political Madness 2012

To celebrate the 'World Series of politics', the start of the Presidential debates, I've updated this web album:

It's a collection of my favorite political graphics & art from around the web.

I'll comment on Mitt Romney some other time, but tonight I'm going to just watch the debate.
Then... I'm going to enjoy South Park's rendition of "Honey Boo Boo Child".