Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Silver Surfer: Sentinel of the Spaceways

On thisisnthappiness.com I saw this really cool series of Super Silhouettes, but one caught my eye- the awesome Silver Surfer, silently patrolling the Universe:

by Marko Manev

If I had to pick, The Silver Surfer is probably the superhero whose powers I'd choose to have.  

As a cosmic being with abilities far beyond most humanoid characters, the experience would be one that's hard to even imagine... I'd just want to avoid dealing with Galactus.

For the record, my runner-up choices would be to have Green Lantern & obviously Superman's powers. However, I'll stick with my choice to wield The Power Cosmic.

From the Marvel Wiki :

The Power Cosmic: The Silver Surfer possesses the Power Cosmic which is the core from which his other abilities manifest from. This power was granted to him by Galactus, making Norrin one of the absolute strongest and most powerful beings in the Universe.
  • Matter Control/Manipulation and Reconfiguration / Energy Emission and Absorption: The Surfer has complete control of the four fundamental forces of the universe, reaching nearly any effect he desires. As a result, the Surfer can rearrange matter to create other configurations and can even transmute elements. The Surfer can channel beams of energy through his hands with sufficient destructive force to destroy planets [20][21], and pierce stars. Additional abilities include erecting force fields, phasing through solid matter[22], accelerating the evolution of lifeforms on a planet-wide scale [23], seeing the past by peeling back the layers of time, time travel [24], trans dimensional travel, manipulation and discharging of any form of energy or radiation, bestowing limited cosmic powers to others, reading minds [25], casting illusions [26], and influencing human emotion and sensation [22]. The Surfer also possesses the ability to suppress the powers of other mutants/beings making them temporarily or permanently out of use to them. He can heal living beings even if they are near-death[22]. He cannot, however, raise the dead.
  • God-like Strength: The Surfer possesses almost limitless superhuman strength, though the exact magnitude remains vague. He can lift (press) far in excess of 100 tons effortlessly and can also use the Power Cosmic to increase his strength to incalculable levels[27].
  • Invulnerability: The Silver Surfer's silvery "skin" was designed to easily withstand the rigors of deep-space travel, and thus far, it has proven to be virtually indestructible. In fact, his entire body was made highly resistant to injury and he is thus invulnerable to almost all types of physical harm. The Silver Surfer can easily withstand the crushing pressures of a black hole [28]. He is not bothered by the friction associated with atmospheric re-entry, and has withstood plunges into stars[29] and even supernovas unharmed. He also routinely weathers the stresses associated with high-speed travel through space and hyperspace.
  • God-like Stamina: The Surfer's highly enhanced musculature generates no fatigue toxins, nor body stress, or even sweat, granting him inexhaustible physical stamina, which allows him to fight other beings for prolonged periods of time before tiring, that is if he even gets tired.
  • Hyperspace Travel: By exceeding over 99% of the speed of light (186,272 miles per second), the Silver Surfer can shift himself into hyperspace, a dimension in which velocity is not limited by the speed of light[22].
  • Cosmic Senses: The Silver Surfer has certain cosmic-energy enhanced perceptions which enable him through concentration to become aware of the patterns of energy anywhere in the world[30]. These abilities allow him far-ranging vision (in space he can see people clearly over a light year away), the ability to see sub-atomic particles, superhuman hearing, the ability to detect fields, traces, and concentrations of pure forms of energy and discern their natures[31].
  • Cosmic Self-Sustenance: The Silver Surfer does not need to eat or breathe since he absorbs life-maintaining cosmic energy directly through his skin.

Here's a more lavishly detailed image of the "Sentinel of the Spaceways", by Joe Jusko:

Ancient Future Monkey Has Some Advice...

"Everybody Just Cool Out" 
A Message from the Ancient Future

seen on fusionanomalog

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The 23 Enigma

Today is my birthday, & I simply feel blessed to have experienced so much in this Life.

I was born on the 23rd, so that's a number that's always caught my attention.

Here was the crazy wisdom master Robert Anton Wilson's take on "The 23 Enigma":

"A true initiation never ends."
-Robert Anton Wilson

Friday, February 22, 2013

"Illumination" by Paul Micarelli

Here's another addition to the 3D Art in my online album.

(Click to Enlarge)
by Paul Micarelli

  "When you look deeply 
into the center of your mind...
you'll see the dynamic void,
from which the fire of creation 
continually ignites."

*Buy Prints & Products with this design, at The Monkey Buddha Bazaar:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology

 Me, in front of the Temple of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza

For Christmas, one of my brothers gave me the book, "The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology".  I recently finished it & received a very informative look at the technical abilities of this ancient culture.


Here is some of the information from the book, on archaeo-engineer James O'Kon's website:

 The Old Explorer:

I've been interested in the Maya and their culture for a long time, especially their astronomical & engineering knowledge.

My trip to Mexico in 2006, where I was able to visit the ruins of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan, was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Although I never bought into the whole "Apocalypse 2012" phenomenon, it did bring the advanced Mayan systems of timekeeping, astronomy, and mathematics into the public consciousness.

This book had alot of information that helped me appreciate the many challenges that ancient people in the Yucatan had to overcome just to survive & keep their social order intact. Some of the engineering feats O'Kon describes involve the vital methods of urban water management, construction, and transportation. He also gives details about his discovery of the construction of large suspension bridge leading into the city of Yaxchilan. This particular area was surrounded by an oxbow river, which flooded during rainy seasons & required a method of bypassing the natural barrier of a raging river.

There were many interesting solutions & techniques for addressing the unique problems faced by the Maya that are described in the book. It gave me a greater appreciation of the ingenuity, not only of the Maya, but all ancient people who had to devise novel ways to achieve the goals they envisioned.

The best part?...
No reference to "Ancient Aliens" anywhere!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Most Astounding Fact

In my last post, I dismissed the quest to sum up The Universe in a series of scientific theories & formulas. 

Scientific thinking can exist beyond the effort to calculate & quantify. We can also use our reason, paired with imagination, to tell a descriptive story about processes that can connect to people on an experiential level.

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson gave this inspired answer to the question: "What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?"

It's a physicist's eloquent answer to the Zen koan-

 "What did your original face look like,
before your parents were born?"

Your original face was all the elemental, molecular, and energetic phenomena scattered throughout the cosmos for the billions of years, before being incorporated into your "person".

Of course, the phenomenon of a living being, and all the elements it contains, continually changes. Eventually, the process we call a "person" will once again be elements scattered into new processes throughout the universe.

Here is a collage of other distinguished men who "just want to watch the world learn"; Bill Nye, Dr. Tyson, Mr. Rogers, Carl Sagan, & Bob Ross.

Also, in light of the recent meteor sightings, here is some cosmic wisdom from Dr. Ed Lu, & tweeted by Dr. Tyson:


There is No "Theory of Everything"

Whenever I see a reference to a "Theory of Everything" in physics, I can't believe that people seriously discuss such an absurd concept.

I understand that it usually refers to the goal of unifying general relativity & quantum mechanics, but the name gives the false impression that there's some way to mathematically model all the physical systems in The Universe in a formulaic manner.

It's nice to know there are scientists who don't buy into that fantasy.

Lisa Randall in New Scientist:

Even Stephen Hawking came to his senses:

Physics Buzz:
It's been many years since taking any courses on the subject, but I still enjoy learning about physics. The more I learn, though, the more apparent it becomes that Reality is relatively infinite in complexity & cannot be fully defined by any set of man-made symbols.

Equations can calculate (& scientific theories can generalize) many different phenomena in this world. However, despite the modelling power of calculus, fractals, & other mathematical tools, they are still very limited. The Universe has dimensions & properties that we haven't even discovered yet. How can we accurately model something we can't fully comprehend?

Physicists will continue to describe & measure the many fascinating aspects of this world. They will continue to try to simplify & consolidate general theories. In response, The Universe will continue to grow in detail as people peer ever-deeper into its mysteries.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Read It & Sleep

"A good laugh and a long sleep
 are the best cures in the doctor's book." 
~Irish Proverb

My life is is constant struggle between trying to pack the maximum amount of productivity & experience in my day, while also getting enough sleep to keep me feeling sane.

I've posted about sleep here frequently, which is reasonable, considering we spend half our life in the unconscious state.

Mental rest from the normal agitated states of consciousness we experience is vital. Whether it's through healthy sleep patterns or the calming effects of meditation, it's important to give the brain a rest from the constant stream of information & chatter that sets people's minds on edge.

Huffington Post:

Fortunately, the article below made me feel better about my preferential sleep cycle.

It says... 

"...those whose sleep patterns are shifted later demonstrate "eveningness." 
Researchers say eveningness tends to be a characteristic of those with higher IQs."

Winnipeg Free Press:

When I was in high school, my Mom had to tap on the wall downstairs w/ a baseball bat to get me up in the morning. I've never been a morning person, preferring instead to stay up till at least midnight & sleep in.

As much I love to sleep late & take naps, I do feel like I miss out on Life when I'm sleeping through it. We have so little time here in this world & we are limited in our experience by the daily requirement of sleep... those little slices of death.

The Wall St. Journal had this article with a helpful infographic, about finding the sleep position that is the most comfortable for your body & situation. I usually fall asleep laying on my left side. Thankfully, when I'm tired, I can usually fall asleep anywhere I decide to lay down! I have no trouble with insomnia whatsoever.
Wall Street Journal:

This chart, showing the "Stages of Sleep," seems pretty ideal:


Friday, February 15, 2013

"Insomniacs" by Paul Micarelli

I've been steadily adding 3D Art that I've done to my online album.

This is an image of glowing, tentacled nocturnal creatures- serenely drifting toward the light of a nearby alien world.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cisco: Tomorrow Starts Here

As a commerical artist, I'm always paying attention to advertising of all kinds.

I don't usually post about TV ads, but this Cisco Systems is pretty good.

 They are right... "The World IS Waking Up."

Novelty & connectivity are the drivers of human progress. The development of language, writing, & printed books all led to revolutions in human knowledge.

Now, The Internet has led to an explosion of novel connectedness leading to innovations that will lead to completely new ways of doing things. Technology is connecting and augmenting us in ways that will lead to capabilities in just a few years that are unimaginable now.

Although very general, & not giving very specific predictions, this ad gives a good sense of the cognitive, social, and technological wonders that will continue to be developed in the future.

That's No Planet...

A highly-detailed photo of a rocky ice planet?....

... or just a frying pan.

This collection of photos by Christopher Jonassen, showing the underside of frying pans, really looks like a selection of exotic planets:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

"My Beach" by Paul Micarelli

I've been uploading 3D Art that I've done over the years into an online gallery

This one is "My Beach", a picture of my digital self, experiencing the seclusion of a tropical island hideaway:

Helpful Design Infographics

I post alot of infographics here, since I think information can be conveyed much more effectively when arranged into a visual representation.

My last post was about graphics featuring bad design requests. So, here's a set of infographics that I saw on Design You Trust, with good advice & information for graphic artists:

Daily Inspiration:

"Elements of Design"
click to enlarge

Illustrations of Ridiculous Design Requests

Luckily, I don't usually get crazy or absurd design requests from clients. However, I was thoroughly amused by this collection of posters I saw on BoingBoing, featuring the worst feedback received by creative professionals like myself.

I'd recommend checking out the whole collection, it's great.

Sharp Suits:

This one is my favorite, obviously because it features a monkey, & because I've actually heard this one before:

"I did this at home with Microsoft Paint.
Can you make it look like this?
...And I need it tommorrow. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Free Internet For All!!!

Although there will always be anti-technology people who try to live "off the grid," I personally think the connectivity of the Internet and modern technology are truly amazing. For my job as a graphic artist, the ability to be "online" is a necessity, in order to communicate with clients, to find inspiration or information, & to transfer files.

The government screws alot of things up, and is a model for inertia through archaic processes and collective incompetence. However, I also think that there are things that would actually be worth spending our tax dollars on.

There's an article from the Washington Post about the possibility of opening up bandwidth to free wireless data networks for public use:

Washington Post:

Here's the summary:

The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month."

I don't usually curse on this blog, but...

Yes, goddamn it! Start it NOW

This would be no less than a information highway project for the 21st century. We should be able to jump on a WiFi network like we can ride on an interstate highway. It would encourage free communication & information in a way that would make our current cell & data service look like the rip-off it is. 
People are afraid of the government & paranoid of Big Brother, but large public works projects are an area where federal investment usually pays offI think this is a clear shift toward how we should be looking at public utilities, information, and connectivity.

I know my service providers are fighting this proposal, but exploitative business models can only be tolerated for so long.

In select locations, Google Fiber offers free Internet after connection costs. These trends are positive developments in digital infrastructure.

After we achieve Free Internet, society can begin demanding...

  Free Energy!


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

"Secret of the Pyramids" by Paul Micarelli

I recently started an album of the 3D Art that I've done over the years.

This is my latest addition, "Secret of the Pyramids":

I've read extensively about ancient Egypt and The Giza Pyramids, in particular. Like most people who try to learn about these legendary places, I often end up awestruck.

After studying superb books on the subject, like "Secrets of the Great Pyramid" By Peter Tompkins, I've become convinced that the pyramid is a multidimensional storehouse of celestial, mathematical, & mystical wisdom. It has endured for most of recorded human history, & doesn't look like it's going anywhere, anytime soon.

The Great Pyramid is one of history's greatest & oldest mysteries. It's a mind-boggling construction whose original nature has been obscured over time. Even with the power of our current technology & knowledge, we are only beginning to understand this Wonder of the Ancient World. Through 3D software & virtual reconstructions informed by archaeological research, it's possible to immerse the imagination into history more vividly than ever before.

Although many aspects of the Great Pyramid are still bewildering to us, I don't ascribe it to the "Ancient Aliens" explanation of its existence. I know enough about the extraordinary engineering abilities of ancient man to recognize that even the pyramids are within the realm of human possibility. 

Despite being very pragmatic, though, I also try to keep a wide open mind. I'm not beyond the idea that there are extraterrestrial beings out there, or even that they may have interacted with people throughout history. I've never personally encountered an alien presence, so I don't know for sure. 

On the other hand, don't think it's too far-fetched to think that people in the past could've had some kind of technology that we haven't re-discovered yet. Such tech could even be relatively simple mechanical methods, but just may not be obvious to us now.  

For instance, it's been discovered that the famous Moai statues of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) were actually "walked" down causeways to their destinations, just as the local legends described.

Fortunately, you don't need aliens to explain the many tremendous feats of our ancestors.

When looking at the engineering & construction of the Great Pyramid, the logistics of such a massive project seem superhuman. They obviously used techniques that we still haven't completely figured out. There were clearly geniuses in Kemet, just as there are in our modern culture.

The human race has suffered from short-term memory & tunnel vision for many thousands of years. Only now, in the digital age, do we have the means to extract exponentially growing amounts of information from the world around us. We can create increasingly accurate stories & descriptions from the remnants of vanished people and the artifacts of their societies.

I read Graham Hancock's very interesting book, "Fingerprints of the Gods". I think the idea of prehistoric civilizations that were relatively advanced is entirely possible, even if it's not exactly as people have speculated. There are any number of global catastrophes over the millennia that could have wiped out any human progress & sent our ancestors back to primitive existence. Perhaps the knowledge of the pyramids & other ancient enigmas was inherited from an even older lineage that's been long forgotten.

Whether the Great Pyramid was actually a tomb for Pharoah Khufu, or
a finely-tuned isolation chamber used to activate a higher state of consciousness ("Fire in the Middle"), a teleportation device for the astral body to other realms, an earthly mirror of the heavenly constellation Osiris (Orion), an energy-harnessing machine, an initiation center, or an astronomical observatory...

One thing is certain- the Pyramids still have plenty of Secrets yet to reveal!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Visionary Art: Parable Visions

I recently came across the awesome image below, by visionary artist Cameron Gray.
His website, Parable Visions, is full of amazing, mind-expanding images.

I'm not going to talk about, go check it out!... it needs to be seen, not described:

click to enlarge