Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Beautiful Bitter Pill

The world is currently riddled with problems, where exactly they stem from I can't say for sure. Some have posited that they are results of the industrial revolution, some say the technological revolution is to blame, some say the revolution of capitalism, maybe it was just all the revolutions combined, maybe it's because there wasn't enough revolution... whatever it is: the World's got issues. Though I am not alone in my thinking this way, mine has been a very low-profile sentiment. Maybe everyone feels it to some extent but only a rare few want to whole-heartedly admit to the facts; for the most part the blind eye is faithfully turned, ignorance is bliss and all that. But the only way to start affecting change is to be open to it, you can't change something which you are pretending does not exist. Step one of any Anonymous step-based program is always admitting to the problem. Well humanity it's time some eyes start opening, it's time for step one on the proverbial 12-step. You see maybe I have the "answer" or, more likely, maybe you have the answer, the only problem is: not enough people are listening. However, a wonderful thing is starting to happen, a new trend is forming, slowly but surely: Awareness is getting popular. It's developing a following, groups are forming, like-minded people are getting together and saying "lets expose some problems!" The real wonderful thing about the internet and this trend is that, not only are they doing it in a well researched and eloquent way, but they are also making it really interesting and enjoyable to watch. The people behind RSA Animate are doing some fantastic things and though no real solutions or answers are being posed (nor do I think the timing is right for that) but truths are being unveiled through online speeches in a slow-drip fashion which is gradually building up to a potentially water-fall like pressure in it's exposition of well... "where we've gone wrong".

Though this video is not the best the site has to offer it does give a nice baseline and explains what the goal of this little think-tank currently is, so check it out: 21st Century Enlightenment

or check out all the brilliant thoughtful RSA Animate short lecture series.

And if you haven't already been exposed to TED Talks, well add that to your agenda:

I only have one real problem when I watch these videos:
the fact that they don't have 100 million views, that they aren't the most viral thing on the web!
So go! Spread the word, tell your friends! Awareness is that new shit, get on it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Trophies and more.

So, I had a very busy yesterday: creating four trophies for the 2010 Skylands Classic Disc Golf Tournament. I usually spend about a day per trophy like this, but for a very special client, with a very tight deadline, I was able to bust out all four in one day.

Included in the shots below is a nice working shot with some cool stuff lying around on the table, the completed trophies, as well as a picture of the Dressage Horse I did at the end of 2007 which took all of my ability at the time and was made over the course of two weeks (and to think, if that took me more than 5 days now I'd be ashamed!)

Also: Igby.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Enraptured by Spiders

I've recently been reading a book called Life of the Spider by John Crompton and it's really quite an enthralling read. You see we look down upon these tiny creatures in our oh-so-human way, but really they are cunning and capable beyond anything we can imagine. The author has a whimsical (albeit old-school misogynistic) tone which is quite funny and delightful. The most truly amazing thing about this book (spiders aside) is the amount of time and energy that went into making it. You see in our current day and age we are so hyper-connected that all research has already been done for us, and the multitude of experiments that are going on are going on in thousands of places simultaneously and have all been done before, new ground is seldom tread. However, when this book was written (1950) there was still so much to learn from hands on research. So what do you have: a small community of dudes who love to sit around look at spiders in jars for hours on end. In one particularly case the author sites another author who had his son stay up all night watching one particular spider to finally figure out its late-night eating habits. Thats what makes the book so interesting, it's intrinsically tied to a world which barely exists anymore. A world which necessitated hands-on experimentation, where people as individuals still made meaningful discoveries and contributions.

Besides the interesting dichotomy that one can draw between that era and our present times, the spiders themselves prove to be inspiring beyond all measure. The things they do to survive and procreate are simply astounding. One character in particular who I was fond of was the Tube spider who burrows into the ground and lives inside a small tunnel which he covers over. The end of the tunnel protrudes above the ground and is a cause for much curiosity amongst other local insects and when they start to snoop around he bursts out of the ground, snatches the insect, and runs back inside to feast. Thats it, thats pretty much the entire life of this spider, sitting in wait at the bottom of a quarter inch wide tube. And to think, he doesn't even have a cellphone down there.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Igby! Go down!

So I had my little festival not too long ago now, and with that festival came the arrival of my very rambunctious new companion, Igby. You see we (my father and I) had not intended upon getting this dog, he merely happened to us. What was the following: I was outside in the courtyard where my festival was held, cleaning up beer cans and husks of corn when my dad yells to me from the window that "Something just ran through your garden.... I think it was a dog!" So I run out of the courtyard to the vast expanse of field directly behind it. Lo and behold, I see something black and white and extremely doglike careening through my fields, so I start running myself. After I ran about half the length of the field (maybe 200 yards) I was able to glimpse the dog again, at the farthest reaches of my property, about to enter into the dense forestland. So I start clapping and calling and much to my surprise he responds! He comes running back in my direction and follows me back into the courtyard and proceeds to help me clean up by eating as many corn husks as he can handle. So I take him down towards the house, I give him a little food and a little water, but I had some friends who I was meeting for breakfast that morning, so we decide it's probably best if we just leave the dog and maybe he'll wander instinctively back in the proper direction (who knows...). After spending a good long time eating breakfast we return home without any expectation of seeing a dog on our property, and indeed he is not there, but not more than 20 minutes later he shows up at the front door and well, he's been ours ever since. Igby, named after the somber movie which sat on my shelf, had a collar but no tags when we found him. We tried to locate an owner, but to no avail. He's been somewhat well behaved with a tendency towards being really hyper, but I think thats largely due to the fact that he's just a puppy....

So yeah, I got dog.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Tread lightly, tread nicely.

For now I proceed with caution as my fingers graze their desired keys... I've left this most wonderful template solitary for quite some time now and I almost fear as if entering into it once more I will find a woe begotten mistress or an old woman with a shotgun (or something equally terrifying)... But alas, it's just good old blank-slate-blog-entry format, and so to hit the ground running (and when I have due momentum I'll post some rather delectable rants) I'll upload some nice new photos of a nice new sculpture, a nice little mural I painted on the front of my house, and some nice old photos of the wonderful event which I had not too long ago (oh and the nice new dog whose backstory will be blogged about shortly)... So without further ado:

Nice new sculpture.

Nice new dog (Igby).

Nice new mural (Severe Thunderstorm Warning) .

Nice people.

Nice little setting for my nice little event.