Why I do what I do

For as long as I can remember, creating “Art” of any kind has been been more about the process than the end product. Even as a child, I didn’t draw to replicate what I was seeing, but to respond to things emotionally. I was acutely aware of how what I saw affected me, and how what I was feeling affected the way I saw.  For example, a donut will look very different depending on whether I’m hungry or not. When not distracted by hunger, I’m more inclined to notice all the different colours, shapes, textures, smells, and imagine how they might taste. I’m more aware of details, such as how the light reflects off the individual specs of sugar; the contoured edges of the glossy frosting; the spongy, rounded surface of the golden pastry…

When I’m starving, I see a singular thing: a donut.

Whenever I produce a physical, tangible, visual response to my own internal chatter, things become clearer. My muddled thoughts start sorting themselves into orderly queues instead of simultaneously clamouring for attention.

To put it another way: imagine hundreds of oddly shaped, different coloured Lego bricks scattered on the floor around you, making it difficult to step in any direction without hurting your feet. Each brick simply one part of the unsightly, stress-inducing, insurmountable MESS.

It is easy to become so focused on “The Mess” and planning how to be rid of it or how to get around it that you fail to see The Bigger Picture. But what if you were to stop, crouch down for a closer look, give each and every brick your full attention, sort through them, start piecing them together to build a single, solid something? You might see how each seemingly insignificant piece, while not much use on its own, transforms into something entirely different when connected to the others. Each little piece plays a vital role in constructing The Whole. By the end of the process, you’ll still have the same number of oddly shaped, different coloured bricks as you had before, but now there is cohesion and clarity, and more space in which to manoeuvre (For the techies: like defragmenting the hard drive on your computer)

That’s how I see the arts process; picking through the chaos in my head, examining and fitting together seemingly random thoughts and feelings until I find a common thread. Because everything is related. Nothing is random. no thought meaningless. Everything matters. The answers are, more often than not, hidden in plain sight.

And then there’s The Flow! Have you ever tried catching a feather or leaf that’s fluttering on the breeze? The more you wave your arms or move your hand, the further away it gets. When I get into that creative zone, aka “the flow”, my mind becomes very still. I’m no longer chasing or running or flailing about desperately trying to make sense of things. I’m quietly opening myself up, letting those fluttering objects drift down and settle upon me.

Externalising my thoughts, feelings and imaginings in this way also makes them accessible to others. This exposure to scrutiny and criticism terrifies me, and I do feel extremely vulnerable. So why do it?? because I feel more connected to “The World” when I am open and honest about my reactions to it.

It’s something I find very difficult to write about without feeling a tad wanky. But there you have it.

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Man paid $100 for $1m James Bond submarine car


The Lotus in a scene from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’. Picture: RM Auctions

IT is one of the most famous cars in the history of the movies and when it goes under the hammer this September it could fetch over a million dollars.

But the James Bond submarine car from The Spy Who Loved Me nearly sank without a trace.

The customised Lotus Esprit was forgotten about in a storage container in Long Island, New York. It only came to light after a local contractor bought unseen the contents of the container in 1989, paying less than $100, according to a report on CNBC.

When the contractor opened up the container with his brother he found the white sports car without wheels and with a dented roof.

“They really didn’t know what it was at first,” said Doug Redenius, co-founder of the Ian Fleming Foundation, which authenticated the car.

Not knowing the value of his find he loaded the car on a truck. It was only after other truckers told him over the CB radio what it was and he had rented the film and seen the car in action that he realised the value of the find.

Mr Renedius told CNBC that eight different versions of the car were driven by Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me. This one will be sold by RM Auctions in London on September 9.

james-bond-gadgets The submarine car was lost in storage for many years.

Previous James Bond cars have fetched millions at auction. A 1964 Aston Martin used in Goldfinger sold in 2010 for $4.6 million.

Mr Renedius described the current owner as “a blue collar guy” who makes “a very modest living”.

“I told him, I said ‘Come September 9th, be prepared for your life and your wife and your children – your life is going to change dramatically,” he said.


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Social Smoking vs Social Farting

CANADIAN health authorities have let it rip at smokers – comparing their smell to a fart.

The Ontario Quit the Denial campaign places a ‘social farter’ on the psychoanalyst’s chair.

While there, she attempts to justify her ‘social flatulence’ as just a means to `fit in with the crowd’.

“It’s true that I fart…. I really only do it when I hang out with my friends that fart. We hang out, we drink, we dance … just have some fun being together… farting.”

‘Just because I fart every now-and-then doesn’t make me a farter’. Canada’s new anti-smoking campaign.

Obviously intended to juxtapose the supposed `coolness’ of smoking with flatulence, the campaign is being billed as a “gentle” poke at smoking in the face of widespread graphic tobacco warnings.

The punch-line?

“Social smoking is as ridiculous as social farting.”


‘Just because I fart every now-and-then doesn’t make me a farter’. Canada’s new anti-smoking campaign.



Read more: http://www.news.com.au/weird-true-freaky/canada-released-advertising-campaign-comparing-smoking-with-farting/story-e6frflri-1226602397177#ixzz2ObPHcmz0

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Burger Urge ad ‘promotes bestiality’

A Brisbane burger company’s advertising campaign has been accused of promoting bestiality.
The Burger Urge ad, which shows a woman licking a cow, was described in the complaint as loathsome, sick, wrong and perverted, according to The Courier Mail.

cowAustralian Christian Lobby group officially registered the complaint via company director Wendy Francis, who said people should be spared the image of “a woman making love to a cow”.
“It’s definitely a sexual sort of image. It says ‘get intimate’ so we’re not talking about a pet thing. The cow is dressed up as a man,” she said.
Burger Urge owner Sean Carthew says it is an over-reaction, and believes an overwhelming majority of people saw what Burger Urge was trying to do and did not have a problem with the campaign.
Ironically, Mr Carthew’s mum received an email from Ms Francis, attacking the advertisement.
“Mum’s quite religious and she doesn’t have any problem with the image of the cow and the girl,” he said.
“We do think quite carefully about our promotions. We don’t want to cause any damage or do any harm, we just want to have a bit of fun.”
Ms Francis, who also rallied against Burger Urge’s condom mail promotion said it had the potential of catching out children who like to check the letterbox.
“I’m not asking for a nanny state. I’m just asking would somebody please make it so that our children are allowed to have their childhood,” she said.
However Mr Carthew said the arrival of a condom in the mail would have no impact on the future behaviour of children.

via Burger Urge ad ‘promotes bestiality’ – Yahoo!7.

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Lightning blows breasts off statue

Lightning blasts breasts off statue

lightning-blasts-breasts-off-statueTom Findlay shows off the stone breasts which survived an 8m fall when struck by lightning. Picture: Michael Franchi Source: Northern Territory News

A LIGHTNING strike has blown the breasts off one man’s iconic tribute to Northern Territory women. Literally.

Stonemasonry boss Tom Finlay, 48, was standing 50m from his voluptuous hand-carved Venus de Milo when a flash of white light and an “almighty kaboom” sent stone flying through the air, The NT News reports.

Mr Finlay – who carved the statue as a tributeb to NT women – said he was amazed her 30kg breasts had survived the phenomenon.

“There was a clap of thunder and the sculpture blew up like a rocket-launcher had hit it,” he said.
Lightning blasts breasts off statue

lightning-blasts-breasts-off-statue2All that is left of the original sculpture is below the hips. Picture: Michael Franchi

“Everything disintegrated but the breasts – all that’s left is what’s under her hips,” he added.

The 1.5m high sculpture, made of local porcelanite, was perched on a 6m steel reinforced column.

Shattered stone was strewn about the small courtyard at Finlay’s Stonemasonry – near the Stuart Hwy, at Yarrawonga – where the top half of the headless Venus was obliterated about on Friday.
Lightning blasts breasts off statue

lightning-blasts-breasts-off-statue3Tom Findlay’s first sculpture, of Venus, before it was destoyed by lightning.

via Lightning blows breasts off NT’s iconic Venus de Milo statue | News.com.au.

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Nazi-Acquired Buddha Statue Came From Outer Space

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer

Date: 26 September 2012 Time: 01:12 PM ET
A Buddha statue dating back to the 8th to 10th centuries is carved from a rare iron meteorite.
CREDIT: Elmar Buchne

It sounds like a mash-up of Indiana Jones’ plots, but German researchers say a heavy Buddha statue brought to Europe by the Nazis was carved from a meteorite that likely fell 10,000 years ago along the Siberia-Mongolia border.

This space Buddha, also known as “iron man” to the researchers, is of unknown age, though the best estimates date the statue to sometime between the eighth and 10th centuries. The carving depicts a man, probably a Buddhist god, perched with his legs tucked in, holding something in his left hand. On his chest is a Buddhist swastika, a symbol of luck that was later co-opted by the Nazi party of Germany.

“One can speculate whether the swastika symbol on the statue was a potential motivation to displace the ‘iron man’ meteorite artifact to Germany,” the researchers wrote online Sept. 14 in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science.

Iron man adventure

The iron man first came to Germany after a 1938-1939 Tibet expedition by zoologist and ethnology Ernst Schäfer, who was sent to the region by the Nazi party to find the roots of Aryan origin. The statue then passed into the hands of a private owner. [Fallen Stars: A Gallery of Famous Meteorites]

Stuttgart University researcher Elmar Bucher and his colleagues first analyzed the statue in 2007, when the owner allowed them to take five miniscule samples of it. In 2009, the team had the opportunity to take larger samples from the inside of the statue, which is less prone to contamination by weathering or human handling than the outside where the initial samples were taken.

They found that the statue is carved from a rare class of space rocks known as ataxite meteorites. These mostly iron meteorites have a high level of nickel. The largest-ever known meteorite, the Hoba meteorite of Namibia, is an ataxite meteorite that may weigh more than 60 tons.

It came from outer space

A chemical analysis of the iron man samples revealed they are a close match for a famous scattering of space rocks from the Siberia and Mongolian border. The Chinga meteorite field holds at least 250 meteorite fragments, most relatively small, though two topping 22 pounds (10 kg) have been found there. Scientists estimate the Chinga meteorite fell 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. The field’s first discovery was recorded in 1913, but the statue’s existence suggests people were mining the field for artistic materials long before that, Buchner said.

The Buddha meteorite matches those found in the Chinga meteorite field. CREDIT: Elmar Buchner

The identity of the carved man is unclear, but the researchers suspect he may be the Buddhist god Vaisravana, also known as Jambhala. Vaisravana is the god of wealth or war, and he is often portrayed holding a lemon (a symbol of wealth) or moneybag in his hand. The iron man holds an unidentified object in his hand. The statue is about 9.5 inches (24 cm) tall and weighs about 23 pounds (10.6 kg).

Many cultures used meteorite iron to make daggers and even jewelry, Buchner and his colleagues wrote, and meteorite worship is common among many ancient cultures. But the Buddha carving is unique.

“The Iron Man statue is the only known illustration of a human figure to be carved into a meteorite, which means we have nothing to compare it to when assessing value,” Buchner said in a statement. “Its origins alone may value it at $20,000; however, if our estimation of its age is correct and it is nearly a thousand years old it could be invaluable.”

Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter @sipappas or LiveScience @livescience. We’re also on Facebook & Google+.



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LEGO: Inception

HOW good was Inception.

The hallway fight scene, LEGO style. Oh, yeah. Picture: Courtesy of VFX
The hallway fight scene, LEGO style. Oh, yeah. Picture: Courtesy of VFX

That wasn’t a question, a rhetorical question, or even an opinion. It was a fact. (And, frankly, if you didn’t like then you didn’t get it.)

Now imagine Inception with LEGO. Yep. That’s what we thought.

It took VFX – a small team of visual effects and concept design students – around 1000 hours to make over a three-month period, but it was worth it.

The result is a trailer that parodies famous moments from Christopher Nolan’s 148-minute dream narrative. Permission to drool, granted.

There’s something pure about watching that legendary hallway fight scene recreated with small, snaplock plastic figures.

It’s LEGO Inception. We don’t need to oversell this.

via LEGO Reboot: Inception dream brought to life | Information, Gadgets, Mobile Phones News & Reviews | News.com.au.

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Eduard Khil, the ‘Trololo Man,’ Dead at 77

Neetzan Zimmerman

Russian baritone crooner Eduard Khil, who became world famous two years ago when his 1976 performance of the song “I Am So Happy to Finally Be Back Home” went viral on YouTube, passed away today in St. Petersburg, two months after suffering a stroke that caused irreversible brain damage.

He was 77.

Known to most as “Mr. Trololo,” Khil initially rose to fame in the Soviet Union, where he was a popular entertainer throughout the 60’s and 70’s. He suddenly regained his celebrity in 2010 when footage of his unique performance of Arkady Ostrovsky’s “I Am So Happy to Finally Be Back Home” began spreading online.

According to Internet lore, the song’s lyrics were censored for romanticizing life on the American prairie (Ostrovsky’s son, Mikhail, denied this). Khil replaced the lyrics with non-lexical vocables, producing the “trololo” yodel that became so popular with Internet users some three-and-a-half decades later.

After becoming a household name again, Khil was asked to perform on multiple Russian variety shows. President Vladimir Putin himself became a fan, sending his condolences to Khil’s wife and son upon learning of his death.

While he enjoyed his return to the spotlight, Khil initially expressed surprise at the sudden reemergence of the song, as well as resentment for being ignored by the Russian media for many years.

via Eduard Khil, the ‘Trololo Man,’ Dead at 77.

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Fashion gone too far?

In a controversial move, new footwear company Rayfish has launched a line of sneakers made entirely out of genetically engineered stingray parts.

Retailing for the hefty sum of $1,800, the “stingray” shoes can be custom designed for the consumer by scientists, who are reportedly able to “etch” colouring and designs into the DNA of the stingray’s skin.

RELATED: Hermes Creates $2 Million Handbag

“We cannot breed any desirable shape or logo on the fishes, as our patterning process works by recording and recombining DNA of existing animals,” said Dr. Raymond Ong, head of Rayfish Footwear.

“Squares are for instance not possible, as the expression of the DNA on the skin doesn’t allow it. Also, the patterns that grow on the actual fish sometimes slightly differ from what you see in the design tool. Although it is almost perfect, we are still developing the mapping between the design tool and the DNA encoding further.”

With a tagline like, “From sea to street. Grow your own sneaker,” it seems only a matter of time before PETA gets involved.

via Company Launches Sneakers Made From Stingrays – Marie Claire Magazine – Yahoo!7 Lifestyle.

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Centuries old bible mean Christianity’s downfall

File ©

Iran claims a recently discovered, centuries old bible will prove once and for all that Islam is the one true religion.

The bible, confiscated from smugglers by Turkish authorities in 2000 is believed to come from the fifth century and is made from animal hide.

Experts believe it may be a copy of the Gospel as written by Jesus disciple Barnabas, but Iranian state press claims it is much more than that.Basij Press in Iran says the bible contains information that will trigger Christianitys downfall, and prove Islam as the superior religion.

Basij Press has quoted this version of the bible as saying “God has hidden himself as Archangel Michael ran them Adam and Eve out of heaven, and when Adam turned, he noticed that at top of the gateway to heaven, it was written “La elah ela Allah, Mohamad rasool Allah,” meaning Allah is the only God and Mohammad his prophet.

Iranian state press went on to report the bible saying that Jesus never died on the cross, and that he himself predicted Mohammeds coming.The book was found by authorities on 2000 during a crackdown on antiques smugglers, but excitement has recently been generated by claims The Vatican wants to get its hands on the book.

In February it was claimed The Vatican had made an official request to view the book, which is thought to still lie in a Turkish museum.

While most experts have rubbished Irans claims, the Islamic nation is adamant the book means the downfall of Christianity.

“The most significant fact, though, is that this Bible has predicted the coming of Prophet Mohammad and in itself has verified the religion of Islam,” state television claims.

via Centuries old bible mean Christianitys downfall – Yahoo!7.

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