11-year-old Nigerian artist creates amazing hyperrealistic drawings


Do yourself a favor and check out this short 1-minute clip featuring 11-year old Kareem Waris Olamilekan hyperrealistic drawings.

He’s nothing short of amazing.

 

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Sen. John McCain sings the hits


“Coming close on the heels of President Trump’s bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today’s press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American Presidency. That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisors makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable.

“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”

Sen. John McCain’s statement on Donald Trumps cowardice and insanity today in Helsinki.

Where in the WORLD are rest of the intelligent human beings on the right who are sitting on their hands with mouths clamped shut while this president makes a mockery of this country?

I’m pretty sure I’m done with anyone who cannot find themselves to criticize this president, shame him and destroy his power.

Nothing is as shocking as this and yet nothing seems shocking anymore.

On my to-do list: re-listen to Terry Gross’ interview with Paul Schrader and Ethan Hawke about “First Reformed”


Probably a month ago, I heard bits and pieces of the NPR show Fresh Air. It was an interview with Filmmaker Paul Schrader and actor Ethan Hawke about a movie Schrader wrote and directed called “First Reformed.” You can listen to it here.

You’d know Schrader from the movies he wrote: “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull.” He also wrote the script for “The Last Temptation of Christ,” one of my favorite books and movies.

Schrader has reached 70 years and decided that after a long career of purposefully staying away from the topic of religion, it was time to maybe pursue it.

Apparently Schrader and I share some similarities. He grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, deep in the heart of the Dutch Reformed Church. My dad is a Dutchman, immigrated to Grand Rapids as a teen and comes from the reformed tradition. My mom grew up in Grand Rapids as well.

We all had very religious upbringings.  Continue reading

Fostering a culture of Carrorism and doing conscious acts of kindness


About a year ago, I was moved by the social media updates of a model friend of mine named Nasreen Ameri. Her posts were usually about new work or travel associated with her amazing career. She traveled back and forth to New York City. She worked all over, seemingly all the time.

In what appeared to be an abrupt move, she left her successful modeling career to lead a movement of a philosophy she created. Then her posts were photos of heart shapes she found everywhere: in the concrete, in fruit, leaves, laundry, strings, etc.

She shared the images and coupled them with words of encouragement and kindness.

In a landscape infiltrated by acts of terrorism, Nasreen decided the world needed a new look on the old concept of do-gooderism.

She discovered that there was no word in the English dictionary for the opposite of terrorism. So she called her movement “Carrorism” and set her sights on doing conscious acts of kindness and encouraging those behaviors in others.

This struck me. I needed this movement. I loved it. It was so positive. It was a breath of fresh air.

Like most people last year and this one, my energy was sucked dry by the constant barrage of negative news, the endless Trumpian tweets, the incessant news coverage a country so divided by politics and humanity that it became almost impossible to keep a level head about life.

In person, most of us treat everyone else with compassion and empathy. But online, there seems to be a constant battle of who can post the stupidest meme calling “the other side” the dumbest possible person in existence.

I grew up in an evangelical Christian area of the southeast, and I was in love with Christianity as a young person through my early 20s. Nasreen’s philosophy, despite how great it is, would have been demonized by the leaders of my youth. There’s only one way to live, and that’s as a Christian. Nasreen’s philosophy doesn’t include any of that. Not necessarily.

I’ve since left the faith of my youth, but I’ve maintained a lot of disciplines and do-gooderisms of that upbringing. Sometimes I think of myself as a better Christian than most Christians. I know, I’m pompous. The only difference is I don’t believe in the divinity of Christ, just the actions of doing right, at a near extreme cost.

Nasreen’s call for monetary support

In one post, I was struck by Nasreen’s call to help her with a monetary contribution or subscription to help her on a monthly basis. I sat slumped in my chair, because that kind of donation wasn’t in the cards. But I wanted to help.

I slept on it, and I woke up thinking: I will do a documentary on her, for her, about her.

The idea was simple at first, but once production started, it became a bigger project. It was also a very expensive project. I ended up damaging a vintage car during one day of shooting, that threw off my game and I screwed up the settings on my A camera as a result of being completely flustered.

But the production continued. It was difficult not to have a positive attitude when around Nasreen. She constantly finds the positive in all situations. We need

I could honestly do full-length documentary about her.

In free time, I produced this video. I hope you take a look and I hope you enjoy it.

 

Check out World War I in color


Color film was in experimental phases in the early 20th century. There were few who could had the bulky slow equipment to shoot color. And those who did weren’t necessarily as close to the front lines, seeing how much they had to lug around and how long it might take to get the shot.

A description from this page:

1917 was also the tenth year that the Lumière brothers’ Autochrome color photography process was commercially available. One of the earliest color technologies, the Autochrome process, used microscopic grains of dyed potato starches to capture hues in a dreamy, pointillist mosaic.

Though unsuited for fast-moving action and combat, Autochrome was used by photographers to document the quieter moments away from the front, capturing the rest and reflection of soldiers engaged in a seemingly endless and senseless war.

To see different pages and write ups on these photos, go here, here, here, and here.

Check out a handful below.

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