With occasional reflection on the perpetual absurdity/intrigue of life and society in general.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs - In Memory of an Innovator (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)

Innovation is the rarest and highest level of human thought and capability.

Steve Jobs: The Link Between Machines And Humans

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lead Pencil Non-Sign - Image of Intrigue

The concept is relatively intriguing as well - quite a bit of something in that nothing. When you drive across the border into the United States from Vancouver, B.C., at Blaine (the main passageway), this is what you'll see.
This is a digital rendering of the new Lead Pencil Studio artwork Non-Sign II, which is just what it says: A non-sign. The sign part is empty air - the rest is a web of metal pieces.

For the full article follow the link:  The Stranger - Currently Hanging: Lead Pencil Studio

Magic Mushrooms Can Make Lasting Personality Changes, Study Says

Elizabeth Lopatto, ©2011 Bloomberg News
Thursday, September 29, 2011 - SF Gate

Psilocybin, or "magic mushrooms," can make people more open in their feelings and aesthetic sensibilities, conferring on them a lasting personality change, according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers. People who had mystic experiences while taking the mushrooms were more likely to show increases in a personality trait dubbed "openness," which is related to creativity, artistic appreciation and curiosity, according to the study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The change was still in place a year later, suggesting a long-term effect.
"The remarkable piece is that psilocybin can facilitate experiences that change how people perceive themselves and their environment," said Roland Griffiths, a study author and professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine in Baltimore. "That's unprecedented."
Magic mushrooms, also known as "shrooms," are hallucinogens native to tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Mexico and the U.S. The fungi were favored by former Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary, who founded the Harvard Psilocybin Project, and explored by '60s writer and anthropologist Carlos Castaneda. They are typically eaten but can also be dried and smoked or made into a tea.
Openness is one of five major personality factors known to be constant throughout multiple cultures, heritable in families and largely unvarying throughout a person's lifetime. The other four factors, extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness and conscientiousness, were unchanged by being dosed with the hallucinogenic mushrooms, the study found. This is the first finding of a short-term intervention providing a long-term personality change, researchers said...

To read more go to:  SF Gate - Magic Mushrooms...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols - Featured Film of Interest

Jeff Nichols is a rising independent filmmaker (something we don't hear enough of in recent years) based out of Austin, TX - our home town. His first feature film, Shotgun Stories, was shot in the true paradigm of early 90's independent cinema, sweat and tears and penniless scraping with a lot of gumption, and it is a truly impressive accomplishment as well as a thoughtful, cinematically intelligent, and all around excellent first feature.  Take Shelter, Nichols' second feature (budgeted at quite a bit more than his first but still relatively minimal) has received accolades and awards throughout its festival run, including quite a bit of notoriety at Cannes. It is now set for an American release and it is receiving predominately rave reviews and positive response.  This is certainly one of my top films of interest set for release, and not just for local loyalty - the possibility of honest, interesting storytelling with high cinematic awareness is very promising. I encourage all to look up the release dates in your city or area (September 30 in many places) and check this one out - I'm pretty sure it will be worth it. Below is a review by David Edelsten for NPR Movies.

Dark Skies: Jeff Nichols' haunting Take Shelter centers on an Ohio man (Michael Shannon, with Tova Stewart) plagued with nightmares about a coming apocalypse.

An Atmospheric 'Shelter' For Era Full Of Foreboding