How does money work? What causes inflation? Why are things so expensive? Do we really need a central banking system? If currency enters the economic system only by being lent at interest, and society pays all of the money back it borrowed, where does the money come from to pay off the interest? If newly printed money is not earned, what justifies it being given only to a select few? Louis Even explains things in very simple terms so that anybody can understand and offers an alternative to the debt-money systems used by most countries. It’s an interesting and thought-provoking read.
Just a gal and her guy posting accounts of their adventures backpacking around Asia, Indonesia, and South America. The Endless Adventures has some of the most amazingly beautiful photographs I have ever seen.
If you have ever been curious about where life came from and the differing schools of thought on the subject, two great resources to get an overview of the debate are TalkOrigins and TrueOrigin.
TrueOrigin details arguments against the current mainstream geology, cosmology, and biology and explains intelligent design and young-Earth creationism.
TalkOrigins exists mainly as a rebuttal to every argument in the TrueOrigin archives. Both websites give much to think about.
This great webpage has a list of places throughout the world open to the public for stargazing. These places are far from city lights so that the reflection from natural dust and moisture in the air do not wash out the dimmest stars. They have among the darkest skies on land. Many more stars are visible than will ever be near an illuminated city. They are great places to watch a rare meteor shower or to bring a telescope to see Saturn’s rings.
What would you look for?
While they no longer produce new material, for ten years the creators of Grudge-Match placed real and fictional celebrities into absurd situations where there could be only one victor. Who would win in a fight? Calvin or Bart Simpson? Red-shirted ensigns who always get hit or Stormtroopers who can’t hit anything? Alf or ET? Waldo or Carmen Sandeigo? Spock or Data? Sean Connery or all the others to play Bond? Rock, paper, or scissors? Wrath, greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, envy, or pride? The site is an exercise in imagination and silliness, so it’s right up my alley. I discovered them just as they were ending and so they never took my suggestions, such as Sydney (relic hunter) versus Sydney (Alias). That would have been a fight worth reading about. The commentators are brilliant and the voter comments are hilarious. Check out the archives!
What other matchups would be interesting?
Wayne Barlowe is an artist and the author of Expedition, the story of mankind’s visit to planet Darwin 4, home of large, blind, sonar-using liquivores. His paintings of alien plants, animals, and landscapes are amazing. He describes their physiology and behaviors. This is one of my favorite books that I dig out of storage from time to time just to look through. It has inspired me to make my own exobiology art books out of my old doodles. He also paints demons, hellscapes, and other awesome things and is available for commissions or licensing. Check out his website.
If exobiology interests you, please check out my other blog, FloraAndFaunaOfTheUniverse.com
Space is big, but just how big is hard to put into words. This animation allows one to zoom out to large scales by scrolling to the right and zoom in to small scales by scrolling to the left. It ranges from the observable universe to the Plank length. It shows the relative sizes of nebulae, blue whales, and atomic nuclei. Clicking on the little pictures opens info-boxes revealing interesting facts. It’s a fun and educational way to kill twenty minutes while you meditate on the mind-boggling vastness of the cosmos.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who has written about living stuffed animals. J. S. Skye already has five books out featuring Flurry, a magically-animated teddy bear cub whose vanity (and bad luck) get him into all sorts of adorable trouble. Book descriptions of later episodes have him travelling back in time and fighting evil pandas. This is what caught my attention. The first episode is The Christmas Wish, and this is the one I read.
It is not elves, but living teddy bears that make toys at the North Pole for Christopher Kringle (who hates being called Santa). Every so often, he brings a new one to life. The bears live much as humans, getting married, living in heated houses, and eating (recreationally – they have no need of organic calories). They can even produce tears when sad. The first episode explains Flurry’s origins, his moving from the North Pole, and his meeting many friends.
The book is very sweet and the Flurry character is totally adorable. He gets so excited to go shopping that he runs out of the house without the list – but at least remembers to go back to hug his mother. He experiences many of the same sort of child-adult misunderstandings that my character Nathaniel does, and this gets him into trouble. Even the way his internal thoughts were described reminds me of my work. I liked it. Skye definitely captured the feeling of childhood and more than a little bit of the magic of Christmas.
I love cute stories about children, but cute stories about living stuffed animals from the north pole just might be better. As the series progresses, Flurry the teddy bear encounters Christmas magic, sword fights, and discovers his destiny. A great fantasy story.
If you doodle, you can connect with others with this affliction at DoodlersAnonymous.com, a website that periodically features member works on the blog, holds contests, and accepts submissions for coloring books that they sell. There is always something interesting to see. It’s a place for artists to find and get found.
Cyriak is an animator who specializes in abusing fractals to create freaky, disturbing abominations of biology, physics, and common sense often set to catchy techno beats. I absolutely love it. It is really a form of surreal/abstract art. There is enough of a pattern to his videos that they make a form of sense and feel satisfying. For example, the way Malfunction builds up to a climax, burning through various levels of reality, and ends on a cliffhanger resonates on an emotional level I can only partly explain. Every time I watch it I see something new. Every element is unexpected in a way that makes me laugh just like the punchline of a joke. I might not be making any sense, but they remind me of Flying Circus skits. While some people see only silliness, I feel like I grasp the underlying mathematics. Check out his YouTube channel.
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.