Monthly Archives: November 2011

Animator Jonathan Chong spent hundreds of hours creating this stop motion video

Here’s another cool example of what’s possible when you combine creativity with an insane amount of dedication: animator Jonathan Chong spent hundreds of hours creating this stop motion video for the song “Against The Grain” by the Australian band Hudson. He animated everything by hand, and captured 5125 individual photographs of 920 pencils for the three-minute long finished product.

Watch the music video first, and then check out this behind-the-scenes time-lapse showing how it was made:



         It was a cold  December day, four thirty in the afternoon, and it was almost dark. I knew mom would be wanting us home for supper by five.  My hands were half frozen in snow encrusted wool gloves, and my ears, when I could feel them at all burned like fire. Hat’s were for sissies. I was an ear muff guy.  My feet were not in great shape either. Snow boots slowed a boy down, so I had my school shoes on, with just rubber galoshes over them. My shoes were wet, my feet beyond cold, and I suspected “I ‘d get it” when I got home, but it didn’t matter.  I had to be fast. We were too young for cars, and boulevard drag strips, but we boys still had the need for speed.  We satisfied that need on Sanford Avenue’s hill, commonly just called Sanford.  The plowed , packed, glazed by the midday sun surface of the roads was our Laguna Seca, our Watkins Glen………or our Green Mile.  We match raced sleds.  We may not have had our own set of wheels (bikes excluded) but we had some wooden slats over a thin steel frame with runners.  Two marques dominated the hill.  The venerable Flexible Flyer and my own stick, the awesome Yankee Clipper.

Now piloting a Yankee Clipper was a matter of pride to me. The Yankees were the regional kick butt baseball team of the 50’s and 60’s with Casey Stengel  at the helm, and Mantle, Maris, Skowren, Richardson and company the heros of the times. Our dog was named Yankee, and far as we knew, he never lost a fight.  Good ol’ dog.  The Yankee clipper sailing ship itself was a thing of terrible beauty. Fast and deadly, with flowing rakish lines. Growing up we were “all things Yankee.”  Dad even had one of those Yankee mechanical screwdrivers.  Yankee meant strength, quality and hardiness, all in a plain brown wrapper. Minimalist, strictly business.

And so it was with my sled.  While the enourmously popular Flexible Flyer had it’s runners curve up in the back, and go around, looking like tank treads, the Yankee Clipper’s runners stuck straight out with just a little bevel on the edge. I thought of them as dual exhausts.  The Flexible Flyer had this cool decal on the top of an Arrow with an Eagle in the middle.  The Yankee Clippers decal was less inspiring for sure.  The true badges of honor though, were the patina of the wood, the places where the paint rubbed off the runners, and a dent or a nick or two. The Flexible Flyer was …….well Flexible.  It was easy to turn, and there was a fair amount of play in the steering and flex in the frame.  “The Clipper” was stiffer, lower to the ground, with a more rigid frame It was meaner, and less pretty.  My little North Jersey town was “Flyer” country.  Just like some areas belong to Ford or Chevy, Emerson belonged to flyer.  Only heretics and the hopeless drove anything else. The hopeless had saucers, or off brand sleds from Sears or Montgomery Wards.  I never  saw one to hold a candle to the Clippers and Flyers.  As for bring a heretic, that was me all over.  I was a WASP in a town full of Italian Catholics.  Some of the Irish kids ran with the Italians.  They at least shared Mother Church, Catechism etc together.  Me…no way! I was as “out” as out could be.  And I drove a “Clipper’ to boot. I was a rogue, a Maverick.  I didn’t fit in.  That’s just the way I liked it!  Which brings me back.

The wind had started to come up.  I knew mom would be wondering where I was, but there was a showdown brewing. Ron Doughty, who lived at the bottom of Sanford called me out. We had to make a run and belly flop on our sleds.  Usually a parked car was the finish line.  Whoever “broke the plane” first won.  There was no betting that went on, at least as far as I can recall.  My allowance was $1.20 a week at the time 10 cents per year, so I spent it very wisely. an occasional side bet of a favorite baseball card or pocket knife might be made, but we were in it for pride  not that there was much competition.  Anyway,  it was a third party chanting ready, set , go, varying the cadence to throw us off, Run carrying the sled , flop, and go. Then the real craft showed up after that.  We all knew where the ruts were, or the grvel or sand which would slow us down.  The idea was to get out in front, and weave your way thru to the good spots and cross first.  All while trying not to fall off or get hit by a car or running into anything. Blocking or bumping was ok, but use of the hands on your opponent was against the rules.

Now I was a bit bigger and stronger than Ron, and I won easily.  I waxed him badly!  I had a faster take off. It was decided  by the cabal, that three out of 5 would be the championship round.  Once we even started on our bellys, from a standstill.  That factored out my sprinting ability.  The small cabal of “Flyer” owners present,kept trying to change the rules to their advantage, so they could win one, but there was no advantage to be had.  They were up against Miller and The Yankee Clipper.  They didn’t have a chance!  And so it went for race after race.  Embarrassing losses for the Flyer group.  Not a close race was had.  I was the King of Sandford hill, and of the Sem Pond hill too, but that’s another story, and another day.  I went home with cold hands, feet and ears that night and got  a bit of a chilly reception from mom as well, having come in a bit late, but I was warm inside knowing that out on the hill in this part of my world, i was invincible!  Me and my Yankee Clipper that is!


Dr. David E. Miller is a contributing writer for this Blog. Dr. Miller is an Ex-Pat. currently in Malaysia with his Wife Icha.

War hawks anticipate war with Iran

The International Atomic Energy Agency released a report today alleging Iran has taken steps to create a nuclear enrichment program. In the report the IAEA says Iran conducted computer modeling that would only be relevant to nuclear weapons. Some reports claim Israeli agencies helped conduct the report and now Israel is gearing up to potentially go to war with its middle-eastern neighbor. These claims for many are an excuse for going to war with Iran. Jamal Abdi, policy director at The National Iranian American Council, gives us his take on the matter.







Thomas Jefferson and Defiance to Tyrants: An Anniversary worth Celebrating


Most Americans know that Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of “The Declaration of Independence.”  Yet few of them have ever even heard of another document that I would say might be the second most important one he ever wrote – The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, which were adopted by the Kentucky General Assembly on November 10, 1798.

Jefferson drafted these resolutions – in secret – while he was serving as vice president. It was written in response to the hated Alien and Sedition Acts which were passed under the John Adams administration.

The acts authorized the president to deport any resident alien considered “dangerous to the peace and safety” of the United States, to apprehend and deport resident aliens if their home countries were at war with the United States, and criminalized any speech which might “defame” Congress, the President, or bring either of them into “contempt or disrepute.”

Interestingly enough, while it was illegal to, in essence, speak out against the president, congress and the federal government in general, it was not illegal to do so towards the opposition, in this case the sitting vice-president, a Mr. Thomas Jefferson.

Read More at this link:

Occupy LA Teach In William K Black

          Uploaded by on Nov 9, 2011

Full speech, high quality


Dialectic (also dialectics and the dialectical method) is a method of argument for resolvingdisagreement that has been central to Indic and European philosophy since antiquity. The worddialectic originated in Ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato in the Socratic dialoguesThe dialectical method is dialogue between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject, who wish to establish the truth of the matter by dialogue, with reasoned arguments.[1]Dialectics is different from debate, wherein the debaters are committed to their points of view, and mean to win the debate, either by persuading the opponent, proving their argument correct, or proving the opponent’s argument incorrect — thus, either a judge or a jury must decide who wins the debate.Dialectics is also different from rhetoric, wherein the speaker uses logospathos, or ethos to persuade listeners to take their side of the argument.







Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) is self-education or self-directed learning. In a sense, autodidacticism is “learning on your own” or “by yourself”, and an autodidact is a person who teaches him or herself something. The term has its roots in the Ancient Greek words αὐτός (autós, or “self”) and διδακτικός (didaktikos, meaning “education/teaching”). The related term Didacticism defines an artisticphilosophy of education. Self-teaching and self-directed learning are contemplative, absorptive processes. Some autodidacts spend a great deal of time reviewing the resources of libraries and educational websites. A person may become an autodidact at nearly any point in his or her life. While some may have been educated in a conventional manner in a particular field, they may choose to educate themselves in other, often unrelated areas.

Why People Fail to Recognize Their Own Incompetence


Successful negotiation of ev- eryday life would seem to re- quire people to possess insight about deficiencies in their intel- lectual and social skills. How- ever, people tend to be blissfully unaware of their incompetence. This lack of awareness arises be- cause poor performers are dou- bly cursed: Their lack of skill deprives them not only of the ability to produce correct re- sponses, but also of the expertise necessary to surmise that they are not producing them. People base their perceptions of perfor- mance, in part, on their precon- ceived notions about their skills






(WYBM FULL MOVIE 1-10) What You’ve Been Missing – Exposing The Noble Lie

WYBM – Episode 01 -Part 1 of 10: What You’ve Been Missing was created to fill the massive gap created by corporate media, between itself and reality. A virtual variety show with a point, WYBM helps you learn how to outgrow the status quo; through a systematic process of critical thinking supplemented with comedy.

The World According to Monsanto (FULL LENGTH)

There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it — it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world. The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.

Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.