Archive | Media

Secrets of the Egyptian Pyramids

 

Cairo: 1920

A GOOD HUMOR VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

It’s an amazing tale.

There are many ancient Egyptian secrets out there begging to be
discovered underneath the sands of time. 

We only have to find them.  This video from Kheops Pyramides lets us in on one of these shocking untold stories. 

No one believed these deeply kept rumors until now.  It was only after the hard evidence was found that this dark mystery was finally revealed for the first time and brought to light.

Keep looking.  Under the couch.  …That remote must be somewhere.

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Making the News

 

From Headlines to Hard Times

Award Winning VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Ed Mitchell is a former Reuters, BBC and ITN-TV journalist who lost it all.

Educated at England’s prestigious Durham University, Mitchell had stints at Channel Four, the European Business Channel, Asia Business News, European Business News and CNBC Europe in the 1990s until he was let go by CNBC in 2000.

From there it was a downward spiral for Mitchell.  He struggled to find work without success.  Once earning a salary of $200,000 per year, he fell into a vicious cycle of alcoholism, divorce, credit card debt and bankruptcy, and then ultimately, homelessness.

In 2007, the media revealed that the once famous newscaster had become homeless, sleeping on the park benches of Brighton’s Hove seafront.

In January 2008, the documentary Saving Ed Mitchell was shown about his struggle.  The end of the bleak documentary, presented by his former ITN colleague Carol Barnes, showed him being given an opportunity to return to news casting if he attended the Priory Clinic for his alcohol abuse treatment.  He made the choice to do it.

Successfully abstaining from drinking after his treatment, Mitchell got back onto his feet and returned to broadcasting.  He is the author of the best-selling book, From Headlines to Hard Times

He now helps with the recovery of others and considers himself fortunate for being given a second chance turning his life around.  He emphasizes that a life of regrets lead to resentments, alcoholism to homelessness, and that it can happen to anyone.

Making the News, an award-winning video, reflects on the period of life when Ed was homeless, living on Brighton’s seafront.

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I Get a Good Feeling

 

A Collective Place and Space

VIRAL VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

We liked this mashup video by Darius Farraye and for good reason.

Darius described creating this familiar-film montage best in his own words:

This moment in our cultural history is an opportunity to recognize how far we have come collectively.

There’s a potential that now stands before us utilizing breakthroughs in science, health, technology, and spirituality to create a better world for all.

Humans have the capacity for incredible achievement when we understand our interdependence and a healthy willingness to work in partnership with forces that are greater than us.  Allowing our greatest potential to shine through, it’s good for us to let go of personal ego and agendas once in awhile for the sake of our our collaboration.

Thanks to Etta James, whose voice inspired the creation of this and other modern tracks, and whose soul lives on in the music.  To me, this song and the other iterations of it became a moment in our cultural history.  And thanks to Flo Rida for the inspiration on this track and who understands the art of the remix. 

 
It’s another beautiful day on the planet. 
Take a good feeling and remember to give one back to someone you know.

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Ordinary Love

 

U2 Takes It Higher

 

VIRAL VIDEO:  The Official Song Trailer

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

As simple as this:

Ordinary love makes for something extraordinary.
A beautiful message for a beautiful day.


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Their first release in over 3 years, Ordinary Love is performed by U2.  The track was composed and recorded for the soundtrack of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Created, Directed & Made by Mac Premo & Oliver Jeffers.  Filmed in high-def, it views well on a large screen.

 

 

Please feel free to share the love with others
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Have a good Sunday.  Or anyday.  And thank you for your love.

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Feeding The World

 

The Food Crisis Paradox

Award-Winning Film

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

“People are not hungry because they are ignorant… The issues are more fundamental. 

The fish are there.  The people know how to fish.  Yet, there is barbed wire around the pond– literally and figuratively.”

 

Why buy local?  This is why:  Food security.

It’s baffling that in some parts of the world, there’s an oversupply of food, while elsewhere people are suffering from malnourishment.

This infotainment film, How to Feed the World, was directed by Denis van Waerebeke for kids age 9 to 14 in an effort to explain resource disparity, malnutrition and the food crisis in an eye-catching and accessible way.

Waerebeke lays it all out, showing that it all boils down to food dependency.  He describes how a system of imports and exports complicate a process that could be simplified and sustainable if it focused on the local paradigm instead.

Of course it’s a little more convoluted than that, but the video explains it in a way that manages to be both digestible and informative.

The moral of the story? 

Work hard, think and buy and local, and thank your lucky stars if you’re fortunate enough to feed your family today.

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‘We Will Live Again’

 

Never Say Die: Cryonics and Immortality

Award-Winning VIDEO

Brooklyn Underground Films

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

The future is here– but the cure hasn’t arrived yet.

Cryonics is an effort to save lives by using temperatures so cold that a person beyond help by today’s medicine might be preserved for decades or centuries until a future medical technology can restore that person to full health.

Cryonics sounds like science fiction, but it is based on modern science.  Presently, it’s an experiment in the most literal sense of the word.

We Will Live Again takes an unusual and extraordinary peek into the operations of the Cryonics Institute.

We follow Ben Best and Andy Zawacki as they maintain the 99 deceased human bodies stored at below-freezing temperatures in cryopreservation, awaiting the day when theoretically they will be revived to life and hoisted into the immortality of a coming age.

Meanwhile, cryonics movement founder Robert Ettinger, long-retired from overseeing operations at the Institute, still lives nearby, self-publishing books on cryonics and awaiting the end of this life– and eagerly anticipating the next.

What does the future hold for you?

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Coldplay Magic

 

–The Viral VIDEO–

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Magic happens.

It’s a crazy world outside.  It’s not black and white. 

We don’t always know who’s wrong, and who’s right. 
There’s no substitute:  you’re born, you’re dead.

Yet we can mend the mysterious wires.  
We can feed the soul apart.  We can touch our lives.  You can bring your magical soul alive.

It’s not an illusion: as you happen to say, it can happen today. 
And as it happens, it happens in every way. 
As you happen to see, it can happen to be.

All you have to do is make it …real
Make the magic happen 
With all those whom you happen to see.

 

 

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A Gold Star Mother’s Story

 

‘Five Years Without Justin’

Reuters Pictures Washington

Award-Winning Film

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

America’s military commitment in Afghanistan has been
long by any count.

Ten years of bloody war fathered by an angry country seeking revenge after it was blindsided in deadly attacks on September 11, 2001.  Innocent souls vanished forever inside the flames that day in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Since then thousands of combat GI’s from willing countries have answered their nation’s call to hunt down those thought responsible for that day hiding along the dark footpaths of a dangerous countryside.

Every time a soldier dies in combat, he, or she, is quickly flown home to be buried by a grieving family.

A mother’s shattered heart and fresh tears point the way to their own child’s gravesite. They soon discover they’ve passed the initiation into a painful sorority bound forever by the death of a child killed during war: a reluctant sisterhood living with sad stories and broken memories called “Gold Star Mothers.”

Paula Davis lost her 19 year-old son, Justin, while he fought in Afghanistan in 2006. He had vowed to his mom he’d never forget his childhood memories of September 11th and enlisted in the U.S. Army one week after graduating from high school.

She now spends her weekends numbly staring at “Justin R. Davis” etched on a simple white stone inside Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 60.

On the fifth anniversary of his death in 2011 she celebrated his short life with friends and family, just days after President Obama announced a reduction of U.S. troops in that war. 

The film above tells the story and sacrifice better than we ever could.  Please take a moment to remember those faithful to our service, to those who will not return, and for our Gold Star Mothers.

 

~Via Reuters, Jason Reed, Larry Downing, and Vimeo

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We are truly humbled.  We’ve been to Arlington and it struck deep to our soul, a moving experience.  Yes, we teared up.  Everyone does.  You can’t help but not to.  It’s a place of solemn brevity and magnitude of the highest order.

For all those who serve and with the greatest respect, and for the Justin Davis family; and for Humboldt local USMC Trevor Carlin in VA, AF pilots Matthew Fritz and Chris Stricklin, and Commanding Gen. John Michel.

Thank you.

 

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Humboldt Weed: ‘One Good Year’

 

Feature Film Documentary Premiers April 14

VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

“In Humboldt County, everyone has sticky stuff on their fingers…Every business in this county relies on the marijuana business.”
~Grower, One Good Year

 

One Good Year is all about the Humboldt weed.

While “Humboldt” has become synonymous the world over with high-grade marijuana for both the medical and black markets, the outside world knows little about the farmers themselves and their lives, history, dreams, and hopes for the future.

A feature length documentary in post production relating the inside story of Humboldt’s legendary pot-growing culture, One Good Year follows the everyday lives of four medical marijuana growers and their unique community.

Directed by local author, nursery owner, author, and volunteer firefighter Mikal Jakubal, the film is set in the remotely familiar hills where “Humboldt Grown” is well known.  Why did he do it?

As Jakubal explains:

“Humboldt pot farmers maintain one of the last remaining small farming economies in the country, the last of a tradition where people working the land with their hands could still sustain themselves and their families.

This is why we have to show the world the real face of pot farming.  Otherwise, when the inevitable regulation or legalization happens, we’ll be excluded by laws based on the paranoid public perception of pot farming as a dangerous,
gangster activity.

As the marijuana economy moves mainstream, we need to keep it democratic and accessible to farmers at any scale.

I think my film will go a long way toward that end by influencing public perception in a positive way.”

 

The outside world knows little about the marijuana growing culture.  One Good Year offers us a peak into it. 

You can expect the premier opening happening next month, on April 14.  We expect it to come closer to home soon for a showing.  Mikal won’t let us down.

 

 

Film and Photo CreditOne Good Year, Mikal Jakubal, Vimeo

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Morgan Maassen’s ‘Water’

 

About As Dreamy As It Gets

Award-Winning Video

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

We know excellent photography when we see it.

To be a well-rounded surf photographer, shooting from the water is key.  

With a number of factors that aren’t relevant while shooting from land, water photography can take a bit more time and work to master.  Knowing your equipment, the waves, and the surfer you are shooting are paramount for capturing that perfect moment.  It doesn’t come easy.

Morgan Maassen’s odyssey of moving water is nothing less than spectacular.  Thanks to his photography and a sharp natural eye for the aquatic perspective, every hard-earned clip in Morgan’s new short film, Water, is beautifully done.

About the film Morgan simply said:

“I’m very pleased to launch my newest short film, “Water.”  I filmed it across several different trips to Tahiti and Hawaii on my Red Epic.

It’s a brief odyssey into the world I cherish most, that of the ocean.”

 

This is about as dreamy as it gets. And deservedly, this natural high is a Vimeo Staff Pick.

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Film Credit:  Morgan Maassen, Vimeo

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Bare-Faced Messiah

 

Book About Scientology Founder Finally Allowed To Be Published

VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

We believe in transparency of information being accessible
for all, even if others don’t want you to have it.

A book Scientologists have kept off the shelves of American book stores for 27 years that alleges church founder L. Ron Hubbard was a fantasist with a predilection for bizarre sexual rituals, is finally set to be published.

Written by British journalist Russell Miller in 1986, ‘Bare-Faced Messiah’ cuts a swath through the many myths the Scientologist chief built up around himself and exposes him as a charismatic charmer, and one who targeted celebrity devotees.

Miller alleges that Hubbard lied about his service in World War II, and that instead of the millions of members the church claims to have, it only counts around 25,000 people as followers.  And there’s much more than that.

‘Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard’ was published around the globe, but two years of litigation and censorship from Scientologists have held up the book’s publication in the United States.

Now finally, it has been printed by Silvertail Books with a newly written introduction from Miller, a prize-winning journalist, researcher, and the author of eight previous books.

The biography goes right back to the start of Hubbard’s life in Montana, where Hubbard said he grew up breaking wild horses on his grandfather’s ranch.

However, Miller claims that Hubbard’s grandfather was a ‘small-time veterinarian who supplemented his income renting out horses and buggies from a livery barn.’

Hubbard also claimed to have traveled Asia intensively, where he developed
his love of philosophy and mysticism after spending time with holy men who thought him to be wildly precocious.  However, all Miller could find was evidence of two trips to Asia as a teenager while his father was stationed in Guam.

Hubbard’s early writings with Scientology– after his mediocre stint at writing science fiction– claimed that he was one of the United States’ first nuclear physicists and also held a medical degree.

Miller discovered during the course of his biography that Hubbard failed the one class he took in nuclear physics– and dropped out of George Washington University after his sophomore year and never got a degree.

 But not all of Miller’s research was to debunk the man behind the legend…

 

An excerpt, you can read the full article in the UK Mail here.

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Humboldt is an area of rugged independence and individualism.  We look after each other, our families, and our community.  We do good, work hard, and  believe in our free mutual well-being.

Coins and crosses never know their fruitless worth.  Believe in yourself– and ourselves.  Beware of those groups taking your time and money for their own personal gain; ‘Clear’, Anonymous, secret bunkers in Humboldt, Printelligent and otherwise.

 

SeaArrrgh II – Protesting the Cult of scientology – June 13 & 20, 2009 – from TheDonzerlyLight on Vimeo.

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The Icelandic Jungle Hop

 

Amazing Land of Contrasts

VIRAL VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Iceland is an amazing place.  Its people call it a place of magic and wonder, a land of contrasts, and a jungle where
everything is uniquely special and different.

When most people think of Iceland, the first thing that comes to mind is probably ice—lots and lots of ice. However, strangely enough this actually isn’t the case at all– it’s quite green.

And while Iceland may not have much ice, it does have many unique things to offer the world:

Iceland has sufficient natural resources to generate all the electricity needed for mainland Europe.  It can do this without burning any fossil fuels, relying only on its geothermal and hydroelectric energy.  The difficulty, however, would be in transporting the energy to the mainland.

Iceland only has 321,000 people.  The majority of them believe in elves.  They also smile a lot as a whole.

Part of Iceland is on the North American tectonic plate and part is on the Eurasian plate.  These plates are moving away from each other at a rate of about 2 centimeters per year– and the gap fills in immediately with lava.

Most men knit.

When the early settlers arrived, they encountered a rich forest which they promptly cut down for construction and firewood.  What they didn’t realize was that, with Iceland’s long winters and indirect sunlight, each tree takes about 50 years to grow back.  Most of the island is now devoid of trees, but progressive reforestation efforts are underway.  Always one to share a tongue-in-cheek joke, Icelanders sometimes refer to themselves as living in the ‘jungle’.

Public nudity is perfectly acceptable at its numerous hot springs and showering facilities.  However, Iceland has banned strip clubs and is looking at banning online pornography.  The reason isn’t for puritanical beliefs, but feminist ones.  Iceland’s government is close to half female and considered one of the most feminist-friendly countries in the world.  The reasoning for the ban is that stripping objectifies women while hardcore online porn can also be violent—all in all, it gives the wrong message to children.

The crime rate is extraordinary low in Iceland.  The country’s 700 police officers do not carry guns, and many of them have roles other than law enforcement (like, ambulance drivers).  Iceland has no standing army.  It is protected by a lightly armed Coast Guard.

Iceland has 137 prisoners.  4 of the prisoners are women.

Icelanders have one of the highest life expectancies in the world: 81.3 years for women and 76.4 years for men.

About 10% of Icelanders have a family name that is passed down from generation to generation, as is done in North America and Europe (e.g., Mary and Joe Smith’s kids have the last name of Smith).  Most families in Iceland instead use a patronymic naming system, where the last name of the children is taken from the father’s first name.  For example, if the father’s first name is Gunnar, his son’s last name will be Gunnarsson and his daughter’s last name will be Gunnarsdóttir.

English has gained a number of words from Icelandic, including:  geyser, berserk, gush, cunning, eddy, and sagaThere’s more.

Vigdís Finnbogaadóttir, a woman, was elected president of Iceland for four consecutive terms– sixteen years.  After a couple terms in office, she found the young boys would ask her if, they too, could become president.  They had only seen a woman holding office.

Apart from drinking more Coca Cola per capita than anywhere else in the world, Iceland also has a jungle drink all their own they call Brennivin

Having a nasty reputation among Icelanders, Brennivin is an alcoholic beverage– a sort of schnapps distilled from potatoes.  While this doesn’t sound too bad, it also uses caraway seeds, giving it a wild and vile flavor.

 

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A beautiful land and people.  Our kind of place.

Via Sourcelists, Hamar Guest House, Inspired By Iceland, Peter Hammer (top photo) and Vimeo

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Rainy Day Stomp

 

Don’t Let It Get Away

VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

“The richness of the rain makes me feel safe and protected.

I have always considered the rain to be healing—a blanket—the comfort of a friend.  Without at least some rain on any given day, or at least a cloud or two on the horizon, I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight and I yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water.”

~Douglas Coupland, Life After God

 

Looks like rain. 

Lots of it.  Days of it.  Inches of it. 

Let it rain and shower down. 

Stay inside and work.  Go outside and play.

Whatever you do, don’t let the day and the rain get away.

 

 

Rainy day in Tahoe from Brad Kremer on Vimeo.

 

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Mystery and Mudslinging at Miranda’s Corral

 

A Finger Pointing Whodunnit

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The pen is mightier than the sword.  Or gun.

If you didn’t catch the recent exposé of the current controversy
surrounding Miranda’s Animal Rescue by Ryan Burns in the
Lost Coast Outpost, you really ought to. 

Mr. Burns, formerly of the North Coast Journal and perhaps the last, best investigative reporter left standing in Humboldt, writes a fine doozy of a gunslinging piece.

In “Behind a Smear Campaign: Miranda’s Rescue Founder Takes a Stand,” Burns unravels the complex knot of accusations regarding the current smear campaign against the animal rescue organization.

A somewhat lengthy read– spiced with some ‘aw-shucks’ heartwarming pictures– is one of the best local articles we’ve seen in a long, long, time.

Capturing all the smoking-gun twists and turns and accusations and innuendos and dead ends and fast straightaways of a local down-home fingerpointing whodunnit, the article is done in such a way that’s easy to understand.  That’s no simple feat considering it’s a rather complicated tale based initially on hearsay and dubious evidence.  Taking the time, effort, and research to arduously track it down once he got on the case, Burns slices and dices to the truth in short order bringing it to the light of day.  We’re still dizzy.

All the while, it remains a fair presentation where the reader can derive their own conclusions.

Burns writes:

…In 2007, Miranda’s Rescue was named “Best Sanctuary for Abused Animals” by the state Assembly. That same year, the Red Cross named Miranda himself one of “Humboldt County’s Heroes.”  Last year alone the organization reportedly rescued 866 animals and adopted out 577.

But the past year hasn’t been entirely the fantasy suggested by Miranda’s idyllic property.  As he and a couple colleagues gave a recent tour of the place, Miranda was keyed up and exasperated.  

“This has just been an absolute nightmare,” he said. 

For nearly a year, a Sacramento woman named Marianna Mullins has been waging a campaign against Miranda and his rescue, making accusations online, calling up Miranda’s business associates, and even hiring a local private investigator…

… In the month since our first conversation, the LoCO has spoken with Mullins’ private investigator, read six anonymous “witness statements” containing further accusations and interviewed a variety of people who have worked for or with Miranda over the years.

In the process we’ve heard no shortage of accusations from both sides — claims of mass animal graves, unwanted sexual advances, stolen files and an armed confrontation on private property.

And while some of the facts behind these charges remain obscured, we’ve gained some insight into the parties involved– who has credibility and who lacks it…

 

An excerpt, we suggest you take time to read the full article– and illuminative comments by readers– here.

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“Oh, what a tangled web we weave… when first we practice to deceive.”
~Walter Scott, Marmion

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Back To Their Future

 

Irina Werning’s Stunning Film Project

Award-Winning Viral Video

 

Irina Werning
IrinaWerning.com

 

I love old photos.

I admit being a nosey photographer.  As soon as I step into
someone else’s house, I start sniffing for them.

Most of us are fascinated by their retro look, but to me it’s
imagining how people would feel and look like if they were
to reenact them today.

Two years ago, I decided to actually do this.  So, with my camera,
I started inviting people to go back to their future…

 

Behind The Scenes And ‘Back To The Future’ With Photographer Irina Werning from NPR on Vimeo.

Film and Photo Credit:  Irina Werning, Jamie Jessett, and NPR

 

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Paradigm

 

Children Know What It Is To Miss Someone

Award-Winning Short FILM

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Simple and beautiful, Paradigm was written, directed, filmed and scored with original music by Stephen Boyer,
a high school student.

Sweeping a number of awards at film festivals across the nation, it tells a simple story told through the eyes of two children who use their combined memories to rationalize the actions of their parents, who haven’t exactly been getting along very well lately.

Their relationship obviously holds a dear impact upon the kids, who, scared and uncertain, worry that Mom and Dad, and the family dynamic as a whole, may be drastically changing very soon and not for the better. 

In the end, it’s brother and sister who comfort and console each other, retreating to the safety and security of a child’s make-believe world. 

Like life, the real answers are elusive, far and few between; while they’re not sure what to believe, they know they miss their parents deeply as they happily once were, feeling a great sense of loss and pain along the way.

Share this with another– and love the one you’re with.  More importantly, think of the children who often suffer most when parents don’t get along.

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Everyone Should Have Hope

 

Even Kids:  Mark’s Story

Pigeon Road Films

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Everyone needs a little hope from their friends.

Project Hope Alliance, a non-profit charity based in California, strives to move homeless families out of motels and shelters into affordable homes of their own, and to provide homeless children a proper education and brighter future.

They share this story of Mark, a 10-year-old boy who is homeless like 28,000 other kids in Orange County.

His story is not unlike those in Humboldt.  Or anywhere and
nowhere, for that matter.

Homelessness is usually something we see only with a passing glance.  It’s easy to brush off the nameless adults as people who’ve merely chosen to settle into a rough spot for their adult lives.  After all, it was their choice, we say.

But when we see the tragedy of being homeless told through the eyes of a child, it’s a more difficult situation to fathom and looking the other way no longer seems acceptable.

 

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Project Hope Alliance – Alternate version of My Life, (Poem) from Pigeon Road on Vimeo.

Film Credit:  Pigeon Road Films
Written and Produced by Andrew Maguire
Original Score by Jordan Calig

 

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California: Dogs In Cars

 

Doing What They Love Most

VIRAL VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

If three minutes of sunshine and dog smiles doesn’t make you grin, we’re not sure what will.

In his short film Dogs In Cars: California, director Keith Hopkin captures eight dogs doing what they love and do best:  leaning out the passenger side of their owners’ cars.

Set to the song California by Phantom Planet, the slow-motion video has the flapping ears and rippled fur of Jasmine, Kona, Bailey, and others as they ride shotgun through the streets of LA.

It’s a moment of sheer bliss and a kind reminder.  Dogs filled with the joy of life, closing their eyes and giving themselves to the happy pleasure of it all:  the sun, the wind, and everyday love.

When life gets overwhelming, take a page from the dogs’ playbook.  Let yourself be satisfied and content with a simple ride through life and the little things around you.

 

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A Good Life, Too

 

The Touching Story of Alonzo Clemens

 

An Award-Winning Video

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

“That man glows.  Straight up.  There’s something in his eyes.  
Just watch the video.  There’s a depth of humanity there that
I’ve not quite been able to understand.”

~Joseph LeBaron, filmmaker

 

Alonzo Clemons is an artist.  One with a remarkable background.

His sculptural specialty is the creation of animal figures, full of life and spirit.  They are made in his own hands without the use of tools, and with amazing speed and accuracy and great artistic beauty.

As a toddler, Clemons suffered a head injury in an accident.  It dramatically changed the way he thinks, learns, and communicates.  Institutionalized for ten years in a state hospital, he continued to find ways to make delicate figures using his hands.  When they wouldn’t give him clay, he would scrape
warm tar from the parking lot to sculpt the animals he loved to see.

While much was lost due to the injury, something miraculous also occurred.  As Clemons puts it, “God gave a gift.”

He began showing a fascination with modeling materials.  He nurtured a tremendous inner drive to make sculpture.  Even in situations where he did not have access to modeling clay, his determination to make models of animals was so great he found materials in his environment he could use for sculpting.

For over twenty years he continued to practice his art in obscurity until the early 1980′s when the movie Rain Man, featuring Dustin Hoffman in the role of a disabled man, brought international media attention to the phenomenon known as Savant Syndrome.  Savant Syndrome refers to individuals who have both a developmental disability and a spectacular, genius-level skill ability in a specific area.

Clemons is recognized as one of the world’s prodigious savants and has been featured 60 Minutes, Geraldo, and the Discovery Channel’s World of Wonder.  The resulting media exposure gave him
the opportunity to gain worldwide recognition for his art.

From his youth, Clemons had not only the genius for his art, but an inner vision to become successful with it.  The dreams he consequently realized are truly continuing to unfold in his life.

Clemons has a rich and active lifestyle in his community of Boulder, Colorado.  Living in his own home with some assistance, he works part time on jobs in the community and demonstrates sculpting at children’s schools in the area.  He does this in addition to his work as a fine artistic sculptor.

His other personal interests include power lifting, where he competes at the Special Olympics.  Clemons also thoroughly enjoys visiting the animals he loves so much at the Denver Zoo, the National Western Stock Show, and at local farms and ranches.

But above all, his radiant personality touches all who know him.

 

 

 …for JEH and LC Ash, with thanks…

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Portrait of a Runner

 

A Little Film About Focus and Reason

VIDEO

 

Sean Michael/MP Cunningham
Vimeo.com

 

Grant Davis is the runner and voice of the film.

He’s also probably the smartest friend that I have.

He can find meaning to just about everything.  If he decides to do something, he’ll do it right, and then he’ll tell you all about why it matters.

I was stoked to team up again with my good friend MP Cunningham to shoot this little film as he always has amazing ideas that make things a million times better.

Sometimes while shooting, I think you can be so overwhelmed and distracted by not only what you see with your eyes but also by what you hear and smell and taste.  It’s hard to actually know how to capture what’s in front of you.

Yet there are other times when the complete opposite is true and everything you sense seems to just ease itself into an image.  I think a lot of it has to do with your intentions, and who you have around you.

We came into it relatively unscripted and without any real burdening expectations. I think that, coupled with just being with good friends, it all lent to some good karma.

We landed in San Francisco and spent the next 3 days driving north to Arcata and shooting what we saw along the way…

* * * * * * * * * *

Shot on the new Sony F55 camera and edited by Sean Michael & MP Cunningham
Color and sound design by Wayne Nillson
Produced by Kurt Hale
Title by Davis Ngarupe
Still photography by Weston Colton

The song is Arrival of The Birds by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

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The Burden of the Beard

 

‘Passion’

–Award-Winning Short Documentary–

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

‘Passion’ is the story of Jack Passion.  And his beard.

Defying social convention and an ambassador for the sport of competitive beard growing, Jack has pushed on to become the two-time world beard champion through good times and bad.

He shares his inspirational story with us, guiding us into his world and this award-winning 7 minute narrative documentary by Zach Bainter.

He considers what his world has become due to his beard, contemplating the thought of a cold bare world without it. 

Much like the story of Samson and Delilah, he, too, faces the conflict of losing his identity and all he has become– with only a momentary decision and the quick cut of his hair.

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Re-Funding America

 

–We Ain’t Broke Yet–

 

Jim Hightower
JimHightower.com

 

As we know, the barons of Wall Street have not hesitated to raid our public treasury and haul off trillions of dollars worth of government bailouts and special tax
breaks to subsidize their “free market” ventures.

So guess who has been the major force pushing policymakers to slash federal spending and kill programs that improve opportunities for regular people?

Bingo – the barons!

Through their lobbyists, front groups, and the politicians they’ve purchased these high-finance royals have gained a stranglehold on policy, choking off the public investment that lifts up the poor and middle class.  As a result, these millionaires and billionaires are shortchanging America itself, reducing our can-do spirit to their won’t-do minginess.

Think of the progress we could be making.

The USA ought to have the TOP public education system, not one of the worst among wealthy nations.

Improve Obamacare to Medicare-for-All.  Let’s re-establish our technological supremacy, from building the green economy of the future to reaching again into outer space.

Rather than succumbing to a bleak future of low-wage, part-time, temporary, no-security jobs, let’s publicly invest in full employment, world-class skills, and technology that works for workers.

Restore democratic power with public financing of all election campaigns, enact labor law reforms so workers themselves can democratize the workplace, and encourage the development of co-ops as an alternative to corporate control of the economy.

That’s an America that is worthy of us, an America we can build.

But to do it, we must first create a new political movement that directly confronts the narcissistic nabobs who’re knocking down our people and our country.  With such a movement, we can rally the increasingly-restive workaday majority to come together in a populist effort to cut off Wall Street and Re-fund America.

America isn’t broke.  There’s plenty of money to build an economy worthy of our ideals and our can-do spirit.

 

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Jim Hightower is a Texan, columnist, and populist who believes that to move America from greed to greatness, we must fuel the power and the passion of our nation’s workaday majority.

You can listen to more of Jim Hightower’s commentaries here.

 

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Transcending Redwoods

 

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

IODA MEDIA VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Redwoods never cease to amaze people.

They are impressive.  Humboldt’s majestic redwoods are the tallest and more massive species of trees on the planet.  Found nowhere else, they are engulfed by mountains, drowned in oceans and fog, and eaten up by lush rainforests.

Documenting a recent exploratory trip to the redwoods and various places on the coast by Ioda Media, this beautifully shot film highlights what a great job a group of filmmakers, designers and thinkers can do when they combine some fun and work and nature together.

It’s also an amazingly low key film.  All that sun, water and nature was just what we needed to remind us of the beauty of Humboldt and it’s special trees during our humdrum day of eking out a living on the North Coast.

About the video, the gang at Ioda simply said:

“We love what we do enough that it’s easy to get lost in our work.  The importance of creating things and telling stories that transcend our daily “to-do” lists.  

That is why trips like this are so important.

It’s our adventures and hobbies that drive our creativity.  We want to share that with our friends.”

 

Something we should all strive for in our own work and play. 
Camp on, and remember to see the forest for its trees.

* * * * * * * *

For the sisters and brothers and redwoods at Iona.
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Smile

 

‘You’ll Find Life is Still Worthwhile’

 

A Short and Sadly Beautiful Video

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking

When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by…

If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow

You’ll see the sun come shining through– for you
 

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness

Although a tear may be ever so near

That’s the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what’s the use of crying

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile

If you…
                  just smile…

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Smile was originally written as an instrumental theme used in the soundtrack for Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 movie, Modern Times.   The song heard here, first sung to words by Nat King Cole, charted at #10 in 1954.

The video was directed by Misko Iho and filmed by cinematographer was Juge Heikkila.   It received a Jury Award at FilmOne Fest and chosen as a Vimeo Staff Pick in 2012.

Please share with others if you like. 
And smile.

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The Cannabis Farmers Market

 

Medical Marijuana Farmers Selling Direct to Patients

VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

It’s not your typical everyday farmers market.

Instead of tomatoes and cabbage and cucumbers, customers purchase medical cannabis.

The NW Cannabis Market hosts a variety of vendors who sell their products wholesale and direct to anyone with a recommendation for medical marijuana.  

Located in Washington state, the market fosters a conversation between farmers and patients about the process, ingredients, and specific health effects of the product.

Giving the patient more control over their medication and price, the ‘farmer’s market’ model offers insight into consumer demands for growers’ knowledge, while applying the simple basics of supply and demand to set the cost just as any marketplace does.

Though not completely unique (similar markets exist in Washington) the unique farm-to-consumer model has enormous potential to benefit the medical marijuana community, advocates and consumers alike insist.

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Among Giants In Humboldt

 

A Glimpse Into the ’Tree Hugging’ Tree Sits

AWARD WINNING VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

It’s been a controversial issue, to say the least.

And when one hears the term “tree huggers,” a cliché hippie stereotype may come to mind.

You know, the free spirited, dreadlocked white dude who flashes peace signs while wearing a ragged tie-dyed shirt.

Well, Among Giants, a short and well done documentary from the team over at Rainhouse Cinema and filmed in Humboldt, does its very best to throw away these conventions.  For one, the film’s tree hugging protagonist, Farmer, is surprisingly reflective.

As he speaks, explaining his self-imposed tree sit struggle to save an ancient redwood grove in California, the expected platitudes of free love and
environmental rhetoric never come to the fore as one might guess.  

Instead, his conversation is personal, intimate, and understated.  His love of nature– his willingness to spend three years on a tiny platform a hundred feet up in the tree canopy– is simultaneously crazy and heroic and naively idealistic.

Shot in a particularly understated style in locations easily recognizable to us, Among Giants is as much a nature film as it is a socially conscious one of a contentious issue that has rankled Humboldt County over the past two decades.  

Apart from select sections, the movie exists almost entirely without a musical score, opting instead for the ambient sounds of the forest.  The result is serene and sublime.

 As the film closes, we’re treated to gorgeous aerial cinematography, contrasting the beauty of the existing forestland with the destruction of logged over areas.

While the film would never stoop so low as to say it outright, it’s clear that the message is for us all to embrace individualism, to retreat back into the transcendental glory that nature can offer. And so Farmer and his comrades do just that— they patiently wait amongst the treetops, sitting peacefully to stop what they see as inherent destruction.

Among Giants screened at numerous festivals to surprise success, having won numerous awards. 

Comprised of three extremely talented filmmakers—Sam Price-Waldman, Ben Mullinkosson, and Chris Cresci, the mission of Rainhouse Cinema is to make films that center around people and the environment.

Whatever your beliefs of environmentalism, activists, tree sits, logging, and clearcuts are, it is indeed a rare peek of what’s been going on– above the trees in Humboldt.

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Life is Short

 

‘Voice Over’ Reminds Us of Our Being

Viral Award Winning VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Life is short.  Time is even shorter.

Once in a while, we’re faced with a life-or-death situation, or at least what feels like one.  Having such an experience leads us to cherish every waking and breathing moment, every tender relationship we have left in this beautiful place.

Martin Rosete’s film, “Voice Over,” is a harrowing testament to our tendency to overestimate the obstacles we face, reminding us that a leap of faith often pays off.

A festival and online hit, it’s quite likely you’ve already heard about Voice Over, but by the off chance that you haven’t, you’re in for a real treat.

A short film on an epic scale, its main feature is the impressive voiceover.  The clearly agitated narrator informs you that the astronaut on the screen is you.  And you’re in trouble. You see, you’ve crash-landed and your pressurized suit will only keep you alive for a limited amount of time.

But no, it’s not that!  No, no, no.  You see, before your air runs out, you’re whisked away to a totally different scenario.  And then, with a similar race against time counting down, it happens again.

Each scenario is beautifully shot, making for three mini-action movies in one.  But it’s the final resolution of the three scenarios– and the heaviness and lightness of being– that will have you cheering.

Nominated for a Goya Award and other awards at festivals across the nation, the flick won us over with its remarkable ability to blend suspense, comedy, and romance, and some high production values on a low budget thrown in.

Live life fully while you can. 

It may be over tomorrow in the flash of an eye.

 

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…And Now For Something Completely Different

 

Thinking Outside the Box

A Truly Awesome VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The first time watching “Box” is a unique and awesome experience.

The viewer must juggle pure enjoyment with logistical questions and thoughts about the potential boundaries.

The second time watching it—and we recommend that on a full screen—makes the magical illusions less illusory, meshing the images back to a state of reality that we can fully comprehend.

We watched in awe.  How did they do it?

The production house Bot & Dolly introduces us to special robotic camera systems that can move objects with remarkable precision.  Flat images projected onto the screens make it seem as if 3D objects move around a room while a man, seemingly in total control, interacts with them.

It is rare to come across a video that introduces a technique that is completely new to the film industry and to see it on the grandiose scale of “Box” is unforgettable.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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The Scared is Scared…

 

…Of Things You Like

VIRAL VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

A sweet little film, The Scared Is Scared brings us in close. 
Very close, like a safe warm blanket.

When an inventive young filmmaker turns to a 6-year-old for inspiration, the result is likely to be a masterpiece.

An improv story narrated by a child is acted out by adults.  It feels as fun and comfortingly familiar as our favorite bedtime story.  It has a personality and charm, a simple honesty and beauty that’s all unto its own. 

By listening in on their conversation, we get to know the young
narrator, Asa Baker-Rouse, and filmmaker Bianca Giaever.

When Bianca asked the 6-year-old what her movie should be about, she got an earful. 

And she turned that earful into a piece of childlike wonderment: a story of a bear, a mouse, swimming pools, sleepovers, friendship, pizza and life, with moral-of-the-story conclusions thrown in about waiting, closing, letting go, feeling scared and feeling fine.

It’s excitement, fear, joy and bewilderment wrapped up into a story
full of heart and humor that only a young imagination could provide.

Together, they invite us into their secret, half-imaginary world, which is pleasure enough– but we also benefit from a child’s advice, perfectly suited to combat any adult insecurity we had by growing up. 

Finally, a movie with a plot we can get on board with—given by a kid.

 

 

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Arcata Lights the Way Forward

 

Small City Big on Progressive Thinking

VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

We’re inspired by the City of Arcata.

One of the most progressive and forward thinking communities in California, its civic leaders think outside the box, helping people and businesses alike to build prosperity and community.

Arcata just approved $600,000 in loans and technical assistance to build a new industrial park on the Happy Valley Industrial Park property for the ‘incubation’ of new business. 

Additionally, the small municipality also approved expanding and improving a condominium-style complex in the Aldergrove Industrial Park enabling private local companies to purchase and acquire their own property.

At the Arcata Courtyard Circle Apartments, the first solar-powered apartment complex of its kind in Humboldt County, Arcata team leader Sean Armstrong
is creating a ‘food forest’.  

Armstrong envisions building and strengthening the Arcata community “one fruit tree at a time.”  The food forest, co-funded by the city of Arcata, will be planted and maintained by like-minded volunteers.  It will include peaches, grapes, Chilean guavas, blueberries, tayberries, marionberries, kiwis, pears, cherries, oranges and native plants that will grow well in the local climate.

The city is also making major improvements to the Juniper Apartment low income housing project with capital repairs of new roofing, siding, stairs, landscaping and other repairs, keeping it maintained and looking good for residents and citizens. 

The city’s other development, Windsong, has prospered nicely under a similar plan, with those homes bought and owned by low-income residents who never dreamed of becoming proud homeowners themselves one day.

There are more examples:  the community farms, bird marsh and wildlife sanctuary, the recreation and community centers, the community forest and parks, and others. 

Arcata, through some smart urban planning, is a liveable, walkable, bicycle-able, and safe workable city.  It’s residents are,
for the most part, happy and satisfied.  Businesses locating there 
have been growing steadily.

Humboldt State University (HSU) in Arcata has also fostered its share of forward thinking through University improvements, increased enrollment and endowments, the construction of multiple new dorms and the science, kinesiology, and behavioral and social science buildings under the leadership of President Rollin Richmond.

HSU has expanded new research opportunities in Regenerative Medicine and the CSU Program in Biotechnology, the Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology, and the Agricultural Research Initiative.

HSU’s Schatz Energy Lab pioneered the first developments of creating hydrogen energy from water, performing innovative energy research and in-
ternships for engineering and science students under
the direction of Dr. Peter Lehman.

These are only a few examples of the innovative planning and thinking Arcata and HSU have jointly advanced benefitting the people living here.  New ideas are constantly in the works.

This video that you see here by Shugo Tokumaru reminds us of this progressive legacy, and what Arcata, Sean Armstrong, HSU, Dr. Rollin Richmond, and others are doing.  Find the biggest screen you can, turn up the volume, and watch this video again to see what we mean.  You won’t regret it.

Why?  There are many similarities. 

The sheer amount of work and thinking involved.  The colossal amount of energy expended. The amazing attention to detail.  The bold beauty and foresight to bring forth something better and improved for everyone– collaboratively using skills, given talents, and our imagination on a wider scale. 

The woeful city of Eureka, with a staff and budget far larger than that of Arcata in comparison, could certainly gain from Arcata’s example, direction, and wisdom.

Arcata, our hat is off to you.  Cities just like you– and their timely planning and constructive hard work– built America. 

Leading the visionary way forward, you’re the bright light for the future of Humboldt.

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Altered Route

 

A Short and Bizarre Skate Film

VIRAL VIDEO

 

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Truly strange:  Skating the day away and greeting the Ghosts of Time along the way.

Filmmaker Brett Novak and skater Kilian Martin teamed up to make this eerie flick, considered to be one of the best skate flicks ever.

Known for his creativity, Kilian isn’t your typical skateboarder and “Altered Routes” isn’t your typical skateboarding video.  It’s a strange little scintillating gem, shining like a lost lost  jewel in the Bagdad Cafe desert sun.

Set in an abandoned family fun park in the Mojave Desert, with tumble weeds and the melancholy atmosphere of a more glorious past rolling through it, this artistic glimpse of a bygone era highlights some spectacular skate skills, board control, and an atmospheric– if not outright spooky– soundtrack from Patrick Watson.

 

 

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Oscars 2014

 

Academy Awards, Red Carpet, and Few Moviegoers

VIDEO TRAILERS

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Oscars were ceremoniously handed out this year to
movies seldom seen or heard by movie audiences on the
whole.

12 Years a Slave” won the Oscar for best picture at Sunday’s 86th Academy Awards, while the 3D space spectacle “Gravity” triumphed as the night’s top award-winner.

Lupita Nyong’o, the breakout star of “12 Years a Slave,” accepted the award for best supporting actress.  In her feature film debut, the 31-year-old actress made an indelible impression as the tortured slave Patsey.

“It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s, and so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance,” said Nyong’o.  

She also thanked director Steve McQueen: “I’m certain that the dead are standing about you and they are watching and they are grateful, and so am I.”

She added, “When I look down at this golden statue may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

Gravity” cleaned up in technical categories, earning seven Oscars including best director for Alfonso Cuaron.  The Mexican filmmaker is the category’s first Latino winner (movie trailer below).

“It was a transformative experience,” said Cuaron, who spent some five years making the film and developing its visual effects.  “For a lot of people, that transformation was wisdom.  For me, it was the color of my hair.”

The awards for best actor went to Matthew McConaughey, for his role as a desperate and determined AIDS patient in “Dallas Buyers Club.” 

Best actress went to Cate Blanchett for playing a fragile socialite experiencing a meltdown in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.”

Jared Leto won best supporting actor for his acclaimed performance as a transgender woman with AIDS in “Dallas Buyers Club.”  He dedicated the award to his mother, his date for the evening.  “Thank you for teaching me to dream,” he said.

Best documentary went to the crowd-pleasing backup singer ode “20 Feet From Stardom.”  One of its stars, Darlene Love, accepted the award singing the gospel tune “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”

Though the ceremony lacked a big opening number, it had a musical beat to it.

Bono and U2 performed an acoustic version of “Ordinary Love,” their Oscar-nominated song from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” a tune penned in tribute to the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.  Singing his nominated “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2,” Pharrell Williams had Nyong’o, Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio dancing in the aisles.

And Pink, wearing a dress the color of Dorothy Gale’s ruby slippers, sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as part of a tribute to the 75th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” as Judy Garland’s children — Liza Minnelli, and Lorna and Joey Luft — watched from the audience.

The list of awards is below and the blue links lead to the official movie trailers.

 

And the winners were…

BEST PICTURE:  “12 Years a Slave”

ACTOR:  Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club

ACTRESS:  Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine

SUPPORTING ACTOR:  Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS:  Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”

DIRECTOR:  Alfonso Cuarón, “Gravity” (trailer at bottom)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:  John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:  Spike Jonze, “Her

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:  20 Feet from Stardom

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:  The Great Beauty” (Italy)

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:  Frozen

CINEMATOGRAPHY:  Emmanuel Lubezki, “Gravity”

COSTUME DESIGN:  The Great Gatsby,” Catherine Martin

FILM EDITING:  “Gravity,” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:  “Dallas Buyers Club,” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews

ORIGINAL SONG:  Let It Go” from “Frozen,” music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

ORIGINAL SCORE:  Gravity,” Steven Price

PRODUCTION DESIGN:  The Great Gatsby,” Catherine Martin (production design) and Beverley Dunn (set decoration)

SOUND EDITING:  Gravity,” Glenn Freemantle

SOUND MIXING:  Gravity,” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro

VISUAL EFFECTS:  Gravity,” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk and Neil Corbould

ANIMATED SHORT FILM:  Mr. Hublot

DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM:  The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”

LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM:  Helium

 

 

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Time

 

Passes By 

VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

Lost time is never found again. 
You may delay, but time will not.

~Benjamin Franklin

Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

~Bil Keane

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

~Carl Sandburg

 

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?  Patience and time do more than strength or passion.

~John Wooden


Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.

~Michael LeBoeuf

Time has been transformed, and we have changed; it has advanced and set us in motion; it has unveiled its face, inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration.

~Khalil Gibran

 

We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch. 

The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years.

The Marshall replied, ‘In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!’

~John F. Kennedy

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Luxury, Economy …and the Post Office

 

A New Paradigm In the National Interest

 

Jim Hightower
JimHightower.com

 

Luxury Buyers Leading the Way to Economic Recovery

 

Who says the economy is down and that consumers aren’t willing to spend, spend, spend in order to stimulate new economic growth?

The problem with gloomy economists and skittish policymakers is that they don’t know where to look for signs that the BOOM TIMES are back, baby!

For example, take auto sales.  

Yeah, overall they’re putzing along at a moderate-to-low pace.  But open your eyes, people!  Do you not see that Maserati sales were up 55 percent last year, or that Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Bentley also produced double-digit increases?

Listen to Matt Hlavin, a Cleveland high roller who told the New York Times that he bought three Mercedes last year – one for $237,000, another for $165,000, and an auxiliary $97,000 number for the wife.

Extravagant? It’s all a matter of perspective: “I look at it as, I don’t have a boat,” Matt explains.  There ya go– economics is all about having a positive attitude.

So, with a booming stock market, high-tech wealth bubbling like crazy, and Fortune 500 CEOs making big bales of hay while the sun shines, what’s not to like about America’s economic future?  An automotive lifestyle consultant told the Times, “Luxury is not a dirty word anymore.”

Now isn’t that a telling insight?  

You see, when Wall Street crashed six years ago, then got bailed out by Washington while the middle class sank, many of your 1-percenters-and-higher got squeamish about living the luxurious life they deserve.  But that’s not the American way – hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it!

Surely we can all see the social value of top-end buyers who’re willing to step up to make big-ticket purchases again.  By leading the consumer charge, those bold luxury buyers are providing a role model that your lower classes need to do their own part in reviving America’s economy.

 

Sourced from “High Rollers in a Buying Mood,” The New York Times, January 2, 2014.

 

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Don’t Shutter the Post Office.  Expand the Services!

 

What’s the matter with the post office?

The US Postal Service, I mean – the corporate hierarchy that runs this enormously popular public institution.  Yes, I know that USPS has lost revenue it traditionally got from first-class mail delivery, but I also know that letter carriers and postal workers have offered many excellent ideas for expanding the services that USPS can deliver, thus increasing both revenue and the importance of maintaining these community treasures.

Yet, the Postal Board of Governors, which includes corporate interests that would profit by killing the public service, seems intent on– guess what?– killing it.

The board’s only “idea” is to cut services and shut down hundreds of local post offices.  Incredibly, their list of closures include the historic post office in Philadelphia’s Old City, the very building where Ben Franklin presided as our country’s first Postmaster General, appointed by the Continental Congress in 1775.

All across the country, post offices that are invaluable artistic and historic assets are slated to be sold to developers.

One is the marvelous 1935 Bronx post office, with classic architectural flourishes and 13 museum-worthy murals.

“It’s not just a post office,” says one customer fighting the closure, “it’s part of my life.”  No one feels that way about a Fed Ex warehouse.  Yet, says a USPS spokeswoman dismissively, the four-story building is “severely underused.”

So, use it!

Put a coffee shop in it, a public internet facility, a library and museum, a one-stop government services center – and, as USPS employees have suggested, a public bank offering basic services to the thousands of neighborhood people ignored by commercial banks.

Come on, USPS, show a little creativity and gumption, and remember that “service” is a key part of your name!

 

Sourced from “Protest Aside, Postal Service Is Taking Next Step to Sell Grand Property in the Bronx,” The New York Times, February 5, 2014.

Elizabeth Warren Proposes Replacing Payday Lenders With the Post Office,” www.thinkporgress.org, February 3, 2013.

 

Jim Hightower is a Texan, columnist, and populist who believes that to move America from greed to greatness, we must fuel the power and the passion of our nation’s workaday majority. You can listen to more of Jim Hightower’s commentaries here.

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

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Runnin’ Down a Dream

 

Childhood Beauty of Flight and Imagination

VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Never stop being a kid.

Never stop feeling and seeing and being excited with great
things like air and engines and planes and flight and the roar
of sounds and sunlight within you.

It’s like running down a dream.  Science, freedom, beauty, adventure.  Each curve of an airfoil, each angle of metal and wire, every spinning prop or color of the exhaust flame offers dreams of a newly found freedom.

There is freedom in the unlimited horizon, on the open fields, surrounded by beauty of earth and sky. Brushing treetops with birds, leaping valleys and rivers, exploring the cloud river canyons we gazed at as a child.  Adventure lays in each puff of the wind.

It’s wonderful to climb the liquid mountains of the sky.  No one can realize how substantial the air is, until its supporting breadth of power is felt beneath you.  The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious– the same
as the angels breathe.

Man must rise above the Earth– to the top of the atmosphere and beyond– to fully understand the world in which he lives.  A  tree isn’t really seen until you’ve gazed its shadow from the sky.  Sometimes, flying feels too godlike for mere mortals like us.  Sometimes, the world from above seems too beautiful, too wonderful, too distant for human eyes to see and grasp.

It is exhilarating to hang poised between the illusion of immortality and the fact of death.  Those who fly and dream know the unconscious, subtle desire to slip into precious wings and try again for those elusive boundaries of our origin. 

Don’t let that child disappear or you will be all grown up.  The dreams and imagination you once had will leave you, flying away like the sands of time and those ethereal clouds above.

 

 

 

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The Octopus Affair

 

Diver Captures Wrestling Encounter on Video

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Octopi are incredibly smart invertebrates and very curious 
when it comes to new things.

Just ask diver Warren Murray when he went scuba diving off Bluefish Cove in Carmel, California, on February 1.

First thinking he’d happened upon a large rock, sudden movement quickly turned into a tussle when an eight foot long octopus took an interest in his diving camera.

“I wasn’t too worried.  Generally they are not too interested in people. They’ll just take off,” Murray said.  

“I was thinking he would take off as soon as I got close to it.  When he wasn’t moving, I was excited.”

Even more amazing was that this species of octopus doesn’t normally inhabit the waters where Murray was diving. 

The Giant Pacific Octopus is normally found in deeper, cooler waters of the northern Pacific, anywhere from California
to Japan, and 2,500 feet down. 

They’re truly giant, ranging from around 14 feet and 33 pounds, although some specimens have gone as far as 30 feet and up to a whopping 600 pounds.  They feed on a wide diet, typically fish and shrimp, but aren’t adverse to larger prey such as birds or sharks, either.

With a highly developed brain and acute vision, they are masters of camouflage and can quickly change the color and texture of their skin to match their background surroundings.  They typically pounce on their target, enveloping it with its inter-arm webbing and using their powerful beak to break open hard-shelled prey.

As intelligent as they may be– they’ve been observed opening jars, solving mazes, and other complex activities– the octopus’ reaction may have been a case of mistaken identity.  Because of the camera’s reflective surface, it’s possible the octopus saw his own reflection and believed it was another octopus, spurring him to action.

The struggle didn’t last long, as Murray’s diving partner, David Malvestuto, captured clear video for a few moments in the calm water before the octopus gave up and ran away.

“I was a little concerned … but we both knew they are harmless,” he said.  ”He was very cool and collected.  I wanted to make sure nothing bad would happen.”

Though powerful, octopi are generally not dangerous to humans unless they feel threatened.  The pair said they never felt that they were in any real danger during the ordeal.

“Pacific octopus not a fan of being photographed, apparently,” Malvestuto mused in the description of the video encounter  above.

* * * * * * * *

 

Via DailyNews/National Aquarium/David Malvestuto/YouTube

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Nature Pooh

 

The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn
Is Just to Love and be Loved in Return

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.

“Pooh?” he whispered.

“Yes, Piglet?”

“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand.  ”I just wanted to be sure of you.”

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.

“Even longer,” Pooh answered. 

 “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you,” Piglet said.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember, Piglet.  You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. 

“But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart I’ll always be with you.”

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,” Piglet replied.

 

* * * * * * * *

From Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne. 

An unusual song for its time, Nature Boy by Nat King Cole went to the top of the charts and stayed there at #1 for eight weeks in 1948. 

Originally sat on for a year by Capitol Records and Cole– who thought the lyrics and tune were strange and risky for the post-WW II generation– the haunting recording was finally released as a B-side single to surprisingly worldwide acclaim.  Written by eden ahbez, the first homeless hippie who gave it all away and birthed the hippie movement (and insisted his name not be capitalized), Nature Boy was subsequently recorded by dozens of other famous artists.

Despite the richness of fame and royalties that could have followed, eden and his family could have cared less.  They continued camping outside and lecturing on street corners about the benefits of vegetarianism and Eastern philosophy.  Eden died in relative obscurity in 1995 from injuries sustained in a car accident.

 

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Beautiful Day in Paradise

 

Life is Long and Time is Short

(VIRAL VIDEOS: U2 and Coldplay)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A star falls from the sky and into your hands.

Then it seeps through your veins and swims inside your blood and becomes every part of you.

And then one day, far from now, you will have to put it back into the sky– and that will be the most painful thing you’ll ever have to do.

But for now, what’s yours is yours.  Whether it’s up in the sky or here in your hands, it’s real.

You’ve got this life and while you’ve got it, treat it well and gently.

Don’t think too much about making life better for those who don’t care.  Simply take what is good and make it better.  Make your life the best, for yourself and those who love you.

Kiss like you only have one moment.  Hold someone’s hand like you will never see them again.  Look into a person’s eyes like they’re the last person you’ll ever see; watch your children sleeping like there’s no time left.

Every rose loses its bloom.  When the time comes that we become that star again, a drop returning into the vast ocean, you will look at yourself and see you were suddenly more beautiful than you ever were before.

 

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An American Tradition: Plutocrats Despising the Poor

 

He Who Has the Gold, Rules

 

Dr. Joseph Palermo
Huffington Post

 

It’s not surprising that greater numbers of Americans these days tell pollsters they believe corporate CEOs
are grossly overpaid, that they support an increase in
the minimum wage, or they agree with Massachusetts
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s novel proposal to open an
alternative banking system through the U.S. Postal Service.

Ever since Wall Street’s giant mortgage bubble popped wreaking economic havoc with just about every working family in America, people have rediscovered that the system is rigged against them.  After the taxpayer bailout of Wall Street, the bankers continued business as usual racking up huge bonuses and going their merry way.  They were never held to account for the damage they did and they therefore see themselves as victorious and blameless.

And now it seems like each new day brings forth another billionaire or millionaire lecturing us about how working people should just suck it up.  The 99 percent should stop “envying” rich people and start “emulating” them, they say.  Working people should be grateful they don’t live in India or China where $30,000 a year is a princely sum.  And most of all they should stop annoying their “betters” with demands for “hand outs” like unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other “entitlements.”

High unemployment, low wages, a lack of job security and opportunity, and austerity are the “new normal.” 

The slashing of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the failure to extend unemployment insurance to 1.6 million people are only the latest manifestations of cold-hearted public policy that is only prolonging the slump.

Adding insult to injury we’re forced to endure over the public airwaves the incessant whining and moaning of billionaires and millionaires who believe working people are not genuflecting to them enough, or doing so without the desired level
of devotion.

 

Rich Persecution

Their mentality has religious overtones.  The love of possessions is like a disease among them.  Many of them are unbalanced people; money and power driven, with an almost godlike self-image.

In January, the San Francisco billionaire, Tom Perkins, penned a letter to the Wall Street Journal where he compared working people’s concerns about inequality to the Nazis singling out the Jews for persecution at the time of Kristallnacht.

He subsequently walked back his Kristallnacht analogy but stayed true to his “message”: criticizing the rich and powerful was “a very dangerous drift in our American thinking” that “parallels” the Nazis’ “progressive war” on its “one percent.”

Putting aside whether Hitler’s war on European Jewry was “progressive,” Mr. Perkins’ utterances do give us a glimpse into a mindset that represents a “dangerous” set of ideas– just not the ones he had in mind.

Not to be outdone, another billionaire, Sam Zell, defended Perkins’ remarks and added that not only were working people being unfair to the super-rich, but also “the one percent work harder” than the rest of society.

Zell has a point I suppose.  People like Mark Martoma of SAC Capital who was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison for insider trading; JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon, who paid a $13 billion settlement to the U.S. Justice Department; and Fabrice Fabulous Fab Tourre of Goldman Sachs who was found guilty of securities fraud– all must work very hard, indeed.

And think of all the other Wolves of Wall Street who made so much money pumping up the fraudulent mortgage securities markets: Countrywide’s Angelo Mozilo and the good ‘ol boys at Goldman Sachs who
just skated by the Great Recession and are now hoarding
the benefits of the “recovery.”

 

‘Acres of Diamonds’

In the late-19th Century, a Yale educated minister named Russell Conwell delivered a lecture, called “Acres of Diamonds,” over five thousand times around the country where he reached several million people.

The crux of his spiel went like this:

“I say that you ought to get rich, and it is your duty to get rich… The men who get rich may be the most honest men you find in the community.

Let me say here clearly… ninety-eight out of one hundred of the rich men of America are honest.  

That is why they are rich.  That is why they are trusted with money.  That is why they carry on great enterprises and find plenty of people to work with them.  It is because they are honest men. . .

 . . . I sympathize with the poor, but the number of poor who are to be sympathized with is very small.  To sympathize with a man whom God has punished for his sins… is to do wrong. 

Let us remember there is not a poor person in the United States who was not made poor by his own shortcomings…”

(Quoted in Zinn, 1980)

 

Calvinistic Undertones

At the time Horatio Alger’s novellas with their “rags to riches” tales were propagandizing working people with the myth that anybody in America could become rich if they just worked hard enough.

In 1913, the Harvard philosopher, George Santayana, in a lecture at UC Berkeley, pointed to the underlying cultural mindset of American elites in the Downton Abbey era.  Santayana called America “a young country with an old mentality,” and pointed to an underlying Calvinism that equates wealth with godliness, and poverty with sin.  ”To be a Calvinist is to feel a fierce pleasure in the existence of misery,” he said.

America’s 21st Century plutocrats who keep exposing themselves by shooting off their mouths express a kind of joy in witnessing the agitation of their perceived social inferiors.  It’s old wine in an old bottle, a strain of Calvinism that reflects their membership in an exclusive globalized elite.  Rather than direct their contemplation inward at their own miserable souls, they project it outward at the 99 percent.

I don’t think they’re cowering at the idea that the masses might organize and take something away from them.  They’re too powerful to worry about such a remote possibility.

Yet I’m sure they feel it in their bones that their “Acres of Diamonds” worldview is nothing but a myth.  At some level they must hold a deep-seated awareness– as Alan Greenspan admitted to Representative Henry Waxman in October 2008– that their faith in the perfection of markets, like the rest of their belief system, is total bullshit.

There’s also a tradition in America embodied by some of our best leaders, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, which shows that just because someone is rich doesn’t mean one has to be a greedy asshole.  There’s another current in elite thinking that still exists in this country that suggests that those who have been fortunate enough to prosper so immensely in this society should give something back to their fellow Americans (and that doesn’t mean funding anti-worker propaganda on PBS).

We just don’t see them on CNBC or Fox Business News.

 

Whine and Cheese

It’s amazing how these people can whine in public about how they’re being mistreated by people who change the sheets at the luxury hotels they stay in.  But if you spend your life surrounded with sycophants who constantly tell you how brilliant you are it’s possible to exist inside a bubble inside a bubble inside a bubble.

Many of these same rich right-wing white guys who complain about not being treated fairly use their political muscle to squeeze their tax burden down to zero and spend lavishly on pet political projects like “stand your ground laws,” initiatives stripping workers of collective bargaining rights, slashing social programs, and so on.

And they get the biggest returns on their investments by financing the campaigns of their surrogate politicians.  Their bogus theories are only widely ventilated because they are wealthy and powerful.

 

 

* * * * * * * * * *

Before earning a Master’s degree and Doctorate in History from Cornell University, Professor Palermo completed Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master’s degree in History from San Jose State University.

His expertise includes the 1980s; political history; presidential politics and war powers; social movements of the 20th century; the 1960s; and the history of American foreign policy.  Professor Palermo has also written articles for anthologies on the life of Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J. in The Human Tradition in America Since 1945 and on the Watergate scandal in Watergate and the Resignation of Richard Nixon.

Professor of History at California State University, Sacramento, Professor Palermo’s most recent book is The Eighties. He has also written two other books: In His Own Right: The Political Odyssey of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy and the Death of American Ideals.

An Iona brother, we thank Dr. Palermo for sharing his work with our readers here.

 

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Human Bowling– On Ice

 

Shaken, Not Stirred

VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Filmmaker Devin Graham is the man, making videos appealing to young, attractive people who like watching other
young, attractive people do some insane stuff.

The 30-year-old filmmaker and YouTube uber-darling, aka devinsupertramp , has almost 2 million subscribers to his channel, which is stuffed with jaw-dropping stunt videos we’ve covered like World’s Largest Rope Swing (22 million views) and Human Slingshot Slip and Slide (13 million views).

Graham humbly started out making unbranded videos capturing awesome sights and beautiful scenery, with fun loving folks and a detailed eye for visual cinematic precision on a tight bare bones budget.  In the early days he often slept in his car, couch surfed, and recharged his camera batteries at the 24-hour WalMart– while sleeping in the parking lot.  His following soared into the millions.

Honing his skills to a razors edge, big name marketers– including Mountain Dew and Ford– have come knocking on his door, looking to tap into the millennial audience that followed.  They also offered him a lot of swag;  cameras, travel accomodations, clothing, and other products that greased the wheels of Devin’s progress, passion, and obvious product placement along the way.

The latest, released on Monday, is for Bear Naked granola, which teamed up with Graham for a stunt on California’s Mammoth Mountain called human bowling:  people happily rolling down a snow covered hill inside a clear plastic Zorb ball into some giant red bowling pins while also happily munching on granola.  They call it Zorbing.

“We’d seen one Zorbing video on snow, but never anything with bowling,” said Graham.  ”We figured, let’s make it larger than life and see what happens.”

Graham doesn’t work with a script or storyboards.  ”It’s more documentary filmmaking,” he said.  “We create an awesome experience, we capture it, and then we make a story out of it.  We wanted to make sure it was super safe, because there’s always an element of danger,” said Graham.

He and four friends shot with Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 1D C cameras.  A remote-controlled helicopter got the overhead shots.  “If it feels like a straight-up commercial, no one shares it,” Graham said.  “If it feels like a fun video that people can relate to, it gets shared.”

He’s also learned not to make the videos too extreme. “You create a cool experience that’s larger than life but that people can still believe, ‘Hey, I could go out to the mountain and set up something like that with my friends.’  That’s what people share.”

Graham invited fans to the shoot via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  ”It wasn’t actors or people that were faking having fun.  It was people really having fun,” he said.  And yes, they really do laugh, dance, and party the night away.

His directions are generally simple.  ”It’s kind of like impromptu acting, where I’ll say, ‘All right, I want everyone to run over here and throw snowballs at the Zorb!’”  And voila!  Everyone runs over and throws snowballs at the Zorb, laughing and playing like young kids seeing fresh snow for the first time. 

The soundtrack is a driving dance tune by Con Bro Chill.  ”We always try to have happy, positive, uplifting songs that are family-friendly and can hit every audience out there,” said Graham.  The musical artists in his videos generally license the tracks in exchange for the revenue from iTunes sales.

Most brands want Graham to host the videos on his YouTube channel because of the huge audience he has.  Doing so also allows him a great deal of artistic license, control, and independence to present those projects as his own.

“It’s a win-win for both parties,” he said. 

And lots of swag along the way.  It sure beats working the 9-5 gig and sleeping in parking lots.

 

Below, Devin shows the behind-the-scenes effort it took filming his Human Bowling video.

 

 

Sourced from Devin Graham/YouTube/Ad Week
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Fukushima Radiation Data Wildly Wrong

 

The Management Sincerely Apologizes for Your Inconvenience–

–What’s In Your Pacific Ocean?

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

From The Times of India:

NEW DELHI:  Tepco, the utility company that is managing the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan said that there were mistakes in the radiation levels they recorded last year.

According to Japanese media, Tepco announced last week that what was recorded as 900,000 becquerels per liter of deadly beta radiation from a test-well last July was wrong– and the actual level should read 5 million becquerels per liter.

That’s five times more than what they announced previously, and nearly 170,000 times more than the permissible level leaked into the sea.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said on February 7 that it will review a “massive” amount of radiation data it has collected at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant because readings may be lower than actual figures due to improper measurement.

“We are very sorry, but we found cases in which beta radiation readings turned out to be wrong when the radioactivity concentration of a sample was high,” TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono told a press conference, according to Kyodo News.

Beta rays are high speed electrons that penetrate living matter with ease and can cause several types of cancer and death.  These lethal rays are emitted from various radioactive materials, but mainly from Strontium-90, which is a by-product of reactions occurring in nuclear power plant reactors.

It is likely that the total radioactivity of water samples is 10 million becquerels/liter if all beta ray sources are counted, according to Asahi Shimbun.

Tepco has not yet revealed results of 140 samples taken between June and November last year, fearing similar under-estimates.  The company said that “malfunctions of analytical equipment” caused these errors, Asahi Shimbun said.

Strontium-90 has a half life of 28.8 years; that is, any amount of the radioactive substance will decay to half the starting amount in 28.8 years.  It can thus get absorbed and continue to damage living tissue of plants as well as animals including fish.

The well from which this sample was taken is near the embankment between the damaged reactors and the sea.

Meanwhile the company also revealed that on February 6,600 liters of contaminated water, containing 2,800 becquerels of beta-ray sources per liter, leaked from piping leading to a tank at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Fukushima nuclear plant was damaged during the tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan’s eastern coast in March 2011.  The utility company Tepco has struggled to control the situation with at least one nuclear reactor in a stare of meltdown.

Over 360,000 tons of contaminated water has accumulated at the site after being poured over the simmering reactors.

* * * * * * * *

A ticking time bomb, Fukushima continues to fester in secretPay attentionPay very close attention.

 

Via Undernews/The Times of India/RT and YouTube 
Appreciation goes to Tom Sebourn

Posted in Environment, Media, National1 Comment

The California GOP’s Fake Health Care Website

 

Dirty Tricks on the Taxpayer’s Dime

 

Jim Hightower
JimHightower.org

 

In this wicked world of woe, there are hucksters, flimflammers, plain ol’ crooks… and Republican members of the California Assembly.

This last bunch of scoundrels went out of their way to monkeywrench the rollout of President Obama’s new health care law.  Obama’s computer geniuses were making a hash of the initial rollout in October, but the sign-up was finally smoothing out – and with any Obama success, GOP lawmakers automatically start tossing out monkeywrenches.

This time, the tool they tossed is a fake website created by California Republican legislators in August to look like the state’s official health exchange site, where people can sign up to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  

When things finally got worked out on the national health care exchange in November, the Repubs mailed a pamphlet to their constituents, directing them to the decoy site, calling it a “resource guide” to “help” them navigate the ACA sign up process.

Far from help, however, the faux site is a trap.  It’s filled with boilerplate Republican propaganda against the law, gimmicks to discourage viewers from even applying for the health care they need, and a rash of distortions and outright lies.  

There’s so much bunkum on the site that its fine print includes a disclaimer saying they don’t vouch for “the quality, content, accuracy, or completeness of the information” it provides.

The silliest thing about the lawmakers’ blatantly political ploy is that even if it convinces some people to forgo the ACA’s benefits, who does that hurt?  Not Obama – but their own constituents!

I know there’s no IQ requirement to be a state legislator, but what were they thinking?

We can laugh at their low comedy and nincompoopery, but if you’re a California taxpayer, congratulations: You paid for the GOP’s bogus website and mailings.  So much for that party’s opposition to wasteful spending!

 

Sources:

“A Bogus Health Care Website, Courtesy of the GOP,” www.msnbc.com, December 4, 2013.

California Republicans Defend Fake Obamacare Site,” www.abcnews.com, December 3, 2013.

“California GOP Creates Fake Health Care Website to Discourage Constituents from Obtaining Insurance,” www.dailykos.com, December 2, 2013.

 

Jim Hightower is a Texan, columnist, and populist who believes that to move America from greed to greatness, we must fuel the power and the passion of our nation’s workaday majority.  You can listen to more of Jim Hightower’s commentaries here.

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

It’s been a long time since the American people have seen such dirty tricks.  The Republican party of today makes the party of Richard Nixon look like a collection of altar boys.

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    Boston Globe - Clinics like one on Topeka Street in Boston can be lifesavers for addicts trying to kick heroin or other opiates. Reports of heroin overdoses and deaths are on the rise as cheap and potent versions of the drug — sometimes laced with the pain medication fentanyl — flood the market. Governor Deval Patrick has declared it a public health emergenc […]
  • UN scientists want far more use of renewable power plants
    Guardian - Mitigation of Climate Change, by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel of 200 scientists, will make it clear that by far the most realistic option for the future is to triple or even quadruple the use of renewable power plants. Only through such decisive action will carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere be kept below t […]
  • Professional statisticians come out against public school wreckers
    Valerie Strauss, Washington Post - You can be certain that members of the American Statistical Association, the largest organization in the United States representing statisticians and related professionals, know a thing or two about data and measurement. That makes the statement that the association just issued very important for school reform.The ASA just […]
  • Tennessee legislature votes against any rapid bus system
    Wired - Tennessee lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor a bill that bans the construction of bus rapid transit anywhere in the state.The impetus for the vote was a proposal to build a $174 million BRT system in Nashville called The Amp, which would’ve ran on a 7.1 mile route and served rapidly growing neighborhoods across the city. There’s a more detailed […]
  • Jimmy Carter comes out against pipeline
    Washington Post - Former president Jimmy Carter has joined a group of Nobel laureates who oppose construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, warning President Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry, “You stand on the brink of making a choice that will define your legacy on one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced – climate change."By ann […]