Every time I see an amazing optical illusion, I start wishing I could go back to school and study neurology. People post images that appears to be in motion but isn’t, and I’m amazed. Then I want to know how it works. What’s happening in our brains when we see one of those images?
This episode of Mind Blow from the folks at Vsauce2 explains a lot of what’s happening. It’s called Anomalous Motion. You can even learn to roll your own Anomalous Motion images.
Four guys standing around an open piano using all the different parts of the instrument to play Angels We Have Heard on High.
According to The Piano Guys,
“ALL the sounds you hear were created by different parts of the piano (except the vocals of course).
We wanted this to be a fun music video full of ‘Christmas Spirit.’ While the video primarily presents the “fun” side of Christmas (complete with cameo appearances by Christmas icons which ‘helped’ us film), we wanted the music to portray what, to us, is the true meaning of the Holiday season.”
If promotional consideration for this video wasn’t provided by GoPro cameras, it should have been.
I’ve often joked that salt is my favorite food. I really love salt, but I don’t think I love salt as much as these goats on a dam love salt.
You probably can’t see them in this first image, but you may want to do the Where’s Waldo thing before scrolling down.
The dam is in the Gran Paradiso National Park in Northern Italy.
The goats don’t have to climb so high to get to the other side, and it’s something they’ve only recently started to do.
Seinfeld introduced us to a new possibility, a holiday for the rest of us called Festivus. Festivus takes place on December 23rd and is celebrated with a Festivus dinner, the annual Airing of Grievances, and Feats of Strength. One need not worry about excessive decorations. Festivus is celebrated with a simple Festivus Pole.
This Festivus T-Shirt is perfect for the Seinfeld fan or atheist in your life who might not really love all the Christmas stuff. The Sweatshirt is recommended for Feats of Strength, though. If you don’t have room to erect a Festivus Pole in your home, apartment, office, or dorm room, get the poster.
Festivus is a secular holiday that can be celebrated with or without a belief in a deity, so the art includes the asterisk note: *deity optional.
I love the Ylvis song and video, and it inspired me to design this t-shirt. I drew The Fox wearing a monocle because that’s how I remember foxes from my childhood. My fox denies saying any of those things.
The What the Fox Say? ”I’ve been misquoted” T-shirt is available in a variety of colors, sizes for adults, kids and babies, and on sweatshirts and hoodies. If you know someone who loves the video and want to make them smile when they open a gift from you this holiday season, get them this shirt!
Buy your’s here!
Content producers, content distributors, and content consumers are at odds and it’s only going to get worse as analog business models continue to be eaten by software.
Content producers want to make art and/or entertainment and to be paid for what we create. Content consumers want what we want, when we want it, where we want it and how we want it. Content distributors (very necessary in the past … hardly necessary now) want to make money facilitating the exchange between content producers and content consumers.
In the olden days content distributors wrote the rules because they built and controlled the infrastructure and media (printing presses, record studios, broadcast equipment, etc.). In the digital era, anyone can publish what they write, sell their songs, and broadcast a show, and that is mostly wonderful, but also challenging.
The old media systems and models are in trouble, and while content consumers may hate some of the ways media companies run their businesses and control their content, we still like a lot of that content. YouTube videos are great, but we also still really like big budget, high quality TV productions and movies. Those things are expensive though, and lots of consumers think they ought to be free. Until creative types are willing to forgo food and shelter, free isn’t a sustainable way to get produced entertainment.
We like Netflix. It’s a model that seems fair because it’s affordable for most people, the selection is vast, and we can watch a show when and how we want.
Last week we learned that the commercial TV business is in decline and reported its worst year ever with 5 million people dropping cable TV from their homes. Many people who watch TV fast forward through adverts which could lead to the end of high quality, scripted entertainment available for free, but HitBliss is a small company far away from Silicon Valley has been thinking different.
As I was working on the publication of And God Save Judy Garland by Randy Eddy-McCain, Andy Yardy pointed me towards a documentary called Seventh-Gay Adventists. It’s a documentary about gay Christians who are Seventh Day Adventists. I knew exactly three things about Seventh Day Adventists:
- They go to church on Saturday.
- Most of them are vegetarians.
- Mrs. Kim on Gilmore Girls was a Seventh Day Adventist and she was all kinds of cool!
I contacted the filmmakers and fell in love with their vision. They sent me a press screener so I could watch the film, and it is beautiful.
After my divorce, I watched a documentary almost every day for two years, and Seventh-Gay Adventists is in my top 10 list of my favorite documentaries of all time. That list includes Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Hoop Dreams, Food, Inc., We Live in Public, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and The Cove.
I made it about a quarter of the way through the film before I noticed my face started getting wet.
Even without know much about Seventh Day Adventists or even being all that interested in what makes that denomination different, I immediately recognized the men and women in the film because they shared something in common with the hundreds of LGBTQ Christians I’ve talked to over the years. They love God so much, and yet have been so often pushed aside or to the back of the room because of their sexuality, and yet they refuse to abandon their faith.
The filmmakers are making Seventh-Gay Adventists available to watch for free for five days over Thanksgiving weekend starting in the morning, Wednesday, November 27ths through Sunday night, December 1st (when my Kickstarter campaign ends, BTW :).
To watch for free, all you have to do is go to http://www.sgamovie.com and use the coupon code watchfree to get a copy. It’s DRM-free and the filmmakers encourage you to share it.
One of the last nice moments I had with Luria after she left and before she turned into a mean weirdo was when she came to the house to get something. I played a clip of Crystal Bowersox performing on American Idol and she like it.
Crystal’s new Christmas song, Coming Out for Christmas is about LGBTQ folks being who they are. It’s beautiful, and it made me cry.
Get the mp3 from Amazon: Coming Out for Christmas mp3
You’re not likely to encounter more beauty than you’ll experience in this video today.
This has to be one of the most epic wedding reception toasts in the history of wedding parties.
Love Batkid all you want, this is clearly the coolest kid IN THE WORLD. The kid recites the books of the New Testament and then immediately breaks out singing, “All My Exes Live in Texas” by George Strait. All my exes live in Texas too.
Also the teacher who cuts him off is an asshat.
Font choice is EXTREMELY important, but 10 Flickering Lights isn’t very many and 10 Fuckering Lights is kind of exciting!
Improv Everywhere has given a whole new meaning to the term, “multiple orgasms” by reenacting the famous orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally at Katz’s Deli in New York.
Remember leaving home after high school to take on life as a young adult? It’s a time of optimism. It’s a time that’s largely unpredictable. It’s a time when we make choices, some wise and some foolish that affect the rest of our lives.
Imagine growing up with the heart of a romantic, moving to college and meeting the love of your life.
Maybe you don’t have to imagine. Maybe it happened to you. Maybe you met the love of your life in college, got married, and despite some ups and downs, have mostly lived happily ever after.
What if you didn’t have that option? What if you moved to college and met the love of your life, but every person you trusted for your whole life had taught you to think those romantic thoughts and feelings you were experiencing were wrong?
That’s what happened to a friend of mine. Randy McCain grew up in Arkansas as a good Assembly of God boy who felt called by God to be in ministry. After High School, he moved to Springfield, MO to attend Evangel University to train for a life in ministry. In 1974, Randy met the love of his life. They spent hours hanging out, talking about God and all their favorite things. They became best friends. They probably fell in love, but it’s hard to say because they pushed romantic feelings down because they were both young men who knew, because the Bible told them so that they couldn’t be together.
Randy left school for a ministry opportunity and he loved being in ministry. At the same time, he had to deal with something that seemed frightening given everything he had ever learned to think about God. Randy was attracted to men, not women. The same was true for Gary, the best friend Randy met at Evangel.
Randy rejected his feelings for Gary. He pushed them down. He brushed them aside. Those feelings couldn’t be true. Randy prayed that God would remove the feelings he had for Gary from his heart. He prayed that he would be attracted to a woman.
If God was hearing those prayers, God wasn’t helping. Frustrated, Randy started exploring what it meant to be a gay man. He believed something that isn’t true. He believed that his love for God and ministry was incompatible with his sexual attraction to other men. For almost two decades, he moved back and forth between being gay and trying really hard not to be gay so he could work for God.
Like so many LGBTQ men and women I’ve talked to over the years, who grew up loving God and begging God night after night to take away their same-sex attraction, God seemed to answer Randy’s prayer in a different way. Randy started to understand that what his church taught him about his sexuality wasn’t true. He understood that God wasn’t going to take away his attraction to men because his sexuality was a gift from God.
After eighteen years in a wilderness of confusion, self-hate, and abusive relationships, Randy was reunited with the love of his life. Randy and Gary committed their lives to each other and to God. They’ve been together for 21-years and legally married for the last year.
Randy’s story is a love story that might not have happened if Randy had continued to believe something not true. In his book, And God Save Judy Garland, Randy tells a gripping, painful story about his life as a gay Christian. His story has a happy ending, but it took a lot of misery for Randy and Gary to get to that happy place.
Imagine a gay teenager growing up right now raised by Christians parents who have been taught that gay is incompatible with God. This story is happening in thousands of homes right now. Kids are struggling to be who they are while they’re scared to death about being rejected by their parents. Far too many of those kids have given up and ended their lives without hope.
Imagine one of those kids reading Randy’s story and finding an example that his faith doesn’t have to be sacrificed because he’s gay. Imagine the parents reading the book and seeing how Randy’s parents struggled to come to terms with having a gay son, and those parents discovering a way to accept and affirm an LGBTQ child just as they are without fear of offending God.
And God Save Judy Garland is a book of hope and healing, and it isn’t hyperbole to say that it will save lives.
We’re asking for help to publish the book. This morning we’re at 41% funded on Kickstarter. The way Kickstarter works is all or nothing. If we don’t raise 100%, we don’t get anything. If you pledge, and we don’t get to 100%, you aren’t charged for your donation.
Every donation makes a dent and it’s rare that we get to be a part of a project that has the power to help people in such a profound way.