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Desiderata (Desired Things) by Max Ehrmann

29 Jul 2009, written by Riz 0 Comments

I’m sure you all know how it works on wikipedia. You start out reading about one thing, and the next thing you know, your so far off your original topic you don’t even know how you got there. That is how I came across the poem, Desiderate, by Max Ehrmann, published in 1927. This poem played a huge part in the spiritual movement of the 1960′s and 70′s and it still holds inspiration today. It is one of those poems that you should read when you are feeling a little uncertain or down on yourself. Enjoy!

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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EA Games Comic Con: Sex Driven Promo Stunt and the Dumb Media.

28 Jul 2009, written by 0 Comments

EA has a slick marketing team.  Now I’m not a gamer by any means and no expert.   I play some wii golf from time to time but thats the extent, though I wish I had the time to dedicate because some the games out there just seem badass.   EA Games is catching a lot of “heat” lately because of a marketing contest they put behind their new game “Dante’s Inferno”.  The contest basically asked show-goers of last weeks Comic Con in Portland to “commit acts of lust” with show models.  The rules were simple, best pic with a show model and you won a night out of the town with more hot models.  Now of course EA covered their ass in the rules and regulations.  ”‘Commit acts of lust’ is simply a hip way to say take pictures with costumed reps,” it reads. “Also, a ‘Night of Lust’ means only that the winner will receive a chaperoned VIP night on the town with the Dante’s Inferno reps, all expenses paid, as well as other prizes.”  There are several stories floating around talking about the “Outrage” of this promotion.


Well the outrage was a small group of what looked like radical religiously driven protesters outside Comic Con, the media ran with this a bit, it was even a featured story on this morning.   EA also tweeted a unapologetic response to the so called outrage in following days.  Do a little more research and you will find that EA staged the protests themselves.  This is the website of the group that was protesting, scroll some of the links at the bottom of the site and they link right to the Dante Inferno homepage. broke the hoax. But the story of just the outrage and protests (nothing about the hoax!) is a featured story on yahoo and other media channels.   Another perfect example of how the media can be played or just mis represent the facts in order to try and grab viewers/readers.   To be honest thats how I first read about it.   Now the story is viral, free marketing.   Well played EA.

the yahoo article if you want to see how they blew it out of proportion

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City of God- A Modern Day Scarface.

27 Jul 2009, written by Riz 0 Comments

City of God is a novel written in 1997 by Paulo Lins based on the true story of 3 friends and their life of crime in the Cidade de Deus, a favela in Western Rio de Janeiro. Lins grew up in the same area, and spent many years gathering information about the violence and gang life that was so prominent in the area. While reading this book, I had to keep reminding myself that this is all true, it all happened, and it was all real. The violence in the book was so repetitive and common that it almost started to go unnoticed to the reader. I’m sure many of you have seen the movie (which was killer by the way) but the book was much different in my opinion.

As in all movies, this one was also a striped down version on the book. The movie is based on a boy named Rocket, who is not cut out for a life of crime, and wants something better. He has a dream of becoming a photographer and with a few breaks along the way, escapes the violence of City of God, and achieves his dream. The book is sold on this point, but Rocket was hardly the main focus of the book, especially the last 1/3 or so. The main character in the book was the criminal, Tiny (Lil Ze in the movie), and he comes to power basically by offing anyone who stands in his way. His money is made in the drug trade, and by setting up “Dens”, which are places where the drugs are sold. After a violent attack on Knockout Ned’s girlfriend, Knockout dedicates his life to retaliating and avenging his girlfriends honor. A full on war breaks out in City of God, and the police act as onlookers, as they are too outnumbered to stop the violence. In the movie, Knockout is killed by the child of a man he murdered in a stick up, and this is also depicted in the book. Tiny on the other hand survives the war and after a brief stint in jail, reemerges in City of God, looking to retake control as the head kingpin. In the movie, he is shot down by a group of young (9-13yr olds) boys, looking to establish themselves in the life of crime that is so prevalent in the city.

I thought the book was great, although a bit long. At nearly 500 pages, some of the violence and drug activity got redundant.All in all though, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Scarface or any other story where bad guys do what they want, when they want, to whoever they want.


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Best Drug Induced Breakdown Scenes

26 Jul 2009, written by 0 Comments

Everyone loves a good rock bottom moment so we have compiled a list of the best drug induced breakdowns created on film.  Take a look at our top list as created by the minds of Zoot Nation as we enjoy our rock bottom moment sitting on the couch all day fighting off a hangover.  A little hangover has nothing on these scenes.

Honorable Mention: Saved by the Bell- Jesse gets addicted to caffeine pills she uses to study.  Not a movie but this had to make the list just because it’s such a memorable childhood tv moment.   Get it together spano.

#8   The Program – Lattimers roid rages hard after making the starting defense.  So awsome.

#7 Boogie Nights – “You got the touch!” John C Reilly and  Mark Wahlberg’s coke fueled attempt at making a hit record.  The magic is in the tapes.   Long live Brock Landers and Chess Rockwell!

#6 Trainspotting – Ewan McGregors bad bedroom trip.  Spinning baby heads and all.

#5 Basketball Diaries  - Leo and Wahlberg lose their shit on the basketball court after taking the wrong pills.

#4 Less Than Zero – Robert Downey Jr’s coke to crack breakdown.  A montage of the progression of his character.  One of his best performances.

#3 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Possibly Johnny Depps best performance ever.  The whole movie is essentially a drug induced breakdown, but the acid trip at the hotel is possibly        the best scene of the film.

#2 Scarface- Al Pacino snorts a mound of coke and takes about 50 bullets and keeps killing.  Definitely not good for your health but being able to go face first into a pile of blow is respectable to some extent.  I wouldn’t do it but I respect it.

#1 Requiem For A Dream – Probably the most depressing movie scene of all time.  Everyones lives hit absolut rock bottom.

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Healthcare or Health Scare… A Look at the Hoopla Around Healthcare Reform.

24 Jul 2009, written by 0 Comments

On Monday the first official proposal of the healthcare reform bill was dropped, 1000 pages and all.  Obama has been pushing to get this bill passed by congress before August is out and even held a national press conference Wednesday night because 50% of the american public now opposes the reform, you think he even read it?
Healthcare Pictures, Images and Photos

Another part of the problem as of late is that Obamas democrats in the house are also starting to think this is too much money too fast.  To bring you up to speed that has stopped and now representatives are admitting the bill will not be done until fall.  It would only be one of the most historical bills ever to come out of capital hill, remind me again why we are trying to cram it into a few weeks? I’m not a complete Obama hater but it seems one thing after the other is the countries ”biggest threat and number one priority” no matter how many more trillions we are going into debt.   Figuring most people are probably starting to tune it out because of the back and forth hoopla going on in the media and political parties I figured I would try to simplify what’s happening with a littla Q&A.

Why do we need healthcare reform?

-Because there are 40 mil uninsured and healthcare costs way too high in this country.  This much is definitely true.

Why does healthcare cost so much?

-Technology and Lawsuits, particularly all the asshole slip and fall lawyers out there that advertise all over tv.

Who is writing this reform proposal?

-NOT OBAMA! Many people think he is but that is not the case at all, he is just telling congress that something needs to be done and has nothing to do with the details.  Much like pawning your book report off to the smart chick that sits next to you in class.

What is the gov’t trying to create?

According to the congress they are not trying to create “Universal” healthcare.  They are trying to be a cheaper competitor to the private companies which would force the market to lower it’s costs.  Thats the end goal to lower healthcare costs.

How will it be paid for?

-Taxes of course, in particular a 13% tax on those making 350k or more, tax on private business which provide private healthcare for their employees, 2.5% tax on those the gov’t deems as not having acceptable insurance.  There are many other subsidies and taxes proposes.  One way or another if your reading this you will pay for a gov’t healthcare option if it passes.

What are some benefits of having a national healthcare option?

-WE COULD ALL DO WHATEVER WE WANT!  Let’s face it, a big factor to our adult freedom is health insurance.  How many of us don’t take on the risk of a location change, new job, or flat out risky behavior because we are worried about care costs if a medical emergency happens.  Now all we would have to worry about is money for food and shelter, hooray!

-We would be able to blame our high taxes on fat people.  Unhealthy people using the system is what would drive the costs of gov’t healthcare which in turn results in the amount of taxes we would pay.

What are some cons of a national healthcare option?

-Possible rationing of care, meaning the gov’t will have say on who deserves what.  Not that private healthcare isn’t already doing this to some extent.

-Paying for illegal aliens.  Yes, included in the bill is care for illegal aliens, our taxes would cover them too.  Much like we already cover them for the justice system.  Funny, being a citizen isn’t a big advantage anymore except for not being able to get kicked out of the country.

-The gov’t has consistently proven that it has trouble running it’s programs and possibly the worst customer service ever.  More gov’t programs equals more gov’t and more of your paycheck.

My personal view and that of many others is that the key to healthcare is not sweeping reform, but rather regulation of the private insurance industry,preventive care and regulation on the enormous amount of monies paid out bogus lawsuits.

Of late polls have shown that healthcare reform is becoming less and less popular among american voters.  Most people seem to be thinking that we have gone in debt enough as a nation already and don’t want more money taken out of the pay check.  People are entitled to their life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Are they also entitled to houses, cars, insurance, and more unemployment benefits. So far this year Obama has given us 3, is health insurance next?  Conservatives are out to stomp this bill so be on the look out for the next drunken debate turned fist fight at a party, be sure to walk away because you don’t need a buzzkill plus you already know what you need to know since you read this.

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Eric Joyner. Japanese Tin Robots and Donuts

23 Jul 2009, written by Riz 1 Comments

Chances are, you may not have heard of Eric Joyner, but a lot of people have. He has won awards from Spectrum Fantastic Art, and has been hired by the San Francisco Chronicle. His art is very popular among technology executives, and some movie stars have been known to collect some of his art. J.J. Abrams is a huge fan. (LOST baby!) I only came across him when I saw a preview for his book, “Robots & Donuts: The Art of Eric Joyner”, published by Dark Horse Books. Joyner paints his robots with an out of time feel and a vintage quality that never seems to get old. It is also right on time with the retro style that is ohh so popular today.

Joyner decided in 1999 that he was going to focus his art strictly on Robots and Donuts after his work in commercial illustration became too tedious. (I cant help but laugh to myself as I write this. Picturing someone fed up with commercial art, and saying “humm, well I love donuts, and robots seem really cool too, so maybe ill just focus on painting them. And ONLY them). All of his paintings start with an idea, then a photo opp featuring some robot toys from Japan. After he has his subject matter ready, he does a sketch and paints that with some acrylics. He finalizes his paintings with thick oils and 2 coats of spray Demar varnish. Joyner’s art is so refreshing that you can’t help but to love it. He paints with a childish, retro feel, and the subject matter forces a smile onto your face. I mean how can you NOT smile at Japanese Robots fighting giant donuts?


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Black Kids. A Fresh 80′s Sound in Indie Pop.

22 Jul 2009, written by 0 Comments

Along with the 80′s fashion comeback over the last few years, 80′s style music has also begun it’s march. Black Kids will soon be at the forefront of this repeat revolution. With synthesizer beats, electric keyboards and soft quick guitar rifs, Black Kids can’t help but remind you of The Cure. If you dig The Go Team, Cut Copy, or MGMT, you will dig Black Kids. Their debut album dropped in 2007 and they are starting to catch fire more and more. You might recognize their popular single “I’m not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you”, not included in this post, but a rad remix by The Twelves is. Spin Magazine and the NY Post ranked their album “Partie Traumatic” as a top 40 album in 2008. The Twelves do some pretty bad ass digitalism remixes on a few of their songs, and you can check out some of them below.


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Eye Catching Ads.

21 Jul 2009, written by Riz 0 Comments

Im sure everyone has noticed that ad campaigns have really taken on a life of their own lately. You find yourself laughing or staring at ads, without even realizing what product the ad is pushing at first. Apple has really been at the forefront of pushing new ad material, and they showed the world that ads can be simple, sexy, and slick. I found a few really cool ads that I think did an awesome job of grabbing the attention of the consumer. Many of the ads also used space in a new and innovative way. Enjoy!

Nikon used the publics obsession with celebrities as a way to draw attention to its ad for the new Nikon D700 model camera. This ad was set up in a Seoul subway station, on a huge flat light box. When a person would walk by, the flashes were automatically triggered, giving it a real red carpet feel. On top of an already killer ad, the red carpet lead out of the subway station and into a mall, where the consumer could walk right into the Nikon store and purchase the camera. SOLD!

Feel The Bubbles! This Nestle ad is one of the coolest I have seen in a long time. Not only does it make me want to go out and shred, it makes me want chocolate. NOW. Bob Burnquist kills it in this one. Video also attached for your viewing pleasure.

This ad is for Frontline Flea and Tick Spray, with the slogan, “Get Them Off Your Dog”. It is placed on the floor of an Indonesian building, with the actual people meant to represent fleas and ticks. Gross, but amazing at the same time.

Sometimes ads dont have to cost a million dollars to produce, and then another million to be seen on prime time T.V. This company in Indian realized 2 important things about night clubs. Everyone gets their hand stamped, and most could use a ride home to avoid a D.W.I. So Simple it almost makes me mad I didnt think of it first.

Spy VS Spy. Do I really need to say anything more about this one? I LOVE IT!

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A GIANT and a Sharpie

20 Jul 2009, written by Riz 1 Comments

Mike Giant is, well, a GIANT. He is a super influential graffiti artist turned clothing designer, who has made quite a name for himself using his medium of choice, the sharpie (he even has his own line of Sharpie markers. How cool is that?). He was born in Upstate New York, and soon moved to Albuquerque New Mexico, where he began his life as a graffiti artist. He got the name Giant from a friend, who said that when he fell off his skateboard, it sounded like a Giant hit the ground. After taking a job designing for Think Skateboards, Giant moved to San Francisco, where he teamed up with some fellow artists to form Rebel 8 Clothing. Giant is by far one of my favorite artists, so Ill let his art and personal bio do the rest of the talking.

“Birth. Upstate New York. Drawing. New Mexico. BMX bikes. Heavy Metal. Skateboarding. Punk rock. Hip-hop. Thailand. College. Dishwasher. Raves. Lorelei. First tattoo. San Francisco. Dharma. Think Skateboards. Angi. London. Adult bookstore. Computer animation. Tattooing. New York City. Newskool. Skullz Press. Everlasting. Track bikes. Brooke and Leia. Tokyo. Tattoo 13. Plum Village. Albuquerque. Stay Gold. REBEL8. Manifestations. Ordained minister. Megan. 36. Amsterdam. Right here. Right now.”throwup-de-ouf1573394825_b3dd8bb2f0giant_noroses1mike-giantmike_giant-punksmikegiantmikegiant_muerte_2mike-giant-sharpie

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L.A. to N.Y.C in 4 minutes.

20 Jul 2009, written by Riz 0 Comments

I recently came across this really cool time lapse video of a guy and his buddy driving from L.A to N.Y.C with a few stop offs along the way. Im planning on moving out west later this year, and have been thinking about making my own time lapse video from N.YC. to L.A. and maybe posting it as a response to this one. Ive never made a time lapse before, so Im sure it isnt going to be on par with this one, but its the memories that count right? The song is called Behind by Lacquer, and I think it fits the video perfect.

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