Thursday, July 21, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Monday's Best: 30 Years of Outstanding BAD Photography



“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph."  Matt Hardy

Some of the highlights of Bruce Dale's 30 year career at National Geographic including 10 trips to China beginning in the late 1970s, the hologram cover for the 100th anniversary edition, and mounting a camera on the tail of a jumbo jet for in-flight photographs. Photographs are copyrighted by Bruce Dale or National Geographic.
Produced with special help from Dan Steinhardt and Epson America.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday's Best: The Perfect Match

I lost a brother to kidney disease in 2004. He succumbed to the disease that burdened him since he was a toddler and died at the tender age of 16. I was prepared to give one of my kidneys but time went against us, harshly and hastily.  He was a dreamer, an avid basketball and Lebron James fan, and a sweet and compassionate teenager who wished to go to a pilgrimage to Disneyland. During his last days, I constantly motivated, encouraged, and even egged on and bribed him with a trip to the Magic Kingdom but he was already too weak--"an angel flying low on earth" as aptly put by one of my friends.
Be an organ donor. Save a life.
My mother, to this day, could not muster the courage to go to the same hospital where my brother died. And every time the subject of kidney disease especially among children is brought up or discussed on TV, she shies away from the topic as if she has severe allergic reactions to the discussion of it.
When I read the story of the 17-year old Chinese student named "Zheng" who sold one of his kidneys for an iPad 2 just to heavily regret it afterwards, I could not help myself but to come up with a fireworks of expletives.  My first thought was, "Stupid. Why do it for an iPad?" He should have known that the products from Steve Job's Apple Company (iPhone, iPad, iMac, etc.) are known for its extremely short shelf life. Another kidney for iPad3? Poor him. I wish him well and may he live longer than his iPad2. 
Since my brother's death, I've signed up to be an organ donor in case I get called early for my next duty in another world, perhaps. I have an organ donor card in my wallet and I have it with me every time I step out of the house. If you haven't signed up for one, please do so because you might ultimately give the gift of life someday. If you're not prepared, study it well and then discuss it with your family.
"Don't think of organ donations as giving up part of yourself to keep a total stranger alive. It's really a total stranger giving up almost all of themselves to keep part of you alive." ~Author Unknown
Now, to give you an inspiring and insightful example of one person's selflessness and heroic act of adding more years to a friend's life, watch this short film about kidney organ donation and transplantation. 
WARNING: Included in the film are snippets of the actual kidney transplantation surgery, please watch it to your own discretion.         
“The Perfect Match”
A childhood friendship…and Facebook could save John Brannon’s life. While on the brink of kidney failure, John reunites with an old friend who suddenly realizes that she has the ability to save John’s life. Watch as their friendship and lives are put to the ultimate test.

Sunday's Best: The Last Survivor

For more information about the film, go to www.thelastsurvivor.com.

For those in the United States, you can now view the whole film via www.thelastsurvivor.com/. As for other regions, visit their website for more information. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In Your Face Beauty

Amsterdam-based artists and directors, Lernert & Sander are known for their creative videos that are often playful, thought-provoking, unorthodox, and magical. In this surreal short film about fashion overkill dubbed as "Natural Beauty" featured in the fashion and lifestyle website, Nowness.com, the Dutch artists pose the questions "Is this what you want?" and "Do you think this is beautiful?" 
Lernert & Sander in "Chocolate Bunny" 
This short film is a mix of reality, fantasy, the bizarre, and the freakish. Of course, women do not normally wear make-up seven days a week and you wash it clean at the end of the day. 
In case you're wondering how much cosmetic products were used, take a look:        
7 bottles of Foundation S103
2 bottles of Creamy Eyes E107
3 Milky Lips L205 pens
2 bottles of Blush S301
A total of 228.40ml of makeup. 
Now, if you're a woman who feels grossed out and disgusted after watching the short film then the team of geniuses behind this project succeeded in conveying its message across. If you're a man who appreciates or maybe prefers to see your wife au naturelle then good for you.



"On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux." 
"One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye."  - Fox to the Little Prince, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Empire State Building Honors Canada Day

Last night, the Empire State Building honored Canada by lighting its top tiers with red and white, reflecting the Canadian flag. 
Before that, a team of volunteer Canadians showered Maple leaves from the tower's observation deck. The organizing committee for the NYC Canada celebrations also replaced the water in the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park with premium Canadian Maple syrup. Also, all the 11 branches of Canadian donut icon, Tim Horton's gave away free coffee and Timbits.

OKAY. The maple syrup, maple leaves, and Tim Horton's are not true. But it's not too late, maybe today.