Yup. This about sums up the week!
Source: Thank you Anake
“A female Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Hummingbird) sleeps in Peru. It’s likely that this bird is in the early stages of arousal from deep torpor after disturbance. The gaping of the bill might be a way to breath deeply and bring in plenty of oxygen. When they are disturbed in torpor, they try to warm up as quickly as possible and that involves intense shivering. But initially, they are too cold for high-speed muscle action so it’s hard to see the shivering movements. The high pitched squeaking sound it is making is likely a cute side-effect of the gaping for oxygen. The noise is actually a lot more quiet than it seems, for whatever reason my camera picked it up and made it sound a lot louder. This experiment was performed with the guidance and supervision of some of the top experts in tropical ornithology. This bird was not harmed whatsoever, it was fed with sugar water throughout the experiment and was released safely. After the experiment was done, I watched the bird fly away myself, it was fine.”
Jon McLaughlin, 31, is an American pop rock singer-songwriter and pianist from Anderson, Indiana. His debut album Indiana was released on May 1, 2007. McLaughlin grew up playing piano since early childhood, though he disliked the lessons, and often sought to avoid them. Along with his older sister and brother, Jon McLaughlin began piano lessons at a very young age presenting an ability his parents hoped to foster. He loved playing the piano, and creating his own sounds, but lessons was another thing. “I took lessons every Thursday and I’d come home complaining to my mom. My dad traveled during the week for work, and when he’d call on Thursday nights, I’d inevitably give him the same grief I gave my mom. To their credit, they never forced the lessons; they allowed me to talk it through and somehow, at the end of every conversation, I’d say, “I think I am going to keep going.” They had infinite patience with me.” (Bio Sources: Wiki and MTV.)
The rest, as they say, is history.
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
Some Staff Mean.
Some Staff Good.
They say he not part of the world.
It felt bad.
He’s not part of the World. He evil.
I want a good life, too.
“When he was a toddler, Alonzo Clemons suffered a brain injury. It forever changed the way he learns and communicates but also the way he interprets the world around him. Very early it became clear to Alonzo that he had to sculpt. He was institutionalized for ten years in a state hospital which wasn’t a pleasant experience, but he continued to find ways to make delicate figures with his hands. When they wouldn’t give him clay, he would scrape warm tar from the parking lot.”
You can learn more about Alonzo Clemons’ work at alonzoclemons.com
Don’t give up on this one. The underwater footage begins a the 1 minute mark. The Humpback calf comes on a 1:42. And you may wish you stopped watching a wee bit before the finish. No spoiler. (But don’t say you weren’t warned)
More on the background of this clip below.
“Hannah Fraser stars in ‘Betrayal,’ a conservation-themed video that features a ‘life-changing’ encounter in the South Pacific. Fraser acts as a betrayed woman who has fallen into deep despair. She plunges into the dark ocean and is about to give up when she receives a visit by a humpback whale calf. The human and mammal bond as they perform what appears to be a choreographed dance, and the amazing encounter restores the woman’s hope and faith. ‘The woman rediscovers hope and love, dancing with joy as she experiences a profound connection, and comes face to face with this incredible being,” says Heinrichs, an award-winning cinematographer.
Humpback whales, like most other species of whales, were hunted to the brink of extinction during the whaling era. There is mounting pressure by some nations to have them removed from the endangered species list so they can resume hunting.
The footage is unique and remarkable because Fraser was able to get so close to the young humpback, whose mother was nearby, for an extended period. In the video, the mother ultimately arrives and reclaims her calf.
‘The fact that these whales can choose to interact with us so freely, when they can swim away in an instant, and considering our species drove their species to the brink of extinction … to spend time in their company is both humbling and a life-changing experience,’ Fraser says.”
From the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel on the west coast of Florida…
Good Sunday Morning
10+ years ago, Frank Torres, a colleague from work, had suggested that I buy a single pair of hand crafted Italian shoes. His face lit up when speaking about his visit to Italy, visiting shoemakers and speaking of the quality of the product. I scoffed. ”Do me a favor. Just do it.” So, I did as he suggested. And, I’ve never looked back. I slide on my shoes each morning and think of that short 3-4 minute conversation with Frank. The form fit and cushioning offers me a magic carpet ride through the stress packed days. Frank, if you’re out there and by some miracle you are reading this post, this clip is my thanks to you. While it’s not of an Italian shoemaker, it offered me similar inspiration. “Yes, Frank. You do get what you pay for.”
Barbora Veselá is London based footwear designer and maker. Her work reflects deep technical knowledge and creative competence. She likes to challenge classic shoe making techniques, yet use them with respect and celebrate its value. Playful and inquisitive thinking brought into old craftsmanship is what makes her work strong and unique. A special construction method has been developed and used across her collection. Multiple layers of leather scrap pieces are added on the last and subsequently sanded down to achieve the final shape and unique colour pattern of the shoe. More shoes displayed here. (Source: barbora vesela)
“It’s a tradition that’s been handed down. Rice farming in the community has been a really big deal. That’s what has driven our community for quite some time. I couldn’t wait to get into the field with my Dad. That was probably one of my favorite pastimes. He was there. He worked a lot. He worked very hard at what he did. He was always there to give me a hand…and give me just enough room to hang myself. When I originally left to go to school, that was my intention, was to go to school. Fortunately, I was able to take those opportunities, and branch out and see different walks of life. I went into the restaurant business. Did that for a while. Then I went into the music business. I was always searching for something. Not always knowing where I was going or what I was trying to do. Just going and doing and trying to find that niche. Where do I fit in? It’s a big question. Eventually when I was working on a documentary much as you guys are doing yourself, we went out into the jungle in Northeastern Cambodia. It’s a rice farming community as well. They plant everything by hand. Everybody is there together. Everybody is doing everything together. To help one another. Yeah, they butt heads, they fight just like everybody else. But their measure of worth is completely different. And I realized that I had been missing the picture for a while. When it hit, I knew what I needed to do. I didn’t need to be anywhere else but here. Kinda have to figure out what you want to do. That was it.
As it grows. As you harvest. And make preparations for the following year, it’s the cycle of everything moving together. This is our land.”
~ Herb Dishman, China, Texas
~ Music: Bon Iver – The Wolves
This short film features “life” shots in Iceland, Japan, California and France. It’s wrapped in Bon Iver’s Holocene, which takes it up a notch.
“As busy as the world gets, there are still times when things move a little slower. When life is a little simpler. When the local color looks good enough to eat. Welcome to Harvest Time. When Mother Nature puts on a whole new wardrobe. And we look at life in a whole new way. So pull out that favorite sweater and grab yourself a little piece, of Pure Michigan.”
Wonderful 30 second clip that captures the feeling and beauty of autumn.
Good Sunday Morning.
An aerial view from Ré Island (France – Atlantic Coast). “Surrounded by the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, yet anchored to the mainland by a bridge, the island ”Ile de Re” is a French seaside resort offering an incredibly vast array of landscapes, cultural traditions and isolated beaches. Located off La Rochelle, just southeast of Paris, the small island is blessed with a pleasantly mild micro-climate courtesy of the mitigating effect of the Gulf Stream. The island’s winds blowing from the west further help sweep the heavy clouds away, ultimately leading to lots of sunshine ideal for raising the spirit of residents and visitors who abundantly flock here every year.” (Source: Yahoo Voices)
Good Sunday Morning
This is a bit of a departure from the usual SMSI* (Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration) clips but no less inspiring. The imagery on this short film is stunning. This video was filmed in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin in cranberry bogs. This extreme sport is called winch boarding which involves “being pulled by a large machine while on a skateboard, surfboard, snowboard, or other type of board.” Don’t quit on this one too early.
(Source: The Minneapolis Egotist: Two Locals & Red Bull Created a Stunning Cranberry Wakeskating Video.
“The Horsemen: The traditional ‘Rounding of the Mares’ has been with the Almonte horsemen for generations. Over a thousand horses are driven across the plains and through the towns of rural Spain. Being a horseman in Almonte is to live the tradition of our ancestors that has existed for over 500 years, to maintain the balance between nature and man. It is something so rooted inside of us, in our blood, that we are born horsemen and our children are born horsemen. The first thing they want to do is go to the marshlands with their fathers and grandfathers. For us the marshlands, the field, the nature, is a religion, a way of life, an identity. It’s a proud responsibility to because you have to maintain what you love. We are horsemen, living in unity with nature and our values. It is a community and a union, between animal and man. I think for a man, where he has lived, what his elders have passed onto him, if he doesn’t preserve this then life has little meaning.”
Running, biking, walking, horseback riding, dining, community, family, vacationing – the full monty here. The tagline for this “Visit Faroe Islands” video is “Unspoiled, Unexplored, Unbelievable.” Let me just call it wonderful.
And if you are asking yourself, self, where are the Faroe Islands? Hit this link. Be sure to check out the “Gallery” Tab. Incredible photographs.
- SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
- Credit: Faroe Islands Photograph by Felix van der Gein
This was the external firm’s third pass at showing their creative pitch. The prior two passes left me inspired. But, they fell short. Like that beautiful pair of Italian shoes that didn’t fit just quite right, it was “off” a wee bit. The team came back a week later. I was expecting a tweak. A tuck. A pinch.
He carried Round Three in a large black portfolio. He placed it carefully on the table. He said good morning. And set the stage as to the evolution of the various creative works that had been previously presented.
He slowly untied the strings on the case. He continued speaking. Our eyes moved to the portfolio. He paused for dramatic effect before opening the flaps. And then walked us through his team’s new recommendation…offering a complete overhaul.
Striking colors on large glossy poster boards.
First One. Then another. A third.
Followed by several smaller sizes carrying a similar theme.
Hand-crafted calligraphic lettering tastefully presenting content.
Our eyes drawn to the images…hummingbirds to nectar.
They nailed it.
I came across this video (unrelated to my experience) and it reminded me of the magical moment last week.
Beautiful. Intelligent. Captivating. Genius.
All those Right-Brainers out there, we Left-Brainers applaud you. Bravo!
The Milk Carton Kids is an indie folk duo from Eagle Rock, California, consisting of singers and guitarists Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan, who formed the group in early 2011. Artists Ryan and Pattengale formed a duo after Ryan attended a solo performance by Pattengale in their shared hometown. Both had long and largely unsuccessful careers as solo performers behind them, and each had reached a professional crossroads.” (Source: Wiki)
Brett Michael Dennen, 33, is a folk/pop singer and songwriter from Northern California. As a young adult, Brett was a Community Studies major at UC Santa Cruz. After graduation he met a visionary woman with an ear for raw talent. Her gift for getting people to listen and share her excitement about his music, were a perfect incubator for his unique voice & insightful songs. Brett started working with Leslie Merical in December 2002. She encouraged him to pursue music seriously and made sure he wasn’t slowed by the challenges most new artists face. Inspired by the good in his lyrics and the reaction to his songs, Merical started by convincing promoters at venues to give him a chance to play, despite his inexperience. She connected with his fans at every show and made them feel like they were part of something wonderful while guiding him along the path most artists have to travel alone. This rest is history. Along the way, he’s been invited to play on Dave Matthews’ Music Cruise, and to tour and/or play on bills with John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Shawn Colvin, ALO, Jackson Brown, Taj Mahal, Ziggy Marley, Xavier Rudd, Corinne Bailey Rae and others. (Source: Brettdennenmusic.com)
“Hy Snell, 94, is an energetic and awe-inspiring gentleman. When asked how he felt about aging, Hy couldn’t even comprehend why we were interested in the topic. It was as if “age” didn’t even exist in his world. For Hy, “age” has had nothing to do with his joy and contentment in life. His immense passion for creating artwork has kept him moving forward without looking back for over seven decades despite his ongoing battle with failing eyesight. At 94 years-old and a dwindling 5% of his eyesight remaining, Hy continues to find inspiration due to the fact that he is literally seeing things differently every day. This fact spoke volumes to us since it is relatable on so many levels. In summary, Hy truly is a living testament who proves that each road block, as tough as it may seem at the time, can provide tremendous opportunity for growth and prosperity.”
Florence + the Machine are an English indie rock band, consisting of lead singer Florence Welch, Isabella “Machine” Summers, and a collaboration of other artists who provide backing music. The band’s debut album, Lungs, was released in 2009 and was one of the best selling albums in 2009 and 2010. The group’s second studio album, Ceremonials, released in October 2011, debuted at number one in the UK and number six in the US. Lungs won the MasterCard British Album award at the 2010 BRIT Awards. At the 53rd Grammy Awards, Florence and the Machine were nominated for Best New Artist. Additionally, the band performed at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Concert.
Florence Welch, 26, was born in London. She was educated at Thomas’s London Day School then went onto Alleyn’s School, South East London, where she did well academically. Welch often got in trouble in school for impromptu singing. Welch has been diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia. She is the daughter of Evelyn Welch, an American Professor of Renaissance Studies at King’s College London and Nick Welch, an advertising executive. Her British father, Nick, contributed a “rock and roll element to the family mix”; in his twenties he used to live in a West End squat and attended the Squatters’ Ball organised by Heathcote Williams where The 101ers played regularly. A self-confessed “frustrated performer”, if Nick, as he put it, “nudged Flo in any way, it’s only been to listen to the Ramones rather than Green Day”. Evelyn had an equally strong yet completely different influence on her daughter. A visit to one of her mother’s lectures left teenage Florence deeply impressed. She explained, “I aspire to something like that but with music. I hope that my music has some of the big themes—sex, death, love, violence—that will still be part of the human story in 200 years’ time”. (Source: Wiki)
The Toure-Raichel Collective was formed in 2008 after a chance meeting at an airport terminal in Berlin, Germany. Raichel and Touré forged a friendship and promised to perform together in concert. They were later joined by Israeli bassist Yossi Fine and Malian calabash player Souleymane Kane. According to Raichel, the group “recorded a mix of Malian rhythms mixed with Israeli melodies — all originals, but very influenced from both our cultures.” This spontaneous and improvised acoustic recording session lasted for three hours and marked the birth of The Touré-Raichel Collective.
The group’s debut album, The Tel Aviv Session, was released on March 27, 2012 and reached the number one spot on the iTunes World Music sales charts and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard World Music Chart. The album link can be found here.
Simon Christen, the producer: This video is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This is where “Adrift” was born. The weather conditions have to be just right for the fog to glide over the hills and under the bridge. I developed a system for trying to guess when to make the drive out to shoot, which involved checking the weather forecast, satellite images and webcams multiple times a day. For about 2 years, if the weather looked promising, I would set my alarm to 5am, recheck the webcams, and then set off on the 45-minute drive to the Marin Headlands. I spent many mornings hiking in the dark to only find that the fog was too high, too low, or already gone by the time I got there. Luckily, once in a while the conditions would be perfect and I was able to capture something really special. Adrift is a collection of my favorite shots from these excursions into the ridges of the Marin Headlands. I hope with my short film I am able to convey the feeling of happiness I felt while I experienced those stunning scenes.
Charles Bradley, 65, was born in Gainesville, Florida. He was raised by his grandmother until the age of eight when, while meeting his mother for the first time, she told him that she wanted him to come live with her in Brooklyn, NY. In 1962, his sister took him to the Apollo Theater to see James Brown perform. Bradley was so inspired by the performance that he began to practice mimicking Brown’s style of singing and stage mannerisms at home. When he was a young teen, Bradley ran away from home and lived on the streets and in subway cars for two years. Later, he enlisted in Job Corps which eventually led him to Maine to work as a chef. One time while working, someone told him he looked like James Brown. Yet when asked if he could sing, he was too afraid to admit it. Eventually he did, however, overcome this fear and performed five or six times with a band. But after his band mates were drafted into the Vietnam War, the act never re-formed. Bradley worked in Maine as a cook for ten years until deciding to head west, hitchhiking across the country. He lived in upstate New York, Seattle, Canada and Alaska before settling in California. There, Bradley worked odd jobs and played small shows for 20 years before he was discovered by Daptone’s Gabe Roth…and then, as they say, the rest was history.
Kodaline are a Dublin-based Irish alternative rock quartet. In December 2012, the BBC announced that Kodaline had been nominated for the Sound of 2013 poll – a poll which surveys music critics and industry figures to find the most promising new music talent.
For Kodaline, music isn’t just music. “It’s therapy,” says singer Steve Garrigan. “When we write music, the first thing we think of is, it’s therapy for us. Then we think of how we can use that feeling to touch as many people as possible.”
Music should have a purpose, you know, – says Steve, Our purpose is honesty.
Steve, Mark and drummer Vinny May – all aged 22 and 23 – have been working towards this moment for much of their young lives. Growing up in houses just two minutes away from each other in Swords, Steve and Mark met aged eight, when they were the only boys in the school choir. “We were there to pick up girls, of course”, jokes Mark.
“…People used to tell me that I had beautiful hands…there were far too many stuffed animals to hold, too many homework assignments to write, too many boys to wave at, too many years to grow. We used to have a game, my dad and I, about holding hands. Cos we held hands everywhere. And every time either he or I would whisper a great big number to the other, pretending that we were keeping track of how many times we had held hands…Hands learn to hold other hands. How to grip pencils and mould poetry. How to tickle piano keys, dribble basketballs and grip the handles of a bicycle. How to hold old people and touch babies. I love hands like I love people…You need a firm handshake, but don’t hold on too tight, but don’t let go too soon, but don’t hold on for too long…
Sarah Kay Bio: Sarah Kay, 24, began performing her spoken-word poetry when she was only 14 years old—quickly becoming a fixture at the famous Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, and from there went on to become a featured speaker at the 2011 TED Conference, where the poem she presented on “The Rediscovery of Wonder” garnered two standing ovations and has now been seen by over two million people online. Sarah is the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E., a education organization that celebrates and inspires self-expression in youth through spoken-word poetry. Through her involvement with the organization, Sarah has taught spoken-word poetry to students of all ages, in classrooms and workshops all over the world. She is also a documentary filmmaker, playwright, singer, songwriter, photographer, and editor for Write Bloody Publishing, and holds a Master’s Degree in The Art of Teaching from Brown University. She is the author of the book B, which was ranked the number one poetry title on Amazon.com. (Source: speakers.ca)
A road in the woods. Three sheep. Big Bad Wolf approaches. Plot for bad outcome. Or made for TV Grimm’s Fairy Tale. Watch this short clip. I actually felt bad for this wolf. Believe this wolf made need some therapy.
Viktoria Yurievna Mullova, 53, is a Russian violinist. She is best known for her performances and recordings of a number of violin concerti, compositions by J.S. Bach, and her innovative interpretations of popular and jazz compositions by Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, The Beatles, and others. She won various prestigious violin competitions (first prize at the 1980 International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki and the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1982). During a tour of Finland in 1983, Mullova and her lover, defected to the West. She currently resides in London. (Source: Wiki)
Source: Thank you Rob @ HammockPapers
- Date: June 12, 2013
- Location: San Rafael, California
- Outcome: No one hurt.
- Situation: 93-year old woman is attempting to parallel park.
- Hero: 18-month old seeing eye guide dog (a Lab) who spots the parallel parker. (Watch dog sense incoming disaster.)
- Summary: WOW! (Watched this 6x)
Source: Thank you Eric
This short trailer opens with a quote by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge:
“…And till my ghastly tale is told, this heart within me burns.”
It’s set in Midway Atoll, North Pacific Ocean, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.
The images are burned into my consciousness.
Those that follow this blog, know about birds and me. No more words required. Take a few minutes and watch. See what we’re doing to our planet.
Thank you Olga for sharing.
Related Post: T.G.I.F. I’m So Happy It’s Friday (Blue-Footed Booby)
This is an award winning short film. And deservedly so. It is long but worthy. A wonderful story of the life of Baltazar Ushca, who for more than 50 years has harvested the glacial ice of Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo to make a living. Beautiful cinematography. Charles Kuralt-like clip.
Good Sunday morning.