AMAZING BAND…ITSUE

I just stumbled on this Japanese band named Itsue by accident when a video was forwarded by Reddit. Needless to say, I jumped on buying the CDs (yes, I like to hold my music as well as listen to it) and was excited to receive one of them called “Ikutsumo no E“. Here’s a sample of one of the songs on their first album release back in 2012:

Between Mizuki’s beautiful vocals and the powerful instrumental accompaniment by her equally talented bandmates, it’s easy to tell that Itsue (イツエ) is going to have an amazing music career if they stay true to their sound. Their sound is so much more deeper than other JPOP groups (though I haven’t been keeping up with the new groups) that it really draws you in from the first note. Their second album, Tonight Absolutely (今夜絶対) ) is going to be released on 1/21/15 and I for one can’t wait to hear it since they haven’t released anything in a couple of years.

Music is the universal rhythm that links us to the mysteries of life, and teaches us lessons that resonate deep in our souls. And now this amazing band, Itsue, is about to embark on broadening their sound to the world, one song at a time.

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When We Work Together

Curiosity takes a selfie....on Mars (courtesy: NASA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So after thinking about all of the difficulties that we have living with one another, here’s a reminder of what can be accomplished when we work together. This selfie of Curiosity, taken ON MARS, should just blow your mind when you think of everything that went into not only creating the rover but also getting it to another planet. Think about how tricky it is to calculate the distance due to the planetary movements around the sun (see more details from Universe Today) and just what scientists have to think about when planning such amazing feats of discovery. Read more about the latest happenings with the Mars rover to see the incredible accomplishments that NASA and science agencies just like them around the world do on a daily basis.

We should also congratulate Great Britain after we found out that Beagle2 did actually land on Mars back in 2003. Though the mission had not managed to gain contact with the lander after its launch, they learned over a decade later that they had actually succeeded in their endeavor through a recent NASA image. Read more about it on ESA’s site and congratulate another insanely smart team for making their dreams come true.

*Thanks to Reddit for being just as curious and amazed at what humans are capable of doing.

Now, if only we humans on the planet Earth could remember just how important collaboration is to our own survival. The news doesn’t have to be filled with only gloomy predictions. It’s up to us, together, just as it always has been!

…just saying

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Sorrow…Followed By Anger

JE SUIS CHARLIE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I keep rewriting this because my emotions are in a jumble. The Charlie Hebdo massacre (there really is nothing else to call this) has hit me as hard as 9/11 did. Though the scale is different, the feeling is just as devastating. Sorrow…followed by an increasing anger has become a common theme for so many of us. Something has got to change.

It is just too early in this new year for these bad events to continue to escalate in the way that they always seem to. It’s especially hard because so many of these bad happenings all have a common foundation: the increasing loss of our freedoms. Whether it is by corporations, governments, or religious groups (or some individual who just wants to crush anyone), a majority of people are losing themselves at the expense of a status quo’s belief systems. And that is why this particular moment is resounding within me (and so many others).

Any creative person who values freedom during the creation process will feel this personally. Any attack on our ability to freely create (while hopefully respecting multiple perspectives) is tantamount to attacking us personally. If you don’t respect our right to our own opinion, then who knows what else you’ll disrespect or how far you’ll go to stop us? And that is why this latest attack is just one more in a series that aims at taking away our freedoms, one at a time. Or worse, take away our very lives, which aren’t yours to take.

We have to change the way that we interact with one another. We have to learn to respect the idea that ours isn’t the only way to do, think, or act. We have to realize that the world will only feel smaller if we’re all fighting to take our own piece of it, while screwing everyone else.

Beliefs are  as abundant as they are diverse. There is no one right anything. Until each and every one of us truly understands this, we won’t have a different or better future.

Sorrow….followed by anger just isn’t any way to live.

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A New View

Bruce McCandless untethered flight (courtesy: NASA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t this view inspiring? Although most of us will never understand what this will feel like, we’re all looking for something that will change our perspective. We also hope that it won’t take something drastic to make us open our eyes and experience life as it’s meant to be felt.

We’ve spent the past few years (or longer) going through tough times, and realizing that those times are not equal for everyone. When we question whether the light will actually help or hurt us, we know that we’re not in a good place in our lives. So how do we make it better? That’s the question that we’re all asking one another, while we’re waiting for someone to give us the ultimate answer. Which is not 42 (though we still look to Douglas Adams to see if maybe it might be).

I’ve slowed down on my writings this year because the turning point for me still hasn’t been fully reached yet. And it won’t be until I finally take those steps onto the new path I am yearning for and need to take if I’m to really set my creativity free. I hope that you all have still found those creative inspirations that you need out there without the arrows that I toss out on occasion.

We’re still awaiting what 2015 will bring. The changes which have just now started to take shape will need a lot of help if they’re to grow in this new year. What will you do to change your perspective and perhaps the world? Here’s to hoping that whatever it is, it will fill you with joy and wonder. Much like this image of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II taking an untethered flight during STS-41-B feels like.

Only you can know how high you will fly. Have a Happy New Year!!!

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And Then…Heartbreak

All of the problems in this world seem to stem from one major flaw that we all have: we don’t want to listen to one another anymore. I’m not saying that it happens all of the time, but it happens at critical times that lead to major breakdown and heartbreak. Just look at the news and you’ll see examples from the top down to the very “bottom” of society. Yes, bottom is in quotes because it encompasses way more people than those on the top.

Frustrations? Don’t you see them all around you?

  • Religions bash one another and then go after those who question them.
  • Officials denigrate their opponents and then go after those who question them.
  • Institutions claim respect, but don’t reciprocate to those who question them.
  • Families try to support one another, but then lash out when another member questions them.
  • Children are ignored by adults because they are seen as too young to know any better, and then treat one another as adults have treated them.

Why do we have to live in this cycle of breakdown? At one time we knew that if something was broken, then you fix it and make it even better. But after seeing so much carnage, we don’t know where to start to fix the breaks because they’re everywhere.

One point of contention: Could we please stop saying that we are a nation of rules. It simply is not true. Rules are meant to be universally applied, not selectively. That’s why the frustration just keeps growing. When you are surrounded by a system that is full of excuses and exceptions, then it’s just not working! If you know this, then stop saying that rules count. They don’t until they apply equally to ALL. They especially don’t when they change to fit only certain convenient circumstances and are driven by the few who can make the rules. Rules shouldn’t be made by a select few, then expected to be followed by everyone else, unless those who make the rules are also going to follow them as they expect them to be followed….with no loopholes just for them!

 

 

 

 

 

Talking is good when we actually listen to the content and feelings behind the words we speak. Empty words from a podium mean nothing because they talk down and don’t talk with. Conversations must be a two-way street.

We all understand with the depths of our hearts that there is so much to fix. But we also know that the system is not equipped to make this happen without change. If you want to see change, then take a subject and see how far forward you can move it. Ignore the norms, because like rules, they are meant to be change to work with what the times require. Change brings with it new norms that are hopefully more balanced and acceptable. Make the world into the most inspirational hopes you carry.

Because there has got to be more to life than this…

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Norway Is Beauty Abound

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seriously, Norway is one of the most beautiful places in the world!!!

This image by elmofoto presented on Reddit is like shining lights into your brain. Every image I see of Norway makes me fall in love a little bit more. There was even a house hunter show that made me drool in envy. Perhaps I have some Viking blood in me that keeps drawing me to this land of enchantment? All I can say is that this image is the exclamation point to my dreams to go see this land of magic. If you have wanderlust, then follow it until you reach your desired destination. The world is a very large place and it’s full of wonders like this.

Just like my favorite motto from the Hobbit reminds me: Not all those who wander are lost. There is no way that experiencing something like this is anything but life-altering. And we could all do with more of that, don’t you think?

- Elmofoto, please keep sharing images like this with the rest of us. We need to reminder to live!

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Congratulations, Rosetta, Philae and ESA

 

A belated congratulations to the amazing team at the European Space Agency (ESA) who have accomplished an incredible feat after 10 long years of travel to a speeding comet, 67P. To find out more about this historic moment, read the Guardian coverage on ESA’s Rosetta Space Probe or go visit ESA’s site to find out more about what they do.

As I mentioned before, our curiosity is our biggest motivation for exploring the unknown. No matter the difficulties and obstacles, we persevere through the peaks and valleys because we can only guess at what wonders the final destination might hold. All of the space agencies around the world have accomplished so many firsts that seeks to not only broaden human minds but also deepen our knowledge of the universe around us.

Find out more about our space programs and support these travelers who seek to go “where no man has gone before” (thank you Star Trek for putting stars in our eyes):

Space.com – read the latest astronomy and space news

National Geographic – learn about the planets and space

Science Daily – read about the latest science news covering a wide range of studies

Find out about other space agencies through NASA and Wikipedia

 

There are as many places to learn about science as there are studies. Whether it’s online or at a museum, go visit and see what science has uncovered. Your mind will love the stimulus!

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Whatever You Do….Love It

The world feels like it’s broken to so many. That’s why we need to listen to those people who remind us to do what we love.

It’s really easy to do what is necessary. After rinsing and repeating, that life starts to seep into the deepest part of you, intertwining with your very bones. You feel tired because it saps all that makes you YOU. The reminders to chase your dreams make us angry because it’s not a real option to so many when every day life demands something much more insidious and destructive. We resent what we feel we cannot have. We are afraid to wake up to life. We are afraid to feel alive because we know how much it hurts when we lose something important to us.

The norm is wrapped up attractively because it knows that once we look deeper, we’ll find nothing. Nothing of consequence. Nothing lasting. Nothing awe-inspiring.

The awe-inspiring only occurs when you find something that moves you on the inside. For me it was flying and writing. For others, it is creating works of art. And on an on through the list of the interesting that seeks to find like minds. Minds that are willing to open up to the challenge of making something with your heart and soul.

Those reminders we’re told to ignore because it isn’t practical resound loudly in the normal world. Well, practicality has created the broken world that we now live in. Practicality seeks to numb us so that we won’t fight. Practicality means being servile to something destructive because it compromises our very essence. And each essence is so important to making the world vibrant and growing. Not by worshiping at the altar of tangible measurement, but by destroying that very altar if it seeks to control through fear and intimidation.

Creation means embracing what we fear so that we can smash what holds us back. So do what I do and surround yourself with things that are beautiful or ugly, just as long as they are things that make your heart stutter and your soul tremble. Those awakenings are what so many find so dangerous, because they know that shackles cannot bind those who still stand and pull against them with all of their might while reaching for freedom.

Display those reminders that move you so that you see them everyday. You need the reminder that it is not wrong to chase your dreams.

Whatever you do… love it with all of your might. What comes from this relationship just may help others around you who find it harder to hear the whispering of the soul.

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Pushing the Limits

This is what pushing the limits can result in: A discovery of a new world, unknown to all but a few.

 

The tragic loss of the Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo and part of its crew is another harsh reminder that exploring the unknown will never be easy. Mainstream news and some of the public will try to cast doubts upon endeavors such as this, but they also disrespect all those actual attempts to conquer the unknown that humans have made throughout our history.

If someone hadn’t been curious about what’s on the other side of the ocean, then the “New World” would not have been found. If someone wasn’t curious about the biodiversity of the planet, then today’s science would not be around to help us chart our future. If curiosity was dampened, then we would have little to learn outside of our own limited understanding.

There is much to be said for encouraging curiosity, for it broadens our horizons so that events like the first moon walk by Neil Armstrong could be shared by all who watched. He wasn’t just part of a small crew walking upon a place not of this Earth. He was a representative for each and every one of us who wanted to explore the unknown and come out a better person for the experience. He is a member of a long list of people who helped each discovery mesh into our collective knowledge, building new creations with each new beam of light cast into the dark.

Our modern world exists because of those who ignore the “you must be crazy” outbursts that comes from status quo. Each discovery helped shape us, who in turn help shape the world as we know it. All that technology that makes life so easy is a direct result of every person who risks it all as they push the limits. We have to say thanks to every explorer for who we are as a civilization. Without the curiosity, we’d still be living in the dark ages. Without the yearning for more, we would never have seen or experienced anything close to this (THANK YOU NASA for helping to open our horizons):

Apollo 11 over Mare Smythii with Earth (courtesy of NASA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So to all you naysayers, sorry but we’re going to continue to push the limits in honor of those who gave their all during every such endeavor. They are the ones who allow us to dream, and I for one thank each and every one of you brave souls!

The universe is a very big place, and every one of us has the opportunity to join the voyage of discovery. It just might help you discover yourself.

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Remember

A tribute to the lost by Bruce MacKinnon of the Halifax Chronicle Herald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all probably know a person who has served or is serving in the armed forces in our country. If you lived as a dependant of one of them, then you are intimately aware of the sacrifices they give on a daily basis. We also have memorials and holidays that pay tribute to their actions throughout human history. But do we really appreciate what they do if it doesn’t personally affect us in our daily lives?

Bruce MacKinnon of the Halifax Chronicle Herald created a powerful tribute to a fallen soldier whose life was cut short from senseless violence.

Most of violence is senseless in its fundamental action, but our response to these moments of violence should be full of sense. Our daily thoughts and actions need to honor those who choose a life that is not for the faint of heart for it is not an easy one. It shouldn’t only happen at monuments or on special holidays. That would be disrespectful to the hearts of the soldiers. It should continue every single day, towards every single person, so that those who serve do not ever serve in vain.  The living and the dead are teaching us valuable lessons that should change society for the better. They knew best that wars are an ugly business and should never be the main foundation for the the living.

Remember what they do and just try to live up to their memories. Those memories can make us all better people.

 

p.s. and thank you very much to Bruce MacKinnon for making such a powerful reminder of the sacrifices that hurt the heart but strengthen the soul.

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