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Real Stories from Toronto #2,646,875 – It’s All a Joke

“Why are you always laughing?  Sometimes I don’t even know what you’re laughing about!  Sometimes it’s just mean!”

- Didn’t you get the memo?

“What?  What memo?”

- It’s all a joke.


The Laughing Buddha

The Laughing Buddha

One day a monk walks up to him and asks, “What is the meaning of Zen?”
Smiling as usual, he instantly swung the sack over his shoulder.
“How does one realize Zen?”  Budai then takes up his bag and continues on his way.

From Siddhartha
“…Siddhartha replies that for every true statement there is an opposite one that is also true; that language and the confines of time lead people to adhere to one fixed belief that does not account for the fullness of the truth. Because nature works in a self-sustaining cycle, every entity carries in it the potential for its opposite and so the world must always be considered complete. Siddhartha simply urges people to identify and love the world in its completeness…”

Reviving the Art of Filipino Tribal Tattoos

…from BBC

written by Aya Lowe

Courtesy of BBC

Courtesy of BBC

“The Spanish conquistadors who landed in 1521 dubbed the Philippines as the island of the Painted Ones after the heavily tattooed locals.  Nearly 500 years on, tribal tattooing is almost extinct.  Aya Lowe met the islands’ last practitioner and those trying to keep the tradition alive.

For more than eight decades, Whang-Od has been inking the headhunting warriors and women of her Kalinga tribe.

The simple designs are evocative of the nature around her in the mountainous region of the Cordilleras – outlines of centipedes, trees and snakes or basic geometric patterns such as diamonds and squares.


Kalinga tribal tattoo artist Whang-Od. Image courtesy of BBC

These, she says, are “earthly messengers from the gods [that] protect you from enemies or bad spirits”.


courtesy of BBC

Not for the light-hearted, this slow, primitive method is extremely painful and would have been endured for short periods only. Large tattoos might take several months to complete.”

Read full article here




Social Media

Here’s a doc and an interview for some insight on the significance of social media in today’s world.


Generation Like

Frontline (USA) explores how the perennial teen quest for identity has migrated to social media – and how big brands are co-opting young consumers’ digital presence.

Check out the full doc here


And here’s “In Conversation”: An interview with Diplo (Mad Decent founder) and Kevin Systrom (Instagram founder) 


I’ve deleted all my Social Media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud).  I used to be pretty active, but at this point in my life, it just doesn’t feel right (no rational explanation really).

But I’m blogging this as an information thing: social media is a very important and relevant tool in today’s world.  For those of you unfamiliar with Soundcloud:
– You can Google it :P
– It’s a social media too, but like Instagram is to photos, Soundcloud is to music.  I’ve discovered plenty of underground music there from all over the world that I wouldn’t have found anywhere else.  It’s good shit.

Slumdog Millionaire

…directed by Danny Boyle (UK)

“A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.”

And just because I think that this is a powerful intro:

Slumdog Millionaire – O Saya (Video Full Song) by Tseries


Check out the IMDB page here

Real Stories from Toronto #0,458,799 – Comfortable

Two friends were watching a dude on the TV dancing for an audition.  He was wearing a patterned hammer pants.

Friend 1:  Fucking slick moves.  Not diggin’ the pants though.

Friend 2:  Yeah…but that’s what he’s comfortable with.


Steve Jobs: Founder of Apple. Revolutionized communications technology among many other things. Outfit: Where's Waldo shirt, plain blue jeans, barefoot.

Steve Jobs (left): Founder of Apple.
Revolutionized communications technology among many other things.
Outfit: Where’s Waldo shirt, plain blue jeans, barefoot.

Breakdancers dressed up as Buddhist Monks

Breakdancers dressed up as Buddhist Monks


Lady Gaga: Singer and Songwriter

good point

Favela on Blast

…directed by Diplo, as Wesley Pentz (USA) and Leandro HBL (Brazil)

“For 20 years, a subculture has emerged in Brazil under society’s radar.  It is the culture surrounding ‘funk carioca’, a musical rhythm which mixes the American electronic funk of the 1980’s with the most diverse influences of Brazilian music.  ‘Baile funk’ is one of the most interesting musical movements in the world, but it comes from what is at times, one of the most violent and poorest places in the world: the slums of Rio de Janeiro (favelas).  this music is the personalization of the raw element.  Bombastic rhythms coming from the American Miami Bass and samples are fused with powerful rap vocals using Brazilian slang.  This documentary tells stories of sex, love, poverty, and pride among Rio’s marginalized people.  They have their own language, style, and heroes.  It’s a film that’s fast, heavy, and violent like the city itself.”
Written by Mad Decent 

favela on blast – us version – with english subtitles from joonspoon on Vimeo.


Check out Mad Decent’s (Diplo) site here
And Mosquito Project (Leandro HBL) here

And check out the flick’s IMDB page here

Real Stories from the World #6,316,900 – Don’t be Afraid

Several years back, I went on vacation to Mexico.

I was with my mother, but she doesn’t dive so I went by myself, along with other divers and local dive masters.

I sat on the boat silently as we waited to arrive at our dive point.

The local dive master stood in front of me as we were both at the front of the boat.
He stood, head high with his arms crossed.

I was looking at the water.

“Don’t be afraid,” he calmly said to me.


Amidst my silence, he saw right through my cloak of defence… No one else in the boat seems to have noticed… Or maybe, no one else in the boat knew how to speak of things that people like to hide from others as well as ourselves.

Definitions and Usage

Layman’s Terms
To put something in layman’s terms is to describe a complex or technical issue using words and terms that the average individual (someone without professional training in the subject area) can understand, so that they may comprehend the issue to some degree.
Instead of saying:
“You need a new piston, valve guides, stator, and counter-shaft balancer”
In layman’s terms you’d say:
“There are some internal parts that need replaced”
Urban Dictionary

Wand Erection
A funnier and more accurate name for one direction (boy band)
Friend 1: Hey do you like one direction?
Friend 2: More like Wand Erection
Urban Dictionary


Knowledge Application:



Be Amazing: Never stop learning.

Real Stories from Toronto #0,456,899 – Prefrontal Cortex: Win

In mammalian brain anatomy, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the thick outer layer (cerebral cortex) of the prefrontal lobe (the front portion of the frontal lobe). The PFC contains Brodmann areas 9,10111246, and 47

The most typical psychological term for functions carried out by the prefrontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social “control” (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially unacceptable outcomes).
- Wikipedia


A couple of nuns talked to me about my paintings the other day.  They seemed real nice, you know.  Calm demeanor and such, but my guards were up…
because I had to filter out a memory about my grand aunt who used to be a nun.

She got kicked out of the convent because she was caught sexing it up with another nun.

I was able to maintain a pretty good conversation though because I just kind of told my brain to “keep moving” when that came up in the database.


Prefrontal Cortex: Win


Read more about the Prefrontal Cortex here

Digital is Not a Medium

Someone said to me, “There’s a stigma in the arts world about how digital isn’t a real medium. They say it’s not natural.”

1. They’re right. Digital isn’t a medium. It’s a platform or an adjective to describe a medium. The medium would be the laptop or Wacom tablet or turntable or whatever.

2. What’s superficial to one person, may be perfectly natural to somebody else.


Dear Digital Artists,

If someone gives you flack for using digital, repeat after me:
“Suck my dick.”

That is all. Thank you.