deviantART

Today is deviantART‘s 8th birthday!  For today and tomorrow all sorts of crazy festivities will be happening across the site.  What better time to join than now?

Even if you’re not an artist, you can certainly join as an art appreciator.  There is some really fantastic art on dA, and variety to please anyone.  The community is stellar as well.  The forums and chats are full of people, as would be expected with over 8 million deviants!

If you are an artist, there are great opportunities on dA to grow and learn and become better at what you do.  And really, who doesn’t want that?

So join deviantART today!

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StumbleUpon

For the last couple months, I’ve been absolutely addicted to StumbleUpon.  It would follow, that I’ve found some pretty cool things.  Cool things which I am going to link to now.

How to Make Surprise Balls I will definitely be making these cute and creative party favors next time I get a chance to.

A Calendar for 12-Sided Die This is both unbelievably nerdy and wonderfully functional.  I’m going to be fitting one of my d12s with this baby soon.

A Field Guide to the People of America This hilarious guide is not only helpful for visiters to America, but to its own citizens as well.

The Automatic Flatterer Sometimes we all need that little extra boost to the self-esteem.

Wear Science! I am so asking for one of these t-shirts for my birthday.  They are awesome and nerdy and funny and stylish all wrapped up into one.

Best Positions in Bed As provocative as the title is, the photos are only of adorable animals.  The third picture is basically how I sleep. 😀

Awesome It’s the truth.  Seriously.

Right Brain/Left Brain Quiz It seems pretty accurate to me, although I certainly can’t vouch for you.  I’m more right brained than left brained, but it’s pretty close to equal.  How about you?

Write Your Name in Elvish It’s quick and simple, with easy to understand instructions.  Very cool for the Tolkien fans!

7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable I read this, and spent the rest of the day outside and being productive.  I suggest you do the same.  It’s a great article.

5 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Apocalypse Could Actually Happen Holy crap, the zombies are gonna kill us all!

You Can Get Arrested for That? Two guys crossing the country on a trip to test all the craziest laws they can find.  Give it a read, it’s pretty sweet.

Photobombers I’m really not sure if I should tell you to always be “that guy” or to never be “that guy.”

Computer Rap I don’t know who these people are, I don’t know what site they’re on and I don’t know what prompted this.  But they have my immense respect and adoration for being so fucking kickass.

The Coupon I am seriously considering doing this around my own town and seeing how people react.  It’s a wonderful idea.

Coolness You’ll never be four-popped-collars cool.

Most Beautiful Eye Colors These really are some stunning eye colors.  I can’t believe some of them are natural!

What’s Right Isn’t Always Popular I completely agree with the author of this post.  Really.  It sounds cold-hearted, but logic does tend to be.

Emotional Stability Chart Just kind of a cool little chart, really.  I think we all have a little bit of all four groups in us.

Sand Mandala My Global teacher this past year taught us about Buddhist sand mandalas.  The Buddhist monks lay out the sand by hand in amazingly intricate patterns.  Then they destroy them.  It’s an amazing practice, really.

Life is Divine Chaos So unbelievably true.

My hat is made of eggs. Your argument is invalid.

Classical Mythology Family Tree I never get tired of looking at this type of thing.  Mythology fascinates me, especially the family trees of the gods.

Ize sorry I endanjured u. I seriously spent forever just looking at this and “aww”-ing.  Partially because it’s so fucking adorable it makes you want to look at it for the rest of your life.  Partially because HOLY FUCKING SHIT I WANT TO HUG A PANDA.

The Monster Collection of Moleskine Tips, Tricks, and Hacks Now, I know, the solution for all of these is just to go out and buy a notebook that does that stuff.  And I know that Moleskines are probably overrated and overpriced.  But damned if I haven’t been coveting them for years.

One Sentence Stories One sentence stories are alarmingly awesome, and I someday hope to do something worthy of writing one of these.

Turtle Attacks Strawberry Another picture I spent forever just looking at.  That strawberry never saw it coming.

John Oliver Quite possibly the most epic thing ever.

Technoviking No one can ever possibly hope to be a fraction as awesome as the Technoviking.  Seriously.  Don’t even try.  You’ll just end up hurting yourself.

Underwater City Am I the only person who seriously thinks this needs to be built?  Like, now?  Seriously?

Catbus Someone made a real Catbus, inspired by the movie My Neighbor Totoro.  Whoever made this, I love you forever.

Rock, Paper, Scissors 25 This is not your grandmother’s game of rock, paper, scissors.  This is rock, paper, scissors taken to a WHOLE NOTHER LEVEL.

French Military Victories I am sorry, France.  I know you have had your shining moments in history.  Any country that can completely school America in the art of revolution (you got it right, we fucked it up) has my respect.

America’s Facebook Page During the Civil War If anyone knows where I can find and/or make more of this type of thing, I will love you forever.

Communist cat misunderstands party.

Bra Meter It’s so true.  I have “almost boobs.” ._. (And here I had promised never to use those faces in my blog.  Oops.)

Green Vertical Farms in New York City I don’t know if this is a feasible idea or not, but I totally hope it is.

Don’t Argue With the Gay Flight Attendant I love this anecdote.  It is hilarious and I wish I had been there to witness it.

Thing in a Jar This is my favorite thing ever and I am so going to make a ton of them and give them out to my friends.

Antigravity I really wanted to try this with my friend’s cat, but she wouldn’t let me.  Without her there to witness it anyway.

10 Badasses From the Pages Of History This was part of the inspiration for my Theodore Roosevelt post.  And IS totally badass.

Ultimate Gadgets for a Hi-Tech Home I would love to have most of what’s on here, but I desperately want the rotating kitchen.

Target Practice This guy is my hero.  End of story.

The 11 Most Badass Last Words Ever Uttered Yes.  Just…yes.

Here’s Your Aww For Today 70 of the cutest animal photos ever.  If you didn’t even crack a smile while looking at this, you are not human.

Vote for Nobody A great statement, and somewhat reminiscent of the Odyssey.

15 Creative and Unique Bookcases and Bookshelves I wish I had enough wallspace (and money for that matter) for all of these.

When Insults Had Class Ever since I read this, I have found myself trying to use more classy insults.  I have not fared well.

When Volcanoes Spew Lightning No, the volcano isn’t really spewing lightning.  But does that make this photo any less fucking awesome?  Hell no.

LSD vs. Alcohol vs. Tree And so, so much more.

15 Amazing Tree Houses I would so totally live in any of those.

Types of Bad Kissers Learn from the mistakes of others.  Do not be any of these types of kissers.  Seriously.  Don’t.  IS NOT GOOD.

Shit Happens I love this poster.  I would totally get it for my room if my parents would let me have anything that swears.  Seriously.

All 120 Crayon Names I’m 14 and I still love to color in coloring books with my little cousins.  Crayola is amazing.

Welcome to the Future See what the future holds in store for us?  Aren’t you excited?

Overheard in New York People say stupid shit when they think people aren’t listening.  Or even when they know people are listening.  Some people are just stupid.

8 Most Badass Pokemon Ever Imagined This made me so glad the Pokemon world is fictional.

Coolest Sofa Ever This would be so handy for me and my friends’ sleepovers.  And it would also go great with the rotating kitchen above.

Casulo Apartment in a Box I would totally furnish my bedroom with this.  It is a wonderful, wonderful invention.  And goes well with the coolest sofa ever, immediately above.

Shakespearean Insult Kit Bring the classy insults back.  Also, try to call people “puking fat-kidneyed maggot-pies” with a straight face.  You will laugh your head off.

Alice in Wonderland Style I would totally wear all of these outfits and see if people could guess who I was.  Although, I admit to not yet reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  Shame on me.

Why Geeks Make Better Boyfriends As decidedly stereotypical this article may be, I must agree – geeks and nerds make the best boyfriends.

Global Personality Test Scarily accurate.  Seriously.  It had me down to the letter.

50 Ways to Help the Planet These are all simple and quick ways to help out the environment.  Don’t believe in global warming?  So what?  Try some of it anyways.  The environment really isn’t something we should be fucking up.

Hidden Pictures This picture is not only beautiful, but it’s wonderfully detailed and it’s fun to try and find all the hidden images!

The 10 Most Terrifyingly Inspirational 80s Songs Let the record show that I love every song on this list.  But when they said that The Final Countdown’s “colonizing Venus” theme is ridiculous?  I blank-stared the computer for like 15 minutes.  That’s what makes the song fucking amazing, bitches.

How to Be a Successful Evil Overlord Useful tips for all you out there looking to take over the world.  Don’t pretend you don’t want to.  I know you do.

American Society for the Prevention of Velociraptor Attacks Don’t think it couldn’t happen to you.  Be warned.  Be prepared.

The First Underwater Hotel I don’t know about you, but I would love to visit this hotel.

Politics Explained This is all well and good, but I have an even better explanation for politics.  The Latin root “poli-” means “many” and the term “tics” refers to “small blood-sucking creatures.”  It is the truth.

Top 10 Strange Phenomena of the Mind I, for one, am in a constant state of l’esprit de l’escalier.  The witty, wonderful thoughts always come after the fact.

The Planet’s First 0 Carbon and 0 Waste City What can I say?  I’m hopeful and an optimist.

Where Does Blue End and Red Begin? Find out here.

Seven Deadly Sins The Seven Deadly Sins, combined and redefined for the modern world.

And there we go.  My favorite links from 123 pages of things I’ve found and liked on StumbleUpon.  I’m sure I’ll be posting more eventually.

Hidden Insight

My last few posts have been particularly philosophical.  That sort of got me thinking.  How much brilliant insight and thought is scattered throughout little-read blogs?  Sure, you’d have to wade through a fair amount of trash to find out, but hell, maybe it’s worth a shot.  Who knows what you’d find?

It’s the knowledge of the crowd out there.  So much is available to learn, so many people are out there to meet, so many things are right there to be seen.  And while experiencing it all through a computer screen might not be ideal, it is so much better than ignorance.

Is there a revolutionary in the house?

Yesterday, I watched Moulin Rouge! and it got me thinking.  In the late 1800s, we had there was the Bohemian Revolution.  People were heavily involved in the arts, willingly lived in poverty, and were never afraid to speak their minds.  In the 1950s, there were the beatniks, who encouraged spontaneity and openness.  Eventually, they gave way to the Counterculture Revolution of the 60s, more commonly known as the hippies, who wanted nothing more than peace and personal freedom.

But what do we have nowadays?  This is a time where incredible things are being made possible.  Where are the revolutionaries to jump at every opportunity?  Some argue that the punk subculture is the modern-day equivalent, but I have to disagree.  Have you ever met the people who classify themselves as punks?  They’re far from being the rebellious spirits necessary.

Some truly Internet-savvy minds could say that Anonymous is gaining power to the point where it could be a revolution.  After all, they’ve already staged protests against Scientology.  They’ve gone from being a purely Internet entity to organizing and unifying in real life.  I don’t know if Anonymous has the power to truly become a driving force, but the track it’s on right now could definitely take them in that direction.  Odds are, however, that they’ll stay nothing more than a group in the realm of computers.  If this has your mind completely boggled, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_%28group%29 here’s the Wikipedia article about Anonymous, and here’s the (likely more useful, but also more…uh, racy) Encyclopedia Dramatica article http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/Anonymous  If you decide to explore more of ED, I am not responsible for any mental scarring you may endure.

Art and it’s Obvious Subjectivity

In my Global class, we’re learning about the Renaissance.  I love to learn about it; it’s a fascinating topic.  But here’s what gets me: the art of the era.  I’m talking specifically about Leonardo da Vinci.  Yes, it’s very well done.  But let’s face it: there’s nothing particularly fantastic about the Mona Lisa.  Hell, when it comes to the Vitruvian Man, it wasn’t even anatomically correct.

All art is subjective – that’s one of the most basic rules of it.  That’s why we have massive debates going on around the online art community.  Here are some of the bigger questions, and arguments for and against them:

-Is anime art? 

For: Yes.  It’s drawing, and most of the time it shows the emotions of the artist just as much as, say, realism or cubism does.  It’s just a question of how well it’s done.  A lot of people say it isn’t art, simply because of it’s increasing popularity.

Against: No.  It’s childish cartoons that doesn’t require any real talent.

-Is photography art?

For: Yes.  There are just as many components to photography as there are to drawing or painting.  There’s composition, lighting, angle, and many other things to consider.  Also, if you’re using film, there’s the process of developing to consider.

Against: No.  It’s just aiming a camera and clicking a button.  It’s nowhere near as complicated as more traditional forms of art.

Is it easy to tell which side I support for both?  It should be.  I don’t know if anyone remembers it, but there was an instance where an artist chained up a starving dog in a gallery and called it art.  Now that, I am dead against.  Anything that involves harming a living thing is not art.  In some extreme circles, it could be performance art.  What amazes me is that the artists were surprised when the art patrons complained.  I mean, come on.  If you’re going to do something that controversial, don’t be freaking shocked when people are against it.  It’s to be expected.

Another thing in online art communities: people get freaked out when they get critiqued.  Now, this isn’t, obviously, on ConceptArt, because it’s a community for critique.  I’ve seen it mostly on deviantART.  They get showered with “OMG so cute!” comments, and they get spoiled.  Then they freak and say they’re being flamed when they get critique.  That kind of annoys me.  They’re posting their work on the Internet, where there is no censorship, and anyone can say what they want within reason.  Some people will be harsher than others.  It’s just another thing to be expected.

Internet Tough Guy Syndrome

On the Internet, identity hidden behind a screen, people show who they really are. They become less afraid to say what they want, less afraid of people judging them. But for some people, this is for the worse. They get what some call “Internet Tough Guy Syndrome.” I believe there’s a Penny Arcade strip that explains it perfectly.

Internet Dickwad Theory

But why? Why do so many people feel the need to act tough or idiotic on the Internet? Who are they trying to impress? Or are they just trying to take out their frustration with their lives on people they don’t know, with no guilt? I think the last one is the most likely. What do you think?

———-

Here’s another thing: chatspeak. I hate it. It’s not any easier to read, in some cases it takes longer to type, and it’s just a general bastardization of the English language. What’s the point of it? I wish I could say I’ve only seen teens use it on IM or when texting, but that’s not the case. I’ve seen it used in essays, in formal conversations, etc. By adults. Now, I know that English isn’t the easiest language. But that’s no reason to rape your native language. It makes me sad. Language is a beautiful thing, and it doesn’t deserve to be treated with such disrespect.