It's been a bit, hasn't it? I just remembered you and the realization that I hadn't written in so long sent me into a tailspin of guilt. Granted, we've had a lot going on (more on that here). And don't think I haven't been writing. I have.
Oh, how I've been writing.
When last I corresponded, I was in the middle of the second draft of Phileas Reid. I'm still in the second draft of Phileas Reid. I've taken a small break from Phileas to write a web series. It's a story I had three years ago (or longer, depending on when you're reading this) back in the spring of 2010, but I've sat on it till now.
It's called Illumination, Inc. and the reason I've sat on this sci-fi rom-com for so long is that I've had a hard time figuring it out. The story hasn't changed, but I've had a hard time figuring out how to tell it. The original thought and outline for the story was as a feature-length film. But not having the money to bring that film into fruition kept me from committing too much time to writing it. So I flirted with turning into a novel or a graphic novel but neither really seemed to suit it.
Illumination, Inc. is and was always a cinematic story idea. So when I heard that Point of View Pictures, the production company run by my long-time partner-in-crime Tom Goddard, was gearing up to produce a web series this summer, inspiration struck. I called up Tommy and pitched him Illumination, Inc. He loved it, which meant I had to write it.
Knowing that you're writing for a production that doesn't have a budget, you really need an idea that's bigger than the story you're telling. That's the key element in all my favorite independent films. The writer/director finds a big idea and then uses a small story to explore that idea. The big idea overshadows the small story and makes the entire production seem grander. For great examples of this, check out Pi, Primer, Reservoir Dogs and District 9. Another way to distract from your small budget and small production is to fill your production with talent. See also: Garden State and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
At the heart of Illumination, Inc. is the idea of being able to control your dreams and live out whatever fantasies you have. You couple that with the romantic idea of finding the person of your dreams and you have the basic foundation of the web series.
Illumination, Inc. will be a seven episode web series that will be filmed locally (in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee) this summer (2013). Post production is scheduled to begin in August with a tentative release scheduled for this fall.
You can check out the website for it here, like it on Facebook here, and follow my (hopefully) more regular writing updates here.
I'm reading the first draft and boy, is it rough. There's the occasional passage or paragraph that makes me smile with pride, but most of these sentences are making my shudder. I still like the story and I try to remind myself of that: This story is good. It just needs to be told better. The reader deserves that. And I need to be able to sleep at night, knowing I've crafted the best book I could and that it's not out there, embarrassing me.
I was in my house. It was one of those situations where you've never been in the building before, but you intrinsically know that it's your home. I was all alone, wandering the empty halls and rooms looking for something. In the nursery, I found a chest. In the chest were old yearbooks, photographs, and the thing I had been looking for: A beat-up notebook.
I began flipping through the notebook. It was filled with old and abandoned ideas. There were story outlines, character descriptions, and questions that had once meant something to me but now I couldn't remember what they were connected to. Exploring the notebook filled me with an intense melancholy. There was so much unfulfilled potential.
Then, as if alive, the pages began pulling away from me. They ripped themselves out of the book. They began flying around the room. As they flew, they filled the room. It was an avalanche of ink-filled paper. I tried to crawl to the door, but the ideas couldn't sustain my weight. I began to sink. I tried to swim, but to no avail.
I woke up, sweaty and clammy. My fever was broken and a deep, disturbing chill was clinging to my chest.
As I begin the second draft of Phileas Reid Knows We're Not Alone, I want to get the ball rolling on the next step, which is publication. The dream, of course, is to be able to walk into any given book store and find copies of this adventure in the young adult section -- which means I'm preparing myself for a lot of rejection letters from a lot of major publishing companies. But I want them to understand what they'll be saying "no" to, should they -- when they -- opt to say "no." I want to put together a mock book for them. I'll send the manuscript in several formats for their own ease of reading, but I also want to send them the most complete idea of what the book could and can be. I also want to edit together a teaser trailer/pitch for them to watch, using all this same art. I want it to be hard for them to say "no, thanks." Which brings me to the subject line of this post: I need an artist. You don't need to have any kind of professional experience. This is going to be my first book, it could be your first book too. I'm looking for strong character and graphic design. Because, ultimately, everyone might say "no" to this book. But I believe in it. I believe in the characters and I believe in the story. While still a bit rough, I think it's great. So if the publishers don't want it, we're going to Kickstart or Indiegogo or fundraise it ourselves and publish and sell it ourselves. And if that's what happens, we'll already have the cover art. So if you're interested, or know someone you think might be interested, please pass this blog post on. You, or they, can contact me at email@example.com. We'll discuss terms, rates, and swap ideas to find out if this is the right project for us. Thanks!
Stop looking at me like that. I haven't been ignoring -- well, okay, actually, that's a lie. I have been avoiding you, but it's been for a good cause. I've just completed the first draft of what will hopefully be the first of many adventures of Phileas Reid. It started like this:
And ended like this:
I've had a great many distractions, but I've finally completed the first draft. It only took me seven months. I feel like I should have been able to write it faster, I may have even gone an entire month without writing anything at all, so distracted and exhausted was I from the link above. But it's done. Not completely not at all, but it's done.
I'm going to give myself a week or so before I sit down and read the entire thing start to finish. I need to find all of its weaknesses and bludgeon them into perfection. To accomplish this, I need to be more subjective. I already know there's far too many "he said" and "she said." But I want to be able to see what plot points don't work or what story elements need to be strengthened or what characters I completely forgot to give a satisfactory ending to. Not only am I giving myself a week before reviewing it, I've sent it to a few near, dear, and trusted friends who will not think twice in crushing my spirit with their merciless reviews.
Then . . . then it's off to the publishers and my dreams will be in the hands of English majors.
I'm not sure if I like pretending these are from someone who can't remember how the script really went, or if these are from some abandoned first draft of these now-famous scripts. The first one (from Apocalypse Now) came from Stop Podcasting Yourself. The rest (and future ones) are mine.
Everything I write has a soundtrack. I find music that matches the tone of what I'm writing and create a playlist that I'll listen to as I write. It's not something I stick to fanatically, if I'm in the mood to listen to Henry Jackman's score for X-Men: First Class, then I listen to Henry Jackman's score for X-Men: First Class.
But sometimes I need something to remind me why I'm writing what I'm writing. Or I need something to remind me of what tone I'm trying to strike with this story. When I'm writing about the kids on Oasis, I listen to the music of Michael Giacchino and Ramin Djawadi. When I'm writing the adventures of Doctor Phileas Reid, the playlist is almost exclusively Alan Silvestri and Murray Gold.
Sony has just announced that they are releasing Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy on Blu-Ray. Never mind they've already released it on Blu-Ray. This set comes with new special features never before seen on Blu-Ray! And "hey, I just bought PhotoShop, I wonder what I can do with it" cover art.
First, the original DVD art for the trilogy:
Say what you will about these movies (I enjoy them all but love the first two), this is some great cover art. Simple, stylized, iconic, and compelling. They make you want to pick them up, turn them over, and find out more about this red and blue tight-wearing superhero. What does Sony choose over these for their "new and improved" Blu-Ray release?
What the what?
Who signed off on these? It's as if Sony is trying to retroactively make everyone hate Sam Raimi's trilogy.
I've become increasingly perplexed by America's curious relationship with the concept of freedom. We believe we are absolutely entitled to it and that no-one can take it away and to even suggest we forfeit certain privileges is a violation of our constitutional rights. We've become so far removed from the events that created and sculpted the Constitution (not to mention the Bill of Rights) that we've forgotten the colossal sacrifices previous generations have had to make.
"Sacrifice" is another word that seems to have been co-opted by a specific group of people. "Sacrifice," especially when it relates to "freedom" now only applies to the men and women in our military. I in no way want to downplay the significant role the military has played in securing not only our freedom but the freedom of others around in the world. What men and women in the military (along with their families) have sacrificed these 300 years is incalculable. I recognize that and am humbled by it. But what of the civilian sacrifices? What about the men and women who have lived in this country who have had to sacrifice certain freedoms for the greater good of society? What about the minority groups who have had to live in the shadow of the majority, hoping to one day have the equal rights the majority of Americans enjoy? What about the sacrifices activists have had to make to ascertain equal liberty for all American citizens?
A sense of entitlement is infecting America. The sense of entitlement isn't specific to one party or one group of people. Everyone feels entitled to something. What's disturbing about the "entitlement" phase of our relationship to freedom is that it negates any sacrifice I might have to make but demands the sacrifice of others. Why do we feel so entitled? What have we done to earn or deserve this freedom? And if the majority are entitled to these freedoms, why isn't the minority entitled to such freedom?
You religion. Your guns. Your right to an abortion. Your right to marry whoever you choose. Your health. Your privacy. Your education. Your right to speak your mind. Your job. The money you earn. Your home. Your comfort. A trial with a jury made up of your peers in which you are innocent until proven guilty. The safety net of welfare.
What would you be willing to sacrifice for the freedom of others?
I've been struggling to find my narrative voice. I never had a creative writing teacher that challenged me (except the exceptional Dr Byrd) and so I've had to find my own voice and my own style when it comes to my writing. It seems like such a natural, why-should-anyone-have-to-worry-about-that sort of thing.
For the last ten years, I've cultivated my "screenwriter" voice, a voice that speaks to directors, producers, and actors. It tells everyone involved in the filmmaking process exactly what they need to know, painting a vivid picture of the scene, explaining why and how it's happening, but ultimately leaves the specifics up for interpretation. For a screenplay, that's fine. For a screenplay, that's great. But I like prose that's vivid. I like words that come alive and transport you somewhere as they paint intricate scenes, characters, and locations. While books are a medium for the imagination, I crave specificity.
Which is why I've been struggling with the opening chapters of Oasis (its working title). The words aren't connecting. Everything feels clunky and everything sounds like I'm trying so hard -- which is, quite frankly, something new for me. Writing is easy. It's exciting. It's relaxing. It's freeing. It's not hard work.
Kelly kept telling me to relax and stop thinking about it. "That's when you write your best stuff," she said, "when you just have fun with it." But I couldn't. I couldn't have fun with it. I wrestled with every sentence, despite the fact that the story I'm telling is a fairly light one, filled with drama and childhood trauma, sure, but I want to veer more into adventure than horror.
Then I figured it out. I needed to let my characters tell the story. Specifically, I needed to let Benjamin Blakeney, the eyes and ears of the story, tell the story. He needed to use his own words. Switching from third person to first person was a game-changing decision that has made all the difference in the world. Now the scenes and the dialogue just flow from my finger tips, as usually do.
I'm not ignoring you, I just haven't had much to report. I've been spinning my wheels with very little traction to be found. I've had a couple of projects fail to get off the ground and I've found myself in the kind of gloom only John Cusack in High Fidelity can rescue me from.
But I've started writing again. I've often flirted with this idea that I call "Oasis" and I've just decided to sit down and make a young adult novel out of it. If you follow me on Twitter (@ScottishFogg), I've been posting word count updates at the conclusion of every night. It's my way of boring my followers and keeping myself honest. If I have to report progress (or the lack of) on a nightly basis, I find myself compelled to write. I hate not updating the word count but I hate updating the word count with a nearly insignificant increase even more. And while I have ideas every day, sometimes I don't. But I still need to be writing and there days when writing is just putting one word in front of another until you stumble on another great idea. Drafting will, hopefully, fix those boring bits.
I've also been approached about acting in the upcoming web series The Scent of Lavender. It's a bit of a murder mystery -- which is outside the realm of entertainment I usually find myself in so I'm excited. I'm also excited to be acting again, without worrying about the script or directing or editing or . . . anything else really. I've been working on some promotional art for the series and I'm an administrator for the series' Facebook page, but that is such a light load when compared to all the other hats I usually wear when I'm involved in a project.
Anyway. I'm off. I'll try to not let so much time go by between now and my next post.
A day doesn’t go by where I don’t write something. Usually it’s part of some bigger plan (a web series, a graphic novel, a feature film) and usually it ends up being discarded or forgotten about. Most of the things I’ve written are now collected cyber dust on my hard drive.
But every once in a while, I get to be part of something special. Enter Tanya Musgrave. She came to me a little over a year ago with a short story that she wanted to adapt into a short film. We went back and forth and I wrote three or four drafts of the script before she put the final touches on it and put it into production. I feel a little strange saying that it’s a gorgeous, wonderful film in every way possible — but it is. I'm not saying that because I helped write it, I'm not saying that because I know the original story it came from and I'm not saying that because I dearly love every one on the crew. I'm saying that somehow that crew and those actors were able to take my rough words and inappropriate jokes and turn it into this:
Check it out and make note of all those cast and crew members at the end. They’re names everyone’s going to be talking about in a few years.
I remember the first time I told my mom I had bought a graphic novel. She didn't hear the term "graphic novel" as a singular noun. She instead heard the adjective graphic being applied to the noun novel. She got real pale and asked what the content of the book was and, "do you . . . you know . . . have any questions?"
After assuring her that the novel was not actually graphic, it was just filled with graphics, she calmed down a bit and then muttered, "they need to call it something else."
I love the graphic novel. I love comic books in general, but the graphic novel specifically speaks to me. As I get older, I find myself slowly growing away from the tights and the fights of superheroes and find myself gravitating towards the quiet introspection of graphic novels. I didn't understand the appeal of cozying up to a book until I discovered books like Craig Thompson's Blankets (or his Habibi, for that matter).
I can read a graphic novel as quickly or as slowly as I want. I can speed through the sparsely-worded pages and claim (too proudly) that "I read an entire book in an afternoon," or I can take my time and let the words and art work in tandem to take me places I've never been before and give me ideas I've never pondered before.
I have received so much from the time I've spent with my comic books and graphic novels that I have decided that it's time I give something back. It's time for me to write my comic book -- or my graphic novel.
There is, however, a problem. Two problems, actually.
I cannot draw.
I do not know how to write a comic book script.
Problem 1 is more insurmountable than 2. Problem 2 can be fixed by applying what I know about writing a film script with what I will learn from reading a few books. Problem 1, though, requires finding someone that (A) I like (B) I get along with (C) I trust (D) trusts me (E) is willing to take this leap of faith with me.
So I'm going to get to reading and writing and . . . seeing to Problem 1.
I'm trying not to write tonight. It's Sabbath. But when my mind's a whirl (as it is now), it's hard for me to do anything but. There can be no rest. There can be no relaxation. There can be no idle hands. Because try as I might to push the fear far from mind, I can't help but fret that an idea that's not written down is an idea that's bound to be forgotten -- and I don't subscribe to my wife's notion that "if I forget it, then it wasn't worth remembering." I am convinced I have lost entire Dickensian novels for lack of a piece of paper.
It's the holidays. Tomorrow is the last holiday of 2011 (and the last day of the entire year, for that matter). It's been a bittersweet holiday season (much like most of 2011, for that matter). My grandmother moved into assisted living last month and we went and visited her in San Antonio the week before Christmas. As surreal as it was to see her so small and frail, I really hope to have what she has. She has lived a long and rich life and has created for herself a large, warm, and caring family. I don't know how she views her life, but I do know that she thanks God for it every night. The Fogg family has had its share of bumps and rattles in its travel down the road of life, but I believe we are richer for the journey and I hope she does too.
2012 can't get here fast enough. I believe in 2012. I believe it's going to be a big year. As I said on Facebook recently, I expect big things from 2012, so expect big things from me.
Loren's and my podcast is going strong. Spinning out of that podcast is a new podcast which Dean Trippe and I are currently planning and trying to iron the logistics out on. Season 1 of The Ruffians went well and I'm trying to figure out what a season 2 might hold . . . You Being You also hasn't gone away, despite there not being a new video in some time. I'm still looking for subjects and if you know someone (or are someone) who you think has something to share, drop me a line! I'm also in production on a children's book, which we will be shopping around (I'm guessing) in early 2012. I'd love to see that in book stores.
I've grown weary of the world's negativity and cynicism. I'm currently outlining a story that I would like to use to combat some of that negativity. Only problem with this story is I need a comic book artist to help me see it into fruition. Expect to see me on the lookout for one of those in the near future.
Sigh. I should probably go to bed. But Michael Giacchino's exquisite score for Up is only half-finished and I haven't the heart to turn it off. I'll see it through to the end and see how I feel then.
Three days before we shoot episode 3, I thought I'd sit down and explain why I'm telling The Ruffians' story. But I'm not interested in releasing this information right away, so I'm post-dating this blog entry to be released on my 31st birthday.
Most people know me as a giant dork. That's the aura that surrounds me. It doesn't take long, though, to cut through the layers of Doctor Who and Superman to discover what makes me tick. The people who know me best know me as a left-leaning Christian who belongs to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church who has found his calling as a writer. Any time I sit down and write something, it comes from a place of deep moral responsibility to our fellow man and our Creator. Which is why, on the surface, The Ruffians has some people scratching their heads.
Very simply put, The Ruffians comes from the same place Remnants, Nighthawks, Berashet, and Martyrs came from. But while each of those had elements of hope and beauty intertwined with them, The Ruffians is my view of the world, my view of society, as it tries to distance itself from God.
Before we even get to the characters themselves, it's a show about hitmen -- people who are paid to kill other people. The hitman has been glamorized in a multitude of television shows and movies, but I couldn't think of a more perfect metaphor for the toxicity and selfishness of man.
My characterization starts with SOFIA TOWNSEND, as played by Rachel Komorowski. Sofia doesn't want any responsibility. She wants to show up, do her work, and go home. The less she knows, the less she can be held accountable for. In trying to compartmentalize her life, she seeks ways to excuse herself from the bigger picture.
ALEXANDER GREENE, as played by Corey Newmyer, is the post-modern man. He, like Sofia, doesn't want to be held accountable for his actions. He is beholden unto no-one but himself. But he has this nagging voice in the back of his head telling him that he's wrong, or that something in his life is wrong (personified by Tenika Dye). And he doesn't like that. He wants to silence that voice, so he labels it and mocks it, which allows him to distance himself. Doing this, however, creates a void in his life that he has to fill. He refuses to feel guilty for his actions, and so he places a higher premium on his friendships and his relationships. If he's going to feel guilt, it needs to be over something tangible and important to him, not something moral, metaphysical, and intangible. This will continue to haunt him for some time.
It's easy to call CHARLIE HAMMOND an idiot. That's very nearly how I play him. But he represents society's desire to live in (and only for) this moment. He quickly forgets yesterday (and the lessons learned) and he doesn't think or worry about tomorrow. He doesn't stop to wonder if what he's doing is going to harm him or his friends later. He's exceptionally short-sighted, which often makes him look uncaring. He's deeply emotional and has a fairly sanguine temperament. Every single minute of every single day is either the very best thing or the very worst thing that could possibly be happening. He lives as if there is no tomorrow, as if there are no consequences and when tomorrow rolls around and those consequences show up, he doesn't understand why these things are happening to him.
Rick Hardaway plays JACOB WALLACE. At one point I toyed with making him the personification of Atheism, a cruel and unforgiving creation that boasts freedom and free will, but as the story unfolded, I found him a far more compelling devil than anything else. He lets our "heroes" believe what they want, for it suits his purpose.
The other characters and the victims live in this same world. But less time was put into their being. They are intended to reflect, magnify, or contrast the mindsets and philosophies of Charlie, Alexander, and Sofia.
MARLENA, specifically, was created to illustrate the continuity of time and the consequence of actions. While Charlie lives his existential life, Marlena exists slightly above that. She's first introduced as an idea. We simply hear she exists. She exists before the show began. Then we see Charlie calling her. Then finally, he's reunited with her. Marlena unifies Charlie's existence and makes yesterday as important as today and tomorrow. His belief in her is the closest thing to a spiritual life Charlie has. Her existence makes "the sherpa" moot and vapid. It is (and will be) Marlena that is most directly effected by Charlie's short-sightedness. She's making the most of her life, but deep down, she knows that it's all for naught. Their victory over Jacob Wallace will be short-lived and temporary at best.
And that's all I have to say about that.
Except not really. I love conversations on these topics, so drop me a line or pull me aside. I'd love to hear what you think.
Coming soon to a theater/DVD player/Blu-Ray player/digital file format player near you: SPARKS! They seem to have become the poster creator's favorite new element. Sometimes it makes sense, but most of the time it looks like they're trying to make us think we're about to step into the sequel for Backdraft that never was.
Drive Angry? Okay. Nicolas Cage is try to escape Hell, so one should expect a certain firey element there. Transformers? Um . . . sure. There's a lot of metal grinding on metal in that movie, so I'm sure there's going to be some sparking. But The Dark Knight? "Maybe it's symbolic of the impending doom and chaos that's about to engulf Gotham?" "Yes! Use it for Harry Potter, too! Just switch 'Gotham' for 'Hogwarts!'"
But one can only assume that there's a scene in the new Conan movie where Conan the Barbarian literally tries to put out a fire with his sword.
Sparks: The art department's cowbell.
Never mind. I take it all back. That's friggin' bad ass.
Considering my extensive relationship with the iTunes Store and after reading the Steve Jobs biography, it's very surreal to be able to find me in the iTunes Store. Yet, there I am. For all the world to hear.
It's Movies You Should Love, a podcast that frequent partner-in-crime Loren Small and I cooked up and have been recording for the past couple of months. Loren built a gorgeous site for it, with me contributing the title aesthetic and the faces by John J Salomone (who you can commission to pixelate your face).
Basically Loren and I sit down and examine classic films (specifically AFI's Top 100 list) and try to figure out what makes them so special. It's something we do anyway, often staying up into the wee hours -- we thought we might as well record it and share it with the world. We're definitely enjoying ourselves and we really hope others do, too.
If you enjoy my ramblings here, you might enjoy my ramblings there.
RUMOR - ‘SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING’ TO INTRODUCE SILK TO THE MCU!
Atlanta Filming recently ran a cast sheet over Twitter before quickly deleting it again. The authenticity of the sheet is still questionable. However, on it was a list of actors and the characters they would play in the movie. Among them was a young Asian actress named Tiffany Espensen, who is supposedly playing a character simply named Cindy. This has many fans speculating that she will be playing Cindy Moon AKA Silk in the movie. This is yet to be confirmed!
Marvel artists turned Black Influencers and Athletes into super versions of themselves.
isn’t that the guy with the long white hair from final fantasy
no your thinking of sephiroth,
a sephora is an angel belonging to the highest order of angels
No you’re thinking of a Seraph
A sephora is a second year college or high school student
No, you’re thinking of sophomore. A sephora is when you use your phone to take a picture of yourself.
no, you’re thinking of a selfie. a sephora is a calm breeze.
No, you’re thinking of a zephyr. A sephora is one of those Greek vases with the two handles and the pictures.
You’re thinking of an amphora. Sephora is the web browser you have to use on iOS devices.
You’re thinking of Safari. Sephora is an informal term for the seven-week period of counting the days between Pesach and Shavuot in the Jewish calendar.
You’re thinking of Sefiras. Sephora is a bright blue gemstone best known for combining with Ruby to create Garnet and lead the Crystal Gems, training Pokemon, and/or assisting Steel to fight against time’s intrusions into our realm.
No, you’re thinking of sapphire. Sephora is actually a part of a flower; it protects the flower in bud and supports the petals in bloom.
No, you’re thinking of sepal. Sephora is the wife of Moses, who lead the Israelites people out of Egypt.
No, you’re thinking of Tzipporah. Sephora was an ancient Greek poet who inspired a lot of lady-lovin’.
No, you’re thinking of Sappho.
Sephora is the youngest of the five Marx brothers.
No, you’re thinking of Zeppo.
Sephora is the Heimdall’s sister.
No no no guys, you’re thinking of Sif. Sephora is a venereal disease that turns your brain to swiss cheese, going so far as to destroy external features like the nose. Famous gangster Al Capone suffered from sephora.
No, you’re thinking of syphilis. Sephora is the state of intense excitement or happiness.
Voting for the Brexit correlated with age: The older voters were, the more likely they were to support removing the U.K. from the E.U. And also less likely to feel the long term effects. For voters, Brexit essentially came down to two things.
The most important step in harnessing and realizing your true potential is to change the way you view your ADHD symptoms. The qualities that you may believe are your weaknesses need to be seen as your biggest strengths. That’s not to say that these qualities are a mere state of mind; they pose real and in some cases, very debilitating problems for those with ADHD.
However, with some effort and dedicated work, you can begin using these traits to your advantage. When used correctly, these qualities can help you become very successful and realize your dreams.
Although ADHD is characterized by an inability to pay attention for large stretches of time, people with ADHD are prone to periods of hyper focus. During these periods, an individual becomes so transfixed and absorbed with what they are doing, that it’s as if everything around them ceases to exist.
Some individuals have claimed that they seem to lose track of time, and are able to block out everything around them in order to focus on what they are doing and get it done.
These periods of hyper focus can lead to extreme productivity. Furthermore, by making an effort to seek out these periods and stay in them longer, an individual may be able to consciously bring about a hyper focused state.
An individual with ADHD has a tremendous amount of energy. Granted, if they are confined in an activity or location which doesn’t interest them, this pent up energy can lead to restlessness.
However, if that energy is channeled into a purpose or activity that the individual is personally invested in and enjoys, much can be accomplished.
Impulsiveness is another behavioral characteristic common in people with ADHD. With a little refinement, this trait can be used to your advantage.
Impulsivity in its traditional sense implies that a decision or action is taken with little or no forethought, and with little regard for the consequences. It indicates a certain fearlessness; an ability to act without reservations.
This trait can help individuals take risks. Many people are often too cautious and afraid to take any risks. An individual with ADHD will not suffer from these constraints. They will, however, have to make an effort to spare some thought to the consequences of their actions if this trait is to be used successfully.
Individuals with ADHD are extremely creative. Their heads are brimming and bursting with ideas. This ability enables them to generate new ways of doing things, be innovative in finding solutions and creating new things, etc.
Those ‘scattered thoughts’ that are always filling your head can be tapped into in order to realize the extent of your true creative potential.
ADHD is a condition which also results in high levels of emotional intelligence. Individuals are not only sensitive to the people around them, but also to environmental cues, making them vigilant and hyperaware.
Sensitive individuals make better leaders. They show a genuine concern for the people they work with, and understand the importance of building positive relationships and working environments. This is an excellent quality to have as an aspiring leader.
The ADHD brain also has another exceptional trait – ability to solve problems. When faced with a problem or dilemma of any sort, individuals with ADHD seem to reign themselves in so that they can solve the problem. This typically sets off a period of hyper focus, and solutions are found quicker.
Excellent multitasking capabilities
Due to the fact that an individual with ADHD is often restless, they crave stimulation. This desire enables them to multitask much more effectively than most people.
A short attention span enables them to take part in, and complete, numerous tasks very effectively, without diminishing their effectiveness. An abundance of things to do stimulates their brains and allows them to work in a way which is natural to them.
Resilience is a very common trait in people with ADHD. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that their brains are almost hardwired to find solutions to the problems that they face. This enables them to ‘stick to their guns’ and find ways to make things work.
As with a great many things in life, a little perspective goes a long way. Having ADHD is by no means a walk in the park. Individuals with this condition suffer a great deal while trying to grapple with their seemingly atypical behavioral characteristics.
Part of effectively managing ADHD is realizing that these specific behavioral characteristics can also have their advantages. In order for them to be effectively utilized, individuals will first have to begin seeing them as assets, and then subsequently working on them to refine their own specific set of skills.
High profile and successful individuals with ADHD such as business giant Richard Branson and Olympian Michael Phelps have attributed much of their success to their ADHD. Once you find what sparks your passion, you can learn to channel your ADHD to your advantage, much like a superhero.
In the wake of Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement that he would leave office following the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union, tens of millions of Americans expressed their confusion to reporters Friday about a system of government in which a leader would resign after making a terrible decision. “Wait, so he made a really awful choice with far-reaching negative consequences and now he’s just stepping down to let someone else take over? What?” said Colorado Springs, CO resident Evan Austin, echoing the sentiments of citizens across the United States who were left struggling to understand why a democratically elected head of government would relinquish control simply because they had been shown to have made a spectacularly bad judgment call.
A lot of people have no clue why Europe is currently in a state of uproar and the only word people seem to be saying is “Brexit” so here’s a not-so-quick and easy-breezy explanation on the past 24 hours of CHAOS that has ensued:
The European Union (EU): an organisation of European countries that follows similar laws, allows for freedom of movement/labour, easy travelling (@people who planned on doing Eurotrips, not sure if you can count the UK in that anymore!) and trade with each other. The EU is important because before it was formed, the European continent was ravaged by 2 world wars, and a division because of the Cold War. This organisation has provided all the stability we’ve seen in the past 40-odd years.
So what the heck is a “Brexit”? Basically, the UK has just voted to leave the EU. 52/48 majority. Now this doesn’t seem like a TERRIBLE thing, but there are some serious political and economic consequences.
- The British pound crashed from 1.5 to 1.3 in 6 hours, the lowest value in 30 years, which in turn affected the US dollar which affects all other global currencies. I wish I was joking but I’m not: South Africa, Poland, Norway, Mexico. Hungary, Australia, Switzerland all saw their currencies plummet. Countries that don’t rely on exports as their means of production cannot have a devalued currency. IT’s not good. The Japanese Yen which has been strengthening reached an all-time high which is terrible because Japan is trying to reverse its deflationary state. The Bank of Japan is now out of options and Japan literally STOPPED TRADING IN BRITISH STOCKS/INVESTMENTS.
- A devalued GBP means that the Bank of England is going to have to hike interest rates to prevent inflation (domestic prices going up even further) whicH WILL CAUSE A RECESSION. SOUND FAMILIAR ANYONE? YEAH. FINANCIAL CRISES.
- The UK leaving the EU means its market has gone down a LOT in size making them a less attractive destination for trade partners/investors. They’re going to have to draw up new trade agreements with basically the whole world since all their trade was previously tied to the EU. This will be tricky because countries liked having a market with a population of ~500 million compared to the UK’s size of ~50 million.
- GDP will go down. Retirement income will go down. The British economy is in a state of panic. The global economy is basically, fucked. For now at least.
The thing is, given the precarious nature of the economy right now with markets out of control and stagnant growth practically everywhere, it was a really really bad time to have this referendum - a lot of countries have been banking on a “Bremain” before making their next move when it comes to monetary/fiscal policy. The IMF has predicted that 2016/2017 will see the worst years for growth, but we might see upward growth trends from 2018 onwards.
So how does it still get worse?
- Scotland showed an overwhelming majority of votes to remain in the EU. It’s likely that they’re going to call for a referendum (again) to leave the UK.
- Northern Ireland also wanted to stay in the EU.
- Wales voted Leave but with a slim majority.
- David Cameron has just announced that he will be resigning in 3 months which means that extreme conservatives who managed to sway the vote in favour of Leave could come to power. That’s right. We’ll be stuck to suffer with the likes of Farage and Johnson.
- Brexit triggered a lot of nationalist/extreme right-wing movements in the rest of Europe. Some leaders already calling for “Frexit” (France), “Itexit” (Italy) and..”Nexit” (Netherlands)? We may see more in the next few days.. A disintegration of Europe is risky business because Europe has not been able to remain stable until the EU was formed. This could give way for an assertive Russia too, who is, as most countries would be, looking to gain more power over weak/vulnerable European states. This will trigger US skepticism and we all know how that goes.
SO HOW DID THE GOVERNMENT LET THIS HAPPEN?
Basically David Cameron came up with the idea for the referendum because he was desperate to gain support from anti-EU parties like UKIP during the general elections last year. Except now he’s resigning. So.
During the campaign, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson (conservatives) and Nigel Farage (UKIP) stressed on immigration laws if the UK leaves the EU because immigration/refugees have been a big problem for the UK as its reducing jobs being given to UK locals/residents and they think the UK is becoming “overcrowded” so the Leave campaign was like WE WILL TIGHTEN OUR BORDERS! YEAH! Except now they’ve displaced millions of UK citizens living/working in the rest of the EU. Let’s see how they figure that one out.
Additionally, they talked about the economic benefits because if the UK were to leave, they would be able to allot the money that goes to the EU to other things like the NHS (national healthcare) etc. The Leave campaign went on about how the UK spends 350 million pounds a week on the EU but actually it spends less than half of that, so really, their campaign was built on scaremongering and lies. EDIT: Farage has announced the 350mil will NOT be spent on the NHS.
EDIT: People have mentioned the fact that unstable EU economies were relying on capital inflow the “Big 3″ (UK, France, Germany). This is true and this was being used as an argument - however, leaving is a Pyrrhic Victory! the UK will most likely have to spend MORE rebuilding its independent economy. However, once markets stabilise, we will see.
Article 50, aka the means of exiting will be triggered in 3 months when the new Prime Minister is announced (most likely one of the extreme conservatives who are riding high on their “Independence Day” fuckery which is even more proof of xenophobic, colonialist bullshit) after which the UK will have 2 years to complete its official withdrawal so hopefully that will provide short-term stability.
But the world is in a dark place right now and everything is terrible.
I KNOW ITS LONG BUT PLEASE READ THIS IS IMPORTANT THIS IS GOING TO GO IN HISTORY TEXTBOOKS
“Everything we do here, at STAR Labs, is to protect Barry Allen.”
I had so much fun cosplaying as Cisco and doing one of my first shot outside of a con. One of the most comfy cosplays since it really is me just wearing googles and geeky shirts that I already own.
I fell in love with Cisco Ramon right from the first episode. He’s geeky, smart, witty and funny. I never thought about cosplaying him until quite a few people kept telling me I looked like him. One of the easiest cosplays yet =D
I can’t wait to run with the STAR Labs crew at AX =D
I’ve been melancholy all day. Two years ago, it was June 7th, 2013. Two years ago, my wife and I were seeing a light at the end of a five-year long tunnel. Two years ago today I attended my first comic book convention. Two years ago today I attended HeroesCon.
I was convinced to go by my good buddy deantrippe. I had been struggling professionally, artistically and spiritually and he said, “do HeroesCon. It’s the best. You can hang out at my table, you’ll meet all sorts of people, it’ll be good for you. HeroesCon is the best.” I agreed to go, bought my ticket, and everything changed.
Remember that tunnel I mentioned? The five-year long one that my wife and I were traveling down? It’s a dark, dark tunnel called Infertility. Technically we are still in that tunnel, but within a few short days of me buying that HeroesCon ticket, a light appeared. A glimmer of hope.
A family a few counties over from us were putting a little girl up for adoption. We had talked to the family, and things were looking very good, but it wasn’t a done deal yet. What we had agreed on, though, was that we would meet on June 11th. So as Dean and I drove into the night on June 6th, the only thing I knew was that I might get to meet my daughter in five short days.
Immediately my priorities shifted. I already knew I wanted to meet kellysue, but she suddenly became the first person on my list of people I had to meet. Captain Marvel had already been an inspiration to me, and the CarolCorps had already become my online refuge, but she needed to know that. I needed to thank her for what she had done with the character. I needed to thank her for the Corps and I needed her to know how excited I was to potentially share Carol with my daughter.
I’m sure I made an ass of myself, but she was gracious and excited and supportive and, before I left, she gave me some CarolCorps dog tags for my daughter.
Was it later that day? The next day? That weekend was such an explosion of joy and excitement, I really can’t remember when the CarolCorps meet-up was. I was in a room of strangers, but I knew, “these are my people. These are the kind of adventurous, outspoken, opinionated and warm-hearted people I need in my life.”
I met incogvito that weekend, too. And it he that encouraged me to take that little Sci-fi book I was struggling with and turn it into a graphic novel. Despite having worked on the book for years, I credit that conversation as the real birth of phileasreid.
I met so many artists and writers I had admired for so many years. I thanked them, joked with them, and left them vowing to one day soon, join them.
My life had changed. Then, two days later, on June 11th, my life changed again. We met with that family. They handed me my daughter. She came home with us that night and my life had changed again.
A fuse had been lit. And the following year was an explosion of joy, excitement, contentment and creativity unlike anything I was prepared for.
The epilogue to that year was at the following HeroesCon, when I got to introduce Amelia to Kelly Sue – who immediately taught my daughter the sign for “friend.”
A sign we still use almost every day.
So, yeah, when June rolls around and HeroesCon appears on the horizon, I get a little melancholy.
I wrote one year ago today and it’s as true now as it was then.
Hamilton continues to be my playlist of choice whenever I’m drawing. I did this illustration of Jefferson/amazing Daveed Diggs!/ for the magazine for uni I’m putting together. I wrote an essay on Hamilton for lectures, and now we have to organise a magazine around the theme. So, I could finally draw some Hamilton fanart without feeling guilty for neglecting uni work
The largest tribe in the United States could not prove it was “famous” enough to win a trademark case against the hipster fashion giant.
The Navajo Nation lost two counts in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Urban Outfitters because the tribe’s trademark is not “famous” enough, the court siding with the fashion giant’s argument that “Navajo” is a generic term for a style or design.
The Indigenous tribe—the largest in the United States—had to prove that the term “Navajo” is “widely recognized by the general consuming public of the United States” to move forward with the trademark dilution case, which few courts have been able to prove, said New Mexico’s District Judge Bruce Black on Friday.
Scientists Discover The Oldest, Largest Body Of Water In Existence—In Space
Scientists have found the biggest and oldest reservoir of water ever—so large and so old, it’s almost impossible to describe.
The water is out in space, a place we used to think of as desolate and desert dry, but it’s turning out to be pretty lush.
Researchers found a lake of water so large that it could provide each person on Earth an entire planet’s worth of water—20,000 times over. Yes, so much water out there in space that it could supply each one of us all the water on Earth—Niagara Falls, the Pacific Ocean, the polar ice caps, the puddle in the bottom of the canoe you forgot to flip over—20,000 times over.
The water is in a cloud around a huge black hole that is in the process of sucking in matter and spraying out energy (such an active black hole is called a quasar), and the waves of energy the black hole releases make water by literally knocking hydrogen and oxygen atoms together.
The official NASA news release describes the amount of water as “140 trillion times all the water in the world’s oceans,” which isn’t particularly helpful, except if you think about it like this.
That one cloud of newly discovered space water vapor could supply 140 trillion planets that are just as wet as Earth is.
Mind you, our own galaxy, the Milky Way, has about 400 billion stars, so if every one of those stars has 10 planets, each as wet as Earth, that’s only 4 trillion planets worth of water.
The new cloud of water is enough to supply 28 galaxies with water.
Truly, that is one swampy patch of intergalactic space.
Equally stunning is the age of the water factory. The two teams of astrophysicists that found the quasar were looking out in space a distance of 12 billion light years. That means they were also looking back in time 12 billion years, to when the universe itself was just 1.6 billion years old. They were watching water being formed at the very start of the known universe, which is to say, water was one of the first substances formed, created in galactic volumes from the earliest time. Given water’s creative power to shape geology, climate and biology, that’s dramatic.
“It’s another demonstration that water is pervasive throughout the universe, even at the very earliest times,” says Matt Bradford, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and leader of one of the teams that made the discovery. (The journal article reporting the discovery is titled, without drama, “The Water Vapor Spectrum of APM 08279+5255: X-Ray Heating and Infrared Pumping over Hundreds of Parsecs.”)
It is not as if you’d have to wear foul-weather gear if you could visit this place in space, however. The distances are as mind-bogglingly large as the amount of water being created, so the water vapor is the finest mist—300 trillion times less dense than the air in a typical room.
And it’s not as if this intergalactic water can be of any use to us here on Earth, of course, at least not in the immediate sense. Indeed, the discovery comes as a devastating drought across eastern Africa is endangering the lives of 10 million people in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. NASA’s water discovery should be a reminder that if we have the sophistication to discover galaxies full of water 12 billion light years away, we should be able to save people just an ocean away from drought-induced starvation.
The NASA announcement is also a reminder how quickly our understanding of the universe is evolving and how much capacity for surprise nature still has for us. There’s water on Mars, there’s water jetting hundreds of miles into space from Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons, there are icebergs of water hidden in the polar craters of our own Moon. And now it turns out that a single quasar has the ability to manufacture galaxies full of water.
But it was only 40 years ago, in 1969, that scientists first confirmed that water existed anywhere besides Earth.
(Phys.org) —The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.
I’ve heard from some of you that you’re not receiving the Kickstarter updates from me and Phileas Reid. That’s super distressing to me because there are going to be important updates coming in the future and I need to know you’re receiving them. So if you think it’s been a while since you heard anything about PHILEAS REID KNOWS WE ARE NOT ALONE, I need you to do one of two things:
1. Check your spam folder. Make sure your email isn’t marking the Kickstarter updates as spam and deleting them before you get a chance to read them.
2. Periodically log in at Kickstarter.com. Every time an update is posted, you’ll receive it in two places: Your email and your Kickstarter account.
Thank-you, everybody for your continual support and for all the kind, exciting, and overwhelmingly positive reviews of our first 22 pages!
NASA wants to visit Jupiter’s moon Europa. Why’s that exciting? In a word: Water. As this visualization shows, the icy moon may look tiny next to our own planet, but it’s got 2- to 3-times as much H2O as we have here on Earth. That “little” moon is packing quite the store of water â and with it, scientists think, a significant chance of harboring life.
“This video shows a rabbit heart that has been kept beating outside of the body in a nutrient and oxygen-rich solution. The new cardiac device — a thin, stretchable membrane imprinted with a spider-web-like network of sensors and electrodes — is custom-designed to fit over the heart and contract and expand with it as it beats.”
Particles come in pairs, which is why there should be an equal amount of matter and antimatter in the universe. Yet, scientists have not been able to detect any in the visible universe. Where is this missing antimatter? CERN scientist Rolf Landua returns to the seconds after the Big Bang to explain the disparity that allows humans to exist today.
Ancient Human DNA Suggests Twisted Roots at Base of Human Family Tree
Scientists have sequenced DNA from the 400,000-year-old remains of an early human found in the Sima de Los Huesos cave in Spain. It not only shatters the record for the oldest human DNA sequence ever obtained, but is also forcing scientists to question what we thought we knew about human origins.
Traditionally, scientists have compared the measurements and proportions of these skeletons in order to place our ancestors along the human family tree and evolutionary timeline. The skeleton up top, from the Spanish cave, is classified as Homoheidelbergensis, a group of human relatives from Europe who, according to the bones, are thought to be the ancestors of Neanderthals.
But new and powerful DNA sequencing technology has given us the ability to stitch together sequences from older and more degraded DNA samples than we ever thought possible (I wrote about a 700,000-year-old horse sequence earlier this year for WIRED). The sequences in the Los Huesos DNA don’t agree with the old bone story.
The sequence shows that this 400,000-year-old DNA is most related to Denisovans, a group of early humans previously only found in Siberia (AKA “not near Spain”). It was also related to Neanderthals, which fits with the old idea, but suggests that there was a lot of interbreeding and migration going on in these groups, even before modern Homo sapiens had left Africa.
The genomic revolution is changing a lot about science, and the study of human origins is one of the fastest evolving (pun intended). This new info has confused the hell out of scientists, frankly, and there’s a lot of work to be done.
Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees. The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer.
Scientists have found that honey bees - Apis mellifera - have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range.
Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.
A team of astronomers has discovered the first example of black holes in a globular cluster in our own galaxy. For the last 40 years it was widely thought that black holes would not likely be found in globular clusters. The reasoning behind this is that Black holes in a globular cluster may facilitate a way for them to get close enough to one another to merge into bigger black holes that may produce the ‘ripples in spacetime’ astronomers call gravitational waves.
Tom Maccarone says, “Trying to detect gravitational waves is one of the biggest problems in physics right now, because it would be the strongest test of whether Einstein’s theory of relativity is correct.” The stars can collide with one another in that environment. Maccarone goes on to explain, “The old theory believed that the interaction of stars was thought to kick out any black holes that formed. They would interact with each other and slingshot black holes out of the cluster until they were all gone.”
Maccarone made the first discovery of a black hole in a globular cluster in the neighboring NGC4472 galaxy 6 years ago. Instead of finding it through typically radio waves he found it by seeing them in X-ray emission from the gas falling into the black hole and heating up a couple million degrees (no big deal). Now his team has found 2 more examples this year in our very own galaxy and from radio emissions coming out of the globular cluster.
Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone: The Prologue (So Far)
These are the first five pages of our book. The finished product will be in color and Page 1 will be very, very different (it contains massive spoilers and so is not fit for human eyes at this time).
We’re just about halfway through our Kickstarter to fund this graphic novel. It’s a story I’ve been working on for almost two years now and to finally see these characters coming to life is such a big, big thrill.
If you haven’t checked out our Kickstarter yet, do it now. The GIF sets of Tom Hiddleston will still be here when you get back. Promise.
Kelly Fogg writes for Bleeding Cool: When you were a kid did you ever stand on your head and wonder what the world would be like if we all walked on the ceiling and the couches and the lamps hung down from the floor?
What if an alien invasion was … but wasn’t? At its core, that’s the concept of the upcoming graphic novel Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone. Created by Scott Fogg and by Marc Thomas, the upcoming graphic novel follows […]