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Archive for April, 2011

Here are pictures of my husband’s most recent project; a necklace and earring set made from Damascus Steel.

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If you follow Brent Spiner (Data, Star Trek: The Next Generation) on Twitter, chances are you’re well-acquainted with his sharp wit and unique brand of humor. If not, his latest web series, Fresh Hell, offers a great opportunity to experience his merriment. Though known for his more dramatic roles in film and theater, Brent further proves himself to be a natural comedian. In a world where celebrity debacle has become a form of entertainment in itself, I think this series is well-timed.

A brief overview: Brent Spiner was involved in an unfortunate event known as ‘the incident’, which led to his downfall. Though the details of ‘the incident’ aren’t revealed to the viewer, the damaging results are clear. It’ll be interesting and funny to see the antics that are sure to ensue as he attempts to reclaim his glory. 

Check out the first two episodes:

At present, new installments of Fresh Hell will be uploaded weekly on Fridays. According to the Fresh Hell profile page on Youtube, there are three additional episodes to date, but the cast is working to produce more.

Subscribe to Fresh Hell on Youtube for notification of future episodes: http://www.youtube.com/user/freshhellseries

Follow Brent Spiner on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BrentSpiner

Like Fresh Hell on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fresh-Hell-Series/140568186015261

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For a moment, allow yourself to drift away; away from the hectic cacophony conducted by storytellers of doomsday propaganda. Drift away from the naysayers and doubters who seek to cage your hopeful ambition, and know that so as long as your heart beats, the plasma of possibility flows within your being.

There is abounding beauty beneath the concrete mask of negativity. The facade is heavy, but can be lifted with the power of your compassion and the openness of your mind. In doing so you’ll see that the mask is a shield of deception, designed to fool us into believing that there is no hope, no future, no love, no possibility of positive change. In truth, all these things exist in abundance, but have become a sort of hidden treasure buried beneath a sea of doubt.

Drift away from all that corrupts your inner voice, buried beneath the chaotic dictation of materialistic desire. Allow yourself to slowly touchdown, your feet once again planted firmly on the foundation of your soul. Remember what truly matters to you beyond any deadline, headline or inconvenience. Dive into the tranquil rivers of soothing self-exploration as you get reacquainted with your inner child. As you submerge and descend into the depths of uncertainty, don’t be surprised if your treasure is revealed. It may be challenging to seize, but  upon your success you’ll find that it will help to propel you during your ascent. And as you break the watery surface, clutching your rewards, don’t be alarmed to find that you have been changed by the journey.

Take a moment to gaze into the celestial ceiling of your mind and see your dreams encrusted within it as plentiful as the stars. They were always there, but were obscured by hopelessness. Dare to capture one and bring it with you as you drift away once more, this time, back to the reality as you know it—as you knew it. For this time, with one of many dreams tucked carefully within your layered consciousness, you carry the possibility of its expansion. Keep it well and nurture it. And may it provide yet one more light desperately needed to illuminate a path so that others may be reunited with hope.

Best wishes in light and love,
Shykia

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With great power comes great responsibility. Those are the famous words uttered by Peter Parker’s uncle in the movie Spiderman. The same can be said of our freedom of speech. With each passing day it’s becoming increasingly evident that our society is wielding this power irresponsibly. Many of our ancestors have fought and died so we can possess the ability to express our thoughts and ideas. It is an ability many of them were not able to behold, themselves. In addition, there are many countries today still fighting for their chance to achieve the incredible gift that has been afforded us. There is a banquet of opportunity for us to learn, grow and flourish if we work for it. However, rather than focusing on the opportunity for positive growth, we are seeing detrimental examples of the aforementioned irresponsible handling of free speech. This is most blatantly visible in the world of music, media and entertainment. Television, movies and music promote sexism, violence and promiscuity in a time of widespread disease. Combined with a growing deficit in our education system, this presents an ideal breeding ground for the plague of indifference and rowdiness sweeping the nation and the world. Anything remotely thought-compelling is either attacked, dismissed or ignored. Conversely, more people are widely embracing and defending things that are done for shock value that contain no pertinent messages.

Society is raising today’s youth to be more interested in how to screw like porn stars than to aspire to become doctors, lawyers or scientists. I mean, when you’re sitting on a train and there’s a 4-year old girl practicing stripper moves on the pole, it’s a clear sign that something’s seriously screwed up. Some of you may be thinking that parents have sole responsibility in raising their children and that any wrongdoing on the child’s part rests solely on them. In many ways, this is correct. It is the parent’s responsibility to prepare their children to make the right choices. However, we must not forget that no matter how much a parent restricts their child’s access to such material, it still finds a way into their lives—most often through the offspring of negligent parents. As a result, children grow up far too soon. Often times, parents find their best efforts negated by what the media presents. Hell, even some children’s movies have questionable language and sexual references these days.

The world is less child-friendly than it ever was. Yet, the media has all but completely washed their hands of any responsibility for the bastardization of our culture. Their response: if you don’t like it, don’t look. That’s like telling passengers on a bus to look away while the driver’s headed towards a cliff. Whether we choose to look away or not, the truth is we’ll have to deal with the repercussions since the media has a huge influence on the development of our society. Realistically, in order to completely protect our children from offensive material we’d have to ban television, radio, internet and walk around blindfolded since there are so many suggestive ads out there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude or practicing for nunhood—I’m all for fun, silliness, even a bit of sensuality—but everything has a time and a place. At least it used to. When will we finally come to a point where we say enough is enough? So I ask you, since it’s the parent’s job to raise their kids, shouldn’t it be the media’s responsibility to do a better job filtering the content they display? Shouldn’t some form of public decency come before the money they receive to shelve their moral values?

I guess in some ways Pandora’s box has already been opened and everyone has a hand in it—the media for propagating bad behavior and us for accepting it. People are growing progressively complacent with the dizzying carousel we’ve been riding for years. It’s the perpetual spin of the degradation of human culture and its correlation to our troubled existence. When things go seriously awry, we ask all the right questions and sometimes make a temporary change, but eventually regress to our former ways. Yet that momentary instance of reform proves that we are capable of positive growth. And in that brief instance lies a flicker of hope.

What do you think? Is this a trend that can be turned around, or have we already ventured beyond the point of no return?

Please comment with your thoughts and opinions.

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I’ve modeled myself to mirror what you value, what you hold dear. And in my pursuit to compete for your loving adoration, your attention, I exchanged my soul as I sopped up the tears of yesterday with my tattered morals. It’s a fair trade, isn’t it? I now bask in the glory of recognition hoping it will be enough to sate my desire. I’ve tried the honorable path to gain your attention in the past, but it was paved with a language unfamiliar to your gluttonous ears. Yes, the vociferous roar of rudeness, ignorance and exploitation is the music that speaks to your heart—if it still exists. No longer am I the meek bastard child you set aside while fawning over my amoral counterparts. I have proven that I am indeed a product of your creation. There is no heart that I wouldn’t break, no line I wouldn’t cross and if necessary, no person I wouldn’t destroy in order to ensure that I’ll keep the attention I’ve earned. And should it ever stray, I shall reclaim it by resorting to my most shocking, outrageous antics.

Who cares if the world around us falls into cinders and blows away in the wind? Who cares about the reserved ones who clamor for us to consider their plight? Who cares about the children who will never enjoy true innocence and peace? Not us, as we raise our collective voices and cheer our accomplishments. As we clank our chalices, we toast our dying world as we guzzle the blood of our fading decency. For we are the idle heroes leading our witless, languid followers into the crevice of perversion and destruction. We dazzle them with a glamorous spectacle, distracting them from all that is real and true; distracting them from those who present genuine messages of hope and sensibility. As I feel the icy center of my chest I realize your attention came at a price. I got so lost in you that I forfeited my heart, my very identity, my soul. I no longer recognize myself when I look in the mirror. When I gaze into it, all I see is you…society.

 If you succeed by being someone you’re not, is the success truly yours?

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