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Just a thought… Wireless Communication

120 years ago, all the way back in 1894, on Aug 14th the first ever use of wireless communication was demonstrated by Oliver Lodge using a Morse code machine.  This signal was transmitted about 450 feet, not bad actually!  Regardless, that was just a little over a century ago.  Considering how communication has taken its sweet time to develop since the beginning of our species, its kind of mind blowing to think about how much exponential growth has happened since the modern technological age began.  From a tapping electromagnetic pulse over a short distance to today’s wireless and digital revolution, there’s clearly a lot to process when considering the evolution of modern communication.  For example, this entire post was created from a phone. #mindblown dot com y’all.

Happy wireless communication day, its a big one.  Communication is pretty important to us social animals, from gathering around the fire to liking posts on social media. So, 120 years down, but what lays ahead? Where will communication reside in the year 2114?  Just a thought…

Sir Oliver Lodge

Sir Oliver Lodge: Bringer of wireless communications to our world!

120 years of wireless communication

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Bartok and Bach

Bar Talk at Gallery5 on Aug 13, 2014

Well it appears as though local classical music advocates, Classical Revolution RVA, are about to host an event at Gallery5 called Bar Talk.  Anytime someone uses a good pun we applaud them and then try to go over board with more as many more we can come up with.  So, naturally, we decided to keep it in the classical music family and go with Bach and classic movie titles.  Without further adieu, ladies and gents, please enjoy our Blach-buster movie posters to celebrate Classical Revolution RVA’s awesome work right here in Richmond, VA.

Everyone’s favorite 80′s time-traveling movie, redone with a little touch of the 1700′s.

Bach To The Future

Gosh, this is a real hot movie. It once set box offices on fire, now its back…bach…for more!

BachDraft

If you ever wanted to know how Stella did it, she enlisted the help of good old Johann Sebastian! I mean just listen to The Well-Tempered Clavier!!

How Stella Got Her Groove Bach

Last but not least, a classic… (side note – John Williams, composer of all the Star Wars music, is a huge Bach fan!)

The Empire Strikes Bach

 

More information on Classical Revolution RVA can be found at their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter!  We’ve had a blast working on events with them in the past, please check them out and continue to support the creative diversity that makes life more fun.

 

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Famous Faces In Food

On rare occasions our food resembles famous people and sometimes they are just totally on point! We’re all pretty familiar with the various times both Elvis and Jesus have shown up in nachos and such, but there are a lot of other celeb sightings in food that are worth exploring.  Here are four solid examples of foods that take on famous appearances.

Sometimes our food takes on the important historic figures. Honest Abe Lincoln in a chicken nugget. (source)

Lincoln Nugget

There are moments when food resembles famous movie aliens. This is ET in a piece of wood. (source) **yes, we’re aware wood is not technically food, but COME ON, its ET!!**

ET wood

Also, there are moments where the food takes on celeb clothing and fashion. Pharrell Williams’ hat in a healthy serving of trail mix! (source)

Pharrell Williams Hat Trail Mix

And then there are those moments when food literally looks like the people that are famous for that exact food! An Orville Redenbacher face in popcorn, what are the odds?!? (source)

Orville Redenbacher Popcorn

Also, today is July 16th, Orville Redenbacher’s big birthday!  The guy’s done a lot for both science and popcorn kind, props to the agronomist mad man and popcorn sultan that waited through nearly 30,000 hybrids of kernels until he struck buttery gold with a strand that he felt was worthy of his name.

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My Puppets Rule! Independence Day

Alright folks, you can’t celebrate freedom and democracy without sock puppets, right? With that said, we’re excited to present our first My Puppets Rule film remake of the 1996 Will Smith classic, Independence Day.

My Puppets Rule cast

Happy 4th of July, folks!

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Which Office Supply Are You?

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World Environment Day

Hey folks, Happy World Environment Day!

World Environment Day

Just wanted to take a second to encourage everyone to consider adding a little nature into your lives.  A super easy and quick way is to just get some natural beauty to enter your home or workspace.  A few plants and flowers go a long way in re-connecting us to nature and providing a daily appreciation in the form of care-taking for these beautiful Earthly family members.  Also, all living plants and flowers take in CO2 and spit out clean oxygen…you need that to live.  Today is a busy day and not everyone can save a rain forest, an endangered species, or reverse the glacial melt.  Despite those unaddressed large issues, today is a great day to plant a few seeds in your backyard or pick up some small desk sized flowers for your workspace.  Fill your day with nature as often as you can, Happy World Environment Day!

My Flowers Rule

**New floral family at MGR HQ in beautiful Jackson Ward in the heart of Richmond, VA.

 

 

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Four Totally Bizarre Vacation Destinations

If you’re anything like us here at MGR, the start of summer means endless daydreams about vacations— real or imaginary.  So for all you adventurous types that are bored of hearing about your boss’ upcoming Caribbean cruise, or that trip your friend is taking to Disney World, or how great your coworker’s trip to the Outer Banks is gonna be, we’ve put together a short list of some really, really weird vacation destinations.  And yes, people ACTUALLY travel to these places.

Tashirojima, Japan

 Cat Island, meow.

If you’re a cat person, this may just be heaven on earth.

‘Cat Island’ (formally known as Tashirojima) is a tiny fishing village located off the east coast of Japan’s Miyagi prefecture.  As the nickname implies, the island is home to hundreds of felines,  far outnumbering their elderly caretakers by at least 4 to 1.  It is said that cats were initially introduced to the island as pest control, keeping the mice population at bay so the residents could raise silkworms.  As the 19th century progressed, the island became a popular fishing destination.  Fishermen began looking to the cats to provide clues ranging from how bountiful the day’s catch would be to what the weather would be like.  Soon, residents began to believe that caring for the animals would bring them wealth and good luck, and various cat shrines were assembled throughout the island.  Nowadays, visitors to the island can stay at one of many cat-shaped vacation homes.  Unfortunately for dog lovers, pups are officially banned from the ‘Cat Island’— for the safety of the cats, of course.

The Poison Garden, England

 Poison Garden

Not to be confused with the Secret Garden

 Located on the grounds of the Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, The Poison Garden was originally created by the Duchess of Northumberland.  As you may have guessed, every plant found within it is extremely toxic, and most can be fatal.  While a trip to The Poison Garden is not for the faint of heart, it is definitely educational, as many plants inhabiting the grounds can be commonly found in your own backyard!  Now, you might be asking yourself why a Duchess would want a garden full of killer plants, but we can’t answer that.  We can, however, offer up this quote from the Duchess herself:

“I wondered why so many gardens around the world focused on the healing power of plants rather than their ability to kill… I felt that most children I knew would be more interested in hearing how a plant killed, how long it would take you to die if you ate it and how gruesome and painful the death might be.”

Well, Duchess, isn’t that charming…

La Isla De Las Muñecas, Mexico

 Island of the dolls

Chucky?  Is that you? 

La Isla De Las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls) is tucked away near Mexico City in the canals of Xochimico.  Most definitely the creepiest spot on the list, this island is home to hundreds of decaying, mutilated dolls, which can be found all over the island hanging from trees, wooden posts, and pretty much anything else a scary doll can be attached to.  As if the dolls weren’t enough to give you goosebumps, the story behind the dolls is even freakier.  (If you can’t stomach scary stories, you might wanna skip this next part…)  About half a century ago, a man named Don Julian Santana (who lived on the island by himself) was walking along the canals and found the drowned body of a little girl floating downstream.  It is said that her spirit began haunting the poor guy, so to appease it he began collecting discarded dolls from the canals, trash dumps, neighboring cities— pretty much wherever he could find them— and hanging them on trees all over the island. Why?  Because the little girl’s evil spirit told him to, duh!  He continued this practice for the rest of his life, but in 2001, Don’s drowned body was discovered in the very canal he found the little girl.  Basically, if you’re looking to visit a place that’s scarier than a horror movie set, this is the place for you!

Free Spirit Spheres, Canada

Free spirit sphere 

Cause plain old tree houses just don’t cut it anymore. 

 Nestled away in the rainforest of Vancouver Island, you will find suspended among the towering trees the Free Spirit Spheres, i.e. the world’s most elaborate tree houses. Creator Tom Chudleigh borrowed the spheres’ design from nature (a technique known to designers as bio-mimicry).  Through a combination of sailboat construction and traditional tree house design techniques, he created spheres that mimicked tree nuts suspended by webs of rope, all attached to neighboring trees and anchored to the ground.  Unlike your average tree house, however, the insides of the spheres are built to accommodate all our modern needs with fridges, power strips, comfy beds, and a microwaves!  While you still need to exit the pods to use the compostable outhouse, just nearby is a facility with bathrooms, showers, a sauna, and some grills for barbecuing. We have to hand it to Tom, after a long day of hiking, being rocked to sleep in a giant nut-shaped pod high among the rainforest trees does sound pretty wonderful— totally weird, but wonderful nonetheless.

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Long Live The Camel in Richmond, VA

Since the advent of fire, a million-some years ago, we’ve also had social gatherings in the darker hours of the day.  These ancient rituals offered weary wanderers and fatigued hunters an opportunity to rest in the safety of groups while also forming the foundations of community and society.  Of course, a lot has changed since then and we now have a myriad of different options for safety and rest, but the social aspect is still alive and well in human beings today.   Our late hours are now an opportunity to meet new members of the community, exchange intellectual ideas, demonstrate artistic expression, and further support the social bonds that make a strong and vibrant community.  All of this is genetically rooted in us.  We are a social bunch, and here in Richmond, VA we are lucky enough to have many places that allow for communal growth.  We must do what it takes to keep it that way.

dj williams at camel-DJ Williams Projekt, one of the countless diverse musical groups to grace the stage at The Camel over the years.

Arguably one of the most inclusive and inviting places for Richmonders regardless of age, sex, race, gender, financial status, and intellectual interests is The Camel.  This Richmond social hub opened nearly a decade ago and has been nothing but a positive force in the community by providing an open venue for musicians, dancers, poets, authors, community activists, science groups, non profit fundraisers, regional to international performers, and beyond.  The Camel has been a friend to Richmond, VA and like any good friendship, we need to reciprocate with acknowledgment and support.

Science Pub RVA-Science Pub RVA – a free to the public gathering of science minded individuals discussing the latest in the world of physics, chemistry, medicine, and beyond. 

The powers that be currently have a legal advantage over this social hub’s policy on hours for entertainment.  This is a very simple situation.  The hours of operation for the live performance venue are drastically affected by the 11pm weekday cut off.  This has financial implications for the venue and subsequent social effects on how and where we can gather for our entertainment on weekdays.  Please take a moment to consider the many times you and your friends have enjoyed live entertainment here.  There have been countless relationships formed by bumping into one another at this social hub.  Plenty of artists have started on this stage on a slow weekday night and grown into acts that now sell out the weekends.  We can’t let that positive growth be curtailed due to a lack of attention: it goes against everything within us.  We are social animals, we are thinkers, we are doers, and now is the time to act.

Please consider helping out by showing some support.

Petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/jonathan-baliles-amend-the-camel-s-special-use-permit-to-allow-for-music-to-go-til-2am-nightly

If you can make, it there’s a planning commission meeting Monday June 2nd at 1:30pm. The location is:

Richmond City Hall
900 East Broad Street
Room 511

Just a reminder, even in our earliest days when we we gathered around a small fire, we made sure that the fire was strong and could go all night.  When the fire got weak, we would act accordingly to ensure that we would have a place to socialize into the dark hours of the day.  This is happening right now. Don’t let this fire get weak and fade out.  Act now, support The Camel, and continue to keep this community flourishing by making sure there are ample opportunities for us to do what we do best, come together.

**Side note.  We needed a way to get Mozart on stage to launch the news about the first ever Mozart Festival in Richmond.  Without hesitation the Camel, as always, opened its doors and said we could shoot there if we wanted.  Very supportive and easy going place.  Long live The Camel!

Mozart At The Camel

the camel

 

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3 Cool Facts about BBQ and US History!

Memorial Day is within reach, and you know what that means— it’s barbecue season!  So while you prepare your stomach for double helpings of grilled perfection this weekend, we cooked up three savory tidbits from barbecue history to feed your hunger (for knowledge)!

Barbacoa Party with Columbus

Tidbit #1:  In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered… barbecue?  Well, his love for it anyways.  In his log, he noted that a giant “serpent” (speculatively an iguana) was prepared by natives using an outdoor wooden fire device. The Spanish word for these devices, “barbacoa,” was actually the Europeans’ interpretation of the original Taino name.  Oh, and Columbus’ reaction to this crunchy amphibian treat? It simply “taste like chicken.”

 

George Washington Hungover

Tidbit #2:  George Washington’s barbecue parties were better than yours.  We’re talking 48 bottles of fancy French wine better.  We know, it’s shocking, but Mr. Washington did in fact go hard.  In a diary entry from 1769 (don’t worry, that’s before he was President), he writes that he “Went in to Alexandria to a Barbecue and stayed all Night.”  Translation:  George partied too hard and passed out on the couch.  It’s ok, George, we’ve all been there.

 

Henry Ford and BBQ

Tidbit #3:  Forget cars and lightbulbs– in the 1920s, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison popularized charcoal. Along with EB Kingsford, they teamed up to create the first wide-spread, commercially manufactured charcoal briquettes the world had ever seen.  Scrapped wood and sawdust from Henry Ford’s auto plants in Detroit were recycled and transformed into easily lit charcoal, which popularized the barbecue for everyone from flappers to rag-a-muffins. It might sound like we’re razzing you, but we swear we’re on the level.

Barbecues… Who knew?

On that note, have a great weekend, folks!  Be safe, have fun, you know the drill.  Oh, and if you run out of conversation pieces, feel free to school your friends on some barbecue history!

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Our Sun’s Sibling Has Been Spotted!

A long time ago, long before the 80’s, the entire universe was a mess of gases and dust that would one day start to settle and form what we know and see today.  With that said there had to be some stuff that was in the neighborhood when we were forming, right?  The closest star is some 4 light-years away still, the universe was not always like that.  Well, recently scientists have spotted the star that appears to match the cosmic genetics of our solar system, mainly our sun.  Our long lost sibling has been spotted and in the billions of years since formation has wandered about 110 light-years away from us.  HD 162826 is located in the constellation Hercules and appears to have a lot of the elemental stamps needed to qualify it as our long lost brother (or sister, depending on who you ask).  So, naturally the next step will be to pitch this as a gigantic summer blockbuster…if only we had the right relatable story line to throw in there… hmm….send your suggestions in folks, these are our offerings for consideration.

o' celestial brother where art thou?

step solar brothers

Sibling Blade

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