This simple YouTube video produced by Phil Beastall has gone viral because of its powerful message, showing that Christmas isn’t about flashy corporatism but family, and the best Christmas present is something that truly matters the most. Get ready to sob!
This is a YouTube video of Fortnite player Rizart setting the new world record for most solo eliminations in a single match, with an amazing 34 and beating the previous record of 32 eliminations.
In a recent interview with Queerty, former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman, who is openly gay, explained how he drew upon his own relationship with editor Arnold Glassman as inspiration for Bert and Ernie, the show’s most popular confirmed bachelors. This revelation was interesting enough that Sesame Street itself decided to weigh in.
Saltzman recalled that at some point after he joined Sesame Street’s writing staff in 1984, the writers received a piece of mail from a young fan who, having picked up on the queer subtext of Bert and Ernie’s relationship, wanted to know if the puppets were in love:
I remember one time that a column from The San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to their Mom and asked, “Are Bert & Ernie lovers?” And that, coming from a preschooler was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it.
And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie [Glassman] & I as ‘Bert & Ernie.’
Yeah, I was Ernie. I look more Bert-ish. And Arnie as a film editor—if you thought of Bert with a job in the world, wouldn’t that be perfect? Bert with his paper clips and organization? And I was the jokester. So it was the Bert & Ernie relationship, and I was already with Arnie when I came to Sesame Street. So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple. I wrote sketches…Arnie’s OCD would create friction with how chaotic I was. And that’s the Bert & Ernie dynamic.
The idea of Bert and Ernie being romantically involved off screen has been a topic of conversation for decades at this point, but Saltzman is one of the only people who has worked on the franchise to directly acknowledge and affirm it. That being said, the Sesame Workshop went out of its way (and not for the first time) to put out a public statement regarding the nature of Bert and Ernie’s relationship that directly contrasts with Saltzman’s feelings about them:
As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.
So that means Bert and Ernie are still puppets and they’re not fokking any time soon!
Apple just released three entirely new devices. iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. All-screen. Faster, more advanced Face ID. The A12 Bionic, the smartest and most powerful chip ever in a smartphone. A breakthrough camera system with Portrait mode and new software-enhanced, adjustable depth of field. And so much more. Check the video.
It is already seventeen years ago that an airplane flew into the World Trade Center in New York. At the time, cameraman Mark LaGanga was on site and managed to capture a lot on camera. These images were restored and republished at the end of August. The improved images have now been viewed more than 9 million times.
It shows how LaGanga walks through the streets and records how the emergency services rushed to the crash site. He also talks to victims who tell him what they think happened.
A man tells LaGanga, “I was on the 81st floor. We were with forty people inside when I heard an explosion. “When he realizes that everyone is doing well, he runs downstairs together with colleagues. “On the 68th floor I met a woman in a wheelchair. I have carried her all the way down. It was a chaos. ”
LaGanga continues to film for almost half an hour. From the eighteenth minute you can see how the second tower collapses. While everyone is running away, LaGanga remains at risk for his own life.
Since the dawn of recognized consciousness, humans have wondered why we’re even here. Is there more to the life we live? What impact do we, tiny specs of dust have against the grand cosmic scale?
Some would argue none. No impact on the greater universe & especially no life beyond death. All our consciousness is, is a survival mechanism; evolved over a vast timescale to better comprehend the consequences of our actions and for better memories to remember a much wider range of potential dangers. Others would say that we choose to make life meaningful, whether that be through family, religion or other ways. While I think that many people would have an inclination towards a greater meaning, I believe it isn’t so straight forward as something found in any book; be that religious or otherwise. I have friends on both sides of this scale & they’re adamant that their interpretation is correct. I’ve often wondered why (from quite a young age) there is such a disparity of opinion when it comes to a purpose. I’m not alone in struggling to sleep or waking up with these thoughts in my head.
“What is my purpose?”
“Why am I here?”
What is the point of all this ‘life’ or ‘consciousness’ anyway? I can’t deny that it’s an awfully good survival mechanism. Being able to communicate that something is dangerous & to not do it or not go near it is a wonderful way to keep oneself & those we care for alive just that little bit longer. But there’s still that question, what’s the point? Especially when, no matter what we do, or how hard we try, we can’t avoid death. All of the effort we went through in life comes to a grinding halt when your personalized biological timer runs out. One could argue that you do what you do to better the generations after but for me this isn’t satisfying. Not that I’m ungrateful. There are many people who have done amazing, self-sacrificing & terrible things; all of which has affected humanity & by extension the world in unfathomable ways. I might not exist if this world hadn’t turned out exactly the way it has. What would this world be like without me? What would it be like without you? Daunting questions on their own to try & imagine a timeline where oneself doesn’t exist but would it really affect the ‘overall goal’?
It becomes a little tedious to ask the same question in different ways. Who are we to ask it in the first place? What makes us so special to think that we deserve a purpose? Humanity is this big, mass of hatred & misunderstanding when looking at it from the outside. Sure there are moments where differences are put to one side & unity is found but ultimately things settle back to the way they were. Old rivalries flare & tension sets in. A disappointment to say the least. How can we ask why are we here when we can’t even respect one another? I have a strong belief that pulling the trigger is easy, but it’s so much less effort to not have the gun in the first place. Speaking to your enemies might be stressful & extremely hard but we should remind ourselves that misunderstanding is the thing that keeps you from knowing why in the first place. An excellent example of two very different people sitting down & talking about their differences can be seen when doing a bit of research on a man named Daryl Davis. I highly recommend watching the following video:
In the video he explains how he sat down with Roger Kelly, a former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard & despite knowing how dangerous this could be, they spoke. With enough time, they grew to respect each other & their differences. I can appreciate how difficult this would have been, not just for Daryl but for Roger as well. While I wouldn’t consider them personal enemies, this is something I wish people could do more often. To actually learn respect, even for people who are strangers. The idea that people must earn your respect is simple arrogance. Everyone & for that matter, everything deserves respect. This doesn’t mean you have to like them, it means that you can accept they have a difference in opinion & you shouldn’t make their life difficult for that difference.
People form opinions from a number of places. It all starts in their early childhood & develops as they’re exposed to more & more information. Sometimes this information is someone else’s opinion, sometimes it’s valid or factual information & sometimes it’s false information. Regardless, it is exposure to all this information that makes a part of who that person is. In many cases they can’t help those opinions that they’re exposed to. Someone born into a god-fearing family are going to be brought up to devote themselves to whichever deity they’re told to. The person in question won’t know anything more until they’re exposed to other people, situations & opinions. Why should that person be discriminated against for an opinion when they know of no other? It should be the job, not of other people but of yourself to properly form opinions. It should be the job of others to respect these opinions. In saying this however it’s difficult to not argue when someone has an opinion that is simply wrong.
I digress though. All this talk of opinions is important to the grand question we’re trying to answer. Mostly because it’s our own perception of things that clouds our judgement & ability to see things outside or beyond what is in front of us. There is a quote circulating many social media websites that I noticed some months ago that puts things into perspective:
“You have two eyes each composed of 130 million photoreceptor cells. In each one of those cells, there are 100 trillion atoms (more than all the stars in the milky way galaxy). However, each atom in each cell, in each eye are formed in the core of a star; billions of years ago. Yet, here they are today, being utilized to capture the energy released from that same stellar process. You are made of the universe, experiencing the universe. You are the universe, experiencing itself.” – Unknown.
For me, this means a lot when trying to answer THE question. What if all this consciousness isn’t just for our own survival but for the survival of the entire universe? The same universe that we are mere specs within. I have come to my own conclusion that this is the case. Regardless of intelligent design or some other mundane phenomena, I believe that humanity (or just consciousness in general) is here to prolong the life of or negate the death of this universe to which we belong. I’m not arrogant enough to believe that we are the only ones or that we, as humans are destined to ‘save the universe’ but I would hope that one day we can mature enough to think about saving our universal mother.
With the looming threat of apocalypse & the big hand being two minutes from midnight, it should be the concern of every living human on this planet to prepare themselves and future generations for the hellish events that are about to hit humanity in its entirety. Perhaps I’m being a little dramatic but should this be the case what would be the single greatest gift we could give to the survivors of such a cataclysm?
In my personal opinion, the single greatest gift we could pass on to future generations would be modern knowledge & with that (hopefully) a different mindset. One that sees aggression towards others in any form to be unacceptable. Exploring this idea, even if we as a society today had the drive to accomplish this feat, how does one communicate with a group of people in the distant future? An obvious issue we come across is how language is constantly evolving. Touching on this topic for a bit, language evolves in part due to people thinking a different or derivative sound makes more sense or is easier to speak. Even the most fluent speaker of English would have to re-learn the language should they travel back a meager 400 to 500 years. With this in mind, what’re the chances that such a future generation would even have a noticeably different language? Something to also keep in mind is the written side of our modern languages.
For someone like myself it seems nearly inconceivable that in this country of ours there are people who aren’t able to read/write, not due to some form of disability but simply because they have not learned to. In a post apocalyptic scenario however, what’s more important? Which plants/animals are edible or how to read ‘Do Not Consume’? It’s likely that in an effort to survive, written communication will fall (at least temporarily) to the wayside, to be replaced by something potentially unrecognizable. Something else to consider would be the devastation on all of our written works, especially over time. So again, how would we communicate with our descendants? To answer this would require a lot of speculation but I recently came across a book that attempts to answer such a question in its own way. Graham Hancocks ‘Fingerprints of the Gods’ (I highly recommend it) is more focused on a potentially forgotten era of human history. In our own focus I would like to draw the attention of the reader to Chapter 28, which attempts to teach about precession. The precession of the earth to be more exact and how Earth’s precession relates to various mythologies around the world. Taking this into account the author states “…serious & intelligent people devised a system for veiling the technical terminology of an advanced astronomical science behind everyday language of myth.”
For those who aren’t aware of what precession is, a quick Google result gives us the following:
“The slow movement of the axis of a spinning body around another axis due to a torque (such as gravitational influence) acting to change the direction of the first axis. It is seen in the circle slowly traced out by the pole of a spinning gyroscope.”
Basically, from a persons perspective on Earth, precession can be seen over the course of thousands of years through use of stellar constellations. It can be said that we’re currently in the ‘Age of Pisces’ (where the sun rises in the section of sky also occupied by the constellation Pisces). Why is this important though? It is important due to its reliability. It takes approximately 25,776 years to complete a full precessional cycle where the sun will rise in each constellation for 2148 years. For those who are curious, the next age is Aquarius. But again, why is this important?
To go back to ‘Fingerprints of the Gods’ a way that is proposed is the language of precession & using it in the construction of megalithic structures. By now it has been well documented that the great pyramids align themselves with Orion’s belt. It should be of no surprise that this same phenomenon can be seen in other ancient wonders. Regardless of which ancient wonder you look at or study, you begin to notice some very peculiar things. Things like (taking the great pyramid as an example) the precise nature of its measurements. The exact 52 degree slope & how each side to this angle can be calculated to represent an exact scale model of the northern hemisphere 1:43,200 times. Could this be our own ancestors speaking to us, trying to teach us an unwritten language? More importantly if this is the case, should we be making efforts to do something similar?
The written word will undoubtedly become unrecognizable & the people of today don’t seem very concerned with building monuments to align with the stars, so what can be passed down from us to them that could withstand the erosion of time? Perhaps carefully constructed mythology could be the answer to this problem? There are few people around who don’t know of the ancient gods Zeus & Thor or of famous Heroes such as Hercules or Maui. What if we adapted such a technique to instead teach things like basic sciences? By no means were our ancestors any less intelligent than we are today. I believe that our modern technology has made a great many of us arrogant & self entitled. That’s possibly a big contributor to the state of the world & its current problems. What if those stories we learned as myth had a greater purpose, one that had ties to these megalithic structures we thought were created by power-hungry humans with simple tools?
The precise inclusion of lengths of time in the format of a myth will often go over looked but as Graham Hancock has discovered, a double take may be in order. Stories (especially good ones) tend to stick around longer than boring & lengthy scientific truths. Would it be worth our time & effort to start teaching our own children how to interpret new ‘myths’ laced with as many facts about fundamental scientific truths as we could fit? If successful, would this be the tip of the iceberg for future generations to discover our own monoliths that could show how to advance technology at a rate of generations instead of thousands of years? And even if it did take thousands of years, how do we keep such valuable knowledge in pristine condition for when those future peoples are ready to receive it? These questions may never be answered, or perhaps it is already too late to answer them.
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Enter into StoryVille and ignite your imagination in a fantasy land with spirits shaken and stirred for your pleasure.
Step right up and turn the page, choose your own adventure. But beware…this fairytale is not for the faint of heart. For once you have passed through the gateways of StoryVille, you have fallen down the rabbit hole, discovered the lion through the wardrobe, and wandered along the pathways of the enchanted forest.StoryVille is themed around the childhood fables and fairytales that we all know and love; all encompassed in a venue that ignites the imagination. Here your favourite stories come to life; through whimsical and unique interior design and our colourful cocktail menu, featuring James’ giant peach and even edible insects.With cocktail in hand, and music from Melbourne’s best DJs and entertainers, you’ll dance through a door to find yourself in another world. Take the dark or light roads, let your soul unwind and unleash your inner mythical being in a place where anything is possible.
Find out more here.