January 2017

January 31, 2017

Lacking Empathy and What's Broken in American Society

January 31, 2017
Lacking Empathy and What's Broken in American Society
We, as Americans and from the perspective of citizens of the USA, have been raised up to believe in this American dream. We're all told from a young age that we can be whatever we want to be. Yet, as you reach for that ideal, there are always people there to beat you down. Even amongst some of the people closest to you. Broken people who don't want to see you achieve what they've failed to achieved. They're the ones that have messed up, have forgotten to live, and never went through anything with a purpose. So they tear down things, they tear down those who may achieve what they couldn't or chose not to. They strike out and hit others with what they feel towards themselves. It could be fake friends or even family members that don't want to see you achieve what they couldn't and their need to "sin" comes out in the form of tearing others down. It is their joy. Which develops into your feeling of alienation.

Growing up, and perhaps even now, you may feel that what you believe doesn't matter. That it never mattered. This is in opposition to what are supposed to be these so-called "American ideals". The people you try to discuss your ideas with are the ones who don't really care to listen to your thoughts. Or perhaps they think the fact that you care about anything at all, having a heart, is quaint. That your empathy is a throwback relic that makes you someone that belongs "over there". Wherever "over there" is. More or less, it's a 'get away from me' because people don't want to feel. People thinking you're irrational for having any sort of care for things and people beyond yourself and beyond what's in your life. So you begin to feel tired where you are. And it's not even a place, it's the sin of this society itself.

You can reach this point of emotional evolution at any time during your life. Or you could discover it all over again, regaining the things this society, and others, chip away from you. You can't let this society and people overwhelm you. You have to grow and begin to understand more of what's going on around you. You have to realize the truth of this diseased society. Either from the progression out of blissful youth or an evolution back into what you once knew, but forgot. Something kicks you out of your blindness of recognizing the darkness of this American society.

You feel, deep down, that everything is wrong here. You feel the need to separate yourself from it, this society and you need to go with it. You need to distance yourself from it. You just can't sit back regularly, like so many, and engage in escapism and go along with it all. You can't spend your life numbing yourself like most Americans do. Yes, maybe you feel outside of all of this because you can't get lost in the pointlessness of the entertainment, distraction culture. You just want to find something bigger, something to live for more freely, but your happiness is torn down by those around you stuck in cycles of complacency or you can't break free from the trap of this culture. And you become tired, your house no longer feels like a home. Where you are no longer feels like a place where you belong.

The thing you have to remember though is that there are people out there like yourself. People seeking for something more to live for, and not just in a passing phase. We tire of these places where everyone keeps themselves within abysses of their own making. We're the ones that walk down the street in our communities and see the ghost towns. Even when people are all around. Yet they're completely unaware of everything around them. You're out and staring into the sky and seeing the beauty of the world around you. Yet their interest is in their distractions and their intent is to also tear down your wonder. To chip away at your wonder, your imagination, to suck away your awe of the world and your 'life force', to place you into their existence without wonder. You are put off by the sight of cultural waste as everyone's always distracted by everything but give less attention to the people around them. Places where everybody always addicted to something and you're the outlier for not having a need for the mind-dulling and numbing. Many times these are the people treating the 'awakened' people around them, the old souls, as their paperweights. Treating them with little respect and as an object for them to use and, many times, even abuse.

This is something that those of us who are aware, those who don't feel they're a part of this escapist, broken culture, need to rise above. We need to rise beyond their slumber. This is what a revolution is about, not about going along with the politics and the social waves of this broken society. No, it's about seeking beyond this society and reaching out. It's about empathy and finding each other out here. Out beyond the televisions, the entertainment culture, beyond the escapism. Where the "escape" becomes pure interaction with each other. To shift this society or to move beyond it. Whatever more easily becomes our reality. We need to start new and not expect ourselves to live within confines of this broken culture. And, yes, this needs to be done on the individualistic, decentralized level of our humanity. Only we know what that is, on an individual level, what will be right in seeking out greatness. There is no true guidebook beyond whatever faith, in goodness of your spirit, that you may follow. If you feel discontent then find your path. That voice you hear in the back of your mind is resistance, it is your soul wanting to move beyond this broken society. And yes not everyone hears that voice. Yet, if you truly do then let yourself be open and listen to it; the world around you and not the things of this broken society. Live your American dream, your own interpretation, and live for the good of everything. Don't become darkness and instead be all that's good. The example will rub off on others, the right people, the good people, without effort. Live your life with wholehearted empathy, and also by helping everyone in need, online and off.

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In Memory of Katelyn Nicole Davis, February 20, 2004 - December 30, 2016 - An old soul gone before her time. Her pain in this world was never something she ever deserved and she never had the chance to see the world outside of the broken life around her. Fly high beautiful.

January 28, 2017

The Space Between Us Trailer - Britt Robertson, Asa Butterfield, Gary Oldman

January 28, 2017
The Space Between Us Trailer - Britt Robertson, Asa Butterfield, Gary Oldman
Starring Britt Robertson and Asa Butterfield, The Space Between Us is a Science Fiction, with elements of romance, that's set to premiere on February 3rd, 2016. It tells the story of Gardner Elliot (Butterfield) and Tulsa (Robertson) who begin communicating online. Gardner is a 'resident' of Mars, being born on the planet, and his only communication with people on Earth. That is, until he reaches the age that he's possibly strong enough to withstand Earth's environment and gravity. He arrives on Earth, kept under high security, but he ends up escaping and taking off with Tulsa to find his father and experience life on Earth.

Watch the movie clip/trailer below.


 

January 27, 2017

Sunwatch Indian Village in Dayton, Ohio

January 27, 2017
Sunwatch Indian Village in Dayton, Ohio
Sunwatch Indian village is a reconstruction of an ancient Native American village that was once home to the Fort Ancient Native American culture. They lived in the region, though not at this exact site, from 1000-1750. The Sunwatch Indian Village was reconstructed based on the locations of archaeological finding and are located on the park's three acre location. The park got its start after evidence of the ancient village were found in the 1960s. In 1971 the site was preserved after digging on the land, for a sewage treatment plant, after artifacts were discovered that showed the existence of the former village.

The park is run by the Dayton Society of Natural History.



January 26, 2017

Photographer Dave Sandford captures Lake Erie during storms

January 26, 2017
Photographer Dave Sandford captures Lake Erie during storms


Dave Sandford, a photographer from London, Ontario, Canada, has photographed many subjects over his nineteen years in the business. According to his website, he's done mostly sports photographer but his interest in photography started with photographing nature. Many of his photos can be found his official website and his Instagram account. You can also follow Dave Sandford on Twitter.

Other Photos of Lake Erie

January 25, 2017

The Story Of Painted Post, NY

January 25, 2017
The Story Of Painted Post, NY

The Story Of Painted Post, NY

What's In A Name?

How does a town get a name of "Painted Post?"  There's an easy answer to that...and a longer story.  The quick answer is the town was named after a post placed there by Indians. The real reason why the post was placed is not exactly know. But one speculation is that is was painted in a color combination suitable for some primitive type of communications. What's also not know is when the original was put in place.

The naming of this community in Steuben County, adjacent to Corning, NY, goes back to the Colonial Days and the Revolutionary War.  At that time, white men visiting the area found, on this very site, (the small park at the Community Square) an oak wood post which was square to a height of four feet and then octagonal to the top.  The surface was painted red and decorated with black figures, about half without heads.  There were numerous references to this "painted post" by the early settlers who found several explanations from the Indians who put it there.  For some it was regarded as a memorial to a fallen chieftain, for others a marker for assemblies and, a "war post" around which dances were held.

That original post endowed this place with a name which will endure as long as recorded history. By 1808, the first namesake had disintegrated and a fitting substitute was put up.  Since then there have been several other replacements and time, wind, and weather have taken their toll.  The present monument goes back to about 1950.

The Indian with the bow waves a greeting to visitors at the Community Square in Painted Post today, which is in the heart of the downtown business district.  It's not far from a major industrial property where an Allegheny field service team was working. During a lunch break, the pictures you see here were taken.



January 24, 2017

Mugu Rock and Point Mugu, California

January 24, 2017
Mugu Rock and Point Mugu, California


Mugu Rock, in Ventura County, California, gets its name from the Chumash word for beach, Muwu. It is a prominent land feature in Point Mugu and took on its current formation during the creation of the Pacific Coast Highway, starting in 1937. Prior to that, a narrow road went around the rock and its erosion was the reason for new route that was cut through the ridge.

January 23, 2017

A Tour of Flintstones Bedrock City in Valle, Arizona

January 23, 2017
A Tour of Flintstones Bedrock City in Valle, Arizona

January 22, 2017

Fort Roberdeau - History of the Original Lead Mine Fort

January 22, 2017
Fort Roberdeau - History of the Original Lead Mine Fort
From the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, June 1973.

The location of the Fort is in the Sinking Valley region on the slope of Brush Mountain. The site is in an area of dense growth -- trees, shrubs, weeds -- recently removed by concerned citizens. Removal of the vegetation revealed a concrete foundation outlining the fort, poured between 1939-1941 for the purpose of reconstructing the site. Impetus for reconstruction was begun by concerned local agencies with National Youth Administration workers doing the physical labor. This was based upon the work of Donald A. Cadzow, State Archaeologist, who uncovered the original stone and brick foundation. The only remains above ground surface were the powder magazine walls of stone and brick and a square of masonry work, probably part of a smelting plant. Reconstruction efforts were discontinued in 1941 with the advent of World War II.

By Pubdog [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Few descriptions are available on the forts original appearance. The Columbian Magazine (September 1788) notes the erection of "a large fort of logs." Africa (1883) mentions the log fort upon which were mounted two small cannon, possessing a good armament, and manned by a regular garrison of 10-40 men. He also makes note of a smelting furnace. A sketch appearing in The Columbian Magazine of Fort Roberdeau (December 1788) shows a wall of what appears to be horizontal logs with a gate in the center and various out-buildings outside the wall. Craine (1941) notes the accompanying wording, "a timber fort, used for the same purpose as a blockhouse, but designed to accommodate a greater number of persons. Such a structure was generally made in the shape of a hollow square with various buildings and a watchtower within showing the line of loopholes at shoulder height." Craine notes that the stockade logs were horizontal rather than the customary vertical or up-right position because of the out-cropping of limestone which made it difficult to excavate deeply enough to place the logs in a vertical position.

The Fort site presently comprises 1.978 acres. The outline of the fort itself reveals a square structure with blockhouse-type protrusions on each of the four corners.

With the advent of the Revolutionary War, lead for the Continental Army became of great importance. Lead deposits were discovered in what was then the Sinking Spring Valley region, presently Sinking Valley, in Central Pennsylvania. General Daniel Roberdeau, a prominent Philadelphia merchant, an Associator, and a member of the Committee of Safety, was assigned the task of supervising mining operations in the area. Roberdeau, in order to house the miners of the area and to protect them from both Indians and Tories, erected the Fort in l777-l778 near the lead deposits in what is today Blair County. Eugene Craine, citing an original Roberdeau letter, states that he probably set up some kind of fort on an initial visit during 1777 and strengthened it on a second visit in 1778 by building a stockade.

The amount of lead derived from local mines is unknown. The enterprise was apparently abandoned by 1779 due to lack of assistance and expenses involved in mining operations. However, The Columbian Magazine (September, 1788) notes that the miners were from the old country, unused to the frontier life, and that the "whole undertaking fell to the ground." The Fort nevertheless remained standing even after its abandonment by garrison troops and continued to serve as a refuge for the local settlers. Craine notes that the Fort was occupied at least through 1781.

Fort Roberdeau was one of five frontier forts in Blair County in the 1777-1778 time-period. However, the other four were built by private enterprise, of the block-house type. Fort Roberdeau, commonly known as the Lead Mine Fort, appears to have been the only fort in Blair county built and manned by soldiers of the Continental Army.


Bibliographical References
Africa, J. Simpson, History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties,
   Pennsylvania, "Blair County," (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1883).
The Columbian Magazine, September and December, 1788, (Philadelphia: W. Spotswood).
Craine, Eugene R., The Story of Fort Roberdeau, 1777 to 1783,
    (Altoona: The Tourist & Publicity Bureau of the Chamber of Commerce, The City of Altoona,  1941).
Davis, Tarring S., ed., A History of Blair County, Pennsylvania, Vol. 1,
    (Harrisburg: National Historical Association, Inc., 1931).
Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania, Vol. 1, (Clarence M. Busch, State Printer, 1896).

January 16, 2017

Orla Gartland - 'grey' (original song) video

January 16, 2017
Orla Gartland - 'grey' (original song) video


Description: a song about having no grey area

Orla Gartland is a singer from Ireland and posts many of her original songs (like this one), and covers, on her youtube channel.

Keep up with her on social media, Instagram Facebook Soundcloud Tumblr

And also help support Orla by buying her Music:

January 13, 2017

The Internet is in Bad Need of a Soul

January 13, 2017
The Internet is in Bad Need of a Soul
Look at your world, what is your life?

Hour after hour you spend time scrolling screens. You're on your computer scrolling through Facebook. You're on your smartphone or tablet doing the same. You're posting updates about your life to social media. Maybe you spend time streaming random moments of your life to people on the internet. All of which are actions of trying to make a connection to people. When out public you, more than you realize, never look up to make true eye contact with anyone.

Yet, the more social "reach" you get, the less of a connection you feel. Things begin to reveal and you find that none of this is real. It's just not the same as a true connection. There is no soul, no energy, behind these interactions. The internet is a black hole that takes everything in. And what it sends back out is cold data. It is not streaming consciousness. There is no emotion in the data.

Now, don't get me wrong, that's not to say that people can't make meaningful friendships and relationships over the internet, but there's going to be the need real, regular meet ups in the real world. Daily Skype conversations will never be enough. Private messaging, instant messaging, and texting will never be enough. It's as real as that. Your ties to people have to be real, sooner or later, as we're a social species and we crave interaction.

This sentiment is best defined by the quote by Kristen Stewart's character in the film Anesthesia:

"Everyone is plugged in, blindingly inarticulate, obsessed with money, their careers. Stupidly, arrogantly content. I can’t talk to them, I fight them, I want to destroy them even. I crave interaction, I crave it. But you just can’t anymore. They pull their devices out for every little thing. To reinforce their petty, convenient notions, to decide where they’re gonna shop, what they’re gonna eat, what movies they’re going to watch. Everything they ingest."

While blunt, it hits right at the core of the problem of the digital and how it fits into the rest of the "culture" of contentment. People, instead of staring into the world for discovery and interaction, they instead pull out their smartphones and other electronics to discover these things. They're completely pulled into a flat screen and it has become a large substitute for tasks that were once done with true interaction. Again, these interactions are pulled into the black hole that is the internet. You're staring into an abyss. They're victims of false hopes and it's not their fault. Trust me, i've been pulled into this system too.

Sucked in by a black hole

Think about it, you may too easily be getting yourself stuck into a pattern slowly tearing you down. And if your home situation isn't all that great then it can be even worse. You try and find a connection with people online for support and perhaps catch feelings, there's nothing wrong with that, but you need to understand that video chats and streams are never going to be enough. If you want a true change, you're going to have to go beyond. You're going to have to go beyond the fears that this society has programmed into us. The fears of getting out there. If you know someone across the country that you want to meet, arrange to do so. Even if you're nervous. Because, most likely, the other person is just as nervous. The two of you, or crowd or whoever, can meet up in a busy public place to make those initial connections in the true world, instead of the digital one.

If you want to escape the environment you're in, especially a poor environment, then do everything in your power to fight for an escape. Reach out to people in your local community for help. The helpers are everywhere and can be found in the most unlikely of people. With declining communities and declining society, such as here in the USA, these real connections are going to be more important than ever. You're going to need to have people to trust and people to trust in you. They're going to have to be reliable people. Restore the structure, the community that has quickly become replaced by technology. And get people to go outside.

Technology is a thing that is meant to be a tool and not the structure itself. Remember that. Know that. Use it intelligently to reach out to people. But don't let it be only the beginning and end of your interactions. Always reach beyond and get to know these digital people outside the screens. Don't get stuck in a pattern of accepting the mundane. Live.

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Finally, to get down to where all this has come from. It's been a little over a week since i heard of Katelyn Nichole Davis. After seeing her numerous streams, of her ups and downs as she talks with/to people online, that have been put up on YouTube (link), the things she had endured have torn me apart. She was an empath, she was an old soul and her horrible situation and this world overwhelmed her. I'm still grieving and more than i was last week. I never knew her but she, and her life, is all i can think about, Those videos have made what she went through all that more real. And this society has failed her, and everyone else who has suffered like she has, nearly as much as her family has failed her. The emotion and suffering present in these videos, and her fake smiles, are heart-breaking. She used the internet to connect to people but she was still stuck in a poor environment. In nearly every one of these streams of hers she was screaming out for help. She wanted an escape.

And the people that talked with her online failed in providing that. A failure that was no fault of their own. Just as they've also failed in making fully meaningful connections. Something that i've failed at too online.

We need to understand her experiences. She had a message to get out and it's time we listen to it loud and clear. If you see people who need help online, make an effort to actually get them help. Discussions and listening to them are good. But we need to do more. More needs to be done. Don't approach these things in a manner of talking @ someone.

Talk to them, talk with them. Don't expect something from anything and go into online conversations with people in need, or with anyone, with selfish thoughts in mind. Make the interactions real. Social media has guided our mindsets into holding things back, things of emotion, and sometimes even doing things for self-promotion. Avoid this at all costs. Let your communications with people be real, with emotion, and true. Put life into the internet. Abandon public personas on social media and be your true self. Ween yourself from public social media and make it a secondary thing. Make your online communications more personal and stop striving to talk to as many people as you can. It dilutes your meaning, yourself, and your ability to get to know people.

I dedicate myself to all of this in Kate's memory, for myself and for everyone else, and it you know her story, have felt deeply for her, then be a part of this fight of transforming the world you can reach too, especially the digital world, for the better of us all. To help people and make them know that they're not alone. That they're never alone.

January 7, 2017

Katelyn Nicole Davis - February 20, 2004 - December 30, 2016

January 07, 2017
Katelyn Nicole Davis - February 20, 2004 - December 30, 2016
No one should be sad in Georgia, but you were. You were just one of many that feel lower than they're worth in your home state.

Her name is Katelyn Nicole Davis.

She lived in the County of Polk in Georgia. She was born in 2004 and her time on this planet was far too short. From what's out there, her life wasn't the easiest but she was still obviously full of humanity and love. Even showing regret and giving apologies up until her last moments. It's not her who failed though. It's more than that.

In a partial sense, it comes down to the failure of this damned society. Katelyn, like many others, had barely any breaks from the relentless 'psychological assault', among other abuse. Not at home, not at school, not online.  It was on a social media site where her last moments that were broadcast. That site is live.me and, upon visiting it, you'll be greeted by false imagery of adventure, fun times, and social interaction. Just another segment of the illusion of the social aspect of social media. Social media needs to be reinvented as a means to reach out to people, to actually communicate, and not a medium to talk @ them.

It was there, on live.me's app, where she broadcast her last moments. Moments that were a silent scream, to be saved, being sent out into the black hole that is the internet. Into the lie that is social media, a place where the least amount of people care about anything. The culmination; the effect of the stress and events in her life. If only any of us were able to save her.

Ending with a heart-wrenching and shaky goodbye.

RIP

The Internet is in Bad Need of a Soul

Katelyn Nichole Davis (Justice For This Angel)✨ (Facebook Group)



The "I miss..." is what really got to me in this video. To miss what you don't know, you're in a house but not a home. It's heart-breaking.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Updates January 11th, 2017:

Excerpts from her video streams by 'In Memory of Katelyn Nichole Davis' on YouTube'
Full-length stream archives on YouTube



The new videos always seem more devastating than the last but her words, her experiences, her emotions, her messages need to be heard.


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Ever since first seeing the initial video, and now these short videos, i'm not going to lie... it's caused a change. Like something's switched on within me. What i read and what i watch, it's all seeming to become so secondary. It all seems so pointless, but not in a depression sort of way. Like many that have seen these videos by her, it feels like we have to get active. 

This tragedy isn't some movie, this is real. And it doesn't seem like some far off thing. This Is Real. For the past six days it's like i've been increasingly grieving and feeling angry over a loss that feels all too real. Even though i never knew her, it feels like i've lost a family member. It feels like when i lost an actual family member to suicide so long ago. Like his passing, Katelyn's has hit me hard and it feels strange because i've never grieved over anyone i haven't known. 

It's upsetting to see the world go on even after someone dies.  To see most people unaware of the loss of such an obviously amazing person. Instead, they go on with the most meaningless distractions out here in 'our' society. And the things that Katelyn went through make me angry. No one should have to have experienced what she had at her age. Plus, being the care-taker of her siblings at her age clearly put a lot of stress on her.

What shakes me the most is that the look of anguish on her face, in many videos, is one i'd seen far too many times without even realizing it. The depths; it's even like looking in one's own reflection. Feelings i've even known in the past. Ultimately, when your house no longer feels like a home and anguish, fear, stress, worthlessness, and feeling drained, tired beyond tired.

Today, January 11th, marks six days since i first learned of Katelyn Nicole Davis and the emotion, grief, is as strong as ever. Yet, it's something i can't control. But there's a reason for this. She has to be remembered. She deserves to be remembered. Her life had meaning and she's a light that has to be known; to be shone. 

This, regardless of her upbringing, her background, everything she was has meaning far beyond anything wasteful being given undue exposure in our media. Even above celebrities and media personalities. Even if most never know about her, it is up to us who do to dedicate ourselves to helping people at every chance. Helping people in her memory and taking the lessons, the words, present in her videos. Do no harm to others. Everything done with love, and know that the biggest, deepest scars cannot be seen. 

To quote St. Augustine, "Let the root of love be in you: nothing can spring from it but good." 

Dedicate yourself. Redefine yourself. Help everyone you can. That is what Katelyn's memory is worth.




Justice for Katelyn!

January 4, 2017

Grandfather and Todd Family Farm Tribute by Kate Todd

January 04, 2017
Grandfather and Todd Family Farm Tribute by Kate Todd

Grandfather and Todd Family Farm Tribute ~KT

Description:
A tribute to my Grandfather, Gordon Todd, we lost 5 years ago today.
Location: Todd Family Farm
Original Song: KATE TODD's 'Somewhere On The Dial'

A beautiful, emotional song and video. It's like the video pulls you in and you're right there in that barn. You can feel the slight chill of the rain, the scents of the rain and hay, and the fresh scent of the rain falling down as the breeze flows in. Just sit back and watch.