Tiltshifted Carnaval

Not everyone is fortunate enough to make it to Rio for Carnaval. And for those who don't make it, this tilt-shifted video makes for one hell of a runner-up for the experience.

Click play. Enjoy!

Tilt Shift Video - The City of Samba
Carnaval party in Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

[/w thanks to Marf for sharing the video in the first place!]

Wherever You Go

"If you're twenty-two, and physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel -- as far and widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them -- wherever you go." ~Anthony Bourdain

Paulo Coelho on the Meaning of Life

Paulo Coelho, who wrote "The Alchemist", "The Pilgrimage", "The Valkyries" (and many others), talks about the meaning of life. Normally when any person starts talking about the meaning of life, the speaker does not even realize the subjective nature of the meaning of life. Coelho focuses on the subjective nature of the meaning immediately, then follows with brilliant examples to show how the meaning of life reveals itself to each person. Beautiful!!

Your own skin

"Your first time out of the country of your own skin, I didn't bring a map. You always hated that I'd been lucky enough to pick my way through streets I couldn't pronounce to find cathedrals, graveyards. If you were a city, you said, I'd only like to know your suburbs. If you were a city, I said, I'd like to know your poor neighborhoods, your inner parts. Read your graffiti. Drink your tap water. Feel your smog and dirt stick to my sweat. Hear your orchestra of sirens and gunshots. I'd know which of your streets to walk. If you were a city, I'd expect to be robbed." ~Heather Sommer

Lesson - Archive, Pack, 'n Purge

Lesson - Archive, Pack, 'n Purge: One o' the most gratifying ways to say goodbye is by making gifts of all the "stuff" you'd otherwise be leaving behind. Instead of paying to store it, you have a gift to give away with each farewell. You don't need those possessions any more... 'n it's exciting to go thru each item and think of who it's perfect for. "Who will enjoy this the most? Who needs this? Who'll get the most use out of this?" You ask yourself these questions, 'n you'll find that you already know the peep an item's meant for.

When you give things away to the peeps they're meant for, you'll find that you naturally remember who has what. If you want to re-read a book or re-watch a movie, you know exactly where to find 'em... 'n it gives you another connection to see a friend at the same time. This is the very essence of a gift that keeps on giving.

A purge like this is only for the more experienced travelers... those who've already had their hearts set on fire by the road. If you run into things you can't bring yourself to give away... but can't carry on your back... then pack 'em down as tight as they'll go 'n ask a friend to store it. Someone'll say "yes"... 'n it's hella cheaper than storin' it. I have a large suitcase that I call my "closet". Peeps all over Austin have stored it away for me... sometimes years at a time... 'n it guarantees that I'll see those faces again as soon as I return. If your archive is any larger than a suitcase, though, be prepared to hold a garage sale or check back into a storage unit.

You'll find that purges make for some o' the most memorable moments. You've given a gift that matters to a person who matters. It sticks! One of my most memorable purges wasn't to a friend though... it was to a young boy with bright eyes 'n a big smile. My friend Tink 'n I were sharing coffee 'n conversation at our favorite pancake house when I spotted the kid. There was a bag of Lego blocks on our table that'd caught the boy's eyes. The Legos had their own story... but they were about to change storytellers. As we made to leave, I asked the boy's mother if she'd object to me leaving the Legos with him. Although surprised, she gladly accepted. And the boy's expression of delight is a look that I'll never forget. This is an action with an impact. Never underestimate the power of a gift that is given in the absence of gain.

Song of the Day: Of Porcelain - Still in Motion [unreleased]

True - A Most Interesting Story

"Old Man and The City" by burningmonk (Lukasz Kazimierz) [CC BY-NC-ND]

A Most Interesting Story
from [Here on Snopes]

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

To Continue: Now, go back to the photo at the top. Obviously, this is NOT Joshua Bell. After reading this entry, do you think this man is really homeless, or is this photo created to make it look like he is homeless? Go look and come back. And also, no matter what your answer is, does the man in the photo look like he would stand out anywhere (with the homeless or anywhere), or that he would blend in with "the crowd"? In Tokyo, with more than 13 million people, you would not believe how many people know the homeless man in the photo above. His name is Hatori-san. The word "small" just doesn’t apply to Tokyo, but if you're in downtown, your odds of finding Hatori-san are surprisingly high. In fact, it's likely that he'll find you.. . and he's honest about what he's gonna buy with the change that you give him. He's one of the few legendary figures who still lives on the streets of this world. You can spare a few yen for a smile. And today's song of the day is with Hatori-san, who appears in the official music video for Rhian Sheehan's "Standing in Silence Pt. 4".