Watch this spectacular “Star Wars”-themed Christmas light show


The music from Star Wars makes me happy.

Originally posted on Quartz:

Tom BetGeorge is a music teacher by day, but at night he’s a light-show Jedi. The California man has engineered a Christmas light display set perfectly to John Williams’ iconic Star Wars score. It was featured on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight, a TV show that needs no explanation. Watch it below:

Make fun of it if you want, but it takes some skill and creativity to sync the lights up with the music like that. And the lightsaber battle (which starts at 1:26) is clever. At the very least, BetGeorge put an enormous amount of effort into it. Here’s how he says he put the whole thing together:

I sequenced the show using LOR, mixed the music/sound effects with Digital Performer, and filmed it using a 35′ lift at 3am. I built all the props using wood, metal, acrylic and corrugated plastic. The guitar is 17′, the piano is 19′ and the drums…

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Debbie Downerism: John Oliver and For-Profit Colleges

Originally posted on tressiemc:

One of the better things about social media is that if you manage to curate social feeds with just the right balance of entertaining spirits and brilliant intellects, it delivers unto you amazing content you would have otherwise missed.

I woke up one of these days — Sunday? Monday? I’m dissertating — to find dozens of messages from social media comrades about John Oliver’s take-down of for-profit colleges. You can watch it here:


It’s very satisfying.

It is particularly satisfying if you’ve experienced what Kevin Kinser rightly points out is the oddly sporadic nature of public interest in a 100 year old institutional practice of selling education for profit. Oliver is one of the best in the entertainment-as-news genre. He reaches people that mainstream media does not. He makes difficult issues palatable for general, concerned audiences.

And if you think about debt, precarity, credentialism and financial cronyism like I do…

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More than eyes, consider the lips


Lips are ten times more expressive an organ than eyes.  They pout, frown, pucker, stretch wide to laugh, smile or take in a huge bite of cake.  They smash into straight lines of disapproval.  They tremble.

They touch things in a multitude of ways, i.e., a light brush of the lips, a peck, a flurry of kisses.  Try touching eyeballs to anything and pain ensues.

Lips are used to spit, sneer, curl, and they can be plump, narrow, full, lavished with lipstick, or chapped and bleeding.  Sure sure, eyes can ooze, be puffy, and bruised, but anywhere on the body can be used to demonstrate that sort of imagery.

Lips are so much more.  Everyone knows when an athlete, or anyone else for that matter, says the internationally known “F” word with the volume turned low.

They eyes would need help from the surrounding muscles, and eyebrows to get that attitude across.




finding my humanity

I just saw some man’s post (on FB) about how there’s always been conflict in the middle east, specifically he meant the Israel and Palestinian issue, and he doesn’t care. He wishes they’d stop so his gas prices would go down and he calls them all assholes and so on and so forth. And what struck me was that I used to feel that way, when I wasn’t seeing anyone on either side as humans.

And I am ashamed.

Not that long ago, “They” were just these strange Un-American war mongers in a part of the world I couldn’t be bothered to remember where exactly it was on a map. I’m pretty certain my Anthro teacher would say I was being ethnocentric.

Yes. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of my apathy to humans who live far away, and have cultures I couldn’t be bothered to understand. Until I did. Heck, I study ancient cultures for FUN, why not living, breathing, “They do what?!”, “They eat WHAT?” cultures, because until I start making inroads to understanding other ways of thinking, I’ll just keep thinking the same old things I’ve always thought, and how will my children learn to care for anyone different than us (U.S.) if I am not an example? It could happen yes, but it has a higher chance of happening if I wade into that murky, unknown first.

Wrestling with the change I want to see

My lesson to contemplate today is, People everywhere, especially the people I tell myself I don’t like, that I see as wrong and hate-filled, are exactly the people I need to love.

Not that anyone in particular told me to consider this idea.  It came to me.  Or maybe it’s been building up over time.  Either way, my knee-jerk response is, “Really?” thick with sarcasm, and wanting to list and underline the actions and thoughts I find so reprehensible, as if to say, “See!? How could anyone love someone like that?”

I’d rather sit with arms crossed or fingers pointing, and forget that that’s exactly what ‘they’ are thinking about those I already love.  And probably me too.  If I want ‘them’ to look beyond what scares them, and see the beauty in others, as people who deserve rights (for example) as everyone else, then don’t I need to do the same?

I feel like one of the creatures in Dr. Seuss’ story, The Zax, unwilling to alter my course and so never moving forward.





6 Year Old Charlotte Figi Inspired New Medical Marijuana Dubbed “Charlotte’s Web” To Help Treat Epilepsy, Seizures and Cancer

Originally posted on Bless Your Hippie Heart:

Charlotte’s Web is special strain of marijuana developed by the Stanley brothers  (Joel, Jesse, Jon, Jordan, Jared and Josh) for the purposes of bringing the extremely beneficial Cannabidiol or CBD, to patients who need the therapeutic benefits of the plant, without the psychoactivity accompanied by THC.  It does not induce the psychoactive “high” typically associated with recreational marijuana use.  A CBD rich Cannabis Oil is extracted from the harvested plants and concentrated through rotary evaporation.  To make it easier to perform clinical trials, they are planning to move the Charlotte’s Web part of their operation to Uruguay.  By doing so, they will also be able to import it to any U.S. state as hemp. (source Wikipedia)

Charlotte’s Web is named after Charlotte Figi, whose parents and physicians say she experienced a significant reduction of her epileptic seizures after her first dose of medical marijuana at five years of age, and whose usage of…

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An Equal Rights surprise

This morning, as I was in line to exit the drive-through where parents drop kids off for school, the driver of the car in front of me got out and sprinted in my direction.  My first thought was she was going to tell me a brake light was out, or something to that effect, as she had been in the loop first and at some point was behind me.

Anyway, there I was, glad I had put a baseball cap over my bed head, and was wearing actual  clothes instead of a coat over pajamas, when I saw a small book in her hand and felt my warning hackles rise a little.  I do live in conservative-ville, where people think hypnosis is how I steal souls for the devil.  The strangers I see regularly in my day-to-day activities invite me to attend church with them, and after I say no, they never smile and wave again.  If this woman was going to invite me to ‘worship’ with her, it would be my first drive-by invitation.

She got close enough that there was no mistaking she wanted to talk to me and I let the window down, trying out a good morning smile.  She thanked me for having a Human Rights Campaign sticker on the back of my car.  It’s a blue equal sign, and it’s on the back window so it can’t be missed.  Now, all too aware of my coffee breath, I nodded, smiled and said something along the lines of “Sure thing.  Thank you.”  She fast walked back to her car and I’ve been happily stunned ever since, imagining this town populated with people who believe in equal rights for all.

I have seen other cars sporting the sticker here, it’s rare, and one time I was so thrilled to spot one, I honked and waved.  Sure that driver probably thought I was high, and had mistaken them for a brownie, but I had to show my solidarity.  Today I was on the receiving end of that same idea and it felt good.  Happy Wednesday.