*tu

3

First drafts of designs for round #3 of Aequis! First photo (apologies for the horrid photos btw) is the very first crossbreed I am offering (arctic x grassland types). Second is a temperate forest (smaller arboreal) type, another newly introduced type, and thirdly, the desert type, which I am finding myself quite fond of already. I worry, though, that some might find their heads unappealing and “mean looking,” though they are pretty chill even as Aequis go. Aside from these, I am working on bases for lower tier designs of all types (excluding crossbreeds and “domestics.”)

Suggestions and questions always welcome! (And yes, I am working on other owed work/computer stuff, don’t worry!)

Artist Name: Conor O'Brien

Tumblr: www.conorobrienart.tumblr.com

Untitled 1 - Darkness:

The series ‘Darkness’ consists of three cinematic images depicting an unsettled individual confined within a psychological landscape of misery, melancholy, and mystery.

At night, the streets are quieter, the lights are stronger, the alleys are darker, and the atmosphere is moodier. There is an air of uncertainty and a feeling of potential danger lurking in the shadows, especially when alone. In contrast, light can provide a sense of safety and security. The subject is in a state of isolation, apprehension, and loneliness, surrounded by a shroud of darkness, in both senses of the word.

www.conorobrienart.com

I hiked a 7 mile loop in a redwood forest this weekend. It was breathtakingly spiritual and humbling to wander amongst massive trees that were hundreds—sometimes thousands—of years old. 

The trail first led us 1000 ft down into the bottom of a valley, where there was a small creek flowing under felled giant redwood trees from the cliffs above. The forest floor was dark and its breeze cool, with the hot sun blocked out by the canopy of Giant Sequoias. It was mid-afternoon but felt like dusk. I grabbed a stone from the creek and took a moment to enjoy the silence, only broken by owls hooting and the water babbling.

In the wall of the valley, I found a pool of sap below a redwood tree whose roots were exposed. It smelled heavenly. I wrapped some of the sap in maple leaves and took it with me for the rest of the hike. I plan to make powerful tar water with it for a lovely woman on Etsy who requested a custom protection box. Not too far up the path, I also grabbed some brick-colored wood from a felled Douglas Fir tree that must have been thousands of years old. 

On the way back out of the valley, the sun was starting to sink, and the rays threaded horizontally through the trees, barely reaching the forest floor. As we hiked higher up, the path opened up into a huge field of tall grass, huckleberries, and honeysuckle. You could see the entire valley and, surprisingly, the Pacific Ocean beyond it. We were so far away from the water, and yet, there it was, glistening in the distance. 

Fog rolled in as the sun set behind the western mountains and temperatures dropped. We weaved through groves, pastures, and cliffs on our way back up to the top of the mountain. In the last hundred yards of steep incline, my legs burned with every step, but in my hand, I clutched the stone from the creek, knowing I just hiked up 1000 ft from the valley where I found it. I keep that stone on my altar now, a reminder that no matter how entrenched I am in life’s depths, I can always climb my way out with confidence, discipline, and adrenaline. 

On the next full moon, I’m going to use the stone to do a talisman spell for inner strength. 💜🔮💜

ringoffireradio.com
Why is Bernie Sanders Catching Fire with Voters, and Hillary’s Lead Shrinking?
Bernie Sanders is definitely a political outsider. A self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, he has literally come out of left field and now trails front-running Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by mere single digits, according to polls. Even mainstream corporate media can no longer ignore the huge crowds Sanders draws. Of course, that media acknowledgment is grudgingly: CNN...

Bernie Sanders is definitely a political outsider. A self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, he has literally come out of left field and now trails front-running Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by mere single digits, according to polls. Even mainstream corporate media can no longer ignore the huge crowds Sanders draws. Of course, that media acknowledgment is grudgingly: CNN suggests Sanders’ crowds consist of “curiosity seekers” rather than supporters, and warns that his run could “backfire and create deep divisions inside the Democratic Party that [Clinton] is far more likely to lead.”

Clinton claims she’s not concerned. But it is interesting that her plans for the coming months include “nuanced policy speeches” addressing the same Progressive issues on which Sanders has been decisively outspoken. Clinton intends to say a few words about affordable higher education, the pay gap between men and women and paid family leave. She also plans “a few well-honed attacks” on her Republican opponents.

Those “well-honed attacks” are more likely to backfire. If Sanders’ campaign is showing us nothing else, it’s the People are hungry for a real statesman who addresses the issues rather than playing the role of a celebrity and spending 75% of the time mudslinging. Those issues include:

  • Veterans: Sanders has worked with House Republicans to expand health care services for veterans as well as addressing other challenges ex-service personnel face. Not surprisingly, veterans’ organizations are becoming some of Sanders’ staunchest supporters.
  • Income inequality and poverty: this has long been among Sanders’ top issues. He acknowledges that “Big Money interests” are virtually invincible – unless We, The People stand up and start “making them an offer they can’t refuse.”
  • Student loan debt: this burden affects 71% of college graduates, who labor under an average debt load of over $30,000. Sanders is calling for tuition-free college for all undergraduate students, financed by a miniscule tax on stock trades.
  • Citizens United: Sanders states that the existence of SuperPACs “is what makes our current campaign finance situation totally absurd.” It is an issue upon which liberals and conservatives (at least those outside the Beltway) agree on. Sanders is the only candidate who has publicly refused to take SuperPAC funds.
  • Health care: The Affordable Care Act may have given more Americans access to medical services, but it falls way short of providing guaranteed health care enjoyed by citizens in other industrialized nations. Sanders is again calling for expanding Medicare into a single-payer system for everyone.

These ideas are supported by a majority of self-identified Democrats – and surprisingly, a large percentage of young (under age 45) Republicans. Yet, neither Hillary Clinton nor any of the Republican candidates have addressed these issues in any meaningful way. It is indeed the Corporate Establishment’s worst nightmare.

The biggest challenge Bernie Sanders faces is the word “socialism.” For decades, thanks largely to “Red Scares” of the 20th Century, socialism has been demonized, associated with “godless communism” and the Big Government “nanny state.” It has been presented as a “threat” to personal liberty.

Yet, people living in socialist democracies still enjoy personal liberties – even more so than Americans, anymore. Socialist democracy encourages entrepreneurship and allows private, for-profit businesses to operate and flourish. Citizens of socialist democracies continue to have freedom of (as well as from) religion. At the same time, these citizens are not burdened with student loans and the threat of bankruptcy from medical bills. Yes, their taxes are higher – but we in the USA still pay for these things indirectly, with no guarantee from the “free market” that we’ll get what we’re paying for.

Given that, why is “socialism” such a scary prospect?

Increasingly, it isn’t. The WORMS (“White Old Republican Males”) who came of age during the excesses of the old Soviet Union are dying off.   At the same time, the generation that grew up during an age of deregulated, no-holds-barred, anything goes, Ayn Rand-style capitalism and trickle-down neoliberal economic policy has seen the destruction it has wreaked on a once-proud, thriving republic. They’re ready for real change.

Increasingly, they see that Bernie Sanders is the one candidate who is truly committed to leading us all toward that change.