A Modern Take of the Classic Toy Block

monogoto has created a modern take of the classic toy block with the collection called KUUM for Felissimo. KUUM is a collection of 202 building blocks crafted from beech tree wood that come in beautifully arranged units of 12 pieces. Each unit is infused with the stories of 12 elements and each unique piece embodies a small fragment of nature. By seeing and touching the KUUM building blocks, the rational and the emotional parts of your mind are stimulated and this experience will introduce you to new insights. KUUM consists of 12 kinds of block units, each representing a theme: soil, fire, flower, tree, mountain, sea, ice, stone, earth, moon, sun and sand.

KUUM block units can be broken down to a total of 202 pieces with 36 unique shapes and colors. These include flat boards, thin rods, L-shaped and U-shaped blocks that fit snugly, as well as unstable pieces, which can be stacked to produce a wobbly structure. Their appealing colors and shapes will instantly inspire you to pick them up and start building.

Nothings Gets Crossed Out
  • Nothings Gets Crossed Out
  • Bright Eyes
  • LIFTED or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground

Nothing Gets Crossed Out - Bright Eyes

Well the future’s got me worried 
Such awful thoughts
My head’s a carousel of pictures
The spinning never stops
I just want someone to walk in front
And I’ll follow the leader

Holey Existence

Megaslumps, as they’re often referred to, are like a pox symptom of our planet’s increasing climate change illness. Sinkholes all around the world are proving that the ground we walk on isn’t as solid as we’d like to think. In areas where sinkholes are prevalent, they can collapse upon one another creating large craters and expansive chasms that crack open the landscape.

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The Story So Far - Solo (Cover)

my bang bang cover got taken down because of copyright so i thought i’d throw out something else for this week’s cover. i don’t cover a lot of the story so far for some reason but i want to start catching up that. got heavy gloom coming next probably


Bright Eyes - I don’t know when but a day is gonna come

From album LIFTED or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground


Boating through a small river in the Amazon Rainforest

The Big Picture
  • The Big Picture
  • Bright Eyes
  • Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground

You’re just a piece of the puzzle
So I think you’d better find your place 
And don’t go blaming your knowledge
On some fruit you ate 
Because there’s been a great deal of discussion, yes
About the properties of man
I mean, animal or angel
You were carved from bone but your heart is just sand
And the wind is going to scatter it 
And cover everything with love

“The Big Picture” by Bright Eyes

This has been a complaint for as long as modern society has existed. It probably dates back to the Industrial Revolution.  Conor watches the people scattered around the train station, manipulated and controlled by the human concept of time, and he criticizes these sheep for their slavery to these man-made concepts. We hear this all the time from those who don’t quite fit into society or claim they have no interest in doing so.

TANGENT: I frequently read articles mentioning how college is a waste of money and all the jobs you can get if you choose not to go, but what they fail to mention is that some careers require a college education… but you shouldn’t go to college just because you’re told to. You should go when you’re ready.  And the problem is, many people simply aren’t emotionally or financially ready. You can forgo the financial prep if you’re emotionally strong enough to prepare to deal with loans. That is, your education has to be that important to you. Obama didn’t pay off his law school debt until very recently and he’s the president of the United States

Anyway, the point is that at the end of the verse, Conor comes to a very important conclusion that I hope is one day a more common occurance:

Suddenly, it is clear to see that it’s not them but me
who has lost my self identity. 

He, unlike so many in their 20s, comes to recognize that these people are not the ones feeling stifled. They’ve found their place in society, they’ve maintained their individualism, and he is only deferring his depression onto them.

Just because you’re not satisfied with the status quo does not mean it’s wrong.


A Brief History of Yokai

When the god Izanagi returned from the Land of Yomi, he purified himself in a bath. As he dried his body, each falling drop of water soaked into the soil and imbued the land with supernatural potential. Thus, the yokai were born.

The story of Izanagi and the origin of yokai comes from the oldest known work of Japanese literature and the basis of Japanese mythology, the 8th century Kojiki (古事記; Record of Ancient Matters). In Japan’s creation myth, the land itself—the rocks, trees, mountains, and rivers—are infused with latent magical energy. This energy needs only a focus to give it life. Just as nebulous gas ignites to form stars, this energy is compressed by events like volcanoes or earthquakes, or strong human emotions like fear or hatred, until it emerges as one of Japan’s menagerie of monsters and phenomena. Yokai take many shapes, and are as varied and complicated as human imagination can make them.

Yokai have not always been a single tradition. In ancient times, small tribes and kingdoms populated the island. Each isolated region gave birth to its own rich folklore, its own gods and monsters. It took the conquering and warlike Yamato clan in the 3rd century to subdue these tribes into a unified nation and culture. As centuries passed, new technologies like the printing press allowed regional folklore to spread. People learned for the first time what scared their neighbors when the lights went out.

The Golden Age of yokai was the Edo period (1603-1868), an unprecedented time of peace and prosperity. Folklorists and artists like Toriyama Sekien (鳥山石燕; 1712 – 1788) scoured the country for obscure legends and half-whispered folktales to populate their Yokai Encyclopedias and illustrated yokai scrolls. As the Brothers Grimm did for Germanic folklore, Toriyama and others rescued these stories from obscurity by putting them on paper at a time when oral traditions were vanishing.

Yokai almost disappeared following the Edo period, when Japan was swept up in a mania for modernization. When meeting with the Western powers, the country was embarrassed of its provincial passion for the supernatural. The government tried to sweep yokai under the carpet in favor of rational thinking and scientific advancement. As the military took over and Japan plunged into the darkness of WWII, the yokai were forgotten.

But one young man remembered. Comic artist Mizuki Shigeru (水木しげる; 1922 – Present) was raised on yokai stories told by his village wise woman. When he came home from the war, he started working in the new manga industry, drawing the stories he had heard as a boy. His comic Ge ge ge no Kitaro (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎) became one of Japan’s most popular comics, and Mizuki taught all of the children of Japan about the country’s mythical past.

Mizuki Shigeru’s influence continues, and yokai are again known throughout Japan. Children who grew up on Mizuki’s comics started creating their own yokai stories. People like Shibashi Hiroshi (椎橋寛; 1980 – present) created comics like Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (ぬらりひょんの孫), which were then translated into other languages and spread the yokai phenomenon across the world.