About ameskenazi

sophomore from florida

Knit Graffiti and Yarn Bombing, An International Movement

Yarn BombingYarn bombingyarnbombingyarnstormingguerrilla knittingurban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.

Yarn Bombing is one of the coolest forms of urban art I’ve ever seen. It has become an international movement, adding brightness and color in a non-destructive matter to cities around the world.

 

a tree in germany

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“Wooly Bully”- the bull statue on Wall Street, New York, NY covered in yarn by Olek, the most famous yarn artist.

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a bus in Mexico City, Mexico

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a London telephone booth

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a World War II tank in Copenhagen, Denmark

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Juliana Santacruz Herrera patches up cracked streets in Paris, France

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a yarn bombed train seat in California on the Berkeley-San Francisco BART

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statue in Bali, Indonesia

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For more pictures, here’s a tumblr dedicated to yarn bombing.

FYI, yarn bombing is considered illegal, just like graffiti. Even though it is able to be removed, it is destruction of public property.

Life, Death, and What Happens Next: The Egg by Andy Weir

I would consider The Egg by Andy Weir the most interesting and thought-provoking thing I’ve ever read. Here it is. After reading it, take a little time and think.

The Egg

By: Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.

Amsterdam Street Art

Amsterdam- a city packed with some trippy people and some trippy street art. It’s funky and filled with wild colors. While being aesthetically pleasing, Amsterdam’s graffiti is also filled with political messages. Currently, the Amsterdam municipal government has attempted to decriminalize graffiti and make it more socially acceptable by creating legal opportunities to paint in specially designated areas. An example is Project ASA.

Look for the political slogans and faces in some of these pictures.

What is Love?

A group of professionals asked this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds: “What does love mean?” The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. Here’s just a few of them:

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”-Rebecca, age 8

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”-Billy,4

“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”-Terri,4

“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.”-Emily,8

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”-Bobby,7

“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.”-Nikka,6

“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.”-Tommy,6

“During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.”-Cindy,8

“Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.”-Elaine,5

“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.”-Chris,7

“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.”-Mary Ann,4

“I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.”-Lauren,4

“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” -Karen,7

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.” -Jessica,8

These kids’ responses show just how much of an impact adults have on them. This Thanksgiving, and really any other day, show how much you care about your loved ones and be thankful. Think about who in your life fits into these definitions of love, and show them that you’re thankful that they’re in your life.

My definition of love:

 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Credits to redsofts.com.

Nic Fiddian-Green and The Horse Head

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Ever since he saw the Horse of Selene, Nic Fiddian-Green has worked hard at perfecting the form of the equine head. He works in clay, plaster, beaten lead and marble, and he oversees the casting into bronze himself. He was born in Hampshire, England. Many of his exhibitions have been in London. He hast casted international attention in major exhibits in Italy, USA, and Australia. His recent encounter with a life-threatening illness has caused him to revise his work into a much deeper and thought-provoking vision. Even though all his sculptures portray a human head, they are viewed as a form of self-portrait. His sculptures are representations of his strong faith and persistence through life’s challenges.

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For more information,visit his website, nicfiddiangreen.com, or for a little insight into Nic Fiddian-Green’s creative mind, read this interview from The Telegraph.

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Nigerian Teenagers Create A Urine-Powered Generator

As many people around the world have been effected by hurricane Sandy, there’s been a loss of lower and a demand for generators to power hospitals, restaurants, ad homes. Four teenagers from Nigeria are out to change the world. 14-year-olds Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatyoin, and 15-year-old Bello Eniola created the world’s first urine-powered generator. They premiered their ingenious invention at Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria.

Here’s how it works (according to The Next Web):

  • Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which cracks the urea into nitrogen, water, and hydrogen.
  • The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, which then gets pushed into the gas cylinder.
  • The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas.
  • This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator.
  • 1 Liter of urine gives you 6 hours of electricity.

Nigeria, shown in red in the map below, is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populated country in the entire world. Nigeria’s poverty rate is unknown, but according to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, “the poverty rate in Nigeria may have risen to 71.5 per cent, 61.9 per cent, and 62.8 per cent using the relative, absolute and dollar-per-day measures, respectively…” Now, ask yourself, how can you change the world? Most of you reading this have way more resources at your fingertips than those four girls combined. Put your life to good use.

“The Subway That Time Forgot”: New York City’s Hidden Subway Station

Opened in 1904 for the Manhattan Main Line, the City Hall Station was supposed to be the heart of the subway system. With the looks of the Grand Central and the emptiness, the secret station looks like the one from Harry Potter. Due to new, stronger trains, the station was forced to close in 1945 since it wasn’t made for the larger trains. Trains were then forced to get off a stop before at the Brooklyn Bridge. Nowadays, the 6 train passes through the station, allowing passengers to view its glory from inside the car. Even though you can’t get off on the stop, the train travels through slowly enough for people to view the beauty. To make the station even cooler, street artists of the Underbelly Project have turned it into a little, creepy art gallery (look at the picture above). Those who explore deep into the tunnels can see it during the night. However, only go by foot if you don’t mind getting arrested or the small possibility of getting hit by a train…
How to travel to the station: Simply stay on the 6 train instead of getting off at Brooklyn Bridge, the last stop. The train actually makes a turnaround through City Hall station as it starts its return trip uptown.
There’s also some really cool hidden London Tube Stations. Click the links below for some info on them.