The Sun is Shining

Wow. I don't usually wear my emotions on my sleeve, and I definitely don't usually use my blog as a place to share them. I try to make my blog about things: politics, art, life--things we can all talk about. But I take advantage of the fact that anyone who reads it is voluntarily here. I try my hardest to post things that are honest. I put a lot of effort in verifying anything I put on here. I encourage people to discuss and show me my weaknesses and my mistakes. But if you don't like what you read, you're welcome to ignore it and leave. You won't hurt my feelings, and I hope in the short time we shared I didn't hurt yours.
Recently, I've had to make a lot of difficult decisions. I've been placed in situations where before I would have avoided. I realized, however, that if I continually refused to respond to these situations, I would simply continue to be placed in them. They're uncomfortable, they're life-changing, but they're important.
Not all of these situations are bad. In fact, I would argue that most are good experiences, and I'm sure many of you have been in the same position before. True, some were more difficult than others, but as soon as I decided to go headfirst into a few, I knew I had to go headfirst into them all or I would never have felt as though I conquered my fears of them.
For all the difficulty I've endured, I've been offered great opportunity for happiness in return. My mom e-mailed me today with a story I felt I could share with everyone. It's a story that's very dear to me, although I'm sure the people involved have no idea of its impact--just as I was unaware of the impact I had on them before.
She shares:
"Talked to V M this morning.  She was telling me about a New Beginnings for Young Women [a program for teenage girls that teaches about the purpose of the LDS Young Women's program] that she attended last night  in which a girl who is 13 talked to the girls about her trials with cancer when she was 7.
She went on and said that the moment things started to look up for her was when the Fremont [High School] Boy's Soccer team all shaved their heads for her that day, when she was at her worse. Her mom then talked and said that, that moment was the best time for her. And when V heard that you were part of that, she wanted me to share that with you."
This is so cliché, but I don't know how to describe the feeling I had when I read that. I'm relatively young, but I've been granted so many opportunities to serve people and help them be happy. The pain I feel when I see people focusing on the negative in life and in others to the point that they cannot posses an honest happiness for themselves and others is so visceral that I physically shake. I don't know how else to explain it, and I'm not sure I understand why this is so. 
It's funny, this morning was dreary and on the drive to work I though to myself, "Wow, the weather is acting just how I feel." And I'm looking out the window and now the sun is shining.


Human Chain - Brian Beletic

Here's an awesome short, featuring the Jazz's very own Deron Williams. Word has it, it took Director Brian Beletic over two years to complete, and his thoroughness and attention to detail surely show through. Awesome!


Why are you so terribly disappointing?

I've noticed for a few years now that even as the world is becoming closer, even as peace and technology make huge strides in our everyday lives, there are people who encourage all of us to think that our world is on a death spiral into chaos and oblivion. What sucks, is, it's working. I can't even number the people who in the last week have told me in one way or another that because ONE thing is happening, we can expect destruction of our society tomorrow.
Now, I'm not naive. There are legitimate concerns. But compare what we're doing today from 50 years ago? It's not even a fair comparison!
Mark Morford of the San Francisco Chronicle writes such a compelling article, I'd thought I'd share it:
What happened to my bonus? What happened to my job? What happened to my country? Why can't it all go the way it's supposed to go? You mean having a kid won't solve my marriage problems? Why don't these drugs make me feel better? Where's that goddamn waiter with my salad? Have you seen the stupid weather today? Is this really all there is?

These are, from what I can glean, the most important questions of the day, of the month, of modern life itself. Hell, what with the economy and job situation, the housing market and the overall feel and texture of the nation right now, it's no wonder Americans are, by and large, a goddamn miserable bunch. We don't like anything right now. No politician, no decision, no situation, no inhale, no exhale. We are sick to death of all of it, including ourselves.

Can you blame us? Have you seen how many things there to be disappointed about these days? Love. Sex. Marriage. Stock market. God. Gas mileage. Death. Air travel. 5/9ths of the Supreme Court. It's all just a big goddamn letdown. The list is endless. And getting endlesser.

The evidence is everywhere. I calculate it took about seven minutes, give or take, after Steve Jobs finished introducing the shinypretty iPad before the whiny attacks on the wondergizmo began flooding in, how it didn't have this or that expected feature, how it can't do live video chat, doesn't have Flash, the bezel is too big and it won't double as a meat thermometer, how it doesn't really revolutionize much of anything despite how it's, you know, this gorgeous 1.5-pound slab of aluminum and glass that works flawlessly and can perform roughly one thousand tasks in a more fluid and astonishing way than any device of its kind in history.

Read the rest of it here.

Nuit Blanche

Absolutely fantastic short film, Nuit Blanche, plus, an awesome howdtheydothat making-of video to go with it!


Jon Stewart on Bill O'Reilly

One hour of Jon Stewart, one on one, with Bill O'Reilly. I personally think Stewart handled O'Reilly quite well with his mixture of seriousness and satire. It's hilarious to me that O'Reilly really has become the level-headed mouth of Fox News. Haha.


Brett's Brain: America's Great. Except for the South.

Forgive me if I'm wrong Brett, but I think this is continuing series!
Obviously, I don't want to offend my Southern readers (coincidentally, those that I know of aren't originally from the South, but that doesn't matter anyways), but from one undervoiced citizen living in a politically-stupid state to another: your politicians suck just as bad as mine. Brett posts:
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby (R) blocking ALL Obama nominations:
Over defense pork projects . . . Tell me again why it's the Democrats who are irresponsibly bringing us to ruin? It's definitely time to change the Senate rules.
Shelby is holding Obama's nominees hostage until a pair of lucrative programs that would send billions in taxpayer dollars to his home state get back on track. The two programs Shelby wants to move forward or else:
- A $40 billion contract to build air-to-air refueling tankers . . .

- An improvised explosive device testing lab for the FBI . . .

John Marshall:
In this case, we're not dealing with a stand on partisanship or ideology or simple political shiv play which I guess can each be respected in their own place. This is more like just a stick up. Gimme my money and I'll give you your Senate back! Worse than a squeegee man and not much better than a bank robber, Shelby is shutting down the president's ability to appoint anyone to anything until he gets his way.
For Obama-haters who happen to float on the right, this is a big black eye in my opinion for your whole party.
[Brett's Brain]


Feynman on Magnetism

I love this. I'm sure to varying degree we've all tried to explain something that is, at least to us, so elementary, that there is just no other way to explain it. I feel like that when I attempt to explain ANY physical phenomena to two certain friends whom I will not name here. Haha, anyway! Gotta love Richard Feynman anyway!

[thanks kottke.org]


How To Report the News