Artsy Fartsy – The Seahorse-Mermaid by Franc Torres

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BY FRANC TORRES IG: HASTA_LA_LUNA

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If you want to buy or checkout his other pieces, please go to his site @

Franc Torres

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Animals are Better than Humans – All they want is Love… (Warning – Cute Overload)

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4 Best Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Meditation (Science is Awesome)

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1. MEDITATION SPEEDS UP BRAIN PROCESSING POTENTIAL

According to a research journal article published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in February 2012, meditation can alter the geometry of the brain’s surface. There was a study done at the University of California in Los Angeles involving 50 meditators and 50 controls that addressed a possible link between meditation and cortical gyrification, the pattern and degree of cortical folding that allows the brain to process faster. This study showed a positive correlation between the amount of gyrification in parts of the brain and the number of years of meditation for people, especially long-term meditators, compared to non-meditators.

This increased gyrification may reflect an integration of cognitive processes when meditating, since meditators are known to be introspective and contemplative, using certain portions of the brain in the process of meditation. Despite articles written from this journal article, more research is still necessary to determining more in depth on this specific link.

2. MEDITATION LOOSENS OUR NEURAL PATHWAYS

Rebecca Gladding, M.D. explains in an article published in May 2013 Psychology Today, how the brain functions better with meditation, and the positive affects it has on the brain, the longer you meditate. Basically, Gladding explains how the brain can be molded by meditation. Specifically, the connection to our fear center and our “Me” Center (place where the brain constantly reflects back to you) wither away – by meditating on a regular basis.

This loosening up lessens our feelings of anxiety, because the neural pathways linking our Me Center to our fear decreases. The unhelpful feelings of anxiety become regulated, meaning, sufficiently ignored, which enhances better neural pathways to form. New neural pathways include improved assessment and empathetic responses. The important thing that Gladding also mentions is that to maintain the benefits of meditation, you must keep meditating because “the brain can very easily revert back to its old ways if you are not vigilant.”

3. MEDITATION REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE

A large cardiovascular study was done and published in November 2012, in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

There were 201 people with coronary heart disease given two choices. (1) Take a health education class promoting improved diet and exercise. (2) Take a class on transcendental meditation. Researchers studied these participants for five years and discovered something interesting. Those that chose (2) the meditation class had 48% reduction to the overall risk of heart attack, stroke and death. This was an initial study and again needs more research.

But it is promising, just the same.

4. MEDITATION CAN IMPROVE MEMORY RECALL

New research on meditation shows that meditation can further enhance the abilities of memory recall. Catherine Kerr is a researcher at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the Osher Research Center. She has found that those that practice meditation could adjust their brains waves better. They could screen out distractions and increase productivity faster than those that did not meditate. Less distractions gives room for the brain to integrate new information. This slight change in brain adjustment can dramatically aid in memory recall.

Kerr explained more in an article called, Meditation’s Effects on Emotion Shown to Persist, published in June 2013 at psychcentral.com. ”Mindfulness meditation has been reported to enhance numerous mental abilities, including rapid memory recall,” Kerr said. “Our discovery that mindfulness meditators more quickly adjusted the brain wave that screens out distraction could explain their superior ability to rapidly remember and incorporate new facts.”

Credits: Soul Spot TV via The Spirit Science

It takes a second to show Kindness – Three German Students Surprise a Homeless Person

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This is an amazing video clip not only brought me to tears but encouraged me to take note of others around me.

The video below is of a German student who took note of a homeless man attempting to get money from those passing by.  He noticed that the man’s techniques were not very successful so he asks the homeless man to borrow his bucket. What happens next will literally drive you to tears…

Halt and Catch Fire – Up Helly Aa (Survival of the Fittest)

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Written By Ryan Fu @fu_beatz

Another great episode of Halt and Catch Fire with its amazing acting and story lines leading to fantastic season ending finale next week. “Survival of the fittest” is a phrase that originated in evolutionary theory as an alternative way of describing the mechanism of natural selection. It is more commonly used today in other contexts, to refer to a supposed greater probability that “fit” as opposed to “unfit” individuals will survive some test. Charles Darwin thought survival of the fittest expressed in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called ‘natural selection’, or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.” This is the case of tonight’s episode, as the characters have to make a decision if they want to compete with its competitors, in which they have to adapt or die.

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The Cardiff finally makes it to Las Vegas to Comdex after a long car ride, where Joe tells a weird story about how a bunch of Vikings would build a bunch of boats then have a festival to light them on fire, which will make perfect sense in the end of the episode. At Comdex they find out they don’t have a room to stay at or a booth to show their projection, but they’ve come to far to fail. They find a room and find a booth, which Cameron makes a cool marketing art projection to generate buzz for The Giant. Everything seems like its going Cardiff’s way but nothing is easy in this world, especially for the things you want the most.

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As Donna’s former boss, Hunt with their neighbor, Brain, unveils a faster and cheaper version of The Giant, calling it the Slingshot. A reference to the Greek mythology if David and Goliath. In his speech to the crowd as well as the Cardiff team that it doesn’t matter how big or fast it is, it only matters who strikes first. Donna goes Jerry Springer on Hunt, leading Gordon to believe that she had an affair with him.

One of the best scene of the episode with great acting on both sides with Gordon trying to figure out if Donna cheated on him but more importantly if she told him how to build The Giant. Donna fires right back with Gordon’s accusations telling him she should have have cheated on with Hunt because at least she would’ve felt alive because she has been feeling neglected because Gordon has spent so much time creating The Giant. A great scene about two people, who invested so much of their lives for a project that potentially can change their lives for the better. But the team has to decide if they want still want to compete or try to stand out with its competitors.

Adapt or Die.

Gordon re-configures The Giant taking out Cameron’s Operation System making if faster and cheaper than The Slingshot. Cameron desperately wants Joe to put back the OS because she feels like it’s just other machine without any uniqueness or soul but Joe knows that they are dead in the water if they don’t compete with The Slingshot. Gordon and Joe show up at their both with the “soulless Giant,” telling the crowd that its faster and cheaper than The Slingshot but more importantly it will do what you asks it to do because it’s just a machine, it’s not your friend, but your employee.

The speech wins the crowd over which leads them to potential buyers for The Giant but the Cardiff team minus Cameron, felt empty after their small victory at Comdex. You get the sense that they reached their goal by showing their invention to the world but did they really show everything they got? What I mean was their goal just to sell a portable computer or change the world?

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In Joe’s speech at Comdex he tells the crowd that the computer is just a machine, it’s just something you use and it’s not your friend. But at the end of the episode Joe goes into a crowded hotel room with a bunch of people watching the unveiling of the new Apple computer, which it looked like a scene from Frankenstein as we see the computer power up and amazingly talks to the crowd. Everyone is astonished including Joe, uttering to member of the crowd, “It talks?”

I feel like Joe made a mistake in taking out Cameron’s OS because it was they’re big chance to show people that computer’s could be so much more than machines but I also understand it was for the good of the team. Joe and Gordon had to adapt because their lives are on the line. Pablo Picasso once said, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” Maybe this is why the Vikings have a festival where they built their beautiful boats only to burn them down. Because they knew like every other artists knows that if you are going to build or create anything you must destroy the old version in order for your creation to blossom.

Fu’s Observations:

  • Old School Las Vegas is so much cooler looking
  • Cameron could have been a Performance Artists with her “Chained up Suit case.”
  • I called it; Comdex is a sex/porn convention for nerds!
  • Cardiff’s party reminded of Tom Hank’s Bachelor Party but they didn’t have a donkey.
  • Windows’ bugginess! Touch screens are a fad! High density floppy discs! They also forgot to mention Pogs.
  • Hunt is poor man version of Joe without the fashion sense.
  • Did I hear right that Cameron stole a piece of the Hoover Dam?!!

CHECK OUT OUR H & CF REVIEWS

Giant (Pressure makes Diamons and weeds out the Timid)

214s (Here’s to the Crazy Ones)

Animals are better than Humans – They’re cuter when they’re Guilty

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True Blood – Karma (Coming Full Circle)

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Written by Ryan Fu @fu_beatz

This week’s episode was a lot better than last week’s because it showed how people deal with death differently. Some people try to get their affairs in order so they can pass on it to the people they love while other people try to finish their goals before their time expires. This is the case with Bill Compton, finding out that he has an advance case of the virus, trying to figure a way to give everything he has to Jessica while Eric and Pam are to trying to get their revenge on Sarah Newlin. All the characters on the show are finding a way to deal with their own morality in a positive or negative way.

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Bill finding out last episode that he has an advanced version of the virus quickly realizes that he has to leave everything he has to his progeny, Jessica, but he encounters a shark for a lawyer that is trying to extort money from him from him which leads Bill to kill her. Bill is not the only person to know of his sickness as Jessica finds out and tells Sookie, which leads her to get checked at a clinic. Of course, she finds out she is carrying the virus that caused Bill to be sick. Sookie feels terrible that she caused this horrible situation for Jessica and Bill. Sarah Newlin also feels sorta responsible for her actions.

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After she causes her parents deaths, she comes crawling back to her “hot” vampire sister telling her that it was the “old me, this is the New-me.” Of course, her sister doesn’t believe her bullshit but tells her something that changes her tune. Turns out Sarah drank the antidote to the virus, making her the cure to the sickness, which I’m not sure that Eric and Pam with their new corporation partner, Mr. Gus knows that but I feel that’s the reason why the Yakuza are desperately trying to find her. Mr. Gus might be motivated to bring back “honor” to his family business before he dies while Eric is just trying to finish what he started.

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Lafayette is facing a similar situation with his “crazy” Auntie because she believes that Tara is trying to communicate with her. So, Lafayette gives it a shot by letting his new boyfriend give his blood to him and his Aunt. They get high on the blood, which let’s them find Tara but they can’t figure out what she is trying to communicate with them. But at least Lafayette knows now that his Auntie is just part-time crazy not full-time, which there is a difference.

Whether it’s vampires, werewolves or humans, we all have to face death one day but I always believe you live the most before you die because you know it’s the end. I really liked this episode tonight, which I hope they set the same standards on the final episodes coming up. I know I kinda shitted on a couple of episodes of TD this season, but when you love something that you know that it’s about to end, you want to remember why you loved it so much, you want to remember the best part of it. This is the same way with death because you want to remember best parts of your love ones life because they will be forever in your memories.

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Fu’s Observations:

  • Hell has NO fury like a woman scorned. Roses are red, Violet can be really VIOLENT.
  • Is that snake on Tara, the same snake that was used on the Britney Spears music video?
  • I really like the Asian cowboy look. I gotta buy me a 10-gallon hat ASAP!
  • Sarah’s sister is sooo smoking hot, thank goodness the producers thought she was too hot to kill.
  • This whole episode made me want to go to the clinic to check my own self out, especially after a week of debauchery at Comic Con.
  • Nobody felt bad when the lawyer died, I mean no one…

 CHECK OUT TB ARTICLES:

Fire in the Hole (You can’t run away from your past)

Death is not the End (A trip down memory lane)

Lost Cause (Lafayette & Pam are the only reasons to watch the show)

Trouble in the Middle East – Sometimes all you need is love…

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Halt and Catch Fire- 214s (Here’s to the Crazy Ones)

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Written by Ryan Fu @fu_beatz

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

This was a quote from Apple’s Think Differently ad that was headed by Steve Jobs, one of the most influential and innovate person in the technology field. People thought he was crazy to do things other people weren’t doing at the time but he knew that it was going to be the future. And in this episode of Halt and Catch Fire, we get the feeling that you can’t stop the future. You are either are a part of it or you get left behind in the past. What are you willing to do to be successful or be part of something great? The characters on the show want it so bad they are willing to embezzle, steal and lie in order to succeed, which you can’t blame them. Everyone wants to be seen as a winner one time in his or her lifetime.

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John Bosworth is an old-school businessman, who has built Cardiff Electric into regional power. He was happy in his place in the world until Joe came into his world and turned everything upside down. But what really messed him up was the thought of being part of something great like creating the first portable computer aka The Giant. At first, he could care less if the team actually created the machine but after seeing the potential of the project, he is absolutely on board now. He is willing to have his marriage crumble and he is willing to sell his own house to complete this project. In this episode, we find Bosworth is “all in”, with the project as we find out that he and Cameron hacked into a national bank to embezzle money to keep the company afloat while creating The Giant. Bosworth is willing to go to jail because he believes in the future, just like Gordon.

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Gordon looks like he’s back in a good place ever since last week’s episode, where he was falling apart because of the pressures he was dealing with to create this great invention. After listening to a couple of self help tapes, he is back to his confident self again even after learning he wasn’t going to Comdex, he is still resolute about going to Comdex especially when the FBI shows up to arrest John Bosworth for embezzling money and shuts down the office. Gordon goes back later that night to steal back his property because he’s is a man with a plan and he’s going to go through with it regardless if everyone thinks he’s crazy including his wife. He’s doing this for the best interest of his family, unlike Joe, who is only doing it to prove to his father that he can succeed without his help.

After hearing that Bosworth embezzled because the company ran out of money and learning that IBM is also creating a portable computer he decides to face his father for answers. This time his father tells him the truth about IBM’s computer along with the reasons why his father took his mom out of his life. Joe’s dad thought it was in his best interest that he shouldn’t be around his mom because she was lost. Joe’s dad even tells him that he’s more like him, which I totally agree with because they’re both assholes that are willing to step over body after body to complete their goals. I did love Joe’s dad speech about being a “dreamer” is all about hardwork. His dad’s pitch sold Joe in coming back to IBM to lead the portable computer program, turning his back to the people who made his dream into a reality. Joe is willing to turn his back to his friends in order see this creation come to life, which is kinda sleazy but I totally understand, it’s the future.

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Thankfully, Gordon was ballsy enough to stop Joe in his tracks giving him a motivating speech that they have to go to Comdex to prove people wrong and be a part of something great without the help of his father. They sell Joe’s Porsche and head to Comdex into the unknown future.

Fuck! Personally, I think this is exciting television. I didn’t care about what the naysayers said about this show that it isn’t going know where and how the characters weren’t lovable. I had a feeling that the show was going to prove them wrong. To which, how can you not fall in love with the characters now? They are willing to give up their live hoods to chase their dreams. Isn’t that the “American Dream?” I still have to believe if you believe in something and if you work hard enough, all your dreams with come through, but I guess you can call me crazy…

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Fu’s Observations:

  • I think Bosworth needs to “Call Saul.” (Sorry for the BB reference)
  • Isn’t office sex just the best? Also, Joe and Cameron are using protection right? Although, them being parents would be a great spin-off show.
  • I totally believe in self-help tapes. No joke, check out and listen to Tony Robbins, it’s a game and life changer.
  • I love the reference when Gordon entered Joe’s crib saying that he already left to only find out that this is how he lives.
  • Comdex sounds like a God damn sex convention for nerds!
  • Joe’s Porsche was cool but I would have loved to ride in Gordon’s orange, reddish Pinto.

Check out our H & CF Reviews

Giant (Pressure makes Diamons and weeds out the Timid)

True Blood – Lost Cause (Lafayette & Pam are the only reasons to watch the show)

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Written by Ryan Fu @fu_beatz

After the great episode “Fire in the Hole” a few weeks ago, True Blood has gone back to its mediocre ways, showing why the show decided to make this season the final one for True Blood. Basically, they have run out of fucking ideas. They even went the sleazy way for shock and awe this episode with Lafayette having sex with Jessica’s bi-curious boyfriend. I literally do not give a fuck about Sookie or the rest of the assholes in Renard Parish. The only “saving grace” of this final season of True Blood is Pamela and Lafayette because they seem they are the only ones that get it.

In the midst of the whole world falling to pieces, Pamela decides to find her one true love, Eric Northman, in which last season he abandoned her but she is willing to forgive him because she sees the whole picture. She gives him hope to live again. That hope was to get sweet and delicious revenge on Sarah Newlin, who that caused so much pain to her and everyone else this season. After, Eric releases Willa she gives them vital information of where Sarah could be, which is in Dallas along with fascinating details of her vampire sister. They go to Dallas to find her sister in which Sarah’s sister tells them, where Sarah will show up, which is their parent’s Republican party in Dallas. They play dress up as “Republican Assholes” as Pam tells Eric,

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“Do I look like a Republi-cunt?”

How do you not fall in love with her? Even Eric got a chuckle after that remark. Besides, Lafayette I think Pam has the best one liners this season in which she delivers it in such a confident and bitchy way, which is so sexy. At the party they spot Sarah’s father but they can’t find her mom, so Eric tells Pam to find Sarah’s mom to which Pam responds,

“How am I supposed to do that? All these bitches look the same.”

Just like Pam, Lafayette like he’s done all season delivers the brutal truth to everyone this episode. When pouty face/ everything revolves around me Sookie tells Lafayette she feels depressed and alone, he decides to throw a party to celebrate people’s death instead of being sad. Of course, Debbie Downer, Sookie tries to spoil everyone’s fun but Lafayette tells her death should be celebrated and not to thought as being dark and sad, which I couldn’t agree with him more. Just like life, death should be a joyous occasion for everyone.

You can see in this episode how Lafayette is the emotional glue to many of characters in True Blood. Even though, he’s not perfect by any means, he recognizes his shortcomings and he is alright with them. He is also fine with other people’s shortcomings. In aforementioned sleazy bag scene where the writers and producers had nothing else to bring to the table, they decide to have Jessica’s boyfriend cheating on Lafayette. Jessica is pissed which her bi-curious BF tries to explain but she wasn’t having it.

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Jason tries to comfort her in scene which I found totally gross where they talked about if they were gay or not, which I thought, does that even fucking matter in world filled with monsters? I would think people in this universe would be more used to same-sex relations because you’re totally cool with vampires and people shifting into rats. Who the fuck cares if Lafayette is gay or not? The only thing that matters is that he is trying to find love like everyone else. As he tells Jessica in a great speech, that she should leave her boyfriend if you don’t really love him and that he also deserves to find someone to love him.

The best scenes in this episode totally belonged to Pam and Lafayette because they are just themselves, which we love them for it. They don’t try to be someone else because it’s not in their nature. I think they are the only characters on the show with a level head on their shoulders. Of course, there were other things that happen in this episode but really? Who the fuck cares? I mean even the devout True Blood fan can see this show is going further into Hell. Seriously, the only reason once again to watch the final season of True Blood is for Lafayette and Pamela.

Fu’s Observations:

-       I loved Lafayette’s bedazzled sleeveless jean jacket with his name on the back. He’s totally keeping 💯

-       Who knew the Lafayette was a “Top.”

-       Bill is dying, thank Satan! I always thought he was boring, he’s always so sad of being sorta still living.

-       Sarah’s sister is kinda hot! I’d hit her infected Ass.

-       Poor, poor Ginger. Not even a blowjob 😭

-       Eric went Kamikaze on the Yakuza!

-       Sam Merlotte’s baby mama is a bitch. It’s like they saved her life and no she’s talking shit even though she’s carrying a Shifter’s baby. Go back home to Los Angeles where the real weirdos live!

-       Beck’s Lost Cause is a great closing song for this WHOLE show because it’s a Lost Cause…💔

Check out TB articles:

Fire in the Hole (You can’t run away from your past)

Death is not the End (A trip down memory lane)