Playing with a Portuguese Man o’ War.



An ex-military photographer, Aaron Ansarov retired from the Navy in 2007, transforming his skills to create commercial work for magazines and focus on his own practice. Fascinated with marine life since his days growing up in Central Florida, his series “Zooids,” focuses on detailed images of Portuguese Man o’ War. Ansarov photographs the creatures on a homemade light table while alive, then immediately releases them back into the wild where they were found.

Once shot and the Man o’ War are returned, each image receives minimal manipulation, as Ansarov makes only slight adjustments to the photograph’s exposure, contrast, and vibrancy to highlight the vivid details of each venomous siphonophore. The completed works are otherworldly, appearing like alien illustrations rather than portraits, with deep blues, purples, and pinks unfurling in every direction.

As if that wasn’t impressive enought, Ansarov does some amazing work with humans, too, which you can see after the jump, because naked people. NSFW.

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This Case Is An Ominous Sign.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Cliff Owen

CREDIT: AP Photo/Cliff Owen

“This case is an ominous sign,” Justice Samuel Alito begins one of the final opinions released on this last day of the Supreme Court term. He then proceeds to complain for 15 pages that pharmacy owners do not have enough control over whether women can fill their birth control prescriptions. Along the way, he manages to imply that anyone who does not believe in a god or gods is inherently immoral.

The political issue underlying Stormans v. Wiesman is familiar to anyone who has paid attention to the Supreme Court’s involvement in the birthcontrolwars. The owners of a pharmacy in Olympia, Washington object to certain forms of contraception on religious grounds, but a state regulation requires pharmacies to “deliver lawfully prescribed drugs or devices to patients.”

So people with religious objections to birth control want an exemption from the law. We’ve heard this story before.

We certainly have. This is one of the more devious RWC moves in their insistence on ruling every part of any person’s life. Contraception? Oh, no, no, can’t have that. It’s sinful. If you sinners are going to insist on this work of the devil, well, you’ll have to pay through the nose and jump through one hundred red tape hoops, and you might have to get your evil fix outside the state you live in, no big deal, right?

Samuel Alito is now weighing in on this issue, and he skews straight into the infamous I am using the Science of Logic territory. He ends up deciding that laws which are in place to protect both consumers and pharmacists are secular, therefore, it’s only right to hold up religious bias.

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Midnighter and Apollo Reuniting this Fall.

 The cover of Midnighter & Apollo No. 1, which will go on sale in October. Credit CD Comics

The cover of Midnighter & Apollo No. 1, which will go on sale in October. Credit CD Comics

Gay Pride Month ends today, but DC Comics is giving fans something to look forward to this fall. In October the company will publish Midnighter & Apollo, the first part of a six-issue mini-series that reunites the two heroes, who are gay and have an on-again off-again relationship.

“They have a firmer idea of who they are, and they’ve become stronger and more confident together,” said Steve Orlando, who will write the comic, which will have interior art by Fernando Blanco and covers by the artist known as ACO.

The characters, who made their debut in 1998, were gay analogues of Batman (Midnighter) and Superman (Apollo). They dated, eventually married, adopted a child and, thanks to comics, had their history rebooted. Midnighter most recently headlined his own series, which ended in March. The comic, written by Mr. Orlando, was lauded for its portrayal, which balanced the hero’s volatile global adventures — and a friendly flirtation with Dick Grayson, the former Robin — with a domestic life that included using dating apps and being sexually active.

I’ve never been much of a DC fan, but when they do something like this, I’m happy to get onboard. Way to go, DC! Full story here.

Cleaning the Plastic Ocean.

Boyan Slat wants to start the largest ocean clean up ever with the help of nets and ocean currents. He began testing his prototype this month.

Boyan Slat wants to start the largest ocean clean up ever with the help of nets and ocean currents. He began testing his prototype this month.

Boyan Slat was just 16 when he realized he wanted to rid the oceans of plastic. It all happened after he dove into the problem in the most literal way while snorkeling in Greece and finding more drifting plastic than fish swimming.

“I thought, that’s a real problem. How can we come up with a solution for that?” Slat recalled during an interview with ThinkProgress.

Indeed, the problem is real and large. Around eight million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans every year, according to a 2015 study. In addition, recent research found so-called garbage patches in every major ocean. Plastic is so pervasive that it’s been found in sea ice, and also inside 50 percent of all species of seabirds, 66 percent of all species of marine mammals, and all species of sea turtles.

Once back in his native Netherlands, Slat delved into the topic as people told him that cleaning up the ocean was impossible. Still, Slat, a young inventor who by then already held the world record for most high-pressure rockets simultaneously launched, persisted until he found what he was looking for.

“I saw this animation where they used computer models to show that plastic actually moves” through ocean currents, Slat, now 21, said. “And then I thought, why should you move through the ocean if the ocean can move through you.”

Slat, chief executive officer of The Ocean Clean Up, has taken his eureka moment and turned it into a collection system based on floating barriers attached to the sea bed that use the ocean’s energy to gather plastic waste. After obtaining over $2 million through crowdfunding and more from Dutch government financing, Slat unveiled the first prototype last week in the North Sea, just off the coast of Netherlands.


I am so impressed, I just don’t have words. This is so very important. There is much more at Think Progress.

Mississippi Business Fights Back.


With its seasonal parfaits, Indianola pecan pies, and multi-layered cakes as tall as hatboxes, Sugaree’s Bakery is well known among the foodies of Mississippi. The proprietress, Mary Jennifer Russell, named the small-batch bakery after a Grateful Dead song and has always run her establishment with a spirit of openness and love. So she was outraged when, last April, Governor Phil Bryant signed a hotly contested and far-reaching piece of anti-LGBT legislation into law.

Before the ink had dried on the bill, Russell had called her contacts in the hospitality business, asking what could be done.

“Our strengths in Mississippi are cultural — food, art, and music,” Russell says. “This is a slap in the face to most of that cultural base.”


Mississippians like Russell are joining together in hopes of reversing the damage to the state’s economy and reputation. Mike Cashion, executive director of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, has launched a new public-service campaign titled “Everyone’s Welcome Here,” telegraphing an industry-wide message of inclusiveness, which includes providing decals declaring acceptance. “This campaign is about more than a sticker on your door,” says Cashion. “It’s about the values of our industry — values of hospitality and nondiscrimination. Now we’re working with the Mississippi Economic Council,” he notes. “So even more folks are signing on.”

Other campaigns backed by local LGBT rights groups include the “If You’re Buying, We’re Selling” drive. It has been embraced by more than 500 businesses in Mississippi, which have affixed welcoming blue stickers to their doors and windows.

Mississippi native Knol Aust, who designed the sticker, said it was encouraging, albeit surreal, to see local businesses featuring his work. “When you travel to places like the Castro, you see rainbow stickers everywhere,” he says. “But we’d never had that before. So it was exciting to see this pop up in places I never would have expected — like hardware or liquor stores, which typically don’t get involved in politics.”

It didn’t take long for fundamentalist organizations to push back. Buddy Smith, a spokesman for the right-wing advocacy organization the American Family Association, which is based in Tupelo, Mississippi, said, “It’s not really a buying campaign, but it’s a bully campaign, and it’s being carried out by radical homosexual activists who intend to trample the freedom of Christians.”

It’s a sticker. A sticker which speaks to the owner not being a tiny-brained bigot, but a decent, inclusive person working for the greater good. And the campaign is not being carried out by radical homosexual activists, it’s being carried out by your fellow Mississippians, oh my. Somehow, I just can’t work up the tears for you poor, persecuted Christians.

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My Rights Are Being Nailed to the Cross!

Rick Tyler (Rick Tyler for President)

Rick Tyler (Rick Tyler for President)

Alternate title: Waaah! You meanypants are unfair! Remember Rick “Make America White Again” Tyler? He’s very upset that people are being so mean and unfair as to do things like boycott his restaurant, due to his bigotry.

A new billboard campaign explicitly rejects the Donald Trump-inspired message of a Tennessee statehouse candidate — who said he appreciates the attention.

Rick Tyler, an independent Congressional candidate for Tennessee’s 3rd District, is facing a boycott of his restaurant business after he advertised his candidacy with racist billboard messages saying, “Make America White Again.”

Other residents of Polk County were disappointed with the national attention Tyler’s message attracted, and they wanted to counter the racist slogan to show not everyone agreed with the candidate, reported the Times Free Press.

“I really wanted to avoid the perception that residents in this region feel that way or treat one another that way,” said Josiah Vacheresse, executive director for Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children. “That’s not what we’re about, that’s not what we’re for.”

So Vacheresse asked family, friends and online supporters to help him buy advertising space on billboards in the county, where drivers will see inspiring quotes from Nelson Mandela instead of a more racist interpretation of Trump’s campaign slogan.


Tyler, who also set up a billboard quoting Martin Luther King Jr. alongside a Confederate flag, said he didn’t mind if the second campaign rejected his message.

“I think it’s great what they’re doing,” Tyler said. “They’re stoking the fire of the story.”

Two of Tyler’s signs were taken down last week by the billboard rental companies, and the candidate said he was disappointed.

“I’m all about freedom,” said Tyler, whose campaign website contains lengthy “conspiracy science” posts about chemtrails and communist plots. “It’s great that they are able to say what they want to say. What’s tragic is that I’m not able to. I’m not allowed to. My First Amendment right is being nailed to the cross.”

No, that’s not tragic, Mr. Tyler, and no one has taken your rights away, which I’d think you’d notice, what with giving interviews and all. You can talk, and write, and try to find a way to put up even more repellent ads, and here’s the great thing – other people are free to respond to all that, and they have. Darn meanypantses.

Full Story Here.

I’m Norwegian, Go Ahead, Profile Me.

Kevin Sorbo.

This whole ‘who would Jesus vote for’ is so damn absurd, but it doesn’t stop the less from stellar thinkers of the world using it, as if it actually meant something other than “I’m a willfully ignorant arsehole’. Today’s WWJVFer, why none other than Kevin Sorbo, who also had a fair amount to say about Trump’s immigration ban check ’em out policy.

However, TMZ’s protographer countered by saying that since Jesus grew up in the Middle East, “he wouldn’t be allowed to come over here under [Trump’s] immigration policy.”

“I don’t think that’s true,” Sorbo replied, before launching into a defense of Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from emigrating to the US.

“I’m Norwegian,” he said. “If there’s Norwegians going around strapping bombs [to themselves], you can check me out. I don’t mind if you racial profile against me. I have nothing to hide. So why do people if they have nothing to hide, why are they getting upset about stuff? If they have nothing to hide, they take one day out of your life, fingerprint me, check out my background, what’s wrong with that?”

“But isn’t he saying, ‘Let’s ban immigrants from those countries?’” the photographer replied.

“He’s saying, ‘Let’s check everybody out,’” Sorbo responded.

Full Story and video at Raw Story.

Scott Adams and the V-neck Sweater Situation.

Scott Adams.

Scott Adams.

Adams believes U.S. men are under the yokes of women, as evidenced by v-neck sweaters which are a “uniform” they are forced to wear, according to the Daily Dot.

The website cited a June 23 post on Adam’s blog, “The Humiliation of the American Male in 2016.”

“Perhaps the biggest unreported story of this presidential election is the humiliation of the American male. Unless I’m blinded by confirmation bias – which is entirely possible – it seems to me that the humiliation of American men is now institutionalized in the media,” Adams writes. “Check out this commercial for dishwasher detergent. And take careful note of the American man’s v-neck sweater. That’s the uniform of a man who is owned by a woman.”

Don’t worry about Adams, he’s on to the ploy.

“You’re laughing because you know it’s true,” he writes. “How many of the married men reading this blog have received those same sweaters as “gifts” from women? Personally, I’ve received about 25 over the years. None from men. I received three of those sweaters so far this year. I throw them away. Nice try.”

However if the Daily Dot’s Cale Weissman is successful, Adams may soon have a lot more offending v-neck sweaters to throw away.

Yes, Adams truly believes these v-neck sweaters are cozy symbols of Male Oppression. Through this we may have figured out a way to remedy his constant humiliation: Get men to buy Scott Adams v-neck sweaters. Lots of them.

You may be asking, “Cale, what would that accomplish?” Well, maybe if Adams had a real male—that is, a manly man who does manly things like not being controlled by women and obsessively drawing nerdy cubicle workers’ mundane hellscape—buy him some v-neck sweaters, maybe he would form a new association with the knitted garment. Perhaps he would see v-neck sweater-wearers in a whole new light. They are not “men” owned by women but “people” leased by J. Crew.

To that end, Weissman has launched a GoFundMe account where he is raising funds to buy Adams male-sanctioned v-neck sweaters. As of Wednesday morning he’s donated $350 — enough to buy about four or five sweaters from J. Crew.

Full Story Here.

A Fallen Angel and Artistic Irritation.

First up, a stunning Fallen Angel sculpture, from Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, who always produce phenomenal work, even when it does enter disturbing territory.




I love this piece, the one disturbing aspect for me are the chicken wings. In my head, chicken wings belong on a chicken, not a person, angel or no. The rest of it is so beautifully done, and the angel being netted for public consumption is terribly poignant. I put this down as another win for Sun Yuan and Peng Yu. Visit their gallery.

For Angel, however, they left the controversy for the piece itself, and worked with mainly fiberglass, silica gel, and stainless steel to create the startlingly realistic body.

Via The Creators Project.

Moving on to the irritation: Christo. I’m not sure what it is exactly, that leaves me cold and highly irritated with most everything Christo has ever done, but his latest is no exception. It’s been making art headlines all over, all with the same stupid fucking theme: Walking on Water, Oooh! Aaargh. No. It’s walking on fucking piers, not walking on water. It’s a big, expensive, temporary bridge. Perhaps this is the core of what bugs me about Christo’s stuff – it’s all a cheat.



Not impressed. Via The Creators Project (and every other art site).