A Dark (Jellybean) Universe
This jar is a visual representation of our universe, in jellybean form. If you don’t like licorice — sorry, you’re out of luck. That’s because the black jellybeans here represent the mysterious duo — dark matter and dark energy — that pervade our universe.
Less than 5% of the energy and matter that makes up the universe is the normal, everyday matter that scientists understand. The rest is dark matter (27%) and dark energy (68%).
Five percent is… not very much. Imagine trying to read a book where you could see only 1 out of every 20 words on the page; the rest are all written in invisible-ink. You might be able to glean some idea of what the book was about, but you’d be pretty confused. That’s how physicists feel about the universe, and that’s why they are working hard to understand more about the universe’s enigmatic dark side.
How is it that Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake literally lived together as kids yet Ryan Gosling grew up to be some pro-feminist icon while Justin’s out here talkin about “you can’t stop once you’ve turned me on”. I know y’all had some meaningful pillow talk, what went wrong JT?
TOMS Shoes and the Spiritual Politics of Neoliberalism (via lunagemme)
Not only TOMS, but also Starbucks and even Lockheed Martin and Wal-Mart have learned that linking their products to charitable causes makes for good business. We no longer buy only what we need, or even what broadcasts our identity. We buy what makes us feel like good people, and what makes us feel like members of a good, global community. The easy way to look at TOMS is to praise their charitable work. The harder, more troubling way to look at TOMS is to acknowledge it as an example of how corporations have assumed work most often associated with self-identified religious organizations: building community, engaging in charity, and cultivating morals.
TOMS is not alone in its willingness to link progressive social action with consumer spending. In fact, it exemplifies a broader corporate embrace of “conscious capitalism.” Coined by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, this business model assumes that “the best way to maximize profits over the long-term” is to orient business toward a “higher purpose.” So Starbucks sells coffee to “Put America Back to Work,” the (RED) campaign raises money to fight AIDS, and—in the best example yet—Sir Richard’s Condom Company sends a condom to Haiti for each one it sells (“doing good never felt better”). Meanwhile, Bank of America logos decorate PRIDE banners and Lockheed Martin brags that it is a “champion of diversity.”
The globalization of neoliberal capitalism, and particularly the popularity of “conscious capitalism” as a practice and a discourse, signals a change in the landscape of U.S. religion and politics. “Neoliberalism” most often refers to a loosely cohering set of economic, social, and political policies that (1) seek to secure human flourishing through the imposition of free markets and (2) locate “freedom” in individual autonomy, expressed through consumer choice. But it is also a mode of belonging, where ritual acts of consumption initiate individuals into a global community of consumer agents. Within neoliberal logics of religious and political action, consumer transactions and corporate expansion are recast as forms of spiritual purification and missionary practice. And within conscious capitalism, the “higher purpose” is a world in which all people have a chance (or obligation) to participate in free markets—understood as a multicultural community of consumers.
For Mycoskie—whose title is “Chief Shoe Giver”—building this multicultural community is a theological mandate. He frames his Christian faith as a component of his personal relationship to the company. At the evangelical Global Leadership Conference, keynote speaker Mycoskie answered a question about whether TOMS represents any “biblical principles”: “TOMS represents a lot of different biblical principles. But the one I go back to again and again is the one in Proverbs. Give your first fruits and your vats will be full. … Because we did that and stayed true to our one-to-one model [even amidst financial strain], we’ve been incredibly blessed. We really did give our first fruits.”
In non-confessional settings, TOMS proffers a humanistic version of this prosperity gospel, recast for a neoliberal age. Losing the Bible quotes, the company emphasizes that the “fruits of faith”—in this case, economic success—abound for those who embody the ideals of authenticity, good intentions, and service. Or, “higher purpose” is profitable. TOMS is successful because it creates opportunities for people to live into their own “purpose” through a simple transaction: buying a pair of shoes.
"Nick Cave (born 1959 in central Missouri, USA) is an American fabric sculptor, dancer, and performance artist. He is best known for his Soundsuits: wearable fabric sculptures that are bright, whimsical, and other-worldly."
“Cave’s first Soundsuit was made of twigs. Other typical materials include dyed human hair, sisal, plastic buttons, beads, sequins, and feathers. His work is a crazy mix of media—these bunny suits are made of human hair, and others are montages of vintage finds, beads, buttons and old style needle crafts like crocheting and macrame. The finished pieces bear some resemblance to African ceremonial costumes and masks. His suits are presented for public viewing as static sculptures, but also through live performance, video, and photograph
There was a split second there where his like, “wait, what? bro what are you doing?”
On more serious note, PTSD dogs for veterans are so fucking therapeutic. They’re like the one person you can spill your guts to and never worry about ever being judged or have that secret divulged. There are times when I definitely prefer the company of a dog over a human.
Therapy animals save lives.
These dogs are even still so much more amazing. They check rooms before their handler enters, so they can clear it to help the person feel safe. Like in the gif, they are there when panic attacks or nightmares occur, to be something for the person to help ground themselves on, or yes just to turn on the lights. Even more amazing, many people are able to reduce their medication when they have a PTSD service dog there to help them. These dogs are useful for not just veterans, but also victims of abuse, accident trauma, natural disasters, and others. Their training allows them to be useful in situations where medical assistance is needed, as well. Some PTSD dogs are trained to recognize repetitive behaviours in handlers, and signal the handler to break the repetition and stopping the behaviour and possibly injury.
Service dogs in general are just awesome. Remember to respect any that you see out in public. They are not there for you to walk up to and play with, even the puppies!