Artistic Erosion

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Artistic Erosion

Voices.com recently acquired VoiceBank.net.
Now, if you’re not in the voiceover industry, that probably doesn’t mean anything. The upshot is that VoiceBank was a professional clearing house for VO demos and gigs through agencies, whereas Voices is a Pay-To-Play service with questionable business practices that will let anyone with the yearly fee in the door. Not exactly the news a professional VO wants to wake up to.

But let me spell out how it is the continuation of a disturbing trend. Not only in the US, but in many Western cultures around the globe.

One of humanity’s greatest traits is our adaptability… But it can also be our greatest pitfall. It allows us to change when adverse scenarios are thrust upon us. We normalize to them. And that allows us to continue with our lives. However, when presented with a series of ever worsening scenarios, we may adapt so well that we lose the big picture. We forget what it was like when things were better. Therein lies the danger… (more about adaptability here)

In this case, we’ve allowed art, in many forms, to be eroded in our culture. From the defunding of artistic institutions, foundations and museums, to the devaluation of arts in our schools and communities. As a people, it seems we value money, objects, sports, and junk food much more than artistic pursuits.

So, why does this matter? After all, we can get along without the arts, can’t we?

I would argue that arts and science are essential to the continued well-being of any civilization. Art feeds the soul, and science fuels the mind. Both are tied together to create innovation and advancement in society.

By stripping Art and Science out of our culture, we’re left with a teeming mass of consumers… ones who will rely on others to innovate, create, and produce what they are buying. They are easily controlled and ripe for being conned into whatever those in power want them to believe.

The solution lies in our own hands. Create. Innovate. Stand up for yourselves as artists or scientists. Don’t bow to the cut-rate offers and five-dollar sites that are growing like mold online. Have some pride and self-respect for your talents and creations. Spread Art and Science where you can. Dispel hoaxes and nay-sayers.

Becoming a “Great Country” depends on the citizens and what they value. Time to be the change you want to see…

There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art, science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science, art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.
— “Great Thought” (19 February 1938), published in The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler (1976)

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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George Washington Carver: 8 Rules To Live By

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George Washington Carver


8 Rules To Live By

I’ll be honest: before doing a bit of research, the only thing I knew about George Washington Carver was that he found lots of uses for peanuts.
George Washington Carver
Turns out he was an amazing man. Not only a brilliant, inquisitive, scientific mind, but a strong will and sense of purpose to match.

One of the unexpected treasures I discovered were from a thank you letter he’d written to his students. Usually presented as an excerpt of “8 Cardinal Virtues” as follows:

  • Be clean both inside and out.
  • Neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor.
  • Lose, if need be, without squealing.
  • Win without bragging.
  • Always be considerate of women, children, and older people.
  • Be too brave to lie.
  • Be too generous to cheat.
  • Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.

Good rules to live by, and it will serve me well to remember them.

If you’d like to discover more, the National Parks Service has an excellent PDF about George Washington Carver, including the full original text of the letter (on page 24) – available here:
Discovering George Washington Carver — A Man of Character

… and of course there’s a pretty good Wikipedia entry here:
Wikipedia: George Washington Carver

One more parting quote that speaks to me as an artist:

When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.
— George Washington Carver

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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We Need A Carl Sagan

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We Need A Carl Sagan

I just finished watching the first episode of “Bill Nye Saves The World” on NetFlix. The episode’s about climate change. Bill presents some good information. Bill’s excited. Bill’s upset that more isn’t being done. Bill has an audience and guests and lab coats.

But… Bill Nye failed to connect with me. Period. And I’m in the choir he’s preaching to.

This is a part of the problem. Why it’s so easy for science denial to thrive.

We don’t have a Carl Sagan.

Carl Sagan had a very unique ability to connect with a wide audience. He made the topics he covered interesting, inspiring, fun. It was like he was talking to you directly. Having tea and cookies in your living room.

So… Who’s out there now? Who’s our “Science Communicator”?

Bill Nye? No.

Neil deGrasse Tyson? No.

Al Gore? Hell No.

It’s not that any of these guys lack the knowledge or foundation to speak on a whole host of science topics. It’s that they’re not reaching their target audience. In fact, they may be pushing them away even further.

Like many intellectuals, there is a belief that if they just explain something to you in enough detail, that you’ll have to agree with them.

That ain’t the case.

As an actor, I can tell you that in order to connect with your audience, you’ve got to go where they are. Physically, mentally and emotionally.

In their homes. Having tea and cookies. A one-on-one conversation.

Even if it’s broadcast to millions of people.

We. Need. A. Carl Sagan.

… and that person hasn’t shown up yet.

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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Quantum Human Entanglement

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Quantum Human Entanglement

a mostly non-scientific, unverifiable theory by Joe J Thomas

Quantum Einstein
Hook Me Up!

Connection. As humans we seek it on a variety of levels. Be it spouses, family, friends. And on a wider view, pets, nature and even inanimate objects (got a favorite chair or mug?).

But what if humans, and everything else for that matter, are already connected on a much deeper level?

No, I’m not talking about “The Force“… although, by the time I’m done I might be.

Let me start at the beginning.

We Are Star-Stuff

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Future Studio!

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Future Studio

Future Studio
Who knows what the future will bring?

Well, here at Joe’s Dump Labs, we do!

Follow me on an investigation of new areas of scientific research that may forever change the studio of tomorrow…

In The Not-Too-Distant Future:

Imagine a light, flexible material that you could easily apply to walls, or even just hang from the ceiling – that would completely change the acoustic shape of your room!

Enter Acoustic Cloaking!

Using a material made from plastic sheets with a precise array of holes, Dr. Steven Cummer of Duke University was able to effectively make an object invisible to sound!
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Mr. Know It All: Week 4!

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Mr. Know It All: Week 4!

Mr. Know It All - Bullwinkle

I love to learn new things… Science, Words, Culture. Curiosity drives creativity.

For the month of February, 2015, I’ll be sharing some amazing, odd or just interesting facts. Each week, there will be 7 or more for you to peruse. By the end, think of all the new stuff you’ll have stuffed in your brain!

And now… On with the show!

Week 4 of 4:

Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve posted links to some great sources of information, most of them online articles.

As a final wrap-up to this month of cranial cramming, I’m posting videos from my 9 favorite YouTube channels that cover science and education. Plus, a link to their page to see even more.

Take a look and be sure to subscribe to keep learning new things!

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Mr. Know It All: Week 3!

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Mr. Know It All: Week 3!

Mr. Know It All - Bullwinkle

I love to learn new things… Science, Words, Culture. Curiosity drives creativity.

For the month of February, 2015, I’ll be sharing some amazing, odd or just interesting facts. Each week, there will be 7 or more for you to peruse. By the end, think of all the new stuff you’ll have stuffed in your brain!

And now… On with the show!

Week 3 of 4:

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Mr. Know It All: Week 2!

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Mr. Know It All: Week 2!

Mr. Know It All - Bullwinkle

I love to learn new things… Science, Words, Culture. Curiosity drives creativity.

For the month of February, 2015, I’ll be sharing some amazing, odd or just interesting facts. Each week, there will be 7 or more for you to peruse. By the end, think of all the new stuff you’ll have stuffed in your brain!

And now… On with the show!

Week 2 of 4:

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Mr. Know It All: Week 1!

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Mr. Know It All: Week 1!

Mr. Know It All - Bullwinkle

I love to learn new things… Science, Words, Culture. Curiosity drives creativity.

For the month of February, 2015, I’ll be sharing some amazing, odd or just interesting facts. Each week, there will be 7 or more for you to peruse. By the end, think of all the new stuff you’ll have stuffed in your brain!

And now… On with the show!

Week 1 of 4:

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