The 13th Warrior

Intercultural Relationships and Film: The 13th Warrior

Halfway through the 1999 film The 13th Warrior, the Northmen’s much-feared serpent of fire is seen in the distance, working its way around the mountain towards them. One of the Northmen bangs a gong to warn the villagers, and as the villagers seek shelter the stranger among them, an Arab named Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan, starts to believe that maybe the mythological dragon could be real after all. Ibn Fahdlan races towards a small girl trapped near the head of the dragon, and as he reaches her he sees that it is not a dragon, but hundreds of cavalry with torches.… Read the rest

Crocodile Dundee

Stereotypes and Film: Crocodile Dundee

As a parent, one of the things we encourage our children to do is to take in entertainment from various time periods, including books, music, and movies. One of the older films we watched recently was the 1986 film Crocodile Dundee, a comedy featuring an Australian man from the Outback and the female news reporter from New York City who shares adventures with him. Viewing the film after 30 years, it also features a laundry list of stereotypes from the mid-1980’s, including the stereotypes of the Hispanic maid, the affluent New Yorkers and their high style of living, and African-Americans as either chauffeurs or gang members.… Read the rest


Creating Fan Art: The Artist’s Perspective

It is truly interesting that fan art is this week’s topic, since it is something I am not only intimately familiar with as an illustrator, but this week my freelance life centers around that very idea. One of the things I enjoy doing is interviewing the cover artists for Apex Magazine, and I am sending several this week. Fan art questions often come up with those artists, who create fan art for various reasons. Along with that, I am also working on a piece of fan art this week, in the hopes that it will be published later this year in a book filled with art based on the 1982 film The Thing.… Read the rest

Local Communities Should Offer Makerspaces

Imagine for a moment that a visually impaired teenager has an interest in building a marble machine, where a small marble can roll down a series of pieces connected to a wall, landing in a cup at the bottom. This project would take materials that the teenager does not have, with knowledge he cannot easily learn by himself, and without the space at home to even try. He has the intelligence to learn it, and the will to try out new things. But he simply does not have the resources available to him to follow his ideas to their fruition.… Read the rest


Original art is always better than a reproduction

The origins of my 20-year art career were not that different from many other artists, learning the craft by seeking out inspirational artworks, and it is something I continue to do. Since I also enjoy writing, I took the advice from a friend that I should combine my writing skills with my desire to learn about art, and I began blogging about artistic masterpieces in the early 2000s. One of those blogs was about the famous painting, “The Icebergs” by Frederic Edwin Church. I learned a lot from the tiny image of the painting I found online, but I realized only later that seeing the original in a museum would be a far superior experience.… Read the rest

Article: Theodore Roosevelt and the bullet speech

In my home office, behind my computer monitor and at the front of my desk, is a board of various quotes that help me think. Most of them sit outside of my view tonight, in the dark of the evening, but one in particular stands out in the light from my lamp.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.… Read the rest

Magazine Article: Alamo Visitor View

It seems like each culture has a story of a battle where, “few fought against many.” Living here in the U.S., especially in the western states, perhaps the most famous battle took place at The Alamo in 1836.

On a recent trip to San Antonio, Texas, I had the chance to visit The Alamo. Having seen various films and television shows about the battle, and reading books like The Breach that recreate in vivid detail the huge numbers of men involved in the battle, I had a sense of wonder about visiting the site.… Read the rest

Content Article: Sleeper sofas are the perfect addition to your home

Every home has different needs, but the standard furniture we have in them is normally the same. We have beds, dining room tables, dressers, and chairs or sofas. Once you determine what your needs are, you’ll know what furniture your home needs to have.

One consideration is having furniture that serves multiple needs, giving your home adaptability. This is where a sleeper sofa comes in, furniture that offers many options for your family and guests.

Haiku DesignsThis article was originally written for my 2012-2013 position at lifestyle and furniture retailer Haiku Designs.
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Content Article: Different types and styles of beds

When we talk about beds, we inevitably are looking for the right bed for our homes. There are a few different styles of beds to consider, and those considerations are important before choosing the bed you need.

While the choices you make for your bedroom needs vary greatly, it is important to know ahead of time what kind of bed will work best in your home. Below, we’ve gathered a number of the types of beds available, and information on each.

Haiku DesignsThis article was originally written for my 2012-2013 position at lifestyle and furniture retailer Haiku Designs.
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Content Article: Open up your home with more light

There are certain energies that your home has, and we like to talk about feng shui as a way to balance those energies for good health. One aspect that’s not always discussed is the lighting in your home.

Balancing the lighting in your home can be difficult, since most areas of the home have multiple uses. You might be playing a family game at the living room table, and need a bright light to see. But an hour later you might just be relaxing with a book, and the harsh lighting can be very distracting.… Read the rest

Content Article: Don’t forget the floor coverings in your home

Imagine this: you’ve just remodeled your living room, and you can’t quite figure out why it doesn’t work. You have that beautiful, brand new sofa and matching lounge chair. You have a nice set of small tables that accent them perfectly. You’ve painted the walls a relaxing color, matching your new furniture well. Even the new window coverings are perfect. But something still isn’t right.

It may be the floor coverings. Maybe they just don’t work with the room and the furnishings.

Haiku DesignsThis article was originally written for my 2012-2013 position at lifestyle and furniture retailer Haiku Designs.
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Content Article: Keep your healthier resolutions intact this new year

Each new year, many of us start off with resolutions. We look forward to the new year as a rebirth of sorts, a revitalization, and we make those resolutions to try and have a better life. One of the most popular resolutions is to live a more healthy life.

That can mean quite a lot of different things. From better eating habits, to more exercise, and even through enjoying less of our vices. One resolution that can be overlooked is to have a healthier home. But that might be one of the easier resolutions to keep, since home furnishings will last through the entire year.… Read the rest

Content Article: Using the holidays for your home and furniture planning

We are in the busy December holidays now, and many of us are involved in the hustle and bustle of the season. There’s not a lot of extra time to stop and think about your future needs, in between friends and family, shopping, even decorating.

For a few reasons, now is actually a great time to consider what you want to do with your home and furniture needs in the coming year. If you take a few moments now, you’ll be ready for what you want to do in the spring.… Read the rest

Content Article: Remember what you need for guests

For many people, November and December mean an increase in the number of guests in their homes. Those guests range from friends coming over for dinner on the big days, to extended family members staying for a few days, a week, or more. Before the busy times get here, it’s good to stop and think about what your furniture and bedding needs are for those guests.

Evening Guests

Haiku DesignsThis article was originally written for my 2012-2013 position at lifestyle and furniture retailer Haiku Designs. Go check them out here, they are great folks.
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Content Article: Considering the long term health effects of your furniture

Buying new furniture can be a lengthy process, and a lot of thought goes into to purchasing the right pieces for your home. The comfort of the furniture, color, structure, the look and feel, the list of things to consider can get pretty long.

What can occasionally be forgotten about in the process are the long-term effects of owning a piece of furniture, especially from the health side. We are often more interested in how a piece looks now, and how it works for us today, over how it was manufactured or the origin of the materials.… Read the rest