I finished building and painting a nice custom frame for my recent dream-inspired painting that you’ve already seen in detail. Right now it’s hanging over the door to our walk-in closet. I’d hoped to hang it at eye level because it’s quite detailed, and you’d think that in a 4000+ square foot studio it wouldn’t be too hard to find the perfect place, but there’s already so much art (and bookshelves) blocking the walls that it wasn’t so easy. You can zoom this picture and all the others as well, as always. I don’t know why I even bother saying that.
I want to also mention that there is absolutely no image processing done on the picture above other than cropping and sizing. It is exactly as it came off the camera and a true representation of the painting (what looks like hairs or scratches are highlights from the flash hitting the texture of the paint). It is approximately 20″x16″. I mention all this because since it did end up turning out after all, if someone wants to make me a reasonable offer on it, I’m willing to sell it.
I made the frame out of some wood molding that I picked up at Home Depot. My electric miter saw is at Ryan’s farm, so I cut it by hand which wrecked my arms for a couple days and they’re still a bit sore, although I’m keeping my fingers crossed that no permanent damage was done. I glued the four edges together with wood glue plus a belt-clamp to hold it together, and when it was dry, I used epoxy clay to quickly sculpt four comical snakes to sit on the corners. These serve the dual purpose of being decorative and also covering up the points where the patterns carved/pressed into the wood don’t quite match, as well as any minor imperfections in the joint. I think I’ve only made five or six frames myself in the last decade, and I’d like to think they’re still improving.
The frame was first hit with a primer coat of flat black (the gloss — which really pumps up the saturation — is a top layer of sprayed clear acrylic) and then painted it with colors to echo the painting and highlighted each “scale” to give the painting the illusion of glow. Like I already mentioned, these scales are actually three dimensional as they’re part of the molding design. You wouldn’t believe how long it took to do this — each tile painted a base color, then about half of them have a yellow glow highlight, and all of them an off white highlight on top of that, and then the black lining between and around them. The time passed quickly without me noticing because I was listening to imagination inspiring press conferences from The Disclosure Project (various “qualified” government and military personnel whistle-blowing about UFOs and bases on the moon and other things dear to my heart) — you can find those for free on their website (scroll down to “Press Conference Overview”). I can’t prove to you it’s not a big hoax (definitely their witnesses range from über-reliable to extremely flaky to obvious liar — you can read an arguably overly skeptical debunking here) but it was enormous fun.
But I digress… A few more pictures of the frame:
I’ve written quite a few times here about the economics of space travel. Really, really scratching my head about why we’re spending a hundred times what we should on rocket launches… There are two very obvious explanations as to why we spent $50 million on a launch that should be half a million: first, it could be that the military-industrial complex is overly vulnerable to profiteering and we’re seeing the big spender version of the $500 toilet seat. That’s the explanation I usually assume is the right one. But the real reasons behind the $500 toilet seat bring me to the second reasonable possibility: that this massive overcharging is a way of laundering money into black projects. A way of moving taxpayer money in massive quantities into secret projects that can’t be publicly funded. That turned out to be a lot of the story behind the government paying silly amounts for mundane objects. They weren’t really buying a $500 toilet seat. They were buying a $10 toilet seat, and quietly putting $490 into the funding for a stealth bomber with every toilet seat. Now, the average person knows what a toilet seat or a hammer should cost. They do not however know what an advanced high-tech rocket should cost, so maybe it’s a lot easier to do it that way?
Oh and since people always ask me this, I do not believe that UFOs are visitors from other stars. My personal guess is that it’s a mix of misidentification of natural and man-made phenomena, including military black projects from multiple nations. I suspect that those running these black projects from time to time have encouraged the “alien” hypothesis because it serves both to distract and discredit the witnesses who might otherwise be credible. And if I’m wrong, I’m more likely to believe that the aliens are time-traveling humans, humans visiting from a planet Mars settled by a previous advanced Earth civilization prior to the last ice age (a la the ancient UFOs in Vedic poems, which may or may not be early sci-fi), or even some non-human cephalopod intelligence that lives deep under the ocean (sailors regularly see
pink elephants UFOs — about 50% of UFO sightings according to the Russians). I just am not convinced that we are going to solve the problem of superluminal travel, which is required for “casual” travel between star systems. Without that, it’s going to be either slow communication between distant civilizations (imagine a fifty year delay in your phone call rather than half a second of latency), or at best gigantic generational arks moving between stars. Not the sort of thing that you can hide.
To be honest, I’m much more interested in hearing what’s at the bottom of the Baltic sea (sonar picture above — and again, here’s a skeptical take to cruelly kill your fantasies). If I had to guess, the safe money is that it’s a round Russian ironclad boat, although that would require explaining why it’s twice as big as any known ship they built, to say nothing of the fact that those ships were not known to have been in that area, and the fact that whatever it was hit the bottom of the ocean fast enough to “scrape” a half kilometer long straight gouge before coming to rest. So many interesting things under the sea (including a great many things that were once on land when sea levels were much lower, like the Yonaguni monument). As I’m sure most of you know, we have far better maps of the moon than we do of the bottom of the ocean, and more people have been on the moon than have been in the deepest parts of the ocean. Who knows what’s down there?
I have more important things to do today than ramble about UFOs but I think that the interesting things about the UFO phenomena is not “aliens”… The interesting thing is the “U”. That something is there, and that it’s unidentified, and it’s always fun getting to the bottom of mysteries whether the explanation ends up being mundane or extremely surprising. The world is a bizarre and fascinating place without having to dip ones toes into what amounts to the paranormal.