The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Horse Paints & Sells Work In Gallery

I always joke that Kandinsky paintings look like my kids ate crayons and barfed on the canvas. I’m definitely thinking about feeding my kids some crayons after this.

Metro the Painting Horse

Come on, kids. You want to go to college, don’t you?

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

The Most Misunderstood Writing Rule: Write What You Know by #1 Amazon Best Seller Aaron Patterson of Stonehouse Ink.

Forensic Fridays: All About Autopsies by Garry Rodgers.

Emily Cannell takes us on at trip to see the Terracotta Warriors in China. A Forced March to the Terracotta Warriors – Xi’An China

Terracotta Warriorsimage by Emily Cannell

Terracotta Warriors
image by Emily Cannell

How James Bond Won the Second World War by Colin Falconer.

Our PBS history question for the day. Did Black People Own Slaves?

Jenny Hansen asks, What Lights Your Creative Spirit On Fire?

Horses aren’t the only animals exceeding the limitations of society’s concepts. I only wish I could skateboard like this dog does.

Campaign Poll Daddy Question of the Week:

All the best to all of you for a week of exceeding society’s limitations.

Piper Bayard

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Michelangelo’s David Must Wear Underwear

A town in Japan received a replica of Michelangelo’s David as a gift. Many found the statue to be immodest and demanded underwear.

Michelangelo's David David Gaya wikimedia

image by David Gaya, wikimedia commons

Read the story here. Japan Town Demands Underwear for Michelangelo’s David

I had no idea John Ashcroft had moved to Japan.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

I’m excited to tell you about WANA International’s first online writing conference – WANACon! With best selling author Kristen Lamb at the helm, this is sure to be an outstanding learning experience for authors. New York Times Best Selling Author Allison Brennan and Aaron Patterson, #1 Amazon Best Seller and General Manager of Stonehouse Ink Publishing are only two of the teachers presenting classes during the event, which will be February 22 – 23. Kristen gives us the details at her blog. And Now for Something Completely Different! Redefining the Writing Conference

WANACon Logo

I always enjoy seeing two of my favorite bloggers in the same place. This time, it’s Jess Witkins and Julie Glover. Guilty Pleasures Friday – Embarrassing My Kids

Lena Corazon directed me to The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts and an interesting article, What Did Historical Swords Weigh?

Ellie Ann pointed me toward some amazing horses. Picturing Horses

A Knight at the Crossroads Viktor M. Vasnetsov

A Knight at the Crossroads by Viktor M. Vasnetsov, US public domain

Blurb Etiquette Some excellent advice from author Mike Duran.

Beyonce created quite a stir with her costume that was almost there at the Superbowl halftime show. Elizabeth Duffy wrote and excellent commentary on the kerfuffle. Sex, Shame, and the Superbowl

Sometimes those old relatives wander off to the strangest places. Via Judith Houlding of Space Editing, LLC. Bones Under Parking Lot Belonged to Richard III

Second Graders Spell-Check NFL Players’ Tweets

A precious moment captured. Via Xandra James we have Baby Wolf Learns to Howl.

All the best to all of you for a week of knowing your art.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

Parkour Right There

By Piper Bayard

Parkour rocks. Maybe because it’s magic to those of us with bad knees or fear of heights. Maybe it’s because the guys in the parkour movies are ripped and don’t wear their shirts too often. But it’s probably because it takes amazing athleticism.

Parkour, or l’art du deplacement, is the art of moving fluidly through the environment by vaulting, rolling, running, climbing, and jumping. It is often practiced in urban areas where there are plenty of buildings to jump between and railings and walls to jump over.

David Belle Parkour Eleazar Castillo wikimedia

David Belle

image by Eleazar Castillo, wikimedia

The founder of parkour is actor and choreographer David Belle. The son, grandson, and brother of rescuers in the French military fire service, he bases his art on the teachings of his father. His movies include District B13, B13—Ultimatum, and Prince of Persia.

Check out David Belle in this clip from District B13.

Of course, not everyone is a David Belle.

Though with time and hard work some few develop real skills.

Ronnie Shalvis and Devin Graham even combine parkour with a popular computer game. The joke in our house is that the animated figure in Assassin’s Creed walks like a runway model, and, of course, that his outfit makes him so anonymous on the streets. Ronnie doesn’t just wear the costume and jump over things. He studied the walk.

If you have a few minutes, the Behind the Scenes–Assassins Creed Meets Parkour is rather interesting. You’ll find it as an option at the end of this video.

So are you ready to go jump off your front porch? 

All the best to all of you for a week of easy landings.

Mike the Photo Law Suit Scammer Caught!

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

Recently, National Best Selling Author Roni Loren published an article about being sued for a blog photo that shook the blogging world right down to its ellipsis. Suddenly, bloggers came out of the woodwork, telling stories of unknown photographers popping up from nowhere, demanding exorbitant amounts for their forgotten, mediocre pictures that were plucked from obscurity and given a life on blogs.

This led Holmes and I to surmise that in actuality, some of these photographers aren’t photographers at all, but professional Courthouse Crawlers who, unable to make a living at photography, throw their photos out like bait, waiting to catch unsuspecting bloggers in their nets of infringement litigation.

Sure enough, with a minimal amount of research, we turned up proof.

Meet Mike of Mike’s Photos R Me.

This is Mike’s best self-portrait, but he calls himself a professional photographer. We went to Mike’s web site, and this is what we found.

Hi, Bloggers. Here are my photos. I never check to see who is using them, even though they are my best work, and this is how I make my living. I will never look to see who takes them at all. Why, if you took my work to use on your page (just double click and ‘Save Image’) I would never know it. Not at all.

This is a small sampling of my famous, award-winning* photography that I never, ever google.

Art Photo: ‘Rock on a Log’

Wildlife Photo: ‘Crouching Dog, Hidden Canine’

I stalked this wild mutt through the back yard for at least ten minutes to catch this perfect shot.

Abstract Photo: ‘Meditation on a Yard Sprinkler’

See how the water creates the illusion of lush lawn along the side, in sharp contrast to the harsh brown grass. Now there’s some thought fodder.

Editorial Photo: Guinea Pig World

Note how the guinea pig is like the so many of the world’s people. The cage is open for him to embrace his freedom, yet instead, he prefers the safety of his confinement while simply gnawing the bars in angst . . . I know. I have to pause a moment, too.

And what portfolio would be complete without some beautiful, artistic nudes to remind us of the glory of the human form? I started shooting this type of art when my mother kicked me out of her basement six months ago.

Nude Photo: Back Directory

When my buddies all 86ed me from their houses, too, I met this guy named Alfonse who pointed out the money to be made in this type of photo . . .

Naughty Photo: Fifty Shades of Plastic

Who wouldn’t want this brilliance gracing their blogs? But no worries. I’m not like some of those photographers out there, just waiting to take you to court. No way. I will never know if you just happen to take one of these beauties for your website.

*Voted Best Photography by all of Mike’s Family and Friends.

Don’t be fooled by Mike! While there are many fine and reputable photographers out there who deserve our respect and our dollars to reproduce their materials, there are also these bottom feeders lurking and preying on unsuspecting bloggers who are simply confused about the law.

If you are approached by a ‘Mike,’ keep in mind that license to use most pictures on the internet only costs between one and twenty dollars. If you should run into a stubborn Mike who wants some exorbitant compensation, consider contacting us about our Bayard & Holmes Alternative Out of Court Settlement Service. Our Out of Court Settlement Team has thus far experienced outstanding results in convincing the world’s Mikes to accept reasonable settlements that are favorable to our clients.

All the best to all of you for a week of avoiding life’s bottom feeders.