When I first looked at the syllabus for this class the assignment that I was the most afraid of was the individual project. I am not a confident person, I struggle with coming up with ideas and executing them, and overall it is very hard for me to be creative. It was only after I turned in my second assignment “ Get Vaccinated!” that I had a shred of an idea of what I would do for my individual project. Professor Ward pointed out that even though I was highlighting the importance of getting vaccinated there was also an unintended theme of fashion in these photographs. This helped inspire and encourage my interest in fashion photography. Once I made the decision that I was going to shoot fashion for my individual project I went looking for inspiration in everything. My girlfriend had recently purchased a sunset lamp from amazon and I saw the beautiful lighting it cast on her wall and I knew I wanted to include it in my project somehow. I made the decision that floral print clothing items would look best under this light and then I went about recruiting my friends to be models. For the shoot I picked everyone’s outfits, hair style, and makeup to keep it as uniform and professional as possible. Within every photo in this portfolio I wanted to highlight the floral clothing item as best as possible and have the sunset lamp add depth and intensity to each photo. One of the most difficult tasks of this photoshoot was directing and posing my friends but overall it was a good learning experience for me because after this project I now know I want to pursue fashion photography in the future. This shoot taught me that I have a real passion for fashion photography and I have Professor Ward and his class to thank for pushing me to try this out.
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he heard for decades that Lockheed Martin, the aerospace giant, was in possession of ‘retrieved materials’ from crashed extraterrestrial spacecraft. Reid, now 81, says ‘they’ would not approve it when he requested access to the material. I have read credible reports that there are levels of secrecy that not even the President can access.
I have to wonder just who ‘they’ are who can deny a prominent Senate leader’s request.
The late Senator Barry Goldwater told a somewhat similar story. On a visit to Wright-Patterson Airforce Base, Goldwater asked his old friend General Curtis LeMay, who was in command of the base, to see the alien materials kept in the ‘Blue Room’ there. The general became angry and told Goldwater that even he could not see it, and said he would never speak to his old friend Goldwater again if he ever raised the issue again.
Why this extreme reaction to simple requests from prominent senators?
Another question I’ve always asked is this; if some spacefaring intelligence could create the technology to travel many light years to visit our humble abode, why would they be crashing once they got here? We’ve managed to land delicate rovers on Mars with our ‘primitive’ technology. It just doesn’t make sense that beings with the technology to travel billions of miles through space would come here only to crash in our deserts. Something is very wrong with that picture.
Now for the latest news:
An independent government watchdog is now investigating the Pentagon’s actions on UFOs following complaints by leaders of Congress.
Luis Lue Elizondo, a former Pentagon official who headed the Pentagon’s program investigating what they call UAPs, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, has come forward, comparing the Pentagon’s dealing with the UAPs to the intelligence failure before 9/11. This would imply to me that he believes UAPs pose a threat to national security.
The new investigation will seek to determine the extent of the DOD’s actions regarding UAPs.
The investigation became public with the release of a letter signed by Randolph R. Stone, Assistant Inspector General for Evaluation of Space Intelligence Engineering, to heads of military agencies and government departments giving them five days to provide a point of contact to answer the Inspector General’s questions. Hopefully, this signals a big chink in the wall of official secrecy.
The IG’s investigation is separate from a mandated federal report to be released before the end of June about UAPs.
Elizondo headed the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program from 2010 to 2017. He says he tried to get the government to take action on the reality of UAPs once he realized they were real. “It was a holy sh** moment,” he says. “Oh my gosh, it’s real! Well crap, now we have to do something about it.”
But, when he tried to get the government to take action, he says all he got were evasions and roadblocks, leading him to believe the government doesn’t want to acknowledge the reality of UAPs because of “religious objections,” or the fear of public panic. He eventually resigned because of this stonewalling.
He speaks of credible reports he saw of objects going 11,000 miles per hour, making right angle turns at speed, instantly reversing direction, submerging in water with no loss of performance, etc..
Our fastest airplanes can barely exceed 2,000 miles an hour, and can make none of the other maneuvers these things have been observed making. The implication is of technology hundreds of years more advanced than ours.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, Elizondo says, it would be like putting toothpaste back in the tube to cover it all up again.
My comment is that I believe it is time to knock down the wall of secrecy surrounding UAPs, UFOs, and tell us what our government knows.
It is our right as citizens of the USA, nay, as citizens of the World, to know what our governments know, even if it scares the hell out of us.
SCIENTISTS SAY ROVERS HAVE FOUND FUNGI ON MARS
Dr Rhawn Gabriel Joseph, Dr. Xinli Wei, and Dr. Rudolph Schild, have said they see signs of life in Mars photos. Wei is with the Chinese Academy of Science and Schild is with the Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory, while Joseph runs the brainmind.com website.
NASA says what the three are seeing are just rocks. Scientific skeptics agreed with NASA.
The images are certainly odd, photos taken one day showing only a scattering of nine of what looks like puffballs, those taken three days later showing twelve more. Rocks that grow?
In certain conditions rocks can do strange things, witness the area in Death Valley where rock crawl at night, leaving trails in the smooth sand. Or rocks in one area in New Jersey that ring like bells when struck with hammers. But rocks growing out of barren Martian soil in three days? I’m not sure what to think of that.
I very firmly believe there was life on mars billions of years ago when the planet was warmer and wetter. Even today there are areas on Mars that have 40° F daytime highs and only -9° F nighttime lows. Places in Antarctica have similar temperatures and support bacterial and fungal life.
The big question: is anything still alive there today. Since it took billions of years for the planet to cool off and dry up, life had plenty of time to adapt. Will our rovers find it? I somewhat doubt it because I think life would have retreated underground, and our rovers can’t dig deep. I hope I’m wrong, though, and there is some life on the surface.
Just as with UFOs, resistance is largely religious, the ridiculous idea that this planet is somehow special, not just one of many. The Church burned Giordino Bruno at the stake for saying there were other worlds with life on them, and made the executioner a saint. Far too many still think that way.
About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. He is serving the 13th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read Bob Shell’s, first essay on civil war, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-226-or-anything-you-want-it-to-be/
Editor’s Note: If you like Bob Shell’s blog posts, you’re sure to like his new book, COSMIC DANCE by Bob Shell (ISBN: 9781799224747, $ 12.95 book, $ 5.99 eBook) available now on Amazon.com . The book, his 26th, is a collection of essays written over the last twelve years in prison, none published anywhere before. It is subtitled, “A biologist’s reflections on space, time, reality, evolution, and the nature of consciousness,” which describes it pretty well. You can read a sample section and reviews on Amazon.com.
Photography and Text by Faizah Khan, Copyright 2021
Everyday objects, as ordinary as they appear, often bear significant value for an individual. Whether it be a tired old shoe or a lively stuffed animal, the objects we hold onto serve as a symbol of the life we once lived, are living, or want to live. The ability for inanimate objects to possess qualities that reflect a piece of an individual consequently inspired this project.
All items photographed belong to college students due to location and proximity. However, this was ideal because given the limited space college students must face when moving in, they must constantly narrow down their most precious items they plan on bringing with them to campus.
Through a series of conversations, each photograph was taken to capture the heartwarming memories and worthwhile stories that these items carry. While each photograph reveals a unique story about the individual, an observer can make their own interpretations of what these stories could hold.
Photography and Text by Sharon Wang, Copyright 2021
Traveling Under the Pandemic
When we talk about traveling, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Beautiful scenery, exotic matters, fascinating culture, tasty food, and so much more. A year ago, the most unexpected and tough experience wiped over the entire human race — the COVID-19 pandemic. If the world before the pandemic was a constantly spinning wheel, one component stopped working one day, and the rest just crumbled down.
In light of the pandemic, traveling became harder and harder. Quarantine is the default when traveling from one place to another. International travel is nearly impossible. Even though the traditional way of traveling is limited, journeys still happen around us.
Usually during spring break, students will go outside of the school and have fun. This year, rather than us taking a trip to the zoo, the zoo traveled to us. Our fluffy friends comforted us with their cuteness, saving us from all the work, and healing our exhaustion quitely.
Another thing that travels is the endearment and attachment between loved ones. Because of the restriction of travel, lovers, or family members are sometimes separated. Although for international students on campus, who have been in this foriegn country for over a year all on their own, their emotions still travel to their loved ones. Even with all the restrictions because of the pandemic, love travels through words on the postcards and with packages to the people on the other end.
Time also travels. Last year, when the flowers were blooming, no one was here enjoying the blessed weather. Exactly a year later, the flowers are showing off their beauty again. Even though the world was shut down at one point, time continues, not caring about anything. After many years when I think back at college during the pandemic, I probably will not remember the problem sets that were driving me crazy, but I know I will clearly hear the husky, sensual voice of Lana Del Ray from my headphones. I look outside the French windows on the first floor of the library — the sun drizzles on the sprouts and buds; their reflections sneak into the room and hug me from behind. Everything is colored “warm” on this early spring afternoon. It is the time of the year where people wear clothes as if they were living in different seasons. It is a Saturday afternoon, one that everything is recovering. Time travels on its own, not caring anything about us. Time travels, and it heals everything.
Photography, Video and Text by Aliana Ho, Copyright 2021
Unity at the Initiative
Friday March 12th, 2021, we piled into my car and set for Vine Street. Through social media postings and online publications, we had heard about the Asian Arts Initiative’s exhibit, Unity at the Initiative. Dedicated to providing spaces and greater representation for queer and trans bodies of color, this partnering of the the two collectives involves multiple visual exhibits,pop-up indoor skate park made accessible through a Covid-safe, reservation-only system.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the brilliant Philly sun as we waited for someone to come and unlock the door. Stepping inside, the cool air graced our skins as our eyes adjusted to the lighting. We gazed in excitement at the skate ramps and rails, at the posters covering the walls and their beautiful artwork created by beautiful queer artists of color. After spending about an hour and a half skating, admiring the artwork, and even putting up some of the extra posters with the wheat paste method, we were told to go check out the visual installation on the backside of the building.
We collected our boards, extra posters to take home, and other belongings and wandered down the back alley, and came across the window display of the installation. Inside the window were countless posters, cans of spray paint, zines, tapestries, and an assorted clutter of other visual art pieces, illuminated by a soft yellow glow. The surrounding walls had beautiful murals, one titled “Color Me Home”, made in collaboration between the Asian Arts Initiative and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
The main focus of the Asian Arts Initiative is to “create community through the power of art”. For UNITY, an Oakland, CA based organization, they focus on dismantling white supremacy by pushing for representation for queer, trans, and disabled, bodies of color in spaces like are typically dominated by white cis-men, like the skating community. In merging these two organizations and creating representative art and spaces for QTBIPOC, this installation provided a brilliant example of making changes within smaller communities to make impacts on a larger scale. Despite all the media attention these issues have been getting, especially since the shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, which happened just four days after we visited the show, does not mean that these issues did not exist before people started paying attention to them. This exhibit proves to show that conversations around accessibility, inclusion, and creating safe spaces for the most marginalized communities has and will continue to be important to creating lasting change.
About The Author: Aliana Ho is an Anthropology major, Visual Studies & Health Studie Minor student at Haverford College, Haverford, Pa. Class of 2022. To see additional articles by Aliana, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/we-thrive/