My friend Jake and I were recently heading back to San Francisco from a party in Oakland. Jake was traveling with a bicycle and I wasn’t and we went back and forth for a long time trying to figure out how the 12-block trip to the train station was going to work. Was there a way to share the bike? Perhaps I could I sit on Jake’s shoulders, chicken-fighting-style, while he pedaled? We only had one helmet between us, “but don’t worry”, I said, “My thighs will be your helmet.” It made a lot of sense, but we were tired and couldn’t figure out how to make it work. We ended up walking the entire way.
In the days following, we couldn’t stop thinking about our failure. We knew there must be a way for two friends to safely share a bike. The following series of sketches explore solutions to this problem.
In the first set, Jake provides a classic template for riding on your friend’s shoulders. The top rider keeps the hands up as a sign of success.
You’ll notice that no one gets hurt in a crash because the top rider has a helmet and the bottom rider has thighs protecting their head.
In the next set of sketches, I expand on Jake’s template by adding some different styles of handgrips and footholds.
Where is the bike? There is no bike.
Next, my sister Anna trashes convention and provides a number of alternative ways to safely sit atop someone’s shoulders.
I doubt you'll need to pray. This is safe.
Finally, our friend Peter provides two vivid, real-life examples.
We’re so close to figuring this out! If anyone out there has other ideas, please send in your sketches. Who knows where this is going? We might set up a My Thighs Will Be Your Helmet shop on Etsy and sell t-shirts and handbags.
UPDATE: A few people have mentioned the phrase “my thighs will be your helmet” has sexual undertones. Seriously? I don’t know how I could be any more explicit that this is about friends sharing a bike in a safe manner. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Hey, everyone, I'm currently training to become a doctor, but instead of going to medical school, I've decided to figure everything out on my own. I created a series of animated diagrams illustrating the most critical bodily functions. These are the areas of the body I'll be working on every day in my clinic.
Blood is the fuel that powers the body and keeps all of the internal parts moist. The heart moves the blood around the body so that it doesn't slow down and stagnate. If blood sits in one spot for too long it turns blue.
If you lose blood, either through injury or blood donation, your body will eventually make more of it. I'm not exactly sure how that works.
After blood, breath is the most important bodily concern. The lungs create air, or "breath", and shoot it out into the atmosphere to collect oxygen molecules. You can think of breath like a swarm of bees that collect honey and bring it back to the hive. Your breath is always out there working hard, looking for oxygen.
The guts of a human body are incredibly complicated. Guts encompass all of the internal functions not related to breathing, blood, or your brain. Put your hand on your belly and push in. Everything you feel under there is your guts.
The most famous thing that guts do is turn food into waste. Your guts also alert you to throw up when you eat something rotten.
Nerves are the invisible pathways that send and receive signals from the brain. Very little is known about how this works. For example, you can think about moving your foot, and it moves, but sometimes if you sit cross-legged for too long, your foot won't move even if you want it to. Stranger yet, if you poke a sleeping person in the foot with a stick, they will kick. That wasn't even their thought. They were asleep!
Hair is the most aesthetically pleasing bodily system, but it also plays a critical role in our survival. The body uses hair to regulate temperature. If you live in a cold climate, you will grow a lot of hair in the winter and shed it in the summer. People living in hot climates are practically hairless.
I hope you learned some things about the body that will help you live a healthy life.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: While the information presented here is factually correct, I am not yet licensed to practice medicine and therefore cannot recommend the use of this information to diagnose or treat a medical condition. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.
This past January I participated in the annual Fun-A-Day art show. The event takes place in cities across the country and the only requirement is that participants create one art piece per day for the entire month of January. For my project, I created a daily animation based on the most notable thing that happened each day. At the end of the month I had thirty-one very short films that I stitched together into a silent movie that was shown on a loop at the Rock Paper Scissors Gallery in Oakland.
For the web version of the video, I asked my friend Carl W to help with a soundtrack. I was basically asking for Carl's interpretation of my interpretation of my month. It could have been a huge mess, but Carl came through with a big song that gives the animation some emotional depth. Slam dunk.
UPDATE: Here are some pictures from the show on February 4. (Photos courtesy of Nick L, the show's curator):
I made this short, abstract piece for an experimental animation course I'm taking. The music is excerpted from the track "Mirror Friends" by the group Lucky Dragons (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). The video doesn't work very well this small; it's intended to be shown on a continuous loop on a large screen (preferably in a room filled with beanbag chairs and people giving out free massages).
For the greatest effect, you should click through to YouTube and view it full-screen in 720p high definition. Namaste.
A friend, Cielo L, approached me recently and asked for help designing a phoenix logo for a website she's creating. I told her that most of my drawings look like low-budget children's cartoons, but I'd be happy to give it a shot. I started by making a few rough sketches, then I drew a few more, and then I got really into the concept of the phoenix, and ended up sketching phoenixes for days and days.
There are numerous versions of the phoenix myth throughout the world. The basic story involves a bird that catches fire, burns down into a pile of ash, and then is reborn as a new magical bird that lives for hundreds of years until it catches fire again and the cycle repeats. I was so busy drawing that I didn't have time to do any research on actual phoenixes. All of these sketches are based on my pre-existing knowledge.
Here are my thirty-three best drawings. Even if you're the kind of person who hates phoenixes, I'm sure you'll find at least one of these that you like.
UPDATE: So many phoenixes! I'm going to take all these drawings to Kinkos and make a zine called The Phoenix Tribune. It'll consist entirely of drawings, photos, essays, and poems about phoenixes. I'm going to leave stacks of it at coffee shops all over town. I'll keep you posted.
UPDATE 2: Cielo isn't sure if these are going to work for her site. (What?) Apparently there are other artists in the running and she's going for a very specific type of phoenix. (But I thought I drew all the types!) Either way, I'm glad I did this. By drawing forty-plus phoenixes in two weeks, I've grown far more comfortable with the concept of burning things down to nothing and starting over again.
For the latest installment of the collaborative Buddy System series, I created a patriotic template and asked my friends to draw their favorite president for Presidents Day. I received eleven incredibly diverse responses. Here they are in full glory:
The first submission is from Morit G, who found inspiration in Grover Cleveland's working-class taste buds. Cleveland thought the fancy food they served at the White House was gross.
Fun fact: At the age of 49, Cleveland married an opportunistic 21-year old, marking the only marriage of a sitting US President in history.
The next submission is my own. I drew the only five presidents in American history to sport beards. From upper left going clockwise, you have Benjamin Harrison (perhaps the longest beard); James Garfield (scraggliest); Rutherford B. Hayes (wispiest); Abraham Lincoln (neck beard); and Ulysses S. Grant (shortest). The era of bearded presidents started with Lincoln in 1861 and ended with Benjamin Harrison in 1893. Sadly, America has never had a bearded president since. (Although, Al Gore came close.)
Another Bush-inspired piece came from Angela B and her son Magnus who worked together on a Curious George coloring page. The purple and yellow squiggly lines represent the challenges faced by Bush during his eight years in office.
Fun Fact: All of America's current economic troubles are the result of policies put in place by Bill Clinton and Barney Frank, not Bush.
Jake C, a distant relative of President Calvin Coolidge, sent in a portrait of Barack Obama that he created on his iPhone.
Fun Fact: President Barack Obama is America's first president of Kenyan descent.
Fun Fact: Teddy Roosevelt came up with the idea for the Teddy Bear after he had visions of tiny bears in a polio-induced fever dream.
David S, a first time contributor, sent in a portrait of a president he would like to see. He explains:
Dreams are important, they inspire us and drive us onward in the face of a miserable unforgiving world full of casual cruelty. That's why I drew my dream president, former attorney general Janet Reno. Did you know that JRe (as we call her) was the FIRST female federal attorney general ever? That is why I know she would also be a great first lady President!
I've drawn her in a tie because she is not concerned with conforming to societies' antiquated gender roles.
Fun Fact: Janet Reno originally wanted to call Ted Kaczynski the "Mailman of Death", but she was overruled by President Clinton who favored "Unabomber".
My sister, Anna U, drew a picture of a bat president.
Fun Fact: Bats sleep while hanging upside down in caves.
Nico C was inspired by the Star Wars movies. He thought Boba Fett, the notorious outer space bounty hunter, would make a pretty cool president.
Fun Fact: Harrison Ford, the actor who played Han Solo, is the adopted son of former-President Gerald Ford.
And last, but certainly not least, is Carl W's thought-provoking Super Bowl-inspired take on patriotism and cosmetic surgery. Carl envisions an America ruled by the E*Trade baby.
Fun Fact: Carl is an attorney who works for the Federal government, just like U.S. Presidents.
I hope you all learned some new things about presidents this Presidents Day, I know I did. Many thanks to all who participated and God Bless America!