Above & Beyond

November 21, 2017 by Sparky Recent 0 comments 41
Published on YouTube Oct 28, 2014
A group of professional test pilots explore the remote and rarely visited Island of Socotra off the coast of Yemen in the heart of the Middle East. Join them as they thermal up to 1000m over the Indian Ocean, battle 40km winds, and fly from the longest caves in the orient. A 37 minute documentary including spectacular aerial footage from one of the few remaining flying secrets left on earth.

My Place: Jake Chapman

Inside the Cotswolds home and studio of the art world enfant terrible

Known for his offbeat artworks made alone and collaboratively with brother Dinos Chapman, British art rebel Jake Chapman has made a name for himself for his provocative works that play on subjects of the bizarre, grotesque or macabre. His and Dinos Chapman’s work often features groups of life-sized, life-like models in strange scenarios, and their 2003 Turner Prize entry debuted a bronze statue showing two sex dolls in the ’69 position.

“Chapman has made a name for himself with often-provocative works that play on subjects of the bizarre, grotesque or macabre”


For the latest episode of My Place, the British artist invites director Barbara Anastacio into his home in the idyllic Cotswolds, England, where he talks about art, life and the city-country disconnect.

On Being is a Peabody Award-winning public radio conversation and podcast, a Webby Award-winning website and online exploration, a publisher and public event convener. On Being opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? We explore these questions in their richness and complexity in 21st-century lives and endeavors. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact.



A global video channel screening the best in culture

NOWNESS is a movement for creative excellence in storytelling celebrating the extraordinary of every day.  Launched in 2010, NOWNESS’ unique programming strategy has established it as the go to source of inspiration and influence across art, design, fashion, beauty, music, food, and travel. Our curatorial expertise and award-winning approach to storytelling is unparalleled. We work with exceptional talent, and both established and emerging filmmakers which connect our audience to emotional and sensorial stories designed to provoke inspiration and debate.

NOWNESS launched a Chinese-language site in 2012 and since 2013 videos are available in up to 10 languages including English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian (just turn on Subtitles on our player).


So what is The Leap Manifesto?
The Leap Manifesto is a vision for how Canada can tackle climate change in a way that changes the country, and the world, for the better. The Manifesto is available in twelve languages and counting, and has been signed by tens of thousands of people from all over, and all walks of life. From former Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry to the head of Canada’s Jesuits; from Oxfam to the Council of Canadians to Idle No More; dozens of religious, labour and Indigenous leaders; cultural figures like Leonard Cohen, Ellen Page, Donald Sutherland and Arcade Fire and some of Canada’s largest public sector unions. Another example of change for the better, and just one of many hopeful moves by people coming together to effect change.

In recent years the little-known research group Forensic Architecture began using novel research methods to undertake a series of investigations into human rights abuses. While providing crucial evidence for international courts and working with a wide range of activist groups, NGOs, Amnesty International and the UN, Forensic Architecture has not only shed new light on human rights violations and state crimes across the globe, it has also given rise to a new form of investigative practice, to which it has given its name. The group uses architecture as a methodological device with which to investigate armed conflicts and environmental destruction, and to cross-reference multiple other evidence sources such as new media, remote sensing, material investigation and witness testimony. This exhibition introduces the practice, outlining its origins, history, assumptions, potential and double binds. With these investigations and the critical texts that accompany them, Forensic Architecture examines how public truth is produced, technologically, architecturally and aesthetically; how it can be used to confront state propaganda and secrets; and how to expose newer forms of state violence.

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What to do about ‘Social Media’ addiction – Join Sparky Social

Social Media as it has grown has now become a dangerous behaviour pattern experienced and practised by the majority of people worldwide, especially among younger people. But rather than reject it all together, Sparky suggests we work within our natural limitations in socialising. Expressions like; ‘reading the room’, ‘keeping good company’, ‘avoid negative thinking’ should be applied, along with the 3 Cs rule that could apply to any social ‘traffic’ or interaction, CARE, COURTESY and CONSIDERATION.

As part of a set of ‘social’ ethics that should be applied to the rampant phenomenon called ‘social media’ (…notice how ‘Social Networks’ became ‘Social Media’ ), Sparky offers an approach that can take the principles of ‘social media’ – which were fine and good in context and within limits) and refine and develop those principles towards a healthy, worthy and satisfactory form of communication with each other, our interests and our social structures/ systems (just look up at the main menu). The concept of applying existing social ethics to the internet is the key – along with common sense and experience of the real world. For example, when you arrive by invitation, to a room full of people, some are friends, some are acquaintances and some are strangers, etc. , and the size of the room will limit the number of people who can comfortably communicate within that space.

In your efforts to socialise, you would normally gravitate towards a small group that would have at least one friend or close acquaintance among their temporary party, you may have already overheard a topic of conversation that interests you or you may have a good idea of what they may be discussing due to context of the gathering itself. It may be a birthday party, or a wedding reception, or an awards ceremony, normally there will be context and reason to be there in the first place – an invitation or obligation or request – this should be the way we approach any group or party on social media, why are we here, is there value in these interactions, or are we just seeking entertainment or distraction from real world anxieties

There is much more to discuss on this topic and if you are interested, try joining Sparky Social and let’s calm and train this monster we have created. If we just run away from it, it will find us eventually, and if not our selves, will influence those around us to the extreme, and like passive smoking, will do as much damage in the end.

socialize |ˈsəʊʃəlʌɪz| (also socialise) verb1 [no object] mix socially with others: he didn’t mind socializing with his staff.2 [with object] make (someone) behave in a way that is acceptable to their society:newcomers are socialized into orthodox ways | (as adjective socializing) : a socializing effect.3 [with object] organize according to the principles of socialism: (as adjective socialized) : socialized economies.

network |ˈnɛtwəːk| noun1 an arrangement of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines: a spider constructs a complex network of several different kinds of threads.2 a group or system of interconnected people or things: the company has a network of 326 branches | a trade network.a complex system of railways, roads, or other routes: the railway network.a group of people who exchange information and contacts for professional or social purposes: a support network.a group of broadcasting stations that connect for the simultaneous broadcast of a programme: [as modifier] : network television.a number of interconnected computers, machines, or operations: a computer network.a system of connected electrical conductors.verb1 [with object] connect as or operate within a network: compared with the railways the canals were less effectively networked.British broadcast (a programme) on a network: the Spurs match which ITV had networked.link (computers or other machines) to operate interactively: more and more PCs are networked together | (as adjective networked) : networked workstations.2 [no object] (often as noun networking) interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts: the skills of networking, bargaining, and negotiation.DERIVATIVES networkable |ˈnɛtˌwəːkəb(ə)l| adjective

rampant |ˈramp(ə)nt| adjective1 (especially of something unwelcome) flourishing or spreading unchecked: political violence was rampant | rampant inflation.unrestrained in action or performance: rampant sex.(of a plant) lush in growth; luxuriant: a rich soil soon becomes home to rampant weeds.2 [usually postpositive] Heraldry (of an animal) represented standing on one hind foot with its forefeet in the air (typically in profile, facing the dexter side, with right hind foot and tail raised): two gold lions rampant.DERIVATIVES rampancy |ˈramp(ə)nsi| nounrampantly adverb ORIGIN Middle English (as a heraldic term): from Old French, literally crawling, present participle of ramper (see ramp). From the original use describing a wild animal arose the sense fierce, whence the current notion of unrestrained.

phenomenon |fəˈnɒmɪnən| noun (plural phenomena |fɪˈnɒmɪnə| ) 1 a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question: glaciers are interesting natural phenomena.2 Philosophy the object of a person’s perception.3 a remarkable person or thing: the band was a pop phenomenon just for their sales figures alone.ORIGIN late 16th century: via late Latin from Greek phainomenon thing appearing to view, based on phainein to show.usage: The word phenomenon comes from Greek, and its plural form is phenomena, as in these phenomena are not fully understood. It is a mistake to treat phenomena as if it were a singular form, as in this is a strange phenomena.

anxiety |aŋˈzʌɪəti| noun (plural anxieties) [mass noun] 1 a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome: he felt a surge of anxiety | [count noun] : anxieties about the moral decline of today’s youth.Psychiatry a nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behaviour or panic attacks: [as modifier] : she suffered from anxiety attacks.2 [with infinitive] strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen: the housekeeper’s eager anxiety to please.ORIGIN early 16th century: from French anxiété or Latin anxietas, from anxius (see anxious) .

A really smart and established website that selects interesting content from around the web.


Ancient sports for children in Ireland’s most ethnically diverse town.

Ballyhaunis in the west of Ireland is at first glance a traditional farming town, a place that in the past has been deeply affected by the emigration of its young. But today Ballyhaunis is unique in an Irish context. The majority of children in the local community school speak neither English nor Gaelic at home due to waves of inward migration from Pakistani, eastern European and African communities. The local policeman Darran Conlon has a mission. He is trying to teach the younger generation of these immigrants how to play traditional Gaelic games, not only to help welcome them to the community but also to simply ensure that the local club – the lifeblood of the town – can actually field a team.

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We need to teach young people how to think
rather than what to think


We are entering one of the most pivotal times in human history, and our ability to adapt and think rationally is becoming increasingly important to our selves, our society, our economies, and our survival.


By using the power of creativity to entertain, it aims to make learning how to think, a fun and engaging experience, and instil a life-long thirst for understanding and self-awareness.


To be developed in collaboration with academic and creative leaders from around the world, as a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation – for everybody, everywhere, from birth to departure.


The School of Thought is an online education platform that will provide courses, content, and other resources that teach creative and critical thinking skills to anyone and everyone, for free.

How the ‘Master of Black’ uses non-colour to manipulate light in his artwork

Still active at the age of 97, the French painter and sculptor Pierre Soulages is considered one of the most influential living artists. In this brief portrait, the director Barbara Anastacio is given rare access to Soulages’s studio in Paris, where he discusses his need to paint with non-traditional tools, and how his process is, quite literally, a cycle of creation and destruction, as he burns the paintings that don’t meet his expectations. He also details the principals of his famed ‘Outrenoir’ practice, in which he uses black paint to reflect and create ‘a light that is not obvious’.

Director: Barbara Anastacio

Website: NOWNESS

“Pierre Soulages: Outrenoir” by Barbara Anastacio

Published on YouTube Jan 27, 2015

Here’s a Sparky friend for whom music has changed her life in a magnificent way. From a steady career in publications and graphic design to an amazing singer songwriter, and learning music and guitar in the process – all is a matter of a few years of juggling her old and new skills, Excellent and inspiring to anyone who doesn’t believe they can change their ways to find satisfaction, real dignity, sanctuary and self-worth.


The Album ‘Blue Skin’ is available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1253… Title track of the first EP by Julie B Wild, featuring 5 songs: ‘Blue Skin’*, ‘Oh I Wish I’d Got Me a Super Power, ‘The Red Room’*, I’m in Love wth the Thought of You’, and ‘Goddam Mud’. *Co-written with James House. Recorded in Milford on Sea, Uk, and White Bluff, Tennessee. Produced by Julie B Wild, James House, and Simon Johnson. Mixed by Mills Logan. © 2017 Poolbeg Records

Published on YouTube Jun 29, 2017