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The first ever Russian Winter Olympic Games in Sochi will take place from February 7 to February 23, 2014.

http://www.sochi2014.com/en

There’ll be 98 sets of medals played at the Games. It’s a dozen more than in 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.

Say Hello to 2014 Winter Games Mascots: White Bear, Leopard, and Bunny.

Sochi 2014 Mascots

Sochi 2014 Mascots

Bosco Sport signed up as leading domestic sponsor: 

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=oly&id=4601581

Olympic Gloves with colored fingers BOSCO Sochi 2014

GLOVES SOCHI 2014Support Your Team at the Games with Your Both Hands!

The word ‘manga’ (漫画, マンガ)  was invented in 1814 by a famous artist Hokusai (self-portret below).

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He used two Chinese hieroglyphs – “man” (“sloppy”) and “go” (“Image”) to describe his funny drawings – meaning grotesque, strange or funny pictures. However, Manga-like sketches existed in Japan thousand years before Hokusai. According to Will Eisner, the first medieval Japanese scrolls can be considered to be the first mango samples, in which the pictures were interspersed with the text. Early rolls (such as the rollout of the 12th century in the 1st picture or the rollout of the 13th century in the next picture below) were only meant for the elite, and only later have they gone to the masses.

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In the late 18th century throbbing consumer culture of the middle class urban population produced the manga-like entertainment that was more mainstream. Printed on wooden tablets stories with narration, dialogue and images quickly erased the line between text and pictures. Just like the manga, they were portraying humor, drama, fantasy and even pornography. Due to the fact that in the late 19th century Japan was aggressively invaded by Western culture and technology, ‘Manga’ appeared as a hybrid of Japanese and Western satirical publications. And in the first half of the 20th century, Japanese and American comics were approximately similar in style and popularity till the Japanese had flourished wildly, crowding out the U.S.’s ‘Mango’.

Anime – from animation.

There’s one particular artist – Osamu Tezuka (https://www.facebook.com/fanpage.tezuka) – who is responsible for all the modern manga industry, and even considered to be “God of Manga’. The most famous Tezuka’s creation ‘Mighty Atom’, is well known around the world, and even has an animated version titles “Astro-Boy’ or ‘Star-Boy’, which was running in USA in 1960 («Star Boy”). In his autobiography, Tezuka said, than his manga is different from the work of predecessors:

“Most of the manga was drawn in two-dimensional projection, as a play on stage. Cast out on the left and right, and play in the center. I realized that there is no way to make a psychological impression in this way, and I was trying to incorporate “cinematic” tricks of the German and French films my student years. I juggled with the close-ups and different angles of view and tried to use a lot of pictures or even a few pages to catch the true dynamics of the movements and facial expressions that were previously limited to a single panel (“Panel” – a picture in the comic – shareable.) My Work eventually began to exceed 1,000 pages. The potential of the manga – it’s more than just humor, using themes of tears, sorrow, anger and hatred, I was creating stories that do not always have a happy ending … “

After creating a four-panel manga for newspapers, Tezuka had made his debut in 1947 with the comic book ‘New Treasure Island’ («New Treasure Island”), the history that was published as akanon («red book” – picture below), a cheap comic book, named so because of gaudily-bright red ink on the cover. Akahon was a small niche of modest entertainment for children, who lived a difficult life of poverty in postwar Japan.

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“New Treasure Island” had abruptly turned all the manga upside down when it sold 400,000 copies. Tezuka moved to squalid apartment building in Tokyo just to be closer to the publishers, and quickly produced several aspiring manga artists, some of whom had even moved into the same house. Innovations of Tezuka’s manga had transformed the entire market: the children could not stop reading his manga even when they went to high school, and then to College.

What If God Was One Of Us?

I few days ago I came across a post by Jackie – ‘Taking a Moment to Notice the Wounded Cicada’ – (http://Jackie2759125.newsvine.com/_news/2012/06/18/12282767-taking-a-moment-to-notice-the-wounded-cicada ), which made me think: ‘I can so relate to this…’.

I often rescue insects, worms, and spiders. Some people find this behavior of mine peculiar. One of my colleagues once made a joke – “Hey, there’s a bee drowning in the kitchen sink – go rescue it… I rushed into the kitchen… It was too late – the bee’s wings were hopelessly wet, and she didn’t even look like a bee anymore. I felt sad for her.

How many times Mother Nature made us, humans, feel small and helpless in the face of catastrophic events such as earthquakes, hurricanes or tornados?! In the midst of these uncontrollable forces, didn’t we wish and pray some Powers from Above came to our rescue and saved us against all the odds? Would not we feel grateful if some Strong and Kind Giant chose not to overlook our “little” existence, took us in his arms and brought to safety?

When I see little bugs, birds or pets that could use a miracle, I gladly jump at the opportunity to perform that little miracle for them.  To me, it’s more than just being kind – it makes me feel like I am a part of the Goodness that is always present in the world.

I am glad I am not alone feeling compassion toward other creatures neighboring with us on this beautiful Planet Earth. Obviously, it’s not just about insects – it’s about Humankind treating our fellow animal-cohabiters, as well as each other, with respect and empathy. It’s about extending our help to those who are weaker or have lost control over their destiny.

Every time we help an older person to cross the street or carry a luggage, every time we give up our seat for a pregnant woman, or even when we just grace a stranger with our smile – we bring more Goodness into the world, we make it better, we make a difference.

I mind you, there’s a little bit of God in each of us!

 

Are you comics artist dreaming of your picture making history of Manga? This day has come.

Back in May,  Japan has launched online contest “Social Kingdom” for mass drawing of manga based on the series of Hara Yasuhisa “Kingdom” (http://www.tenmanga.com/book/KINGDOM.html)  . The project is devoted to the future adaptation of the popular historical manga, consisting of 26 volumes. Anybody registered with Twitter or Facebook can take a part in the drawing. Winners will be awarded prizes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hff24zBWKws

All 1153 pages of manga are displayed at the project’s site. The available pages, for which no one had started drawing yet, have only text with no images on them. Anybody who wants to participate, can choose any empty page and reserve it for 24 hours, in which period the drawing has to be made and picture uploaded. Participants are free to choose whether to paint on paper or using graphics editors, in color or black and white.

This Manga is a story of two boys living in an era of 500 year of war. Despite the fact that both of them are slaves, they seek to fulfill their dream of becoming “World’s Greatest Generals”.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_(manga) )

Famous Japanese mangaka artists such as Takehiki Inoue (Vagabond) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takehiko_Inoue) and Hirohiki Araki (JoJo’s Bizarree Adventure) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirohiko_Arakiare ) are among other well known artists, who also taking part in this project, making their own illustrations.

Participants and spectators of the contest can vote for their favorite pictures, Most popular authors of the works will receive a specially made prize – “Tankobon” (a book of manga).

The winner of the first price will receive a magnified image of his drawings in a frame with  the manga author Yasuhisa Hara’s signature, as well as a bag of rice from his home prefecture of Saga.

To vote for the participants, as well as to monitor possible rating on this page, access by selecting the middle button on the bottom row.

Take part in the competition on the official site – http://socialkingdom.jp/

Hurry up! The contest will only run until August 1st,  2012.

Last week I got nominated for two awards. I hope I’d be forgiven for acknowledging both rewards in the same post. I just wanted to make sure I responded and expressed my gratitude for both nominations in a timely manner.

Tell Me About Yourself Award

I thank with all my heart http://thehyperteller.com/ for nominating me for Tell Me About Yourself Award. It makes me feel really special to know that someone cared about my blog enough to want to learn a bid more about a person behind the writings. I also am happy to use this opportunity to complement Thehyperteller on his insightful blog, which spoils its readers with clever and thought provoking posts. On the top of it, Thehyperteller possesses absolutely super fantastical sense of humor, which makes his blog especially fun to read.

Inspiring Blog Award

Thanks a million to http://tchistorygal.wordpress.com/ for nominating me to Inspiring Blog Award. I feel blessed. It is my hope that my blog will contribute to the Universal Inspiration that is so generously shared among the fellow bloggers. It’s also a great moment to let anybody interested in sharing their original photographs, original art, original articles and poems know that Tchistorygal is on the lookout for regular contributors in the above mentioned categories. She is accepting submissions through her direct email: Tchistorygal@gmail.com

I also want to give credit for all my talents and accomplishments where it belongs – I want to thank the Universe for always being there for me, and for showering me with many gifts and inspirations throughout my life.  There is no need to place link here as we are all connected to and through the Universe at all times.

The rules for receiving Awards are as follows: 1. Thank the person(s) who nominated you – (see above) 2. Share 7 things about yourself. 3. Nominate 15 other bloggers that you admire or inspire you. 4.Go leave a comment and let the people know you have nominated them.

Now I am about to share with you seven things you don’t yet know about me.

  1. I’ve been leading a double life: I am selling Real Estate by day, and writing songs by night. Some of my fellow musicians have no idea about my real estate endeavors, and most of my real estate colleagues know nothing about my lifelong love and commitment to music. Here, I’ve just outed myself.
  1. I write both music and lyrics. You may listen to the songs I’ve written at www.MySpace.com/Glasha1
  1. I once worked as a video editor.
  1. I can draw pretty distantly, though I don’t have any formal education in painting. Maybe I’ll share some of my immature works in the future posts… maybe…
  1. I like eating salty and sweet food at the same time… like chocolate cake and tomato juice.
  1. I am clumsy. I manage to bump into, trip on and get scratched by things excessively.
  1. I am more creative at night, so I often stay up till three or four in the morning. Waking up in the actual morning after only a few hours of sleep is an ongoing struggle.

Now, it is my pleasure to present My Nominees for Inspiring Blog Award:

http://jilannehoffmann.com/ This blog is led by a freelance writer and editor Jilanne Hoffmann, who is working with socially responsible organizations, and sharing their success stories. Jilanne is also writing short stories, and, I think, has a novel in the making.

http://andnowthatithinkaboutit.wordpress.com/This blog will make it impossible for you not to get involved in a in a conversation, cause your mind will literally be thinking ‘Well, now that I am thinking about it…’ The author is examining some of the common things, events, and social behaviors from different angles, which will definitely trigger your own train of thought.

http://titillatingthoughts.wordpress.com/ Prepare your brain to get tickled with humorous and thought provoking posts. Like life in general, this blog is all about having fun and looking at serious things with a courageous smile and respectful irony.

http://nprimopiano.wordpress.com/ You know how some people just have an eye for a story? The author of this blog captures and shares stories through beautiful photographs and paintings. Every image is a celebration of life!

http://augustmclaughlin.wordpress.com/ Here you will find some cool and inspiring stories from a published novelist and author of articles featured regularly by LIVESTRONG.com, EHow Foods, ULMagazine, Healthy Aging Magazine, IAmThatGirl and more. She also generously shares tips on how to nurture your writing aspirations.

http://pccadvantage.wordpress.com/ This blogger is choosing not take herself too seriously. And what an attractive quality it is to discover – both in a person, and in a blog! She is a master of making lists of humorous advices on different topics, and inspires readers to have fun.

http://food4thoughtfood4life.wordpress.com/ This blogger shares some personal stories and thoughts on interconnectedness of everything in life, and the effects that our decisions and words have on other people’s lives and their ever-changing perceptions.

http://carrierubin.com       The author of this blog is such a conceptual thinker! Her every post is filled with humorous takes on all kinds of topics and issues.

http://cocomino.wordpress.com/ At this bog you can learn some crafts, meet exotic animals, read interesting travel stories, and enjoy various photos and videos from around the world.

http://healthdemystified.wordpress.com/ I encourage you to follow this blog, because it’s dedicated to inspiring people to take responsibility for their own health. Here you will find support from like-minded folks, who not only exchange health tips and ideas in writing, but also meet each other in person through the webinars.

http://bamskitchen.com/ Get ready to be inspired to travel the world and try some new Cuisines.

http://thehealthywarrior.wordpress.com/ What makes this blog inspirational is that the author went through personal transformation herself, and now is passionately working on helping others to motivate themselves to improve their health and quality of their life.

http://russtowne.com/   This blog is filled with love and tenderness towards the author’s own family – his wife and kids. Reading it is a pure joy as it inspires love, commitment and happiness.

http://talktodiana.wordpress.com This blog is so relatable! Reading it feels like speaking with a friend. It encourages and inspires you to do your best and just enjoy the journey  to whatever destination you aiming for.

http://kimberlycsmith.wordpress.com/  Reading this blog will inspire you to enjoy simple pleasures  and wonderfully magical moments in life, such as just being able to walk, or maybe even dance in the rain, see a smile on your child’s face, share your thoughts and experiences with the world through your creativity, and just be yourself.

Vladimir Putin (on the left), Mikhail Prokhorov (on the right)

Russian self-made billionaire and once an officially registered presidential candidate, 46-year-old, 6’7” bachelor Mikhail Prokhorov, also well known as the owner of the NBA Team – New Jersey Nets, has a new exciting project he and his company ONEXIM working on – it’s a so-called ‘City Car’ – the official brand name is ёМобиль (Yo-Mobile) – Electro-Mobile based on Russian Technology, and made almost solely from Russian components.

Yo-Mobile at Auto Show in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Technical solutions, which formed the basis of the car, helped to create a common platform for all models, which can be easily applied to cars for various purposes. Versatile platform allows implementing any design up to the totally futuristic looking vehicles. Like this one below that most likely will never be mass-produced.

In the first stage it was decided to stick to more conventional car design. So, the first “Prokhorov’s” or “Misha’s Car” (those are a couple of nicknames this hybrid car has been called unofficially) will be the urban compact van and a small crossover for youth, for which the company invented a new class of vehicle “Cross-Coupe.”

Although both cars have the same platform and headlights, the rest of the design for these two vehicles is completely different and they are not identified as members of the same brand.

Although the car’s design does not look too original, and has no “own” distinctive features, it might be just the right move for the mass production targeting Russian – extremely conservative – buyers. Any car that is pushing it a bid beyond of the usual and accepted forms maybe doomed to failure.  I personally have very conflicting feelings abut cars being painted in brown, green or blue mixed with beige, but hey, I could be just color blind.

Italian Pininfarina B0

Incidentally, a year ago, similar in technology, design and dimensions to Yo-Mobile’s platform electric car was produced by Italian Studio Pininfarina B0. We have the opportunity to compare the Russian and Italian designs.

ONEXIM promises to begin mass production of its vehicles in 2012. There are 158,000 orders have been placed through official web-site so far. ( http: //www.yo-auto.ru/yo-mobile/pre-order/ )

Would you consider joining the waiting list?

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