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Our Puzzling Future

Have you pulled the blanket down from over your head? Yes, that presidential debate last night was real and wasn’t an SNL sketch…yet.

The always entertaining and insightful author and essayist Christopher Buckley’s rationale for relieving himself the responsibility of satirizing high-stakes political circumstances was, once again, effortlessly reaffirmed during yesterday’s presidential debate. His imaginatively shrewd writing that amusingly paints the politically powerful with shades of absurdity and twinkling nonsense now needs no outside author, as the starring characters from both sides have willingly taken on his role as penman and penwoman.

Mr. Buckley can’t believe he used to make this stuff up.

On a completely alternative, and therefore happy note, the only spectacle being promoted on television more than the presidential debate is the new Dan Brown book adapted for the silver screen. Skipping the slightly underwhelming 2009 “The Lost Symbol,” Mr. Brown’s 2013 thriller “Inferno” was chosen for grand cinematic treatment. Having read “Inferno,” the excited anticipation for the movie is warranted. Get ready for a fun, thought-provoking ride! Incredibly, from the little shown in the trailer, every one of the scenes look precisely as I pictured them with my imagination from just words on a page.

A testament to the brilliant vision of both Dan Brown and Ron Howard.

Favoring suspense over information, the engrossing plot and pulse-racing sequences won’t be disclosed. The spectacular reveals and intellectual twists-and-turns deserve genuine shock and awe, coupled with unnerving curiosity and reality.

And who better to preview and hype Robert Langdon’s adventures than, well, Robert Langdon himself.

October 28th cannot arrive soon enough. As surprising as this will read, readers and audiences will learn more and feel better equipped to confront the complexities of the world (past, present and future) from a Dan Brown novel and/or film than from a modern presidential debate.

And Dan Brown’s “Inferno” deals with hell…

In Living Watercolor

The first Saturday of each month in Columbus, Ohio features the pedestrian-friendly event known as Gallery Hop. Occurring in the Short North, art galleries stay open late for art admirers, as well as for people who are simply curious about art (no man in a yellow hat required).

It’s a wonderful experience, having the elastic freedom to not feel wrapped into staying and slowly pacing around a gallery you find boring or uninteresting in order to appear polite to the host. If you like something, stay. If you don’t, then drink the complimentary wine quickly and move on next door.

Who knows, maybe after a few small glasses of wine, you’ll finally “get” that modern art painting?

Nonetheless, this is a wonderful night to spend out with friends or with someone you think of as more than a friend…

Unfortunately, the forecast is calling for rain tomorrow.

Fortunately, this provides an opportunity for those prepared to paint themselves as their own masterpiece.

Leonid Afremov (http://www.chictip.com/art/modern-artist-leonid-afremov)

Leonid Afremov (Chic Tip online)

On second thought, here’s to hoping it does rain…

We All Have an Ocean View

Information is addicting. Plain and simple. Those NBC commercials titled, “The More You Know” always spark an internal curiosity in me. Watching those brief messages on the weekend from NBC personalities is like taking a swig of Knowledgeade. 

I’m ready to go Mr. Lauer!

Aside from these brief, uplifting messages are a myriad of other outlets before us that present nearly unlimited opportunities for discovery and insight. The access to information on a daily basis is astonishing in the 21st century. It’s even borderline mesmerizing considering the world once existed and functioned well before a printing press was invented, let alone the pre-Internet era. Consider this: a phone is actually a computer first, with its calling capabilities down to probably third or fourth on the priority list of preferred functionality.

We all know it’s true. And if you think that’s an exaggeration, perhaps you are forgetting about the camera, your wide array of cool apps and your digital music player. Plus, don’t neglect the GPS (seriously, don’t neglect it).

Even the term “iCloud” has altered our perspective of the sky above us. No longer do we glance up into the open sky and blankly ponder the open space with imaginative daydreams. Instead, we look up and visualize data points and infinite transfers of structured and random information moving from Point A to Point B with a diagonal cut to Point S.

Is this a good evolutionary trait?

There are some nights when I look forward to relaxing and taking a break from writing papers and participating in the daily grind. Laying comfortably on a couch with a favorite show playing on the television in front of me, the urge becomes too overwhelming. I instantly (while simultaneously regretting it) open up my MacBook Pro that was closed and start searching for witty articles by a specific author or funny interview clips from a talk show.

On the one hand, it’s good that we are a people that is anxious and excited to seek and find new bits of information. Expanding our horizons should be viewed as a positive characteristic.

Still though, is it really positive that we’ve developed a never-ending quest for knowledge (traditional and non-traditional alike) that prevents us from taking necessary mental breaks?

On the knowledge front, we’ve all moved to the beach with a beautiful ocean view. Everyday, we look out into the vast blue, shimmering openness with the ambition to learn something new, knowing full well that complete knowledge is impossible. We take the dive regardless. On Wednesday, it’s waves hitting a bunch of rocks we see far to the right that stirs our inquisitiveness. On Thursday morning, we see surfers, which makes us want to learn about the history of surfing. Friday evening shows us fun being enjoyed on the boardwalk. Something clicks in our minds that we find too irresistible not to explore.

The rocks, surfers and people on a boardwalk represents something different to each of us. Regardless, these are topics we now find ourselves searching about…virtually nonstop.

While we may be exhausted, we are still seeing things we may never be able to or think to see again.

It’s a classic dilemma.

Speaking of classic…