Zen Pencils

Gavin Aung Than illustrates quotes from historical figures as comics. For example, here’s Hunter S. Thompson’s “Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride”:

The most popular are:

  • 12. CARL SAGAN: Make the most of this life
  • 17. FRANK HERBERT: Litany against fear
  • 40. CALVIN COOLIDGE: Never give up
  • 33. EDGAR MITCHELL: A global consciousness
  • 13: The DALAI LAMA answers a question
  • 36. BRUCE LEE: There are no limits
  • 41. AYN RAND: The question
  • But don’t forget the Bill Hicks one.

    It may seem that these skew towards touchy feel good inspiration and affirmation, but there are some darker ones, like George Carlin on assassination.

    I love how certain characters recur in the strips.

    Some of the navigation is confusing, but you can head straight to the archives to find all the strips.

    (via Metafilter)

    Inspiration in Difficult Times

    The image

    “Man is the only creature that strives to surpass himself, and yearns for the impossible.”  – Eric Hoffer

    “Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.” – Samuel Johnson

    “A great many things have been pronounced untrue and absurd, and even impossible, by the highest authorities in the age in which they lived, which have afterwards, and, indeed, within a very short period, been found to be both possible and true” . – Catherine Crowe

    We’re bombarded on a daily basis with waves of negativity. Mainstream media and people stuck in a negative groove are constantly reminding us how awful everything is. Politics, the economy, how bad the weather is, and the inevitable “Oh my, did you here about ___(insert horrible news here)?!”  coming from everyday acquaintances to people we meet on the street, constantly remind us how imperfect the world is. There are some people I know who don’t own a TV or listen to any MSM because of this, and they are some of the happiest people I know. They’re also deeply involved in their work and are successful at what they do. At times (when free to do so), I’ve taken their cue and turned off all media (including my telephone) and go off to do what helps center me; write, read, play music, or head for the great outdoors.

    I recently read about a twelve year old boy, Jordan Romero, who has climbed 5 of the 7 highest peaks in the world. His goal is to climb all of them by the time he reaches 16, and I can see him accomplishing this. So I decided to look into some more amazing people, and found a large list of disabled musicians; a couple of quadriplegic sculptors, Alistair Green and Garry Curry; and a writer named Karen Lynn-Chlup, who has cerebral palsy and learning disabilities, just to name a few. You’re not going to hear too much about these people because crisis, tragedy, and criticism are what get the major hits on blogs and news sites. Not the success stories.

    Yes, the economic crisis is bad. People are losing their jobs, retirement funds and their houses, and at times it seems like everything sucks. But there are people out there who are achieving things no one thought possible. Twenty years ago who would’ve thought that an African American would be elected president? How about the men with no legs, Oscar Pistorius (who’s also blind and ran in the Olympics) and Mark Inglis, who made it to the summit of Mount Everest? Or the amputees who rock climb? If you’re feeling down, or are going through a hard time, know that you’re not alone, and that there are people out there surmounting obstacles and achieving goals that few thought they could. It’s during these difficult times that it’s most important to remember that sometimes the glass isn’t half empty, but half full.

    Touching the Void

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    Amazing true story of survival and the strength of the human will. Two mountaineers, Simon Yates and Joe Simpson climb the Suila Grande in Peru. They reach the summit, and on the descent (where about 80% of all fatalities happen) Joe breaks his leg. Simon attempts to help him down the mountain when Joe is left hanging over an icy cliff by a rope with no ability to climb it. Simon realizes that if doesn’t cut the rope they both will die, and he cuts the rope. Joe falls into a crevice, and is given up for dead. The story then focuses on Joe’s journey, injured and alone, but determined to make it back to base camp alive. With the mountain as a metaphor for life and death, this movie is an inspirational testament for the indomitableness of the human body and spirit.

    (“Touching the Void” pts 1-12)

    Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

    Randy Pausch

    This is an inspirational “must see”:

    “With equal parts humor and heart, Carnegie Mellon professor and alumnus Randy Pausch delivered a one-of-a-kind last lecture that moved an overflow crowd at the university – and went on to move audiences around the globe. Randy died July 25 of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 47. Randy’s family is planning a private burial. A campus memorial service is being planned and details will be announced at a later date.”

    (via YouTube)

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