The last few days have been full of bad news. Last night there was this horrible bombing that occurred at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England which has resulted in the deaths of 22 people (including an 8-year-old girl). Today the police there has arrested a 22-year-old man named Salman Abedi, who is rumored to be aligned with Daesh/ISIL/ISIS.

This has come on the heels of another incident that sticks closer to home because I happened to live just a few miles from my alma mater, the University of Maryland at College Park. A Bowie State University student named Richard Collins III was just a few days away from graduation. He decided to head over to the University of Maryland to visit a few friends who were students there. Richard Collins III was waiting with his friends at a bus stop at 3 a.m. when a man approached him and he stabbed Collins to death.

The police arrested a 23-year-old man named Sean Christopher Urbanski, who lives in Severna Park (which is located a few miles south of Glen Burnie, where I grew up, and I once dated a man who grew up in that town). Why did Urbanski kill Collins? It’s because Urbanski is white and Collins was African-American. On top of it, Urbanski is a member of a racist Facebook group known as Alt-Right.

Today is the day that Collins would’ve graduated from Bowie State University had he not been stabbed in cold blood.

Personally I lump Sean Christopher Urbanski and Salman Abedi as being two peas in a pod. Both are young adult men in their early 20’s and both have killed strangers for hateful reasons. Granted Urbanski only killed one person while Abedi’s actions have killed and injured more. But they are the same because they are both terrorists.

I get really tired of people who immediately jump on the bandwagon whenever an Islamic fanatic conducts a terrorist act that kills people but these people are strangely silent when it’s a white Christian fanatic who conducts equally destructive acts that result in a loss of lives. The bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing were perpetrated by white men who were raised as Christians.

And that’s not to mention the long list of terrorist acts that have been committed by the Ku Klux Klan, which goes as far back as 1865.

I get that Sean Christopher Urbanski only killed one person but God only knows what could’ve happened had the police not arrested him. For all we know, Urbanski could’ve been a serial killer in the making whose targets are people of color. At least that arrest has nipped any serial killer ambitions that Urbanski may have had in the bud.

Until both the U.S. government and the media (especially the corporate-owned ones) start to treat deadly atrocities perpetrated by whites as terrorism just as much as it treats similar atrocities by brown-skinned people as terrorism, I will consider the ongoing War on Terror to be one thing: A Big Fucking Joke.

I attended this year’s Greenbelt Green Man Festival. On the first day (May 13) I arrived shortly before the festival closed down for the day mainly because I had spent the bulk of the day walking the Gateway Arts Open Studio Tour. I still managed to take a few photos.

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

The following day was more sunny and it was a warm pleasant day. Plus it was Mother’s Day on top of it. I spent the bulk of my day at the festival where I took these photos.

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

Makerspace 125 had its giant box full of Legos for any child to play with.

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

While the outdoor festival was winding down, the festival moved indoors to the New Deal Cafe. The band Kiva closed the 2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival with their show.

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

I only purchased one thing for myself that weekend: a bar of honey rose-scented goat milk soap that was made by Natural Image Botanicals.

2017 Greenbelt Green Man Festival

I recently attended the Gateway Arts Open Studio Tour that went up Route 1 from Mount Rainier all the way up to Hyattsville. The last few times I went on this tour I didn’t go beyond Mount Rainier because I didn’t arrive until late in the day. This time I made every effort to arrive at the official noon starting time but I still didn’t go beyond Mount Rainier. It’s because there were so many things to see in Mount Rainier. (LOL!)

I began my tour at Marsha Stein’s art studio. Here are a few outside shots outside her studio.

Gateway Arts Open Studio Tour

Gateway Arts Open Studio Tour

Marsha’s art studio also doubles as her apartment. I checked out her paintings for a few minutes before I moved on. While I was on my way to my next destination I took a picture of some of the decorative relief trim that one can find in downtown Mount Rainier.

Nice Stonework

Next I went to the Gateway Media Arts Lab, a recently opened place that has five creative communications entrepreneurs who do things like graphic design, videos, and storytelling.

Gateway Media Arts Lab

Gateway Media Arts Lab

I moved on to ReCreative Spaces where I took the next few photographs.

ReCreative Spaces

ReCreative Spaces

ReCreative Spaces

ReCreative Spaces

While I was looking at the official map I saw that there was a home located a few blocks away where Joe Brewer has his own personal arcade in the basement. Here’s a couple of exterior shots of his home, which is typical of the type of home one can find in Mount Rainier.

Brewer's Arcade

Only this sign gave away that there is more to this home than meets the eye.

Brewer's Arcade

Joe Brewer frequently purchases and fixes up vintage pinball and arcade video games. Going into the basement is such a throwback to my high school and college years when I used to spend my spare time and a lot of quarters playing these machines.

Brewer's Arcade

Brewer's Arcade

Brewer's Arcade

Brewer's Arcade

Brewer's Arcade

Brewer's Arcade

He offered free beverages, which included Crystal Pepsi. I wrote about seeing that beverage in a store late last year and I wrote about my less-than-fond memories of the one time I tried drinking it in the 1990’s. I tried Crystal Pepsi again at Joe’s home and I have to admit that it tastes way better than the last time I tried it. But I still prefer the darker version of Pepsi over Crystal Pepsi.

Brewer's Arcade

Here’s some charming string art that I found in the bathroom that includes a map of the U.S. and a famous quote by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Brewer's Arcade

I’ll admit that I spent the largest chunk of my time playing those video games and pinball machines. (The fact that they were all on free play made it tempting for me to stay a long while. LOL!) I got back in my car and drove to Joe Hicks Ceramics, which is a studio that’s operated in the basement of this home.

Joe Hicks

Joe Hicks had a lot of really nice ceramics on sale.

Joe Hicks

Joe Hicks

Joe Hicks

I went to the nearby Washington Glass School where I found a lot of interesting artwork that were all made from glass.

Washington Glass School

Washington Glass School

Washington Glass School

Washington Glass School

Washington Glass School

Washington Glass School

By that point the official end of the Open Studio Tour was soon approaching so I went to the Otis Street Arts Project, which is located next door to the Washington Glass School.

Otis Street Arts Project

Otis Street Arts Project

Otis Street Arts Project

Otis Street Arts Project

Otis Street Arts Project

Otis Street Arts Project

Otis Street Arts Project

Otis Street Arts Project

Otis Street Arts Project

Otis Street Arts Project

I was a kid when Watergate happened but even that one was a highly-refined tea party compared to the constant fuckery that is the Trump Administration. MotherJones.com has an article about what went on this week with a headline that says it all:

It’s Not Just You: This Week Was Bonkers. Here Are All the Big Trump Scoops.

The forgotten story of the Radium Girls, whose deaths saved thousands of lives.

A grandmother reacts joyously to receiving a doll as a Christmas present because her family was too poor to afford to buy her one when she was a child. Her reaction says a lot about the effects of poverty on children.

29 places to market craft tutorial videos to attract buyers.

Facebook’s next frontier: brain-computer interfaces.

This artist illustrates what it is like to live with anxiety and depression.

How the mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II saved Jews during the Holocaust.

13 sewing YouTube channels that will teach you the craft of creating your own clothes.

How the Internet is changing access to anime all over the world.

These vintage photographs document a time when the women of Afghanistan didn’t have to cover themselves with burkas and were allowed to live independent lives in a peaceful country.

A man who has gathered stories from people who work at what he calls “bs jobs” describes how these jobs fall into five different types.

11 arts and crafts apps for the DIY enthusiast with a smartphone.

Fugitive whistle-blower Edward Snowden praises OpenStack and open source software because it enables people to reveal and share information without corporate or government interference.

Is the Gig Economy working?

Google’s Autodraw AI is an open source program that instantly converts your doodles to clip art.

How one man’s career proves that video games are serious art.

Robot painters take part in art contest.

This person claims to have learned more from watching YouTube videos than from taking college classes.

A Beatles fan is hunting down all of the original photos that were used on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

A free tutorial on how to make a Lego Man Minifig mask.

How a humble pineapple became art.

A model is making 3D cross-stitch embroidery with the most realistic hairstyles.

Rochester residents crochet massive Susan B. Anthony mural.

Yesterday morning I learned about the suicide of Soundgarden and Audioslave lead singer Chris Cornell just before I was on my way to Silver Spring to attend a one-day conference for people of a certain age who are looking for new career opportunities or are looking into becoming entrepreneurs. I took the Metro and walked through the unusually hot and humid weather (it was 90 degrees and it felt more like August than May) to get to the conference.

When the conference ended I had to make my way back to the Metro in the hot and humidity. While I was walking along Colesville Road on my way back to the Metro station, I happened to be walking past the Fillmore when I saw this tribute to Chris Cornell.

On a different subject matter, for the past week or so I started to notice these empty brown cicada shell casings on the ground. These are normally the ones from the Brood X cicadas, which emerge from the ground once every 17 years. Except some of these bugs are waking up four years early, which has vexed a bunch of experts.

When I arrived home from Silver Spring I saw one of those large bugs just resting on one of the concrete steps outside my home. I took a photo of that cicada for posterity.

Benjamin Franklin

If you ride a horse, sit close and tight, if you ride a man, sit easy and light.

This morning I woke up to find out that Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, has just died at 52. The news is now coming out that he had hung himself.

Soundgarden was among the bands I listened to back during the early 1990’s grunge era (along with Nirvana, Hole, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains). Sadly I never got the chance to see that band in concert. I still play Superunknown on a regular basis because the music is that good.

The sad part is that Soundgarden had just reunited and the band was playing a few gigs. Chris Cornell made this tweet just a few hours before he was found dead.

That tweet doesn’t look like one that was made by someone who was suicidal. It sounded like he was happy.

I’m just going to end this post by embedding a few videos that show Chris Cornell in action.

Last week I had to take my car to a dealer in Silver Spring because there was a recall on the steering wheel. After I had that fixed and picked up that car, I decided to chill out at a nearby Target store in Silver Spring. I normally don’t go to this particular store, mainly because there’s another Target that’s located closer to my home but I decided to go there since it was on the way back from the car dealership.

This particular Target has giant red cement dots outside its doors (which is a feature that the Target that is closer to my home doesn’t have). Normally I don’t pay attention to those dots but I saw that two of those cement dots have been converted to resemble the heads of Mario and Luigi from Super Mario Bros. and other numerous Nintendo video games.

The heads were there to promote the recently released Nintendo Switch console system.

I stepped inside the store where I noticed that this store is larger compared to the one I usually go to. It also had items on sale that I’ve never seen at the other Target, such as American Girl’s Wellie Wishers dolls.

Those dolls were released last year but it was the first time I had ever seen them in person. That’s because it’s been a year since I last set foot inside an American Girl Place. The next photo shows the clothes and other accessories that one can buy for a Wellie Wishers doll, which are priced somewhere between $20-25.

The Wellie Wishers are smaller than the other American Girl dolls. From what I’ve read, these dolls were created for kids who are younger than the larger dolls’ target audience of girls between the ages 8-12. These dolls have vinyl bodies (compared to the larger dolls’ cloth torsos) and they are depicted as being somewhere between the ages of 4-7 (while the larger dolls are supposed to be around 9 or 10 years old). At $60 per doll, they are definitely cheaper than the larger dolls’ $115 price. But these dolls are more expensive than the 18-inch Our Generation dolls that Target sells as its alternative to American Girl. (The Our Generation dolls are generally priced between $20-35 depending on how many accessories are included with a certain doll.) I still find them to be pretty cute and their clothes are very lovely and colorful.

I found this headline on PasteMagazine.com that says it all about Donald Trump’s first four months in the White House: Trump’s Presidency is the Dumbest Thing That Has Ever Happened.

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