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The Disconnect, Finding Center and The Proper Way To Cut A Cake

We're all guilty of the "unspoken addiction" of technology. Just look around while you're waiting for a table at a restaurant, standing in line at the grocery, riding a train or a bus or worst of all having a conversation with a loved one. You'll see it. The disconnect. The mind or hand wavering elsewhere than the present. How often do we still have each other's undivided attention? Direct eye contact. No phone in sight. Focused. Undivided. Attention. Not often enough. One man went in search of not the attention of others, but the attention of self.

There are a thousand beautiful ways to start the day that don’t begin with looking at your phone. And yet so few of us choose to do so.

  • Netflix is now worth close to $40 billion dollars. Blockbuster could have purchased Netflix in 2000 for $50 million. Back then, Netflix was a DVD mailing service losing money and streaming and onDemand movie service industry was non-existent. So, Blockbuster turned them down. And I think that might be the last time in recorded history anyone turned down Netflix.
  • Turning down Netflix wasn't the beginning of the end for Blockbuster. It was their Late Fees.
  • Jerry Seinfeld is moving his Comedian's In Cars Getting Coffee series from Crackle to the Netflix behemoth next fall.
  • History Lesson for the wee readers out there -  Blockbuster was a very popular chain of actual stores that populated nearly every town in America. If you wanted to watch a movie, you had to actually drive to a Blockbuster, meander aimlessly up and down the aisles for an hour or so, arguing with family members about which movie to watch. The act of selecting the movie was an integral part of family movie night.

I definitely want my fruit and veggies to go Dutch.

I definitely want my fruit and veggies to go Dutch.

Laughter is an instant vacation.
— Milton Berle

...The Last Drop

Grind #84 :: The Disconnect, Finding Center and The Proper Way To Cut A Cake ~ Fini.


Grind #87 :: Baby Groot, Man vs. Roo, Shopping Without Loot & A Final Shoot


Random thought of the day. There's nothing better than listening to your kids talk to each other when they do not know you are listening. It's a good barometer as to whether or not your parenting skills are getting the job done. I guess I gave away the answer and this just turned into a self-brag...otherwise probably a lot of things better than listening to your kids talk to each other when they do not know you are listening. Moving On.

In this entertainment heavy edition of the Grind, we have some new trailers, Man vs. Roo, shopping in the near future, hilarious holiday cards, a happy as hell boxer, news about the best show on Netflix you aren't watching and a Last Drop you won't see coming. My self-esteem needs a boost so I'm going back to eaves dropping on my little childrens.

  • Let's get the week started the best way I know how...a video of a guy punching a kangaroo:

  • Is this a good or a bad omen?: Apparently, George Lucas screened Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and really liked it.
  • Amy Schumer might star in a live-action Barbie movie. (Because, you know...critics and fans alike have been screaming for years for a live-action Barbie movie.)
  • Tom Cruise's stars this summer in "The Mummy" reboot. The trailer premiered last night during the football game. I don't know if it looks like a mummy movie, but it looks like a damn good action movie:

  • December Netflix...What's New/What's Leaving.
  • Possibly, my favorite Netflix series to date is Sense8. It's definitely the most underrated. Unlike anything on tv. Netflix made the surprise announcement on Friday that the second season premieres May 5, 2017 and an even bigger surprise was the announcement of a Sense8 Christmas special premiering December 23rd.

  • Can the "Guardians of the Galaxy" sequel capture the fun and magic of the original? From what we see in the first trailer, I have faith it just might:

...The Last Drop...Not What You Expect...

Grind #87 :: Baby Groot, Man vs. Roo, Shopping Without Loot & A Final Shoot...Fini.


Grind #71 :: Are There Any Heroes Left in 2016?

The world seems unreasonably negative today. That's the main reason Ventipop exists. I needed a place to visit each day where good things were still happening in the world. So, I created Ventipop. A place to find music instead of noise. A place to find art instead of images of terrorist attacks or gun violence. A place to celebrate creativity and design instead of a place that mocks those that think differently. A place where people like to read and think and laugh and cry, and maybe even have their opinions challenged instead of merely validated? Maybe? Hopefully.


The media is now owned by approximately two conglomerates whose two main concerns are ratings and, well, ratings. "If it bleeds, it leads." An old truth in journalism that may forever hold true. Are there any heroes left in 2016? And if they do exist, where can we find them? I mean, besides the ones dominating our movie theaters nowadays. Could it be the reason these superhero movies are so popular is because maybe, just maybe, we're all hoping someone will come along and save us from this negative, celeb-obsessed, shit-show of a snarky culture we've created. I think, maybe yes. 

Despite everything you may see on the news and around the web, there are still people helping other people all over the world. Real heroes don't seek a spotlight or wear capes or have patents owned by D.C. Comics or Marvel. But they're out there. You just have to be willing to look. Ventipop's Grind #59 is a real life heroes list. Yep, even in 2016.

The People of Skala Sikamineas, Greece

"We were fishing for people instead of fish." - Skala Sikamineas, Greece has a population of 153 people. In 2015, these few yet remarkable heroes saved nearly half a million refugees lives which is documented in this short film, Ode To Lesvos.

The Tennessee School Counselor, Molly Hudgens

A 14-year-old middle school student in Ashland City, Tennessee came to school with a gun. He said he was going to kill some teachers and police officers. She talked him out of it.

The White Helmets

A newborn baby girl is saved from the rubble of a bombed building in Syria after two hours of digging by Abu-Kifah, a Syrian Civil Defense volunteer. He is a member of "The White Helmets" who have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year as they have saved over 60,000 lives.

Lieutenant Kenneth Knox

This cop who saved a babies life and is now her Godfather.


Tashi and the Monk

The Story from Tashi and the Monk's official website:

Buddhist Monk Lobsang was trained under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama but 8 years ago he left behind a life as a spiritual teacher in the United States to create a unique community in the foothills of the Himalayas which rescues orphaned and neglected children.

5 year-old Tashi is the newest arrival. Her mother recently passed away and she’s been abandoned by her alcoholic father. Wild and troubled, Tashi is struggling to find her place amongst 84 new siblings.

Lobsang has channeled his own unhappy childhood into an opportunity for other ‘uninvited guests of the universe’ to avoid a similar fate. But Can the community’s love and compassion transform Tashi’s alienation and tantrums into a capacity to make her first real friend?

The Maid of Honor, The Best Sister

"Dog people are the best people." - This Maid of Honor goes above and beyond for her sister on her wedding day.


...The Last Drop

Guardian's of the Galaxy Hero, Starlord, has nothing on the real life hero, actor Chris Pratt.


Daily Grind :: Rogue One, Spanish Artists and Please, Not Taran!

"Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act."                                             ~ Leonard Cohen  

In this Friday edition of the Grind, we're featuring some artists from all over the globe, a movie not of this world and I question the integrity of two of the featured artists because I'm untrusting and their work is unbelievable.  Let's roll.

  • Saturday Night Live went on a firing binge and let go three cast members. Not Taran! I love Taran. So, why is Lorne on the war path over at SNL?
  • Netflix has their next big hit. Time to grab a 40 and binge-watch a knitting marathon.
  • A Suicide Squad fan is suing the studio for false advertisement. They claimed the movie was good. No, that's not it. He's suing because there's not enough Joker scenes. Why so serious?
  • There's a new space movie coming out this December. I forget the name. People might like it:

  • It's as if you're seeing vintage vacation photos from some parallel alien planet. That's how I'd describe Spanish artist Paco Pomet's surreal oil paintings. At first glance, all appears normal, but on close inspection there's always something amiss; usually something with the legs. Paco Pomet likes messing with people's legs.  I love the grayscale immersed in unexpected shades of neon.  So talented.

The Rock got nothin' on me.

The Rock got nothin' on me.

  • Here's a touching article about legendary musician Leonard Cohen's last letter to his long-time muse Marianne Ihlen. Cohen wrote many songs to her and for her. She died on July 29th in Norway at the age of 81.
  • ...And one more artist feature as we close out the grind today. Spanish artist, Iban Navarro, swears his works are paintings and not photos. I'm still trying to figure out those 3D ones, so I'll just have to take him at this word:

Stranger Things on TV and in the World

Ahhh...the beauty of being a kid on a bike unaccounted for and unsupervised for hours on end. If you grew up in the 80's, you have to check out Stranger Things on Netflix. The show is a scary good, fun watch. It feels like Steven Spielberg and Stephen King got together and made a Netflix baby. There are only eight episodes, so you won't have to reintroduce yourself to family members if you binge the entire series. Or you could watch with the whole family because it's not so scary it's overwhelming for the kiddies. After watching, Stranger Things jumped to #3 on the Best TV of 2016 on our Lists page.  Here are some other strange things going on in the world.

Stranger Things gave my wife nightmares, but so does her co-workers.

Stranger Things gave my wife nightmares, but so does her co-workers.

Cleanest Hoarders episode ever.

Cleanest Hoarders episode ever.

Black out for a while for only $28

Black out for a while for only $28

Sticking with the Moonshine theme...I'm closing out the Grind today with a new track from Brandy Clark titled "Drinkin' Smokin' Cheatin":

Daily Grind :: Nitrogen Coffee, Dopplegangers and Mellow Monday Music

Here's hoping you all had a fun, safe summer weekend. The highlights of our weekend included a Gnome named Norm derailing our local Amazing Race endeavor, one of the most amazing brunches ever at A Taste of Belgium, the re-realization I'm not good at 80's video games at the 16-Bit-Bar, loving practically every single thing inside Elm & Iron, and dipping my feet in a wading pool in the sunshine with my wife and kids listening to some good live cajun music. 

Elm & Iron Home Goods

Elm & Iron Home Goods

Another realization I had this morning while perusing stories for the Daily Grind is the fact I may have to add Pokemon Go to the list of the other two things we try to avoid talking about on Ventipop: The Orange Menace and that little show on HBO that has the dragons. Everywhere I went on the web this weekend and this morning had a headline talking about Pokemon Go. I get that it's a big deal...but should it be THAT big a deal?!  There are a lot of other awesome things in the world that don't involve hunting cartoons with your phone. Here are a few of them:

These girls are not related. Francois Brunelle has photographed more than 200 pairs of dopplegangers for his "I'm Not a Look-Alike" project. (Credit: Francois Brunelle)

These girls are not related. Francois Brunelle has photographed more than 200 pairs of dopplegangers for his "I'm Not a Look-Alike" project. (Credit: Francois Brunelle)

.:: Mellow Monday Music for the Week of July 18 ::.

Hayes Carll :: "Sake of the Song"

Laura Gibson :: "The Last One"