Cartoon Convention Do's and Don'ts

Do: Have a sign or banner that tells who you are. Have your website address somewhere in plan view. Have something free for people to snag with your contact info (business card or flyer). Have offerings tailored to the attendees (Manga at a Fine Art event, not a good mix). Have offereings with several price points ($5, $10, $20, $2000). Have tubes or other materials for shipping available for sale. Upsell folks! If your not a "people person" then consider bringing someone that can work the floor well. Bring an helper or someone that can help in your booth while you are eating lunch or taking a break. Consider lifestyle goods (t-shirts, mugs, and if you have artwork that works well in that medium). Start small if it is your first foray. Do go broke trying to do everything. Bring lots of change for that $3 purchase made with a $20 all day long. Consider having the ability to take credit cards (iPhone add-ons offers a cool solution). Don't: Make your sign with sharpies. If you don't respect yourself, neither will they. Cover every inch of your table with goodies. Allow space for customers to set down items, to be able to sign cards/prints. Eat or drink at your table, unless it's okay for your customers to do the same. Be a bad neighbor. Loud music, unruly crowds, and profanity are a great way to piss your neighbor off and get yourself barred from future events. Respect your neighbors space and the experience of all customers, not just your own. Stalk art directors or editors that are in attendance, or worse yet, have a lackey stalk them. Leave your space unattended. Aside from the fact that you can't sell something if no one is there, expecting a neighbor to protect your stuff while they are trying to earn a living is a recipe for disaster.

Bare Minimum. Gut check time... There's a lot to consider when you are going to a show for the first time. Don't panic. Breathe! Before you drive yourself crazy, ask yourself a simple question, why am I going? Give yourself a goal, and afford yourself the opportunity to be successful. Noah Bradley got into the IlluxCon showcase for the first time this past year. He went with a very simple goal, get his name out there. He went with a cool website and a very simple and effective strategy as well. He had some really nice large prints made of a limited number of images (4 or 5 if memory serves) that showcased his skills and talents. He gave (yes, gave for free) a print to each person that visited the showcase. Art Directors got additional images (I love mine)! It was amazing to see the buzz it created, and the fact that everyone that attended the Showcase was walking around with an 11x17 business card of Noah's. Should you do that? That depends upon where you are going (remember IlluxCon is a small con with a very limited attendance), the depth of your pockets, and your goals. Find a strategy that hits your goal(s). A bare minimum convention kit should include the following: A sign. Some prints. A portfolio for the customers to flip through. Business cards, post cards or flyers, some kind of free take-away. Tubes or sleeves to protect pieces for consumers. Change. Markers to sign cards, prints or draw on items. A great attitude and a really big smile. Last but not least. Every event is an opportunity to learn. Don't forget to learn as much as you can, every chance you get. Oh yeah, and have fun!

Is the Universe Simply Geometry

I must confess that I subscribe to and read Scientific American each and every month. I especially enjoy the theories of cosmologists and nuclear physicists. It's not that I understand what they are talking about. It all seems so like some kind of eerie surrealistic fantasy. They seem to be getting further and further away from what we who live in the normal world consider reality. It would not be so bad except that not only do their ideas get wilder and wilder, but each month a new theory of everything appears. None of the new theories seem to actually mesh quantum mechanics with Einstein's theory of relativity, which seems to be their goal. In other words, theories of the microworld and macroworld are in conflict (as I understand the problem).

The latest one was entitled: A Geometric Theory of Everything by Garret Lisi and James Owen Weatherall. The subtitle was: Deep down, the particles and forces of the universe are a manifestation of exquisite geometry. This confused me right away. What could they possible mean by "deep, down"? And why exquisite geometry? Is the geometry I was taught in school now considered ugly, or maybe just plain. As I read on, I read this: Many physicists share an intuition that, at the deepest level,all physical phenomena match the pattern of some beautiful mathematical structure. What? Is that how we do science today? By intuition? This sounds as though it were written by an occult theorist. Is it good science to intuit what the outcome of our discoveries should show with absolutely no reason or evidence to support our intuition? Why in the world must physical phenomena match a "pattern of beautiful mathematical structure"? In my world the universe in general seems pretty chaotic.

Why should the "deepest level" whatever deepest level means, be different? The more I read, the more confused I became. The authors wrote about string theory (which I almost get), muons, electrical charges that are fractionally negative or positive, and a lot of other stuff. There are sentences like this one: An electromagnetic wave is the undulation of circles over spacetime. What in blue blazes does that mean? And exactly what does the geometry of spacetime really mean. The universe is mostly nothing. How can it have a geometry at all? I suppose the authors really mean the geometry of all the different forces generated by particles. My New Years wish is that physicists would have the ability to explain this sort of stuff to dummies like me. Maybe that's impossible. Their thinking is too different from the rest of us.

About pH Health

What has become more and more evident, is that most illnesses come from the same basic root cause, too much tissue acid waste in the body! If you want to regain your health, it's is incumbent upon you to learn about how proper pH balance and diet can and will impact your body. Unfortunately, any waste acids not eradicated when they should be, become reabsorbed from the colon into the liver and put back into general circulation. It's from there they are then deposited in the tissues. It is these tissue residues that determine sickness or health! In order to discover what tissue acid wastes are present the process of alkalizing yourself and purging them from the body will only result in improved health, increased energy and more strength to enjoy life fully. This is where the pH balance diet comes in. You can think of it this way, low body pH (too much acidity in the body) is like having too little oil in your car. The car will just grind to a halt and the body does the exact same thing. As you start aging, you may start finding yourself in some kind of discomfort. It doesn't matter what life you have, if you are a meat eaters or eat a vegetarian diet, as everyone will suffer its gradual effects. There is no denying that our current understanding of health care continues to promote a negative pattern. Many truly believe they are meant to suffer these aches and pains. After all, their parents did. Their parents misguidedly popped every acid-forming synthetic substance they could into their bodies to artificially whip the undernourished glands into a little more stimulation, if just for a few hours to ease their pain. When that didn't work, an option would be to swallow another drug when the pain started again.

As a first step, we need to examine what can be done to prevent and alleviate health problems created by pH imbalances in order to obtain a basic understanding of the biochemical definitions of pH. After certain minerals found in foods are metabolized, alkaline or acid residues become contained in the urine. Previous measurements used were based on an ideal physical system. As not that many "ideal" physical systems are available, the original concept of putting consistent gram numbers on the amount of mineral content left in the urine, after digestion and excretion, is almost impossible. Another factor weighing in is that since each person is different, he/she will have different levels of acid toxins already stored in the tissues that will, in some cases, be liberated with the introduction of alkaline pH forming substances. As a result, mixed in with the urine could be newly released acid mineral residues which would alter an otherwise "ideal" reading. Even the healthiest of persons spill acid poisons into the urine by having taken in a great deal of alkaline-forming foods the day before. Another factor in the pH balance equation is how the body processes certain essential vitamins and minerals in foods that are either acid-binding or alkaline-binding. Acid-binding means the body will bind acid toxins and leave alkaline-forming ash in the urine. The following acid-binding, or alkaline-forming minerals are: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Iron, and Manganese, thus foods in a pH diet are rich in these minerals. Foods or other ingestible items that are called alkaline-forming, usually yield an alkaline urine residue. Alkaline-binding means that they bind the alkaline reserve minerals and leave an acid-forming ash in the urine. The following alkaline-binding, or acid forming minerals are: Phosphorous, Sulphur, Chlorine, Iodine, Bromine, Fluorine, and Silicon. Foods or other ingestibles that contain these usually yield an acid residue.

An alkaline-forming reaction refers to any chemical alteration in the body that produces an increased ability to energize the system and leaves an alkaline residue in the urine. An acid-forming reaction refers to any chemical alteration in the body that produces a decreased ability to energize the system and leaves an acid residue in the urine. A determination of a substance being alkaline or acid is the pH (potential Hydrogen) level. This measures the number of hydroxyl (OH-) ions which are negative and alkaline-forming as opposed to the amount of hydrogen (H+) ions that are positive and acid-forming. From the standpoint of pure energy, pH is the measurement of electrical resistance between negative and positive ions in the body. In other words, pH measures how much the negative ions (alkaline-forming) and positive ions (acid-forming) push against one another. From another perspective, alkaline and acid-forming reactions are purely electro-chemical, meaning we are not just a conglomeration of chemicals, but are also an entire system of highly organized electrical reactions. In simpler terms, we are vibrating beings. The stronger the inner vibration, the healthier we are. The amplitude of body electricity alters in exact proportion to the amount of alkaline and acid-forming chemicals internally present at any one moment. To be blunt, acid wastes literally attack the joints, tissues, muscles, organs and glands causing minor to major dysfunction. In attacking the joints, arthritis could quite possibly develop. In attacking the muscles, myofibrosis (aching muscles) could occur. When an attack on organs and glands occurs, a whole myriad of illnesses could develop. The intent, therefore, is to show how alkaline-forming substances and situations create powerful, sustaining electrochemical results which are leading to a superior health. By implementing a pH balancing diet, you'll truly to experience optimal and vibrant health.

The Case of The Invisible Candidate

Black agenda report has a good article on how the media have rather blatantly attempted to (literally) airbrush kucinich out of the race: Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich is alive, well, and free to move about as he pleases. Yet corporate media treat him like brutal dictators disappearing the opposition. They don’t want voters to know that a Democratic presidential candidate will defend the citizenship rights of Americans and human rights around the world. Kucinich was mayor of a major city, Cleveland, Ohio. He is now a six-term member of Congress and a Democratic presidential candidate for the second time. His progressive views are firmly in the mainstream, but right wing propaganda labels them unpopular. Kucinich’s demand for ethical corporate behavior makes the media nervous. If he became president their bosses would have to accept a government serving the needs of citizens instead of being only at the beck and call of corporate power. Like good minions everywhere, reporters make sure the higher ups remain happy.