One of the best things about the interwebs is that it’s filled with lots of groovy stuff. I mean, sure, it’s also filled with lots of crap and bunches of snooze. But some stuff is so ninjarific that it just begs to be shared.
Thus the advent of the Now That’s Ninjarific series.
Now I have a place to share the awesomesauce stuff I bump into with some of my favorite people ever.
Woot! Yay! And woohoo!
Some of the aforementioned grooviness is sound stuff. Some of it’s not. All of it’s totally ninjarific. It sort of has to be to qualify for an installment of Now That’s Ninjarific, right?
Has it seriously been six weeks since the last installment of ninjarificness?
It’s clearly been way too long. Because I have an overflowing pile of awesome and a ton of stuff to share.
First I have to give a shout out to my pal Charlie Gilkey. He’s the inspiration behind the Do Epic Shit bit.
Not just because he wrote a post about it, but because he’s constantly cooking up epic shit of his own.
Here’s one of my favorite Charlie quotes:
“Rather than do something small and work like hell to build a story around it, do epic shit and let it speak for itself.”
So check Charlie out. He’s out there changing the frakking world. For you Twitter taters, he’s @CharlieGilkey.
Cue the oh-so-clever segue…
Today’s plate of piping hot gorgeousness is piled high with stuff from folks who are doing epic shit.
And changing the world.
And just generally making this world way more rad.
An Eff The Odds hero
You already know I’m a big fan of saying eff the odds.
Apparently so is William Kamkwamba. Which makes him a rockstar.
William is from Malawi. And in 2002, Malawi had a horrific drought that killed thousands of people. His own family struggled not to starve to death.
And despite the fact that William was forced to quit school because his family couldn’t afford the $80 it cost to attend – yeah, $80 – he kept feeding his brain. And he came up with a genius idea.
He decided to build a windmill. For his village.
So that they’d have water. And electricity. And be able to eat.
Basic stuff that most of us reading this probably take for granted.
“I was very interested when I saw the windmill could make electricity and pump water. I thought: ‘That could be a defense against hunger. Maybe I should build one for myself’.”
And that’s exactly what he did.
He didn’t wait for someone else to do it. Or to say it was ok. He had a vision. And he rocked it.
Thanks to @leahcreates for tweeting the link to this amazing dude.
David Byrne is kooky (in the best possible way)
David Byrne isn’t building windmills, but he is turning buildings into musical instruments. And that might not be saving villages, but it’s still epic shit in my book.
And he’s done it more than once.
Because, well, he’s David Byrne.
Mr. Byrne dropped this recent awesome bomb on a 160 year old building in the UK called the Roundhouse.
Which he turned into an instrument. That people could play. Using an old organ-ey looking thing.
The video speaks for itself.
But one of my favorite bits is what he says here:
“The big part of the experience is that no one is better at playing it than anyone else. It kind of democratizes playing an instrument because it’s not an instrument that anyone can be a virtuoso on. So no matter how many piano lessons you’ve had you’re not going to be much better at playing this than anyone else.”
I love stuff that levels that playing field for folks who dig sound-ey stuff.
Stuff that tosses out the sucktastic angst-ey crap around performing or making it sound good and opens us up to just playing around.
Are you listening?
Evelyn Glennie knows more about sound than most people ever will.
She’s a Scottish percussionist that can blow up a drum kit and work some outrageous magic on the marimba.
And she also happens to be deaf.
That’s pretty much what Evelyn is all about – getting people hip to what it means to really listen.
“My job is all about listening. And my aim, really, is to teach the world to listen. That’s my only real aim in life. And it sounds quite simple, but actually it’s quite a big job.”
The video is long. But totally worth watching.
Because it’s not just about sound stuff. It’s about life stuff.
And Gina also turned me on to a documentary about Evelyn called Touch The Sound. And I know documentary usually means snooze fest, but not this time.
This rocked my world. And not just because I’m a great big sound nerd.
It’s all about the rhythm
Mickey Hart is pretty much a drum god.
He’s the drummer for the Grateful Dead. He’s recorded a bunch of awesome CDs. And written some gorgeous books.
His work has turned a ton of people on to the power of sound, music and rhythm.
The fine folks at RockOm had a chat with Mickey. And he said one ninjarific thing after another.
“I realized that rhythm has to do with life and the giving of life and the taking of life. When the rhythm stops, you’re dead. When the rhythm is good, you live a good life.”
I totally agree with him.
Being ok in your own skin
Life can be hard. And not feeling ok with who you are is one of the most craptastic things ever. Which, of course, makes life like a thousand times harder.
Kyeli wrote an epic post about body stuff, and life stuff, and being-ok-with-who-you-are stuff.
It’s not the usual shiny-happy-annoying rap that’s all over the place. It’s raw. And real. And stuff that so needs to be said.
“I’ve spent my life wishing I could be thin. And I’ve spent a damn lot of time and energy trying to be thin.
But you know what? It’s true. It is okay – in fact, it’s wonderful and great and glorious – to be what I am, whatever I am.”
I’m a big guy.
Like big round. Not big tall.
So I get so much of what she’s saying here.
But even if the weight thing isn’t your thing, if you have any I-don’t-dig-myself-because… thing you should totally read this post.
And then read part two.
If you want to hang out with Kyeli on Twitter – which you will, because she’s fabulous – she’s @kyeli.
You can also catch Pace on the twitters. She’s @PaceSmith.
Now that you’ve had five times your recommended daily allowance of awesome, I’d love to hear about any epic shit you’ve found during your travels around the interwebs.
Or your thoughts on the aforementioned people-of-much-fabulosity.
Or links to any ninjarificness in general. Because you can never have too much ninjarificness.