Tag Archives: pictures

Oh, For the Beauty…

Creation is incredible, isn’t it?  Living in a city like Chicago, I don’t get to see as much of nature as I’d like, but thanks to technologies like photography and the Internet I can at least have  a taste of the beauty of wide-open spaces, soaring mountains, and exquisite flora and fauna without leaving my dorm.  For today’s post, I’m going to link you to two of the most incredible collections of nature shots I’ve ever seen, and I encourage you to take a little time to look at them and let the boundless wonder of the world around us sink in.  God has created an artistic masterpiece of form and function and given it to us as our home, and it helps sometimes to sit back and marvel at what an indescribably gorgeous job He did and at His incomprehensible power that is evidenced all throughout it.

First, a gallery of clouds and sunsets that evidence perfectly the Psalmist’s words: “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the works of His hands.”  (Psalm 19:1)  Here are a couple of samples:

Then, a collection of aerial shots detailing the earth from above, like these:



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Funny Paper

My family always has a supply of little yellow paper squares at hand just in case.  We’re not anticipating a paper shortage or a horde of wild rabbits whose only weakness is yellow squares; instead, we’re preparing for the inevitable moment when the urge hits us.  The urge is unpredictable, but it’s sure to hit at least once during each of my visits home, and it’s best that we have those yellow papers and a goodly supply of pencils on hand when it does hit so that we can get right down to satisfying our craving – a craving for the Funny Paper Game.  I’m not sure what the official title of the game is, but no matter whether you call it the Funny Paper Game, Telephone Pictionary, or That One Game With All the Drawing, it’s ridiculously fun and completely addicting.

The rules are simple:  First, gather up a medium-to-large collection of paper squares with enough space for doodling.  Next, distribute a stack of these papers and a pencil to each player.  The number of papers that each player receives should be equal to the number of players in the game.  Each player then numbers their papers (starting with 1, in case you weren’t sure), places them in order (also starting with 1), and writes a sentence on paper number one.  The sentence can be just about anything that suits the player’s fancy – song lyrics, movie quotes, true stories, and random nonsense are all perfectly acceptable.  Once everyone has written a sentence, players pass their entire stack of paper to the left with the sentence on top.  They then read the sentence on top of the stack that they received and proceed to draw a picture depicting that sentence on paper number two (no letters or numbers in your pictures, mind you).  Once a player finishes with their picture, they pass that stack to the left with their modern masterpiece on top, then take the new stack in front of them (with their neighbor’s picture on top) and interpret the picture into a sentence, which they write on paper number three and pass to the left.  You just keep repeating this cycle until you get the pile with your original sentence in it.  Once everyone has their pile of papers back, players take turns showing their pile to the others and laughing at the results of the zany interpretations and reinterpretations of the original idea.

The great thing about this game is that it’s simple to pick up, it inspires creativity, it’s an original experience each time, and it generates enough laughter to power all of Monstropolis for the rest of forever.  If you’ve got five or six friends who are willing to give it a try, go for it.  You won’t regret it.  If not, you can still get a hint of the hilarity and goofiness of the Funny Paper Game by taking a look at these prime examples that my family has saved from our own games.

First, two examples of what part of a complete stack looks like.  Watch as a sentences derail into tunes from The Sound of Music or bizarre poems about two immortal boys and a poodle:

And now, an assortment of some of my favorite pictures and sentences from previous games.  Consider it The Best of the Newton Family Funny Paper Game (Volume One):

So what’s your family’s favorite game to play together?  Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll catch you tomorrow.  Have a great day!


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New Video (Sort Of)

I’m going to be at home and away from my school’s speedy Internets this weekend, so I’m bumping the Saturday pony post up to today.  That’s a good thing, though, because two big, pony-related things are happening today.  First of all, today is the day before MLP Profile Picture Month officially begins.  During the month of April, all Friendship is Magic fans on Facebook are changing our profile pics to ponies.  Why?  Because we can.  If you want, you can join in, too!  Here are a few fun pictures that you can use if you’d like (Protip: Bucket Dash is always a good choice):

Also, I’m working on a new video project right now that is decidedly pony-related.  After seeing all of the amazing videos in the “Confound These Remixes!” post a while back, I considered making one of my own.  Then, the other day, I was watching Julian Smith’s “I’m Reading a Book”, and I couldn’t help but think it would be amazing to use that audio to create a video of everyone’s favorite bookworm, Twilight Sparkle, rapping/singing “Don’t you ever interrupt me while I’m reading a book!”  Confound these ponies, they drive me to video editing!  I’m not finished with it yet, but I posted a 20 second preview to YouTube today, so feel free to check that out here and let me know what you think in the comments below.  Have a great day, and I’ll be reporting in tomorrow from my lovely home in Michigan.  Until then, God bless!

Also, this:


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Not Just Any Desk

Dan and I rearranged our room the other day, and it feels a lot more spacious now.  The beds are bunked, so I get to sleep up next to the ceiling, and we can actually get to the window without performing a series of fifteen precise and dangerous parkour moves.  The most prominent change, however, is the placement of our desks.  We turned them so that they face each other, and now I feel like we’re Jim and Dwight from “The Office”.  I won’t comment on who is which character, just suffice it to say that I’m now afraid he’s going to encase my stapler in Jell-O.  As we moved things around, though, I gained a new appreciation for all of the little things that I keep on and around my desk that make it more than just another hunk of wood.  Here are six of these bits and pieces of assorted fun that make me love my room so much:

1. Megatron.

If you’ve seen the vlog that I filmed with Dan last week, you’ve already seen my intimidating Megatron figurine.  If not, here he is in all of his plastic splendor:


One night, several of the guys decided to go for a McDonald’s run.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted, but when we arrived and I saw the plastic case beside the counter filled with miniature Transformers, I knew it was Happy Meal time.  I bought one, hoping to get somebody cool like Bumblebee or Optimus Prime, and when I opened the little cardboard box I was not disappointed.  Looking back up at me with his red painted eyes was Megatron, the worst Decepticon of them all.  I brought him back to the dorm and promptly set him up on my desk.  There he’s stood for the past several months, representing my Inner Editor.  When I get writer’s block, I just take him to the stairwell and toss him about for a while.  I’m not sure if it helps, but it’s fun.

2. A lighter.

Yeah, there’s not much left to say about that one.  I don’t remember where I found it, but find it I did, and I can’t bring myself to throw it out now, even though it’s out of juice.  Maybe it’s because it says “Fire” on it.  Maybe it’s because it still makes showers of sparks when I spin the wheel.  Either way, it’s pretty much amazing.  See for yourself:

A Lighter

3. Turtles.

Everyone likes turtles, and I am no exception.  My mom sent me a few plastic/rubber/unknown Chinese material turtles in a care package, so I keep them around to spruce the place up and remind me of home.  Turtles: an instant smile-producer.


4. A Lamborghini.

That’s right, I own a green Lamborghini Reventon.  I won it in a sweepstakes.  My little brother won something more expensive in the same drawing (some kind of candy, maybe), but it wasn’t nearly as stylish.  I know, you’re dying to check out my ride.  Here it is:

My Lamborghini


5. An Intense Portrait of Me.

One of the boys from Salem Christian School, where I help out with the Aftercare program on Wednesday evenings, drew this very… interpretive portrait of me:

A portrait of me

I never realized that my head was that big, or that my cheeks were quite that rosy, or that my beard was that, um, whatever it is.  Then there’s the red splotch between my eyes… was I just shot by a sniper?  That would explain the wild-eyed, teeth-clenched expression on my face – and why I’m falling over backwards.  This is why I love kids, they express themselves without caring if someone else sees things differently – they’re going to draw, say, sing, and write what they see, as they see it, and it usually turns out to be really cute.

6. Chip, the Blue Ceramic Pig.

Chip is my favorite desk ornament.  On the first day of the Spring semester, my friend Kyu walked into my room, handed me this piggy bank, and walked away:

Chip, the Blue Ceramic Pig

Not only is Chip a piggy bank to hold all of my spare change, his round, innocent, totally mouthless face is also adorable.  To me, he is the embodiment of random fun with my friends, which is one of my favorite things.  It’s impossible to look at Chip and not break into a smile.  Having Chip perched on my printer has made sitting at my desk 1000% more enjoyable.  It’s a wonder I ever leave my room now.

What are your favorite knick-knacks, and what about them do you love most?  Let me know in the comments below, and have a superlative Saturday.

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