Sunday, March 16, 2014

Johannes Stoetter: Parrot

Look closer: This parrot is, in fact, a woman whose body has been cleverly painted to resemble the tropical bird

It would be easy to look at the photo above and think, 'that's a nice picture of a parrot, but it's not really all that interesting.' But if prompted to look again you might find upon a more scrutinizing investigation that it is actually a woman positioned and painted in such a way as to look like a parrot.

This amazing illusion is the latest work of artist Johannes Stoetter. The Italian artist is a former body-painting world champion (didn't know there was such a thing) and has amassed a great number of images including one that was trending last year of five women painted to look like a frog.

Amazing: The spectacular work of art was created by 35-year-old Johannes Stoetter, a former world champion body painter. He spent weeks painstakingly planning how he could transform the female model into a parrot

Incredible: The finished creation sees the model's outstretched left leg become the parrot's tail feathers, while her right leg and arm become its wings. Her left arm - wrapped around her head - forms the tropical bird's head


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Anti-Gun Hysteria in Schools

Last year I sarcastically blogged about a boy being suspended from elementary school after fashioning his hand into a gun during a game of cops and robbers. Of course, this wasn't the first nor the last incident of school officials making irrational decisions regarding even the most benign references to guns:
  • Pop Tart Pistol - Last year in Maryland, seven year old Joshua was suspended from Park Elementary School for two days for allegedly chewing a pop tart into the shape of a pistol and dangerously waiving it around. The school later sent the students home with a letter informing parents of the incident and citing the violated code of conduct. The letter also told parents that they should talk with their kids and help them express their feelings if they were troubled by the incident. It also said that the school counselor would be available if needed.
  • Pencil Pistol - In Virginia, two second graders were suspended from a Suffolk elementary school for pointing pencils at each other and making shooting noises. A school spokesperson said "A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made." No really, she actually said that.
  • Talking About Nerf Gun - In Washington, six year old Noah Aguirre was suspended for talking about guns. According to his father, the guns his son was talking about were Nerf guns they had recently purchases. The suspension was later overturned and cleared from his record.
  • Cowboy Cap Gun - A kindergartner wet his pants after a two hour interrogation by school officials at Dowell Elementary School for showing another student on the bus his cowboy-style cap gun. Along with the interrogation, the five year old was given a ten day suspension. The mother said the principal told her that if the cap gun had been loaded with caps, it would have been considered an explosive and the police would have been involved.
  • Quarter Size Lego Gun - A Massachusetts kindergartner was forced to apologize to the bus driver, serve detention and threatened with suspension after he was found with a Lego toy gun the about the size of a quarter.
  • Another Hand Gun  - School officials at a North Carolina school levied a one day suspension on a five year old boy after he made a gun gesture with his hand on the playground.
  • Airsoft Outside of School - Three seventh graders were given long-term suspensions from a Virginia Beach elementary school after shooting airsoft guns near a bus stop. School officials state that there was a student hit by a pellet only 10 feet from the bus stop which implies that this was enough to give them jurisdiction on the matter. The thing is, Aiden, one of the boys involved, lives only 70 yards from the bus stop. According to the boys, they never left his yard.
  • Clear Plastic Toy Gun - Six year old Naomi McKinney was expelled from a South Carolina elementary school for bringing her brother's clear plastic toy gun to school. School officials considered her such a threat that they even sent a letter to her parents that if she’s caught on school grounds she’ll be “subject to the criminal charge of trespassing.”
  • Hello Kitty Bubble Gun - In Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, a five year old girl was suspended for two days after making what the school called a "terrorist threat." Allegedly she told another little girl that they would shoot each other with her pink "Hello Kitty" bubble gun (which she didn't have with her at the time).
  • And Another Hand Gun - The latest incident happened a couple of weeks ago in Columbus, Ohio. Ten year old Nathan Entingh was suspended for three days from Denvonishe Alternative Elementary School after making his hand into the shape of a gun, pointing it at another student and saying "bang."
These are just a sampling of the numerous stories involving innocent children being punished for acting like children. Throughout the nation schools have implemented zero tolerance policies which have become ever more draconian in both the way they are written and carried out. I find it difficult to understand how school officials can be so disconnected from the rest of the country when it comes to these sort of things. Just read the comments section below the articles and you'll find they are overwhelmingly condemned.

Administrators respond to reporters as if they are reading from a common playbook. It goes something like "due to confidentiality issues, we cannot comment on the specifics of the matter but we want to emphasize that student safety and security is of the utmost importance to us." I would love for someone to explain to me how this is a matter of safety. What line of thinking concludes that children playing cops and robbers could somehow put students in harms way? As far as I know, no child has ever been injured by hands, paper or pop tarts that have been shaped into guns.

The use of common sense tells us that there must be something more happening here than a desire to keep kids safe. In actuality, this seems to be an effort by some schools to indoctrinate children at a young age to view anything that even remotely relates to a gun as being evil. It is an ideology that some on the far left hold that any sort of reference to firearms is somehow directly connected to the atrocities of Columbine or Sandy Hook.

No one would disagree with the desire to keeps children safe in school. What people are angry about is the attempt by some schools to force their views onto their students even when it leaves rational decision making behind. Parents do not send their kids to school so that they can be indoctrinated with the teacher's or administrator's ideology. They send their kids to school to learn about reading, writing and arithmetic. I think it's well past time they get back to that.