This is just absolutely wonderful.

A Colombian student named Carlos Arturo Torres, in partnership with CIREC (a foundation for physical rehabilitation) and LEGO Future Lab, has designed and built this fantastic prosthetic limb system for kids. It connects to the limb in a similar way to other prosthetic limbs, but as well as having a usual hand attachment it comes with various different LEGO kits that the child can build and add on in a kind of “Iron Man” style.

196981_27811_29865_jj8v_8JFa

It’s fully blown my mind just how great this is. Earlier this year Carlos won the Open Design Student Prize at 2015 Core77 Design Awards, which is fantastic, however the true reward is seeing this kid, Dario, playing and laughing with his friends whilst creating new attachments for his arm!

196987_27811_29865_Rybw6UyoI

Torres grand idea involves making the system available for other toy manufacturers to create add-ons for it; “The nature of the system would allow to be compatible with more products than LEGO, imagine having MARVEL developing superhero modules, MATTEL making doll houses or car launchers, GE producing microscopes, NINTENDO having compatible accessories, and everything at its normal accessible price.” which sounds pretty rad!

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He hopes that this system will also help kids who don’t necessarily have missing limbs understand these kinds of disabilities better and encourage them to play and empathise with other children rather than being scared of what they don’t know, which can only be a good thing surely; “What if “normal” kids could understand disability in from a different perspective? Maybe they could empathize instead of being afraid of something they don’t know, what if they could all share, learn and create all together using play as a mean?”

What a fantastic creation! I hope we see much more of this system in the not too distant future.


I’m Rob Lee; I’m a Graphic Artist and I cover walls with colour.
I’ve been doing this for a relatively short amount of time, although it’s taken me a good few years to get to this stage. I come from a creative family, my dad was very artistic, but his profession was in Structural Engineering.

1.School
This influenced me from an early age. When studying Art at A-level I got into Graphic Design; especially of club flyers and other forms of promotion.
This spurred me on to study Graphic Arts & Design at Leeds Met. It was a great course and allowed a lot of artistic exploration.
I dabbled in Photography, Screen-Printing, Vector Imagery, 2D Animation and in my final year I actually specialised in 3D animation.
2.Uni

Patrick Caulfield Study

I was working with architecture and the shapes and patterns found in buildings, their deconstruction and reconstruction.
Going 3D was a logical progression and I created numerous animations all of abstract objects made out of 100’s of smaller shapes that break apart and rebuild.

3.Uni

Following Uni my aim was to become a 3D Animator but I had so much more to learn on the program that it was hard to find time whilst also earning a living.
I got bored of constantly staring at a computer screen and began to crave a more practical means of expression.

This is when I discovered Stencilling.

6.Stencil

Initially I saw it as a way to make a bit of extra cash, creating Pop-art pieces and selling them on ebay. However the precision required to cut a detailed stencil interested me greatly and I immersed myself in it.

It was through Stencil Art I discovered Street Art and I began the path I am on now.

My style takes influences from the natural and man-made world alike.

Inspired by technology,

architecture,

 

8.Stencil

natural landscapes,

colour, film,

sci-fi,

music

and pretty much anything that catches my eye.

 

 

 

 

I attempt to portray organic forms from technical shapes using contrasting or complementing colours. I developed a simplistic yet technical, graphical style; sticking to strict parameters of perfectly straight lines, curved edges and 45-degree diagonals.

Creating this rigid Manifesto has led to interesting outcomes.

9. FirstMural

I think that one day I will break these guidelines;
but for now I am enjoying where it’s taking me. Since starting out 3 years ago I have completed some great commissions for numerous businesses in Sheffield and London; to name a few, CADS in Sheffield, The Metro Newspaper London, and the one and only Harrods.

HarrodsWEB2

I painted a large external mural celebrating the Tour De France at the time of the event. The route came extremely close to the mural so it gained a lot of attention and praise.

Tour de France sheffield

I have recently completed a full 360 degree optical illusion installation which has been the most challenging project i’ve worked on so far. This was the most intensive use of my other discipline, Perspective Anamorphosis. This is the process of distorting an image so that it requires a single specific viewpoint in order to see the image in full. More on this in another post sometime though.

panic room 2

panic room 3

Just the other day I arrived back from Bristol where I was one of 300 artists who painted at Upfest, Europe’s largest street art festival. A great experience and good practice for future public painting!

image1

Photo credit- Mark Hat

Looking forward;

As well as working on some great commissions I am building up to painting a number of large scale publicly viewable pieces, which will mark the start of my street presence.

When I find time in between all this I will be producing a series of Screen Prints and hand painted pieces.

If you’d like to see what I’m up to;
please follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or visit my website www.roblee.co.uk


meI’m the girl that was picked last for every team sport.

 

I’m the girl that came in dead last when we ran the trails in PE.

 

When I was younger I thought of myself as a weak, girly girl.

 

I hated running then and I still hate it now. I was not competitive then and I am not competitive now.

 

I grew up in a trailer where everyone in my family chain smoked.

I probably second hand smoked 4 packs a day before I moved out at 18.

In their defense, this was still back when no one talked about how bad smoking is for you.

 

I thought I was destined to be unfit and unathletic and slightly pudgy my entire life. I live in Port Angeles Washington, very, very Northwest corner of the USA, a small town of 20,000 about 2 hours away from Seattle.

 

Then in my early 20’s I made a new friend that was a fitness instructor. She coerced me into joining the YMCA with her. I discovered aerobics… and I was GOOD at it. I have rhythm. I can move. I can dance! And it’s fun!

mikkireidel

It changed my life. It altered how I saw myself. It even changed the course of my life.

When I started, I was out of shape and had never really been an “exerciser”. I loved aerobics right away but it took me awhile to feel competent. I went to class for a couple years and then started teaching at the urging of my good friend Michelle that I started going to the why with. She was an instructor and trained me and she is also a big reason I am where I am today.

I am still at the same YMCA 24 years later and I have been a fitness instructor for 21 years.

high lunge 

I teach just about everything offered- cycling, weights, dance, step, etc. And I am good at what I do. I’m good at it because I love it. I try to make it fun for my class participants. For the last year and a half I have also been the Health and Wellbeing Coordinator, in charge of our fitness department. I work at the Olympic Peninsula YMCA – http://clallamcountyymca.org/ 

If anyone had been able to see into the future and tell me this would be the job I would have and enjoy 40 hours a week I would never have believed it.

class1

Some of my past PE teachers have even came to my classes … oh, and I kicked their butts…. with a smile of course.

Trying something new- aerobics- changed my life. Listening to the positive advice of a good friend telling me to start working out changed my life.

YMCA I’m 48 and I feel better than I did at 18.

Every day brings new opportunities to be better in some way, stronger in some way, to try something new and different.
To break out of your self- imposed box.
Never miss a chance at a better life.
And hopefully, along the way, you make the lives of others better also.
And you have fun…

the photo above are breast cancer awareness cycling class- everyone wore pink, I taught and we made a couple hundred bucks for a local charity.

the photo above are breast cancer awareness cycling class- everyone wore pink, I taught and we made a couple hundred bucks for a local charity.

 

I teach 5 weeks of yoga to the college boys basketball team every fall, the Pirates

I teach 5 weeks of yoga to the college boys basketball team every fall, the Pirates


In December, a plan amongst a group of friends had arisen to fly out to Iceland in June for the second instalment of secret solstice festival to celebrate two of their 21st’s. After having been before in 2010 and knowing first hand how beautiful the place is, I decided that I’d prefer to stay for a few days longer that my friends after the festival – after all, what’s the point in visiting such an amazing place just for a festival?!

 

The festival was weirdly wonderful and is up there as one of my favourites, but I’m not here to discuss the antics of the weekend…

 

As I was the only one who was going to be staying past Monday I deemed it fit to do something that was both constructive and challenging on a personal level for me but to  also do something that benefited other people at the same time. A two birds one stone kind of thing. So, after a few months pondering what this could be, I came up with a vague plan to minimise expenditure over my extra 3 nights and 4 days and to do something a bit different.

 

This something different was a solo walk from Reykjavik (the capital) to Keflavik (the main airport) whilst incorporating a mountain (Mt Keilir) in the mix – all whilst wild camping and living out of 2 rucksacks to raise money for the charity Roundabout Sheffieldan organisation who supply  housing and life skills to young homeless people aged 16-25 in South Yorkshire – a very valid and legit cause.

 

So, feeling rather light headed after a mixture of working, networking and partying for 3 days straight, I pulled myself out of bed on Monday lunchtime after a few hours kip, packed my bags, said my goodbyes and started walking towards my first target – Mt Keilir. I knew for the most part of the day it was going to be Tarmac roads and it was also the day that I needed to make the most progress out of the 4.

Liam Taylor photography

Shortly after leaving Reykjavik and upon arrival into the next town, I realised there was a few more essentials which I needed before leaving all civilisation: water, food and gas for my stove. All of which I assumed would be available from a petrol station / services.

 

So at the first services I saw I went in, sweating due to the ridiculous amount of stuff I decided to bring, to buy water, cigarettes, food and hopefully gas! The petrol station was pretty poorly equipped so I only left with 3 bottles of water, a 20 pack of camels and a kit Kat chunky. Not the successful stop I had hoped for…

 

Upon leaving the petrol station as I was lugging my stuff past two young Icelandic lads no older than 20/21, they asked if I wanted a ride. I really appreciated the offer but then explained what I was doing and that in my books a lift would be cheating. They were amazed at my plan as well as being slightly concerned at the same time. I asked them if they knew anywhere that sold gas and where I could get a decent bit of meat for dinner, at which point they offered to take me to get gas and dinner and then to bring me back to where we currently were, to which I agreed (and in retrospect in very glad I did as getting gas was a damn sight harder than we’d all anticipated!)

 

So after being driven around by 2 Icelandic teens I’d never met before we eventually found gas and a supermarket where I bought some lamb chops, they returned me to the service station where we’d originally met, wished me luck and saw me off on my way.

 

With an extra 5kgs worth of gas, water, lamb chops and cigarettes weighing me down the walk had just become significantly harder but I couldn’t let this dampen my spirits, this was just the start – on wards and upwards. The glorious sunshine kept me going, as did the kit Kat chunky and lucky charms.

 

As I set back off I was slightly disheartened upon seeing what I had to walk on, a long straight Tarmac road following the coastline surrounded by nothing but factories and lava, oh and a golf course. As I walked over the horizon Keilir revealed herself to me, standing tall and steep, isolated by nothing but huge fields of lava rock and moss. I could see my first objective and it certainly gave me the motivational kick up the arse I needed to keep going.

iceland lava fields 4

Several kilometres, blisters and cigarettes  later I was nearing my turn off point to Keilir, where the journey became an off road mission. It had taken me at least 8 hours to get to this point and was nearing 9pm already.

To begin with the road was like a forestry track in the uk (except without any trees) – it was bearable. After another hour and roughly 4 kilometres later my legs felt like jelly and the road was getting significantly worse underfoot but the mountain was getting closer and closer. I gave myself a target of another hours walking after which I promised myself I would set up camp for the night, eat and rest.

iceland lava fields 3

By the time the food was on the BBQ (I bought one from the services as I didn’t have a pan big enough for the lamb chops I had bought!) I had set up my tent and sat down it was getting close to midnight. It was the darkest I had seen Iceland all week, the sun was low and there were low sitting heavy black clouds above resulting in a strip of pink sky on the horizon above the sea. It was probably the most rewarding meal I have ever cooked and eaten. It had been well and truly worked for.

Liam Taylor photography

After a very rough nights sleep on the side of a “road” camping on lava gravel with only a towel and one side of my sleeping bag as a mattress. I woke at 6am, packed my tent and the rest of my stuff into my bags, took a few photos, had some lucky charms for breakfast then picked up my bags and set off walking. It was so tricky underfoot particularly with the blisters the previous days walking had left me with.

 

Eventually after 2 hours walking along this road I had reached the car park where people stopped to get out and climb the mountain. There was one car there which had passed me whilst walking. I knew the next part was probably going to be the most challenging yet, particularly after several locals at the pub had warned me about the dangers of walking through lava fields over the course of the previous weekend.

 

So I carefully set foot on this path through the middle of a lava field with Keilir looming over it trying to intimidate me. Every footstep had to be carefully chosen, one wrong step and it could have resulted a 128 hours situation.

iceland lava fields 2

iceland lava fields

As I neared the mountain the two ladies who passed me in the car on the track were coming  down Keilir and our paths crossed at the foot of the mountain. They thought i was mental when I explained what I was doing and gave me their remaining water, which wasn’t a lot  but it helped massively, as well as a homemade raisin and cinnamon cookie which was a huge boost in morale (and sugar).

 

Once I reached the top I was ecstatic, I was so proud that I had managed to get this far by myself already within a day. I sat down at the top for 30 minutes and took in the breathtaking view, scouted the surrounding land with my eyes for routes which may not have been on the map, finished the rest of my water and cookie and had a cigarette. I felt so re-energised just from reaching the top and seeing my next target (which wasn’t actually scheduled but that I realised I had time for) – Blue Lagoon.

Water was now my main priority. I knew Blue Lagoon was the nearest civilisation by looking at the map and I felt like rewarding myself and my muscles. There were several streams on the map between Keilir and blue lagoon for which I had steriliser tabs and so I decided that this was my best bet rather than heading back the way I came back into the middle of nowhere with no water. At least this way I could see my target and I knew there was water there if I didn’t find any on the way.

Camping in Iceland

I descended the mountain, returning to collect my bag, at which point I bumped into a fell runner who had just arrived. After explaining what I was doing and how I had no water he then gave me a full 2 litre bottle and wished me luck. If it wasn’t for him I’d be lucky to still be alive.

 

After a good 7 hours hard walking and 2 very close shaves with loose lava boulders and precarious holes I managed to make it to Blue Lagoon in one piece, 2 litres of water later. I was extremely hungry and I needed to relax after what was a very nerve racking day of walking and climbing . So I booked myself an in water massage and had from 5-10.30 to enjoy the delights of this beautiful hot spring before it closed.

 

After leaving Blue Lagoon, I set up my second night’s camp 2km away, in the direction of my final stop – Keflavik airport. This time sleeping on grass and moss – it was a substantially better night’s kip than the previous night’s.

 

Wednesday morning and the start of the last days walking wasn’t as optimistic as I’d anticipated due to the progress I’d made over the previous 2 days and hence I had a lot less ground to cover than originally expected. After 6-7 hours walking I had reached my hotel near the airport, at which point it was time to take some weight off my feet, grab a beer and relax in the hot tub before my early start to catch my flight on Thursday morning.

 

This was such a surreal and eye opening experience which I shall never forget. What’s it taught me? Mainly the importance of water and how vital it is to be well prepared in these kind of situations. It also made me realise how readily available things are in western society, the amount of choice we have and how we take this for granted massively by consuming more than necessary. In turn this made me notice that I lived off very little in comparison to normal back in the uk.

Upon arrival to the airport I bumped into the man who gave me the water on the second day at a cafe and then at border control I happened to go to the  kiosk that the lady who gave me the cookie was working at (purely by coincidence) –  this made me think about how small the world is, how the majority of people have good intentions and are actually really kind by nature. After arriving back in the UK and looking at the map and photos it put everything into perspective. Sometimes life’s not easy, but with enough determination, persistence and initiative you can do anything when you put your mind to it, after all, life’s boring without risk so it’s always worth challenging yourself and pushing your limits, particularly if it benefits other less fortunate people at the same time.

I shall be doing something similar again soon.

 

If you would like to sponsor me for completing the challenge, the page is still open for donations – please visit : https://www.justgiving.com/Liam-Taylor6

 

Photographs have been published on my page: https://www.facebook.com/LiamTImagery

 


Sir Patrick Stewart wants you to help him use “Snotbot” drones to collect whale snot.

Yeah you read that right don’t worry. Basically, it’s really difficult to collect data about whales without being super invasive, at best annoying the whales or at worst harming them. The previous sampling method involved chasing whales with a really loud boat (whales have super sensitive hearing, so not ideal) and shooting it with a sampling dart from a crossbow. Not exactly ideal for either party, but obviously mainly for the whale.

Introducing the Snotbot:

Snotbot

The nice guys at Ocean Alliance have teamed up with the Olin College of Engineering and come up with this drone that can hover about just above the surface and not bother or even be noticed by a whale. When the whale spurts a load of mucous out of it’s blow hole the drone catches it & flies back to where the operator is, on a boat about half a mile away. Which sounds much better for everyone involved. The whale doesn’t even know it’s being monitored, while the scientist gets to play with a drone!

ff1b11c11e742b3f4eebe85d2ef57c8f_original

Why snot? Well because a lot of information about an animal can be found in it’s mucous, numbers of viruses and bacteria, information about the animal’s DNA, environmental toxins the whale may have ingested, you get the idea it’s pretty useful stuff, snot.

This is why the Ocean Alliance have set up a Kickstarter to help them fund this mission, and Sir Patrick Stewart has appeared in a video they’ve made to help promote the kickstarter.

Way more information can be found on the actual Kickstarter page itself and if you want to know why saving the planet’s whale population is important then check this video excerpt from George Monbiot’s TED Talk that we featured in our piece on ReWilding Britain.


As you probably already know, Russell Brand has been making almost daily videos on his YouTube channel named The Trews. The name is a play obviously on The News but, in his words, he’s telling “true news”…hence Trews. They’re worth a watch, everyone seems to have an opinion on him but as far as I can see he’s only pushing positivity and truth which is very similar to what us here at Rad Times are all about so it’s probably fair to say we’re fans.

Apart from just chatting about stuff with a towel or something on his head, Russell has actually been trying to get involved and set up various projects to help people and to use his status as a celebrity to bring awareness to various topics and groups. One such group was the people of the New Era Estate in Hoxton, London. The residents had been protesting over increased rents by their new landlords, an American company called Westbrook Partners. Russell got involved and ended up having a bit of an argument with a reporter which went viral, then hundreds of thousands of signatures were signed in support of the residents and Hackney Council got involved with the negotiations with the Westbrook Partners.

Russell also set up a non-profit, social enterprise style coffee house in Hackney called the Trew Era Cafe which is funded by the profits from Russell’s book, Revolution. The coffee house is staffed by recovering drug addicts (except for manager Rose) engaging in abstinence based recovery, which is the method Russell constantly pushes at various opportunities as it seems to be the only method that has helped him with his own addiction issues.

The staff are paid the London living wage of £9.15 an hour and after hours the space is used by Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous for their meetings. The Huffington Post recently went down to the cafe and interviewed one of the members of staff there to see how it was all going and it sounds like it’s working pretty well! Although the odd injection of funds from Russell himself is still necessary the shop has apparently turned over at least £2000 in profits, however apart from the monetary side it also sounds like a great place for recovering addicts to work and integrate themselves back into society but also they have a support system around them as all of the staff are pretty much in the same boat, one member may only be clean for 6 months and another 2 years but they’re still there to support each other. It also sounds like they get quite a few customers who are also either recovering drug addicts or have family members in the same situation, so even the clientele works as a kind of support system.

According to manager, Rose; “Even in the first few months, watching confidence levels rising and their own self-worth being built is fantastic. In just two months, you could see the difference, and obviously that makes a big difference to their own personal recovery.”

“I think the amount of people who have been emailing us, and then popping in and just people offering their support really shows that. Sometimes it’s people have been in recovery or have sons in recovery, or even people who are not and who just sympathise with the cause. Everyone’s really behind it.

“We’ve found that place where everyone’s so open and willing to talk about things, not just brush it under the carpet, that’s why it’s integral to have integration. This whole place is about getting people talking and being a support structure, and it’s brilliant.”

So in answer to the titular question; How’s it going? The answer seems to be; It’s going very well thank you! Hopefully the shop continues it’s success and we will start to see more of these kinds of social enterprises popping up around the country as it seems like a great way to help rehabilitate recovering addicts and also reintegrate them back into society without the stigma that used to be attached to ex-addicts.

CLICK HERE F OR THE FULL HUFFINGTON POST ARTICLE


For centuries British writers, artists and poets, amongst others, have been inspired by our indigenous wildlife. The anthropomorphised characters in Beatrix Potter’s classics like Peter Rabbit and the Flopsey Bunnies, Kenneth Grahame’s Wind In The Willows with Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger, even some of the crazy characters in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll were inspired by Britain’s local fauna of the time. Unfortunately sightings of the kinds of animals that inspired these characters, hedgehogs, voles, red squirrels, wildcats etc. have become increasingly rare.

Peter Rabbit & Flopsy Bunnies

Peter Rabbit & Flopsy Bunnies

According to this recent report from the RSPB, numbers of Britain’s most endangered plants and animals have dropped by 58% in the last 40 years, and 10% of them are threatened with extinction. We have lost 44 million birds since the 1960s and more large mammals (including wolves, lynx, bears, beavers, boars, moose, bison and wolverine) than any other European country (apart from Ireland).

This might not bother you, it may just be an unfortunate but inevitable consequence of human progress as far as your concerned. However, I think it’s a huge shame that we are becoming so much less connected to the natural world as more land is becoming developed and our natural green spaces and woodland are being tarmacked over and replaced with looming, grey, concrete boxes.

Once again though, this is RAD Times not Sad Times, and we’ve stumbled across an organisation that are not only aware of the problem and its scale, but they are attempting to do something about it.

Rewilding Britain was launched on 14th July and their mission, in their own words, is: “The mass restoration of ecosystems in Britain, on land and at sea. Their aim, again in their own words is: “To see at least one million hectares of Britain’s land, and 30 per cent of our territorial waters, supporting natural ecological processes and key species”. No mean feat!

I first heard about the concept of “Rewilding” via environmental campaigner and journalist George Monbiot. His 2013 book Feral: Rewilding The Land, Sea and Human Life has been a wake up call for a lot of people who, to George’s surprise, feel the same way about our decline in natural wildlife.

George Monbiot from back cover of Feral

George Monbiot from back cover of Feral

So what is “Rewilding”? The Rewilding Britain website cites the Mini Manifesto as follows:

  • Reverse the loss of biodiversity in large core areas of land and sea
  • Reintroduce key missing species, including the lynx and wolf
  • Restore ecosystems to a functional and resilient state
  • Reignite people’s passion for the natural world
  • Revitalise local economies in ways that work ecologically
  • Reintegrate nature and society for the benefit of both

The proponents of rewilding claim that current conservations strategies such as national parks and nature reserves are failing and, judging by the stats recounted earlier from the RSPB report, they’re not wrong. These “isolated oases of nature” are susceptible to huge losses due to climate change and pollution. Rewilders argue that instead of managing these reserves we should be allow nature to look after itself and inform and educate people so that they can thrive alongside nature.

Reintroducing species, particularly predators, can make a huge impact in restoring natural ecological processes that may have long since died out. This short video, which uses a small snippet from George Monbiot’s Ted Talk: “For More Wonder, Rewild The World” explains how reintroducing wolves back into the USA’s Yellowstone National Park helped to greatly increase the biodiversity of the area, bringing back species that hadn’t lived in those parts for decades as well as affecting the flow of the local rivers and changing the shape of the landscape!

Rewilding is not only important for biodiversity and reintroducing lost animal species back onto our doorstep, but it is also important for climate change. Another great little video from the guys at Sustainable Human, once again using a snippet from George Monbiot’s Ted Talk, explains how whales (when they were at their more historical population sizes, before we started killing them off) could have been responsible for pulling tens of millions of tons of carbon out of our atmosphere every year.

So there you have it. Pretty fascinating stuff if you ask me, and proof that everything in nature is connected. It all reminds me of in school when you learn about “food webs” instead of “food chains”. If you take one node out of the web it affects so much more than just that one node as everything is interconnected in some way. Anyway enough of my philosophising. How can I learn more? How can we help? Well a great place to start is with George Monbiot’s book Feral, if you don’t have time for that then I’d suggest checking his Ted Talk.

The Rewilding Britain website is full of more information on Rewilding, what it is, why it’s important, and how to get involved etc. I personally think it would be pretty rad to be able to wander out of our homes into the nearest natural park or wildlife reserve and see a lynx or a bear or even a moose just doing it’s thing in it’s natural habitat! I look forward to hearing more about the work these guys do!


My path into my now career started in 1999, being a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ inside my uncle’s studio in Nunhead, South London. Watching as buttons were being pressed and sounds were being created along with vocalists were collaborating whether it was a jam session or for a specific release it was all inspiring and awesome to watch and try to understand how this all works.

From wanting to gain more experience and understanding came being able to have my on computer and software to recreate a vibe and interpretation of what music in my head sounds like. It was my hobby for many years – coming home from a long day of work and wanting to wind down. As time moved forward I became more and more experienced in music production. I found a few styles of music I liked which was Broken-beat and House then I began to create my style of that genre. I found myself investing more time and money into my then-hobby.

It came to around 2006 I planned to push more forward and share my music with people through social networks; at the time it was Myspace which was the in-thing. I could get feedback from my music and take it on board. By the end of 2007 I was reaching out to DJ’s and radio presenters who played similar music again looking for feedback and implementing it as I progress musically.

2008 February I decided to set myself up as a label and released my first track. I saved enough money to press 12” vinyls and get my music mastered ready to be played in clubs and on radio.

Roska first pressing

The journey from 1999 till 2008 was a tough journey but so fun as well. Throughout pursuing my love of music production, I made sure I had something to fall back on which was a job which brought a regular income to support myself. I’ve definitely proven to myself anything is possible and when you apply yourself to anything doors will open.

One Love x


First of all I’m going to make it very clear that I found this via the fantastic website Brain Pickings, it will most certainly not be the last time I reference that website so you may as well get used to it.

Right, disclaimer over, on to the point of this post.

Lori Henriques is a wonderful Portland-based jazz pianist who has taken to writing beautiful songs aimed at children and their parents. This particular piece I wanted to share was inspired by a quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson, so you know it’s gonna be pretty special.

According to Lori’s own account on the “About” section of the Youtube video, she had been playing around with this arrangement of the Saint James Infirmary melody and had wanted to write lyrics to it but couldn’t quite get them right and so kept leaving it, then returning to the project, then leaving it again and coming back etc. Until one day she heard this quote from Tyson:

“I look up at the night sky, and I know that, yes, we are part of this Universe, we are in this Universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the Universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up—many people feel small, because they’re small and the Universe is big, but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars.”

This quote brought about a kind of epiphany in Lori. She finally knew what she wanted to convey in this song she’d been working on for so long and set about finally getting it finished. To accompany the song, Lori’s brother, Joel, created this magnificently simple video that ties in the message and lyrics of the song beautifully with the arrangement and melody whilst keeping it relevant and easy for children to enjoy.

Anyway enough from me, have a gander yourselves:

 

We also love Neil deGrasse Tyson here at Rad Times and we also thought we’d share this little webcomic we found when the New Horizons probe sent photos of Pluto back to us the other week. If anyone knows the artist or has a source for this comic we’d be hugely grateful so we can reference them 🙂

Neil & Pluto

Neil & Pluto