CalmandStrong

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2018: A Year in Review

Posted on December 18, 2018 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

2018 was very similar to 2017, but with different goals achieved. I’m looking forward to 2019 with hopes and blessings from God and guidance from my ancestors. 



2017 was a year where I was working hard, but at the same time I was unable to see fruits from my labor.


2018 was basically the same with some accomplishments I’m proud of like self-publishing my autobiography, completed 20 speeches for Toastmasters International, and a couple Staff Pick articles were published on Vocal to name a few.


This is what I was able to accomplish in 2018:

 

* I self-published my autobiography entitled, “CalmandStrong: Some People Walk in Each other’s Shoes… I Carry Mine.” The book is about connecting my experiences and realities of being a two-time cancer survivor and hip amputee to the digital world of Sony PlayStation’s inFAMOUS videogame franchise and superhero Cole MacGrath.


* I completed 20 overall speeches for Toastmasters International and received an Advanced Communicator Bronze certificate.


* My article entitled, “Hidden Figures: Inventions You Didn’t Know Were Created by African-Americans” was a Staff Pick on Vocal.


* My blog about my experience with the video game God of War (PS4) received Tweet acknowledgments from Sony Santa Monica Director Cory Barlog and Kratos voice actor Christopher Judge.


* My blog about Hip-Hop Duo Blu & Exile was entitled, “Blu & Exile: The Reflection of Music, Like the Sky, is the Reflection of the Ocean” received Tweet acknowledgments from Blu & Exile. Even though they only released three albums as a duo, they are some of the best albums I’ve ever heard. 



* My article entitled, “What is Fair Justice: Stephon Clark vs. Dillion Roof” was also a Staff Pick on Vocal.


* My article about Hip-Hop group Digable Planets entitled, “Digable Planets: Peace Be the Greeting of the Insect Tribe” received Tweet acknowledgements from Digable Planets member Doodlebug.


* Self-publishing my autobiography was my biggest accomplishment of 2018. I put a lot of effort explaining what I’ve been through as a teenager cancer survivor, and I wanted to make my story universal. My goal was to make my autobiography an easy read, so I put images in certain parts within my book to help the reader better understand my pain, struggle, and accomplishments. I feel this was a great way to keep the reader engaged and emotionally invested in my story.


For instance, one person said she felt that she was with me during my journey. She also said she felt my pain. sadness, and accomplishments.


Another person said my book was inspiring, captured her immediately, and she finished it in one day.


Another person said my book was overwhelming because of the adversities I faced of having cancer twice and losing my right leg at 17-years-old. She explained to me her favorite chapter was the last chapter: Chapter X: Epilogue.


Within the Epilogue chapter, I have a sub-chapter entitled, “The Impact: Tragedy to Testimony.” A few family members gave their thoughts about how I was able to overcome and defeat cancer, and how I was able to adapt to a new way of living of becoming a hip amputee.


My Grandmother said, “I’m just thankful my boy is still here with us.”



Do you have a favorite bookstore? Click here: https://www.books2read.com/CalmandStrongBook





Inspiration from Entertainment 




Throughout the last few months, I’ve been fascinated with the hidden history of Africa. Although I have a Minor in Africana Studies from California State University, Long Beach. I feel I’m learning more now about African history than I did while in college.


Hip-Hop artist Nas released a new album this year entitled, “Nasir.” The content throughout the album touches on African history, and social-political topics that impact the African-American community in the United States. 


For example, songs like “Not for Radio” touches on African history and bridges the gap between African-Americans and their ancient African ancestors. 


Also, songs like “Cops Shot the Kid” touches on the epidemic of unarmed African-American men, women, boys, and girls being murdered in the U.S., and “Everything” touches on the misunderstanding of African-American people.



“Dark boy don’t you cry, there’s too much life left in those eyes. Don’t you let your face go waterfall. Don’t you learn to love your scars and all. Dark boy don’t you die. They’re just human, let them lie.”


- Nas, Everything Chorus Featuring The-Dream and Kanye West, Nasir



Nas made a short film of his album, Nasir. To check it out, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiv6sZBXJ_w


It was refreshing to hear an artist speak about the hidden history of African people and the continued struggle of African-American people within their music in 2018. 



The Future is Now


I feel 2017-2018 were very similar, but I was still able to accomplish different things. I’m looking forward to 2019 because I feel a new beginning is coming soon, and people will get the see my creativity in action while sharing my superhero story.


I thank God and my ancestors for their guidance and blessing during the year of 2019.


The “Photos” tab has images with links that will direct you to the stories of my accomplishments, click here: https://www.calmandstrong.net/photos


From 2013 to 2018, I’ve written 131 blogs on my website, calmandstrong.net, and 25 Vocal articles about many different topics such as health and wellness, music, politics, racism and injustice, history, video games, crime investigations, and sports.


To check out my Vocal profile, click here: https://vocal.media/authors/darryl-richie?page=1


 


Disclaimer... 


I don’t own any content from Nas’ Nasir album. No Copyright Intended. All content is copyright to their respective owners. Nasir album cover and Nasir film is property of Mass Appeal Records and Def Jam Records.


I don’t own any content from the inFAMOUS images. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. No Copyright Intended. All Rights go to Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), developed by Sucker Punch Productions.


I do not own any content displayed from inFAMOUS (2009). The image displayed were captured and lifted from my personal playthrough of the original inFAMOUS video game. 


Genius. Nas (Ft. Kanye West & The-Dream) – everything. June 15, 2018. December 17, 2018. https://genius.com/Nas-everything-lyrics


NASIR - Nas - Nasir Film. Mass Appeal, Def Jam Records. YouTube, YouTube, 15 Nov. 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiv6sZBXJ_w


My Divine Identity: God Osiris and Goddess Isis

Posted on December 12, 2018 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)
Ancient Egyptians created a numerical system that helped people of African descent to find their God form. 


In ancient Kemet (Egypt), Africans created a numerical system that broke down the universe in a way to find out what God form they were. This system lined up with a specific person based on their chosen Gods or Goddesses, and their incarnation name, according to Speaker and Lecturer Bobby Hemmitt.


The incarnation name is the birth name of a person. The numerical system works by counting the number of letters in your full name (first, middle, last), and the letters go up to 32.

 

0. Nuit, Harpokrates, Ammon, Hadit

1. Ptah, Ausar

2. Ammon, Thoth, Nuit,

3. Nephthys, Muat, Isis

4. Ammon, Auset,

5. Horus, Nephthys

6. Ra, Ausar

7. Hathor, Horus the Elder

8. Thoth, Anubis

9. Shu, Tefnut

10. Osiris, Seb, Isis, Nephthys, Eye of Heru

11. Muat, Nuit, Geb

12. Tehuti, Seshat

13. Hathor, Chomse

14. Het-Heru, Horus the Elder

15. Isis, Menthu

16. Osiris, Apis, Amushesh

17. Shu & Tefnut, Twin Merti, Rekht, Heru-Ra-Ha

18. Harmakhu, Khephera

19. Horus, Ra-Har-Khuit or Ra-Heru-Kuhodi, Pashet, Sekmet, Mau

20. Isis as Virgin, Heru-pa-Kraath, Harpocrates,

21. Amoun-Ra, Amonet

22. Maat

23. Osiris, Ausar, Isis, Auset

24. Typhon, Apep, Khephera, Hammemit

25. Nephthys

26. Set, Kemset

27. Menthu, Horus

28. Ahepi, Aroueris, Nuit

29. Anubis, Anpu, Khephera

30. Ra

31. Thoum-Aesh-Neith, Mau, Kabeshunt, Heru, Tarpesheth, Asar

32. Sebek, Mako, Satem, Ahapshi, Nephthys, Ameshet


The letters in my birth name came out to number 23, which is Osiris, Ausar, Isis, Auset (Osiris is the same as Ausar, and Isis is the same as Auset).



Osiris is God of the underworld and judge of the dead. He is also known for justice and rebirth because of his experiences. As a living God, Osiris was depicted as handsome, and dressed in royalty wearing a crown in Upper Egypt, according to Joshua J. Mark of Ancient History Encyclopedia.


As one of the most popular Egyptian God’s, he was known as The God of Love, King of The Living, and Eternal God. He was just, generous, and the God of giving life and abundance. Osiris is also known as a terrifying figure who sends demon-messengers to drag the living down to the realm of the dead, which only happened occasionally.


When Osiris married Isis, Osiris was the God of the Earth, and Isis was his queen. They were rulers of the world and took the responsibility seriously because they made sure humans were living in paradise with streams of water being easily available, plenty of food to eat, and the perfect climate for human living conditions.  


While they were ruling the world together, there was no injustice, all men and women were treated equally, and everybody lived peacefully. 


Even though Osiris was a just and kind ruler, he was killed by his resentful and jealous brother named Set. Osiris came back to life with help from Isis, and became pregnant with their son, Horus.       


Osiris became the most popular and enduring image of God. 


Although Osiris experienced a rebirth, he was unable to rule the land of the living, so he withdrew into the underworld where he became God and Judge of the Dead. Isis was afraid of what Set would do to her son, so she hid him in the swamps of Egypt. Horus eventually emerged as a mighty warrior and conquered Set and the chaos he created.


Horus followed in his father’s footsteps and restored law, order, and equality to the world while ruling with his mother.


Isis’ name is referred to as seat, because of her stability to stay on the throne of Egypt. She became the goddess of all people in Egypt, which meant male, female, royal or the everyday common person looked for her guidance, according to Mark.


In some stories, Isis disguised herself as a homeless woman, an old woman, a mother mourning her child, a wife searching for her husband, and a woman fighting for her family to name a few. Egyptians identified with these stories because they believed the Goddess Isis would help them during their darkest times.


Osiris’ myth became the blueprint of values such as justice and rebirth that has had an impact on Egyptian culture, which consists of humans having harmony, order, and showing gratitude towards each other, along with Osiris granting them eternal life.


Isis’ myth represents love, magic, and harmony, which is the Egyptian Goddess Maat. The Egyptian’s believed the God’s depended on them to live accordingly to the rules of Maat because they would live a peaceful life on earth and will be rewarded in the afterlife. 




Osiris and Isis Have Always Been Within Me


After doing my research about Osiris and Isis. I realized they both came to me spiritually at different times in my life. For instance, I believe when I was diagnosed with cancer at 14 and 17-years-old. Osiris was with me during this scary time because he helped me defeat cancer twice.


Another time I could remember was when I created the foundation of “CalmandStrong.” I was in my darkroom with just my computer. My creativity was at its highest during this time because Osiris was guiding me through the process of me wanting to inspire teenagers and young adults with my story of being a two-time cancer survivor and hip amputee.


Osiris is the God of the afterlife and his realm is always dark. I was in my own dark realm, but I believe Osiris brought me out of the darkness, and CalmandStrong became my light and rebirth.


Isis also came into my life while I was creating CalmandStrong. Sony PlayStation’s inFAMOUS videogame franchise and superhero Cole MacGrath is a part of my story because I was inspired by how he carried himself as a superhero after facing many adversities. 



I believe when I played the original inFAMOUS in 2009, Isis forced me to notice the comparisons between Cole and myself. The first thing I noticed was when Cole and I were in the hospital with our friends and family members by our bedsides.


This picture of me was taken in 1999, and the other image I lifted from the original inFAMOUS, which was released in 2009.


Even though there is a 10-year difference, the comparison with Cole and me is undeniable. The magic of Isis helped me articulate everything concerning CalmandStrong, and the comparison between Cole and myself.


My imagination was at its highest in 2013, and I ended up with an idea that has never been done before. I’m 33-years-old, and I appreciate God Osiris and Goddess Isis for guiding me during the process of helping humanity through my creativity.



“The realm of imagination is the ultimate, most powerful realm.”


– Speaker and Lecturer Bobby Hemmitt





Disclaimer…


I don’t own any image and content with Osiris and Isis. No Copyright Intended. All content is copyright to their respective owners. 


I don’t own any content from the inFAMOUS images. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. No Copyright Intended. All inFAMOUS content is property of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), developed by Sucker Punch Productions. 


I do not own any content displayed from inFAMOUS (2009). The image displayed were captured and lifted from my personal playthrough of the original inFAMOUS video game.


123RF Stock Photos. Religion of Ancient Egypt Isis - the goddess of ancient Egypt. December 12, 2018. https://www.123rf.com/photo_27517343_stock-vector-religion-of-ancient-egypt-isis-the-goddess-of-ancient-egypt-vector-illustration.html


Ancient History Encyclopedia. Isis. December 11, 2018. December 12, 2018. https://www.ancient.eu/isis/


Ancient History Encyclopedia. Osiris. December 11, 2018. December 12, 2018. https://www.ancient.eu/osiris/


Ancient Origins. The Story of Osiris: How the First Ruler of Egypt Became God of the Underworld. September 18, 2018. December 12, 2018. https://www.ancient-origins.net/human-origins-religions/story-osiris-how-first-ruler-egypt-became-god-underworld-008953


Bobby Hemmitt: How to Find Your Divine Identity "check the description box." YouTube. January 07, 2018. December 12, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unRtUU85qtc


Gods of Egypt Part 1 - Bobby Hemmitt. YouTube. November 30, 2018. December 12, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M69n-2JYEC4


LABEShops. December 12, 2018. https://www.labeshops.com/isis-osiris-egyptian-god-candle-holder-10248?search=osiris%20god


Shango & Cole MacGrath: Electric-Superhero Unity

Posted on October 18, 2018 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Two electric-based superheroes centuries apart (Shango:1800s, and Cole MacGrath: 2000s) were focused on saving a generation of people.



I became interested in comic books and superheroes when Sucker Punch Productions released the inFAMOUS videogame franchise in 2009 for the PlayStation 3 starring electric-superhero main protagonist (main character) Cole MacGrath.


The foundation of “CalmandStrong” is based on comparing my experiences and realities with cancer and becoming a hip amputee as a teenager to the digital world of inFAMOUS and Cole.



inFAMOUS’ Cole MacGrath: Superhero or Supervillain?



While Cole was delivering a package, it exploded leveling six square blocks of Empire City. Leaving Cole at the center, alive, but changed and able to control electricity. Cole looked at his new-found powers as a burden, and he knew he had a responsibility to save what was left of the city or destroy it. 


This is where the karma system comes in because depending on Cole’s actions in the game. The civilians will react to him as being a “Superhero” or “Supervillain.” 


For example, when Cole is a hero, the civilians will say, “You give us something to believe in,” and they’ll pull out their cell phones and say, “Hey look its Cole!” and take pictures of him while he is saving the city. The women in the game will ask if he dates normal girls or if he has a girlfriend.


When Cole is a supervillain, the civilians will protest him by chatting, “Cole is Crap!”, “Kill MacGrath!” and say, “You’re the reason why we have a death penalty!” They also form mobs around him and throw rocks chatting, “Let’s kill him before he kills us!”


There are “karma” moments in the game where Cole must think on his feet and do what he feels is right to him. For instance, civilians will approach Cole and ask him to heal somebody who is seriously injured. Cole has the choice to heal the person, or not care and go on about his business.


Depending on Cole’s actions, his appearance changes. For example, Hero Cole is clean and pristine. His electricity is blue, and his powers are defensive. He can also heal civilians and arc-restrain his enemies, which are electrical handcuffs. 


Supervillain Cole appears dirty, with veins visibly showing throughout his body and he has red bloodshot eyes. His electricity is red, and his powers are about creating collateral damage killing anybody who gets in his way. He also drains the electrical charges from people killing them instantly, but re-healing himself in the process. 


One of my favorite missions is from the original inFAMOUS called “The Price.” The mission starts with the antagonist Kessler telling Cole that he abducted his girlfriend Trish. Kessler had Trish hanging from one building and the other building had six doctors hanging. 


Cole had enough time to go to one building before the bomb exploded. Which building would Cole choose? Kessler told Cole he could save Trish, the love of his life, or the six doctors. 


This is the kind of phycological torture that Cole had to endure when he was forced to become a superhero. 


Cole will always be special to me because I understood what he must have been feeling during his superhero journey, because I also experienced phycological torture, along with mental, spiritual, and physical torture while on my journey of defeating cancer twice as a teenager.



Shango: West African King and God of Thunder and Lightning 



I recently found out about Shango, the God of Thunder and Lightning from West Africa. Shango was the fourth king from the ancient Oyo Empire during the 1800s (located in Nigeria), which was the center of culture and politics for the Yoruba people.


Shango is often depicted with a double-headed axe, and the symbol of a thunderbolt. 


Although Shango was a powerful king, the people of the Oyo Empire felt he was unfair. When Shango’s throne was challenged, he fled for the forest and committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree. Shango became the God of Thunder because when he went up to the heavens, he sent fire down to the earth and destroyed the houses of his enemies.


Another account asserts that Shango was fascinated with his powers, and he started a thunderstorm and lightning struck his palace and unfortunately, his many wives and children were killed. He fled his kingdom after the tragedy and hung himself. Shango’s followers believed the storms were from his wrath, avenging his enemies. 


Besides seeking revenge on his enemies, Shango represented the theme of being creative, authoritative, destructive, magical, medicinal, and moral.


Shango’s thunderous energy was used as a form of resistance during the transatlantic slave trade in the Americas for the Yoruba people during the 19th century. Shango is still worshipped in the Americas, especially in the Caribbean.



Electric Superheroes Live On...


After the release of inFAMOUS in 2009, I became interested in electric-superheroes from different cultures and mythologies. For instance, Thor is from Norse mythology and is probably the most popular having movies, tv shows, etc. Zeus is from Greek mythology, and DC Comics created Static Shock and Black Lightning. These electric- superheroes were released before inFAMOUS, but they were an influence on Cole MacGrath being a modern-day electric-superhero.


Shango, who was often forgotten in history can now be added to the great list of electric-based superheroes.


I always get excited when I find out something new and interesting that existed hundreds of years before I was born. Knowing Shango was an electric-based superhero, a king, and an inspiration for his people who were forcibly in bondage in the Americas was fascinating to find out. 


My favorite superhero and video game character is Cole MacGrath, but it was great for me to find out an electric-based superhero named Shango came from the origin of my existence: Africa.

 



Disclaimer:


I don’t own any content or images displayed from African King and God Shango and Cole MacGrath from the inFAMOUS videogame franchise.


No Copyright Intended. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. Cole MacGrath image is property of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), developed by Sucker Punch Productions, SIE Santa Monica Studio, Bluepoint Games and SuperBot Entertainment.


Cole MacGrath. Heroes Wiki. October 18, 2018. http://hero.wikia.com/wiki/Cole_MacGrath 


PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. All-Stars Roster Evil Cole MacGrath. Sony Interactive Entertainment. Web. 18 Oct. 2018. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A4%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%BB:Evil_Cole_MacGrath.png 


Shango, an African based religion. African American Registry. October 18, 2018. https://aaregistry.org/story/shango-an-african-based-religion/


Shango, god of thunder image. DeviantArt. September 11, 2018. https://www.deviantart.com/jjwinters/art/Shango-god-of-thunder-412461685


Shango, Yoruba God of Thunder and Lightning. Shango, Yoruba God of Thunder and Lightning - Windows to the Universe. October 18, 2018. https://www.windows2universe.org/mythology/shango_storm.html



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