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All posts by ajaviado

Serenity in Pattaya: The Buddha Mountain

Deep in the heart of Pattaya rises a rock formation towering over the landscape, its barren crags tempered and complemented by the serene beauty of Buddha’s golden figure etched onto its grey face. This is Thailand’s famous Buddha Mountain, one of the landmarks most visited by locals and foreigners alike.
buddha mountain1 Serenity in Pattaya: The Buddha Mountain
Its Golden History

The Buddha Mountain was commissioned in 1996 for the Golden Jubilee of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, celebrating 50 years since his rise to the throne. The King officially named the structure “Phra Phuttha Maha Wachira Uttamopat Satsada”, which means “the Buddha is the prophet who enlightens and shines like a diamond”. However, it is more commonly referred to by the name of the mountain, Khao Chee Chan, or more popularly, Buddha Mountain.

Engraving the Enlightened One’s Image

The mountain derives its flat face from extensive mining and quarrying in the 1960s, a quality that lent itself well to the creation of the engraving. Carving the image of the Buddha via laser took a mere two days, but filling it in with gold leaf took several months.

The results were worth it: at 70 meters wide and 130 meters high, this is one of the largest images of the Buddha in the world.

A Monument to Thai Faith and Loyalty

Buddha Mountain is a testament to the devotion of the Thai people to both the tenets of Buddhism and to their king. The park surrounding the mountain comprises wide gardens, altars and pavilions, creating a relaxing atmosphere.

The temperance exhibited by the Buddha Mountain stands in clear contrast to that of the main Pattaya resort complex, which is famous for its active nightlife and high commercialization. This landmark serves as an excellent location for introspection, allowing for a chance to achieve oneness with nature and the self under the shadow of the founder of Buddhism.

How to Go to the Buddha Mountain

Thankfully, getting there is relatively easy. Its convenient location 15 kilometers south of Pattaya City will let prospective travelers book a bus or a taxi relatively inexpensively.
Buddha Mountain Map Serenity in Pattaya: The Buddha Mountain
For those wishing to drive, Sukhumvit Road leading south is the way to go. The Ambassador City Jomtien resort serves as a landmark nine kilometers down this road, from which Khao Chee Chan is only a little less than five kilometers away. Turn left at the “Khao Chee Chan” sign, leading you to both the nearby Wat and the mountain itself.

Buddha Mountain 2 650x487 Serenity in Pattaya: The Buddha Mountain

Buddha mountain 3 650x487 Serenity in Pattaya: The Buddha Mountain

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Diablo 3: Cosplayed or Cosfailed?

For many enthusiasts, cosplay is a way of life. Every piece of popular media with a dedicated following will have its own subset of cosplayers, and Diablo 3 is no exception.

Ever since the game’s launch in May of last year, thousands of fans have donned the garb of the denizens of Sanctuary. Do they succeed or fail? You be the judge.

1. The Butcher
diablo 3 wizard and the butcher by kombokitten d50ax7c Diablo 3: Cosplayed or Cosfailed?
The Butcher is the boss of the first act, a demon cobbled together from parts of its fellow demons. This cosplayer takes considerable creative license with The Butcher’s appearance, adapting it into a literal butcher, complete with kitchen garb. Still, he gets one aspect right—The Butcher’s horrifying obesity.

2. The Witch Doctor
witch doctor Diablo 3: Cosplayed or Cosfailed?
One of the new character classes in Diablo 3, The Witch Doctor is based upon voodoo practitioners, who are typically Haitian. This cosplayer is embarrassingly white, but even if you look at that unchangeable fact of his birth, he still lacks the fine accoutrements of this iconic archetype.

3. The Barbarian
6335170629 7f49bcba77 z Diablo 3: Cosplayed or Cosfailed?
The female version of the Barbarian, a returning class from Diablo 3, is muscular with flaming orange hair. Our cosplayer here certainly captures the girth of the warrior class, though she could do with a bit more ferocity.

4. The Demon Hunter
3QquB Diablo 3: Cosplayed or Cosfailed?
The last revealed class for Diablo 3, the Demon Hunter is known for its ranged combat abilities. While this real-life candidate gains points for conceptual accuracy—as well as that air of mystery inherent to the class—she is sorely lacking in production values. Drawn-on design on the leggings, anyone?

5. The Wizard
aion cos s10 Diablo 3: Cosplayed or Cosfailed?
The former Sorcerer class was rejigged as the Wizard in Diablo 3, though they remain the same “Oriental” mages. Our cosplayer is perhaps the most accurate we’ve covered so far—she physically fits the part and her gear is finely detailed. The only thing missing is the Wizard’s trademark insanity.

6. The Monk
Cool Diablo 3 female monk cos by Christina Sims 02 650x975 Diablo 3: Cosplayed or Cosfailed?
The Monk is another new class in Diablo 3, and is a fusion of “Eastern” and “Western” religious culture. Famed cosplayer Christina Sims brings this out well in her stance, as well as the overall excellence of her outfit and style.

7. Diablo
Diablo 3 Cosplay 650x836 Diablo 3: Cosplayed or Cosfailed?
Ah, the Lord of Terror himself. The design of Al’Diabalos in the third installment is very similar to a Xenomorph from the Alien franchise. While obviously those dimensions cannot be pulled off by a human cosplayer, our candidate takes the cake with this intricate, and frankly terrifying, costume.

8. Leah
Diablo 3 Leah Cosplay Diablo 3: Cosplayed or Cosfailed?
Leah, the adopted daughter of Deckard Cain, takes on his role in Diablo 3. Her relatively plain attire isn’t too difficult to adapt to the real world as proven by our cosplayer. Who would have thought this woman, cute as a button, was once conceived as a host for Diablo?

Hopefully these examples will have shown you what to do (and more importantly, what not to do) when cosplaying as any character you love. Which Diablo 3 cosplayer is your favorite? Are there any other characters you’d like to see? Sound off in the comments below!

Capturing the Beauty of Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth

The Sanctuary of Truth is a structure representing the best of ancient Thai ingenuity. An all-wood construction evoking the historic Khmer architecture, its carvings are reminiscent of the art and culture of Thailand’s earliest inhabitants.

Standing as a sentinel by the beach at Laem Ratchawet, North Pattaya in Chonburi Province, this structural recreation of the “Magnificence of Heaven” is both a testament to the culture of the land and a popular attraction for visitors.

A Brief History of Truth

In 1981, prominent businessman Lek Viriyaphant noted the rapid Westernization of his native Thailand. Alarmed at the possible disappearance of his country’s rich heritage, Viriyaphant conceptualized the Sanctuary of Truth, a temple constructed using only ancient Thai methods and completely out of wood, with some from trees more than 700 years old.

Despite its extended construction for the past three decades, the structure is expected to be completed in 2025.

The Deity is in the Details

The Sanctuary is about a hundred meters long, covering over 2 rai (1 rai = 1,600 square meters) as it proudly towers nearly 105 meters high over Pattaya’s lush greens and crystal blue waters. The structure itself includes four gopura or monumental towers, which stand for the country’s belief systems, as well as those of China, India and Cambodia, including Buddhism and Hinduism. Its intricate detailing recalls that of Angkor Wat, one of its inspirations.

Photography Opportunities

Tourism is very much welcome at the Sanctuary. However, its status as a construction site requires visitors to wear hard hats.

Regular guided tours provide plenty of possibilities for photographs, and its open nature allows adequate lighting for shots. In addition, its position on the shore grants it a striking profile against the surrounding sand and the clear blue sky. Aspiring photographers can apply the lessons learned from the temple itself, espousing tenets of balance, compassion and peace to bring out the sublime in their work.

The Sanctuary of Truth is indeed a bastion of tradition in this rapidly modernizing world. It takes people back to a time when culture and spirituality were the focal points of humanity—such an experience that is definitely worth immortalizing in photos. Immerse in the richness of Thailand’s culture and spirituality through these amazing photographs, which effectively capture the beauty that is the Sanctuary of Truth.

SanctuaryofTruth1 650x487 Capturing the Beauty of Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth

Sanctuary of Truth2 650x487 Capturing the Beauty of Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth

Sanctuary of truth 3 Capturing the Beauty of Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth

The Sanctuary of Truth Pattaya4 650x433 Capturing the Beauty of Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth

Santuary of truth 5 Capturing the Beauty of Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth

sanctuary of truth pattaya6 Capturing the Beauty of Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth

sanctuary 07 Capturing the Beauty of Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth

SOT 8 650x315 Capturing the Beauty of Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth

Santuary of truth 9 Capturing the Beauty of Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth

sanctuary of truth 10 Capturing the Beauty of Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth

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Awesome Marvel Covers

Amazing. Incredible. Uncanny. Fantastic. These are just some of the words that describe the iconic superheroes that reside in the “House of Ideas”. From its humble origins as Timely Publications all the way back in 1939 to its proper beginning as Marvel Comics in 1961, its creations have captured our imaginations since then and continued to do so in all forms of media.

Critically-acclaimed videogames such as Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Marvel vs. Capcom series let fans take control of their favorites and battle it out with other true believers. The original Spider-Man movie trilogy and the recently released summer blockbuster “The Avengers” drew in billions of people all over the globe to revel in their cinematic adventures. As successful as these ventures have been, they would not have materialized if it weren’t for the bread and butter of Marvel Entertainment, which is, you guessed it, comics.

Marvel has been blessed with a bevy of extremely talented artists who brought to life the impossible characters that inspire us until today. Giants such as Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr., and the King himself, Jack Kirby, drew up from their minds the heroes we all know and love such as Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers. Part of their work as artists, and quite arguably one of the most important parts, is coming up with an eye-catching cover. And boy, did those masters come up with unforgettable covers.

Who could forget Spider-Man swinging through the sky with a frazzled man he just rescued from certain death?
spiderman fantasy debut Awesome Marvel Covers
What about the entire Fantastic Four battling the Mole Man’s monstrosity coming up from the earth? And of course, Captain America punching Adolf Hitler himself?
Captainamerica Awesome Marvel Covers
If there’s one thing Marvel is good at, it’s making memorable and downright awesome covers. Here are just a few more for you to gaze in awe at:

158 Awesome Marvel Covers

12 BLACK WIDOW 5 650x987 Awesome Marvel Covers

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Iron Man Awesome Marvel Covers

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SecretOrigin Awesome Marvel Covers

Aj Fruza Aviado writes for Printrunner, the convenient online printing resource, is the website for PrintRunner, Incorporated — a full service high quality printing company located in Van Nuys, California. and UPrinting A leading socially responsible online printing, marketing and technology firm that offers canvas printing services and various printed marketing media.

Art God: Wes Borland

I constantly doodled on our walls back when I was a kid, played with bubble gums to make web-like designs on the carpet, and soaked robots in acetone to watch them burn. My parents would scold me, but the feeling of creating something out of nothing still made me happy. Art was something I believe was already embedded in me.

My obsession with art only spiraled deeper into warm sweet intimacy when I was in 4th grade. I saw this guitar player with grey and yellow paint on his face, small orbs or red lights on his neck, and round big black eyes (in black sclera contacts). I thought he was scary and awesome at the same time. Even then, he was such a living, breathing piece of art.

His name is Wes Borland.
Wes Art God: Wes Borland
Wes on the Limp Bizkit’s video Break Stuff

Growing up, my friends and I would emulate him and do his moves, the air guitar style. I studied guitar playing just so I could play like him. I later learned that this person not only played guitar; he also designed all of Limp Bizkit’s album covers.

Continue reading “Art God: Wes Borland” »

Awesome Marvel Covers

Amazing. Incredible. Uncanny. Fantastic. These are just some of the words that describe the iconic superheroes that reside in the “House of Ideas”. From its humble origins as Timely Publications all the way back in 1939 to its proper beginning as Marvel Comics in 1961, its creations have captured our imaginations since then and continued to do so in all forms of media.

Critically-acclaimed videogames such as Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Marvel vs. Capcom series let fans take control of their favorites and battle it out with other true believers. The original Spider-Man movie trilogy and the recently released summer blockbuster “The Avengers” drew in billions of people all over the globe to revel in their cinematic adventures. As successful as these ventures have been, they would not have materialized if it weren’t for the bread and butter of Marvel Entertainment, which is, you guessed it, comics.

Marvel has been blessed with a bevy of extremely talented artists who brought to life the impossible characters that inspire us until today. Giants such as Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr., and the King himself, Jack Kirby, drew up from their minds the heroes we all know and love such as Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers. Part of their work as artists, and quite arguably one of the most important parts, is coming up with an eye-catching cover. And boy, did those masters come up with unforgettable covers.

Who could forget Spider-Man swinging through the sky with a frazzled man he just rescued from certain death?

Marvel Cover Spider Man2 Awesome Marvel Covers

What about the entire Fantastic Four battling the Mole Man’s monstrosity coming up from the earth? And of course, Captain America punching Adolf Hitler himself?
If there’s one thing Marvel is good at, it’s making memorable and downright awesome covers. Here are just a few more for you to gaze in awe.

Aj Aviado is a musician, a painter and a marketing consultant for You The Designer. The absolute source of design news, tutorials and inspirational graphic designs. Check out You The Designer on Google+