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–A massive, 13 foot golden shark racing down Biscayne Boulevard on a recent afternoon was a bizarre sight, even judging by Miami standards.
-We followed it just to figure out where the heck the thing was going.
-The journey took us to a series of renovated warehouses near the railroad tracks on NE 59th St in Miami.
-We learned the shark was created by Miami artist Hamilton Aguiar.
-The shark was installed at J. Steven Manolis’ gallery in Miami’s Lemon City section and it is for sale for a cool $125,000
-The shark is a spoof by Aguiar of the well known Damien Hirst piece, “The Physical Impossibility Of Death In The Mind Of Someone Living”.
–Aguiar on his inspiration: “I play with the opposite of the materials. So the [Hirst] shark was a real shark that rotted so I did the opposite. I did a handmade sculpture in gold leaf so it’s supposed to be eternal.”
-Manolis moved to Miami after a career on Wall Street.
-While climbing up the corporate ladder and becoming the youngest partner in Solomon Brothers history, Manolis also followed another calling-his love of art.
-For over 35 years, he received one on one lessons from Wolf Kahn, one of the best known colorists in the world.
-He opened his gallery in 2014 and he really loves Aguiar’s shark. “This is $125,000 and cheap at half the price,” Manolis said.
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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Could this be what Jesus Christ really looked like?
Not exactly the blond-haired, blue-eyed dreamboat that we have been shown for years in Church, huh?
According to a study originally reported on by Popular Mechanics, the above face is probably the best bet for what Christ actually looked like.
In short, he was probably short- around 5 ft. 1 in- the average height for men living in the Middle East at that time period.
It is also unlikely that he had long hair and probably looked like a normal guy. As the article points out; in the Bible, Judas needed to kiss Jesus on the cheek in the Garden of Gethsemane in order to show the Romans who Christ was. That might have had to do with the fact that Jesus blended in with the crowd to a certain extent, at least physically.
It is a fascinating study that goes into great depth.
Read more about it over at Popular Mechanics.
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Interview: Jeff Greene Says He’s A “Good Billionaire” Who Can Bring Democrats Back To Power In Florida
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–”There’s good billionaire and bad billionaires,” Jeff Greene told RISE NEWS. “I hope others will think of me as a good billionaire.”
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By CieCie Tuyet Nguyen
I often wonder what my life would have been like if I was not a refugee.
On the other hand, what would have become of me had I not spent my childhood in a war-torn country, in a war that seemed to be forever a background to my memories?
Those questions and those ‘ifs’ are not for me to contemplate,as I would not be able to change history or be born anywhere but Vietnam.
However, it is not to say that my childhood was full of images of war, atrocities, death, mass graves or miseries.
There was happiness and joy. I had loved being together with my siblings, catching the double-wing like yoyo fruits in front of my house, running wild with the wind and gathering fallen dead leaves to set up a mischievous campfire.
Being with friends after school wandering the streets of Saigon enjoying street food was enough. It was simple, a few moments to let loose, albeit momentarily.
Although in hindsight, there was never a complete picture of happiness or joy with sunshine, laughter, and contentment, as peace was an important but absent part of that 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.
I had never felt fully at ease, or in other words, completely carefree.
That was before the war ended. When bombing, gunfire, and fighting had ceased.
Then peace arrived.
Finally, that missing piece was found to replace the empty space in my picture. Horribly and strangely, other pieces began to disappear. Freedom, then prosperity, dignity, and kindness were taken away swiftly.
They were replaced with oppression, poverty, degradation, and revenge that left peace a lonely part in my peculiar jigsaw puzzle, like a pitiful hostess in an empty house full of ghosts.
I could not understand it at all.
Without realising it, what I had wished for dearly had destroyed everything I valued most before.
Perhaps it was my fault that my childhood was scarred. My sensitivity and perception of life was too acute back then.
Moreover, they still are now.
See, I can taste the sweetness of freedom and touch the holy peace every day, every morning now, then feel alive and complete.
Years of living with freedom and peace in Australia has transformed my being to accept them readily but not to take them for granted.
The scars are my reminders.
I was born with a photographic memory.
Some would have said, “You’re lucky!” Ah, I would proudly have expanded my chest fully and answered, “Yes, I am.”
Even though there were images or memories I would gladly let fade away quietly and set me free.
Then I could have pretended that I had once been a child living happily and contentedly in a carefree environment with cute baby dolls to play with during the day and sweet dreams every night.
Not in a refugee camp, where I had spent a brief three months when I was sixteen, full of sad stories and images that I could have lived without.
That morning on the crammed boat escaping from Vietnam, I remember standing on the upper deck next to my mother, clinging tightly to her, feeling dejected and full of shame when the Malaysian coast guards shouted angrily at us, shooing our boat away in disgust.
The little riverboat, barely 10 metres long, 3 metres wide, had served its life miraculously attempting to deliver 50 people to shore.
It then had to resume its journey to some unknown destination because the refugees were not accepted there.
I stood there and cried.
Tears of shame and hopelessness were silently rolling down my cheeks as gunshots fired rapidly in the air, scaring the bunch of battered and wearied boat people away.
It was only at that moment I had realised I was a stateless person, a nobody, a refugee.
As a small child, I had never understood the real horror and suspense of trying to escape by boat to sea.
I was full of hope and anticipation before my departure. I grew up very quickly during that seven-day voyage.
I escaped from my country, away from the barbaric treatment of the communists.
I survived a sea full of stormy turbulence and remained relatively unscathed from two pirate attacks.
Then the Malaysian authority refused to let our boat anchor on their shore. I could not understand the coast guards’ language but their gesticulations were enough. I was rejected!
An equally devastating feeling of hopelessness had resurfaced, as much as when my boat was rolling madly like a tiny egg in a giant boiling saucepan in the storms a few days ago.
Why must I leave my country? Were freedom and peace worthy of my sacrifice of being a stateless person?
Those were the questions that I dared to answer because without gaining freedom and peace,followed by human rights, dignity and prosperity, my life would have been a waste.
I would have felt miserable being a refugee for nothing.
Indeed, I am glad that I have been a refugee once in my life. Mind you, once is enough!
The experience came with a high price and for some of us that included death by drowning at sea; witnessing family members raped, murdered by pirates; or being stranded for months on an island and becoming a cannibal to survive.
I am lucky that I am here right now.
Back then there were times I thought I was not.
I was miserable. Assimilating into a new country with nothing familiar to the old world I had left behind was a struggle.
I cringed every time thinking if I had to do it again.
It was no fun at all and that added to my lost childhood years.
I would love to be sixteen again as an Australian, but definitely not a refugee.
There were times I thought I would like to keep my old world with me, to go home, or to “go back to your country,” as I was told many times in the beginning by the locals. It hurt and I cried a lot, being a silly sensitive person as I was.
In hindsight, I now know a refugee must take that obvious path. Just like a book with a prologue, a main story and an epilogue.
I must take various paths and go through various chapters to re-establish myself.
It was not fun in some chapters, but I think I can differentiate happiness and grief philosophically now!
Gradually, I was accepted and I often reminded myself that I could not possibly be comfortable and at ease in my newly adopted homeland until I acclimatised successfully.
I was uprooted from my familiar though wretched environment and I needed time to get accustomed to my new land to grow stronger.
It was not easy. I had to make efforts to stay afloat.
There were language, cultural, and social rules that seemed so bizarre to me, probably as much as the locals viewed mine.
There were times I thought I had lost my identity and I tried desperately to retain it by keeping everything the way it was.
However, time passes, and so I have evolved.
I have become a Vietnamese-Australian to the extent that I cannot go ‘home’ because home is now here.
I lost my identity as a Vietnamese, but I have gained a different one.
There were times when that concept was not visible to me.
I felt confused. Now, I am proud of my heritage but I no longer need to be a Vietnamese, because I am not living in Vietnam.
There is no more pressure for me and I am glad of my new identity, as I do not want my children to go through my experience.
They should not have to struggle with that disorientation.
They are Australians.
They must feel like Australians with the local language, culture, and social rules even though those are less bizarre to me now.
I would not want my children to feel alienated in their own home. They are Australians, luckier and richer with an extra bonus heritage in their background.
CieCie Tuyet Nguyen was born in Saigon and witnessed its fall in 1975 when she was 13-years-old. After continuing to live there for three years under the communist regime, she escaped with her family by boat to Malaysia in 1978. After staying in a Pulau Besar Refugee camp for three months, she resettled in Sydney, Australia, where she has remained ever since. She graduated with a bachelor of pharmacy in 1985 from Sydney University and has operated her own pharmacy since 1989. Shock Peace: The Search for Freedom is her first novel. For more information about Shock Peace: The Search for Freedom, you can visit Nguyen’s website or Facebook page.
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