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Street Magic With A Powerful Twist

POSTED ON March 13th  - POSTED IN Community, Entertainment, Public Service

There are so many bad things that happen in the world today, that when you see something genuinely good, there are almost no words to describe the beauty.

You do not need to speak the language, to see the warmth,beauty, love, and kindness of strangers. Watch as a young street magician, makes a homeless mans day. The smile on that mans face will surely bring tears to your eyes, as it did mine. After finishing his trick, and making the world just a little bit brighter, the young man simply walks away.

There is a story that has been around for many years, about a wise man sitting on the beach, when he notices a child that looks like they are dancing on the beach. He has to see the joyousness just a little closer, but when he approaches the child, he sees that the boy is not dancing, but instead  throwing starfish back into the ocean. The wise man asks the boy “Why are you throwing them into the ocean?” The boy responds “The tide is going out and the sun is getting hotter, if I do not save them, they will surely die” The wise man thinks upon this for a moment and then says “There are miles and miles of beach, surely you do not believe you can make a difference?” As the young boy picks up another starfish returning it to the ocean, he simply replies “It made a difference for that one.”

How do we go about the monumental task of changing the world? We do it by reaching out, with kindness, hope, and love. Touching one heart, one soul at a time.

To This Day Project- They Called Him Pork Chop

POSTED ON February 20th  - POSTED IN Community, news, Opinion, Public Service, videos

When I was a little girl, I was bullied.

I was called ugly, and made fun of because my body developed much faster than the other girls. I was told I stuffed my bra, and if you can believe it my pants, because my butt was bigger. I was teased relentlessly, I was a freak, unnatural, different. I was an outcast.

Sticks and stones, the rhyme we all hear as children, is a lie. The fact is that words can, and do hurt, far more than a broken bone, the bone will heal, but the scars from being bullied still remain in our hearts. Even as a grown woman, I often found myself thinking about these words, am I good enough, am I strong enough, am I worthy of being loved?

The answer is YES, a resounding Yes.

There comes a time in all of our lives when we realize that the bullies are WRONG. You must know that they are wrong. Believe it with all of your heart and soul. They are WRONG.

You are who you were meant to be, you are perfect in your imperfection. You are beautiful, you are unique. There is not, has not, nor will there ever be another soul on this earth exactly like you. That is not only special, but worthy of being celebrated.  The words that bullies use against you, they hurt, but you must realize that the words that others throw at you, do NOT define you. You define yourself. Judging others speaks far more about the character of the person judging, than the person being judged.

Define yourself, be who you are, do not let anyone take that away from you. Realize that there is no such thing as normal.  For there to be a normal, there has to be some sort of status quo. We are all different, even identical twins only share the looks of the other. We are all individuals, with the right to express who we are. Do not allow anyone to make you feel less than you are.

Define yourself, and do not apologize if your definition of who you are does not meet the expectations of who someone else thinks you should be. You are the one who decides who you are, and whatever you choose, it is the right choice for you.  Who you are is exactly who you were meant to be.

In the To This Day Project, Shane Koyczan tackles the tough subject of bullying, in a beautiful way.

He let’s you in on the most painful parts of his childhood, but in the end, he realizes as we all should; that we can and will overcome bullying, with truth, beauty, and love.

If you do not like what you see in the mirror, get a better mirror, for you are beautiful, regardless of what anyone else says.

In The Darkness There Is Light; Newtown Connecticut, We Love You!

POSTED ON December 18th  - POSTED IN Community, news, Public Service

For the past four days, I have been trying to make sense of the senseless. There are no words that can adequately describe the pain in my heart after hearing of the tragedy that struck Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty-six people lost their lives, among them were twenty children and six adults.  The question of why, has crossed my mind many times, but the short of it is, there is no why. Sometimes in life no matter how hard we try to make sense of things, they just do not make sense, and never will.

I will not give credence to the man who created this fear, this pain, this tragedy, by speaking his name. I ask that you all strike his name from your memories as well. Instead I would ask that you remember the heroes. The people who in the face of danger, did everything they could to protect the children, some like Vicki Soto, giving their lives, so that others may live.  Vicki was only 27 years old, but when she heard gunfire in her school, she didn’t stop to think about herself, instead she took the children in her care and hid them all, in closets, in cupboards  and anywhere else that she could find; then she stood and waited for the inevitable. She stood and waited for the gunman to enter her classroom.

I do not know the fear that was in her mind at the time, but I do know that she, is one of the bravest souls I have ever heard of. When the gunman came, she stood and faced him, and when he asked where the children were, she did not give in, she told him her children were in gym class. The gunman then shot and killed Vicki, her body was found huddled near the closet door, where she hid most of her students, protecting them until the very end.

Vicki was not alone in her heroism.

Principal  Dawn Hochsprung gave her life trying to disarm the man that tore their world apart, upon hearing of the intruder in her school, she charged the man and tried to disarm him. Everyone that knew Dawn described her as a happy person, someone who honestly with her entire being, loved children. In her actions that fateful day, she proved just how far that love extended.

Maryrose Kristopik, ushered her small wards into a closet, before pulling a bookcase in front of the door, and locking it tight. She told them that the bad guys were there, but she promised the good guys would come soon, she is quoted as saying “We hid in the closet, we held hands, we hugged.” In those moments when she did not know whether they were going to live or die, she held the children close, told them to smile, and that she wanted them to know, that she loved them. In an interview Maryrose said “As a teacher, I wasn’t sure if I should be saying such things.” As a mother I thank you Maryrose, for in the face of danger, when you were watching over so many little ones, you gave them hope, and showed them love and compassion. They will, I am sure, remember your words until the very end.

I ran across a poem the other day, that helped me cope with this tragedy, in a way that at first, I didn’t think possible, and though I know not the author, I would like to share it with you in hopes that it will help your heart heal as well.

Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
Their smiles were contagious; their laughter filled the air,
…they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy; they didn’t know what to say,
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.

“This is heaven.” declared a small boy, “We’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same,
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
As they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
As if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below,
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools”,
“I’m taking back my nation, I’m taking back my schools!”
Then He and the children stood up without a sound,
“Come now my children, let me show you around.”
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran,
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT”


In the midst of the darkness I am still the light. Those are some very powerful words, they remind us, to look for the good in every situation. Even in the darkness of the events that happened at Sandy Hook, there were heroes, the teachers, the first responders who thought nothing of themselves, instead putting the lives of the children and their families ahead of their own, knowing that there were others that simply needed them more. They paid no attention, to their own feelings of grief, or horror as they entered the scene. They simply went in, and did everything in their power, to save as many as they could.
– Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06
– Daniel Barden, 9/25/05
– Rachel Davino, 7/17/83
– Olivia Engel, 7/18/06
– Josephine Gay, 12/11/05
– Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06
– Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06
– Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65
– Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06
– Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06
– Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05
– Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06
– James Mattioli , 3/22/06
– Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05
– Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60
– Emilie Parker, 5/12/06
– Jack Pinto, 5/06/06
– Noah Pozner, 11/20/06
– Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06
– Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06
– Avielle Richman, 10/17/06
– Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982 (full date of birth not specified)
– Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56
– Victoria Soto, 11/04/85
– Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06
– Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06
You will not be forgotten, your memories will live on through all of those that loved you. In all of those that have been touched by that senseless act, by one very disturbed man. Your memories and names will forever be immortalized in the minds of people around the world. We will honor you by remembering, the heroes, the fallen, the brave souls that gave up everything, for the love of children that were not their own; and the children themselves, so young and innocent. We will remember your names, your actions, the way you put everyone else ahead of you, so that more children would not suffer, and more families would not be torn apart.
Remember always, that even in darkness there exists light, that even in the face of evil, there are those who are good, and will do anything to protect the innocent. Remember the victims, their families, and those that survived because their lives will be forever changed by this one act, on this one day.
The United States Post Office has set up a P.O. Box, especially for the survivors and the families of the victims, if you would like to send words of love and hope, to help those affected by this senseless act of crime you can send all cards, letters, words of love, hope and encouragement to:
 Messages of Condolence for Newtown,
P.O. Box 3700,
Newtown, CT 06470
We use the word hero, altogether too often. It is days like this, tragedies, that strike without warning, that reminds us who the true heroes amongst us are. The next time you hear someone say such and such baseball player is a hero for hitting a home-run, I ask only that you tell them: Yeah, that’s pretty cool, but he is no Vicki Soto.
All of my love, now and forever, stay strong my lovelies, and God willing, stay safe.
New reports are confirming that some of Miss Soto’s class did indeed die in the gunfire, however, that does not discount her heroic actions. We at Indie Nation send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of all of the victims, may they rest in peace.

Polina Kourakina Needs Your Help

POSTED ON March 18th  - POSTED IN Community, independent music, music, Public Service

Help record, press, and distribute her first full-length album.
Released from Cleveland based Singer/Songwriter Polina Kourakina
This campaign will help fund her first full-length album. This Erie key of A is not only a collection of songs, splattered on an album cover, drenched with music to fill the notation of a page. It is a connection of the journey she embraced that landed her miraculously in the heart of a wonderful music scene. Which captured her soul into a state of enlightenment, unlike any other time in her life. With your help, this album can start a movement of joy and celebration!!!

What She Needs & What You Get

Here is where the fun begins. In detail this is what we need to do to make this the most stupefying album ever made!

  • Record, Mix, and Master the Album
  • Copyright, digitally distribute, and put on Pandora radio
  • Physical CD’s, and a few T-shirts to give you guys
  • Vinyl Press the album, small run (you know you want one!!)
  • Any Residual amount of money will go directly into the tour funding account.

In leu of repeating what perks are available, here is a summary of what you will receive:

  • LP Vinyl each one is different (random color vinyl pressing batch)
  • handmade t-shirt ( signed or unsigned)
  • a limited-time signed poster
  • a physical cd, (signed or unsigned your choice)
  • a download


Fundraiser for First Full Length Album By Polina K
All of the wonderful ways you all can contribute will help make this dream a reality.
Spread the word and please help the beautiful Polina Kourakina reach her goal to complete her first full-length album.
You can find her at:

15th Annual Indie Gathering – 2011

POSTED ON August 27th  - POSTED IN Community, Festivals, interviews, Public Service, site

Movies, makeup, writers and more…

Indie Gathering LogoThe 15th annual Indie Gathering 2011,  where East meets West.


This event includes Film FestivalsSeminars, Celebrity Parties, Free Lectures and more.  There is even a national competition for those in film,  stunt people, make up artists, FX (special effects).

All this amazing gathering in one place at The Westlake Holiday Inn  Aug 26 through Aug 28th.  Not only is  all about indie music, but indie artists in any media.  This gathering of the geeks, yes geeks nothing wrong with a indie geek in our book, is expected to draw many thousands  of fans, guest and those in the industry.


So far the list of winners is growing!   You can read more on their site.  If we could list all the guest attending it would be several pages, but lets just sum it up from films like Live and Let Die, Dune, Spy Kids, Host of The Reel Show, a Grand Master in the Martial Arts and former US Olympic coach, and so much more.

We will be providing more about the Indie Gathering as Lumpy our un-boss runs around with his backpack, mic and water bottles!


Thanks to everyone one at the Indie Gathering for support independent  artists alike!




Fraudsters Hit Record High for Japan Relief

POSTED ON March 28th  - POSTED IN news, Public Service
Flag of the Red Cross

Image via Wikipedia

According to an article at Boing! Boing!, fraudsters trying to take advantage of would-be-do-gooders by turning them into victims, are at a record level.  Quoting the article:

Fraudster scumbags have beaten all records in setting up fake Japan relief pages, fielding more than 1.7 million malware pages, 419 scams trading on the Japanese disasters, 50+ fake domains with “Japan tsunami” or “Japan earthquake” in their URLs. MacWorld recommends donating via the Red Cross, or other established charities that you’re familiar with.

The staff here at Indie Nation agrees with the Boing! Boing! and MacWorld.  Stick with the charities you know and we also suggest texting 90999 to donate to the Red Cross with you cell phone.  So be smart, be leery and don’t become another victim.

Avoid Scams, Go With the Red Cross and Text 90999 for Japan

POSTED ON March 22nd  - POSTED IN Indie Nation News, news, Podcasts, Public Service
Flag of the Red Cross

Image via Wikipedia

The staff here at Indie Nation, just as almost every one else, as stunned and moved by the magnitude of assistance Japan will need to recover from the recent tsunami.

We are also aware that there already are many scamers attempting to take advantage of sympathetic hearts. We suggest that you donate 10 dollars to the Red Cross by texting 90999.

There is also a page at the American Red Cross web site where you can donate.  Kudos to George Takei for the tweet with an even better link that lets you earmark your donation by selecting from specific needs around the world.

Also, to all of you Tweeps out there, help let even more people know about this by retweeting George Takei (aka Sulu) who had 91 retweets at the time of this post.

2010.10.22 – Indie Soup – Dedicated to Cleta – Part Two

POSTED ON October 28th  - POSTED IN music, Podcasts, Public Service

This is part two of a show dedicated to, Cleta, our freind and community member who has sadly taken ill.  You can find part one here.  Again, if you wish to leave her a get well message, dial 818-81-INDIE and we will get it to her.

Here are the show notes;

You can also find many, almost all actually, of the artists played on this show at Mevio’s Music Alley and can explore even more indiependent atist at the Indie Nation Artist Page. Again, if you wish to leave her a get well message, dial 818-81-INDIE and we will get it to her.

2010.10.22 – Indie Soup – Dedicated to Cleta – Part One

POSTED ON October 28th  - POSTED IN music, Podcasts, Public Service

Those of us who participate in online communities comprehend just how real such communities are.  Cyberspace is clearly psychological and emotional space.  The bonds we form are just as real as the bonds we form with co-workers, physical neighbors and classmates.

Recently, several online communities were saddened and disturbed to hear that Cleta, well known on Twitter, FaceBook, Geek Shed IRC and lockergnome, had taken ill.  You can read about the medical situation that led up to hospitalization at her blog.  Thanks to the efforts of Chibit in #cleta at Geekshed and Meshelly making a few phone calls, we know that she had surgery, is in ICU and, although recovering, she will be there a while.

This show is dedicated to Cleta, one of the sweetest and dearest community members any of us have been blessed to know. She has listened to Lumpy, Meshelly and Indie Soup so often, that we certainly know enough songs that she like to fill 2 hours.  If you know Cleta and would like to send her get well wishes please use 818-81-INDIE to leave her a voicemail or send emails to info[at]indienation[dot]fm and we will get them to her.

This show originally streamed live on and is broken into two parts for publication. As usual, we welcome your comments and feedback. (I think it is also a good place to leave get well wishes.)

Here are the show notes;

  • We started out with a few from the Monterey International Pop Festival
    • Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth
    • The Mammas and The Pappas – California Dreaming
    • Jefferson Airplane – Somebody to Love
    • Otis Redding – Shake
    • The Who – My Generation
  • Alice Cooper
    • I’m Eighteen
    • No More Mr. Nice Guy
  • Dr. H. P. Winklerdoing an awesome live jam at the “Xmas in Space Party”
    • Housy Grooves

And yes, listeners all of the music above is “Podsafe” and available for your listening pleasure at Mevio’s Music Alley.

Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth

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