Inspire Friday Issue No. 30

Lil Buck and Memphis Jookin, inspiring words from notable Black figures, Cookie Monster in the wild, gigantic winged murals, and more…

The art of Memphis Jookin street dance. Go behind the scenes with Lil Buck, a Memphis Jookin superstar featured in America’s Musical Journey, who found his passion through dance. Inspired by music like hip hop, classical, and even Bollywood, Lil Buck’s eclectic dance style includes steps, slides, glides, toe spins, and intricate footwork, all while wearing tennis shoes. This is definitely one of our faves. Watch here.

In recognition of Black History Month. This month we give recognition to notable Black figures who have made an enormous impact on generations before us and generations to come. This short video showcases powerful, inspiring quotes from Maya Angelou, Barak Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Muhammad Ali and others, reminding us how words can change our world. Watch here.

Cookie Monster, is that you? A geologist from Brazil recently discovered a rare lump of volcanic agate rock in the Rio Grande dol Sul region that bears an uncanny resemblance to the beloved Sesame Street character, Cookie Monster. When the two halves of the blue quartz crystals are put together, they form a rock roughly the size of an egg. It makes us happy to know that nature has a sense of humor. Read more.

Building? Or gigantic butterfly case? France-based street artist Mantra uses buildings as his canvas for creating hyper-realistic trompe l’oeil murals of butterflies in specimen cases, which have appeared in Spain, Austria, France, and Bogotá. While most of these head-turning masterpieces feature butterflies, Mantra has also painted larger-than-life murals of animals, reptiles, and other insects. Follow him on Instagram hereRead more.

How to see Yosemite’s firefall. Every year a beautiful natural phenomenon occurs in mid to late February in Yosemite National Park at Horsetail Falls. When the cascading water is lit by the setting sun it creates a golden glow that appears like lava falling gracefully over the side of the mountain. If this is this mesmerizing in photos, imagine how breathtaking it must be in person. Read more.


Every week, MFF president Shaun MacGillivray shares what is inspiring him now, his favorite book recommendations, podcasts, articles, short films, docs, quotes, trends, innovative companies, people, and entrepreneurial stories.

Understanding the important role of gene editing. “This is author Walter Isaacson’s new biography on Jennifer Doudna, a Nobel prize winner and leader in the field of gene editing. She has an incredible story. One reviewer described it as ‘a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.’ I’m super excited to read this book when it comes out. ” Available for pre-order here.

Game on. “I’m just reading this book now. It’s a good primer on the video game industry, not only its growth but the business of the industry.” Available here.

And for further inspiring reading recommendations…
Visit Shaun’s “Never Stop Learning” reading list.

Love for beautiful Frisco. “In 1971, after Jim Freeman and I had worked together for about five years, we were asked to produce a 45-minute film in 35 mm widescreen about the city of San Francisco. The film would play in a theater in the Cannery area of San Francisco near Ghirardelli Square for 10 years as a tourist attraction. The film was based on a book by photographer and author Robert Cameron, and the project was funded by banker Charles Crocker of Crocker National Bank. The film’s theme was how San Francisco was different from nearly every other city in the world, how it was a magical, ephemeral city that seemed to reinvent itself every half-century. With beautiful narration delivered by film director Orson Welles and a stirring music soundtrack, the film was well-received and well-reviewed. After its 10-year theatrical run, it was chosen for permanent inclusion in the University of California’s film archives, and it is still one of the most beautiful films that Jim and I made together. In this scene, a hot air balloon floats magically across the city skyline. The sequence begins when an elderly man, who is walking down the street carrying a helium balloon, accidentally loses it to the wind. We see this red balloon fly high above the crowd, moving aimlessly and freely. Then it becomes the larger hot air balloon piloted by a San Francisco dandy, a kind of Tom Wolfe character. The film was a mixture of fantasy, historical elements, music, and imagination that captured the mystical feeling of San Francisco.” —Greg MacGillivray

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