Inspire Friday Issue No. 51

Bob Ross art mystery solved, a paint that combats climate change, the secret lives of sleeping bees, a journey to the cosmos, and more…

On location in Alaska filming humpbacks. This week we launch a new video series from our Humpback Whales film, including this behind-the-scenes clip from on location in remote Alaska.  The piece shows how challenging it is to capture footage of these fascinating animals and behaviors like their bubble net feeding technique. Fortunately, a little patience goes a long way and our crew captured footage most people would otherwise never see. Watch here.Where did all the Bob Ross paintings go? Have you ever tried to buy a Bob Ross painting, only to find they’re impossible to find?  In this 10-minute short film from The New York Times doc series, we learn more about the iconic artist behind the brush and the popular TV show – and where his more than 30,000 paintings are today. Mystery solved. Watch here

Even insects need their beauty rest. It’s hard to fathom that bees ever pause, given all the buzzing around they do, but husband and wife nature photographers Joe and Niccole Neely recently captured this adorable photo of a pair of bees nesting together in an orange flower. We’re in awe over this bee-utiful photo! Read more.

A “super-white” paint helps combat climate change. There has been plenty of talk about effective ways to help regulate climate change in recent years, but the newest claim may surprise you. A study has shown that the use of a “super-white” paint containing barium sulfate, rather than calcium sulfate, helps to reflect solar radiation more effectively thanks to the nanoparticles contained within it. Experts are now looking for other forms of inspiration found in nature that could help cool down our Earth. Read more.

A journey into space (from your living room).  No need to get your space fix from sci-fi movies alone, NASA has curated a library containing over 140,000 visuals of outer space that are free to the public. Spanning the last 100 years, the library is full of high-definition photos, videos and sound clips to get your inner astronaut on. So buckle up and move at warp speed over to NASA’s official dedicated website to start browsing. 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 current world of tech. “Invest Like the Best podcast host Patrick O’Shaughnessy speaks with Silicon Valley icon Marc Andreessen in this new podcast. It’s a great episode that explores how software is making the world better but why certain industries have continued to become more expensive with very little new technology — healthcare, education, real estate — while other industries have gotten more productive and offer better products even as their prices continue to go down.” Listen here.

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


Photo by Doug Miller

Conservation efforts to preserve coastal land. “In 1989, as part of an effort in Laguna Beach to save its natural environment and create a greenbelt around our city with a buffer of open space, biking trails, and wonderful trails for hikers, about 1,000 like-minded conservationists marched down Laguna Canyon Road to a rally being held in Sycamore Hills. The event was covered by the press and local TV stations and was heavily noticed by the politicians in Santa Ana as well as the Irvine Company, which owned much of the land along Laguna Canyon. In this photo, Barbara and I are walking with our son Shaun on the right, at nine years old, and our daughter Meghan who is just behind me carrying a walking stick. She was about six. After careful negotiations with the Irvine Company, the cities of Irvine, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, the County of Orange and California State Parks, a wonderful compromise was reached that created a win win for everyone: for the property owner (the Irvine Company), for the cities adjacent to the property and for the general public. The land was conserved as a state park as well as a county and city park. As Teddy Roosevelt once told us, conservation efforts never end. The public must always fight to make certain that the best places are saved forever, for everyone. In this small example, the residents of Laguna Beach saved a magnificent treasure—the coastline and hillsides of Orange County—from the mass development of tens of thousands of homes and commercial centers. Everyone won. We at MFF continue our conservation efforts, knowing from this example and many others that they do result in success. One must just never give up.” — Greg MacGillivray

Coming soon!
Greg MacGillivray’s memoir,
Five Hundred Summer Stories, will be released next year. A fascinating story chronicling Greg’s journey as an artist, self-made filmmaker, entrepreneur, father and conservationist.
We’ll keep you posted!

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Have an inspirational news story, video, or photo our readers need to see? Submit it here.
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