The Thing All Of These Paintings Have In Common Is Incredible…And Unexpected

Synesthesia is the neurological condition in which the stimulation of one sense leads to the automatic experience of another sense.

That might sound confusing, and it is for most people who aren’t affected by it, but as an example, when some synesthetes hear a number or letter, they immediately picture a color. That color is always associated with that particular character.

For Melissa McCraken, though, her synesthesia also manifests itself when music comes on — she hears a song and immediately pictures colors, images, and textures. What she does with that experience is nothing short of breathtaking.

It wasn’t until she was 15 that McCracken realized not everyone saw letters and numbers as colors, too.

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McCracken explains that her brain is “cross-wired,” so she experiences “the ‘wrong’ sensation to certain stimuli.

If this is what wrong looks like, something has got to be right here. McCracken sees music as colors.

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Living in a Lisa Frank world.

Posted by Melissa S. McCracken on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This is what “Lenny” by Stevie Ray Vaughan looks like to her.

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Lenny – Stevie Ray Vaughan Allllmost ready!

Posted by Melissa S. McCracken on Sunday, March 20, 2016

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John Lennon, “Imagine”

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You know, I think it's time I posted a piece with the music that inspired it. It's all about the connection and…

Posted by Melissa S. McCracken on Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Beatles, “Blackbird”

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Just finished this little babe. Inspired by Blackbird – The Beatles24" x 24" oil and acrylic on canvas

Posted by Melissa S. McCracken on Monday, November 9, 2015

Listen to McCracken discuss her synesthesia below:

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At the Hilliard Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri, Melissa S. McCracken paints a world most people can't see. As a synesthete, she can see sounds in brilliant color.

Posted by Great Big Story on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

How beautiful is that? It must be an incredible thing to experience a song on so many levels. If you’d like to learn more about McCracken’s work, check out her website here. And don’t forget to follow her on Facebook and Instagram!

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These 11 Celebrities Went From Rags To Riches In Real Success Stories.

Looking for some inspiration to turn your life around, and finally start making some progress on your dreams? Well look no further, we’ve got it. Contrary to popular belief, not all celebrities were born into money and fame. A lot of them had to earn their stripes the hard way, and overcome rough childhoods. It’s been said that it takes nearly 10,000 hours of practice to master any craft. These celebrities definitely put the work in. Remember people: If never try to make your dreams happen, then they’ll never happen for you.

1.) Celine Dion

Growing up, Celine Dion had a hard life. Before she was a Grammy award winning singer, Dion grew up as one of 14 children in her French-Canadian Family. Her parents both struggled to provide for the family when she was young. She’s come a long way since then. Dion is now a five time Grammy winner with an estimated net worth of $400 million. Not bad.

2.) Jim Carrey

The lovable, amazing Jim Carry grew up dirt poor. During his childhood, the whole family lived out of VW camper parked right outside the factory where his parents worked. Before getting his big break Carry jumped around from low-paying job to low-paying job. He even struggled with homelessness for a time.

3.) Leonardo DiCaprio

When Leonardo DiCaprio moved out to Hollywood to pursue his dreams, the city did not necessarily embrace him. Before his big break he fell in poverty with some shady characters and even criminals. It seems like it was worth it for Leo though, his net worth is estimated to be around $200 million.

4.) Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg grew up in tough South Boston. After he dropped out of school at age 14, teenage Wahlberg pursued a life of petty crime and drugs. He got a big wake up call after serving time for assault, and decided to turn his life around. By all accounts he’s been pretty successful at this with an estimated net worth of $165 million.

5.) JK Rowling

Before becoming the international best selling author of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling was a struggling single mother. Life was tough for her living off of government welfare, but she stuck to it and even managed to find the time to write. The result? She’s estimated to have a net worth of $1 billion. JK Rowling is literally the definition of a rags to riches story.

6.) Oprah Winfrey

With a current net worth estimated to be $2.7 billion, Oprah is in her own category of success. She grew up in poverty on a small farm in Mississippi living with her grandmother and single mother. Oprah was also sexually assaulted by a relative when she was 9 years old. Despite the hardships of her situation she persevered and went on to become the modern day media mogul and celebrity.

7.) Arnold Schwarzenegger

Before he was the Governator and action movie superstar, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a poor immigrant from Austria. He begged and borrowed to get enough money to start his first business Pumping Bricks, which he used to finance his body building career. …and we all know how that turned out for him.

8.) Jay-Z

The rapper-turned-diversified-entrepreneur began life in the Marcy Housing Project in Brooklyn. As a teen, Jay-Z got involved in crime, but turned it around to become one of the richest, most successful celebrities in the world.

9.) Sean “Diddy” Combs

If you’re not directly familiar with Sean Combs, you definitely know his reputation. This man is a true music mogul, but he didn’t start out that way. He had a tough childhood growing up in the projects in Harlem. Combs’ father was killed in a drug related shooting. Instead of letting all that get him down, Combs persevered and now owns his own successful record label.

10.) Halle Berry

Halle Berry was raised by a single mother in Cleveland, Ohio, and like many others on this list, had a hard life. Before getting her big break, she spent time in and out of homeless shelters in New York City.

11.) Tom Cruise

The “Top Gun” star didn’t have an easy start in life as the son of an abusive father living in upstate New York. Nowadays Tom Cruise and his movies are household names. Not only that, but he has a net worth of around $270 million. H/T: Elite Daily Well, I’m inspired. Let’s go start making our dreams come true. But before you do, make sure to share this post on Facebook by clicking below.

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‘Booyah! ISIS problem solved’ thanks to Yoko Ono!/av8ok/status/513823840338591745


I did it in NYTimes in USA and Observer in Britain for friends who consider themselves Family of Peace, and know …

— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) September 21, 2014

Surrender we much … we must and we will much … about … that … be committed. Or something.

Booyah! ISIS problem solved (if they subscribe to the NYT)!!!!!!!

— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) September 21, 2014

@JonahNRO Family of Peace sounds like a sex cult from SVU

— john r stanton (@dcbigjohn) September 21, 2014

@yokoono Great. Hopefully my in laws who subscribe to the Times via my sister in law will actually pay attention to the message.

— Molly Malone (@anglophilelady) September 21, 2014

@yokoono Problem solved! Why didn't you do this years ago & spare us all the wars? OK barbarians, stop sawing heads off. Yoko said so.

— John Sheridan (@JohnSheridan12) September 21, 2014

#PacifismIsObjectivelyProFascist! | RT @JonahNRO "Booyah! ISIS problem solved (if they subscribe to the NYT)!!!!!!" –

— Adam Baldwin (@AdamBaldwin) September 21, 2014

@JonahNRO fascist typography IMHO

— Steven (@TinMachineII) September 21, 2014

@AdamBaldwin @JonahNRO #notallpacifists

— Ali Fareed MC (@AliAliFareedMC) September 21, 2014

@JonahNRO Can't we force ISIS to listen to her music for a week?

— A Raised Eyebrow (@ARaised_Eyebrow) September 21, 2014

Our nation does not torture folks like that.

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This Looks Like A Mini Piano But It’s So Much Cooler Than That

I’ve always believed that handmade presents are way better than store-bought gifts.

There’s something special about your friends and family taking the time to make something specifically for you. Reddit user PapoochCZ must agree, because he did exactly that.

When his friend’s birthday was coming up, he decided to give her something not only tailored to her love of music, but that would also serve a purpose other than collecting dust on her shelf. That’s when he came up with the brilliant idea of making a piano wine cooler!

First he spent a day drawing up the design.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘VN_PG_DCBM_BTF’); });

Then he meticulously carved out each piece from particleboard.

Now it’s time to assemble the base.

The pieces fit together perfectly.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘VN_PG_DCI1_BTF’); });

A planter would work well to hold the wine and ice.

Then he used watercolors to paint a tiny keyboard.

It’s so cute!

All of the birthday girl’s friends signed the piano to make it even more special.

Now it’s time to party!

Cheers to PapoochCZ for making such a thoughtful birthday gift!

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Madonna endorses ‘black Muslim’ Obama at concert!/GinoRaidy/status/250437554304843778

Fans ate up Madonna’s mid-concert political speech and endorsement of Barack Obama last night. But as one concert-goer’s video clip shows, the Material Girl went a little overboard on the diversity pander. “For better or worse,” she exulted, “we have a black Muslim” in the White House.

Errrrrr, we do?

Madonna, you did not call the President a black Muslim in your Vote For Obama portion of your DC show.

— Ryan Labay (@drownedworld) September 25, 2012

Oh yes she did. She also praised the, uh, “Muslim’s” stance on gay rights. Celebrity endorsements are hard.

Madonna supports @BarackObama: We have a black muslim in the white house! Now that is the shit!

— (@madonnarama) September 25, 2012

While the crowd cheered Madonna’s oh-so-informed commentary, at least a few in attendance noticed the gaffe:

Granted it's loud in here, but I'm pretty sure #Madonna just said we have a black Muslim in the White House

— Jessica T♥ Healy (@jessicatiahrt) September 25, 2012

Blown away by political speech in middle of #madonna concert! Did she just say we have a black Muslim in the white house?!

— Jill Braunstein (@jillbraun) September 25, 2012

Madonna jut said there is a Muslim black man in the White House. Wtf? #mdna

— Cate Meredith (@cate_meredith) September 25, 2012

PolitiFact rates Madonna’s statement false, but *Obama swoon*.

It appears Madonna is a low-information voter.

— Byron York (@ByronYork) September 25, 2012

Coming soon: “Black Muslim 2012″ koozies designed to fit your official Obama birth certificate mug? Like a birther … hey!

I denounce this hate speech, with a poorly-informed demagogue telling a crowd Obama is a "black Muslim".

— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) September 25, 2012

And we have an ignorant idiot commenting from England. RT @huffingtonpost: Madonna: 'We've got a black Muslim in the White House…'…

— chpoling (@chpoling) September 25, 2012

And of course, what informed endorsement is complete without a companion tramp stamp?

#Madonna has a temporary tattoo that says #OBAMA on her back, #respect!!

— René PorcelainDahl✞ (@Erneporcelain) September 25, 2012

We know who Madonna is voting for! Obama 2012

— Sara (@styleMBA) September 25, 2012

Madonna is taking her clothes off on stage showing off Obama on her back

— MICHAEL COOK (@michael_a_cook) September 25, 2012

Evidently “black Muslim in the White House” wouldn’t fit.


Madge claims she was being “ironic.” It was the trucker hat of endorsements or something. A likely story.

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This Teenager Has Recreated Your Favorite Film Moments With Legos. YEP.

For a 15 year-old, Morgan Spence is well on his way to an impressive career in animation.

In a collaboration with Lego author Warren Elsmore, the English lad has recreated some of film history’s most iconic moments in a short animated video. Elsmore created the mini-figurines for his book Brick Flicks. He then reached out to the youngster for some help with promotional content.

After three weeks of meticulous work, they were finished with the video that paid homage to these classic films.

The Sound of Music

Wayne’s World

The Wizard of Oz

Pulp Fiction

Dirty Dancing

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Singing In the Rain

Morgan setting up his shot.

(H/T: Daily Mail.)

Hopefully this didn’t interfere with any of Morgan’s homework. You can find more cute flicks from him over on his website and more Lego creations by Elsmore on his website as well.

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Clear articulation of sahityas

Ramakrishnan Murthy showed a natural flow of sowkhyam music free from clichés and affectation for T.S. Sankara Iyer memorial concert, held at Sri Kothanda Ramaswami temple, Ramnagar, Coimbatore. Warm

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Australian musician Calum Hood deletes tweet dissing his countrymen!/calum5sosgirls/status/401765200669720577

Today, Calum Hood of Australian pop rock band 5 Seconds of Summer decided it would be a good idea to throw a little shade at his Australian fans. To his credit, he quickly apologized. Then he deleted both the original tweet and the subsequent apology, perhaps hoping that none of his 1.4 million followers saw anything.

Maybe it’s just us, but this doesn’t seem like a very good social media strategy.!/aussiedirtbags/status/401716060602122241!/KaitlynSalem/status/401710805663510528!/cucumberzayn/status/401717434312192001!/5SOS_Updates/status/401718791366647808

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I Finally Have A Name For What He Did To Me

Last year, when I was 17, I was sexually assaulted by a much older man. I’m gradually learning how to talk about it — and make myself whole again.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

It took me a week to talk about it. I told my friend Hann first. She was always the first person I told about everything. I couldn’t convey why I was upset because I didn’t know why yet. I wasn’t upset that I had sex with a man. It hadn’t felt good; was that why I was upset? Was I upset because this secret dream I had been living with for 17 years had been a disappointment?

Hann comforted me. She said everyone experiments. She told me she loved me no matter what. I cried over her acceptance. I still felt something other than tenderness within myself. I was so angry that I still felt uncomfortable. Why couldn’t I accept that I had done this? That I was this? I took my denial of his wrongdoing as a denial of my identity. I brushed it off as internalized homophobia.

I realized two months later that I hadn’t had sex with a man. I had been assaulted. It happened in August. I remember what I wore. Brown shirt, burnt orange shorts, and black knockoff Doc Martens. I remember that it was so hot my shirt stuck to my back. I can’t remember his name. It doesn’t matter. But I remember his age. I remember him saying, “I’ve helped younger guys going through this kind of thing before. We can just sit and talk about life.” I remember saying, “I don’t think this is a good idea. I don’t think I’m ready for this.” I remember hearing, “You’ll like it. It’ll feel good. You’ll love it.” I started to say no and he cut me off.

I remember my legs shaking. I remember looking at the trees surrounding us. The summer leaves ready to die. I don’t remember any thoughts I had. I remember his hands gripping my sides like he wanted to rip my ribs out of my body. I felt like I knew the definition of the word bleak. I sat next to him on a bench after I put my shorts back on. I remember thinking, “Don’t be rude. Don’t tell him how little you care about anything he has to say to you. Don’t tell him to shut the fuck up. Don’t cry. You have to be polite to him.” I wasn’t raised to be rude. He smoked three cigarettes and kept talking. I felt time stop inside of me. I heard him talking. I saw people walking by me, but I couldn’t feel myself. I couldn’t hear my own thoughts. I couldn’t feel my breath. I didn’t feel my leg shaking restlessly. I didn’t feel the pain that was beginning to nest inside of me. I didn’t feel the twigs and branches being woven together in my bones.

He finally stopped talking and asked me if I wanted a ride home. I felt every inch of me cry out no. I politely declined. He left. I walked home as fast as I could, stopping only to dry heave every five blocks. My father asked me how eating with friends had gone. I said it was fine, and searched for a numbness that I would cling to for months. I never reported it. It never crossed my mind to. Why would I report this when I had put myself in this situation?? How do you report someone for harming you when you feel like you deserved to be harmed?

When he messaged me on OkCupid I thought he seemed nice.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

In October I named what he had done to me. I had finally accepted and owned my queerness. I was messaging the boy I thought I loved at 3 a.m. Let’s call him Josh. Josh was telling me about his favorite Yo La Tengo song. I’ve never cared about something less than I cared about Josh’s favorite Yo La Tengo song, but I let him ramble about it. We switched topics, to horror stories about love. He told me about some shitty things men he had slept with had said to him. I was writing back to tell him my one horror story. I realized while typing that what I had gone through had been nonconsensual. I realized I wasn’t considered a person by someone who had touched me. I realized that I had been ripped apart by a man in ways I had only heard about in hushed voices on TV.

I told Josh I had been assaulted. We discussed it for 10 minutes. The conversation switched back to Yo La Tengo. I didn’t bring it up again. I didn’t tell anyone else what I had realized for months. I don’t remember most of the last half of that semester, my first semester of college. I remember crying in the bathroom. I remember vomiting in the bathroom. I kept trying to figure out the way to tell people who thought I was fine that I wasn’t. I couldn’t find the words to tell everyone that a man had ripped me to shreds. I wanted to be a shining untouchable queer god who no man could hurt. I felt as if I was losing myself every day.

I talked about it for the second time in May. I told a boy I was falling for about it. Let’s call him James. I shared more of myself with James than I had ever shared with anyone. When I told him about how I had been torn, he understood. I felt heard. James made me ache in a different way than he had. When James touched my sides I flinched. But after three nights spent with his arms wrapped around me, I felt a new sensation with a man. Safety.

After James I could finally speak. I found the words I needed. “Nonconsensual.” “I said no.” “I told him I wasn’t ready.”

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

I slowly started telling people what happened. It began trickling out of me in conversations. I started mentioning it in a quiet, offhand way. People seemed totally nonplussed by this. They would continue our conversations without really saying anything. I learned not to trust those people.

I told my friend Joy a few weeks before seeing her at a music festival. Even though she was in the Midwest and I was on the East Coast I could feel her rage. I could feel her sympathy and her pain in the vibrations in my pocket.

I found ways to tell new friends about it. I found ways to weave it into my narrative. I was queer. I wasn’t a boy or a girl. I was homeschooled until I was 17. I was straight until I was 17. Some days I got so anxious I couldn’t begin to imagine a future that didn’t involve me dead. I was sexually assaulted. I was a writer.

It became a part of my landscape. I allowed it to be a dead tree that sometimes poisoned some of the other things I loved.

My friend Caroline was the first new friend I had to tell. I remember telling her the entire story. I remember pausing before I told her he was 48. I remember making my voice not quiver. It was the first time I didn’t feel like I was going to break down crying.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Caroline and Joy and I have spent a lot of time talking about UVA lately. They both went to UVA, and we have spent hours discussing the way rape victims are treated. I am not their first friend to be assaulted. I won’t be their last. I’ve felt their anger on the phone when they yell about how disgusted they are. I’ve felt my own anger grow. Some days I feel as if I cannot look at men. Most days I am terrified of men.

They have inspired me to demand better from every man who ever speaks to me. They inspired me to be able to tell my story. They have inspired me to strive for a greater level of self-love. I spent Thanksgiving in Brooklyn with my best friend and her boyfriend. We curled up on the couch and I replayed the story of my assault for them. They looked at me with hurt. They apologized to me and I shrugged it off. This had become a part of my life. I lived with it every day. Some mornings when I woke up I felt it looming inside of me. Other mornings I woke up without it crossing my mind even once.

In October I met a boy. Let’s call him Matt. Matt was funny and charming. Matt had big brown eyes that smiled at me. I remember not believing he was interested in me until he kissed me. Then I believed him. We ended up on Long Island on a basement floor. He kept asking me if I was OK, if him kissing me was OK. I don’t know if a man has ever made me feel as safe as he did. He put his hands on my ribs when I was on top of him and I didn’t flinch once.

I told Matt about my assault a week after we met. He told me about his assault too. He told me he was so uncomfortable in his own skin that he couldn’t stand the idea of making anyone else uncomfortable. I felt so close to him in that moment I forgot that I was talking to a man about men hurting me. Matt called me drunk one night. He spent most of the call begging me not to let him hurt me. He asked me to hold him. He told me I made him feel safe. I didn’t realize that part of me had been terrified of making a man feel unsafe. I realized that I was scared of hurting others the way I had been hurt.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

It’s been over a year. I feel like a person most days. I don’t spend my mornings in the shower gripping my sides and trying to cry quietly so my mother doesn’t hear. I can stand the smell of cigarettes most days. I spent a night crying in bed because I remembered the way his face felt against mine. Most nights I actually do my homework now. I don’t find myself wishing I was dead as much as I used to.

I told my therapist about August after six sessions. It’s getting easier. My ribs are getting stronger.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE and

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Ryan Reynolds cast in ‘Highlander’ reboot!/shamanrusty/status/218303300704026625

Years before the Syfy channel arrived on the scene to populate late-night cable with classics such as “Arachnoquake,” “Piranhaconda” and “Sharktopus,” there was “Highlander.” The 1986 film, starring Christopher Lambert as a Scottish immortal bent on tracking down and beheading the last of his kind, drew suspense from the slim logic that “there can be only one.”

Or several.

Highlander has the worst continuity. "There can be only one!" Except for 5 sequels, a tv series (and it's spinoff) and an animated series.

— Zombie Phil (@Zombie_Phil) June 28, 2012

Of course, the very purpose of the “reboot” is to free filmmakers from the luggage of previous movies and sign on fresh talent. Ryan Reynolds has been confirmed as the newest immortal. The actor and heartthrob, 2010 winner of People magazine’s sexiest man award, has proved his geek cred by starring as katana-wielding assassin Deadpool in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and as Green Lantern. Geeks must be thrilled, right?

This is the worst news I've ever heard about anything, ever! #highlander #RyanImShitReynolds

— Marc J Grundy (@CoolboxMarc) June 28, 2012

Ryan Reynolds is confirmed to star in the Highlander reboot, thus the destruction of another franchise has begun.

— AwfullyBadMovieClub (@AwfullyBadMC) June 28, 2012

Perhaps it’s just love for the original and its score of suitably bombastic Queen songs that is driving the backlash.

Ryan Reynolds as Highlander? Why remake the film that won an Oscar for Best Movie Ever Made? #rickybobby

— EdPitts (@EdPitts) June 28, 2012

Woah, Highlander rebooted with Ryan Reynolds? Who's doing the music this time – Katy Perry?

— Tom Andersen (@Zebula77) June 28, 2012

On the other hand, movie audiences are weary of reboots in general: “The Amazing Spider-Man” opens July 3 with another take on the hero’s origin just 10 years after Tobey Maguire stepped into the role.

Robocop, Highlander, Total Recall, and Spiderman (despite the other films' body isn't cold yet)… Please, Hollywood, STOP THE REBOOTS !

— philounatik (@philounatik) June 28, 2012

Sooo, they've remade Total Recall; Robocop, Highlander and Starship Troopers in the pipeline. Are we really that creatively moribund?

— Ceri Llewellyn (@CezLlewellyn) June 28, 2012

Nostalgia is selective, though, and not all are losing their heads over this bit of casting news.

Also, why are people up in arms about a Highlander remake. Have you actually SEEN the original? It's fucking terrible.

— 'Dashing' Wil Jones (@AchinglyChic) June 28, 2012

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