Updated: Jan 14

You've no doubt been seeing loads of communication recently on the Blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum and NFTs. Like many others, you've started browsing OpenSea, searching for an NFT - your very own digital object to show off the next time you've run out of things to say on a date (don't do this).


After hours of searching, you find the one...


Ah, finally! You think to yourself.


This NFT is perfect. It's cool, it's animated, and it's only 0.0001 ETH. What a bargain!


You begin the transaction only to be stopped by a prompt to pay $180 in Gas Fees.


What?? That's almost 4,000% more than the actual price of the NFT!


You'll no doubt feel frustrated at this point. Why didn't anyone tell me about this sooner?


What the heck is a Gas Fee!?


Very simply, a Gas Fee is an amount paid by users to compensate for the computing power required to run a transaction on a blockchain. Think of it like a tax, the blockchain being a paved road and the Gas Fee being the tax you pay on the gasoline which goes into the truck to make a delivery.


The issue with Gas Fees is that they squash the potential for early adoption.


They aren't a problem if you're buying an NFT worth hundreds of thousands of dollars - they're simply a small percentage lumped on top. But when it comes to NFTs between $1-$10 (the range that most first-time buyers will stick to), the Gas Fee becomes thousands of percentage points higher than the actual value of the NFT itself.


There are ways around this!


Stay tuned to find out how you can get into the NFT market without paying Gas Fees.

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

V hasn't eaten in days. Beneath her feathers, the skin is dry and cracking. Ticks burrow into her, draining the last life blood her body has.


She has been wandering the land alone after the death of her family. After weeks of suffering with tick-related fevers, they all eventually succumbed to the disease, down to the very last chick.


The days of malnutrition have caused V's muscle mass to drop to a dangerous level - her body is eating itself.


If V's thoughts could be translated into what we would call language, she would be thinking: if I don't eat soon, I will die.

 

The midday sun scorches her skin while the humidity makes every breath harder than the last. V keeps her head close to the ground, trying her best to keep her eyes shielded from the glare of the sunlight hitting the sand in front of her.


Elevation.


Ahead is a small rocky outcrop, poking up from the jungle floor. V will be able to survey the land in front of her and hopefully spot something to eat.


The small hill proves to be an endeavour as V's legs buckle under the weight of her tiny frame. After what feels like hours, V reaches the summit. She was right, she now has a good view of her surroundings.


No water. Not a river nor a stream flow anywhere near her. How about food? The immediate vicinity is no better than what she has seen, save for a small dark mass, a few hundred or so metres straight ahead. Something is struggling in what looks to be a pool of dark mud...


V musters her strength and makes her way down the hill to investigate.

 

A Protoceratops.


The sheep-sized ceratopsian struggles violently as it tries to get its body free of the heavy mud its become stuck in.


V approaches quietly but with no intention of hiding - the animal in front of her shows no sign of getting out of this predicament.


While not the largest ceratopsian wandering around what is now known as Mongolia, a Protoceratops is large enough to put up a fight, certainly a herculean task for a single velociraptor, however, this is a unique circumstance and V realises: It's now or never.


She flares her teeth at the flailing animal. It grunts back, kicking its hind legs even more furiously as it tries to face the raptor head on.


V circles slowly, looking for a weak spot. If she can get a clean bite at the Proto's throat, it won't take long for it to bleed out. She keeps her eyes fixed on the animal's sharp beak. She's seen first-hand how deadly that weapon can be if it finds its mark.


V can see that the Proto is losing strength with every minute it struggles. Soon its own head will be too heavy to lift. V has one chance. When the attack starts, it won't end until one of them is dead. She waits for her moment...


The bite comes swiftly - V's jaws clamp around the back of the Proto's neck, behind its frill. The animal lets out a frantic cry as it shakes violently, preventing V from digging her teeth deeper. V is rocked from side to side, mud and debris flung into her eyes as she fights to keep her hold. In the struggle, the Proto makes one last effort and lunges at V's right arm, grabbing it between her beak.


SNAP!


V feels the bone break like a twig. Her body is beyond pain, it begins to shut down as blood spills from the wound. V uses her last amount of strength to plunge the claw on her left foot into the side of the Proto - embedding the knife-like weapon as deep into the animal as she can - a last act of life before she is committed to oblivion.


The Protoceratops dies shortly after the raptor. Unable to lift its head any longer, the animal suffocates in the mud now enveloping their bodies.

 

Some 80 million years will pass before their remains are discovered and re-homed in the American Museum of Natural History.


Here, they continue their battle - never to rest.

 

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If you would like to view this beautiful fossil in 3D, jump onto my OpenSea profile HERE


Until then, keep reading!

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Without doubt, the guitar is one of the most universally liked instruments on the planet and their players thought of as cool, fly-by-night, larger than life characters, destined for greatness. And yes, while all of that is true (not), there may be certain aspects of being a guitarist that the everyday listener doesn't expect.


So, what does it mean to be a guitarist?


Tone. Searching for the unattainable tone - unattainable because once said tone has been attained, another one will present itself for the goal of being pursued.


Sore fingers. Calloused finger tips, cut into from hours of trying to nail that new solo you've just heard.


Idols. Page, Hendrix, Clapton, Vai, Van Halen, Gilmour, Knopfler. Musicians who have gone before, leaving a line in the sands of time for the rest of us mere mortals to do our best to follow.


Gear. "I'm sure my pedalboard has room for just one more fuzz pedal. There! Right next to my MXR Phase 90 from '86 that I use in two bars of that Heart song I like."


Empty rooms. Hours spent in your bedroom running up and down scales, practicing chord fingerings and changes, learning more and more about how little you know. This sets you up beautifully for the many, many empty venues you will perform in.


Inadequacy. An eternal struggle of never feeling good enough. Not helped by the YouTube video you just watched of a 3-year-old playing a pitch-perfect rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody from start to finish on a Fender Squier she got for Christmas.


Joy. Bending a string a full step, perfect vibrato, sustain for days, mastering a diminished chord for the first time, thumb independence, hearing a recording of yourself and not utterly hating it.


Pure joy.

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