[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBQ-IzyhiWs&w=700] Wait a minute... was that a balloon?
AIR AND LIGHT AND TIME AND SPACE ”– you know, I’ve either had a family, a job, something has always been in the way but now I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this place, a large studio, you should see the space and the light. for the first time in my life I’m going to have a place and the time to create.”
no baby, if you’re going to create you’re going to create whether you work 16 hours a day in a coal mine or you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children while you’re on welfare, you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown away, you’re going to create blind crippled demented, you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your back while the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment, flood and fire.
baby, air and light and time and space have nothing to do with it and don’t create anything except maybe a longer life to find new excuses for.
Via Brain Pickings
Seriously. Press play, close your eyes. Imagine. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS1Vp412zQI&w=700] Antonio Pompa-Baldi plays Moszkowski Etude Op. 72 #2
Awards can be powerful motivators, but nonstop recognition does not inspire children to succeed. Instead, it can cause them to underachieve.By ASHLEY MERRYMAN NY Times: September 24, 2013
AS children return to school this fall and sign up for a new year’s worth of extracurricular activities, parents should keep one question in mind. Whether your kid loves Little League or gymnastics, ask the program organizers this: “Which kids get awards?” If the answer is, “Everybody gets a trophy,” find another program.
Trophies were once rare things — sterling silver loving cups bought from jewelry stores for truly special occasions. But in the 1960s, they began to be mass-produced, marketed in catalogs to teachers and coaches, and sold in sporting-goods stores.
Today, participation trophies and prizes are almost a given, as children are constantly assured that they are winners. One Maryland summer program gives awards every day — and the “day” is one hour long. In Southern California, a regional branch of the American Youth Soccer Organization hands out roughly 3,500 awards each season — each player gets one, while around a third get two. Nationally, A.Y.S.O. local branches typically spend as much as 12 percent of their yearly budgets on trophies.
It adds up: trophy and award sales are now an estimated $3 billion-a-year industry in the United States and Canada.
Po Bronson and I have spent years reporting on the effects of praise and rewards on kids. The science is clear. Awards can be powerful motivators, but nonstop recognition does not inspire children to succeed. Instead, it can cause them to underachieve.
Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, found that kids respond positively to praise; they enjoy hearing that they’re talented, smart and so on. But after such praise of their innate abilities, they collapse at the first experience of difficulty. Demoralized by their failure, they say they’d rather cheat than risk failing again.
In recent eye-tracking experiments by the researchers Bradley Morris and Shannon Zentall, kids were asked to draw pictures. Those who heard praise suggesting they had an innate talent were then twice as fixated on mistakes they’d made in their pictures.
By age 4 or 5, children aren’t fooled by all the trophies. They are surprisingly accurate in identifying who excels and who struggles. Those who are outperformed know it and give up, while those who do well feel cheated when they aren’t recognized for their accomplishments. They, too, may give up.
It turns out that, once kids have some proficiency in a task, the excitement and uncertainty of real competition may become the activity’s very appeal.
If children know they will automatically get an award, what is the impetus for improvement? Why bother learning problem-solving skills, when there are never obstacles to begin with?
If I were a baseball coach, I would announce at the first meeting that there would be only three awards: Best Overall, Most Improved and Best Sportsmanship. Then I’d hand the kids a list of things they’d have to do to earn one of those trophies. They would know from the get-go that excellence, improvement, character and persistence were valued.
It’s accepted that, before punishing children, we must consider their individual levels of cognitive and emotional development. Then we monitor them, changing our approach if there’s a negative outcome. However, when it comes to rewards, people argue that kids must be treated identically: everyone must always win. That is misguided. And there are negative outcomes. Not just for specific children, but for society as a whole.
In June, an Oklahoma Little League canceled participation trophies because of a budget shortfall. A furious parent complained to a local reporter, “My children look forward to their trophy as much as playing the game.” That’s exactly the problem, says Jean Twenge, author of “Generation Me.”
Having studied recent increases in narcissism and entitlement among college students, she warns that when living rooms are filled with participation trophies, it’s part of a larger cultural message: to succeed, you just have to show up. In college, those who’ve grown up receiving endless awards do the requisite work, but don’t see the need to do it well. In the office, they still believe that attendance is all it takes to get a promotion.
In life, “you’re going to lose more often than you win, even if you’re good at something,” Ms. Twenge told me. “You’ve got to get used to that to keep going.”
When children make mistakes, our job should not be to spin those losses into decorated victories. Instead, our job is to help kids overcome setbacks, to help them see that progress over time is more important than a particular win or loss, and to help them graciously congratulate the child who succeeded when they failed. To do that, we need to refuse all the meaningless plastic and tin destined for landfills. We have to stop letting the Trophy-Industrial Complex run our children’s lives.
This school year, let’s fight for a kid’s right to lose.
Fascinating article - full version here - talks about how people putting designs on sites like Dribbble tend to have more of an eye on how it's going to go down with other designers rather than as an actual successful product that works. It's also a really good example of credible self-promotion, and as applicable to other types of content creation as it is to design - a useful reminder to keep my eye on the desired outcome first, rather than just making more flannel. I've cut out a few bits below: "...Pixel perfect, retina ready PNGs might look great on Dribbble, but they will have decreasing value as a primary design tool in a real product building environment.
This is why redesigns of other people’s work is pure folly e.g. the new Yahoo logo, iOS7, changes to Facebook, the New New Twitter, the American Airlines rebrand. People have no context for the decision making process involved in these projects, no knowledge of the requirements, constraints, organisational politics.
If product design is about solving problems for people within the constraints of a specific business, then it simply feels that many people calling themselves product/UX designers are actually practicing digital art. They are Artists. They are Stylists. Executing beautiful looking things, certainly an important skill, but not practising product design...
Once you have a clear mission, vision and product architecture, you can start to think about the other details. The goals people have, what makes them happy, fulfilled, successful. The jobs your product does for them, where it works well, where it doesn’t.
The rough ugly sketches and scribbles that describe these things are far more important than the png that ends up on Dribbble...All the whiteboard sketches, hand drawings, and back of the napkin problem solving is what designers should be posting. Show me those things. Even a written description of what is being built is more important than the PNG or PDF.
Design is a multi layered process. In my experience, there is an optimal order to how you move through the layers. The simplest version of this is to think about four layers:
I see designer after designer focus on the fourth layer without really considering the others. Working from the bottom up rather than the top down. The grid, font, colour, and aesthetic style are irrelevant if the other three layers haven’t been resolved first. Many designers say they do this, but don’t walk the walk, because sometimes it’s just more fun to draw nice pictures and bury oneself in pixels than deal with complicated business decisions and people with different opinions. That’s fine, stay in the fourth layer, but that’s art not design. You’re a digital artist, not a designer...
At Intercom, we’re working with Clay Christensen’s Jobs framework for product design. We frame every design problem in a Job, focusing on the triggering event or situation, the motivation and goal, and the intended outcome:
When _____ , I want to _____ , so I can _____ .
For example: When an important new customer signs up, I want to be notified, so I can start a conversation with them.
This gives us clarity. We can map this Job to the mission and prioritise it appropriately. It ensures that we are constantly thinking about all four layers of design. We can see what components in our system are part of this Job and the necessary relationships and interactions required to facilitate it. We can design from the top down, moving through outcome, system, interactions, before getting to visual design.
“Box explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera. Bot & Dolly produced this work to serve as both an artistic statement and technical demonstration. It is the culmination of multiple technologies, including large scale robotics, projection mapping, and software engineering. We believe this methodology has tremendous potential to radically transform theatrical presentations, and define new genres of expression.” — The Creators Project
From the McSweeney's 'Notable Persons Reconsidered' column:
Albert Camus famously stated that “there is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn”. Of course, he’s dead now, which seems like a pretty resounding counterargument to that theory.
(Tim Carvell is the head writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJuY8p8VeHA&w=700] We Close Our Eyes - a lesson in rhythm
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/108937388" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] Tom says: "This is our trippy take on a beautiful Classical Piano piece by the Legendary Ludovico Einaudi....
"Turin born Ludovico Einaudi's unique style of composition has garnered him global recognition for his music's use in films and advertisements. He is arguably the most prolific contemporary composer. Crossing musical boundaries in 2011 Einaudi became the fourth most published artist behind Adele, Mumford & Sons and Glee. Championed by Radio 1's Greg James and sampled on Professor Green's 'Astronaut', in 2013 Einaudi became the first classical artist to smash through the digital/physical sales barrier, selling 72% of his album 'In A Time Lapse' as digital downloads. He is headlining iTunes festival on Sept 17."
Here's the original:
+ + + b o n u s t r a c k + + +
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/99780186" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]
Saw this on Kottke, it's amazing. Follow the links for more a capella: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrAdX4O1m4M&w=700]
Many more isolated vocal tracks are available on this subreddit. Here are the instructions for making your own isolated vocal tracks with Audacity, the same open source audio processing app that Tim used to make his slow jams. (thx, tim)
Well, this is fascinating. Especially since I've been looking at a lot of shopper marketing recently, as well as talking to insurance people about how AJP region differs from, say, EMEA. Companies get astonishingly detailed info about people's habits, but having read the article below and seen the brilliant video that summarises Keith Chen's hypothesis, I wonder if they already look at what languages we speak to work out likelihood to X or Y. Article below by Derek Thompson, originally from Atlantic. The original article also has a chart you might find interesting, but the whole thing is summed up nicely in this video. Though I've got to say, the last bit about death and so on seems like latched-on stats. The link there is wooly, which is a shame, as I loved the rest of it. Anyway, make up your own mind:
Can Your Language Influence Your Spending, Eating, and Smoking Habits? An absurd-sounding claim leads to a surprising finding
Yes, I know. That headline. It looks like the most egregious form of causal inference. Americans don't save money because of ... our grammar? How utterly absurd. But bear with me.
In the 1930s, linguists proposed that the way we read, write, and talk helped to determine the way we see the world. Speakers of languages that had the same word for orange and yellow had a harder time actually distinguishing the colors. Speakers of the Kook Thaayorre language, which has no words for left and right, must orient themselves by north, south, east, and west at all time, which enhances their awareness of geographical and astronomical markers.
Last year, economist Keith Chen released a working paper (now published) suggesting speakers of languages without strong future tenses tended to be more responsible about planning for the future. Quick example. In English, we say "I will go to the play tomorrow." That's strong future tense. In Mandarin or Finnish, which have weaker future tenses, it might be more appropriate to say, "I go to the play tomorrow."
Chen wondered whether languages with weak future tenses would be more thoughtful about the future because they consider it, grammatically, equivalent to the present. He mapped stronger and weak future-tense languages across Europe and correlated the data with future-oriented behaviors like saving, smoking, and using condoms.
Remarkably, he discovered that speakers with weak future tenses (e.g. German, Finnish and Estonian) were 30 percent more likely to save money, 24 percent more likely to avoid smoking, 29 percent more likely to exercise regularly, and 13 percent less likely to be obese, than speakers of languages with strong future tenses, like English.
If your B.S. antennae are standing straight up (as mine were), you might be more interested in this next part. Chen next compared speakers born and raised within the same countries, as well, controlling for factors like age and number of children. He found the same results: Speakers with weak future tenses demonstrated dramatically, and statistically significantly, more responsible future-oriented behaviors -- even within countries like Switzerland, which are a motley blend of strong-future languages (like French) and weak-future languages (like German).
The correlation was savaged by some economists and linguists as facile or worse. But others re-ran the data and found, to their astonishment, that Chen seemed to be right. His paper was published (along with thanks to some of his fiercest critics) in the American Economic Review this year.
"One important issue in interpreting these results is the possibility that language is not causing but rather reﬂecting deeper diﬀerences that drive savings behavior," Chen concluded. Languages map to large groups of people, but so does religion, culture, family values, and a common history. Are Germans frugal because their language protects them from hyperbolic discounting, or is it just that, well, they're Germans?
That question doesn't have a satisfying answer, but this paper, as wild as it seems, isn't a radical departure from the literature. "Overall, my ﬁndings are largely consistent with the hypothesis that languages with obligatory future-time reference lead their speakers to engage in less future-oriented behavior," Chen wrote.
What does it mean? I have no idea, and Chen himself has responded to the criticism of his work with an honorable blend of erudition and shrugging disbelief. But I suppose that if you suffer from issues like crippling procrastination, as I do, it couldn't hurt to learn Estonian -- or, perhaps more simply, to write inspirational notes to yourself exclusively in the present tense. The future might be a different country, but it doesn't have to feel that way.
If you look at the layout of the number buttons on a phone -- smart, cell, landline, what have you -- the number buttons will feature, almost inevitably, a uniform layout. Ten digits, laid out on a three-by-three grid, with the tenth tacked on on the bottom. The numbers ascending from left to right, and from top to bottom.
This layout is so standardized that we barely think about it. But it was, in the 1950s, the result of a good deal of strategizing and testing on the part of people at Bell Labs. Numberphile has dug up an amazing paper -- published in the July 1960 issue of "The Bell System Technical Journal" -- that details the various alternative designs the Bell engineers considered. Among them: "the staircase" (II-B in the image above), "the ten-pin" (III-B, reminiscent of bowling-pin configurations), "the rainbow" (II-C), and various other versions that mimicked the circular logic of the existing dialing technology: the rotary.
Everything was on the table for the layout of the ten buttons; the researchers' only objective was to find the configuration that would be as user-friendly, and efficient, as possible. So they ran tests. They experimented. They sought input. They briefly considered a layout that mimicked a cross.
And in the end, though, Numberphile's Sarah Wiseman notes, it became a run-off between the traditional calculator layout and the telephone layout we know today. And the victory was a matter of efficiency. "They did compare the telephone layout and the calculator layout," she says, "and they found the calculator layout was slower."
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGTwSNPqAqs&w=700] Sixty years ago, the BBC filmed a train journey from London to Brighton, squeezed into just four minutes. Thirty years ago, we did it again. Now we are bringing it up to date, to see how much has changed - and how much is still the same. Here's all three journeys side by side.
The soundtrack is Star Guitar, by The Chemical Brothers.
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/68901496 w=700&h=390] I won't explain it, just watch it. Easily one of the best things I've seen this year.
From the Vimeo description:
Eighteen years ago a slight lapse in concentration crushed Pascale's dreams of surfing. But with the help of a family friend and a roll of duct tape; she can now call herself a surfer.
Pascale Honore & Tyron Swan
So, I'm new to the translation telephone, which has clearly been around for ages but slipped through my weblike tendrils. It uses the Google Translate API to translate a statement from English (or whatever) into 20 other languages before putting it BACK into English again, with inevitably wonky results. Made by Pamela Fox. The three most popular ones (though you can do your own):
ENGLISH Winter is coming CHINESE 冬天来了 SWEDISH Vintern kommer WELSH Gaeaf yn dod RUSSIAN Зима приходит BULGARIAN Зимата идва PERSIAN زمستان می آید GALICIAN O inverno vén BELARUSIAN Зіма прыходзіць UKRAINIAN Зима приходить AFRIKAANS Winter kom ROMANIAN Vine iarna POLISH Zima jest SWAHILI Baridi VIETNAMESE Lạnh SPANISH Frío TURKISH Soğuk CATALAN Fred SLOVAK Fred ENGLISH Fred
ENGLISH life is like a box of chocolates. you will never know what you are going to get. HINDI जीवन चॉकलेट के डिब्बे की तरह है. तुम कभी पता नहीं चलेगा कि आप क्या करने जा रहे हैं. ITALIAN La vita è come una scatola di cioccolatini. Lei non potrà mai sapere cosa si sta andando. SWAHILI Maisha ni kama boksi la chocolates. Kamwe kujua nini wewe kwenda. POLISH Życie jest jak pudełko czekoladek. Nigdy nie wiadomo co się dzieje. IRISH Life is cosúil le bosca seacláidí. Ní fios duit cad a tharlaíonn. SWEDISH Livet är som en chokladask. Du vet aldrig vad som händer. PERSIAN زندگی مثل یک جعبه شکلات. شما هیچ وقت نمی دانید چه اتفاقی می افتد. VIETNAMESE Cuộc sống giống như một hộp sôcôla. Bạn không bao giờ biết điều gì xảy ra. KOREAN 인생은 초콜릿 상자 같은 것입니다. 당신은 어떻게 될지도 모르게. MALTESE Ħajja huwa simili kaxxa ta 'ċikkulati. Inti taf kif tkun. MALAY Hidup itu seperti sekotak coklat. Kau tahu bagaimana itu. RUSSIAN Жизнь похожа на коробку шоколадных конфет. Вы знаете, как она есть. BULGARIAN Животът е като кутия шоколадови бонбони. Знаеш ли колко е то. SLOVAK Život je ako bonboniéra. Viete, ako to je. YIDDISH לעבן איז ווי אַ קעסטל פון טשאָקלאַץ. איר וויסן ווי עס איז. PORTUGUESE A vida é como uma caixa de chocolates. Você sabe como é. GERMAN Das Leben ist wie eine Schachtel Pralinen. Sie wissen, wie es ist. AFRIKAANS Die lewe is soos 'n boks van sjokolade. Jy weet hoe dit is. ENGLISH Life is like a box of chocolates. You know how it is.
(slightly disappointing, that one) And finally:
I want to see Emma Watson's boobies. GALICIAN Eu quero ver boobies Emma Watson. ALBANIAN Unë dua të shoh Emma Watson boobies. MACEDONIAN Сакам да ја видам Ема Ватсон boobies. FILIPINO Gusto kong makita ang Emma Watson boobies. PORTUGUESE Eu quero ver boobies Emma Watson. PERSIAN من می خواهم به boobies اما واتسون. CROATIAN Želim boobies Watson. JAPANESE 私はおっぱいワトソンをしたい。 POLISH Chcę cycki Watson. INDONESIAN Saya ingin payudara Watson. ARABIC أريد الثدي واتسون. HEBREW אני רוצה שד ווטסון. SWAHILI Nataka kifua Watson. SPANISH Yo quiero mama Watson. FINNISH Haluan rintojen Watson. MALTESE Irrid li tredda Watson. NORWEGIAN Jeg ønsker å amme Watson. YIDDISH איך ווילן צו ברעסטפיד וואַצאָן. ENGLISH I want to Breastfeed Watson.
Try the site for yourself here - and donate to support them if you like it. It's old school internet for the love of the thing.
[youtube=http://youtu.be/VeK759FF84s&w=700] Ms. Jane Elliott's "brown eyes, blue eyes" experiment in 1970 (the third one after her first in 1968). This "Eye of Storm" documentary was made by William Peters in 1970 for ABC News and later included in the documentary "A Class Divided" (1985), which included a class reunion (of 1984).
The magic at ten minutes, after she created a microcosm of racism and segregation...plus their relief and the way they treat the collars at the end.
Thanks for the heads up, Adam!