Monthly Archives: May 2011

Haunting street art from Berlin

Here’s the close up

Found at the brilliant blog, Wooster Collective


How to be interviewed: Seth Godin’s shows how.

I must say: anyone who is being interviewed should memorize this and practice what is here: Seth’s Blog: How to be interviewed. So simple, and yet, it is violated all the time.

May I recommend: the photography of Solange Noir

My friend Solange is a fine photographer, and she is selling her photographs here: Solange Noir Photography.

I particularly like this one:

But there is a lot of good work there, all at very good prices. I highly recommend you go there and buy something. Let’s face it: that wall you have in your living room is crying out for some good artwork. Here’s your solution.

How to sell your self published book? Lina Scheynius has some good ideas

While you can try to go through someone like Amazon to do this, I like what Lina Scheynius has done. She uses PayPal for the collection of money, which doesn’t surprise me. What she also does is create YouTube videos like this

That way you can see what the book looks like before you buy it. Smart! And given that she has sold out a number of her books, it’s very smart indeed.

Obviously you need to have great content, and she does. Once you have that, capitalize on existing tools to take care of all the boring essential part of making it easy for people to buy what you made.

David Byrne goes to Cannes

Not to watch films, but to be in attendance for a screening of a film that he wrote the music for. It’s an interesting view of the Glamorous Life, because even though he is very well known, he writes about his Cannes experience like someone who is not. I always enjoy reading his blog, and this entry in particular is very good.

You can find the journal entry here: David Byrne’s Journal: 05.20.11: The Glamorous Life

Where to find my presentation on social media to nonprofit organizations as part of IBM’s Centennial?

It can be found here. I used to talk alot about Web 2.0 and social media, but I am out of practice. Hence I say “so” too much and talk too much with my hands! (Plus, this is the first time ever seeing myself present: very handy to have that). I als sound more like a Cape Bretoner than I thought, but I think that is a good thing. It was fun to do this, and the people in the audience were great. Hats off to all the IBM staff involved: they did alot of work on this and it came across well.

To find out more about the IBM Centennial event, which I am proud to have played a small part in, you can go here.

Why are crime rates down is best answered by the book: Boom, Bust and Echo

Recently the said that a “Steady Decline in Major Crime Baffles Experts”Andrew Sullivan also thinks that “there is a real conundrum here”. If you look through his blog for the posts titled, Crime Falls Further, you will see people offer many good theories for why this is.

My belief, ever since I read this book, Boom, Bust & Echo: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Shift by David K. Foot with Daniel Stoffman, is that it has to do with demographics. Crime, revolutions, riots, even wars: these are all byproducts of countries have an excess of young men. When your national demographics shape up like that, you will have trouble. Likewise, as your nation gets older, you will have less of that.

I think there are other causes of these serious societal problems, but it needs that fuel, and the demographic analysis explains it. Older men equals less crime.

Even if you disagree with this idea, I highly recommend this book. It’s well written, easy to read, and very thought provoking, I recall.

The Kindle Single: a good idea whose time has come (and I hope not just for Kindles)

While they were announced in 2010, I only recently paid attention to’s Kindle Singles (featuring journalism, novellas, essays, humor, and short Kindle eBooks), when two of my favorite authors released Singles:  Mark Bittman with Bittman’s Kitchen: What I Grill and Why and Susan Orlean’s Animalish. The reviews of those books have been mostly good, with people pointing out the obvious limitations of this format. I chalk this up to growing pains, however, and I think in time these will come to represent a new format that is very successful. It is time that the eBook publishing business start pricing books (and magazines) based on the new eBook format, and not on a pricing model based on paper publishing. And it is time that publishers get used to people reading on mobile phones, tablets, eBook readers, big screen monitors, what have you. I would like to see more essays and shorter works made available this way and priced low. I would also like to see really good books published that take advantage of excellent quality monitors (think Art Books).

Here’s hoping this is the start of a big, good, new wave of publishing. And if the traditional publishing houses can’t manage it, no doubt Amazon and Apple can.

Well, no wonder no one was swept up in the Rapture this weekend! This helpful chart explains

Found on Will you be Raptured? [flowchart] – Holy Kaw!

How Wouldn’t It Be Nice of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds was made: brilliantly

While I know Pet Sounds is one of the greatest albums of all time, and I know it sounds brilliant, until I watched this video, I never appreciated how rich and complex it was. Well worth studying to better appreciate Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys, and Pet Sounds.

Nowadays everyone would be recorded on a separate track, but back then even a four track recording (like Sgt. Pepper) was a big thing. Hence you see these photos of all the musicians in the studio.

YouTube – Behind The Sounds: Wouldn’t It Be Nice

The new Money: nowadays, anyone can create money, especially criminals

Awhile ago I wrote this post, The end of the old money and the creation of the new money and I concluded

The money supply is already alot more complicated than it was decades ago. It is going to get even more so. Welcome to the new money.

Turns out that this complication is happening now, according to this: Prepaid cards attract money launderers. I am not surprised crooks are in on this. It’s one thing for Starbucks or even Walmart to create money this way, but it was only a matter of time before it was put to more nefarious uses. And money laundering is only the start of our problems, I suspect.

The Brooklyn-Manhattan Spat :)

swissmiss had this funny “Dear John” letter from Brooklyn to Manhattan:

While that’s great, so are the comments in the post, with people taking on the parts of “Manhattan” or “Brooklyn” writing the breakup letters.  Go to the link and read them all for a good laugh.

What to eat this summer: 31 great looking salads

Salads are great any time of year, but perfect in the summer, especially if you don’t want to turn on the oven or the BBQ. has put together a month of great salads that are varied in their ingredients, easy to make, impressive to see, and delicious.

The economics of social media in one great graph

I don’t know if I agree with it all, but it is good food for thought:

Found here: INFOGRAPHIC: The Real Cost Of Facebook.

What do you get when you put the best indie bands in the world in the back of a cab?

You get the BLACK CAB SESSIONS. The site is an incredible collection of improvised videos from some great indie bands. You really have to see the site, but in the meantime, here’s a few videos, including some of my favourites, like Lykke Li:

Holly Miranda doing a nice cover of  Ex-Factor by Lauryn Hill

And here’s Winter Sleep (who manage to bring drums!)

Good Friday Night Music from the Airborne Toxic Event

Good tune with a good video to boot. Here they are doing “Does this mean you’re moving on”

YouTube – The Airborne Toxic Event – Does This Mean You’re Moving On (Official Video)

Homage or ripoff? Beyoncé’s Run The World (Girls) vs. M.I.A.’s Boyz

Here’s Beyoncé – Run The World (Girls)

And here’s M.I.A. – Boyz

From the title, to the sound, to the video, there’s alot of overlap, to say the least.

Laws that aren’t enforced are worthless or why Obama is not breaking the law, even if CNN asks

And this story, Is Obama about to break the law? –, is just blather. It’s hard to tell, but the crux of the matter is this:

Angry lawmakers in both parties say part of the problem now is that their own congressional leaders are not raising a stink about Obama’s failure to come to Congress about Libya.

“Very few people are talking about this; they’re just letting the president do whatever he wants, and I think that’s Congress abdicating the rule of law and abdicating constitutional restraints that he should obey,” Paul said.

The fact is this, ripped from a blog piece by Matt Yglesias: Congress Doesn’t Want Power Over Whether Or Not The United States Keeps Bombing Libya. If they did, the White House would be doing more lobbying to get support. But they don’t have to, because the U.S. congress abdicates this responsibility. There is little if any upside for them, so mostly they vote to support whatever the Executive branch wants.

Great pixelated art from Toni Martin at the last Monkey

Including this!

Kill those zombies! Yeah! 🙂 For more great stuff, see: The Last Monkey

Only boring people are bored. Be something better.

There are exceptions, but yeah, if you are bored all the time, the fault lies within. That’s why I have never have much respect for people who talk about “ennui”. Ennui is a fancy way of saying you are bored, and hence, boring. Worse, you should be smart enough to do something about it and you aren’t.

Don’t be bored. Be creative, silly, ridiculous, outrageous, daring, bold, ingenious, outlandish…be any of those things, and more.

P.S. Love the orange too: orange is very not-boring. Image found on this nice tumblr blog.

How to prepare for the upcoming zombie apocalypse, courtesy of the CDC

The good folks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do important and serious work. But they also have found some time to have some fun and gain some awareness from people who know little of them (but likely know alot about zombies). Since zombies are a constant threat, they put together this kit to help people: CDC EPR | Social Media | Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse. 🙂

Incomparable and rare: Mary Margaret O’Hara on Night Music

Though she released very little music, her one album, “Miss America”, is unique and great. The same can be said for Night Music, which was hosted by David Sanborn for  three seasons. Here she is, on that show:

Fantastic and low cost DIY art piece

This piece of art cost $15 to make and looks striking. For information on how it was made and how you can make it, go to
Just a Girl.  (Found via Apartment Therapy Ohdeedoh)

Don’t click on anything to do with Facebook’s Dislike button. Here’s why

According to this: Beware the Facebook “Dislike” Button Scam – Security Watch, not only (a) will it spam your friends on Facebook but it has (b) some obscure code (“obfuscated JavaScript”) that is an “opening the potential for even more trouble”.

With regards to (a), not only will it spam your friends, but some of them will also click on it, making it viral, and that is not good.

If fonts were dogs

From f— yeah dementia!!1! (ok, I bleeped out the F word. :))

Always give 100% at work

Like a lot of things, it’s how you go about measuring it. (From 100% from ReflectionOf.Me and

Treating cancer in the 19th century

CBS News has photoessay, at times horrific, of cancer patients of the 19th century, including:

33 year-old Jane Todd Crawford, of Wellington, Ohio, (who) rode 60 miles on horseback to seek treatment for what turned out to be a huge ovarian tumor. Anesthesia wasn’t yet available, so she sang and recited psalms to calm herself during the 25-minute operation. The surgeon made a nine-inch incision and “took out 15 pounds of a dirty gelatinous-looking substance” before removing the rest of the tumor. She was up and about five days later, and 25 days later she got back on her horse and rode home. She lived another 50 years.

Cancer still has a way to go before it is beaten, but compared to then, we’ve come along way.

Some random thoughts on the wonderful Des Hommes et Des Dieux (Of Gods and Men)

This is a beautiful film, and a great one. It’s filled with gorgeous imagery (such as the one above), but it is also beautifully written and acted. It is not surprisingly a deeply spiritual film, and it certainly helps to have an understanding of Christianity, because the film seemed highly allegorical to me. But even without that, the film can be appreciated. If you only had a passing description of it, it may seem like something that would be a dull film, but acts early in the film put the Trappist monks in jeopardy and provides conflict and high tension throughout the film.

Speaking of allegory, what I noted was:

  • the main character being named Christian / Christ. (Interesting the character Luc was a physician, and Saint Luke is the patron saint of  physicians.)
  • the Last Supper towards the end of the film
  • the army being the Romans and the terrorists being the Pharisees
  • the moment when Christian is in the garden in anguish reminded me of Christ in Gethsemane

I wasn’t paying attention to that so much at first, but towards the end, I noticed it more.  I mention it here because being aware of this earlier may help you pick up things that I missed.

The film ends in an ambiguous way. I didn’t appreciate this until later, when I found there was uncertainty over the fate of the monks as well.

Very highly recommended.

A minor note: Lambert Wilson plays Christian in this film and can be said to represent Christ (to some degree). In the second and third Matrix films, he plays the Merovingian, who can be said to symbolize the devil in that film. Indeed, the actor comes across very differently in each film, and it took me some time looking at him in this film before I made the connection.

For a good review of the film, see ‘Of Gods and Men,’ a True Story of Monks in Algeria by A.O. Scott in the

The Best Alleys of Los Angeles

This is #8:

To know why it looks like this, and to see the rest of the photo essay, see: 10 Best Alleys in Los Angeles – Los Angeles Art – Style Council

Why I am in favour of Slutwalk (and against banning burkas)

It’s simple: I consider clothes a form of expression, just like words. They have a utilitarian side, but words do, too. Past that, they are a way we express ourselves. And not just with text on T-shirts. The clothes we wear, from our hats to our shoes  (even the clothes no one sees) are ways we communicate to the world. Therefore with extremely rare exceptions, no one should infringe on the choice of what you want to wear. To me the only exceptions should be in the interest of public safety and when I enter into a contractual agreement with someone. Otherwise, I should be able to wear what I want.

This doesn’t mean I should expect everyone to like or accept what I wear. But I should have the right and the ability to wear it, and I should not be legally limited or illegally discriminated against for wearing it.

What do you get when you take 37440 pictures of the sky at night? Something incredible

There’s a great story about how Nick Risinger ended up taking all those photographs and you can find it here: The night sky in 37,440 exposures – Yahoo! News. But what really impressed me is the interactive display of the sky here at

You really have to see it to believe it. Take your time, make it full screen and practice zooming in and out. It’s an incredible view of the sky.

It’s also like something from the science fiction film, Blade Runner, where the main character takes a photograph and is able to zoom in and out of what seems to be an ordinary picture.

Stop reading me and go see for yourself.

The latest NYC fitness craze: ballet exercise (and why I don’t think much of it)

I am a strong proponent of women exercising and participating in some form of physical fitness, be they 6 or 106. That said, there is something about this article, At Ballet Workouts, Getting That Dancer Physique –, that made me think this new fitness trend is less about good physical fitness and more about being ahead of everyone else. Maybe it’s the name dropping and the other things in the article that whispered exclusivity  (“Upper East Side”, exercise only the strongest can do) that made me discount it. Plus the entire article is more like an advertisement than a story.

Read it yourself and judge (and feel free to argue with/berate me if I got it wrong).

Can’t decide what wine to buy in an liquor store in Canada? There’s an app for that

Not just an app for iPhone or iPod Touch, but BlackBerry and other smartphones too. It from  Natalie MacLean, and the feedback on iTunes has been very positive. It also looks great and seems to have a comprehensive listing of wines. The perfect thing for those times when you get to the store and you think: should I get the same thing I always buy, or should I go for something different and if so, what?

Did I mention the app is Free? A free app that also will save you from buying bad wine you hate and helping you find great value you didn’t know was there. Sounds great! I’m looking forward to trying it on my Touch.

For more details, see Mobile App | Natalie MacLean

How to deal with attackers of Serrano’s work: turn them into performance artists

Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” was attacked again, and as you can see, it is terribly damaged:

Kyle Chayka at raises a good question:

Will the attacked print be like Duchamp’s “Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors” and become a new piece of art with the broken glass? It almost looks like a halo.

I think this is a great idea.

This idea also got me thinking that perhaps Serrano should make copies of the image, put sharp tools and hammers in front of it, and invite religious groups on a regular basis to come down and destroy the copy, thereby turning the copy and themselves into a form of performance art. Even as they are attacking a work of art, they become another one.

Liberalism at it’s worst: trying to understand and give a voice to neo-Nazis (Julie Platner/ blog)

I am a big fan of the Lens blog. The photographs are always great, including Julie Platner’s photos of American Neo-nazis. But when I look at what she writes here, Julie Platner Describes Her Coverage of Jeff Hall, the Slain National Socialist Movement Leader –, it makes my skin crawl.

While the circumstances of their lives may be difficult, what they turn to is terrible and what they hope to achieve is just as terrible. They may seem pitiable because of their size and their means, but the same can be said about scorpions. And they would just as soon deny the human voices of the people they hate and would put down and make suffer.

I’d be very interested in hearing the voices of others in similar circumstances that either turn away from or ultimately reject the beliefs of neo-Nazis. Those are the people whose voices we should hear and who are deserving of a photo spread in the LENS blog. Not these people.

More smart marketing from Coca-Cola (and O&M)

Talk about taking the lemons life gives you and making lemonade! Coke converts a traffic jam into a drive-in movie! Brilliant.

Sure, it is marketing, but it is also something that got me (and likely many more people) thinking. Why should problems like traffic jams be treated as something that has to be suffered through? It would be best not to have them, but if you are are going to have problems like traffic, why not think of ways to make the situation pleasant?

It’s David Hume’s 300th birthday! (Ok, I am a few days late, even for this. Still…)

The great philosopher David Hume was born in 1711, 300 years ago, and he is birth is being celebrated everywhere. You can find out a summary of who he was here (David Hume in 3 Minutes … For His 300th Birthday, at Open Culture) or you can look him up in Wikipedia, but much more fun is watching this 3 minute cartoon on him:

And if you go to this link (YouTube – Three Minute Philosophy – David Hume) you can find a number of other three minute philosophy videos that can get you some basic and fun knowledge. Epistomology FTW!

If you are near a Selfridges and you love Coca-Cola, you have to check this out…

It’s fresh Coke in the first bottle Coca-Cola used 125 years ago! As the Selfridges web site says:

In celebration of Coca–Cola’s 125th year anniversary, the very first vintage Coca–Cola bottle–the Hutchinson–has been reproduced. This collector’s item comes in a special anniversary box.

More details here. Not bad for £1.99.

What do you get why you mix “Moulin Rouge”, “The Matrix” and “Inception”?

A short film about love that looks something like this:

Found here at Open Culture, where you can find more information about it.

He who stops being better stops being good – words of wisdom from Cromwell (and IBM)

Taken from the film 100 x 100: IBM Centennial Film which can be found here (along with this poster) at the blog, The Casual Optimist