We found a swell 21 second video on YouTube but imbedding is disabled so click this link to watch it. It comes with our wishes for a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
This image reminded us just how much potential an ordinary paper bag has to be a creepy, potent impromptu Halloween costume. And it affords one of the primal pleasures of a good costume: wearing a mask to become…someone else…and view the world through a strange and anonymous lens…
Over at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, we found a how-to for a swell group Halloween costume: a traveling exhibition of modern art… Here, Mark Rothko, Piet Mondrian, and Jackson Pollock are represented because…
“… the best choices are iconic artists whose distinctive styles may be recognizable even in third-rate attempts (like ours) to mimic their styles.”
The only tweak we’d make to the concept is to wear some sort of face mask, which is much of the pleasure of Halloween: being anonymous…or someone/something other than yourself.
They suggest other alternatives to making a copy of a painting on a piece of canvas. Our favorite: “Have everyone dress up with a blank canvas and carry colored ink squirt guns.”
COLORED INK SQUIRT GUNS?!!!
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories has a trove of Halloween d-i-y costume, decor, and fun, including bat wings made from broken umbrellas…
The best part of Maria Popova’s Brainpickings blog is, for us, the glimpses she gives us into new books. With extensive pictures and well-selected quotes, she immediately and completely draws you in to the world of the book she’s featuring. This picture from the book Nomad by Jeroen Toirkens particularly spoke to us, as it reveals the life of people who must always be prepared to be on the move. A teepee with solar-panels and satellite dish in Mongolia somehow resonates with our obsession with portable rooms (both inside and out), and reminds us the many other ways of living that are going on right at this moment… read more…
(Video link here.)…yeah, people are AWESOME.
(Video link.) We’re excited for Steven Johnson’s new book, The Innovator’s Cookbook: Essentials for Inventing What Is Next. It looks like he has called upon an all-star cast of innovators and researchers to discuss what makes for successful innovation. In the video, he gives away some important parts of the recipe: We like being instructed to “lose our bearings” in order to be open to new ideas. But we really love his story about music producer Brian Eno forcing band members to switch instruments in the studio to keep their music fresh and encourage new sounds. …And the practice of starting brainstorming sessions with a “show-and-tell” of recently discovered ideas – even seemingly unrelated ones.
The tenets of innovation presented here sound very similar to Joshua Foer’s rules for becoming an expert. It seems that experience and research both show that forcing yourself out of your comfort zone and taking risks is integral to building new skills and finding success in new projects. So it’s not all just a hunch of ours!
Johnson is also the man behind Where Good Ideas Come From, which we find ourselves returning to often (perfect bathroom reading: you can open it anywhere.)
Related posts: steven johnson on cultivating good ideas (daily)
‘where good ideas come from’
tool for improvising: defer judgment
making it up as you go along (seth godin + jackson pollock)
brian eno on ‘structuring ideas’ in improvising
(Video link here.) We’ve posted before about artist Theo Jansen’s remarkable Strandbeests, creatures made entirely from PVC pipe that move on their own using wind-power. Watching them scurry across the beach like enormous prehistoric insects never ceases to delight us.
Jansen, who has been working on his beasts for over 20 years, has often referred to their genetic code and ability to reproduce. His ultimate goal is enabling them to live on their own on the beaches of Holland. As he shows in this charmingly awkward Ted talk, his creatures are indeed evolving. The Strandbeests, made entirely of ordinary materials, now have what Jansen calls “a simple brain.” read more…
Apparently this dramatic bathtub was made out of a “giant pebble-shaped granite piece brought back from Bali and sculpted”…The pipes fixtures are cleverly hidden in the wooden chest that sits next to it and the Baroque chandelier doubles as a shower head.
Hmmmm…we’re serious fans of baths and wonderful bathtubs. Could this one possibly be a pleasure to hang out in? How does that rolled lip support your neck and head so you can lie around and lounge without getting a crick? Could you even sit and lean comfortably? We’re suspicious; our bad design radar is up. (Bad design for us is design that seems like a good idea or looks cool, but it’s reality is the opposite.)
What do you think?
via French by Design
As much as we love the vertical shipping pallet garden we wrote about in May, it’s flaw is that if you needed to move it off your balcony, you might be in some trouble. Enter the milk crate farm! When the bad economy stalled construction at New York City’s Alexandria Center for Life Science, Chef Sisha Ortuzar and business partner Jeffrey Zurofsky had a brilliant idea: use the stalled site as a farm. There they grow fresh veggies to use at Riverpark, the restaurant next door.
We’ve always loved the Butterfly Chair made by the great Johnny Swing. He welded 1,500 half dollar coins at 7,000 points. It makes us want to pick up a welding torch…(we actually googled “how to weld“…)
Check out more Swing brilliance (made out of all sorts of coins) here. His story is quite something, too. We found a great article about him at Art Works Magazine:
“… he puts these ordinary things together in more interesting ways. It’s repurposing at its best. He says he likes to ‘take a worthless thing and make it beautiful.’ In discarded baby food jars, he sees chairs or chandeliers. A wheelbarrow is easily fashioned into a table. Nickels compose a couch. Dollar bills become the fabric for a teddy bear or a pillow.”
He’s been at it since he was a kid…
Leo Babauta has gained a big following on his blog Zen Habits, where he posts daily about simplifying your life to what you REALLY want to be doing. We often find useful practices we truly can apply to our lives. The other day, we read all the way through his lengthy post How I Changed My Life, In Four Lines. The catchy headline got us as did the compelling first lines:
Changing your life can seem an incredibly tough and complicated thing, especially if you’ve failed a great number of times (like I did), found it too hard, and resigned yourself to not changing.
But I found a way to change.
It’s worth reading Babauta’s examples, which go from how he started running and eating healthier and getting out of debt, to how he gave up goals because he figured out that you can change your life with or without goals, IF you follow 4 principles: read more…