Improvised Life » video If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:41:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ramp Season: Odes, Festivals and Recipes Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:31:38 +0000

Every April, I start thinking about ramps, the first wild food to peek through the cold ground in early Spring, and the focus of equally wild festivals throughout the Appalachian mountains. For decades, I’d travel down to West Virginia to the Helvetia Ramp Supper to get a transformative blast of ramps, both raw and cooked. Here is one of the best descriptions I’ve heard of that first bite, by David Voodoon Noble, also known as The Ramp Moses: (more…)

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Quick 4 —The 4 Minute Workout for Lazy Dogs Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:00:42 +0000 We downloaded Quick 4 to our iphone and find that a 4-minute workout (based on high intensity interval training) allows for no excuses and won't let us off the hook, despite the fact that we are naturally lazy dogs (exercise-wise).]]> 0 Creativity Strategy: Tear the Idea Apart (Video) Thu, 10 Apr 2014 08:09:48 +0000 This video called Crazy furniture reminded us that EXPLODING an idea — dismantling it and reconfiguring it in various ways — can really help to refresh the creative process. And it's an especially good practice for re-envisioning a space.]]> 0 When Do-It-Yourself Doesn’t Turn Out as Planned Mon, 07 Apr 2014 23:00:41 +0000

How many times how we felt like Buster Keaton when we’ve made something that didn’t turn out quite as we envisioned? Oh well. Buster DID build a house, albeit a cockeyed one, and the process no doubt was full of useful lessons. His house ended up being a rather wonderful surrealist/modernist vision.

The image is from One Week, one of Keaton’s first great little films: (more…)

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The Bubbleologist: A Short Film about Bubbles and Life Mon, 07 Apr 2014 08:52:19 +0000

Cara de Silva alerted us this lovely short film about Bubbleologist Samsam Bubbleman who uses only two ingredients —soap and water — to make magic:

How I love this.
At about 3.30 or so it becomes almost metaphysical.
What a radiant man. And born improviser.

Click here to watch. If you can’t watch it all at once, we recommend either viewing snippets throught the day, or cutting to the chase at (more…)

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More on the Meaning of Olé, from Elizabeth Gilbert Mon, 17 Mar 2014 08:31:50 +0000

Esteban Perez Abion

After we wrote about the meaning of the murmers and shouts of Olé we heard at a stunning Estrella Morente concert,  reader Hannah alerted us to Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk ,”Your Elusive Creative Genius”, in which she speaks about the origins of Olé, and why the “Olé’s” we heard sounded like “Alé”. We excerpted a clip from the longer talk, with a quote, below. Beautiful: (more…)

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A Thrilling First Person View of Juggling Fri, 14 Mar 2014 07:00:40 +0000

Portuguese street performer Luís Reis seems to have found the perfect use for the tiny GoPro Camera/. He wore one while he juggled* in a square in Lisbon to create mesmerizing first-person perspective what it’s like to juggle. Somehow you can FEEL the balls rolling along YOUR arms… Totally fab.

*As Houdini File blogger David Saltman pointed out, Reis is not really juggling, but rather doing a rather complex illusion with the crystal ball. Juggling is just an easier word.

via Laughing Squid


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The Lifespan of Mountains Mirrors our Own Wed, 12 Mar 2014 08:22:22 +0000

(Video link HERE.) This beauty of a film by Temujin Doran is about the processes by which mountains are created and eventually destroyed. While it might seem to be about physical geography and geology, it is about way more than that:


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Julia Child Shows How to Edit Video Tape + More Fri, 07 Mar 2014 09:25:57 +0000

(Video link HERE. Vimeo suddently decided they won’t let us show it right on our site but it’s worth clicking to Video to watch.) Fern Berman sent us this hilarious tiny video of the great Julia Child showing how to edit video tape, a game spoof on her own inimitable French cooking show. She was generous, secretly funny and completely herself. And because of all those qualities, she was a great improviser. (more…)

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Stress-Busting Video Transporter to Yosemite Tue, 04 Mar 2014 00:00:51 +0000

(Video link HERE.) We just found this note from Susan Dworski:

when you need a touch of the celestial to offset some practical DIY.
music’s a tad OTT, I’d turn it off, but the visuals are superb. (more…)

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James Brown’s Wakeup Call: Get Up and Do Your Thing Mon, 03 Mar 2014 09:22:23 +0000


The magnificient James Brown’s soulful groovin’ mantra,


seems like the perfect way to get going on a Monday (or any) morning… (more…)

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The Evolution of a Snowflake Is Like…Our Own Thu, 27 Feb 2014 09:27:06 +0000

(Video link HERE.)  This wondrous video made us look up “How Are Snowflakes Formed?”, a question that we realize we’ve never known the answer to. We found that the answers curiously echo the creative process and individual growth: (more…)

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‘Will It Beard’s Strangely Inspiring Beard Improvisations Wed, 26 Feb 2014 09:40:05 +0000

The curiously uplifting site, Will It Beard features a completely unique beard of the week, or perhaps better put: an iteration of the same beard, that of Pierce Thiot, an L.A.-based art director. He and his wife Stacy imagine a new beard embellishment to put in his beard every week and she photographs it. So far they’ve covered floss, gummy monkeys, a chick, combs, scissors, pencils, bows, razors…as well as beard-dos like the one above.

What started as a challenge for a talent show has become an addiction. (more…)

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Murmuration: Thousands of Starlings Move as One Thu, 13 Feb 2014 08:48:40 +0000 (Video link HERE.) In this homemade video of murmuration, thousands of starlings flock over a river in Ireland, moving as one. It is a mystery of nature, happening in smaller scale daily, often unnoticed. Each bird in the flock appears to be connected...listening to every other. The mystery is how birds that are hundreds of feet apart "know" when to turn in unison and create such joyous beauty.]]> 0