As we’ve mentioned, ‘the improvised life’s laboratory is something of an homage to plywood. We’ve used it for many things, from window sills to cabinets to floors. We love the stuff, and are constantly hatching plots in our head for furniture, housewares, endless inventions. So we are smitten with carpenter and author Philip Schmidt new book PlyDesign which presents 73 ideas for sleek, smart home furnishings that you can make from off-the-shelf sheet materials using only basic hand and power tools. It features designs contributed by more than 50 creative builders across North America for tables, stools, workstations, benches, laptop stands, shelves, art panels, organizers, headboards, and more.
(Video link here.) This stop-action video tracking 5 years of one man’s appearance makes us wonder how much how we look, and what our style is, affects our experience and identity…
…And the many choices we can make about our appearance.
Going through airport security checkpoint a couple of weeks ago, the TSA agent looked at Sally’s passport picture and said, “Why did you change your hair?” read more…
The race is breathtaking, and a big reminder of just what’s possible if you set your mind to it, and work and practice, and are willing to not have things be be perfect, until suddenly they become just that.
”I am living proof, that with enough desire and determination, any obstacle can be overcome.”
Check out more revelatory pictures from the paralympics at Big Picture.
Related posts: xcarpenter sentayehu teshale re-envisions ‘disability’
pianist derek paravacini: ‘good comes out of bad’
chuck close’s ‘note to self’ (eight perfect rules for living)
when ‘disaster’ gets interesting
carpenter sentayehu teshale re-envisions ‘disability’
‘nothing is impossible’ defies ‘disability’
signmark and the very loud message of deaf rap
I am the parent of a child with severe disabilities, a job that calls for near constant improvisation. I asked parents of children with disabilities — some that I knew and most that I don’t know! — what they might have told themselves on the day their child was diagnosed and to write that down on a poster and pose with it for a photo. They sent me their photos, and we put them together in what, I think is an example of an improvised life –
It blew us away: big honest words for an incredibly difficult thing. Aquino’s parents’ messages apply to the many rough diagnoses and challenges that invariably strike us all, while providing insight into the valiant lives that people
live improvise daily. Witness this series of posters: read more…
Wednesday would have been the late avant-garde composer John Cage‘s 100 birthday, and he’s had SUCH an big influence in our lives, we wanted to commemorate the day. To describe his work is practically impossible, since it broke down definitions of “music” like crazy and was really performance of endlessly varied kinds – involving chance or planning, silence or unexpected sound – which all ultimately made you think expansively about life. read more…
(Video link here.) We always thought Harpo Marx’s desperately improvised harp from a smashed piano in A Day at the Races as the penultimate piano improv UNTIL we saw this video: piano-as-an-endless-array-of-instruments. Beautiful. and a fine reminder of the possibilities in everyday things. Just look closer, imagine HARDER…
With big thanks to Charlie Allenson.
Related posts: movie break: harpo’s artful improvisation
pianist derek paravacini: ‘good comes out of bad’
music to work by: bach’s goldberg variations (free)
‘self-taught’ lessons about learning and creativity
thelonious monk’s notes on life and musicx
In case you haven’t been able to get away enough this summer, here’s a couple of lovely little slices of it, of being truly AWAY:
It’s August and in real time the city of Paris is virtually deserted; everyone is away. But that doesn’t stop us from taking a virtual tour of Paris in our heads, and reveling in that magic city, and refreshing our overworked brains. Researchers are now saying downtime is ESSENTIAL to creativity (which we knew all along.) So take two minutes to get off the schedule and GO!
via Open Culture
We often post videos,profiles or quotes of artists because of the courage they exhibit in producing work that breaks from the norm, and that many would consider dangerous. Their example helps us to have a bit more courage in our own life and work, in whatever small matter terrifies us.
Among the most poweful is Chinese artist AiWeiwei. He is a dissident, who has forthrightly spoken out against the Chinese Government, and endured imprisonment, surveillance, and the shut down of his blog, which has become one of his most provocative works (If you click on aiweiwei.com, no page will load: it’s a very real example of what censorship means. )
Weiwei’s artwork spans many media, and blends politics and art in profoundly moving ways. His simple ethos:
If you don’t speak out and you don’t clear your mind, then who are you? read more…
(Video link here.) As promised in yesterday’s post, here ‘s the video of Sally on public radio’s The Splendid Table showing host Lynne Rossetto Kasper how she makes her Fragrant Herb Salt, and the many possibilities for improvising with it, from roast chicken to vegetables to butter cookies. You’ll find the recipes for it and Sally’s other favorites – French-Style Chocolate Cake and Foolproof Roast Chicken – here.
Listen to Sally and Lynne discussing all three recipes here: read more…
Over the past few month’s public radio’s The Splendid Table hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper has featured an illuminating series called Key 3: a series of discussions with great cooks (not just professional chefs) about the three recipes or techniques they think everyone should know. In a break from traditional radio, Kasper and her team made videos in the cook’s kitchens so you can get an in-depth lesson – and the thinking behind – their Key 3′s. So far the stellar line-up includes Daniel Boulud, Lydia Bastianich, Andrea Reusing, Isaac Mizrahi, Andy Ricker and…
…Sally Schneider. Just before Sally moved out of her old apartment, Lynne and her team stopped by to film her talking about her Key 3 which will air launches Friday evening. They include Perfect Roast Chicken, Essential Chocolate Cake, and Fragrant Herb Salt. We’ll post the video once it airs, along with the recipes.
But meanwhile, we recommend starting with Daniel Boulud making his fabulous Aioli, a rich Provencal garlic sauce. (Lynne filmed him right before coming to Sally’s and brought some of it with her, so we know for sure it’s swell.) His easy-to-make aioli is a perfect summer sauce for many reasons:
(Video link here.) We can’t think of a better way to celebrate this lovely ordinary day than with this video of the great Maira Kalman – whose remarkable books are a blend of images and words into vivid stories – giving her two cents on what it is to be human. She covers a lot of ground: work, love, identity, life, death, THE POINT OF IT ALL.
Our favorite gem: read more…
(Video link here.) The 88 member ‘Pearls of Russia’ women’s skydiving team pulloff a stunning flower formation jump. Daring, breathtaking, wondrous…
via Core 77