January 29, 2010 § Leave a comment
January 25, 2010 § Leave a comment
hahaha I just thought this was amusing….
January 25, 2010 § Leave a comment
Something to think about….
Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.
4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.
The questions raised:
*In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*Do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.
How many other things are we missing?
January 25, 2010 § Leave a comment
Basic Grilled Cheese
You can make a fantastic sandwich with just great bread, fresh butter, and your favorite cheese:
1. Butter bread slices on 1 side. Turn them over. Lay 2 cheese slices on 1 bread slice. Top with the other bread slice, buttered side up.
2. Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat. Flick a drop of water into the pan; if it sizzles and evaporates, the pan is hot enough.
3. Put sandwich, buttered side down, in pan. Let it cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and crunchy underneath. Turn and let cook another 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and crunchy.
Choose a cheese that melts well, such as cheddar, jack, Colby, gruyère, Swiss, fontina, provolone, or brie.
But why stop there?
Golden Gate Grilled Cheese
This version is like a Monte Cristo ― only better. The parmesan crust is pure genius.
Grilled Pastrami, Swiss, and Sweet Onion Marmalade on Rye
Make the marmalade ahead so you can whip these babies out in just a few minutes. Leftover marmalade is terrific on pork chops and roast beef.
Crab and Avocado Grilled Cheese on Sourdough
This sandwich is also great served open faced, using toasted bread. Lynn Blair invented it one day when she was trying to figure out what to do with leftover crab
Single Girl’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Artichokes, Tomato, and Black Olives
This sandwich was Kimberly Feltz’s comfort food when she was in her 20s, living on her own. “I put all of my favorite foods on it ― it’s my ‘Treat Yourself Special’ grilled cheese sandwich.”
Grilled Fresh Mozzarella and Apricot on Sourdough
Gaines invented this delicious, tangy-sweet sandwich to use the plentiful apricots from his neighbor’s tree, which hung over the property line. “He told us we could have all the fruit on our side of the fence,” Gaines explains.
Roast Beef and Two-Chile Grilled Cheese on Onion Rolls
We love how spicy this sandwich is, but if you prefer less heat, cut back on the chipotle mayo and the green chiles.
Hazelnut-crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Figs
The flavors of a good a cheese plate ― salty, sweet, nutty ― mingle in this sandwich. We loved its hazelnut crust, and also enjoyed the sandwich just as much with ripe teleme cheese from California.
Tarragon Vegetable Grilled Cheese on Sourdough
Karen Kadlec uses a slice of regular sharp cheddar and a slice of black pepper cheddar, but the second cheese isn’t widely available. If you can find it, by all means try it, but then skip the final sprinkle of black pepper.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Bacon, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Fried Eggs
Esi Impraim’s inspiration: chef Thomas Keller’s cheesy fried-egg BLT, featured in the 2004 movie Spanglish. Impraim’s version is quite different from the original ― and just as delicious.
Grilled Eggplant and Brie Sandwiches with Olive Tapenade
Charis Janda had trouble finding a restaurant that made eggplant sandwiches, so she invented this very tasty one. If you don’t have time to make the tapenade, just substitute your favorite store-bought kind.
January 25, 2010 § Leave a comment
These tutorial-filled sites offer instruction on a wide variety of topics.
- eHow: Formerly Expert Village, this site it full of detailed instructions and videos that will take you through the basics of activities in categories like health, food and drink, legal, parenting and more.
- SuTree: Here you’ll find thousands of user-submitted videos on just about anything you could possibly want to learn more about.
- Video Jug: This site will give you access to professional-looking videos that will have you improving your etiquette, applying your makeup or knitting a scarf better in no time.
- TrickLife: Check out this site for how-to instruction in computers, crafts, electronics, hobbies and a whole lot more.
- MyTutorials: You can search through the existing tutorials on this site, pose your own questions and get help or share your expertise in a video or lesson of your own.
- Tutorial Ninja: This site is home to a wide range of technology and science focused tutorials.
- Find Tutorials: Search through this site to find instructions on how to improve your skills in a variety of different topics from technology to fixing up your house.
- Learn That: Whether you want to learn how to make awesome salsa or just navigate through all the new features of the latest Photoshop, this site can help you find the guidance to do so more easily.
- Wikiversity: Just like the bigger Wikipedia site, the information offered here is free for the taking and easily searchable.
- 5min: Got five minutes? Then you’ve got enough time to watch one of these short but informative videos.
- Instructables: This site encourages you to get creative, share your skills and learn from other users.
Learning another language can be a great way to challenge your brain and improve your resume. Check out these tools for some help.
- Google Language Tools: With Google’s tools you’ll be able to search for terms in foreign languages, translate, and even use Google in another language.
- BBC Languages: Check out what the BBC has to offer, with lessons in more than 36 different languages.
- LiveMocha: Find a friend and trade your language expertise through this social learning tool.
- italki: This tool allows you to hook up with a native speaker and get free help learning a new language.
- Babbel: This site is chock full of resources to help you learn a language, from flashcards to more extensive instruction.
- lingro: Have a website in another language you want help understanding? This site will allow you to click on the words you don’t know, instead of translating the whole thing.
- busuu: Join this language learning community to get a leg up on learning a new language.
- MIT Foreign Language and Literature: Read through the free course materials offered on this site to get access to the same instruction offered at world-class college MIT.
- Rosetta Project: If you want to learn more about the history and relationships between languages pay a visit to this site which is working to catalog information about all human languages.
- LingoPass: This site operates by asking users to exchange their language skills with someone else who wants to teach and learn as well.
Take advantage of these lessons to learn to be more musically adept at everything from a violin to your own vocal chords.
- Guitar Noise: This site is a great place to watch some free instructional videos on the basics of playing guitar.
- ActiveBass: Learn more about all aspects of playing the bass, as well as some free lessons, on this site .
- Violin Masterclass: If you’ve ever wanted to know how to play the violin and want to learn the basics before taking more professional courses, check out these freebies.
- Brass Trainer: This site will test you on your brass playing skills, helping you master some of the fundamentals.
- Danman’s Music Library: Sign up on this site and get access to numerous instructional videos on playing everything from the ukulele to the stand-up bass.
- Sing Smart: Those who are looking to improve their vocal skills can visit this site to get a little vocal coaching.
- Drum Lessons: If percussion is more your cup of tea, visit this site to get the basics, some beats and helpful techniques.
- Hear and Play: Simply sign up with this site to get lessons in how to play by ear.
- Online Flute Lessons: This site will help you learn to play the flute or to play better if you already know a little.
- How to Play the Accordion: Those who’s musical tastes differ from the norm may want to try to learn to play the accordion, and this site can help.
If you never learned how to sew or cook, these resources can help you learn the basics.
- What the Craft: Even if you’re not a crafter there’s a lot to be gained from the tutorials on this site that will teach you the basics of sewing as well as some more advanced techniques in creating clothes.
- Sewing Tutorials: From creating patterns to sewing basics, this site is full of tutorials that will help you mend, hem and create.
- FreeNeedle: This site will help you sew aprons, curtains, pillows and a whole lot more.
- Elemental Stitches: Here you’ll find some tutorials on basic sewing projects for you, your pets and your home.
- Cooking Tutorials: Whether you need to know how to properly cook a Thanksgiving turkey or make your own pasta, this site has lessons for you to learn from.
- Gourmet Spot: From the basics of cooking to the finer points of entertaining, this site offers a wealth of information.
- Look and Taste: You can use this instructional site from anywhere– even your iPhone– making it simple to learn how to cook just about anything.
- Do Laundry the Right Way: If you have a tendency to shrink your sweaters and turn your whites pink, get some instruction from this site.
Around the House
You can learn to be your own handyman or woman with these great DIY tools.
- Make Magazine: Listen to this podcast to learn how to make and do just about anything around the house you’d like.
- ReadyMade: Get creative with your DIY projects with a little guidance from the projects featured on this magazine’s site.
- Car Maintenance Guide: Learn the basics of keeping your car in good working order through this blog.
- DoItYourself.com: With a little elbow grease and expertise gleaned from this site, you can fix just about anything in your house.
- SkillVids: Watch the videos on this site to learn some valuable DIY skills.
- The Bicycle Tutor: If you’re more of a bike person than a car one, learn how to keep your bike working and well-oiled from this site.
- Easy2DIY: This site will help you learn to fix a wide range of things around your home.
- DIY Home Improvements Depot: From drywalling to removing carpet, this site offers you a wealth of information on home improvements.
Whether you’re technologically impaired or just want to learn some new skills to add to your repertoire, these sites can help you learn more, faster.
- W3Schools: Learn how to build great websites through the great tutorials offered on this site.
- How-to-Geek: This site offers a geekier take on how-tos, dealing with computers, electronic and gaming tutorials.
- InPictures: If you need some basic instruction in working with a computer, this site offers illustrated tutorials to get you through.
- Geekpedia: Want to know how to work with Java? Do computer programming of other kinds? This site will teach you.
- MuppetLabs: Use this site to learn how to work with C++, Perl, Python and much more.
- actDEN: Boost your business skills by learning the ins and outs of Powerpoint, Office and Internet Explorer on this site.
- The Internet Archive: Explore the history of the internet with this site that has archives of sties on the web from years past.
- Productivity Portfolio: This site is home to five minute tips to help improve your computer and technology skills.
These tools and resources can help you get a free education on your own.
- Forum Network: Listen to lectures from great universities, PBS and NPR from this site’s collection on hundreds of topics.
- MIT Open Courseware: You can take courses on your own time through this prestigious university’s open site.
- Harvard@Home: Get access to some of the most well-known researchers and scholars and their lectures through this site.
- Princeton WebMedia: Learn more about a wide variety of topics from the free lectures on this site.
- iTunes U: Use your iTunes for more than listening to music and download free lectures and videos from world class institutions through this facet of the program.
- OpenCourseware Finder: Search through thousands of free courses using this tool that you can download and take when you like.
- Project Gutenberg: You can do quite a bit of reading right from your own computer with this collection of classic books.
- WikiBooks: Read through some of the selections on this site to learn about a huge range of interests from science to new languages.
- Academic Earth: This collection of lectures will help you expand your mind and learn from professors and academics at famous institutions.
- Connexions: Check out the learning modules offered on this site for delving into a plethora of topics.
- Google Scholar: If you’re in need of some reputable reading material, this search tool will help you find journals and articles on your topic that you can trust.
Brush up on your business skills through these free courses and tutorials.
- Business Tutorials: This site offers some great advice and information for new and young entrepreneurs.
- Change Management: If you’re hoping to improve your management skills, this site can give you some helpful pointers.
- KnowThis?: Here you’ll find some indispensable information on marketing and selling products– essential for the success for your business.
- Small Business Administration: This government organization offers some great, free courses on setting up and running a business.
- LearnThat: Business: From starting a business to paying your taxes, these tutorials offer you lots to learn and think about.
- My Own Business: Take this free online course to get some help in understanding what it takes to start your own business.
- HP Learning Center: Learn how to harness the technology aspects of business with these free courses.
Health and Fitness
Use these sites to get yourself in shape, find out more about your body and learn about important health issues.
- Get Body Smart: Learn more about how the human body works, inside and out, from this site.
- WebMD: Here you’ll find a ton of resources on just about every illness, disorder and all kinds of health issues.
- MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: If you want to learn more about medical terminology or specific illnesses, this encyclopedia is a great tool.
- Fitness Online: This site offers a wide range of fitness advice and information to help you learn how to get fit and healthy.
- Health.com: Find important health information for working out, eating right and caring for your body on this site.
- eMedicine: Use this site to learn more the latest and greatest in medicine.
Math and Science
Go through these tools to learn more about space, scientific principles, and the earth itself.
- The Chem Team: Get a refresher or a basic run-through of some of the most important principles in chemistry with this site.
- The Physics Zone: If you know little or nothing about physics, this site will tutor you in the basics.
- NASA: Learn more about the world of outer space– in our own galaxy and further out– with the photos, videos and information on this site.
- Real World Math: If you’re the type who has always hated math because it seems useless in everyday life, then check out this site that shows how math can be applied to real world situations.
- S.O.S. Mathematics: This site will give you a math review from the basics of algebra all the way up to differential equations.
- Science A-Go-Go: Here you can keep up with the latest research and developments in science and learn something new each day.
- Geology Rocks: Want to know more about the inner workings of the ground under your feet? This site offers interactive tools for learning.
From exploring the great artifacts of American history to learning about the social sciences and humanities, these resources will help round out your education.
- Library of Congress: The Library of Congress is home to thousands of documents, photos and recordings that provide a multi-media telling of import events in American history.
- Digital History: There are numerous online exhibits, lectures, and interactive learning experiences available to the inquiring mind on this site.
- Biography: Here you’ll be able to learn more about some of the people who have shaped the path of history.
- The History Channel :You don’t have to have cable to take advantage of the videos and information this TV channel provides.
- H-Net: Here you’ll find peer-reviewed essays, multimedia learning tools and more to help you delve into the humanities.
- National Archives: Search through the hundreds of thousands of records this site organizes, and talk to the archive employees for more specific research needs.
- Encyclopedia Smithsonian: The Smithsonian is one of the largest museums in the world, with a collection of unrivaled depth and breadth. This tool will et you search through the items the museum holds.
- SparkNotes: Need a little help understanding a work of ancient literature or classic poetry? These free study guides can act as free tutors.
Take a look at these resources to get a better handle on art history, learn to draw or brush up on famous literature.
- Artcyclopedia: Explore the history of art through this site that catalogs some of the biggest movements and names in art.
- Photography Mentor: Improve the quality of your shots with some tips on this photography site.
- Duey’s Drawings: Ever wanted to learn to draw but never had the time? This site will teach you whenever you feel like learning.
- Media College: Learn some new videography, cinematography, and editing skills from the tutorials on this media-focused site.
- Digital Arts: If you want to learn to edit videos and photos, this site is an ideal place to find a little help.
- Bartleby: Use this site to read and learn a variety of famous quotes– some of which you might have heard but not known from where they originated.
January 23, 2010 § Leave a comment
- Allow events to change you.You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.
- Forget about good.Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.
- Process is more important than outcome.When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.
- Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.
- Go deep.The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.
- Capture accidents.The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.
- Study.A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit.
- Drift.Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.
- Begin anywhere.John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.
- Everyone is a leader.Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead.
- Harvest ideas.Edit applications. Ideas need a dynamic, fluid, generous environment to sustain life. Applications, on the other hand, benefit from critical rigor. Produce a high ratio of ideas to applications.
- Keep moving.The market and its operations have a tendency to reinforce success. Resist it. Allow failure and migration to be part of your practice.
- Slow down.Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves.
- Don’t be cool.Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.
- Ask stupid questions.Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant.
- Collaborate.The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential.
- ____________________.Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others.
- Stay up late.Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest of the world.
- Work the metaphor.Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for.
- Be careful to take risks.Time is genetic. Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow. The work you produce today will create your future.
- Repeat yourself.If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.
- Make your own tools.Hybridize your tools in order to build unique things. Even simple tools that are your own can yield entirely new avenues of exploration. Remember, tools amplify our capacities, so even a small tool can make a big difference.
- Stand on someone’s shoulders.You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better.
- Avoid software.The problem with software is that everyone has it.
- Don’t clean your desk.You might find something in the morning that you can’t see tonight.
- Don’t enter awards competitions.Just don’t. It’s not good for you.
- Read only left-hand pages.Marshall McLuhan did this. By decreasing the amount of information, we leave room for what he called our “noodle.”
- Make new words.Expand the lexicon. The new conditions demand a new way of thinking. The thinking demands new forms of expression. The expression generates new conditions.
- Think with your mind.Forget technology. Creativity is not device-dependent.
- Organization = Liberty.Real innovation in design, or any other field, happens in context. That context is usually some form of cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank Gehry, for instance, is only able to realize Bilbao because his studio can deliver it on budget. The myth of a split between “creatives” and “suits” is what Leonard Cohen calls a ‘charming artifact of the past.’
- Don’t borrow money.Once again, Frank Gehry’s advice. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline, and how many have failed.
- Listen carefully.Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings with him or her a world more strange and complex than any we could ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither party will ever be the same.
- Take field trips.The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic–simulated environment.
- Make mistakes faster.This isn’t my idea — I borrowed it. I think it belongs to Andy Grove.
- Imitate.Don’t be shy about it. Try to get as close as you can. You’ll never get all the way, and the separation might be truly remarkable. We have only to look to Richard Hamilton and his version of Marcel Duchamp’s large glass to see how rich, discredited, and underused imitation is as a technique.
- Scat.When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up something else … but not words.
- Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it.
- Explore the other edge.Great liberty exists when we avoid trying to run with the technological pack. We can’t find the leading edge because it’s trampled underfoot. Try using old-tech equipment made obsolete by an economic cycle but still rich with potential.
- Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms.Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces — what Dr. Seuss calls “the waiting place.” Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference — the parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals — but with no actual conference. Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations.
- Avoid fields.Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields.
- Laugh.People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Since I’ve become aware of this, I use it as a barometer of how comfortably we are expressing ourselves.
- Remember.Growth is only possible as a product of history. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event. That’s what makes us aware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and, as such, a potential for growth itself.
- Power to the people.Play can only happen when people feel they have control over their lives. We can’t be free agents if we’re not free.