All posts for the month December, 2006

the alchemists

“If you watch one trailer this week – this is THE one to watch if you want to get your inspiration fix. Because after those few minutes i can’t wait for 2007, and i’m buzzing to shake things up with all my insane ideas. Brought to you by the One Club, The Alchemists is about 5 people who hated the world so much they changed yours.

Who’s involved? Lee Clow, who created the most-famous commercial in history by introducing Macintosh computers in 198; George Lois who single-handedly saved MTV from extinction with his trademark in-your-face celebrity campaign; Phyllis K. Robinson who helped define the entire “me generation” with her liberating spin on selling Clairol; Hal Riney who got President Reagan re-elected; and Dan Wieden who, inspired by the last words of executed murderer Gary Gilmore, came up with the little phrase “Just Do It
“and revolutionized advertising forever. Sports, fashion, music, politics, technology-our culture-was deeply affected by these alchemists.”

via NotCot

feedbak methodologies

I came across this great post reminding us that showing too many details too early can be incredibly unproductive. I’ve always questioned people, clients, and educational systems that emphasized looks, glam, and presentation over the methodology, experience, and solving the larger issues. I’m not saying this goes with all industries, but probably a great majority. Sure you can glam out a phase and impress certain clients, but creating your own lie can bite you bad down the road. I could ramble on and on about this, but I’m sure everyone in the creative world can relate to this topic in many instances with great stories. Read the rest of the article here.

POM juice teaI just treated myself to a refreshing glass of POM Juice Tea (Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea to be exact). Besides the zesty taste I’d like to point out the simple and sustainable container, which is shaped like a glass cup! Yup, it’s that simple. You pop off the top, and enjoy it like a fresh glass of juice. Better yet is that you can add it to your shelf for reuse. It’s a good thickness glass which I like more than most of the glass cups I have anyways. If your more of a herbs person, the cap pops back on airtight. Extra points for POM, their wonderful juices, and now their sweet sustainable glass containers!

Robin Hood Restaurants

What a kick-butt idea!!!

“These pay-as-you-can cafes have missions that are unapologetically altruistic—call it serving up fare Robin Hood style. “Our philosophy is that everyone, regardless of economic status, deserves the chance to eat healthy, organic food while being treated with dignity,” explains Brad Birky, who opened SAME with his wife, Libby, in October. Customers who have no money are encouraged to exchange an hour of service — sweep, wash the dishes, weed the organic garden — for a meal. Likewise, guests who have money are encouraged to leave a little extra to offset the meals of those who have less to give. “We’re a hand up, not a hand out,” says One World owner Denise Cerreta, who prides herself on the fact that everyone can afford a meal at her café.

The cafés’ business models have won fans among the city’s well-to-do residents, many of whom regularly dine there. At One World, patrons have given Cerreta a car, bought new dishes, arranged to professionally clean her carpets, supplied new tile for the restaurant bathrooms, and donated property for an organic garden and funded a new irrigation system for it. Last week, a gentleman left a $50 bill next to an empty bowl of soup at SAME. Since opening, one man has regularly come in and left money on the counter without eating, stating “I was blessed today so I though I’d pass it on.” He’s homeless.” via TIME.

I’ve always been a fan of exchanging ones time for another rather than diving into money talks. This probably occurred when I had to pay a lawyer recently, but I did continue this trend when my friend needed a design for his CD album. I knew he had little money, so I said I’d do it for free in exchange for his time down the road. I spent 15-20 hours designing the cover for him, and in exchange he said he’d give me a free concert (you know who ya are 😉 ). Buh yeah to to community driven ideas!(much like my thoughts on search engines)

SAME ( was inspired by another cafe,, for this great initiative.


Is Wikiasari going to be the “killer” new search engine to trump over Google? I’m not sure, but what I am sure about is the dominant power that community driven sites have had over the past few years(MySpace, Craigslist, eBay,YouTube, WikiPedia, etc). Wikiasari is the vision of Jimmy Wales who pioneered and founded Wikipedia, a dynamic online community driven encyclopedia which I personally use almost everyday and trust more than the printed stuff. I’m a sucker for community driven websites and am optimistic about this buzz, but what I can say, is that there is a great deal of improvements needed for search engines. I’m just going to wait (rumored to launch in early 2007) and see what pops, but if your the early adopter craving to know, read on to these articles for more details(such as Amazons funding, etc); TechCrunch, TopTechNews, CNet.(also an influential read about this topic is TIME magazines Person of the year: You)

This is good reminder that even if a specific market is controlled by a monster company, there is always room to dominate, much like google did back in the yahoo, netcrawler, netscape days. 😉

lasting gifts
At a recent holiday gathering I was asked to bring a gift with a story, meaning, and perhaps a life changing experience for whomever was to receive my gift. I generally custom make gifts for friends, so making something for a stranger was a bit tough. So instead I asked myself “what are life changing products that have made a huge impact to my lifestyle and would be useful for anyone”?(this gathering was a bit tech oriented). We’ll, here are two products that have changed my life drastically along with some software producs that have done the same.

Sonicare Electronic Toothbrush : It’s a massage in your mouth using this beauty. Once you go electric, it’s hard to go back.

Logitech 8-button mouse(MX510): Navigating will never be the same! I personally use the extra buttons on the mouse to, “go back, forward, scroll, close windows, and launch internet browser”. I rarely hit those backwards and forwards button on the nav bar, nor do I ever click on that “x” to close a window anymore…saves thousands of seconds daily.(their new “hyper-wheel” seems interesting)

E-mail Clients:Eudora, Outlook(or express), Mail, Opera, Thunderbird, etc:
It amazes me how many people don’t use email clients. I can’t imagine managing emails without them. It surprises me to see people typing in passwords to check mail only to find no mail at times. E-mail clients save loads of time if you communicate through e-mails. E-mail clients still have a long way to go, but the first jump has been drastic.

Digital Calendars: Outlook, GCal, 30boxes, Sunbird,iCal, etc:
Never forget a meeting, birthday, appointment, event, etc…even have the calendar send you a text message reminder! In the world of information overload, calendars will be playing a HUGE role in our everyday future of multitasking and managing ourselves.

Lots of other compelling products out there, but these are some that I bring up all the time. Do you have a life changing product story? Let me know..
Happy holidays!!

Neatorama links us to a great video of a street vendor in China creating sugar animal lollipops by hand. I’ve seen this many times in in person, but it still fascinates me to see it over an over again. This reminds me that if you can spark someones attention through the creation of your art it’ll make the buying and product experience more thrilling than just buying an end product like most objects are sold today.

How crazy cool, scary, mysterious, and inspirational is this! I love it when people take ordinary objects and make them extraordinary. In this case, lots of old newspaper transformed into an alien like monster that’s somewhat cute, yet scary to guard your entrance. I’m making one over the holiday break!
via MyHumanComputer
More pics after the jump.
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bendable concrete

Popular Mechanics has a great list of tech materials or concepts that are rather inspiring. Pictured above is bendable concrete:

Bendable Concrete

The nickname for Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC) is self-explanatory: bendable concrete. Specially coated microscopic polymer fibers slide past each other instead of snapping under stress, so ECC bends without breaking. The material has been used to create stretchable expansion joints for a Michigan bridge, and to allow the coupling beams in a 41-story tower in Yokohama to flex during Japan’s frequent earthquakes.
SHORT-TERM IMPACT: LOWIt could take years for ECC to be commonly used in construction, unless a major earthquake puts it in the spotlight.

via PopulareMechanics

fish pedicureOOOooo…I never thought I’d be craving for a swarm of little fish to nibble on my feet and hands, but I just might now. I’ll assume it tickles at first then transforms into a soothing yet odd prickly day..i’ll give it a try.

“For the adventurous, there’s the Ooedo Onsen. This three-year-old kitschy spa made to look like a centuries-old, shogun-era village lets visitors choose from 15 different yukatas (light cotton kimonos) to wear while inside. In addition to its 28 baths and massages, Ooedo offers an exotic esthetic treatment called Doctor Fish, a foot bath featuring live fish called garru-rufa.

The small fish swim in a shallow tub of warm water and nibble at dead skin, leaving hands and feet smooth [top]. Imported from Turkey, the fish are used in some Middle Eastern countries as a natural way to treat skin disease and rheumatism. Be warned: Dozens of fish chewing on flesh looks like something straight out of a horror movie. But when you get over the ick factor, the nibbling can have a calming affect.”

read more via bookofjoe