5 Cool Things 2.10.13

Sending all good thoughts to everyone in the Northeast, many of whom are in shelters this morning. Geolocation technology makes for some interesting picture making. Pecha what? Pechakucha. Yep, there’s another cloud based music platform and 5CT has it for you. Wanna self help book that charts a whole new course? Of course you do. Also, a very cool restaurant / lounge reaches back to its great stories. Love this by the great Anne Lamott, “Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.” Onward we go, pals. Thanks for being here.

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1. Picture the Tweeting Places | Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman 

Well now, this is a clever and creative meld of some fairly new technologies. Imagine “A” sends out a tweet from a rural town in Georgia.

why dont people try making bracelets or necklaces with chips in them so kids can avoid being kidnapped and lost forever?

Person “A”, our tweeter, has her geolocation thingy turned on in her twitter settings. Which means you or me or Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman can figure out exactly where “A” was when she tweeted. So the tweet is bound to the land. All of which is to say that Nate and Marni gathered a whole slew of publicly available tweets, along with all the geolocation info for those tweets. Went to the very spot from whence those tweets came. Then made some lovely pictures and then paired their imagery to said tweet. Got it?

why dont people try making bracelets or necklaces with chips in them so kids can avoid being kidnapped and lost forever?

About 50 people waiting to get healed. @RockChurch

Will try my best to live life the right way, morally and ethically. I can’t keep living the way I am now.

From all this lovely work, Nate and Marni have made a fine looking Blurb book which you can look at right here >>

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2. 20 x 20 | The Art of the Presentation — Pechakucha

Hitchhiking for Sanity by Myles Dickason

Click the photo to watch the presentation.

Very cool development in the world of public presentations. Useful for educators, architects — anyone who makes presentations. Pechakucha is the creation of Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture. The first one was held in Tokyo. The idea is that you can gather a group of professionals, or artists, or anyone really, and in a spirit of shared intelligence and community and ideas, put on a bunch of cool, fairly quick presentations. The kicker? Only 20 slides allowed. And each slide is up for only 20 seconds. Hence, the 20 x 20 thing.

The photograph you see above is from a pechakucha on hitchhiking. By Myles Dickason. Charming tour into one man’s life on the road.

Visit pechakucha here >>

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3. More Music | SoundCloud 

From the very cool and very social SoundCloud website:

SoundCloud is a social sound platform that gives users unprecedented access to the world’s largest community of music and audio creators. SoundCloud allows everyone to discover original music and audio, connect with each other and share their sounds with the world. In addition, sound creators can use the platform to instantly record, upload and share sounds across the internet, as well as receive detailed stats and feedback from the SoundCloud community.

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Anne Lamott, photo by Sam Lamott

“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve thought there was something noble and mysterious about writing, about the people who could do it well, who could create a world as if they were little gods or sorcerers. All my life I thought there was something magical about people who could get into other people’s mind and skin, who could take people like me out of ourselves and then take us back to ourselves. And you know what? I still do.”

That beautiful place where she says, ‘take us back to ourselves.’ One of the more perfect descriptions of what great writing does. The writing that makes you want to stop strangers on the street — that’s writing that takes you back to yourself. The writing that makes you read out loud to your lover, that’s writing that takes you back to yourself. The writing that makes you buy a certain book for your favorite clients, that’s writing that takes you back to yourself. We love Anne. Wanna longer visit?

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4. Swimming Upstream | The Antidote, Oliver Burkeman

Oliver Burkeman and The Antidote (photo Jeff Mikkelson)

After a few pleasant exchanges via Twitter, I popped on over to my favorite Seattle haunt to hear Oliver Burkeman read and talk about his new book, The Antidote. So fascinating, such a cool, refreshing, intellectually rigorous plunk down of the positive thinking that infects much of the self-help canon. Fun and serious. Here’s an excerpt:

Yet it is a curious truth that the Stoics’ approach to happiness through negativity begins with exactly the kind of insight that Norman Vincent Peale might endorse: that when it comes to feeling upbeat or despondent, it’s our beliefs that really matter. Most of us, the Stoics point out, go through life under the delusion that it is certain people, situations, or events that make us sad, anxious, or angry. When you’re irritated by a colleague at the next desk who won’t stop talking, you naturally assume that the colleague is the source of the irritation; when you hear that a beloved relative is ill and feel pained for them, it makes sense to think of the illness as the source of the pain. Look closely at your experience, though, say the Stoics, and you will eventially  be forced to conclude that neither of these external events is ‘negative’ in itself. Indeed, nothing outside your own mind can properly be described as negative or positive at all. What actually causes suffering are the beliefs you hold about those things. (Italics mine.) The colleague is not irritating per se, but because of your belief that getting your work done without interruption is an important goal. Even a relative’s illness is bad only in view of your belief that it’s a good thing for your relatives not to be ill. “Things do not touch the soul,’ is how Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic philosopher-emperor, expresses the notion, adding: ‘Our perturbations come only from the opinion which is within.’ And, ‘There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so,’ Shakespeare has Hamlet say.

Fascinating book. Click the photo above, or click here, to head over to Amazon.

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5. Storytelling and Urban Cool | Vito’s Restaurant and Lounge on First Hill, Seattle

Vito’s – Back in the day.

Is this a great country or what? This place might even be too cool for Seattle. As I write this at 11:03 pm on Saturday night, I just left Vito’s Restaurant and Lounge (two Council of Ten’s) where I heard The Fig Trio do their wonderful supper club, cool Mose Allison jazz/blues thing. So fantastic. The lights were low, the horseshoe shaped bar was busy, the red naugahyde booths were tiny cocktail heavens. The drinks are fair and the food is quite good. Vito’s has been on this spot at the corner of Madison and Ninth for ages and ages, since 1953 actually. Note how Vito’s decided to make use of story (married to a great photo) to create a vibe and a sense of time and place. Wonderful.

Air on a G String


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