Japan, Reblog

This might be something unique to see (out of endless uniqueness) in Japan. Pulled from an article, but follow the link at the end if you want to see all the pictures.

“The Maneki Neko, or “Beckoning Cat”, is one of Japan’s most iconic images. Thought to bring luck and prosperity to its owner, these cats are frequently found outside businesses and within homes. And in the neighborhood of Setagaya, we found the Gotoku-ji temple, where the Maneki Neko plays a starring role.”

Link
Reblog

Your “personal stock”

I don’t necessarily agree with everything said in the following, but I stumbled upon this question in Quora, which was by pure chance that I didn’t instantly delete the newsletter from my email, and found it refreshingly plain, yet (mostly) accurate. My reservations are on the part of social performance and skills of entertaining – i.e. playing the guitar – but I get the main idea. I suppose some of these aren’t interesting to me, but they would apply to someone far more successful than I. Either way… just sharing:


Q: What can I start doing now that will help me a lot in about five years?
I will appreciate any suggestion. You might want to know that I’m 23 years old and currently a physics student with large desire for progress, not only in my profession but also in all aspects of life.
A: Want to see your personal stock double or more in five years? Here’s the prescription.
We are all evaluated and judged in social and work settings all the time and usually in a brief instant. We are not judged on education. We are not judged on grades. We are not judged on IQ.

We are judged on skills, pretty much solely. People prefer the company of those who are physically handy and socially adept. Competence counts. In fact, people with high IQ or lots of schooling but low skill levels can be judged quite negatively.

  • Can you change a flat tire or swap out a dead car battery?
  • Can you pick up a guitar and entertain a room?
  • Are you handy at crafts?

Even more important are the social skills, particularly…

  • Are you an excellent listener?
  • Can you instantly make people at ease in your presence?
  • Can you control the atmosphere in a room, making it light or serious as appropriate?
  • Do you have moral courage? Are you willing to say and do the necessary in any circumstance rather than shrink back?

Other social skills are important…

  • Can you speak from the heart?
  • Are you free from glib, gratuitous, offensive and non-productive remarks?
  • Can you compete when necessary, collaborate when necessary?

The social graces are also important…

  • Can you dance? play the piano? sing? tell rousing stories? etc.

There are bonus points for gender cross-over skills. When a woman can…

  • Use common tools competently.
  • Not shrink in the company of males.
  • Roll up her sleeves and do hard physical work when necessary.

Or a man can…

  • Comfort an upset child.
  • Cook, sew, do laundry.
  • Feel at home in the company of women.

Such cross-over skills indicate androgyny, or high skills across the masculine and feminine range. The highest slots in society are usually home to the androgynous.

Figure out the skills you’d like to possess. Take classes. Read books. Practice every day. Push yourself. Build on your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses. It’s fun, a great way to make friends, and your stock will rise quickly.

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Project Planning

Concept sketch

I took a Friday off from work and honestly it’s hard to get my head out of work, and although I might still be thinking of interfaces, I’m playing and attempting to abstract.

I have been trying out some of the new Adobe apps for iPad and I’ve thus far created one sketch of a UI for work purposes, but attempting to come back to the Sketch or Line apps as a utility has been difficult – it’s just not quick enough for sketching and hardly flexible enough for real work. This doesn’t mean the apps are pointless, however. I think they’re a great place to let your mind wander, and without any specific objective, letting the unique toolkit shape your imagination can produce something unexpected. I think it’s impractical for productivity, but sufficient for creativity.

I’ve recently returned to my chrono-map concept – definitely needs a real name – and I’ve been encouraged by some new sources of research. This afternoon in a calm, but rhythmic Swedish café I aimlessly sketched and it surfaced an initial outline of how I want the service to look.

A simple place of pure fiction

chrono-map concept sketch

Emphasis on map. Subtle timeline, yet hinting at how much change or how many events occur along the line. Brief (optional) background info cards. Option to add new data point, or edit existing moments. Open wiki style sourcing of content.

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orbit
Minimal illustration by Kuvva’s featured artist, Laurens Segaert

Musings

Orbit

Image
Musings, Reblog

Placeholder Content

I see it once in a while (latest Facebook update for example), but it’s not very common that someone has clearly defined placeholder content that doesn’t look like generic grey filler. Sonia Rentsch’s site immediately loads with geometric placeholders in the same color scheme as the rest of the site. In fact, from a first impression I would say that this not-so-subtle graphic element really ties the whole site together. Wink, movie reference, wink.

Drag the divider thingy to compare the two screenshots. Or visit the site. Whatever.

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