Thursday, January 29, 2015

I pity the pho!

PB and I had some Hanco's (and puns) for lunch yesterday. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Drone Over Auschwitz

Drone video of the Nazis' Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, today.

(The BBC via World.Mic)

Monday, January 26, 2015

The McDonald's Theory

from Medium:

McDonald’s Theory

I use a trick with co-workers when we’re trying to decide where to eat for lunch and no one has any ideas. I recommend McDonald’s.
An interesting thing happens. Everyone unanimously agrees that we can’t possibly go to McDonald’s, and better lunch suggestions emerge. Magic!
It’s as if we’ve broken the ice with the worst possible idea, and now that the discussion has started, people suddenly get very creative. I call it the McDonald’s Theory: people are inspired to come up with good ideas to ward off bad ones.
This is a technique I use a lot at work. Projects start in different ways. Sometimes you’re handed a formal brief. Sometimes you hear a rumor that something might be coming so you start thinking about it early. Other times you’ve been playing with an idea for months or years before sharing with your team. There’s no defined process for all creative work, but I’ve come to believe that all creative endeavors share one thing: the second step is easier than the first. Always.
Anne Lamott advocates “shitty first drafts,” Nike tells us to “Just Do It,” and I recommend McDonald’s just to get people so grossed out they come up with a better idea. It’s all the same thing. Lamott, Nike, and McDonald’s Theory are all saying that the first step isn’t as hard as we make it out to be. Once I got an email from Steve Jobs, and it was just one word: “Go!” Exactly. Dive in. Do. Stop over-thinking it.
The next time you have an idea rolling around in your head, find the courage to quiet your inner critic just long enough to get a piece of paper and a pen, then just start sketching it. “But I don’t have a long time for this!” you might think. Or, “The idea is probably stupid,” or, “Maybe I’ll go online and click around for—”
No. Shut up. Stop sabotaging yourself.
The same goes for groups of people at work. The next time a project is being discussed in its early stages, grab a marker, go to the board, and throw something up there. The idea will probably be stupid, but that’s good! McDonald’s Theory teaches us that it will trigger the group into action.
It takes a crazy kind of courage, of focus, of foolhardy perseverance to quiet all those doubts long enough to move forward. But it’s possible, you just have to start. Bust down that first barrier and just get things on the page. It’s not the kind of thing you can do in your head, you have to write something, sketch something, do something, and then revise off it.
Not sure how to start? Sketch a few shapes, then label them. Say, “This is probably crazy, but what if we.…” and try to make your sketch fit the problem you’re trying to solve. Like a magic spell, the moment you put the stuff on the board, something incredible will happen. The room will see your ideas, will offer their own, will revise your thinking, and by the end of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, you’ll have made progress.
That’s how it’s done.

The Great White Hurricane of 1888

Cover of (above) and excerpt (below) from the New York Herald from March 14, 1888 after the blizzard (referred to as the "Great White Hurricane"):

New York Herald
March 14, 1888
With men and women dying in her ghostly streets, New York saw day breaking through the wild clouds yesterday morning. Nature had overwhelmed the metropolis, and citizens were found dead in the mighty snowdrifts.  White, frozen hands sticking up out of the billowed and furrowed wastes testified to the unspeakable power that had desolated the city.
Had Jules Verne written such a story a week ago New Yorkers would have laughed and pronounced it a clever but impossible romance.
Yet here was the stupendous reality.  Within forty-eight hours the city was converted into an Arctic wilderness, cut off from all railway and telegraph communication.  The white hurricane had strewn her busiest and gayest thoroughfares with wreck and ruin.  Courts of justice were closed and the vast machinery of commerce Europe could not was paralyzed.  Groans of mutilated humanity filled the air.

The artillery of all Europe could not have reduced New York to such an awful condition of helplessness in such short time.  Think of reporters on snowshoes, and rescuing parties being organized to save men from dying of exposure in the heart of the city!  When firemen dragged their engines to fires it looked as if they were soldiers hurrying cannon through the wilderness as they sat on their horses lashing the leaders and following the dim figures of mounted scouts in the mad tempest.
It was all so white, strange, picturesque and grandly terrible as the ugly sky frowned upon the pulseless, haggard miles of half-buried houses.  Everybody knew that corpses would be dug out of the streets.

(via My Inwood

Sunday, January 11, 2015


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