poetry in motion

I have always loved poetry. It has drawn some of the most vivid pictures I have ever seen. In this case Ronnie Bruce a film student at Temple University visualizes the words of poet Taylor Mali using typography and animation. In its’ execution we do not lose sight of the meaning or the picture they draw — we gain new insight into the pacing and tone as the poet speaks. We read the words as the poet says them; burnishing them into our heart and mind.

This little film realizes the potential of communicators when they do good work. It is not spectacular. It is not just clever. It speaks, we think, and understand.

Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.

breathing and balance

acrobat poison dart frog

Life has been a bit complex recently. I’ve always driven into the skid so to speak. But this time it’s different the economic atmosphere has much thinner air these days. It’s difficult to breathe.

I decided to take some time to focus on nothing and breathe deeply. Quiet time reestablishes balance.

Walk in John Maeda’s shoes.

John Maeda lives at the intersection of technology and art, a place that can get very complicated. I understand that place very well. I’m posting this talk because there is so much of it that I relate with.

This talk creates more questions than answers. It is about observing, questioning, and experimenting. Creating something new that adds to the universe. Something that brings joy. Organizing found objects and everyday things to make something totally new.

John Maeda uses imagination to inspire. Walk one day in John Maeda’s shoes. Think, what would John Maeda do with this? Open your mind to new and creative ways to move forward in whatever you do.

BTW, Mr Maeda is no longer at MIT he is now President of Rhode Island School of Design. Makes me think about how much fun it could be to be back in school. You can find out more about what he is doing there. http://www.risd.edu/president/

poem today : It Is a Living Coral, William Carlos Williams

a trouble

archaically fettered
to produce

E Pluribus Unum an
island

in the sea a Capitol
surmounted

by Armed Liberty—
painting

sculpture straddled by
a dome

eight million pounds
in weight

iron plates constructed
to expand

and contract with
variations

of temperature
the folding

and unfolding of a lily.
And Congress

authorized and the
Commission

was entrusted was
entrusted!

a sculptured group
Mars

in Roman mail placing
a wreath

of laurel on the brow
of Washington

Commerce Minerva
Thomas

Jefferson John Hancock
at

the table Mrs. Motte
presenting

Indian burning arrows
to Generals

Marion and Lee to fire
her mansion

and dislodge the British—
this scaleless

jumble is superb

and accurate in its
expression

of the thing they
would destroy—

Baptism of Poca-
hontas

with a little card
hanging

under it to tell
the persons

in the picture.

It climbs

it runs, it is Geo.
Shoup

of Idaho it wears
a beard

it fetches naked
Indian

women from a river
Trumbull

Varnum Henderson
Frances

Willard’s corset is
absurd—

Banks White Columbus
stretched

in bed men felling trees

The Hon. Michael
C. Kerr

onetime Speaker of
the House

of Representatives
Perry

in a rowboat on Lake
Erie

changing ships the
dead

among the wreckage
sickly green

iPad platform ready for tablet publications

This video is being shared all over the place as the next coming. Not all that imaginative. These are all pretty simplistic ways of adding interactivity once you have a touch screen. So, will you care after the first three times you use it? Will you want to interact with content this way on a regular basis?

How will a reader be able to avoid the advertising is the question that comes to mind. Will advertisers want to invest the resources needed to make advertising for these kind of publications? Advertisers a consistent model to build ads. For pricing and production. Seems like a big barrier.

With each publication designing it’s own interactivity where is the common interface?

Just not convinced that this particular model is sustainable.

Freezing out women : sexism ski jumping in Olympics

I had no idea. Did you? Did you know that women are not allowed to compete in Ski Jumping in the winter olympics? Did you know that a woman holds the WORLD RECORD? Watch this piece and as you get more angry as you find out more — get angy and speak out. I will post resources to take action as I find them. If you know of any organizations that will help please comment here.

failure and imagination

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes. – J.K. Rowling

Watch the whole speech, really. It was quite amazing to listen to the wisdom and challenge that the author put before this graduating class at Harvard. How she reminded them of their privilege yet embraced their achievements. How she reminded us all of the value of imagining and acting on behalf of others.

on failure :

So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

on imagination :

Now you might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I personally will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.

You can read the full text of the speech here : Harvard Magazine