Test CircleCount PRO now!
Login now

Not your profile? Login and get free access to your reports and analysis.

Tags

Sign in

The following tags have been added by users of CircleCount.com.
You can login on CircleCount to add more tags here.

  • Blogs of August

Are you missing a tag in the list of available tags? You can suggest new tags here.

Login now

Do you want to see a more detailed chart? Check your settings and define your favorite chart type.

Or click here to get the detailed chart only once.

M Sinclair Stevens has been at 1 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Sarah Hill2,867,370Calling all inhabitants of the Ghost Town.   Let's #HIRL in Austin, TX!!!   (Hangout In Real Life). Hear how ★ Plusketeers are using the +Google+  platform to create their own #humanmedia posse and how 2013 could be the year for + Google +.  Our venue only holds 100 so you *must RVSP* early and email googleplus@vu.com if you'd like to join us for lunch. +Veterans United is picking up the tab for free food and drinks but you're ghosts...so you don't eat much right?  ♥♥♥   #SXSWHIRL  HIRL in Austin, TX2013-03-09 12:00:00242  

Shared Circles including M Sinclair Stevens

Shared Circles are not available on Google+ anymore, but you can find them still here.

The Google+ Collections of M Sinclair Stevens

New!
Login and checkout your own profile to see the average response per collection.
Or check out how it looks like on the profile page of +CircleCount.

Looks like this is your profile but we haven't loaded your posts yet to show you here the average numbers per collection.
Just open your dashboard and let the server work for you.

Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

6
comments per post
2
reshares per post
29
+1's per post

735
characters per posting

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 24

posted image

2017-07-09 13:26:29 (24 comments; 5 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

Politics: Texas Leads
"With right-wing zealots taking over the legislature even as the state’s demographics shift leftward, Texas has become the nation’s bellwether."

I've lived in (Austin) Texas my entire adult life, and every time something cringe-worthy happens in Texas (frequently) and the special little snowflakes respond with "Texas should just secede!" I have to go in and remind them: Texas is the vision of your future. Help us solve our problems now or they will soon be your problems.

I've never read an article that so thoroughly covers the breadth and depth of my sentiment. If y'all living in the other 49 smugly think that what has happened to Texas (a culturally diverse, formerly blue state) can't happen where you live...read this article.

Most reshares: 8

posted image

2017-06-16 02:43:31 (0 comments; 8 reshares; 12 +1s; )Open 

History: Regulation
From the article, "...what they call red tape often consists of essential public protections that defend our lives, our futures and the rest of the living world. The freedom they celebrate is highly selective: in many cases it means the freedom of the rich to exploit the poor, of corporations to exploit their workers, landlords to exploit their tenants and industry of all kinds to use the planet as its dustbin."

Most plusones: 162

posted image

2017-06-30 01:52:17 (15 comments; 5 reshares; 162 +1s; )Open 

Travel Scotland: Edinburgh
2007-06-29. Old Calton Burial Ground.


Latest 50 posts

posted image

2017-07-22 00:38:56 (12 comments; 4 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

Film: Black is An Invisible Color
Re: Johnny Cash's first wife, Vivian Cash, "I found a review of her book ‘I Walked the Line’, written after the film came out. Not surprisingly it gave a very different story to the film, suggesting that their marriage had been very happy until June stole John away. What WAS surprising, though, was when I looked at photos of Vivian. Turns out that she was a black woman."

Film: Black is An Invisible Color
Re: Johnny Cash's first wife, Vivian Cash, "I found a review of her book ‘I Walked the Line’, written after the film came out. Not surprisingly it gave a very different story to the film, suggesting that their marriage had been very happy until June stole John away. What WAS surprising, though, was when I looked at photos of Vivian. Turns out that she was a black woman."___

posted image

2017-07-19 15:44:12 (7 comments; 1 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

UX: Google+
Six years ago we were talking about how Google should be focused on our interests not on what our friends like. Corporate strategy is finally catching on.

From the article. Emphasis mine. "Google and Facebook — which both make their money by selling advertising — are in a constant tug-of-war. Google has tried and failed to build a hit social network, but this new product could draw more eyeballs.

Engineering leader Shashi Thakur explained how it is fundamentally different from the competition: "It's not really about what your friends are interested in, which is really what other feeds might be."
-------------------
Related
Article linked from article
Inside the failure of Google+, a very expensive attempt to unseat Facebook
http://mashable.com/2015/08/02/google-plus-history/#HrZccaPKfsqL


UX: Google+
Six years ago we were talking about how Google should be focused on our interests not on what our friends like. Corporate strategy is finally catching on.

From the article. Emphasis mine. "Google and Facebook — which both make their money by selling advertising — are in a constant tug-of-war. Google has tried and failed to build a hit social network, but this new product could draw more eyeballs.

Engineering leader Shashi Thakur explained how it is fundamentally different from the competition: "It's not really about what your friends are interested in, which is really what other feeds might be."
-------------------
Related
Article linked from article
Inside the failure of Google+, a very expensive attempt to unseat Facebook
http://mashable.com/2015/08/02/google-plus-history/#HrZccaPKfsqL
___

posted image

2017-07-16 01:02:42 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 27 +1s; )Open 

Portals and Passages: Austin,TX
2007-07-15. Rough wooden door in limestone wall; seen on the 2007 Austin Pond Society tour. Also, interesting sculpture.


Portals and Passages: Austin,TX
2007-07-15. Rough wooden door in limestone wall; seen on the 2007 Austin Pond Society tour. Also, interesting sculpture.
___

posted image

2017-07-14 23:53:44 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

Music: Despacito
...for a Friday night. Let's party, Puerto Rican style.

Music: Despacito
...for a Friday night. Let's party, Puerto Rican style.___

posted image

2017-07-14 11:21:52 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 12 +1s; )Open 

Kanji: Don't Make Me Lose Hope
Back in the 1990s I had a boss from sunny California who used to lecture me with the line, "Other people can't upset you; you control how you react." I was reminded of this yesterday when I looked up the kanji 失望「しつぼう」(shitsubou)...literally to lose hope but often translated as disappointment or discouragement (to lose heart).

The simple English command, "Don't disappoint me." was translated as 「失望をさせないでくれ」roughly, "Don't give me cause to be disappointed." That is, it was translated using the causal tense. Which, when I think of it, makes more sense. In English, the person doing the disappointing becomes the actor (the subject of the sentence). The verb is in active voice. Does that make the "me" the object of the verb? Is disappoint really a transitive verb?it seems more like a state of being to ... more »

Kanji: Don't Make Me Lose Hope
Back in the 1990s I had a boss from sunny California who used to lecture me with the line, "Other people can't upset you; you control how you react." I was reminded of this yesterday when I looked up the kanji 失望「しつぼう」(shitsubou)...literally to lose hope but often translated as disappointment or discouragement (to lose heart).

The simple English command, "Don't disappoint me." was translated as 「失望をさせないでくれ」roughly, "Don't give me cause to be disappointed." That is, it was translated using the causal tense. Which, when I think of it, makes more sense. In English, the person doing the disappointing becomes the actor (the subject of the sentence). The verb is in active voice. Does that make the "me" the object of the verb? Is disappoint really a transitive verb? it seems more like a state of being to me.

In Japanese, the unspoken "I' is still the subject, the focus, of the sentence. I am the one experiencing the disappointment. I'm asking you not to be the cause of that.

Breaking down the word
The first kanji means "to lose", as in to let slip from one's grasp. It's the same "shitsu" as in 失礼しました (shitsurei shimashita) which is a set phrase for "Pardon me." or "Excuse me." Literally it's "I've lost my (sense) of gratitude"...that is, my graciousness. I'm being ungracious. Think of it as "Where have my manners gone?" or "He seems to have lost his manners."

The second kanji means "hope" especially in the sense of future expectations (or in plainer English, what one looks forward to). It shows the radicals for king and moon...maybe he has "high hopes; pie-in-the-sky hopes". And what's that third part of the character, the corpse radical [亡]. It's just in there for the sound : BOH___

posted image

2017-07-13 00:18:32 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

Portals and Passages: Arley Hall
2007-07-12. They had changed the fountain ornament since my previous visit and I like the old one better...a simple urn. Still this is the kind of garden one imagines strolling through on a summer's evening...especially as their is a wrought-iron gate in the high brick wall. Just the place for stealing away to an assignation.

Portals and Passages: Arley Hall
2007-07-12. They had changed the fountain ornament since my previous visit and I like the old one better...a simple urn. Still this is the kind of garden one imagines strolling through on a summer's evening...especially as their is a wrought-iron gate in the high brick wall. Just the place for stealing away to an assignation.___

posted image

2017-07-09 13:26:29 (24 comments; 5 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

Politics: Texas Leads
"With right-wing zealots taking over the legislature even as the state’s demographics shift leftward, Texas has become the nation’s bellwether."

I've lived in (Austin) Texas my entire adult life, and every time something cringe-worthy happens in Texas (frequently) and the special little snowflakes respond with "Texas should just secede!" I have to go in and remind them: Texas is the vision of your future. Help us solve our problems now or they will soon be your problems.

I've never read an article that so thoroughly covers the breadth and depth of my sentiment. If y'all living in the other 49 smugly think that what has happened to Texas (a culturally diverse, formerly blue state) can't happen where you live...read this article.

Politics: Texas Leads
"With right-wing zealots taking over the legislature even as the state’s demographics shift leftward, Texas has become the nation’s bellwether."

I've lived in (Austin) Texas my entire adult life, and every time something cringe-worthy happens in Texas (frequently) and the special little snowflakes respond with "Texas should just secede!" I have to go in and remind them: Texas is the vision of your future. Help us solve our problems now or they will soon be your problems.

I've never read an article that so thoroughly covers the breadth and depth of my sentiment. If y'all living in the other 49 smugly think that what has happened to Texas (a culturally diverse, formerly blue state) can't happen where you live...read this article.___

posted image

2017-07-04 18:10:22 (0 comments; 4 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

Women Work: Baltimore Postmaster 1775
From the article, "But she was still the Baltimore postmaster and ran that office with efficiency and aplomb for a total of 14 years until the newly appointed national postmaster general moved to replace her with someone with no experience, one of his political pals.

"U.S. Postmaster Samuel Osgood said he didn’t think a woman could handle all the travel associated with the job, that she didn’t have the, ahem, stamina. Remember, it’s a job she’d successfully done — along with publishing a newspaper and printing the Declaration of Independence — for more than a decade.

"The folks who knew her were outraged, and more than 200 merchants and residents in Baltimore sent the postmaster a petition asking to keep her in place. But Osgood held firm, and even though Goddard fought for reinstatement for years, it was tono avail.&q... more »

Women Work: Baltimore Postmaster 1775
From the article, "But she was still the Baltimore postmaster and ran that office with efficiency and aplomb for a total of 14 years until the newly appointed national postmaster general moved to replace her with someone with no experience, one of his political pals.

"U.S. Postmaster Samuel Osgood said he didn’t think a woman could handle all the travel associated with the job, that she didn’t have the, ahem, stamina. Remember, it’s a job she’d successfully done — along with publishing a newspaper and printing the Declaration of Independence — for more than a decade.

"The folks who knew her were outraged, and more than 200 merchants and residents in Baltimore sent the postmaster a petition asking to keep her in place. But Osgood held firm, and even though Goddard fought for reinstatement for years, it was to no avail."___

2017-07-03 13:33:25 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 13 +1s; )Open 

UX G+: From Circles to Collections
Six years ago, in the first days of using Google+, I played around with the tool experimenting what I could build with it. Right off the bat I saw it might work to group posts by interest, just as I did on my blogs, rather than as "Google's alternative to Facebook" which is how it was being marketed.

Over the years, Google+ meandered to the same conclusion: using hashtags as keyword searches (rather than labels), introducing Communities, and then, finally, switching the focus from Circles to Collections.

Along the way it's removed more and more functionality so that rather than have a tool with which I can build anything, I'm left with an appliance which frustrates me unless I use it exactly as prescribed. As the prescription changes arbitrarily, from day-to-day, I never know which tips and tricks I spent so much time... more »

Maybe the Google+ defaults have started us off thinking about circles in an overly limited way. Rather than indicating the uchi/soto of social intimacy, maybe circles could be more content-oriented, more topical. For example, it doesn't matter how close I am to my family; I share few political or religious links with them. Ditto work associates. My gardening friends aren't interested in links about learning Japanese. Nor is there much overlap between the stuff I share with my techie friends and the stuff I share with friends who are writing novels.

When I'm thinking about what I want to share with you, the answer isn't how well do I know you, it's what do I think will interest you.

My view of circles isn't concentric rings with the people in the inner ring receiving the most information. It's isolated circles of interest; the more circles I include you in, the more varied the types of information you get from me.___UX G+: From Circles to Collections
Six years ago, in the first days of using Google+, I played around with the tool experimenting what I could build with it. Right off the bat I saw it might work to group posts by interest, just as I did on my blogs, rather than as "Google's alternative to Facebook" which is how it was being marketed.

Over the years, Google+ meandered to the same conclusion: using hashtags as keyword searches (rather than labels), introducing Communities, and then, finally, switching the focus from Circles to Collections.

Along the way it's removed more and more functionality so that rather than have a tool with which I can build anything, I'm left with an appliance which frustrates me unless I use it exactly as prescribed. As the prescription changes arbitrarily, from day-to-day, I never know which tips and tricks I spent so much time developing will work. I'm constantly frustrated because something that worked yesterday is missing today.

I look back with nostalgia at those first days on Google+, which were memorable for cultivating a sense of curiosity and the excitement of discovery.

posted image

2017-06-30 01:52:17 (15 comments; 5 reshares; 162 +1s; )Open 

Travel Scotland: Edinburgh
2007-06-29. Old Calton Burial Ground.


Travel Scotland: Edinburgh
2007-06-29. Old Calton Burial Ground.
___

posted image

2017-06-27 15:07:25 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 23 +1s; )Open 

Portals and Passages: Moffat, Scotland
2007-06-26. I was going to write a nice little recollection of our trip to Moffat ten years ago but trying to post anything to G+ these days is so frustrating, that it's gone out of my mind. After uploading the photo to this Collection, I don't have even rudimentary photo editing capabilities. (At the least I needed to rotate the photo...something that Google used to be smart enough to do automatically 90% of the time).

So then I uploaded it to Photos. It came in with the original date which meant I had to go back through ten years of photos to find it. There used to be an option where Photos would show "Recently Uploaded" as well as file it with the correct date. Alas, no longer.

Having options removed is worse than never having them at all. And I have been on G+ since the beginning days of the beta...so I remember... more »

Portals and Passages: Moffat, Scotland
2007-06-26. I was going to write a nice little recollection of our trip to Moffat ten years ago but trying to post anything to G+ these days is so frustrating, that it's gone out of my mind. After uploading the photo to this Collection, I don't have even rudimentary photo editing capabilities. (At the least I needed to rotate the photo...something that Google used to be smart enough to do automatically 90% of the time).

So then I uploaded it to Photos. It came in with the original date which meant I had to go back through ten years of photos to find it. There used to be an option where Photos would show "Recently Uploaded" as well as file it with the correct date. Alas, no longer.

Having options removed is worse than never having them at all. And I have been on G+ since the beginning days of the beta...so I remember what we used to be able to do.

The tool should make the task easier. These days Google+ makes the task almost impossible. Really. What's the point any more?___

posted image

2017-06-20 13:20:52 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

By Design: Amazon Buys Whole Foods
An analysis after my own heart...one that examines design (in this case of a plan, not an artifact) to ferret out goals, strategies, and tactics. This reminded me of the approach of so much of our early discussions about Google+. Although I was interested in how G+ was intended to work (from the designers' point of view), I was more interested in how it worked for me, and when it didn't, how it worked to further Google's goals. In those early days, so many geeky users seemed unable to understand who the customer was. (Hint: it wasn't us).

From the article, "The similarities go deeper, though: both Colligan and Mackey made the same analytical mistakes: they mis-understood their opponents goals, strategies, and tactics. This is particularly easy to grok in the case of Colligan and the iPhone: Apple’s goal was not to build ap... more »

By Design: Amazon Buys Whole Foods
An analysis after my own heart...one that examines design (in this case of a plan, not an artifact) to ferret out goals, strategies, and tactics. This reminded me of the approach of so much of our early discussions about Google+. Although I was interested in how G+ was intended to work (from the designers' point of view), I was more interested in how it worked for me, and when it didn't, how it worked to further Google's goals. In those early days, so many geeky users seemed unable to understand who the customer was. (Hint: it wasn't us).

From the article, "The similarities go deeper, though: both Colligan and Mackey made the same analytical mistakes: they mis-understood their opponents goals, strategies, and tactics. This is particularly easy to grok in the case of Colligan and the iPhone: Apple’s goal was not to build a phone but to build an even more personal computer; their strategy was not to add on functionality to a phone but to reduce the phone to an app; and their tactics were not to duplicate the carriers but to leverage their connection with customers to gain concessions from them."___

posted image

2017-06-18 16:25:09 (3 comments; 1 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

Gender Determinism: Father's Day Message
Gendered-language limits boys and denies them their full potential as human beings.

From the article, "Just as women’s studies classes have long examined the ways that gendered language undermines women and girls, a growing body of research shows that stereotypical messages are similarly damaging to boys."

We learned this 40 years ago in our college courses on early childhood education but glad to see that it's getting some press in 2017.

"Such squelching messages run counter-intuitively to male wiring, it turns out: Guys are born more emotionally sensitive than girls."
...
the ‘manning up’ of infant boys begins early on in their typical interactions,” Dr. Tronick said, “and long before language plays its role.”
...
"Why do we limit the emotional vocabularyof boys?&qu... more »

Gender Determinism: Father's Day Message
Gendered-language limits boys and denies them their full potential as human beings.

From the article, "Just as women’s studies classes have long examined the ways that gendered language undermines women and girls, a growing body of research shows that stereotypical messages are similarly damaging to boys."

We learned this 40 years ago in our college courses on early childhood education but glad to see that it's getting some press in 2017.

"Such squelching messages run counter-intuitively to male wiring, it turns out: Guys are born more emotionally sensitive than girls."
...
the ‘manning up’ of infant boys begins early on in their typical interactions,” Dr. Tronick said, “and long before language plays its role.”
...
"Why do we limit the emotional vocabulary of boys?"

"We tell ourselves we are preparing our sons to fight (literally and figuratively), to compete in a world and economy that’s brutish and callous. The sooner we can groom them for this dystopian future, the better off they’ll be. But the Harvard psychologist Susan David insists the opposite is true: “Research shows that people who suppress emotions have lower-level resilience and emotional health.”
___

posted image

2017-06-16 02:43:31 (0 comments; 8 reshares; 12 +1s; )Open 

History: Regulation
From the article, "...what they call red tape often consists of essential public protections that defend our lives, our futures and the rest of the living world. The freedom they celebrate is highly selective: in many cases it means the freedom of the rich to exploit the poor, of corporations to exploit their workers, landlords to exploit their tenants and industry of all kinds to use the planet as its dustbin."

History: Regulation
From the article, "...what they call red tape often consists of essential public protections that defend our lives, our futures and the rest of the living world. The freedom they celebrate is highly selective: in many cases it means the freedom of the rich to exploit the poor, of corporations to exploit their workers, landlords to exploit their tenants and industry of all kinds to use the planet as its dustbin."___

posted image

2017-06-12 01:16:39 (9 comments; 2 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

Film: How To Think 101
What bores me most about social media and cocktail conversations is the number of people who express only a gut reaction but cannot articulate why they had that reaction. This book is for you.

Film: How To Think 101
What bores me most about social media and cocktail conversations is the number of people who express only a gut reaction but cannot articulate why they had that reaction. This book is for you.___

posted image

2017-06-09 18:41:36 (5 comments; 6 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

Film: Lessons From Wonder Woman
My son and I finally got to see Wonder Woman last night. Although I'm not a big fan of the comic book film genre, I've sat through a lot of them and Wonder Woman set itself apart from the others in many significant ways.

Good is an Active Force, and a Force for Action
Too much contemporary drama treats good as a neutral, passive state that is corrupted. We turn to the dark side. Purity is tainted. Evil corrupts. Contemporary good is relegated to the weak motto of Google's "Don't be evil." which requires nothing of us, except to do nothing.

In sharp contrast, Wonder Woman recognizes good as an active choice, not passive sweetness, but positive action. Good is not making nice. Good is fighting for what is right and fighting to pull up those who are, at the moment, too weak to stand up on their own.... more »

Film: Lessons From Wonder Woman
My son and I finally got to see Wonder Woman last night. Although I'm not a big fan of the comic book film genre, I've sat through a lot of them and Wonder Woman set itself apart from the others in many significant ways.

Good is an Active Force, and a Force for Action
Too much contemporary drama treats good as a neutral, passive state that is corrupted. We turn to the dark side. Purity is tainted. Evil corrupts. Contemporary good is relegated to the weak motto of Google's "Don't be evil." which requires nothing of us, except to do nothing.

In sharp contrast, Wonder Woman recognizes good as an active choice, not passive sweetness, but positive action. Good is not making nice. Good is fighting for what is right and fighting to pull up those who are, at the moment, too weak to stand up on their own.

In a direct challenge to Trumpism and the idea that one can only be a winner by making someone else a loser, Wonder Woman demonstrates that we are winners only to the extent that we lend a helping hand to those in need.

Duty is Not a Burden
The 1990s placed the duty-as-burden trope on our heroes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Spiderman to the X-Men. Despite their unique powers, all those superheroes really wanted was to be just normal teens worried about normal white, suburban problems. Oh, poor me. I have extraordinary powers but I'm different, alienated from the ordinary.

Wonder Woman hearkens back to the idea of power and privilege conferring noblesse oblige She doesn't whine about it. She embraces it. This is what she is made for and this is what she will do.

Heroic Character Matters More than Toys
Sure Wonder Woman has some cool toys. But gadgets aren't what make her who she is. That's character...her sense of personal responsibility and justice. She embodies the idea that each of us must stand up to do whatever it is we are capable of doing. Super powers are not a prerequisite for standing up against what's wrong, or giving someone else a hand up.

Evil is Not an Arch-Villain
Life is not so neat as to imagine that a superhero can kill the super-villain and then everyone lives happily ever after in Paradise.

Wonder Woman, the movie, sticks this point hard...as it is shown as a major flaw in Wonder Woman's, the character, thinking. "If I can just kill this one bad guy, everything will be perfect."

Eliminating the "bad guy" or placing all your faith in a savior figure is not the answer. Because...

The Battle of Good and Evil Is a Personal Struggle
Wonder Woman does not portray the battle of good and evil and something external, as a fight between super-protagonist and super-antagonist in which ordinary human kind is just part of the scenery.

Wonder Woman recognizes the real battle as personal. Each of us is fully capable of good or evil and the fight is within us, not without.

Free Will Trumps Destiny
Our recent strange obsession with "destiny" (which seems to date to the first Star Wars movie but also figures heavily in "Lord of the Rings") gets some push-back.

Each of us chooses to do what is right, or to sit complacently on the sidelines. This is the first time I've heard this message since "Hell Boy".

Intrinsic Reward
Traditionally heroes reap rewards: they find the treasure, they get the girl, or they are showered with accolades from their peers.

Wonder Woman emphasizes that the reward for doing the right thing is the knowledge that you did the right thing.
___

posted image

2017-06-01 17:23:37 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

Language: An Expression of Identity
If we communicate via only the most used expressions, our interactions will be reduced to the most mundane, bland, neutral and neutered group speak.

From the article, "Today, we face one of the promises of Silicon Valley: to quantify us. To average our individuality out. To train a model on all of those collective averages, creating the ultimate average response. To provide the convenience of never speaking uniquely again."

The Rise of Auto-Complete Culture - And Why We Should Resist___Language: An Expression of Identity
If we communicate via only the most used expressions, our interactions will be reduced to the most mundane, bland, neutral and neutered group speak.

From the article, "Today, we face one of the promises of Silicon Valley: to quantify us. To average our individuality out. To train a model on all of those collective averages, creating the ultimate average response. To provide the convenience of never speaking uniquely again."

posted image

2017-04-30 11:50:15 (14 comments; 1 reshares; 81 +1s; )Open 

Travel Madrid: The Prado
2017-04-07. One reason I'm usually behind the camera is that I don't like to be in front of it. So I'm not likely to pose in front of the sights I'm seeing to take a snap to prove I've been there. And selfies belong to a younger mindset. However, I enjoy watching other people do that thanks to some inspiration from +Mee Ming Wong. Observing observers observe. 

Travel Madrid: The Prado
2017-04-07. One reason I'm usually behind the camera is that I don't like to be in front of it. So I'm not likely to pose in front of the sights I'm seeing to take a snap to prove I've been there. And selfies belong to a younger mindset. However, I enjoy watching other people do that thanks to some inspiration from +Mee Ming Wong. Observing observers observe. ___

posted image

2017-04-24 15:08:14 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

Portals and Passages: Córdoba, The Judería
2017-04-03. The old Jewish quarter in Córdoba is a delightful twist of streets which stay shaded and cool most of the day. At 8PM, everyone is at dinner and many of the streets deserted. They were so quiet, clean, and neat that they invited exploration. As the tourist board describes them, they are "...more atmospheric and less commercialized than Seville." We found this to be true.
-
http://www.andalucia.com/cities/cordoba/juderia.htm


Portals and Passages: Córdoba, The Judería
2017-04-03. The old Jewish quarter in Córdoba is a delightful twist of streets which stay shaded and cool most of the day. At 8PM, everyone is at dinner and many of the streets deserted. They were so quiet, clean, and neat that they invited exploration. As the tourist board describes them, they are "...more atmospheric and less commercialized than Seville." We found this to be true.
-
http://www.andalucia.com/cities/cordoba/juderia.htm
___

2017-04-23 13:06:56 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

Portals and Passages: Damson Lane
2017-04-02. Sunday was perfect weather for the Manchester Marathon..unfortunately given that injury prevented participation. However, never waste a fine day in England. So we walked along Damson Lane. I was surprised that the trees were still not leafed out so late in spring.

At the end of the lane, we saw a dead fox which had been slung over a gate. A warning? And to whom? Other foxes? Or people? I do not include the photo here out of respect of the tender sensibilities of my G+ audience.

--------
You know, G+ used to be smart enough to know when a photo was taken and tag it with the correct date. Now it tags it with the upload date...so any historical data is lost. But we documentation writers have something to do again since the machines have given up caring.

+Johnny Wills #joinindaily

Portals and Passages: Damson Lane
2017-04-02. Sunday was perfect weather for the Manchester Marathon..unfortunately given that injury prevented participation. However, never waste a fine day in England. So we walked along Damson Lane. I was surprised that the trees were still not leafed out so late in spring.

At the end of the lane, we saw a dead fox which had been slung over a gate. A warning? And to whom? Other foxes? Or people? I do not include the photo here out of respect of the tender sensibilities of my G+ audience.

--------
You know, G+ used to be smart enough to know when a photo was taken and tag it with the correct date. Now it tags it with the upload date...so any historical data is lost. But we documentation writers have something to do again since the machines have given up caring.

+Johnny Wills #joinindaily___

posted image

2017-04-22 12:12:03 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

Portals and Passages: Meadow Cottage
2017-03-31. A sunny arrival in rural Cheshire. We do our usual circuit around Hall, Church, and Davenport Lanes peeking into front gardens before cutting back home across fields via a public footpath. I particularly liked this post box.

Portals and Passages: Meadow Cottage
2017-03-31. A sunny arrival in rural Cheshire. We do our usual circuit around Hall, Church, and Davenport Lanes peeking into front gardens before cutting back home across fields via a public footpath. I particularly liked this post box.___

posted image

2017-03-26 22:18:15 (3 comments; 1 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

Politics: We Don't Need No Stinkin' Experts
From the article, "Pirro raised further questions when her rant made clear that she didn’t want to shift any blame to President Trump: “No one expected a business man to completely understand the nuances, the complicated ins and outs of Washington and its legislative process.” "

Actually, I did expect the person running for the job to have the knowledge and expertise to handle it. When I hire someone, I want them to know what they're doing...whether it's piloting a plane, cleaning my teeth, fixing my car, installing my father's pacemaker, playing a happy tune, mixing my cocktail, or smoking barbecue.

So what Trump voters are saying is that they specifically hired someone who didn't know what he was doing and they think we all should be okay with that?

Politics: We Don't Need No Stinkin' Experts
From the article, "Pirro raised further questions when her rant made clear that she didn’t want to shift any blame to President Trump: “No one expected a business man to completely understand the nuances, the complicated ins and outs of Washington and its legislative process.” "

Actually, I did expect the person running for the job to have the knowledge and expertise to handle it. When I hire someone, I want them to know what they're doing...whether it's piloting a plane, cleaning my teeth, fixing my car, installing my father's pacemaker, playing a happy tune, mixing my cocktail, or smoking barbecue.

So what Trump voters are saying is that they specifically hired someone who didn't know what he was doing and they think we all should be okay with that?___

posted image

2017-03-25 12:29:33 (11 comments; 0 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

Politics: Trump Credits Democrats with Stunning Save of Health Care
He added: “We all learned a lot. We learned a lot about loyalty.” That line right there...reminding us once again that Trump does not consider himself the ultimate civil servant of we, the people; he envisions himself as king and lord of the realm.

Politics: Trump Credits Democrats with Stunning Save of Health Care
He added: “We all learned a lot. We learned a lot about loyalty.” That line right there...reminding us once again that Trump does not consider himself the ultimate civil servant of we, the people; he envisions himself as king and lord of the realm.___

posted image

2017-03-19 01:06:52 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 155 +1s; )Open 

Travel: Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego
The uttermost part of the earth. 

Travel: Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego
The uttermost part of the earth. ___

posted image

2017-03-16 12:24:47 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

Japan: Wagashi
Family business through six generations. I especially like the moment they look through the original cookbook (with gloved hands), using designs and even molds handed down for over a hundred years.

Japan: Wagashi
Family business through six generations. I especially like the moment they look through the original cookbook (with gloved hands), using designs and even molds handed down for over a hundred years.___

posted image

2017-02-24 14:32:02 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

What I Found: Mushrooms
A wave of teeny, tiny mushrooms...smaller than my little finger. 

What I Found: Mushrooms
A wave of teeny, tiny mushrooms...smaller than my little finger. ___

posted image

2017-02-19 00:57:27 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 45 +1s; )Open 

___

posted image

2017-01-22 01:30:28 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

ATX: Women's March

ATX: Women's March___

posted image

2017-01-02 02:07:15 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 13 +1s; )Open 

ATX: And Justice for All
December 6, 2016. Congress Ave. Austin, Texas. Taken on my walk to the post office.

ATX: And Justice for All
December 6, 2016. Congress Ave. Austin, Texas. Taken on my walk to the post office.___

posted image

2016-12-29 02:24:09 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

RIP: Debbie Reynolds
You are my lucky star...

RIP: Debbie Reynolds
You are my lucky star...___

posted image

2016-12-29 02:18:54 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

RIP: Debbie Reynolds
In my favorite musical, Singin' in the Rain.

RIP: Debbie Reynolds
In my favorite musical, Singin' in the Rain.___

posted image

2016-12-27 14:11:15 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

Artifacts: Database of Exhumed Objects
The point of this G+ Collection was to discuss how our objects shape, reflect, and represent us. Although we can't take it with us, perhaps instead we leave a bit of ourselves behind, something to show that we once existed, something physical by which to remember us. In the cases of people who have died as immigrant workers or refugees, the small objects found on their bodies may be the only clue to their identity, all that remains to tell us the stories of the dead who have no names.

Artifacts: Database of Exhumed Objects
The point of this G+ Collection was to discuss how our objects shape, reflect, and represent us. Although we can't take it with us, perhaps instead we leave a bit of ourselves behind, something to show that we once existed, something physical by which to remember us. In the cases of people who have died as immigrant workers or refugees, the small objects found on their bodies may be the only clue to their identity, all that remains to tell us the stories of the dead who have no names.___

posted image

2016-12-26 15:31:06 (3 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

Hygge: Danish Comfort versus American Shame
On the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, I'm sitting in front of a fire, toasting my woolen-sock clad feet on the hearth, drinking a steaming cup of milky Yorkshire black tea, nibbling a slice of the stollen my spouse baked over the weekend, and reading the New Yorker, where I learn that this is hygge According to the New Yorker, hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is a Danish term, describing an essential Danish national character which appreciates "a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being".

If recent articles in The New Yorker and the New York Times are any indications, the WASP search for a happier life is morphing from the "life-changing" tidy minimalism imported from Japan (KonMari) to the snug comforts of the hearth imported from... more »

Hygge: Danish Comfort versus American Shame
On the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, I'm sitting in front of a fire, toasting my woolen-sock clad feet on the hearth, drinking a steaming cup of milky Yorkshire black tea, nibbling a slice of the stollen my spouse baked over the weekend, and reading the New Yorker, where I learn that this is hygge According to the New Yorker, hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is a Danish term, describing an essential Danish national character which appreciates "a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being".

If recent articles in The New Yorker and the New York Times are any indications, the WASP search for a happier life is morphing from the "life-changing" tidy minimalism imported from Japan (KonMari) to the snug comforts of the hearth imported from Denmark (hygge).

From the New Yorker "At least six books about hygge were published in the United States this year, with more to come in 2017. (At the Guardian, Charlotte Higgins has done an investigation into the U.K.’s hygge publishing craze.) Helen Russell, a British journalist who wrote “The Year of Living Danishly,” defines the term as “taking pleasure in the presence of gentle, soothing things"

Americans might embrace the trappings of hygge, just as we commodify and consume other imported cultural trends. But we Americans are not going to achieve contentment from buying a few candles any more than we can achieve Zen enlightenment by buying incence and desktop gravel garden.

Whatever satisfaction flows from hygge is not about the trappings. It's about the Skandinavian mindset environment that not only allows but values modest pleasures. Hygge runs smack up against both our national character and our current economic realities.

Anglos (in the USA and UK ) don't need to learn how to hygge. Any "womens" magazine in the last 70 years is filled with examples. Martha Stewart created a corporate empire on the comforts of home.

What WASPs are seeking is permission to hygge. The recent American/UK fascination with hygge stems from our amazement with a foreign culture where home comforts are not only allowed but accepted and encouraged (even taken to the other extreme of coercive conformity).

American's Puritans ancestors bestowed the gift of guilt to spoil any pleasure, even simple ones. Americans view the ordinary comfort of hearth and home as silly indulgences or trivialized as feminine. This guilt is so imbued in our culture that we make lists of our "guilty pleasures" and marketers advertise the joy of their wares as "guilt free" or tauntingly "sinfully indulgent". They push us to consume "because we deserve it". We have to be convinced that we are worth it because we feel so unworthy of joy.

And the guilt does not come just from our religious heritage. As long as I remember bourgeois has been hurled as an insult by both my more artsy and my politcally active acquantances. The first group hates the bland conformity and the second the danger of being lulled into a kind of comfort that makes us weak and easy prey to the evil at large. Or if they don't go to that extreme, at least we should feel guilt for enjoying comfort when so many others suffer.

Yet the lesson I see in this sudden interest in the UK and the USA of hygge, is the recognition that the middle class is disappearing and as these comforts become more rare they are more valued.

Again from the New Yorker, "Perhaps Scandinavians are better able to appreciate the small, hygge things in life because they already have all the big ones nailed down: free university education, social security, universal health care, efficient infrastructure, paid family leave, and at least a month of vacation a year. With those necessities secured, according to Wiking, Danes are free to become “aware of the decoupling between wealth and wellbeing'.”

Having been taught Maslow's hierarchy of needs, it seems to be only logical that once our basic needs for survival are met, that we can move to the middle ground of community (love, belonging and esteem), and finally a few of us (like my artsy friends) can reach self-actualization or self-trancendence.

In America it is not enough that the wealthy enjoy every luxury, they are the only ones allowed the luxury of joy. The rest of us must feel guilty for our pleasures and the very poorest among us must be punished for them.

The American Dream is a rags-to-riches story, a story of extremes. And in the current perversion of it, wealth is enjoyable only if one can flaunt it and winning most fun only when you beat someone else out of the prize. To feel like a winner these days, the guys on top now insist on losers.

As more of us get pushed to the losing side, no wonder we gaze upon these boring, conforming, bourgeois, modest middle class comforts as having almost fairy tale magic, a transformational escape from extremes. If it were possible for everyone to have the wherewithal to enjoy small things--hearth and home, kith and kin, health and heartiness--what a vast improvement it would be. We are made to feel shame (guilt again!) for aiming so low, but let's get everyone to that goal first and then we can aim higher.
==================
The New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-year-of-hygge-the-danish-obsession-with-getting-cozy

The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/24/fashion/wintering-the-danish-way-learning-about-hygge.html

The Highs and Lows of Hygge
http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/teach-me/87589184/the-highs-and-lows-of-hygge--the-danish-concept-of-cosiness___

posted image

2016-12-15 22:53:03 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

The Art of Life
"Those of us who know not the secret of properly regulating our own existence on this tumultuous sea of foolish troubles which we call life are constantly in a state of misery while vainly trying to appear happy and contented. We stagger in the attempt to keep our moral equalibrium, and see forerunners of the tempest in every cloud that floats on the horizon." Okakura "The Book of Tea"

The Art of Life
"Those of us who know not the secret of properly regulating our own existence on this tumultuous sea of foolish troubles which we call life are constantly in a state of misery while vainly trying to appear happy and contented. We stagger in the attempt to keep our moral equalibrium, and see forerunners of the tempest in every cloud that floats on the horizon." Okakura "The Book of Tea"___

posted image

2016-12-15 14:12:09 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

Politics: Reaping the Spoils of America's Destruction
From the article...
"Missing in the ideological embrace of choice for choice’s sake is any suggestion of the public school as a public good—as a centering locus for a community and as a shared pillar of the commonweal, in which all citizens have an investment...DeVos’s nomination suggests that in a Trump Administration the more fundamental premises that underlie our institutions of public education will be brought into question."

And how does privatization turn out? Pretty much how you'd expect of a system where the emphasis is on profit rather than the outcome or educating our children.

"Almost two-thirds of the state’s charter schools are run by for-profit management companies, which are not required to make the financial disclosures that would be expected of not-for-profit orpublic ... more »

Politics: Reaping the Spoils of America's Destruction
From the article...
"Missing in the ideological embrace of choice for choice’s sake is any suggestion of the public school as a public good—as a centering locus for a community and as a shared pillar of the commonweal, in which all citizens have an investment...DeVos’s nomination suggests that in a Trump Administration the more fundamental premises that underlie our institutions of public education will be brought into question."

And how does privatization turn out? Pretty much how you'd expect of a system where the emphasis is on profit rather than the outcome or educating our children.

"Almost two-thirds of the state’s charter schools are run by for-profit management companies, which are not required to make the financial disclosures that would be expected of not-for-profit or public entities. This lack of transparency has not translated into stellar academic results: student standardized-test scores at charter schools, the paper found, were no more than comparable with those at traditional public schools. And, despite the rhetoric of “choice,” lower-income students were effectively segregated into poorer-performing schools, while the parents of more privileged students were better equipped to navigate the system. Even Tom Watkins, the state’s former education superintendent, who favors charter schools, told the newspaper, 'In a number of cases, people are making a boatload of money, and the kids aren’t getting educated'.”___

posted image

2016-12-15 02:03:54 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

Art: Appropriation or Mash-Up--Who's Zoomin' Who?
What I love about the world is how we all inform each other. From a white girl in England doing Japanese Rap to a Japanese hip hop rapping to a riff from Jesus Christ Superstar. Celebrate our commonality.

Hannah Does Special Force
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7cYeBwVQZ4

Nitro Microphone Underground Does Special Force
https://youtu.be/LEZGMEXZg7g

Jesus Christ Superstar
https://youtu.be/u3m2kQ-tOEk?t=3m56s
(start at 3:56)

Art: Appropriation or Mash-Up--Who's Zoomin' Who?
What I love about the world is how we all inform each other. From a white girl in England doing Japanese Rap to a Japanese hip hop rapping to a riff from Jesus Christ Superstar. Celebrate our commonality.

Hannah Does Special Force
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7cYeBwVQZ4

Nitro Microphone Underground Does Special Force
https://youtu.be/LEZGMEXZg7g

Jesus Christ Superstar
https://youtu.be/u3m2kQ-tOEk?t=3m56s
(start at 3:56)___

posted image

2016-12-14 19:40:44 (3 comments; 2 reshares; 15 +1s; )Open 

Designed Illegibility
Design helps users or hinders them; either way, it directs them. One wonders what's the point of getting eyeballs to your page if the eyeballs can't make out a word when they get there. What do you think you've accomplished.
-------------
Quote from the article, "My plea to designers and software engineers: Ignore the fads and go back to the typographic principles of print — keep your type black, and vary weight and font instead of grayness. You’ll be making things better for people who read on smaller, dimmer screens, even if their eyes aren’t aging like mine. It may not be trendy, but it’s time to consider who is being left out by the web’s aesthetic."

It's not your eyes. . .___Designed Illegibility
Design helps users or hinders them; either way, it directs them. One wonders what's the point of getting eyeballs to your page if the eyeballs can't make out a word when they get there. What do you think you've accomplished.
-------------
Quote from the article, "My plea to designers and software engineers: Ignore the fads and go back to the typographic principles of print — keep your type black, and vary weight and font instead of grayness. You’ll be making things better for people who read on smaller, dimmer screens, even if their eyes aren’t aging like mine. It may not be trendy, but it’s time to consider who is being left out by the web’s aesthetic."

posted image

2016-12-13 15:42:26 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

Politics: We Have Conceded Defeat

Keith Olbermann: Is there a Russian coup underway in America?

We are no longer a sovereign nation, we are no longer a democracy, we are no longer a free people. We are the victims of a bloodless coup -- so far -- engineered by Russia with the traitorous indifference of the Republican Party.

The words, given and meant literally, not figuratively: war, coup, treason, traitor. A man who will live in imfamy.

To President Obama: release the unvarnished truth to the American people, and people of the world, now. There is not time for careful deliberation.

Watch, listen, forward.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IAFxPXGDH4E___Politics: We Have Conceded Defeat

posted image

2016-12-12 01:52:35 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

RIP Greg Lake: From the Beginning
Studies have shown that when you play music for patients with Alzheimer's, that they become more alert and focused...restored to themselves. I hope if that ever happens to me that someone will play this. It really takes me to my high school days. I can close my eyes and be restored to a different time and place.
---
See Henry and his music
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw7Y78aqf_I

RIP Greg Lake: From the Beginning
Studies have shown that when you play music for patients with Alzheimer's, that they become more alert and focused...restored to themselves. I hope if that ever happens to me that someone will play this. It really takes me to my high school days. I can close my eyes and be restored to a different time and place.
---
See Henry and his music
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw7Y78aqf_I___

posted image

2016-12-12 01:17:35 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

RIP Greg Lake: Still You Turn Me On
I remember watching this originally in 1974 and being appalled that Greg Lake seems to be chewing gum...it felt like he wasn't really giving it his all, not really taking his performance (and by extension his audience) seriously. But if you just listen to his voice, it's hard to fault it.

And the line "someone get me a ladder"!?! Always a kind of WTF rhyme.

RIP Greg Lake: Still You Turn Me On
I remember watching this originally in 1974 and being appalled that Greg Lake seems to be chewing gum...it felt like he wasn't really giving it his all, not really taking his performance (and by extension his audience) seriously. But if you just listen to his voice, it's hard to fault it.

And the line "someone get me a ladder"!?! Always a kind of WTF rhyme.___

posted image

2016-12-09 14:41:37 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

Politics: White Male of the Year
I think Trump's right...he's lacking the basic humanity to be considered person of the year.

Politics: White Male of the Year
I think Trump's right...he's lacking the basic humanity to be considered person of the year.___

posted image

2016-12-09 01:40:23 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

ELP: RIP Greg Lake
I love this little clip of them rehearsing Karn Evil 9. After 4 minutes of Emerson trying to get Palmer on board (I skipped to minute 4), Lake is just sitting there, patiently playing his bit over and over and over, cig in strumming fingers. Eventually Palmer catches on and they take it from the top and it's seamless, complex, gorgeous.

ELP: RIP Greg Lake
I love this little clip of them rehearsing Karn Evil 9. After 4 minutes of Emerson trying to get Palmer on board (I skipped to minute 4), Lake is just sitting there, patiently playing his bit over and over and over, cig in strumming fingers. Eventually Palmer catches on and they take it from the top and it's seamless, complex, gorgeous.___

posted image

2016-12-09 00:56:28 (7 comments; 1 reshares; 12 +1s; )Open 

Film: Midnight Diner
Netflix has come out with a 10-episode season of Midnight Diner, which began as an award-winning manga, then a Japanese TV series and feature film.

Like An this series is quiet, quirky, and offbeat...mixing food, of course, with characters a bit on the edge of Japanese society but entirely recognizable as classic Japanese characters. Tokyo is said to be not so much a big city as a collection of small villages and these are the kind of village characters that I might have come across in rural Kyushu.

It's so nice that Netflix is providing some alternative Japanese fare to the stereotypical anime, yakuza, or samurai flicks. Think what it would be like if American film (or the American people) was represented to the world only by Disney cartoons, cowboy films, and gangster movies.
-----------
Quote from the article, "The dishes recur... more »

Film: Midnight Diner
Netflix has come out with a 10-episode season of Midnight Diner, which began as an award-winning manga, then a Japanese TV series and feature film.

Like An this series is quiet, quirky, and offbeat...mixing food, of course, with characters a bit on the edge of Japanese society but entirely recognizable as classic Japanese characters. Tokyo is said to be not so much a big city as a collection of small villages and these are the kind of village characters that I might have come across in rural Kyushu.

It's so nice that Netflix is providing some alternative Japanese fare to the stereotypical anime, yakuza, or samurai flicks. Think what it would be like if American film (or the American people) was represented to the world only by Disney cartoons, cowboy films, and gangster movies.
-----------
Quote from the article, "The dishes recur throughout the episode as the characters return to the comforting embrace of the diner. Regardless of the turmoil in their lives, there will always be a seat at the counter, where the sage, omniscient Master will make their favorite dish and listen as they ponder their troubles."___

posted image

2016-12-06 03:39:16 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

Artifacts: A History of the Future in 100 Objects
A perfect complement to the book that began this collection, A History of the World in 100 Objects this imagined history of the future examines the 21st century through the eyes of historians in 2082.

Both introduce their collection with the same caveat, "This book is not the history of the 21st century; it is only a history, and a hundred objects can only tell a fraction of our stories."

Artifacts: A History of the Future in 100 Objects
A perfect complement to the book that began this collection, A History of the World in 100 Objects this imagined history of the future examines the 21st century through the eyes of historians in 2082.

Both introduce their collection with the same caveat, "This book is not the history of the 21st century; it is only a history, and a hundred objects can only tell a fraction of our stories."___

posted image

2016-12-05 00:26:37 (2 comments; 2 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

Film: An (Sweet Bean)
This is a little film, a slight elegiac work, that seems very Japanese in that unabashedly sentimental way of Japanese drama. The Japanese love a tear-jerker. Maybe it's because they must maintain a stoic facade in public.

The an of the title is a jam made of beans (in this case, red adzuki beans) which is used as a filling for all kinds of baked goods: anpan, manju, and dorayaki, a sort of jelly sandwich made with two small pancakes instead of slices of bread and an filling.

The story concerns three misfits from three generations, who come together in the making of dorayaki. The movie is leisurely slow-paced. Nothing much happens. The moral is summed up in the end, as one character addresses and comforts another.

"You know, boss
We were born into this world
to see it and to listen to it.
Since that's the case,... more »

Film: An (Sweet Bean)
This is a little film, a slight elegiac work, that seems very Japanese in that unabashedly sentimental way of Japanese drama. The Japanese love a tear-jerker. Maybe it's because they must maintain a stoic facade in public.

The an of the title is a jam made of beans (in this case, red adzuki beans) which is used as a filling for all kinds of baked goods: anpan, manju, and dorayaki, a sort of jelly sandwich made with two small pancakes instead of slices of bread and an filling.

The story concerns three misfits from three generations, who come together in the making of dorayaki. The movie is leisurely slow-paced. Nothing much happens. The moral is summed up in the end, as one character addresses and comforts another.

"You know, boss
We were born into this world
to see it and to listen to it.
Since that's the case,
we don't have to be someone.
We have, each of us has,
meaning to our life."

------------
After watching it, I found this review in the Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2015/06/03/films/film-reviews/director-naomi-kawase-finally-made-real-japanese-film/#.WESpF1eQIko

"...at Cannes, critics hurled adjectives like “insipid,” “fluffy” and “sentimental,” much as I expected them to. So-called real Japanese movies are an acquired taste." I'd add that Japanese film tends to be refreshingly "uncool", lacking in Western-style cynicism.___

posted image

2016-12-04 19:25:23 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

Modelling: On the Importance of

Before you build the real thing, best build a model first.
Handmade scale model timber framed barn under construction (some years ago), using English oak and genuine miniature mortise and tenon joints. Dremmel tool came in very handy!
#timberframe #oak #model___Modelling: On the Importance of

posted image

2016-12-03 01:55:52 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

Film: Arrival, Soundtrack
Jóhann Jóhannsson once again collaborates with director Denis Villeneuve'. Both film and soundtrack are lighter and more otherworldly than Sicario, but once again Jóhannsson's sound adds weight, gravity, depth that the visuals alone would not have. A resonance?

Film: Arrival, Soundtrack
Jóhann Jóhannsson once again collaborates with director Denis Villeneuve'. Both film and soundtrack are lighter and more otherworldly than Sicario, but once again Jóhannsson's sound adds weight, gravity, depth that the visuals alone would not have. A resonance?___

posted image

2016-12-03 01:33:21 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

Film: Arrival
Saw this today. "The Sunday after the election, I watched this and wept. What a dream—to perceive instinctive purpose in what happens around us, to submit to that teleology, to enact it. What a fantasy, to imagine that we’ll be around to help anyone in three thousand years."

Film: Arrival
Saw this today. "The Sunday after the election, I watched this and wept. What a dream—to perceive instinctive purpose in what happens around us, to submit to that teleology, to enact it. What a fantasy, to imagine that we’ll be around to help anyone in three thousand years."___

posted image

2016-12-02 00:37:52 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 13 +1s; )Open 

Gulf Fritillary: Agraulis vanillae
I was doing a bit of weeding when this bright orange beauty landed on my glove. The Gulf fritillary is one of those butterflies whose wing pattern is entirely different depending on whether you are looking at it from above or beneath. On the top, it is a DayGlo orange with black marks; beneath it is brown with big white spots and just a splash of orange.

After flitting from my glove, it landed on the Turks cap and stayed a long time, hardly moving. It was too cold for it to be very active...or maybe it's at the end of its life cycle.

Gulf Fritillary: Agraulis vanillae
I was doing a bit of weeding when this bright orange beauty landed on my glove. The Gulf fritillary is one of those butterflies whose wing pattern is entirely different depending on whether you are looking at it from above or beneath. On the top, it is a DayGlo orange with black marks; beneath it is brown with big white spots and just a splash of orange.

After flitting from my glove, it landed on the Turks cap and stayed a long time, hardly moving. It was too cold for it to be very active...or maybe it's at the end of its life cycle.___

posted image

2016-11-30 14:45:57 (9 comments; 1 reshares; 38 +1s; )Open 

Travel: Beppu-shi, Japan
I lived in Beppu City for two years, one of the hot springs (onsen) capitals of Japan. Decades later I still miss being able to go for a soak in an onsen after a long day of running errands and shopping or having a soak with work colleagues after an official office party or function. Skinship!

When I lived in Beppu, the Sugunoi Hotel was the big "amusement park" -style resort hotel which most guide books highlighted. Even Dave Barry stayed there when writing his book, "Dave Barry Does Japan".

However, there are also many smaller, quieter, more old-fashioned onsen where you can enjoy a bit of solitude and nature. Still, going to the onsen is often a group activity and a family activity, too. Not all countries are as prurient about nudity as the USA, even though Americans have done their best since they've arrived to try to... more »

Travel: Beppu-shi, Japan
I lived in Beppu City for two years, one of the hot springs (onsen) capitals of Japan. Decades later I still miss being able to go for a soak in an onsen after a long day of running errands and shopping or having a soak with work colleagues after an official office party or function. Skinship!

When I lived in Beppu, the Sugunoi Hotel was the big "amusement park" -style resort hotel which most guide books highlighted. Even Dave Barry stayed there when writing his book, "Dave Barry Does Japan".

However, there are also many smaller, quieter, more old-fashioned onsen where you can enjoy a bit of solitude and nature. Still, going to the onsen is often a group activity and a family activity, too. Not all countries are as prurient about nudity as the USA, even though Americans have done their best since they've arrived to try to shame the Japanese about it.

-----
Sugunoi Hotel
http://www.suginoi-hotel.com/english/facilities/spa.html___

Buttons

A special service of CircleCount.com is the following button.

The button shows the number of followers you have directly on a small button. You can add this button to your website, like the +1-Button of Google or the Like-Button of Facebook.



You can add this button directly in your website. For more information about the CircleCount Buttons and the description how to add them to another page click here.

M Sinclair StevensCircloscope