Thursday, January 26, 2012

Moving To Tumblr

After 3 years of being on blogger, I've caved in and decided to join Tumblr. The new blog's URL will be: and I'm calling it "The View From Here." Hope you guys continue to keep reading on the new site!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Johannesburg Taxis & Kwaito House Music

Vice recently released episode 5 of their show , All the Wrong Places. This episode tells the story about Kwaito artists struggling to get their sound on the radio in South Africa and how they reached out to taxi drivers to help spread the music. For those who are familiar, this may remind you of how TEDxBuenosAires reached out to taxi drivers to help spread TED messages. What's special about the Kwaito example is that it represents a more symbiotic relationship between the driver and the passenger.

In the video, one of the cab drivers explained that kids will actually pass on available taxis until they hear one playing the music they like. The drivers get dedicated customers, the kids get an enjoyable ride, and the artists get their music heard. Compare that to New York - you hop in to whatever is available and hop right out once you get to your destination. The video autoplays so I didn't embed it here. You can watch the 10 minute episode on Vice. If you want to hear some Kwaito, here's a song from Brickz, one of the artists featured in the episode.

The thing that doesn't fit is the most interesting

Richard Feynman was one of America's great physicists and I'm a huge fan of the way he thinks. The clip above is an excerpt from, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out. You can watch the entire film on Google videos.

YouTube Launches Merch Store

"Fans will be able to buy artists’ merchandise, digital downloads, concert tickets and even unique experiences like meetups. These features are made possible through affiliates like Topspin for merchandise, concert tickets and experiences; Songkick for concerts; and iTunes and Amazon for music downloads. We’ll be rolling out the Merch Store to music partners globally over the coming weeks" YouTube Blog

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Leisure Suit Legends of the 80s

Fab Ciraolo, an illustrator based in Santiago, Chile, gives 1980s cartoon heroes a more laidback look. Can we all agree on how awesome this is? See the rest the pictures here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Core77 and Crayons

Rich Brilliant Willing, a design team based in New York, designed Core77's first trophy for their Design Awards. You can read more about the Core77 Design Awards here.

“We were inspired by a ‘mold’ as an image and symbol of manufacturing and design. In our discussions with Core77, we came to realize that an inherent pitfall of the iconic trophy is that it is shared by a group, yet not literally divisible among that group. We wondered if an award could, in some way, recognize the various contributors, beyond symbolic meaning alone. Our solution for the inaugural Core77 Design Awards Trophy has a functional value: winning teams can create ingots from the trophy, and provide these cast facsimiles to their collaborators, clients and staff.”

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Doodle Revolution

In 1996, Switzerland hosted the World Economic Forum. Topics such as the oil crisis and other global issues were discussed by the world’s top leaders. At the end of the conference, a doodle drawn by former prime minister, Tony Blair, was found. The doodle was psychoanalyzed by graphologists who claimed Blair was aggressive and unstable. The media and public were in an outrage, because it appeared that Blair was trivializing the serious issues by doodling. In the end, the doodle ended up belonging to Bill Gates.

For the most part, doodling has been given a bad rap. It’s perceived as inappropriate behavior in almost any learning environment as well as most businesses. Sunni Brown, leader of The Doodle Revolution and author of Game Storming, is working hard to change this cultural bias.

Brown argues that people doodling are actually paying more attention. They are doing it as a pre-emptive measure to stop from losing focus. Research has proven that information is retained more efficiently when combining stimuli. Doodling helps because you are engaging four types of stimulation: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. Several studies are also starting to pop up supporting Brown’s opinion. Jackie Andrade, a professor at the University of Plymouth, published a study finding a 29 percent increase in information retention gained by doodlers.

As a fellow doodler, it’s comforting to know that there are others out there who process information the same way I do. You can watch Brown discuss and defend doodlers in her recent TED talk here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and the Internet

I've been reading a lot of critisim about OWS lately, specifically about how the movement is "lacking a consistent message." All of this negativity got me thinking about successful movements in the past and how they positioned their demands. I don't think there was any difference between then and now besides one huge factor - the internet. Thanks to the internet, we're able to see OWS from so many different angles through so many different voices, and I hate hearing people discount the cause because of it.

Douglas Rushkoff, writer for CNN, wrote an opinion article that really expressed how I was feeling in ways I could not. I posted a portion of his article below, but I urge you to read the whole thing on CNN. The photo above was taken by an amazing photographer named Dylan Hollingsworth. If you don't live in New York, please take a minute to look through the album and see what's going on up here.

"It is difficult to comprehend a 21st century movement from the perspective of the 20th century politics, media, and economics in which we are still steeped. In fact, we are witnessing America's first true Internet-era movement, which -- unlike civil rights protests, labor marches, or even the Obama campaign -- does not take its cue from a charismatic leader, express itself in bumper-sticker-length goals and understand itself as having a particular endpoint.

Are they ready to articulate exactly what that problem is and how to address it? No, not yet. But neither are Congress or the president who, in thrall to corporate America and Wall Street, respectively, have consistently failed to engage in anything resembling a conversation as cogent as the many I witnessed as I strolled by Occupy Wall Street's many teach-ins this morning. There were young people teaching one another about, among other things, how the economy works, about the disconnection of investment banking from the economy of goods and services, the history of centralized interest-bearing currency, the creation and growth of the derivatives industry, and about the Obama administration deciding to settle with, rather than investigate and prosecute the investment banking industry for housing fraud.

Anyone who says he has no idea what these folks are protesting is not being truthful. Whether we agree with them or not, we all know what they are upset about, and we all know that there are investment bankers working on Wall Street getting richer while things for most of the rest of us are getting tougher. (...) Occupy Wall Street is meant more as a way of life that spreads through contagion, creates as many questions as it answers, aims to force a reconsideration of the way the nation does business and offers hope to those of us who previously felt alone in our belief that the current economic system is broken.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Internet Memory Lane

Evolution of the Web has created an incredible visual timeline of the browsers we've used and the technology that has accompanied them. I felt a little pang of nostalgia scrolling through screenshots of Netscape. It definitely takes me back to my middle school days.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lifespan of Links

Bit.Ly's lead scientist, Hilary Mason, explored the shelf life of links shared through their service. "Ms. Mason discovered that the average half life of a link on Twitter is 2.8 hours. On Facebook it’s 3.2 hours, and for e-mail and messenger services it’s 3.4 hours. This means a link gets an extra 24 minutes of life on Facebook compared to Twitter. (...) Links shared from YouTube hit their half life after 7.4 hours." You can read the full article here

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gimme Bar

Gimme Bar is a new (beta) bookmarking service that is giving Pinterest a run for its money. GB allows you to save pictures, text, screenshots, and most videos. Your items are then organized by hashtags and placed into buckets. As a bonus, everything you save is automatically backed up into your dropbox. They have a quick 2 minute video explaining all of Gimme Bar's features (which is also hilarious btw). You can watch it below.

James' Face

Oli Beale, a writer at Mother London, is one funny guy.

Here's his description of the photo above: I like going onto my friends facebook page, taking photos of him, changing his face slightly then putting them back up on facebook. He doesn't like me doing this.

See the rest of this series and have a good laugh over here.

Essential Organization

Artist and comedian, Ursus Wehrli, makes me feel like I'm not alone with his new book, The Art of Clean Up. In the book, Ursus rearranges everyday objects and environments as he sees fit. See more pictures like above at PSFK.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

SXSW Interactive: The Future & Evolution of Online Dating

Below is my first ever proposal to speak at South by Southwest. There were over 3,000 submissions (almost 1,000 more than last year) and there are only 500 slots available. The public vote is open from now until September 2nd. If my idea interests you, please take a minute to sign up and vote for it here.



"The 90’s introduced adolescents to the wonders of dial-up Internet, screen names, and the pursuit of digital romance. The only problem was we never truly knew who was on the other end of the screen. Today, there is an increased level of transparency thanks to the help of social networks and dating sites. We now share our real names, photos, and tidbits of personal information. Since the beginning, dating sites have used search algorithms to connect people, however little has changed since then. These engines leverage information people provide to create connections, but what if the information submitted isn't true? Sites such as are starting to evolve their methods by pairing search algorithms with user behavior to provide more accurate recommendations. This presentation will give a nostalgic view of the past, cover best practices, and include video snippets of interviews with leaders in the digital dating industry as well as couples who met online to provide a unique consumer perspective."


Eli Pariser gave a very inspiring TED talk back in May. He said, "as web companies strive to tailor their services to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview." The situation is almost identical with online dating. If dating algorithms continue to focus on tailoring their recommendations to people then where does that leave spontaneity and chance?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Joshua Bell Experience

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin (...) He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station (...) The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped (...) When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

I've only been living in New York for about seven months, but I've noticed that people tend to disconnect themselves from their environment. I've seen people walk past some of the most amazing musicians on train platforms and not even bat an eye. I just wish people would slow down and take time to see and hear all the amazing things happening around them. The video above was a performance I filmed at Columbus station around 2:30 am. Hope you enjoy it. You can read the rest of the article about Joshua Bell here.

Kalan Sherrard Performance in Brooklyn

This is a short video I made of Kalan Sherrard's puppet show. I tried to capture the experience of Kalan's performance from my point of view. I have never seen so many people happy, confused, and a little put off all at the same time, haha. This was filmed at Bushwick's 2011 block party and it was awesome. Please visit EnormousFace to view the rest of his work.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happily Ever After

Social media has no understanding of anything aside from the connections between individuals and the ceaseless flow of time: No beginnings, and no endings. These disparate threads of human existence alternately fascinate and horrify that part of the media world that grew up on topic sentences and strong conclusions. This world of old media is like a giant steampunk machine that organizes time into stories. I call it the Epiphanator, and it has always known the value of a meaningful conclusion. The Epiphanator sits in midtown Manhattan and clunks along, at Condé Nast and at the Times and in Rockefeller Center. Once a day it makes a terrible grinding noise and spits out newspapers and TV shows. Once a week it spits out weeklies and more TV shows. Once a month it produces glossy magazines. All too often it makes movies, and novels.

At the end of every magazine article, before the "■," is the quote from the general in Afghanistan that ties everything together. The evening news segment concludes by showing the secretary of State getting back onto her helicopter. There's the kiss, the kicker, the snappy comeback, the defused bomb. The Epiphanator transmits them all. It promises that things are orderly. It insists that life makes sense, that there is an underlying logic.

The excerpt above basically says that old school media has trained our brains to expect a conclusion at the end of every story. The problem with today's new media, i.e. Facebook, is that it doesn't provide us with that luxury. Instead, we get an infinite stream of information that goes in no particular direction or builds up to any real meaning. You can read the rest of the article on NY Magazine.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Red Bull Creation 2011

Here's a quick clip I made of Red Bull's Creation event this past Sunday. Four teams had 72 hours to concept and create a machine capable of moving a person from point A to point B. No fossil fuels were allowed. The panel of judges included Flash Hopkins, Simone Davalos, Glenn Derene and John “Parts” Taylor. Teams came from all over the US: Cali, Detroit, etc. Musical entertainment provided by That 1 Guy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Please Don't Like This

The "like" button began on the website FriendFeed in 2007, appeared on Facebook in 2009, began spreading everywhere from YouTube to Amazon to most major news sites last year, and has now been officially embraced by Google as the agreeable, supportive and more status-conscious "+1." As a result, we can now search not just for information, merchandise and kitten videos on the Internet, but for approval.

Just as stand-up comedians are trained to be funny by observing which of their lines and expressions are greeted with laughter, so too are our thoughts online molded to conform to popular opinion by these buttons. A status update that is met with no likes (or a clever tweet that isn't retweeted) becomes the equivalent of a joke met with silence. (...) And so we don't show our true
selves online, but a mask designed to conform to the opinions of those around us.

Wallstreet Journal knocked it out of the park with this one. You can read the rest here.


Every five minutes, NSKYC, a site by web designer Mike Bodge, updates with a new snapshot of the average color of the city's sky at that moment. It may sound mundane, but the result is actually fascinating and beautiful. The page has been dominated by varying shades of gray today, but scroll down to the early morning hours to find vibrant blues around 5 a.m., or skip past the black of night for yesterday evening's maroon sunset.

Mike Bodge is one of the cofounders of NY based digital agency, Lolz LLC. They are mad talented and their site (as well as Bodge's blog DeleteYourself) are highly entertaining. Funny side story, I read about five different articles about N SKY C before I realized who made it haha. Read the rest of the snippet above here.

Enal & His Pet Shark

Whilst few young children are now born on boats, the ocean is still very much their playground and whilst they are getting conflicted messages from their communities, who simultaneously refrain from spitting in the ocean and continue to dynamite its reefs, I still believe they could play a crucial role in the development of western marine conservation practices. Here Enal plays with his pet shark.

Read more about Enal's home and culture here. Photograph taken by James Morgan.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How To Haggle Like Your Old Man

The Art of Manliness listed out the top tips for any soon-to-be-haggler. The one rule that really resonated with me was: "if someone loses, you did it wrong."

Don’t try to be the victor. Avoid zero-sum games where someone else has to lose in order for you to win. If you negotiate like that, you’ll probably win a few, but you’ll lose just as many and kill a lot of good relationships along the way. Instead, find a way for everyone to win.

I'm definitely using this tip next time I'm at a crossroads with someone in a meeting. You can read the full list as well as a few nice anecdotes here.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Kickstarter Visits Creative Mornings

On June 28th, I was able to attend Creative Mornings, a monthly breakfast lecture for creative people. There are currently chapters in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London and Zurich. The event is half lecture and half group discussion. Yancey Strickler, cofounder of Kickstarter, was this month’s speaker.

Strickler gave the audience an insider’s look into the history of Kickstarter and how it has evolved into what it is today. Since day one, Kickstarter has focused on supporting and increasing involvement within the art community. Projects posted on Kickstarter are encouraged to offer non-monetary incentives for people who pledge money. Instead of offering traditional donation incentives like ‘20% off’, Kickstarter employs a fresh approach in showing gratitude for contributions made. For example, a $50 donation could be met with an upcoming movie featuring a character with a donator’s namesake or you could receive a one of a kind pice of art work. This makes the person pledging money a part of the project rather than just a donor.

One story that he shared in particular really stood out to us. A story that stood out to us involved two men, David and Eric, that had an idea to launch a video game based off of people’s doodles. They set a Kickstarter goal of $20,000 and crossed their fingers. Unfortunately, they didn’t reach their goal in time. A little while later, the duo was e-mailed by a fund manager at X.Million Venture offering to invest $200,000 to help turn it into a full featured game. The point Strickler was trying to make was that Kickstarter isn’t just a place to fund projects anymore. It’s also become a place to scour for talent.

You can watch the full talk above.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Text Offenders

The Alamo Drafthouse Theater has one simple rule. Text during a movie and you'll be escorted out. Apparently, this didn't rub too well with one customer. After watching the clip, do you feel angry at Alamo for kicking her out? Do you applaud them? I personally could care less, but you have to admire the courage it took for Alamo to take a stance and stick to it. It's strong views like this that create pure emotion. It doesn't matter if you hate them or love them. All that matters is that you took the time to feel something towards Alamo Drafthouse and that's not something a lot of companies are willing to risk.