Archive for the ‘Ideas’ Category

Meet the Superhumans

August 16, 2012

Last night I saw something that changed me. Gruen Sweat showed an amazing promotional video, made by Britain’s Channel Four, for the upcoming 2012 Paralympic Games.

The video is called

Meet the Superhumans

and you can watch it on YouTube here.

As I’m not I the UK (curse you geoblocking) I can’t embed the video in this blog, sorry. You can find out more about it on Channel Four’s Paralympics website.

After watching this several times I came to the humbling realisation that I had subconsciously thought of the Paralympics as a rather secondary sort of competition and that this attitude is not only patronising but is insulting to the athletes who compete. For this I am extremely sorry.

So thankyou Gruen Sweat and Channel 4 for shaking up my attitudes. I’ll be watching the Paralympics on ABC with a new avidity.


Recycle, reuse – solar light diffusers from plastic drink bottles…

August 28, 2011

Wow, this is such a great idea! Much cheaper than fibre optic cables!

and here:

Would make a great light in a garden shed (I’m tempted to try it in mine!)

Free speech

July 8, 2011

This speaks for itself:

Thanks to @stephenfry for tweeting it.

3 pairs of jeans and a pair of shorts for $16.95

July 2, 2011

My winter wardrobe was a bit ratty.  My best jeans were going into holes.  My worst jeans were perfectly sound but from the land that style forgot (really only for cleaning/gardening).  So it was time to do the thrifty, green, thing (reduce, recycle, reuse) and hit the op shops.

Thank God for the Salvo’s in Freo – they were having a sale, all ladies clothing no more than $4.99 (there were specials on men’s clothes and other stuff too, but I wasn’t buying any of that).  My opshop technique is to grab an armful (well, the maximum of 4 items that are allowed in the changerooms) in what looks like my size and try them on.  If it doesn’t fit/looks horrible out it goes and no angst-ing allowed (sizing in Australia is such a mixed bag, before you throw in European, UK and US sizing).

Today I was in luck and got three pairs of jeans at the $5 mark plus a pair of denim shorts for $2.  So my wardrobe is refreshed, my wallet is still relatively plump and the planet is happy as well.

Want to hear more about the joys of op-shopping?  Listen to US designer Jessie Arrington give a TED talk on Wearing nothing new and follow her blog Lucky so and so.   I’m not sure her rainbow style would be my choice, but the principles are sound – you could op-shop for nothing but hipster black if you wanted!

Try something new for 30 days – TED talk

July 2, 2011

Wow, talk about timely! Just as blogjune finishes (and my iPad arrives) here is Matt Cutts talking at TED about the benefits of trying something new for 30 days! You can also read about Matt’s challenges on his blog.

So what is the next challenge for me?

[First post from my iPad!]

[updated about 11 hours later with the TED id so the embedding should now work!]

Take a different path…

June 29, 2011

Sometimes I try to look at my city and my commute with the eyes of a first time visitor. How would I feel about my everyday vistas if I was seeing them for the first time? I’ve changed in the years since I first saw my daily landscapes (and so have they); so perhaps I’d see them differently if they were new to me.
Last year, when things were tough, the routine and familiar were a comfort (and about all I could cope with). This year I’m ready to re-embrace the new.
Taking a slightly different route, doing an old thing in a new way (such as blogging every day in June) and all of a sudden the dull familiar world is fresh and sparkling.
Today I took a different route home, heard a new (to me) islander version of “Wonderful World” in a shop and saw a city street in a (literally) whole new light.
Life isn’t so bad!


[Wonderful world was by “Iz” Israel Kamakawiwoʻole and I bought it from iTunes on the way home!]

[Begun on the train, continued on the bus and finished on the couch on my iPhone!]

Ideas to make the world a better place #1

June 23, 2011

I was listening to Kim Scott being interviewed on Radio National’s AM programme this morning (he’s just won this year’s Miles Franklin award). I was struck when he emphasized the need for politicians to listen, really listen – not just talk to focus groups (the transcript’s not up yet so I can’t quote exactly).
This reminded me of an idea I’ve had for some time. Why not take away all our politicians’ cars and drivers and replace them with free public transport passes. This would have several advantages the pollies would mix with the people their policies affect, the public transport systems would improve (though here in Perth, WA we’ve got it pretty good), and the pollies’ carbon footprints would be reduced!
OK I can also think of reasons it would be at least partially impractical, but it would be worth a trial – don’t you think?

(Blogged from the train on my iPhone!)


Train like an athlete, get plenty of sleep

June 15, 2011

Back in the early eighties, when I first worked in corporate libraries, I remember reading, in a management book, an appendix containing advice for women who want to get on in management. I’ve long forgotten the title of the book, but one piece of advice stuck with me:

“Train like an athlete, get plenty of sleep”

Which is why tonight’s blog post will be short. After two late nights finishing blogjune posts it’s time to take the second part of that advice!

Good night all!

(via WordPress for iPhone)

The principle of least astonishment

June 8, 2011

Another post written mostly on the train, so apologies in advance for any dodgy formatting! I’ve still got a bit to learn about the mobile version.

I find my Twitterfeed an absolute mine of useful, useless, strange and wonderful information. So I was delighted yesterday, on following links from this post by Wikipedian @wittylama:

“Where the Public Domain starts should not be where common courtesy ends. See:… #glamwiki #Commons #PublicDomain #PD
Twitter for iPad • 7/06/11 5:06 PM

to come across “the principle of least astonishment”.

“The POLA states that, when two elements of an interface conflict, or are ambiguous, the behaviour should be that which will least surprise the user”

I think this principle holds good way beyond software design (restaurant meal descriptions spring to mind), however we should also leave room for some surprises in our lives!

Reading “Little Bets”

June 4, 2011

I’m reading Peter Sims’ Little Bets : how breakthrough ideas emerge from small discoveries.

Little Bets / Peter SimsIt’s a fun book to read, and I’m finding it inspiring – promoting the (reasearch validated) idea that successful creativity and change doesn’t come from top down planning, but from having an open mind, experimentation, play, flexibility, a willingness to fail, and a willingness to capitalise on small wins… there’s a lot to think about and a lot to apply, privately and professionally!

So where does Luxo Jr. come in?  Sims uses several running examples throughout his book, including the story of how Pixar went from being a struggling computer hardware company to the giant of computer animation it is today.  Pixar didn’t start with a mission to make feature length movies –  Luxo Jr. was a short film originally made to promote their hardware products at SIGGRAPH in 1986.

In 1987 Pixar showcased a new film, Red’s Dream  at SIGGRAPH, this time to demonstrate not just their hardware, but their RenderMan 3D animation software.

The company’s core hardware and software business was still struggling, and there was a tough battle in 1988 to convince Steve Jobs (who owned the company and was keeping it afloat) to make another film – Tin Toy.

Tin Toy won the Academy Award in 1988 for the Best Animated Short Film.  The company began to move its focus from hardware and software to animation (you’ll need to read the book for the full story) and Tin Toy became the basis for Toy Story.  


How did I come to be reading a management book on creativity?  That’s a lesson in serendipity and chasing ideas!  First, last October,  I heard Bob Sutton (Stanford Professor of Management Science and Engineering) speaking on ABC Radio National’s Background Briefing on The business of being a boss.

The no asshole rule / Bob Sutton  I was intrigued, and bought a copy of Bob’s book The no asshole rule : building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn’t (another good read for anyone in employment!), then I began to follow Bob on Twitter (@work_matters).  From Bob’s tweets and linked blog posts I found out about Enchantment / Guy KawasakiGuy Kawasaki’s book Enchantment : the art of changing, hearts, minds and actions (also recommended) and finally, Little Bets.  These are just some of the reasons I love Twitter!

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