Archive for December, 2012

Curbside sonata.

This is one of those short films that’ll warm you from the heart. It’s a simple social documentation piece, shot across 24 hours, that examines the fate of a lone piano on a curb in New York. The interactions of passerbys with this piano has rightfully been described as poetic, the beauty of the accompanying composition paired to the relatively banal stills dramatic. The rhythm of the shots slows down and picks up like the piano piece itself, mimicking the passing of time. A sort of film-like sonata to remind you that nothing lasts forever. And that’s beautiful.

Solo, Piano – N.Y.C. was directed by Anthony Sherin, a New York-based filmmaker and editor. It was featured recently in the New York Times.

Design as relief.

Another awe-inspiring socially good cause coming out of Brooklyn to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Check out Reclaim NYC, a local group that was founded post-storm to help raise money through design. These artists are creating furniture made from reclaimed debris, like salvaged electrical junction boxes, that they found at storm cleanup sites then auctioning them off. As the Facebook page explains, “We hope our fallen trees and storm-damaged building materials can be reborn as objects that represent the city’s recovery.”

Not only is the idea wonderful, but the furniture looks great too. Love the garbage can lamp.

Hat tip to Fastco for the share. Also, if you haven’t read it yet, check out our post on Stephen Wilkes’ photography for Sandy. Really amazing how there’re so many creatives working hard to assist the recovery effort.

The Art of Non-Conformity lets you do you

Read this book if you want to live an extraordinary life. It’s gotten me fired up and wishing I had read it sooner. That’s not all I have to say but seriously, trust me. You’ll be fired up if you read it too.

Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity is the kind of read that gives you a kick in the ass if there’s something you really want to do, but have somehow convinced yourself that it’s not possible. Chris, like many of us, went through a crisis where he really had to ask himself what he wanted from life. But the difference between him and many people is that he took action on it and experimented until he found a way to get what he wanted. He didn’t make excuses for why he couldn’t live the way he wanted.

The Art of Non-Conformity

For Guillebeau, the thing that gets him off is travel. He’s always had wanderlust and he made it a priority because he knew it was essential to his happiness. Chris shares a lot of his successful experiments in this book like actually taking the time to map out a perfect day for yourself and how to deal with critics that dissuade you from doing what you really want to. While there’s a lot of travel specific advice, he gets that travel is not everyone’s passion but shows you how to apply the same mindset to get whatever makes you happy.

One of the raddest sections for me is when Chris illustrates how people often are a terrible judge of how much time it takes to get something done. There are a lot of things we put off for this because we think it’ll take forever, but many of them don’t actually take very long when we focus. Similarly, there are things that we believe are accomplished overnight (mastering a skill for example) but are really the result of long hours put in.

Another great part is when he talks about how most people don’t really want to roll around in luxury doing nothing. Most of us genuinely want to help others. Doesn’t that restore some faith in humanity? But you have to ask yourself if how you currently spend your days really respects your talents, interests and makes a difference in the world. Life being short is a terribly trite expression, but I don’t think anyone can deny it.

There’s a ton of great wisdom like that in this book so I hope you’ll make an effort to read it and apply what you learn to make your dreams happen. Taking the time to read this and applying nothing would an incredible insult to the author and your dreams.

The Art of Non-Conformity is available on Amazon or even better, your local indie bookstore. If you happen to already have read it, Iet us know if you think it’s helped you.

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