INSPIRATION FROM RATIONAL THINKING
Great graphic design: clear, rapid, and memorable communication
Another example of immediate recognition. We know the phrase 'slip on a banana peel' and we know the caution warning of the yellow plastic signboard. A nice combination to catch our attention and warn us to use caution to avoid slipping.
Sorry, here's some crappy design
See the sign in this strip mall between a Pawn Shop and a Smoke Shop. Guess what product Humble Pie sells.
Assess the font selection (a 1930s era Art Deco style), the color (black & white), the arched baseline over the word Pie, and the name itself - Humble Pie.
Yes, of course, all of that says Pizza! Another good example of a sign company 'designing' a sign.
New landscaped front yard at Jim's house. Full story.
Some wise, but tough-to-live-by advice
I don't go into the past - except to learn and evaluate. Then I bury it in the backyard like a dead carcass, not to be dug up again. Don't get me wrong. I'll go back and belly laugh with an old friend. But outside of that, I don't give two craps what happened five seconds ago.
- Jim Fannin, Life coach
Another example of poor empathy
This grocery store has an extensive deli and hot and cold cafeteria. The seating area is bound on two sides by large windows. But, the marketing manager posted children's artwork directly in the line of sight, preventing many people from looking outside while they dine. An employee said the images used to be mounted in the top row of windows (much better) but that it was harder to maneuver the ladder so they moved them down. This is one great example of putting the needs of the employee ahead of the needs of the customer. The Assistant Manager, "Should I listen to 1 person (me) or 500 people who like the artwork?" In his shameful defense of his store, he missed the point - it's not about posting artwork, it's about where that work is posted. If mounted above, opening up the view, 500 people could still enjoy the artwork. Although, I seriously doubt 500 people told the Asst. Manager they liked the work.
Lesson: Humans have always enjoyed looking outside while dining, probly stemming from our tribal ancestors who had to keep a sharp eye lookout for marauding tribes who wanted to steal their food. That threat is long gone, but the desire to have a view from the table remains.
It has really gotten out of hand. So many fast-food places post promotions and photos in their windows that I feel like I am eating inside of a billboard. They see the blank space as a medium to advertise their product. I see the blank space as a portal to look out onto the passing world - traffic, sunlight, and trees. Some other examples:
At least these poster ads have a see-through quality (below). The diner can't really see out, but it does let in more light. The view, though, is filtered through a burger or breakfast sandwich.
1. Remove all window billboard displays.
2. Limit window posters to just one or two window panes.
3. Mount the ads only at the very top of the windows:
This would open up the vista for the diner and still allow the ads to be visible from the street and parking lot. Of course, no billboards at all would be better, but this could be a fair compromise. Maybe, in the future when all promotions come to us through our phones, there will no longer be a need to block our dining views.
Jim's design similar to Google
Above: Office lettersign designed in 2002 for the UCO Department of Design. Below: Google's NYC office, 2012.
Some sketches for airports
Our modern lifestyle includes spending time in airports: counters, concourses, lounges, food kiosks, baggage claim. Due to government inefficiency and panic fear among some Americans, some of that time is spent in lines and waiting. While frustrating, it is still amazing to later step into a metal cylinder and soar through the skies to another city in a matter of minutes or hours. Often, while waiting, I will sketch improvements to the experience. Full essay and more stories.
Love Field in Dallas
Love Field was once one of the busiest airports in the nation. Then, DFW airport opened and to minimize competition, laws were passed to limit traffic at Love Field. Southwest airlines was founded and used Love Field as it's home base, but much of the terminal was repurposed or just abandoned. While traffic has increased (including other airlines also), many areas were outdated. An extensive reconstruction of the entire terminal is taking place in 2012-13. The map above left shows the new terminal in coral and the old in the tan. The new wings of the terminal seemed awkward and inefficient. Got me to thinking and sketching. What if small airports (not hubs) were redesigned around a more centralized node.
1. Instead of spread out thru concourses, one centralized area with all services in the 4 corners:
a. Restaurant, sit-down for those with time.
b. Food court, with several options and shared seating areas.
c. Store: several outlets: snacks, magazines, books, electronics, souvenirs, all together like department store.
d. Entry and exit.
2. Shorter concourses.
3. Minimal ticketing area. Trend is to pre-ticket online and print boarding pass or download it to smartphone. Fewer checked bags.
4. Better area for security lines - more room for queue lines, wider aisles, more scanning stations, larger area for retrieving belongings, and more seats for redressing.
New concourse at San Francisco airport
Notice the chaotic hallways and aisles on the left. Imagine arriving and deplaning at one of the gates (grey dots) and trying to find your way to baggage claim or ground transportation. What a maze of options. And, you'd be battling the passengers trying to find their gate. For the visitor, there will need to be extensive wayfinding signage.
On the right, simple main pathways out of the terminal. Also, the food options are grouped in a court. Have you ever bought food at an airport, then walked a bit farther and found some other, even better options? Here, like in a mall food court, the diner can see all the options before deciding.
Easy navigation is crucial in an airport. Many users in an airport aren't comfortable - they're stressed over time, meeting people, upcoming meetings and presentations, and maybe even a fear of flying. Some people in a hubport may not be familiar with that airport or it's facilities.
This symbol version emphasizes how chaotic and confusing the new terminal is compared to the revised terminal layout.
Full essay and more stories.
Proposal for new traffic control sign at the OKC airport
Original sketch. Computer-built comp. Finished installed sign.
Full essay and more stories.
Some improvements to the Oklahoma History Center
The Oklahoma History Center across from the state Capital, is a self-guided exploration of Oklahoma - past to present. Within are five galleries of more than 200 hands-on activities; outside are a walking tour of the Red River Valley and an outdoor oilfield exhibit. A noble effort, but there are some issues that are hampering the success of the Center.
1. New logo identity.
2. New visitor guide and map.
3. Enhanced exterior elevations.
4. Better gallery entries.
• First-time and infrequent museum visitors, tourists.
• Repeat visitors.
• People doing research.
• People doing business.
Notice how the swoopy lines in the logo mirror the building plan shown below (from an upside-down aerial view, something the museumgoer would never see). This is a symptom that the logo was designed by the architectural firm. No one else is so enamored with the somewhat ugly building that warrants it becoming part of the identity. The focus of the identity should be on content and experience, not the building shapes.
The History Center needs a new marketing plan that includes a fresh identity that is appropriate for the experience of visiting the museum.
New guide map
The visitor guidemap (top image), like the logo, appears to be designed by the architectural firm. It includes all interior spaces, even those that have no connection to the visitor - rooms that the visitor has no need to ever know about, like the boardroom and offices.
Lesson: Great design is from the visitor's point-of-view, not the designer or architect.
The History Center visitor needs guidance to the exhibit galleries, cafe, gift shop, and restrooms. There is no need for much else on the map. Remove all info not pertinent to the guest experience.
Lesson: Avoid legends - just label the map. Don't make the guest decipher color coding.
The visitor accesses only two levels - Ground and Upper. The former Level 2 can be the new Mezzanine - it does not need to be included on the map. Putting less info on the map frees up space and allows the two levels to be enlarged on the map.
Hierarchy of info on the map
Most important: 2 Levels.
Second important: 4 permanent galleries, Special Exhibit gallery, Oil & Gas park, Red River Journey.
Third important: Gift Shop, cafe, info, event center.
Not important: Outreach office, Administrative offices, Research offices, Boardroom, Archives, Library.
Better exterior elevations
The foreboding prison-like facade (solid blank walls, minimal windows, and a watch tower) faces the capital building and the roads leading to the museum. It is not a welcoming friendly sight. Notice how Inappropriate and misleading it is when exploited in this early logo:
• Better landscaping to soften the harshness of the building.
• Colorful banners hanging between the columns to liven up the drabness.
Below: The entry facade is a little better, even though it looks more like a corporate office building than a museum alive with history and activities.
The central rotunda has a nice view of the state capitol building, but notice that each gallery is behind closed doors. There is no sense of welcoming into the galleries. The greeting text to the gallery above is even negative - No Food, No Drink - not very welcoming or friendly. There is not much that visually attracts the visitor.
Gallery entry improvements
• Better arrangement of items in front of the doors.
• More dramatic signage.
• Brighter background wall colors.
• More focused warm lighting.
Great idea, poor execution, but they fixed it!
This is absolutely brilliant. The new packet, the first major ketchup packet design change in 42 years, has a top that can be peeled back for easy dipping or a tip torn off to squeeze onto foods and was developed after more than two years of research. Heinz spokesman: "The biggest complaint is there is no way to dip and eat it on-the-go. From dipping nuggets and fries to squeezing ketchup on hamburgers, the new design gives customers more flexibility, so they can enjoy eating ketchup on whatever or wherever they want.”
Designers found that what worked at a table didn't work where many people use ketchup packets - their car. So, two years ago, the company bought a used minivan for the design team members so they could give their ideas a real road test. Studying what each required, researchers discovered that drivers wanted something that could sit on the armrest while passengers wanted the choice of squeezing or dunking. Mothers wanted a packet that held enough ketchup for the meal but didn't squirt onto clothes so easily. The learning curve on this new packet should be very short - within one usage, the user should be able to figure out which end is best for dipping and squeezing.
However, the graphic design of the packet can be clearer. See that white line above the word DIP in DIP & SQUEEZE? I guess its a highlight to convey dimensionality of the ketchup bottle, but, because its tapered and in stand-out white, it looks like an arrow pointing from Dip to the top. But the top is for squeezing - dipping is at the bottom.
There is no need for the white highlight or the implied arrow. The package even looks better without that white line.
Update: they fixed the graphics
Saw the packet again several months later and immediately noticed there was no white arrow. I'm sure enough people commented on the misleading arrow to motivate Heinz to improve the package. Good for them.
The tornadoes you created and sent through Oklahoma have nothing to do with our free will, so the destruction and death must be part of your glorious loving plan for us. I realize we, your children, can not always understand your will, but, I pray that you amend your perfect plan to suit me - please alter the path of your mighty tornado to miss my house. Thank you.
In the name of your son, my savior, Jesus Christ,
"People are trapped. You are going to see the devastation for days to come," said a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. "Send your prayers heavenward because there are people fighting for their lives."
Prayer is okay if you keep it to yourself.
It's when you impose your beliefs on others that it gets tricky. I realize many people find comfort in believing in a higher power to help calm their fears. Whatever one does, within reason, to heal physically and mentally can usually be condoned. But, demanding others to do the same is a bit too conceited - telling others to pray to one's personal belief system.
In response to a woman who said she was praying for the tornado victims, a Facebook commenter replied, "If prayer worked (and superseded God's will), there wouldn't have been a disaster like this in the first place."
Why I'm glad I'm no longer a Christian
A Christian has to believe that the creator of the universe created tornadoes as part of his glorious plan for the world. The tornado that devastated Moore OK is not a result of free will, but is a part of God's glorious plan for our lives. A Christian has to worship a God that ignored the prayers of the trapped students and teachers and watched as 7 children suffered and died in their school building.
A Christian has to believe that God is all-powerful but consciously chose to just watch as innocent schoolchildren got their faces blown off in an elementary school in Connecticut.
A Christian has to also believe that God allowed the planes to hit the World Trade Center resulting in thousands of deaths and a long, deadly war. He knew all this because he's all-knowing and all-powerful. But he chose to just watch the planes and he chose to watch the people on board pray to him and he saw the anguish on their faces.
If Christians choose not to believe these things, then they are Christian by name only, not by faith.
A Christian has to believe that 1 billion Muslims will suffer for all eternity in hell. Muslims have to believe that 1 billion Christians will suffer all eternity in hell. An atheist believes that not a single person has to suffer for all eternity in hell. No one.
Living in the heart of Tornado Alley
May 19, 2013, Sunday morning: I and a friend had a great brunch at the new Whiskey Cake restaurant at Penn Square Mall in OKC. The weather was so nice, we sat outside on the covered patio. I left for home at about 2:00. I had to mow the back yard before the arrival of a forecasted storm later that afternoon. While mowing, I noticed the sky turn dark and the cloud movement increase. I kept checking the sky as I later took the dogs for a walk. At one point, I looked up and the clouds were rotating in a large circle over my head. Holy shit! That looked bad. I went inside and led the dogs into the closet. I had earlier readied the closet floor with pillows and cushions. We got in and the dogs lay down (photo below). They stayed quite calm. I, however, got a bit scared. This closet was not much protection.
The sound of the storm increased and there was a bit of hail. The power had gone off, I could not get info from the television. I was following the weather maps on a couple of iPhone app sites. It looked like we only had to get through another 5 or 10 minutes. After that, I slowly slid open the closet door. It looked quite calm out. We got out and went outside. The power came back and the TV popped on. They mentioned that a small tornado had touched down about 3 miles away. The damage was fairly minor (well, not to that one guy who lost half of his roof) and there were no injuries. This was the very beginning of the tornado that continued east and grew into a monster, destroying much of a trailer park near Shawnee (photos above). Every spring tornado season, I think about installing a storm shelter. Now, I definitely will. I won't go through another season sitting scared in a closet.
Monday morning, we thought the worst was over. Just another day of thunderstorms, maybe some severe in the afternoon. The morning was beautiful and sunny. I did some more yardwork. Watching the weather coverage that afternoon - there was a tornado that went through Moore, about 24 miles south of where I live. But, no word on how strong it was. Then, as the storm passed and the sky cleared, the news helicopters aired live aerial views, including the elementary schools. It seemed quiet and serene from the air. It wasn't.
Found among the rubble. More fotos. Survivor finds dog buried alive under rubble.
Above: some of the marks posted on Facebook, none very good. Below: the best one, by Andre' Johnson. It includes a direct emotional appeal and a mental play on words: Help more & Help Moore. The mark conveys clarity, alignment, passion, wit, and warmth. Nice job, Andre'.
An issue I now fully support
Install storm shelters in every public school in Oklahoma.
With communication capabilities. handicap accessibility, and large enough for all students and neighborhood residents.
Yes, it will be expensive. The USA spends more on the military than the next 10 countries combined. We can pay billions to attack Iraq and maintain military bases all over the world. Yet, we won't spend money to protect children in school in Tornado Alley?
A better way to denote row numbers
I have noticed so many people wander the aisle of a theater and search diligently to find the row their seat is in. Often, if there is no usher, they ask the people already seated, "What row is this?". Even ushers have had to check and squint. There just has to be a better system to denote row numbers/letters. An efficient, easy-to-comprehend system might even reduce the need to have ushers escort people down to their rows.
While observing the confusion while at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan, I sketched these notes on the program:
I was exploring the information needed, the hierarchy order, and the layout placement.
I set these objectives for row designations
• Easily viewed in dim light.
• Put info in an appropriate order of hierarchy.
• Mount near aisle for access and legibility.
• Somewhat consistent among theaters and venues.
• Unobtrusive, to not demand or draw attention.
• A sticker, plaque, or decal applicable to a variety of surfaces.
1. Theatergoer who is seeking info and is an infrequent visitor to the venue.
2. Ushers who have yet to memorize all row designations.
More sketches, from a later date
Some comp options
While exploring the information, I decided the items needed their descriptors. Below: Testing readability on a theater seat in my house. Notice the greyhound on the bed. The actual decals/plaques would be mounted on the backs of the seats, not the fronts.
Before & after renderings:
An option that works well
• Centered copy allows it to be placed on either side of an aisle.
• All pertinent info for verification of seats and section.
• Reversed (light on dark) for easy readability in darkened theater and blending in with theater seats.
• Sans serif block font for clarity and neutral adaptability.
• Minimal size for subtlety.
Similar story about eTickets.
Please don't print yellow on white. Thank you.
Notice, on the Sprint sign (on the far right) how well the yellow reads - the contrast is much better. Yellow & white are just too close in value to be easily read. Yellow or white on black is easy to read.
Concept: Market a line of condoms with the brand, 'What would Jesus do?'
Give them away to undercut the price and success of all others, thereby making them very popular and common. A WWJD Condom might give pause to teenagers who are about to have sex. Hopefully, this might reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, immature mothers, and kids getting married too young (Corey suggests that WWJD could also stand for 'Who Would Jesus Do?')
A better Statue of Liberty Visitor Center experience
Full essay, story and pictures
Celebrating birthdays and giving gifts
Definition: A birthday is a day when a person celebrates the anniversary date of his or her birth. The full story.
A Disney resort in the New York City area
A vacation destination to appeal to the Disney fan with resort amenities, including an indoor/outdoor pool, waterfront location, and water sports; a permanent Cirque du Soleil showplace; and easy access to the Statue of Liberty, Disney on Broadway, and all that Manhattan has to offer. Much like resorts in Hawaii, Florida, California, and Asia; and on their cruise ships. The resort could even include Disney timeshare units and vacation packages before or after boarding a Disney Cruise ship. The full story.
At the very northern boundary of Jersey City.
View of Midtown Manhattan and the Hudson River from the resort.
This is a thoughtful and brilliant idea
A ceiling fan often has a light in the center and there are two chain pulls hanging down from the fixture. The chains are identical, so how do you tell which goes to which? You take look at the fan housing to see which comes out at a higher spot - that's probly for the fan. Or, you attach these pulls to the ends of the chains.
That is a brilliant product - such a simple and clever solution. It is a great example of a message that is so clear that it requires almost no deciphering - their function is obvious and immediate. Lowe's carries them:
Updates to earlier essays
Merging from two lanes to one in construction zones.
Consistent symbols for different recycle bins.
A better way to denote museum hours on a website.
Another thoughtless shitty logo
1. The forced spherical perspective on the text just doesn't work.
2. 3 different point sizes for 3 short words is too many.
3. The word Cue is larger than the words On and Express which are just as, if not more, important.
4. The yellow dot is distracting and slightly annoying because it is off-center in the red oval.
5. Letter C that forms an arrow going in a circle just makes no sense. That motion doesn't relate to pulling in for gas, a billiard ball, or an actor's prompt for the next line.
6. There is no clear hierarchy of elements to control the viewer's attention. There are just too many disparate elements fighting for attention.
What is the concept of this identity? A yellow cue ball? A red squashed ball?
Lesson: A successful design or ad must be based or a concept that is logical, impactful, and clearly communicates the message.
Devon Tower awkwardness
One-horse town means podunk and small-time. The massive out-of-scale Devon Tower makes OKC look like a one-building town. The lone tower sticks out in its surroundings of downtown buildings.
Lesson: Part of successful and thoughtful design includes respecting the environment - whether it is an ad, a poster, or a building. No design solution lives on it's own - each is a part of a larger community.
The Devon Tower, however, seems to claim artificial superiority and thumb it's nose at it's neighbors. There are some nice views from the top of the tower and nice views of the tower from the recently remodeled Myriad Gardens (which is superbly designed and executed). But superficial pride and nice views are not quite enough to justify the ego-driven massiveness of the new tower.
Many people, seeing the bizarre awkward tall tower hoped that new tall towers would help the new tower stand out less. But, new buildings announced and predicted for downtown OKC will all be low- to mid-rise buildings. As those fill in some of the gaps in the skyline, that will only make the Devon Tower stand out even more and look more out of place.
If the building had respected its environment, below: a rendering of a lower tower.
Below Top: the tower as built. Middle: a rendering of a shorter tower. Bottom: a rendering of two towers on the site - to provide same square footage as the built tower, but in a way that is more appropriate and respectful of downtown OKC.
Why don't all tables just have 3 legs?
Four legs allows the table to wobble when on an uneven floor.
During lunch in FiDi in Lower Manhattan recently, I noticed that the tables had 3 legs. Brilliant - no wobble. What a simple solution. The tripod concept means the table will always be stable on any surface. No sticking matchbooks or folded up napkins under the short legs..
The advantage of 4 legs may be greater stability. But, by extending the span of the 3 legs stability is improved.
Latter Day Saint text alignment
The Book of Mormon is a smash hit on Broadway. It is a hilarious tale of deceiving needy gullible people to believe in God. The Mormon church is noted for its missionary teams who, clad in white shirts, dark slacks, and black tie, ring doorbells to discuss the American Jesus. The doorbell also plays a major role in one of the opening numbers. In the logo, the doorbell button serves also as the letter O in the word Mormon. The text then is aligned in orderly rows. Notice the alignment among the lines of text. Very well done. All lines are set flush left and also flush right along the margin created by the doorbell backplate.
Combining the mark with a photo illustration necessitates tweaking the logo to better respect the angled leg. In the version above, notice that the 2 subhead lines are indented, but still aligned with the right leg of the letter M. If those 2 lines hadn't been indented (below, on the left) it would have created some awkward spacing by the leg or required moving the text too far away from the figure. On the right below is a version with the text tucked in tighter to and embraced by the dancing figure. But, it's a bit too close - that figure needs some 'air' in which to move. The figure shows action and the implied motion of kicking or leaping needs to complete it's movement in the viewer's mind.
Rational thoughts from Ken Ilgunas, who walked along the Keystone XL pipeline.
The whole idea of someone dying for my sins does absolutely nothing for me. If I killed or committed adultery or did something undeniably bad, what difference does it make if someone else died for these sins? How does dying for my sin and my future sins, make my sins any more forgivable? Why does this crazy story work for so many people? And what's all this obsession with sinning? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don't sin. I drink to be merry, I lie for the sake of social harmony, and I lust because I'm stuck with a 29-year-old male's body. I don't feel guilty for any of the above, as they aren't wrong, and when I do something wrong, my conscience catches it and I do my best to not do it again.
I didn't get the sense that Pastor James was preaching to me out of a sense of compassion, or that he truly cared about the fate of my soul. Rather, converting me was only a sort of game for him to play. In his church, sitting on his couch, in my dusty clothes, he did not see me as his equal, but as someone he could wield power over. I was little more than sport to him.
I sat there quietly, politely listening, while thinking to myself, "I'm smarter than all you fools." I knew that Pastor James, so blinded by his faith, would never have an intellectual discussion for the rest of his life.
I was once a person who would scoff at the idea of becoming Christian, and while I will never become a "believer," I've started to think it might be possible, one day to join a progressive, gays-allowed, we-interpret-the-Bible-metaphorically, let's-not-rape-the-earth church, if just to embrace the sense of community and heighten my sense of charity that these churches so admirably do.
Tips for better letterspacing
There are three typographic relationships that good designers thoughtfully consider:
Leading - the space between lines of text copy.
Word spacing - the space between words in a headline, subhead, or a line of text copy.
Kerning, or letterspacing - the space between letters within a word.
Thoughtful address description
So often, a business just lists the street address in an ad: 14515 North Santa Fe. But, just where is it along Santa Fe? That street is about 8 miles long.
The ad above adds a line that pinpoints the site, making it easier for the potential customer to find the place.
We often think in directions by visual landmarks. From the very early days of driving when signage was not clear or consistent, motorists would stop and ask for directions, "Go straight down there til you come to the old Wilson house - the one with the big white turret and the mean old cur out front - then turn left at the apple orchard by the pond with the fishing pier."
Adding an address descriptor, like the one above, costs not a penny more and takes up very little space; but it shows that the business is considerate and cares about helping the customer navigate the city more easily. (In the above example, please overlook the spelling of the word 'between'.)
How much longer before America grows up and does the right thing?
A Pew poll released last week reveals that 52% of Americans believe marijuana should be legal, while only 45% oppose it. That's an 11-point upswing since 2010. According to a recent FBI report, US law enforcement officials make a marijuana-related arrest every 42 seconds. That's 750,000 people per year caught up in the Drug War net on marijuana alone. With millions of people facing prison time or legal quagmires and billions of dollars spent enforcing marijuana laws, Americans finally seem to be coming to a logical conclusion regarding their country's out-of-control Drug War.
"There will always be some people who are less evolved in their thinking about marijuana and want to hold on to the past," said Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project, "but [this poll shows that] most Americans are ready to move forward and adopt a more sensible, evidence-based approach. Marijuana prohibition is on its last legs. The degree to which it has failed is simply too obvious to ignore."
A 2013 bill in the US House of Representatives would end the federal prohibition of marijuana and allow the states to make their own marijuana laws, taxing and regulating the drug as they would alcohol. Unlike the more than half of Americans who support marijuana legalization, however, only 13 of the 435 House members - less than 3 percent - have signed on to the bill.
The full essay
A more logical way to denote a complete date
To denote an exact date, one must provide 3 bits of information - the year, which month, and the specific date.
Here are three ways that those bits of info can be arranged:
The order of the items is denoted differently in different parts of the world. And even in parts of the US Military, as in this example - 1966 Dec 30:
The idea that drives the system is this - start with chaos and refine to specific. When referring to a date, it makes sense to state the year first - that narrows the chaos down to 1 of 365 days, then the month - now, we're down to one of 28-31 days, then the specific day. The reader or listener is taken from the broad to the specific in a logical easy-to-follow format. Just as we state time in decreasing increments - from larger to smaller - hours, then minutes, and down to seconds. Maintaining continuity with that logic, the most logical date method starts with the largest increment (year) and transitions down to the smallest (date):
Most often, the year is not necessary as those involved in the exchange assume the year is the current one and the year could then be omitted from stating the date:
That is close to the format used most commonly in the USA: July 27, 1950 (month, date, year). If the year is needed, then it is tacked onto the end of the date, as supporting clarification. The year, month, date format is the most logical and consistent, but it is not likely to be accepted as familiar customs often override logic.
An unusual mark - the letter H with a dot. Yet, your brain recognized enough clues to conclude the mark reads Hi. Our mind fills in gaps and makes connections, even when there is missing information.
During 30 years of teaching, the most common excuse for not meeting a project deadline was, "I didn't have time.”
I would ask, "Did you sleep last night?" Of course, they did. I then pointed out that they obviously had time. After some disgust on their part, they would admit, they actually did have time. What they really meant was that the project was not a high enough priority among all the options: eating, sleeping, socializing, games, work, laundry, and homework.
We constantly, throughout the day, make decisions and choices on how we spend our time - we prioritize that time since there is rarely enough of it to do everything we want to do. I have time to iron my shirts, I just don’t want to. “I’m not going to edit your résumé, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice and we can waste it or we can prioritize and use it efficiently.
Changing one's attitude from the lie "I didn't have time” to the more accurate and honest "I chose to do other things that were of a higher priority" is quite liberating. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.
Gun maker swears on the Holy Bible
This full-page ad ran recently in a popular monthly magazine. But rifles and the Bible? Selling rifles seems about as far from the teachings of Jesus Christ that you can get. Of course, the ad is probly aimed at the conservative Republican FoxNews Christian gun owner who won't see the contradiction nor the insult to God.
Thoughtful question for Billy Graham.
If Jesus is going to return some day and make the world a better place, why doesn't He go ahead and do it? The world is so messed up that I can't understand why He doesn't return now. - F.R.H.
Billy Graham verbatim answer:
One of the Bible's greatest promises is that one day Jesus Christ will return - and when He does, all the evil we see around us will be destroyed, and He will rule the world in perfect justice and peace. The Bible says, "In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).
We can barely imagine what that new world will be like, but you can be sure it will be far more glorious than anything this world offers us right now. Diplomats negotiate peace treaties -- only to see them broken. Humanitarian organizations try to meet the needs of those who suffer -- only to be overwhelmed by new disasters or evil rulers. On a personal level, we seek security and happiness -- only to have our hopes dashed by circumstances beyond our control.
But all that will be changed when Christ comes again. Evildoers will be judged; injustices will be made right; wars and conflicts will cease. The Bible says, "Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming" (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
Why, then, is Christ's coming delayed? One reason, the Bible says, is because (finally, Graham responds to the question) God wants to give as many people as possible an opportunity to repent and believe (see 2 Peter 3:9). Have you made your commitment to Christ? Don't delay, but put your faith and trust in Him, and then make it your goal to live for Him every day.
Comment from Jeania
When we think of the suffering Jesus endured, ours is nothing, with his help, we can endure. We are anxious for his coming and at the same time, we want all to come to the knowledge of his saving grace. God knows best.
Three paragraphs of bullshit propaganda and then a weak and illogical answer to the question.
Using Graham's logic, Jesus should never return, since the longer he waits, the more people there will be.
Juxtapose the familiar with the innovative
This is a clever image concept from an ad in Texas Monthly magazine. A common device used in ad illustrations is to juxtapose the comfortable, familiar, and safe with the new, innovative, and risky. This one, quite simple, yet appropriate, works well at getting the reader's attention (Texans love to see their flag) and conveying the message of a large wine selection.
It isn't Please or Thank you. It isn't How are you? to open the meeting or What are the next steps? to close the meeting. No, the most important phrase you'll ever say in a meeting is: How can I help you?
There's no better way to show that you care about the person you're meeting with than to genuinely ask him/her what you can do to help. There are two possibilities for responses:
• The person will tell you, thereby giving you an opportunity to help, after which the person you helped will feel compelled to return the favor, and help you.
• The person won't tell you, instead politely declining, but then she will still feel like you care, and will be emotionally invested in helping you.
Either way, establishing that you care and that you're there to help is a powerful emotional bond. It is through helping that you gain trust, and eventually, influence.
If it seems simple, it is. It doesn't matter whether it's a customer, a prospect, or a colleague you're meeting with - we all like to be cared about, and we all can use some help. Just make sure you're genuine and never contrived. Ask in your next meeting, "How can I help you?"
By Dave Kerpen, Chairman of Likeable Media
Thomas Jefferson was a wise man. May we emulate his rational thinking.
This may be the most intelligent take on the appropriateness and validity of the US Constitution. It is a centuries-old document that should be a guideline, not a rule. It was written for a culture and mindset that was completely different from the one surrounding us today. Yet, some non-thinkers want this old Colonial-era document to dictate affairs today. The 2nd Amendment about a well-regulated militia and the right to bear arms was written in the context of single-loading muskets, concern over foreign intrusion, and slave uprisings; none of which apply today. If any government (including the USA) tries to overtake America, one's automatic rifle will be useless.
Alternate copy: Congress is a bunch of idiots. And we elected them.
America is screwed.
Why I don't put on my seat belt when I start the car.
Because it's more dangerous.
I strive to have as many things in my favor as possible when I drive. I want to avoid an accident by limiting distractions and encouraging alertness. The windows are not tinted, there are no decals on the windshield that might obscure part of the view, and I drive cars (since the 1970s) in which I sit up high for a better view. So, here's the problem with putting on the seat belt when I get in - the belt constricts my movement when I turn around to see behind the car while backing out of the driveway or a parking place. Then, once I put the car in Drive, I put on the seat belt. Every time.
A great idea! Spicy Ketchup
Just driving down the street, listening to Shakira when I notice the marquee at Whataburger. My response is immediate - that is a brilliant idea. We love ketchup and we love salsa. Pow! Put the two together. Both are dipping condiments and both are tomato-based. Why hadn't someone thought of this years ago?
I have always put pepper on my fries, so a ketchup with a bit of peppery hotness was an easy transition. The burger was bland, but the Spicy Ketchup was quite good.
I normally do not eat at Whataburger because of the slogan painted on the window, shown below. The saying, added to the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1950s, is a symptom of stupidity. Those that promote it can't even explain what it means. Is the nation indivisible? Bull. Our nation has always been divided. Even after 9/11 brought most of us together, we were still not completely undivided. I am reluctant to patronize a place that displays its stupidity on their window (and seems to be proud of it.) I suspect they are just trying to promote their Republichristian beliefs in hopes of attracting more Okies to spend money there.
"I took up two spaces." (pause) "I'd better hurry!"
I was sitting outside at Starbucks with the dogs, having a breakfast sandwich and an Americano. This car pulls in, right over the line and out steps a woman who, noticing my dropped jaw, looks back at her car and admits she took up 2 spaces. Then, stepping towards the door, she says she'd better hurry. Normally, this time of the morning, the lot is full. Fortunately, the extra space wasn't needed while she was inside. Maybe she just needed extra room to get back into her car. Her hands are full of drinks - she needs an exterior cup holder.
Note: the iPhone is a great tool for taking covert photographs. One can easily fake a texting or video-watching motion and snap the photo by pressing one of the volume buttons on the side of the phone.
Below: more examples of selfish ego-centric self-centered me-me-me narcissism that is so prevalent today. Notice that each asshole also parked close to the door.
I suppose that these people, and thousands more like them, place their own desires (no door dings on my car, please!) above being considerate of others. They may think that they have 'earned' the right to do as they please.
Is the United States the greatest nation in the world?
Sure, it's a darned fine one in many ways. But the idea of American exceptionalism - that we're just better than anyone else - is just bullshit. The USA is ranked behind Australia, Canada, and most of Europe in upward mobility.
In locking up our citizens; in obesity; in energy use per person; in small arms exports; in per capita health costs; in student loan debt; in oil consumption; in gun ownership; in breast augmentation; in death by violence; in anxiety disorders; in spending more than the next 20 largest military spenders combined:
The outcome of our expensive military
And please don't justify the above photos with nonsense about preserving our freedoms and keeping us safe. Our 'freedoms' face bigger threats from our own Congress than any foreign nation. Killing innocent people and bullying other nations probly increases their hatred of us and makes us less safe.
Hundreds of thousands of people have died and thousands of families have been destroyed primarily because War is a very profitable business. No country can truly be great if it spends such an inordinate amount of money on such a massive killing, torture, and life-destroying system. The inept Congress members still pass ridiculous funding (like new expensive tanks that are not needed nor wanted by the military) just to help the corporate industrial benefactors in their quest for profits and power. At the expense of the women shown above (and helping create a culture of violence).
Guidelines for recycling symbols on collection bins
Suggested use in bin combinations
See the full essay for samples of current shapes, colors, and placement
A mark for I ♥ Texas
Dang that iPad habit
On the flight to Oklahoma from NYC, I was looking out the window. I wondered what town we were looking at - so, I tapped the glass to bring up the map settings window so I could turn on 'Labels' which would add the layer of text over the map. Oops, it's a fucking window, not an iPad. Why are these planes not equipped with iPad windows? There could be a camera lens behind each iPad to capture the image beyond and display it on the screen. Then I could access it and have all the functions to manipulate and access info.
Or, I could do a better job of separating reality from my digital universe.
But, wait, maybe it could work. The screen could be much larger than an iPad. Instead of windows cut into the fuselage exterior, there would just be a row of camera lens along each side of the plane. The safety video could be shown on the pads before takeoff. In case of an accident, evacuation instructions could be displayed. Here's an example applied to a truck on the highway.
There is a camera on the front of the truck and the rear door panels are large screens, projecting the image the truck sees in front.
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