Friday, August 28, 2009

Those who live in glass houses... sliding walls! The Sliding House was built by an innovative architectural firm. They specialize in bizarre and unique buildings designed to be functional as well as aesthetic. Making designs that stand out and cause people to pause is no easy feat. This site, which focuses on unique architecture goes into more detail along with a video. Creating functional art is a noble cause. Too many things are boring because it is cheaper to mass produce straight lines and average products. Homes are no exception. I've checked out many homes over the years and have not been impressed. Many of the big, expensive homes in the great neighborhoods have very little design in them. They leave it up to the resident to add design via interior decoration. Rarely do I see a grand Victorian fireplace complete with dark carved wood mantles and marble inlay. I am told it is too expensive to do. Yet, I know there are cheaper ways to reproduce such aesthetic designs. Faux marble and molded statuary aren't as good as the real thing, but at least it is an attempt at design. Walls with real wood instead of dry wall are another design element that has been lost. I don't mean the ugly wood paneling from the 60's through the 70's either. Architecture, like literature is an art form that begs for new innovative ideas from unique, talented individuals.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why computers are important.

The following video illustrates a point. Outside of the obvious inspirational aspect of this amazing team, it also show just how important computers can be. Since supporting computers is part of my livelihood, I hear many comments of how computers are monopolizing everyone's time. Maybe, but they are a valid tool for so many things. In medicine, communication and so much more, computers are just now embarking on an amazing frontier. Its hard to imagine life before them. Like TV, computers do take up a lot of the average persons time. However, what matters is what you do with it. The technology isn't the culprit. The user can make productive choices with what they do. Here's to the amazing communication devices which open up the world to people who depend on them. Caring, thinking, intelligent individuals who, without the aid of the computer, would otherwise not be able to communicate.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Find your inner artist,

Need a Snow Day?

Do you feel like you're in a slump? Are your creative juices drying up? Then go to the above site and create a snowflake. Anything that promotes creativity can be productive. Start with a snowflake and move on to bigger and better things. Once you get the creative ball rolling who knows where it will take you? To make a camp fire you must start with a spark. Go ahead, construct and add your snowflake to the creative blizzard. Maybe, just maybe, it will ignite your own inner genius.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You CAN overcome anything!

This video illustrates a very good point. No matter what your circumstances, you can find ways to reach your goals. This boy never gave in and never gave up. He used the tools he had and refused to focus on what he didn't have.Attitude, ability and focus are the operative words. First you have to decide what it is that you don't want. Then, let it go. Next, decide exactly what you do want. Take a few moments each and every day to go through your list of wants. Visualize them as if you already had them. Experience how it feels to have what you want. As time goes by you will adjust or modify your wants. Life is always a work in progress. Never compare yourself to someone else. Do not worry if someone else is better or worse. They have their path and you have yours. There is nothing more self defeating than trying to measure up to someone else's standards. Always follow your emotional well being. If you feel positive about something, explore it. Negative emotions aren't always bad either. For example, if you find you are jealous of someone, ask yourself why? Sometimes jealousy can be a signal showing you where you want to be. If you are jealous of a coworker who just sold a painting, then maybe your soul is telling you that art is where your heart is. The bottom line is, don't give up on the dream, no matter what it is. If you do, you not only will hurt yourself but you just might deprive society of something wonderful which you could have contributed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Library refuses to censor

A library in Effingham, Illinois voted to deny a request to remove Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott from the teen section's shelf. Amy Hibdon requested the book be removed due to the physical and sexual abuse the character is subjected to in the book. Her 15 yr old daughter checked the book out and was upset by the content according to Hibdon. She feels the book is too graphic for teens. The book is written from the perspective of a 15 yr old who is kidnapped and imprisoned at the age of 10.

“This is the first formal censorship request that has reached this point in the past eight years, according to Library Directory Jeannie May,” reports the Effingham Daily News. (the article contains a spoiler for the book, it gives away the ending) May told the board any decision made would set a precedence for the future. “I’m opposed to censorship,” said board member John Latta. “It is up to parents to censor the material they are reading, not the library.”

Is is right for libraries and book stores to deny access to material that is deemed controversial by conservative groups and parents? Should the parents, themselves, take the role of censor when it comes to their children's reading material? Many parents and groups are afraid that if some material is made accessible their innocent children will be exposed to bad information without the parents even knowing about it. Even worse, their children could be traumatized. This is why they advocate a form of censorship. They want to protect today's youths from graphic, controversial and corrupt text. On the other side of the coin, there are parents who want their kids to be well informed. How can they make educated decisions if they do not have exposure to both sides to an issue? Should there be warning labels or a form of ratings for books like music albums? Bad things happen, looking the other way isn't the answer. Exposing the bad issue can be the first step to creating an awareness and possibly even stopping it. Should it be left to the adults? Maybe, but one thing is for sure, kids will become informed one way or another whether you want them to or not. Should we not make sure the information they get is accurate?

There is one author I've spoken to who is related to a family who overly protected their kids. "I've seen what can happen to children who are protected too much. They become naive and gullible adults who lack a true ability to function in the tumultuous real world. My cousin grew up without any exposure to bad things. He was unable to get and hold a job because the world scared him too much. He was scared of everything because he was always taught that the world is bad and can hurt you. His family never allowed him to read or watch anything remotely negative. Now, as an adult, he still lives at home afraid to leave. His parents simpy write it off as autism, which, I know he is not because he has never been diagnosed. I know why he is the way he is."

This, of course, is an extreme example. However, the issue of censorship is as old as time and won't be going away any time soon.