Tuesday, December 28, 2010

MVP (Most Viewed Post) For 2010

This blog has been an experiment.

Before setting it up in October '09, I decided not to be just another wacko dude posting items talking about favorite bands, cookie recipes, movie star gossip, fun fashion tips or quirky things to do with everyday household items. Instead, I decided to be just another wacko dude posting some work and thoughts.

Back in August the "Figurative Backbone" concept was posted and since then it has been viewed more than any other post here at Rand's Place in 2010.

I don't have a lot of ego in the site's popularity (the total all-time pageviews here probably equals what some other sites get in, oh, six-and-a-half minutes) but I must admit that having views from 76 different countries (places like India, Brazil, Japan and Russia) is quite astonishing. I am thankful for comments I've received here and elsewhere and for those brave souls who chose to become followers. The fact that there are enough pageviews to select a MVP is, in itself, quite remarkable.

Thanks to all who have tuned in. Have a happy and prosperous New Year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Cow of Turin

Isn't it great that we give ourselves the gift of faith in so many miraculous ways? Some miracles come dressed in religious garb, some in everyday clothes and others to suit purely private tastes.

The Shroud of Turin and the debate surrounding its authenticity notwithstanding (no disrespect intended in the visual above), religious images have been reported in varied media as cloud photos, Marmite, chapatis, shadows, Cheetos, tortillas, trees, dental x-rays, cooking utensils, windows, rocks and stone, painted and plastered walls, pancakes, tree bark, and toast.

Images have been recorded in the glass fa├žade of a finance building in Clearwater, Florida, a fence in Coogee, Australia, a hospital in Milton, Massachusetts, and a felled tree in Passaic, New Jersey.

Images of the Virgin have also been reported on a rock in Ghana, an underpass in Chicago, a lump of firewood in Janesville, Wisconsin; a chocolate factory in Fountain Valley, California; and a pizza pan in Houston, Texas. A grilled cheese sandwich, a pretzel and a pebble said to resemble images of the Virgin Mary have been offered for sale on internet auction sites.

All this may appear silly to some but it seems to me, that whatever one's beliefs, wherever or whenever our imaginings lead us to solace, it is a wonderful place to be.

Happy times to all for the New Year. Peace. Rand

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Illustration for Invite

Caption on the inside: "What happens at the Christmas Party stays at the Christmas Party."

I'm not quite sure if it totally worked but I heard no slanderous gossip, and there was nothing about any sudden divorces. Darn...

What? You expect pearls of wisdom with every post? LOL!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In Defense of The Humble Bubble

Lately, it's been quite trendy to see the bubble as a passing entity not worthy of consideration. After all, its only function is to ultimately burst.

The world of commerce and politics has relegated the simple bubble to a status of pure evil: the antithesis to what experts would like to sell us as "long term solutions". Media reports of real estate bubbles, the .com bubble, and sad souls living life in a bubble all seemingly support the modern redefinition of the term "bubble" as an entity not worthy of consideration and something to be readily shunned. Bubbles are transitory, not permanent and therefore untrustworthy and fleeting. Bubbles are bad. Bad, bad, bad.

In defense of the humble bubble, I offer this: Since childhood we've blown bubbles, made bubbles, watched bubbles rise and witnessed them pop. We've taken glee in bubble baths, taken comfort with a refreshing carbonated beverage on a hot day, soothed ourselves by the side of a bubbling brook, and even bubbled over ourselves at times.

Truth is, life is an effervescence with a limitless supply of bubbles. And the act of a bubble bursting is a quite wonderful passing of energy from one sphere of existence to another... and that when one pops it makes room for others to follow. May you have a never-ending supply of thoughts bubbling to the surface... Cheers, Rand

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wish!

Can wishes come true? An age-old question.

Making a wish on a wishbone is a tradition here in North America from my childhood. For those reading this post from other cultures, the wishbone is the "furcula" ("little fork" in Latin); a forked bone found in the breast of the holiday turkey and dried to become brittle. The practice holds that when two people hold the two sides of the wishbone in their little fingers and pull it apart, the one who gets the larger part will have their wish granted. Note: it doesn't work when one person holds both sides of the wishbone in opposite hands and pulls, as the two sides cancel each other out.

In folklore, opportunities for making a wish are many: throwing a coin into a wishing well, blowing the candles out from a birthday cake, or seeing a shooting star in the sky are a few. (Feel free to share your own wish opportunities here – but not your wishes as generally you have to keep wishes secret in order for them to come true.)

These days it seems there are so many good things to wish for. It's difficult to make a decision about what's most important. But I'm here to let you in on a little secret – there are no limits to wish-making.

Go ahead. Wish away... It can't hurt.

And may your wishes come true. :o)

Happy holidays. Rand

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Empirical Evidence of the Passage of Time

I've been somewhat worried about the passage of time lately. I've honestly thought at times that it just isn't happening.

Why? Progress on issues (many of them of global import) seemed to be at a standstill. If you close your eyes you can almost hear the crickets chirping, even in December.

So I set out to do a simple experiment over the last month to give myself (and you folks) some assurance that time is indeed passing. But I didn't want to do it haphazardly. I wanted to be able to validate...

In scientific terms, "empirical" refers to the gathering of data using only evidence that is observable by the senses or in some cases using calibrated scientific instruments. I took this approach because if I were to just tell you about my experience, it would then become anecdotal evidence (not good). So I set up the camera to record my observations.

So, here is my report (above). And I'm pleased to announce that the passage of time is still happening, although sometimes we have to look in strange places to see it happening.

It gives me some hope...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Turning On To Turning Off

Rough icon and theme line for a new initiative. The tricky part here was to attempt a fresh perspective on a often over-saturated conservation/energy reduction theme. No leaves here. No recycling symbols and no tired stereotypical imagery...

The "power button" is an easily recognizable symbol, especially to a young and tech-savvy target audience. The addition of a downwards arrowhead customizes the symbol and allows it speak to the meaning behind the icon.

Including a "call to action" (at the bottom) means the members of this project initiative can use this as a signature on emails, a visual for posters, web site and reports, and other communications collateral.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday iPhone Playtime

(click to enlarge)

A cold, bright, sunny day brings an incredible light to the table.