Born Weird – not a confession

If you have siblings, this won’t seem so Weird

Andrew Kaufman’s novel “Born Weird” was nominated for the Steven Leacock Award in 2013. It’s the most recent book selection at the Wheatsheaf Literary Society – the oldest, established, permanently floating, men’s book club in Toronto. I’m one of 7 children and I found the sibling relationships well developed, pretty indicative of life in a large family and a little familiar in places.

I recommend this novel as a highly entertaining work of fiction with a happy ending although it has been dogged by a few lukewarm reviews. The Quill & Quire offers a nicely balanced review that shouldn’t prevent you from supporting Mr. Kaufman and his weirdness. He seems like a funny and talented guy. You can read the Quill & Quire review or just buy the book. The Wheatsheaf Literary Society will be interrogating this work on humour in mid-March. I may revisit this post with an update.

Totally compelling content

How often do you thank a brand?

Thank you GoPro for making this kind of content available. Watch this on a big, hi-def screen and imagine yourself making this kind of leap.

The meaning of happiness – for busy people

Too busy to read? Flickr to the rescue.

You could read all of ‘The Cossacks‘ by Leo Tolstoy or you could  just search the Web for the book’s real meaning. If you opt for the second, easier, lazier alternative, you could end up on this dude’s Flickr page. He’s scanned the one page that sums up the nature of happiness for Olenin, the “wealthy, disaffected Muscovite who joins the Russian army and travels to the untamed frontier of the Caucasus in search of a more authentic life.” Let’s hear it for the Internet!

What’s really funny is that this dude (in a rush to wisdom) was in too big of a hurry to generate a decent scan.

Now – what to do with all the time you’ll save by not reading all those old Russian novels?

BTW – Anna throws herself in front of a train. You can skip that one too.

Pretend you read it.

Amazing tech at the Cleveland Museum of Art

So long bicep cramps

If you’ve suffered from the bicep cramp that sets in after you’ve wandered through a gallery or museum while holding an old-fashioned audio guide, you’ll love what the cats at the Cleveland Museum of Art – Gallery One – are doing with fantastic interactive technology. Having just toured the new Toronto aquarium with kids in tow in Toronto, I’m convinced that interaction is the key to getting kids turned on to art.

Branded content works for Dupont

When I get briefed on branded content it’s usually because a client has little money. Here’s what Dupont was able to do with its enormous budget. Hey, why not create a television series?

Inspirational space

I’m always looking for new ways to make my workspace more inspirational.

 

Then I came across these lucky bastards. What a buzz kill. Now I want to enclose the back yard.

This is the beautifully inspired office of Selgas Cano Architects in Madrid. You can view more images here.

Holiday video reco. The Queen of Versailles.

“Life on the thin, fragile, sugarcoated top layer of the upper crust.”

You’ve probably heard of The Queen of Versailles by now. But maybe you need a nudge to download it and have a look. So, I am endorsing this as a first-rate Christmas Classic. It will make you grateful for what you have.

From NYT: It has been said that we live in a new gilded age, in which the rich take it as their sovereign right and civic duty to get richer, while the rest of us look on in envy, simmer with resentment or dream of rebellion. “The Queen of Versailles,” a new documentary by Lauren Greenfield about life on the thin, fragile, sugarcoated top layer of the upper crust, captures the tone of the times with a clear, surprisingly compassionate eye. Read the full review.

Guaranteed conversation starter. The 1% of 1%.

It’s Christmas Party Season. Here’s a great anecdote when you’re stuck for small talk.

This documentary is 70-minutes long but you can digest the main idea in snippets on YouTube. Of course, it would be best to pay for it and watch it all at once.

Colorado wants men to get real. And they’re serious (sort of).

According to the site, created by Cactus, the goal of ManTherapy.org is to show working age men that talking about their problems, getting help and fixing themselves is masculine.

 

“The campaign strength is its innovative and humorous approach through a fictional “therapist” named Dr. Rich Mahogany, who is a no-‐nonsense man’s man that let’s men know honest talk about life’s problems is how they will start to solve their problems. At the center of the campaign is a web portal that allows men to interact with Dr. Mahogany, do a “head inspection” (self-‐assessment), and get “manly mental health tips.” When men indicate their level of distress is high, Dr. Mahogany refers them to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or “the Pros” (a vetted list of professional mental health service providers).”

Thanks to loyal reader Christopher Webber for pointing us in the direction of this campaign.

Texas gets a gold star for creativity

Brilliant marketing idea of the dumbest thing you’ve ever seen?

If you’ve seen the film “Idiocracy” you know that Luke Wilson plays a man who emerges from a time capsule to find that the gene pool has been deteriorating over 500 years and he is now the smartest man on earth. He is seen as a genius because he halts the practice of watering plants with Brawndo (Gatorade). The “idiots” in charge of the world believe that Brawndo must be good for crops because it contains electrolytes. Enough said.

View the clip below, then read on to see how one Texas town is allegedly getting more children to drink water.

Now, in Texas, the local authorities have decided to add sugar to the town’s drinking water. Here’s how CBC’s This is That blog covered the story.

Talon is small town located in Pecos County, Texas. When town officials realized that drinking-water consumption by residents was well below the national average, they decided take action and three months ago began adding sugar to their water supply to make drinking it more desirable. According to Hester Griggs, the Commissioner of Utilities for Talon, they are adding roughly “4 tablespoons of sugar for every 8 oz. cup of water.” Earlier today, Pat Kelly spoke with Mr. Griggs to find out how residents are responding to this initiative.*

So, loyal readers (both of you), is this an obvious marketing solution to a real problem? Remember, the people of Talon also shower in this water and put it on their lawns. Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in Texas.

I hope you enjoyed this off-topic exploration. Please comment.

*This is That is not a real news source. Ellisism apologizes for perpetuating this hoax. But it’s pretty funny.

 

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