Thursday, September 30, 2010

One in 8 Million

One in 8 Million, a multimedia piece done by the New York Times is an amazing collection of stories told with audio and photography that portray everyday New Yorkers that often lead lives that are far from typical. I followed this series carefully for a long time and I really enjoyed it. All the photos are fantastic, as well as the audio. The series recently won an Emmy award. In my opinion, it is a perfect way to tell the story of the millions of so very different people who all come together to make New York the great city that it is.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Penguin Classics



I love, love, love the design of these books! They are the new Penguin Classics hardcover series, and the cases are so beautiful. I want a collection of them for my bookshelf just so that I can look at their spines. I want to get the ones that I haven't read, but I like all of them! The Odssey cover is particularly beautiful, and it's clever how each pattern relates to the contents of the book. Each cover is cloth with a matte stamping over it. Penguin made a really smart choice in doing this series. They're affordable too! Only $13.50 each on Amazon. The designer for the covers is Coralie Bickford-Smith. What a great opportunity to get to work on this series.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just Finished: Outliers


I just finished reading Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. This is his third book, and I have read both of his earlier ones: Blink and The Tipping Point. They all have been on the New York Times bestseller list for weeks and weeks. The Tipping Point was actually one of the very first non-fiction books that I read for fun, and I loved it! It opened up the world of non-fiction reading for me, and now that's mostly what I read. Outliers is basically a more focused look at one of the points he brings up in one of his earlier books, which is that people who are outstanding in one way or another are not that way purely because of their own doing –it is a result of the circumstances in which they happen to be surrounded by. I partially agree with the point he makes, but I think you could make a pretty strong argument against it as well. Overall it was fairly enlightening –but not quite as astounding as his first two. Below are some of the quotes that stood out to me:


"Knowledge of a boy's IQ is of little help if you are faced with a formful of clever boys."
"The relationship between success and IQ works only up to a point. Once someone has reached an IQ of somewhere around 120, having additional IQ points does not seem to translate into any measurable real-world advantage."

"No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich." [Chinese proverb]

" 'The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert—in anything,' writes the neurologist Daniel Levitin. 'In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again. Of course, this doesn't address why some people get more out of their practice sessions than others do. But no one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery.' "



Horses


Recently I've been missing horses more than usual. I spent most of my life up until about three years ago, when I graduated college, being around horses on a pretty regular basis. I think if someone told me I had to choose between having a dog or having a horse, I would choose a horse (if only they cost the same). There is a lot of terrible horse photography out there, but there is also a lot of incredible stuff too. I like the photography that does something a little different, and shows the horse in a way that reveals something unusual about it. Above are some of my favorites, click on the numbers below to see the artist's websites and more work.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Things

In the process of moving from a fairly large space to a much smaller one, I am beginning to discover the advantages of simplicity. It's so easy to accumulate more and more material possessions in the culture we live in which demands that we buy, buy, and then buy some more. I find that it is actually a struggle to fight the consumerist tide and not buy everything I want. I thought this piece on npr.com was particularly poignent which I came across around the same time I was searching the Container Store's website for –you guessed it– containers to store my baking supplies in. Only in America would there be a store that is entirely devoted to organizing and storing our stuff.