March 13, 2012
“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.” – unknown
There’s a simple honesty inherent in that quote. It applies to 3rd graders as it applies to adults. It applies to business and the workplace as it does to sports and politics and education and seemingly everything else in life.
It’s a nugget of wisdom that has stood the test of time.
A line that many of us were taught at one point growing up, and one that many of us have forgotten along the way.
It feels wrong to give credit for what appears to be an almost universal truth — especially when giving credit goes against the spirit of the quote itself — but apparently that was said in these words by Harry S. Truman, 32nd president of the United States. But it reads better attributed to ‘unknown’, doesn’t it.
September 16, 2011
His words rocked.
“If I’d had the time, I’d have written a shorter letter.”
– Mark Twain (1835-1910)
When a good quote starts appearing again and again in your life, you got to honor it. Got to. We’ll leave it at that.
April 15, 2011
A piece of art.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”
– Marcel Proust (French “essayist”, 1871-1922)
First things first. Happy Tax Day, America.
I had thrown this quote into a presentation a while back, and was reminded about it the other night when reading through Bill Buxton’s Sketching User Experiences. A fine read, about design and innovation, the technology development process, and the importance of sketching in any creative work. It’s loaded with wisdom, engaging anecdotes, and fine visuals. And a unique writing style, a rare combination of academic and grounded… cocktail party talk. Sort of like talking with a professor you think is cool but you aren’t completely sold yet… you think you like him, you’re mostly picking up what he’s putting down. And as far as non-fiction goes, it actually makes for decent beside reading.
Anyways, back to the quote. Good quote. Read it again.
March 23, 2011
A recent trip to sunny south Florida unveiled a surprising number of simple-yet-effective designs scattered throughout the region. Maybe it’s part of an effort to cater to the high proportion of Florida residents who are elderly (a huge theme of 21st century design). Maybe it’s because many of Florida’s neighborhoods are so new and shiny, not bogged down by the old conventions and standards that other dense urban areas suffer from. Maybe the state is quietly harboring a large number of crafty designers — drawn south to the tropical climate. Whatever the reason, good work Florida. You’ve reminded us that its not always the knock-out designs that improve our world, that sometimes getting the basics right is most important of all.
Let’s start with my absolute favorite: a standing shower where the knob is actually in a logical place. Where you can turn the water on and control flow and temperature without getting wet. No more turning on the water on one side of the curtain and getting in the other side. No more awkwardly craning your naked body to dodge the water that may be too cold or too hot (It’s okay, we’ve all done that). It’s a shower that’s designed for showering. Beautiful.
Staying with the bathroom theme, this Florida bathroom had two doors, one that opens to the house and one to the outside. I scratched my head on this one for a while. Then I realized it’s Florida. It’s always nice out. There are patios and pools for entertaining. Bathrooms that may need to be accessed by guests. People in beach towels. Guests who you might not want to trek through the rest of your house. Sensible.
These parking space numbers on a coastal stretch in Palm Beach were labeled next to the car as opposed to painted under the car on the space itself. So you could read them once parked. Smart.
“Beaches… THAT way.” I’m told, when crusing down I-95 on a sunny Saturday. Some highway signs understand their audience (as seen on other coastal freeways). Always refreshing.
Then there’s the Sun-Pass: a digital highway pass that beeps back at you when it’s been read by the toll sensors, as opposed to doing nothing at all. That’s called feedback, that’s a good thing. It’s still an ugly gray box stuck on the inside windshield, but at least it communicates. No more speeding through the toll-booth wondering whether you’ll be receiving a ticket in the mail in five to eight weeks. Hear the beep, know you’ve paid your toll, rest easy.
And of course, rocking chairs strategically placed in a waiting areas are always a win. As I’ve called out before. Works just as well as on the front porch. The ones pictured here were found in a South Beach hotel lobby.
Rock on, South Florida.
December 8, 2010
— This Bag is Not a Toy —
This garbage bag has a note
A warning sign of sorts
It tells of danger and reminds us well
That it’s just a bag of course
Its printed twice, down the side
Trying to play on fear
In us the manufacturers confide
that there are dangers looming here
And let me ask, what little girl or boy
that came across this plastic thing
would mistake it for a toy?
(There’s not even a built-in draw-string)
Those special few to which it might look fun
I’d guess are too young to read
So the note is likely for adults
a point I will concede
Still it seems a bit overboard
A waste of ink at best
How ‘bout simply: “Keep away from kids”
And getting rid of the rest?
Just to be clear to those reading on
I’m not against safety
Just think we should pick & choose our words
I’d think most would agree
So I say, it’s silly sign
But just to make a splash
I thought I’d write it all out in rhyme.
Okay, time to take out the trash (seriously)
[Author’s note: please excuse the highly unconventional ABCB, ABAB (x3), ABCB (x2), ABAB format]