VICE News Superior

So I have started watching VICE News and you should too. 


It is on HBO and is superior to the other big news outlets in so many ways. 


The intensity and clarity of their photography and videos is unbelievable!


My daughter said to me:

“This is clearer than REAL life!”


And she was right…I don’t know how they do it. 

Also, they remove all the clutter from the news screen that CNN, MSNBC, and others use at the top and bottom of the screen–instead it’s just clean, focused, and right to the news point. 


VICE puts the key messages in callouts right on the screen in large and easy to read boxes–the impact is you see the visual and the print message dramatically together and you get it and remember it!


They do this for their photos and videos.

Finally, with all the “talk is cheap” news these days, it is nice that VICE seems to focus more on reporting and less on subjective opinion. 


With all the failing, fake, and alternative news out there, it is nice to see that someone has invented a better news program.  😉


(Source Photo: Vice News)

Bird In The Bush

Bird In The Bush.jpeg

Thought this was an absolutely amazing and spellbinding photo of a bird peeking out from a bush.

I’ve never actually seen anything like this captured up close like this. 

The bird seemed to cooperate.

It reminds me of a baby gestating in it’s mother’s womb, so content, so sheltered. 

Not quite ready to come out into the real world, but snug in place, yet observant.

Too soon to be contemplating next steps in the complex world outside its immediate cozy shelter. 

Perhaps, there is a part of us that craves that simplicity, innocence, and existence sheltered from all the bumps and bruises.

Oh, to have such peace of mind and spirit, absent heart-wrenching day-to-day dilemmas we face.

Like a bird nestled in a bush looking out with that simple wonder and purity of life itself. 

(Source Photo: The Highly Talented, Rebecca Blumenthal)

OJ x 6

OJ

Okay, I like orange juice like everyone else, but this is ridiculous.



At least 6 types of Tropicana OJ in the refrigerated section of this small neighborhood deli.

Get this:

  • No Pulp
  • Some Pulp
  • Lots of Pulp
  • Calcium (Enriched)
  • Orange Peach Mango 
  • Orange Strawberry Banana

Good thing is the juice cartons are color-coded or you might just pick up the wrong one–and then what?



Ah, I’ll just take the one made from oranges–the fresh ones from Florida!



Choice is a good thing, but consumers must be getting more picky.



Then again, maybe I am getting old, because I still remember when I only had to select between Tropicana and Minute Maid. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Robot Man

Robot Man

Don’t know exactly what it is about this little robot guy, but I really liked it.

The simplicity of the body and limbs joined by the connector joints and the head as just a clear crown on the rest.

To me, it looked relatively realistic as how robots of the future might actually look.

Humanoid, but so sleek that they are us but in many ways a step up from our aging selves.

Perhaps, someday the brains of humans and the bodies of machines will really come together in a better alternative to ourselves.

Living (indefinitely) longer and even pain free in bodies that carry mind and soul into the future.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Solve That Problem Simply

Solve That Problem Simply

I have always been intrigued by simple solutions to complex problems.

Bloomberg Businessweek has a great example of how a Fulbright Scholar studying in Beijing solved the smog problem for many people wanting to reduce the danger to themselves and their families.

Air Filters that purify the air can cost around $800, and often one is needed for each room.

But Thomas Talhelm founder of Smart Air Filters found he could do the job with a simple HEPA filter, fan, and velcro strap to hold them together for just $33/kit.

He tested the results and found that he could remove 90% of particles 2.5 microns and above in the room.

Talhem’s biggest problem now are copycat DIY air filters hitting the market.

If only inventors could come up with a simple solution to protecting intellectual property in places where either there aren’t rules or they aren’t strictly enforced.

When innovations are so easily copycatted, there is less incentive to problem-solve and think out of the box, and that’s a problem for society where the s___ really hits the fan. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Cell Phone?

Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Cell Phone?

Some people are averse to change and to technology–and then there is Gary Sernovitz.

This guy in the Wall Street Journal today boasts how he is one of the last 9% of American society that goes without a cell phone (let alone a smartphone).

At 40 and as a managing director of an investment firm, he says if he needs to make a call he uses one of the 30 working remaining payphones in Manhattan or borrows his wife or a strangers phone–so much for personal independence and self-sufficiency. Does this guy (and wife) live at home with his mommy too?

He calls himself a “technology holdout” and actually goes on to says that he is scared of getting a cell phone because he is afraid of losing himself.

While admittedly, many people do go overboard with technology, social media, and gaming to the point of addiction, I am not sure that getting a cell phone is alone a major risk factor.

Sernovtiz says he adheres to Henry David Thoreau’s philosophy of simplicity–and that inventions “are but improved means to an unimproved end.”

Thoreau went to live in the woods to “live deliberately” and focus on “only the essential facts of life,” perhaps like many ascetics and spiritual guides before him have. And as such, this is not a bad thing when done for the right reasons.

But Sernovit’z One-sided message is a negative one, because technology as any tool is not bad in and of itself–it’s how we exert control over the tool and ourselves, balancing productive use from misuse and abuse.

If Sernovitz is so afraid of using technology, perhaps he should question himself as an investment manager and disavow use of money–which can be used for many evils from greed, hoarding and selfishness to financing terrorism–and instead go back to bartering forest lumber and chicken eggs?

When I asked my 16-year old daughter what she thought of Sernovitz’s article, she said he can’t differentiate “simpler from easier.”

Don’t mind me if I pass on this guy’s book, “The Contrarians.” 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Simple Stick Figures Showing Complex Feelings

I came across these funny YouTube videos (beware though a little racy) with millions of views.

They are done using stick figures (or the more provocative term the creators use).

The focus is on 2 friends–“Red” and “Blue” and their interactions with other varied colored figures.

I think the stick figures are a brilliant way to tell about them and their exploits, so that you focus on their inner characters and their message and not on their superficial body looks.

Also, the notion of “color” for the different people is one hand a easy way to differentiate them, but also seems to have implications for the varied cultures and colors of people throughout the world.

Apparently, there is a YouTube Channel with a whole series of these 2 minute + skits, and now I understand that this stick figure theme is being made into a full length movie.

What I like about these is the simplicity of using these colorful stick figure characters to show life’s ups and downs, relationships, and feelings in a very direct straightforward (and also raw) way.

Sort of like seeing and experiencing the complexities of life boiled down in simple and unfiltered way.

While 2 minutes is entertaining, I think 2 hours of this “in your face” would have me wanting to throw these sticks in a great big bon fire, yep. 😉