I teach a Digital Imaging course at a community college and lately I have been trying to show my students some more graphic was of working in Photoshop. The assignment was to use some stock art and create a fictitious magazine cover. Today I got to playing with filters and really had some fun. Unfortunately I can’t decide which version I like best.
Today I met Guillermo an old friend from Miami at MoMa for an evening enjoying art. We chatted about the art, why he liked Clifford Still and why I liked Mark Rothko. We both enjoyed the fact that quite often we couldn’t understand why certain pieces were considered good enough to warrant a space in the museum.
To my surprise, what struck me most and even made me a bit emotional wasn’t the high art. It was a set of pastel colored tupperware tumblers on display in the exhibit, Shaping Modernity: Design 1880 – 1980.
I was swept away is a sort of waking dream. I saw myself back in the home I grew up in. We had an identical set of tumblers when I was seven, eight, nine or thearabouts. The blue cup was “my cup” was till I left for college.
As part of my preparation for the art fair last month I decided to finally take the plunge and get myself an iPod Touch. I’d prefer an iPhone but I’m not ready for a a two year contract.
So I took the plunges and I will never again will I have to explain what it is that I do and hope it is understood. If I go to a job interview and there is a problem connecting to the internet, presto! My portfolio in my pocket will always save the day.
I felt I got my every penny’s worth spent on the device for those features alone.
These days, I feel like a kid with a new toy as I carry the thing around with me everywhere I go. When I work on the computer I often use it, when I go to bed, I might read a little of an ebook or watch a podcast before lights out. Sometimes when I can’t sleep, unbeknownst to my wife, I can be found surfing the internet under cover of duvet late into the night. In the morning I use it to check my email and listen to the morning’s NPR news report or check the New York Times headlines all before getting out of bed. My iPod Touch has replaced at least $600 worth of other devices that I own and it fits in my pocket. I have probably spent $50 on apps but they too are worth every penny, most being free or a mere 99 cents.
On my iPod Touch I track hours worked and send invoices, I keep track of expenses, study Japanese, study music and write music, I study fonts, find recipes, store maps or find restaurants to restroom locations in NYC, get movies times and reviews. All in the palm of my hand. And I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. I won’t bother to write about how amazing the games are because I would be writing into next week.
I find AppVee a great resource for app reviews because it would take far too long to try out most apps.
The best thing about the iPod Touch for me is I doubt that I will ever grow impatient when left sitting in a doctors office long past my scheduled time, well, unless my battery dies.
On trip to Japan earlier this year I was struck with the notion about how strange it is that good inventions or designs take forever to cross the ocean, or never do at all.
15 year or so ago when I first visited Japan one of the most marvelous little things I brought back was a nail clipper fitted with little plastic guards on the sides to keep your finger nail clippings from flying all over the room. It took years before I began to find them in the U.S.
In the U.S. we have low flush toilets for those interested in saving water. In Japan most homes have a options, a big flush or a little flush. All waste is not treated equal. And on top of the toilet the water pours out of a little faucet so that the user can use the water refilling the toilet to wash their hands.
This summer I searched endlessly for a flat water bottle in New York City. The closest I could come was a flask but I didn’t want to look like I was knocking back whiskey all day. I wanted a bottle I could drop into a small shoulder back that wouldn’t horribly deform it and could carried a decent amount of water. While standing in a convenience store, my little nephew Yuuya, less than two years old, hands me a bottle of tea. My first response was, “hey, put that back” . . . then to my surprised I noticed the flattened shape. This was a new design and I was quite please to see that I was not alone in my design thinking.
I also brought back a little clip attached to a carabiner that holds a drink attached to a belt loop. It was not the most fashion forward design but I found it very useful when my shoulder bag became too full and I needed a bit more space.
I also brought back a bottle of lubricating eye drops. The bottle has a clear flat design as opposed to the opaque cylinder shaped bottle. The flat design doesn’t roll between your fingers and is much easier to control the flow of the eye drops. And it is also nice to clearly see how much product is left. A far superior design I think but for some reason this design is not common in the U.S.
And I had to throw in my nearly useless but oh so fun Mini Cleaner. It makes great fun of cleaning up eraser shavings with the automatic brushes attached to the little car’s wheels that sweep when you push it.
I could go on forever about the interesting and useful inventions that I have seen over-seas. And I could go on forever about the cool stuff that we have that they don’t embrace.