Monday, January 01, 2007

It's There If You Want It

Yoko Ono and John Lennon with peace campaign poster against the Vietnam War, 1969. Photograph by Frank Barratt/Getty Images.

When the star of the documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon is asked by a reporter what he thinks Nixon should do to end the Vietnam War, Lennon stares incredulously into the camera. “He should declare peace.” As if this was the most obvious solution in the world.

Sitting in a movie theater in September, I realized this was the most brilliant thing I had ever heard. After years of being politically aloof, I suddenly felt my first swell of social activism rise within me, and with it, the smacking realization that the person who made me feel this way had been dead since 1980.

Read the rest of Alissa Walker's article over at Design Observer . She's editor of the design blog Unbeige.


That's Right,


Using Coffee To Trick Your Brain

I usually work on multiple projects at the same time, and whenever a new project comes along, I find sometimes find it really difficult to actually get started. Once I’ve begun making progress, I’m able to move smoothly without any problems.

It’s the getting started that’s really difficult, especially if it’s something I’m not really interested in. At an intellectual level I know I have to get started, but I’m not able to summon up the motivation to begin.

For the last few months, the most reliable technique I’ve found to help me get started is to take the work to a coffee shop and begin while sipping coffee. I’ve found that this allows me to get excited about whatever is in front of me at that time. My brain appears to misattribute the physiological response to coffee as excitement about whatever I’m working on at that time.

Of course, once I’ve started on the project, I get into a state where I’m chugging along well after the coffee has worn off. The interesting thing is that the excitement remains.

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Welcome to 2007!