Reblogs for 20100724

  • ihateseagulls-:(via nae­janod)
  • Be like the bam­boo: 7 lessons from the Japan­ese for­est

    Bamboo_leaf The forests that sur­round our vil­lage here in Nara, Japan are filled with beau­ti­ful bam­boo trees. In Japan, the sym­bol­ism of the bam­boo plant runs deep and wide and offers prac­ti­cal lessons for life and for work. I sum­ma­rized the lessons below with pre­sen­ta­tion and learn­ing in mind, but as you read these seven lessons from bam­boo, try think of prac­ti­cal impli­ca­tions for your own work.

    (1) Bend but don’t break. Be flex­i­ble yet firmly rooted
     
    Bamb007 One of the most impres­sive things about the bam­boo in the for­est is how they sway with even the slight­est breeze. This gen­tle sway­ing move­ment with the wind is a sym­bol of humil­ity. Their bod­ies are hard and firm and yet sway gen­tly in the breeze while their trun
    ks stay rooted firmly in the ground below. Their foun­da­tion is solid even though they move and sway har­mo­niously with the wind, never fight­ing against it. In time, even the strongest wind tires itself out, but the bam­boo remains stand­ing tall and still. A bend-but-don’t-break or go-with-the-natural-flow atti­tude is one of the secrets for suc­cess whether we’re talk­ing about bam­boo trees, answer­ing tough ques­tions in a Q&A ses­sion, or just deal­ing with the every­day vagaries of life.


    (2) Remem­ber: What looks weak is strong

    Bambooi2The body of a sin­gle bam­boo tree is not large by any means when com­pared to the other much larger trees in the for­est. It may not look impres­sive at first sight at all. But the plants endure cold win­ters and extremely hot sum­mers and are some­times the only trees left stand­ing in the after­math of a typhoon. They may not reach the heights of the other trees, but they are strong and stand tall in extreme weather. Bam­boo is not as frag­ile as it may appear, not by a long shot. Remem­ber the words of a great Jedi Mas­ter: “Size mat­ters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size do you?” We must be care­ful not to under­es­ti­mate oth­ers or our­selves based only on old notions of what is weak and what is strong. You may not be from the biggest com­pany or the prod­uct of the most famous school, but like the bam­boo, stand tall, believe in your own strengths, and know that you are as strong as you need to be.

    (3) Be always ready
    Bamboo_8Unlike other types of wood which take a good deal of pro­cess­ing and fin­ish­ing, bam­boo needs lit­tle of that. As the great Aikido mas­ter Ken­sho Furuya says in Kodo: Ancient Ways, “The war­rior, like bam­boo, is ever ready for action.” In pre­sen­ta­tion or other pro­fes­sional activ­i­ties too, through train­ing and prac­tice, we can develop in our own way a state of being ever ready.

    (4) Unleash your power to spring back

    Bamboo_snow Bam­boo is a sym­bol of good luck and one of the sym­bols of the New Year cel­e­bra­tions in Japan. The impor­tant image of snow-covered bam­boo rep­re­sents the abil­ity to spring back after expe­ri­enc­ing adver­sity. In win­ter the heavy snow bends the bam­boo back and back until one day the snow becomes too heavy, begins to fall, and the bam­boo snaps back up tall again, brush­ing aside all the snow. The bam­boo endured the heavy bur­den of the snow, but in the end it had to power to spring back as if to say “I will not be defeated.”

    (5) Find wis­dom in emptiness

    Bamboo_empty It is said that in order to learn, the first step is to empty our­selves of our pre­con­ceived notions. One can not fill a cup which is already full. The hol­low insides of the bam­boo reminds us that we are often too full of our­selves and our own con­clu­sions; we have no space for any­thing else. In order to receive knowl­edge and wis­dom from both nature and peo­ple, we have to be open to that which is new and dif­fer­ent. When you empty your mind of your prej­u­dices and pride and fear, you become open to the pos­si­bil­i­ties.
        
    (6) Com­mit to (con­tin­u­ous) growth
    BambooiBam­boo trees are among the fastest-growing plants in the world. It does not mat­ter who you are — or where you are — today, you have amaz­ing poten­tial for growth. We usu­ally speak of Kaizen or con­tin­u­ous improve­ment that is more steady and incre­men­tal, where big leaps and bounds are not nec­es­sary. Yet even with a com­mit­ment to con­tin­u­ous learn­ing and improve­ment, our growth — like the growth of the bam­boo — can be quite remark­able when we look back at what or where we used to be. Even though the bam­boo that is out­side my win­dow grows quite rapidly, I do not notice its growth from day to day. We too, even when we are mak­ing progress, may not notice our own improve­ment. How fast or how slow is not our main con­cern, only that we’re mov­ing for­ward. The bam­boo grows fastest around the rainy sea­son. You too may have “sea­sons” where growth accel­er­ates, but is slower at other times. Yet with sus­tained effort, you are always grow­ing. Do not be dis­cour­aged by what you per­ceive as your lack of growth or improve­ment. If you have not given up, then you are grow­ing, you just may not see it until much later.

    (7) Express use­ful­ness through sim­plic­ity

    Bamboo1 Aikido mas­ter Ken­sho Furuya says that “The bam­boo in its sim­plic­ity expresses its use­ful­ness. Man should do the same.” Indeed, we spend a lot of our time try­ing to show how smart we are, per­haps to con­vince oth­ers — and our­selves — that we are wor­thy of their atten­tion and praise. Often we com­pli­cate the sim­ple to impress and we fail to sim­plify the com­plex out of fear that oth­ers may know what we know. Life and work are com­pli­cated enough with­out our inter­ject­ing the super­flu­ous. If we could lose our fear, per­haps we could be more cre­ative and find sim­pler solu­tions to even com­plex prob­lems that ulti­mately pro­vide the great­est use­ful­ness for our audi­ences, cus­tomers, patients, or students.

  • Griid, iPad Able­ton Con­troller, in Exclu­sive Pho­tos, Looks Clean and Col­or­ful

    The devel­op­ers of Griid, the Able­ton Live con­troller on iPad cre­ated in asso­ci­a­tion with Richie Hawtin, have shared pho­tos and screen cap­tures early with CDM to give us a look at the upcom­ing app. Just over a decade after its orig­i­nal incep­tion, Able­ton Live itself remains a ground-breaking user inter­face design. Love it or hate it, it’s a bench­mark in think­ing about how music apps might look. Griid is com­pelling in part because it re-imagines how that cen­tral Ses­sion View and clip launch­ing might work, now in the con­text of a touch tablet. Per­son­ally, I like the results. As on the Lemur, bold, sat­u­rated col­ors and con­trast on a black back­ground are cen­tral, of course. It’s also nice to see extra­ne­ous visual infor­ma­tion removed. And for any­one with epic-sized sets of clips in Live, you’ll like the mas­sive overview.

    This also makes me won­der what may be pos­si­ble with Renoise’s pat­tern edi­tor, which also uses col­ored blocks to show off units of pat­terns and the like (and could sim­i­larly be con­trolled from new input devices thanks to its API). All in all, I think we could see an explo­sion of think­ing about con­trol in per­for­mance. If that leads to bet­ter per­for­mances – or if we just have more fun – I’m for it.

    Let us know what you think of the shots, and if it gives you any insights into what’s hap­pen­ing with the app or how you might play your own live sets. For that mat­ter, is touch some­thing you’d con­sider in the first place, or would you pre­fer tac­tile control?

  • Looks like Aang wasn’t the last Air­ben­der after all
    Looks like Aang wasn’t the last Air­ben­der after all:

    The Avatar: The Last Air­ben­der car­toon sequel is offi­cial, and here are the details.

  • cavo tagoo on mykonos, greece

    cyclade1.jpg

    I really can use a hol­i­day right now but unfor­tu­nately (with me being preg­nant) it won’t be before next year before we will be able to travel again. In the mean time I keep dream­ing about lux­u­ri­ous hotels like this one in Greece. Cavo Tagoo is a beau­ti­ful bou­tique hotel on the island of Mykonos. The hotel, which is inge­niously engi­neered into the cliff-side, con­sists of sev­eral build­ings con­nected to each other through a maze of stair­cases like the alleys of Mykonos.

    cyclade3.jpg

    The hotel itself is mod­ern and lux­u­ri­ous but it has been build with respect to the island’s tra­di­tional ele­ments.

    cyclade2.jpg

    All guest rooms and suites have been designed to embody a con­tem­po­rary aes­thetic while remain­ing true to the tra­di­tional char­ac­ter and archi­tec­ture of the Cycladic Islands. For more infor­ma­tion you can visit the hotel’s web­site.

    cyclade4.jpg

    (images from Marie Claire Maison)

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