Take my advice and throw it away,
As far as the wind can blow,
The cycles of life are temporary,
There is always a pendulum,
Ask the questions and then live them,
A ghoulish curiosity amps the restless,
Calm is happiness,
Not too fast nor too slow,
The seashore ebbs and flows,
Avoid shaping the wave.
The original Jumpman wasn’t Michael Jordan; it was Mario! But the name didn’t stick because it wasn’t marketable enough according to Minoru Arakawa, Nintendo’s American boss in the early 1980s. Luckily, he got some outside inspiration.
“His name was an afterthought. Top billing on the game was always going to go to the gorilla. (“Kong”, in the context, was more or less a given; “Donkey” was found by consulting a Japanese-English dictionary for a word meaning silly or stupid.) The protagonist was simply called “Jumpman” for the one thing he was good at. But Minoru Arakawa, the boss of Nintendo in America, wanted a more marketable name. Around that time, writes David Sheff in “Game Over”, an authoritative account of Nintendo’s rise, Mr Arakawa was visited at Nintendo’s warehouse outside Seattle by an irate landlord demanding prompt payment. He was called Mario Segale, and he had a moustache. Thus does destiny call.”
By 1990, the pudgy plumber who gained energy from mushroomfluff became more recognizable than Mickey Mouse. And if the lost hat from a Halloween costume I found on the street yesterday morning is any proof, Mario is still king!
Photographer Eiji Ohashi spent nine years capturing images of Japan’s vending machines on his late-night commutes home from work.
“At the time, I was living in a town in the north of Japan that would get hit by terrible blizzards during the winter months. I’d drive my car in (these) conditions and use the light of the vending machines to guide me.”
Well-maintained even in harsh winter conditions, the machines stand out in Japan’s remote towns like ‘roadside lights’, the eponymous title of Ohashi’s photography book.
For a country that produces “300-plus flavors of KitKat,” the vending machines not only look the same, they all sell the same items. Said Ohashi: “I wanted to capture the standardized form of the vending machines. I thought you could see the differences between the regions through the scenery around them.”
It was surreal. Standing in the face of General Colin Powell at Madame Tussaud’s in DC had a dream-like quality too it.
A window stood between us, the reflective glare merging our bodies. See my arms?
Powell’s face seems to conceal my iPhone; the stage-lighting effect of portrait mode paints a dark outline. Yet, everything was unintended. There were no tricks, just a play on consciousness at the magic wand of technology.
Wrote Teju Cole in his piece Strangely Enough: “But the surreal image — which, at its most resonant, breaks through consciousness instantaneously and surprisingly — is an elusive thing.”
Its rectangular glow,
It sucks your 👀 into the screen,
The mind into a ludic loop,
Another spin at the wheel,
Stuck in a trance of dopamine,
It feels too good to let go,
So good it’s bad,
Until it’s embedded,
Amid the retina, Expect smart contacts.
If you’re looking for the best photo-backup service, look no further than Google Photos. Not only does it free up phone space, it creates gifs, adds filters, and stitches images together for you using the magic of artificial intelligence. In the age of image surfeit, Google Photos has been a blessing in disguise, helping people decide what to post or share with friends and family. But today’s news is by far my favorite.
Using its human face identification technology, Google can now detect individual cats and dogs instead of bunching all the animals together. It can even narrow results down to a specific breed. You can also search by or emojis.
It’s about time pets got some recognition. See what I did there 😉
The logic of aquariums, as with zoos, is the logic of conservation: individual animals must sacrifice their freedom so that the species as a whole can be protected.
Plenty of its creatures seem delighted to be there, as far as one can tell, and others seem perfectly unaware of where they are. No doubt many of these animals live longer and healthier lives than they would in the ocean.
“In order to think we must speculate with images.” — Aristotle
It’s impossible to remember anything without seeing the image in our head first. With a little effort, we can activate our brains to become conscious recorders.
But the banality of everyday life tends to dull the senses. Blind to routines which automate thinking, we float by the external world without acknowledging its subtleties. Mobile phones further exacerbate attention; some people admit that the addictiveness of the rectangular glow makes walking harder.
We must force ourselves to look for distinctiveness. No one ever forgets a purple cow or rainbow zebra, even if it’s a figment of our imagination.
There is a photograph coming at you every few seconds, and hype is the lingua franca. It has become hard to stand still, wrapped in the glory of a single image, as the original viewers of old paintings used to do. The flood of images has increased our access to wonders and at the same time lessened our sense of wonder. We live in inescapable surfeit.