Meet the shoe-billed stork

Talk about a badass beak. This shoe-billed stork lives primarily in swamps from Sudan to Zambia. The bill itself takes 1.5 months from hatching to fully develop. But some think it's the most frightening bird on the planet, as chicks are known to fight each other off to the death with even Mom picking favorites. The five-foot birds are also known to take on crocodiles without any hesitation.  #nature #birds #photography #art

Talk about a badass beak. This shoe-billed stork lives primarily in swamps from Sudan to Zambia. The bill itself takes 1.5 months from hatching to fully develop into its slipper-like shape. But some think it's the most frightening bird on the planet, as chicks are known to fight each other off to the death with even Mom picking favorites. The five-foot birds are also known to be patient hunters that rip their prey apart, including crocodiles.

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Setting sun

telescope science discover world

Whether you set the route or leave it open-ended, you can discover things along the way.

Constraints produce their own magic. They make you innovate based off what you have to play with. But so too do indefinite destinations.

Out of curiosity blooms everything.

The more we know, the more we want to know. We permit our heuristic temptations to guide the discovery process. The rush to fill ignorance with self-knowledge makes us feel alive.

The world is more like a playground than a camp. It begs us to take more information than we need. But in borrowing its widgets, we have to reciprocate to ensure what we put out or reinvent comes back to enrich nature itself.

Against conventional thinking 

Do you prefer labyrinths, racetracks, or straight lines?

In following others and jumping through hoops, we can assure the most predictable of lives.

What if instead we danced with the uncertainty of being lost, gathering string on the way to a slow realization

You can be the tortoise or the hare, desire speed over power. 

There are no shortcuts to keeping it interesting. 

Noticing things 

Photo by Wells Baum
It's difficult to notice things when we've seen them a thousand times. So we walk the same path, use the same apps and listen to the same music, without noticing the notes in between. 

We become accustomed to our habits and surroundings we do things on automatic.

Everyone's got an eye for something. The difference is in how we compel ourselves to see.

Let's take up the observational challenge to travel in our own backyard to take notes, snap pictures, and try to get unfamiliar with fresh eyes. 

In making the banal interesting, we can live more inspired lives.

Lost and Found

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  • Lost in translation or lost in transition?
  • Lost in the jungle or lost at sea?
  • Lost identity or lost Smartphone?
  • Lost mind or lost medication?

Lost dampens the mood. But ‘lost' is not the same as losing. Call it what you want but all lost is eventually refound. It just takes time to recover. The only thing you can't afford to lose is progress.

The CD Case «

As for the CD format, I can’t imagine listening to, say, Green Day’s Dookie any other way. Dookie is to CDs what Creedence is to vinyl. It is a record resting eternally in the collective memories of aging music fans, a lost piece of data tucked inside scarcely used multidisc changers and laundry baskets full of shit leftover from collegiate apartments. The Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head is like that, too. So are Odelay, Siamese Dream, and Exile in Guyville. You can’t hear those records without anticipating the parts where the disc is scratched to hell and won’t stop skipping.

Vinyl I get but CDs are the industry’s attempt to monopolize users into an overpriced bundle when all there may be is a couple good tracks. Plus, that shrink wrap always infuriated me.

My CD rack is old and dusty and while I'll never use any of the CDs in it again the collection is nostalgic; it represents the days I collected music religiously. Music was so much harder to find pre-Internet but it also made discovery more fun. Nothing beats the pleasure of finding a great album that no one's ever heard of.

Instagram’s Explore Tab: Now Tailored to You

The company has tweaked the algorithm that determines what posts appear under the app’s Explore tab — so that the tab displays photos and videos specifically suggested for each user. Previously, the Explore section only displayed posts that were popular among all Instagram users.

Looking forward to a more personalized Instagram Explore tab. It’s been dominated by celebs way too long.

7 articles to read this weekend

Every week I like to feature my favorite articles across the web falling under the categories of art, creativity, ideas, life hacks, social media, and tech.  

Seth Godin: Why I want you to steal my ideas. Ideas are ideas, loose concepts waiting to be actioned, transformed, and remixed. We live in the communication economy with information abundant across tweets, RSS feeds, and Instagrams. Copy-paste makes the computer the biggest theft machine, which means we have to try even harder to produce original content.

Sentient Streets: A ‘Living’ Pedestrian Signal of the Future. Communication revolves around emotion. But emotion doesn’t have to come from another human. Machines can also set the mood. Imagine crossing the street to a simple smiley emoticon. It might just do wonders to your day. It's just the machines and us.

Americans love advice. Joe Queenan asks: So why are we still so screwed up?  Advice helps but is equally futile.  This is because advice is subjective to the person providing it. What works for others may or may not work for you. Listen to advice, sure, but listen to your gut too because it really knows the next step.  Just don't be surprised if it's the wrong one. Remember: The right answer is the function of the mistakes you make.

Content economics, part 5: news. Micro-blogging (status posts) on social media obviated the fear of blogging, or writing in long-form. Now, Twitter and Facebook are the bundled versions of old newspapers like the New York Times.  I don’t think this spells bad news for journalists (maybe photographers) because they're armed with the same mobile tools as regulars but can publish more quality, trusted content, to their thousands of followers. Everyone is their own brand, whether they work under the aegis of a larger company or not.

The Future of Self-Improvement, Part I: Grit Is More Important Than Talent. It’s always easier to do what’s most pleasurable first, and in this world of instant likes and Retweets, that dopamine high takes is a button away. But what about the work, that mission that requires absolute focus and dexterity? Good work is always still worth pursuing regardless of how easily distracted you are. Sticktuitivness, persistence, doggedness, grit, call it whatever you want; you can't just give up on the road ahead.  

The problem with projects. Maybe if we treated projects as experiments, little bets, and explorations we’d be more likely to ship, fail, and tweak products. The office should be the lab.

Where the Fish Swims, Ideas Fly . Spontaneity thrives off perpetual movement, less structure and less process. We can’t keep doing all our work at home so we can go to meetings at work. Work is for doing, collaborations and quick one-offs. Keep fishing, collaborate, and testing out bold ideas.

Rise Above Big Data

Big data will crush life's free will, planning everything to a series of algorithms that threaten spontaneity.

What you should wear, eat, read, or listen to next is impossible to predict. You may like something completely out of the ordinary, off the predictive radar. And you may even discover it on your own.

Time is short and you want the good stuff curated just for you so you can get on with the business of living. No one is arguing against that.

But embrace more organic discovery for what it's worth. Don't be afraid to go deeper and try something completely new.

“Expose yourself to as much randomness as possible.” – Ben Casnocha

Wisdom of the Crowds

We like eat at restaurants where's there's a lot of people. We tend to follow people on Twitter just because they have a significant follower base. We have a propensity to snap a picture of the same thing as everyone else. We generally click the first result on a Google results page. Our mimetic desire always drives us to emulate others.

But crowds are not always an indication of quality. The best stuff is rarely found amongst the masses. Identifying quality regardless of social following is a skill, requiring sophisticated tastes and deep curiosity.

After all, it isn't really our's until we find it first.

Exclusive Discovery

One of the best things about finding something first (a piece of music, a new fashion style, an important article) is the feeling that you own it. Nobody else knows about it but you which means you can share it and get credit.

The Internet is the great facilitator and destroyer of discovery.

The paradox of sharing content is that it obviates exclusivity. When stories get publicized, especially amongst your tribe, they get shared fast and find people who are genuinely interested.

You may detest this rapid absorption. Someone can easily make the content their own with a fresh tweet or blog post. Even a retweet or reblog emulates a original share. Digital ownership is transient and a bit, socialist.

The thin window for exclusivity in a hyper-connected, social world, can be a fun challenge for the digger. Discovery never ends; it’s always about hunting for the next gem.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you find it first. You still need to convince others why they should get it too, unless you want to keep it to yourself.

Friends: Boring Content Providers

Daniel Ek on Napster:

I didn’t trust my parents or friends to find good bands. I trusted random strangers with fast Internet connections.

I never use Facebook with the expectation Ill find stuff I’m actually interested in. Meanwhile, I trust those I follow on Twitter to keep providing interesting, engaging content that is useful. The same goes for Pinterest and Instagram.

The freedom to pick and choose field experts didn’t always exist. Before the Internet, we discovered stuff through interesting magazines and books. The information was there but it was scarce and costly.

The rise of blogs and Twitter streams provide us with endless information. Now it’s a matter of managing excess information and filtering for the most relevant.

Captivating content is ubiquitous, 24/7. Instead a mass of friends, we have a mass of online niches where we can discuss and exchange particular interests.

Our friends should be providing helpful information as well; after all, most of our friends have similar interests. That’s why we befriended them in the first place.

But we can’t depend on our friends for the latest and greatest findings. That comes from people we’ve never met.

Seeking ignorance and uncertainty

Curiosity is a powerful tool. It makes us question our surroundings and compels us to ask why things work the way they do. It kicks the mind into exploration.

But the addition of courage takes curiosity a step further; it tries to fill the void through hands-on experimentation.  These tests plan to convert ignorance into knowledge yet most of them fail.

The greater challenge, therefore, is the audacity to continue guessing, for even when something gets discovered, it opens up a whole new can of ignorance. The learning never stops if the asking never stops.

We put our bikes together at Yogyakarta airport, overseen by a crowd of curious locals, and then made our way through the motorcycle-infested streets of the city. We broke free of the traffic onto less congested streets and headed for Borobudur. The ancient Buddhist temple is the reason most people go to Yogyakarta and it’s the most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia.

Java | Rapha