I’m really proud of the concept product my team at Wieden + Kennedy New York created for Delta at TED. The Delta Photon Shower helps passengers realign their internal body clock through a personalized light treatment.
The idea for the device came from collaborating with sleep neuroscientist Dr. Russell Foster. Foster has proved that blueish light at a specific wavelength can realign our confused body clocks when we are jet-lagged.
Those who want to bathe in the Photon Shower simply input their travel data on a touch screen and are then guided through the personalized experience by narration and ambient sound. Flowing blue animations appear on the LED wall for a prescribed amount of time, depending on journey and time of day. Resulting in the user being rained in light.
Even the Daily Mail was impressed. But don’t let that put you off.
Over Christmas I read ‘The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking’. It was a gift from my mother, you know, who wanted to shower me with upbeat festive joy. And in fact it was a perfect gift, because I devoured it and rekindled my inner stoic on a coach journey across the UK.
Apart from smartly arguing against self help books and gurus, and the destructive nature of societies quest for unattainable happiness, the book also outlines some excellent examples of when negativity is most useful and fundamental. Such as the Museum Of Failed Product in Michigan that stores hundreds of singular products that tried and failed the test of retail. I can’t put it any better than Burkeman explains it, so here it is:
“The Museum of Failed Products was itself a kind of accident, albeit a happier one. Its creator, a now-retired marketing man named Robert McMath, merely intended to accumulate a “reference library” of consumer products, not failures per se. And so, starting in the 1960s, he began purchasing and preserving a sample of every new item he could find. Soon, the collection outgrew his office in upstate New York and he was forced to move into a converted granary to accommodate it; later, GfK bought him out, moving the whole lot to Michigan. What McMath hadn’t taken into account was the three-word truth that was to prove the making of his career: “Most products fail.” According to some estimates, the failure rate is as high as 90%. Simply by collecting new products indiscriminately, McMath had ensured that his hoard would come to consist overwhelmingly of unsuccessful ones.
By far the most striking thing about the museum, though, is that it should exist as a viable, profit-making business in the first place. You might have assumed that any consumer product manufacturer worthy of the name would have its own such collection – a carefully stewarded resource to help it avoid making errors its rivals had already made. Yet the executives who arrive every week at Sherry’s door are evidence of how rarely this happens. Product developers are so focused on their next hoped-for success – so unwilling to invest time or energy thinking about their industry’s past failures – that they only belatedly realise how much they need to access GfK’s collection. Most surprising of all is that many of the designers who have found their way to the museum have come there to examine – or been surprised to discover – products that their own companies had created, then abandoned. They were apparently so averse to dwelling on the unpleasant business of failure that they had neglected even to keep samples of their own disasters.
Failure is everywhere. It’s just that most of the time we’d rather avoid confronting that fact.”
Aloof lifestyle magazines have always done my head in. They thrive on people’s hunger for social status and feed on insecurity and paranoia. THIS perfectly written article is just brilliant and had me air punching at every full stop. Respect, Clive Martin.
A few days ago Facebook Graph Search was announced. A few days later this Tumblr was created to demonstrate the weird and wonderful profiles that can be found using the data. Yet another reason to switch on your privacy. Especially the racist, unfaithful masses.
When I get white-wine-wedding drunk, my inner feminist rises and butchers people down vocally. She is both mean and fabulous. So I decided to dedicate a day to my spiky inner feminist.
I visited Gertrude Steins pathetic sized monument in Bryant Park. David LaChapelle vandalised female wax bodies, Judy Chicago’s mind blowing The Dinner Party installation at The Brooklyn Museum, and read witty zines and feminist literature at Bluestockings book store in Lower East Side.
And I discovered that despite the intelligent published efforts of sociologists sitting heavily on bookstore shelves, only Judy Chicago had succeeded in spreading a powerful message that day. Her installation was swamped with 50 young women from schools scribbling in their notepads and learning about the history of powerful but forgotten women in politics and art. The bluestockings store had only 2 activists plotting their revenge on the world in a corner, creating an intimidating and insular mood.
Feminism gets bad rap. And I can see why. Feminists (including myself) need to focus on not just the message, but how it is communicated. It is a good story that requires a better publisher.
Terrible picture, amazing art installation. Christian Marclay’s The Clock at #moma
Gawker published one of the best articles I have read in a long time this week. On the topic of gun control, Drew Magary calls for the debate to be rebranded. Here’s an excerpt to entice you to read the whole thing:
“One of the amazing things about the gun control debate in America is the remarkable success with which gun manufacturers—Sig Sauer, Glock, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, The Freedom Group (yes, it’s called the fucking Freedom Group)—have been able to avoid the conversation altogether. When you think of Glock, you think of a gun, and not of the company behind it. That needs to change. We’ve shit on cigarette companies for lying about cigarettes. We’ve shit on Roger Goodell and the NFL for underplaying head injuries. We’re even making inroads against the sneaky bastards at BIG SUGAR for making us all hopeless fatasses. But here is an industry—firearms manufacturing—that makes products whose deadliness is disputed by NO ONE, not even the people who treasure those products. And yet the executives and shadowy international holding company execs—whose job is to flood the world with as many of these weapons as possible—skate by cloaked in blessed anonymity.”
Great article because rather than pondering the tough questions and debates to be had, there is a clear solution. Stop talking about the NRA who cloud the issue and call out the people that create the products themselves. Something we can all start to do, today.
NINE INCH NAILS. Not a band I thought I’d like. A band I has associated with heavy metal, hard rock and feral sound. But after reading Alec Wilkinson’s article in the New Yorker last week I’m obsessed with their perfectly rancorous noise. It is a good feeling to surprise yourself and appreciate something you hated is something you love. And properly love.
Go read and listen.
This week, I went to see ‘The Eye Has To Travel’, a documentary about Diana Vreeland. It was brilliant. The kind of brilliant that makes you feel alive and excited about everything again. She might have struggled to maintain any semblance of personal relationships, but her way of thinking and doing is inspiring. Female crush of the week.
I’ve started to reread The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir this weekend. I skirted over it at university when studying modern feminist text and used it for the odd impressive quote, but haven’t picked it up since. And as much as others may argue that her argument feels dated in parts, especially around the request to allow women in the workplace, I feel that the text is sadly just as relevant today as it was sixty years ago.
The recent Republican election campaign and the church of England’s rejection of female bishops demonstrates things haven’t substantially shifted since this book was first written. Women are still the second sex, even in the (perceived) developed countries in the world.
As my Sunday reading turned me more irate, thankfully I stumbled across this brilliant speech from Jimmy Carter. Hopefully his message is heard. http://bit.ly/TY4kcd