Introducing Devour

This video isn't unlike the trololololo video I posted a long time ago (here) — there's something really special about it, but I totally understand if no one else thinks it's funny. My favorite part is how the baby seems to think that there's nothing out of the ordinary happening. She is completely comfortable, enjoying an opulent meal in her natural habitat.

Also, by way of introduction, Devour is a fairly excellent curated YouTube feed. I've been visiting regularly for about a month now, and at least 80% of the videos they've posted in that time have been worth watching.

Via Devour.

Irony: Environmentalists versus “Cape Wind”

First of all, I'm not without some sympathy for the environmental movement. I am LEED accredited and I think that green building is great, but not because I think that we're going to cook the earth and die. Like most reasonable people, I think that pollution and waste are inherently bad, and that they are often the result of bad design, so I'm against them. That said, I don't think that the government should legislate sweeping sustainability reforms, force me to eat organic, or round up and murder all of the SUV's. Generally speaking, I don't like it when environmentalists try to force people to save the earth. But the point of the story is that I think it's funny when environmentalists get pushed around by other environmentalists. Bobby Kennedy Jr., himself a prominent green advocate, has come out strongly against the wind farm proposed off of Nantucket Sound (SEE ALSO). This may or may not be because of the ocean view enjoyed by the Kennedy's Nantucket estate.

Here's a group of green advocates urging him to change his position:

"Nothing threatens the Earth's most special places more than global warming. The changes being wrought by our warming of the atmosphere are melting the Arctic tundra, overheating the Amazon rainforest, and heating the oceans. We are, simply put, in a state of ecological emergency. Constructing windmills six miles from Cape Cod, where they will be visible as half-inch dots on the horizon is the least that we can do."

The letter ends with "...we urge you to reconsider your position..." and so on followed by a ridiculously long list of the people who got together to pen the letter. I like that it has a subtle petition component to it — here's a long list of people who are mad at you. So the environmentalist gets called out for NIMBYism and is bullied and guilted into submission by his peers.

No one likes to be bossed around or guilted into things, so it's funny to see the pusher get pushed every now and then. It's easy to support abstractions like ocean wind farms to create clean, sustainable energy, but things can get hairy pretty quickly: Where do they go? Who's in charge? Who's paying for it? What if x, y, or z happens? I like that one of the people telling everyone that they need to buy a hybrid, recycle, and picket polluting mega-companies is getting served an angry letter urging him to do his part to save the world. Isn't the view from your family summer home a small price to pay to save our Mother Earth? Maybe it's not funny, but I laughed.

SEE ALSO: He actually compares the Sound to Yosemite. HA!


Practice Makes Passable: Resumes and Work Samples #2

This is the second in a series of posts documenting my evolution as a designer through the lens of resumes and work samples. If you missed the first one, you can find it here.


So in my last Practice Makes Passable post, remember the disclaimer I attached to my first resumes - "...I didn't spend a lot of time or energy...they didn't represent me to any prospective employers..." Right? Well, that was all said in truth, but also to amplify our appreciation of this sample. In contrast to the first, this one does represent some time and energy; it was created specifically for a prospective employer, and I think it's far worse than the first two. I'm not sure what the fonts are, or why "SKILLS" isn’t the same as everything else. I'm also not sure why it's so so terrible.

As before, I have no record of grades or criticism. The only thing I can offer by way of feedback is that I did not get the job.


This one actually got me a job - my first internship. I remember thinking it was good at the time, although the first time I printed it out the size of the type really caught me off guard. I'd grown used to looking at it on a computer screen, and it didn't look good on a real sheet of paper — print often. In spite of this realization, I proceeded to hand them out at Auburn's internship fair, an annual gathering of 70-100 firms from all over the country. In addition to the cartoon layout and type sizes, this resume suffers from bad/excessive_use_of_underscore and bad use | of | the | pipe. But the work samples...

I had a couple dozen interviews at the internship fair, and two of them went particularly well: a firm in Huntsville (my home town) made me an offer, and a firm in Memphis requested some work samples and maybe a follow-up. I'd never done work samples before and so after the interviews, I scrambled to put something together. The results are above, and man are they lousy. As lousy as they are though, they're hard to critique; all I can think of to say is "No, no, no, no, no, no...Wrong. No. Bad. That's bad. Yeah. No, don't sent that. Don't. No." I just can't figure out what I was thinking. Part of the idea was to have one page each for architecture models, architecture drawings, and urban design work. I don't know what the deal was with the black, gray, and white backgrounds. BAD, BAD, BAD.

I sent the work samples and never heard back from the firm in Memphis, which was okay. I couldn't afford to go to Memphis anyway. I took the job in Huntsville and stayed with my folks for free. But most importantly, I consider this a very valuable humiliation. If I hadn't done these bad work samples then, I probably would have done them later, and that would have been a lot worse. My advice is to start failing as early as possible. Young failures come off as adventurous, ambitious, and endearing; old failures are just sad because, after all, they should know better by now, shouldn't they?

In spite of it's shortcomings, I kept this resume around for a couple of years. There were minor changes, but most of my energy went into trying to figure out how to do work samples and portfolios. Someday soon I'm going to post the evolution of my portfolio designs.

Obvious Spam


I don't know why I've still got Mail in trial mode. It's clearly ready for the big leagues after a catch like this...

Oddly Complicated Text Filler Test


Laughably difficult, right?

Christian Lander and Kat Williams

When he found out that I was spending a lot of time working online, a friend of mine directed me to this (long) video of Christian Lander speaking at Google. Points of interest for me:

Google has a video series called Talks@Google, in which great people talk about their work.

Christian Lander's Stuff White People Like Blog was less than six months from anonymous concept to web-wide sensation — he went to after having a funny instant messager conversation on January 18; he speaks at Google, published book in hand, on July 17. Unbelievable.

He lived with the lead singer of The Arcade Fire while at college.

After experiencing a lot of backlash for "selling out" — aka monetizing his work — a friend of his referred him to comedian Kat Williams discussing "haters" on youtube here and here (don't go if you don't like profanity). My favorite line:

"...sit back there and say my hair ain't luxurious when you know it is..."

And more on haters today from @DavidKaneda.

Everything’s Amazing & Nobody’s Happy

Yesterday I posted a response to some iPad linkbait from Paul Thurrott (my post here), and I'm happy to report that what could have been a purely negative experience has actually produced a lot of good. Not only did his post occasion my first ever submittal to Literally, A Weblog, but it also led me to Jonathan Forsythe's Moderately Offensive Commentary where I found this excellent video. Apparently it's been around for over a year and no one bothered to tell me about it.

It's funny because it's true. I wrote about some of these ideas a while ago and linked back to Josh Blankenship who talks about these issues all the time. He's actually at it again today with "Stands < Scrimmage Line".

But back to the video: be thankful, be patient, and maybe try to contribute to the world every once in a while. There's nothing less becoming than our ridiculous modern sense of entitlement.

via Jonathan Forsythe