Blog Archives

The Bright Sides of Japan

The stunning majesty of our planet knows no bounds yet we face myriad boundaries that prevent us from experiencing these, at times, indescribable wonders.

Having been fortunate to have parents (shout-out to my amazing parents!) who prioritized traveling the globe in order to venture to various cultures around this floating marble, I am keen to discover new places, people, and wildlife whenever possible.

Even if I’m restrained to my laptop on a random Tuesday.

(Increase this video’s resolution to your computer’s/laptop’s/phone’s maximum capacity)

What am I thinking right now? Can you read my mind?

Maybe it’s about the good old days or being an honest man? The restless heart? The Promised Land?

Happy Monday!

There are songs that just strike a powerful chord with us. Whether formally written on a sheet of music, scribbled on a napkin or a random riff during a rehearsal break, this sound accompanied by the perfect lyrics is one of the most beautiful rewards of music.

This is that “it” factor people always talk about. When you discover it…wow.

Speaking of which, one of my favorite songs is “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. Have you heard Slash (its former lead guitarist) play this 1987 rock classic acoustic, with vocals by Myles Kennedy?

Now you have.

She’s got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky

Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stared too long
I’d probably break down and cry

Sweet child o’ mine
Sweet love of mine

She’s got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I’d hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain

Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I’d hide
And pray for the thunder and the rain
To quietly pass me by

[3x]
Sweet child o’ mine
Sweet love of mine

[4x]
Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Sweet child o’ mine

Have an Awe-Inspiring Week! 

Gal Gadot Looks Pretty Wonderful

For fans of Wonder Woman, the news that the 5’9” Israeli actress Gal Gadot will portray the female superhero equivalent of Superman was likely met with long, overdue jubilation. Plus, a dose of ambiguity. Why? Because Wonder Woman fans have long wished to see this lasso waving superhero on the big screen as the central figure and not necessarily as a supporting cast member, potentially.

(Zimbio)

(Zimbio)

The specifics of her role will remain a mystery for everybody around the world except the very select insiders: writers, producers and director of the “Man of Steel” sequel. Before too much speculation and analysis, there are some positive characteristics Gal Gadot will instantly bring to Wonder Woman, regardless of her ultimate character contribution.

First, she is absolutely gorgeous. Second, she has some film experience (mostly with the “The Fast and the Furious” movies) and, therefore, will bring a fresh face and impression to audience members. In other words, most people will see her as Wonder Woman and not as a character from a past project/series trying to portray Wonder Woman. She will be Wonder Woman. And third, she will inherently receive an elevated standing (at least initially) because of the nature and anticipation of the movie and the sensational credentials of the director, producers and writers of “Man of Steel” and, yes, “The Dark Knight” trilogy.

Interestingly though, has the global box office success of 2012s “The Avengers” (~$1.5 billion) and forth coming sequel put a rush delivery on the DC Comics super get together for The Justice League, despite the global box office success of summer blockbusters with solo superheroes in “Man of Steel” (~$662 million) and “The Dark Knight” trilogy (~$2.74 billion)? Without seeing the “Man of Steel sequel, it’s impossible to judge the decision to inject the DC Universe together so  quickly after introducing Superman. Still though, seeing a longer, deeper character and story arc for Superman, Wonder Woman, the new Batman (maybe not so much) and The Flash would be legendary.

But, because of “The Avengers,” is there enough time or patience? Time will tell, but the fans were willing to wait (and excitedly!) during the 7-year, A-movie quality Batman trilogy…

Lassoing back to Wonder Woman, here are 10 questions (for today anyways) surrounding the announcement of her presence in the untitled “Man of Steel” sequel that will hit theaters in 2015, in no particular order:

  1. Doesn’t Wonder Woman deserve at least a solo movie treatment, given the story and cultural popularity of her character, plus her positive superhero image for girls and women alike?
  2. Will and how will her character fit into the darker, grittier Zack Snyder/Nolan superhero universe?
  3. What “world” will she, Superman and Batman exist in? Will there be multiple locations/cities?
  4. Will her costume have a narrative like Superman’s in “Man of Steel?” (ie- his suit was actually made of steel links) If so, what will it look like and what will the narrative be?
  5. Will Gal Gadot look like the Wonder Woman people know from the comics and television show or will she be a new, modern adaptation?
  6. There was no Kryptonite in “Man of Steel.” Will Wonder Woman keep her Lasso of Truth?
  7. Will Wonder Woman be merely introduced or will she feature in a starring role alongside Batman and Superman?
  8. Will Wonder Woman battle Batman and/or Superman?
  9. Will Alan Harper make an appearance somewhere in the movie as a star struck admirer while slinging his own Lasso of Truth?
  10. Bottom line: Will Gal Gadot define Wonder Woman for a new generation?

The anticipation will be wonderfully mysterious and intriguing.

Extreme Makeover: Knowledge Edition

Upon first glance at today’s cover page on bing.com, I was baffled. As is protocol with viewing Bing’s daily front page, I scrolled over the image to navigate to one of the four informational boxes. The link took me to a collection of pictures of the University of Zurich Library.

Stunning.

The big, dramatic curves guide your eyes within its grandiose space. This description is hardly ever used to characterize a library. Most of us know libraries to be very quiet, calm and non-exciting. The need for such fancy, eye-catching exterior and interior designs is considered nonsense when referring to a place to read, write and study.

Maybe this is the problem.

Books, periodicals, research journals, magazines, movies and so forth remain popular commodities with the public for various reasons. Despite the demand and ample supply on the shelves, libraries are rarely packed from wall-to-wall, unless it’s mid-term or finals season. As a solution, I suggest more libraries search out for private investment collaborations. Specifically, imaginative minds, inventors and architects who would jump at the opportunity to make his or her mark. Living in the age of information (ie- digital technologies), libraries offer an outstanding and nearly unlimited resource for people to invest their time and energies to further their education and personal enlightenment.

Think of it as “the knowledge renaissance.”

It’s time to view libraries as not just a building filled with old books and shushing librarians, but instead a destination of learning. In other words, it’s time to follow the lead of some around the United States and the world in their recent and historic efforts to boldly brand libraries as, generally speaking, “a cool place to be.” The silence must be upheld, along with the other proper rules and norms for any library. Learning and expanding one’s mind still need to be the predominant objectives. The primary difference is making the trip to the library an experience for people of all ages with dynamic and innovative educational value, attraction and content.

To better illustrate my point, below is a small collection of some creative takes on the library:

zurichuniversity~s400x400(Keystone/Gaetan Bally)
The University of Zurich Library

tumblr_ldvnwyOsrF1qfx0suo1_500(STUA on Tumblr)
Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

QU Library at night
(princetonreview.com)
Arnold Bernhard Library at Quinnipiac University

cover_geisel_libraryThe Library at the University of California at San Diego

greathall_standard

mainreadingroom_standard(myloc.gov)
The Library of Congress

Above are only a few examples of how architects throughout history have defined libraries as spaces intended for learning whilst being surrounded by magnificent inspiration. Hopefully, the future will feature creative minds who expand on past and present designs (there really is something truly special about those old world libraries and the history they speak to its visitors…). Architects could also innovate these themes with entertaining and engaging technologies with the aspiration of uniting communities and people all around the world towards the journey of abundant knowledge and unparalleled perspective.

How does that phrase go, “if you build it, he will come.”

With all the technological advancements and varying mediums for sharing and presenting information, the grand opportunity to innovate, reinvigorate and redirect the public to the library in masses is undeniably present. Could this mean holographic shows with famous historical figures? Perhaps. There are seemingly countless possibilities. The key is finding and connecting with eager and imaginative men and women (like Ted Mosby, formerly of Mosbius Designs) to collaborate with to build these kingdoms of knowledge.

Kingdoms of knowledge…sounds like an adventure already.