31 August 2011
29 August 2011
28 August 2011
I’m looking forward to giving a talk in October at “Norway’s biggest design conference” in the historic copper-mining town of Røros (where the 3,640 or so modern-day inhabitants still work and live in the characteristic 17th and 18th century buildings, which have led to the town’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
27 August 2011
26 August 2011
As I usually do, early yesterday morning I checked my email, and I was delighted to find a friendly message from the optometrist who recently checked my eyes in advance of my ordering some new reading glasses (let’s just call him “Gary” as I’m not sure he’s really supposed to provide me with these files); as per my request he sent me the retina photos that he took during my checkup (large, screen-filling, with incredible detail). As a visual designer, I’ve always been fascinated with the function of vision—which I mentioned to him as he was putting me through the optical steeplechase—but until now I’ve never been able to “peer into my own eyes,” as it were.
The pics he sent are shot through the pupil (the dark, size-changing hole in the center of the iris, which is the structure that gives the eye color and works like a shutter in a camera). After passing through the iris, the light rays strike the eye’s crystalline lens, a clear, flexible structure that works much like the lens in a camera, shortening and lengthening its width in order to focus light rays properly; the light rays then pass through the vitreous, a clear, jelly-like substance that fills the globe of the eyeball (the vitreous humor helps the eye hold its spherical shape), before landing and coming into sharp focus (if you’re lucky :-) on the retina. The bright/orange spot you see is the optic nerve (a bundle of over a million nerve fibers, to be more accurate) which acts as sort of an extension of and connection to the brain, where one actually interprets an “image.”
Pretty cool, eh? Thanks “Gary!”
25 August 2011
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
—John Muir (1838-1914)
24 August 2011
Like most designers and illustrators I know, I tend to collect reference imagery (of all sorts) and I have a particular fondness for visual language ephemera and vintage cultural oddities. A big thanks to the many folks who send me quirky images, posters, and links to pockets of rich online content (keep ‘em coming!)… I’ve compiled some “Albums” (Facebook) of eclectic and quirky stuff that has landed on my laptop… most sources unknown.
22 August 2011
Canada awoke to the sad news this morning that NDP leader Jack Layton passed on in the early hours, in his home. We all knew he had been battling cancer (successfully, we thought…) for a while already, and we also knew that he was a fighter—so word of his passing hit us with a collective shock-wave. The quotable above is drawn from Jack Layton’s last letter to Canadians.
Condolences to Olivia and Jack’s family—a very large family indeed…
21 August 2011
—Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)