Posted in WWWhat?

Keep it simple

I guess I’ve been trying to simplify my life. Jumping off the corporate treadmill (or, at least, jumping on the side of the treadmill pretty regularly, so I don’t get sucked down the back of the machine, catching my shoe and falling flat on my face); trying to ditch the stuff I don’t need in my home (granted, living in an apartment adds a little pressure there); trying to eat all of the food that I buy (and not let it turn into a science experiment at the bottom of the fridge); trying to steer clear of so many things that I don’t really need when I’m shopping (yep, I’m looking at you, shiny kitchen appliances and cook books). Stuff like that.

Keep it simple – a great goal, but easier said than done. That’s why I like this list of prompts, which I saw on Facebook without any credit to the person who put it together, so unfortunately I’m unable to thank them. I think it’s a really good reminder – especially if there’s a busy weekend ahead, or you’re putting off something that you need to sort out, or you forget that other people don’t have a telepathic line to your mind. Maybe it really can be this simple? I reckon it’s worth a shot!

 

Posted in WWWhat?

Seven Twitty Tweets

I know some people hold grudges against Yoko for breaking up the band or whatever, but I like her because she is so nutty. I guess she has always been a little bit crackers, but with social media, she can share her particular brand of crazy with the world. And she does. I follow her on Twitter and, in case you don’t, I have put together this list of what I consider to be seven of Yoko’s Top Tweets. With so many to choose from, it was a tough job, but I think there’s something here for everyone… Sure, sometimes she sounds a little like Dr Seuss or Yoda, but I still say: Ono? Oh yes!

1. Yoko’s tips for gift giving…

2. Yoko’s thoughts on advances in medical science…

3. Yoko’s view on pyrotechnics / furniture…

4. Yoko’s suggestion for neighbourhood sanitation / lazy council workers…

5. Yoko’s guidance for home renovations…

6. Yoko’s theory on anatomy / romance…

7. I’ve posted this before, but it’s my favourite – Yoko’s advice to big business…

Posted in Sparks in the wild, WWWhat?

Ticket to Mars

I first heard about this ambitious plan on werd.com. The short post was accompanied by this picture. So I did some more research for us, because I knew that you would want to know about it too. Behold, the Mars One mission. What’s it all about, I hear you cry? Oh, nothing much – only a plan to establish THE FIRST HUMAN SETTLEMENT ON MARS IN 2023. Yes, that’s right – according to the website, a habitable settlement will be waiting for the settlers when they land. The settlement will support them while they live and work on Mars the rest of their lives. Every two years after 2023 an additional crew will arrive, such that there is a real living, growing community on Mars.

Apparently, the good people at Mars One have a “technical plan” for the mission and have “identified at least one supplier” for every part of the process between now (empty Mars, as far as we know) and 2023 (thriving metropolis Mars). There is even a section on the website for anyone who might be sceptical – it’s called: Is this really possible? (The answer is basically ‘yes, sure, why not’ in case you don’t want to read it yourself.) Another FAQ is, understandably: Is this for real? To which the answer is: Yes it is! Mars One has been working on this project in secret since January of 2011. It has taken us ’til now to expose it publically because we are now certain of its feasibility and means of finance.

Alrighty then, friends, let’s start packing! Oh, hang on, I have now read the FAQ entitled: Can I apply to become an astronaut? Sadly, the answer seems to be NO. Or at least, NOT YET. Apparently the team at Mars One have received lots of emails from people asking to be part of the mission, but they’re not yet in a position to start selecting the first astronauts. I guess they’ll have to be pretty picky, since these people will be the founders of the settlement up there. You don’t want people who are going to give dumb names to the towns and streets and national parks.

I include this image from NASA/Wikipedia to help inform your decision on emigrating to Mars, when that option becomes available. It’s clearly a lot smaller than good ol’ Earth, but according to Wikipedia, Mars has surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth. So, you know, great if you like hiking, nature, extreme adventure and that sort of thing. Oh, and Mars can be seen from Earth without a telescope, so your old friends and neighbours will still be able to keep an eye on you.

Anyways, now you know a little more, you are probably keen to read more of the fine print and perhaps even sign up for the Mars One Monthly Newsmail. You can do so on the Mars One website here.

Posted in WWWhat?

Kickstarting ideas

You might have already heard of Kickstarter, which is basically a website / online community that offers start-ups the opportunity to pitch their project to the world and get donations from ‘backers’. Or as they say (in a much clearer way): it’s the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. They have arranged all of the pitches into different categories and, although most of the projects are from the USA, there are some from other parts of the world too. It’s interesting to have a look at the range of ideas – some very clever, some very weird and some very dodgy.

I found this one in the ‘game’ section: Unemployment Quest! (With an exclamation mark to show you that it’s FUN!) With 14 days still to go, it is 503% funded (that’s over $5,000 when the developer only asked for $1,000) and has attracted donations from nearly 500 backers. If you donate at least $5, you get a copy of the game (with other treats added if you donate more cash).

The game was developed in New York by this chap named Charles. Apparently, Unemployment Quest is a game about the experience of unemployed youth. Now, I’m no geeky gamer, but that doesn’t sound like much fun to me. The graphics look pretty basic and Charles says the game’s story is minimalistic. And it seems that the music has been recorded to sound like those annoying soundtracks to early computer games. So why would anyone want to play this game, Charles?

Instead of fighting typical fantasy monsters, your foes will include “Doubts,” “Isolation,” “Shame,” and the main villain “Uncertain Future.” The aim of the game is to turn the negative experience of joblessness into something less terrible, while still having fun gameplay that will not bog down players by requiring gigantic time investments.

Because presumably you should be spending that time, well, you know, applying for jobs. Or doing something a bit more productive than playing this game. But far be it from me to know what the market wants – perhaps there are bzillions of people just waiting to experience virtual unemployment. Even if they are experiencing real world unemployment at the same time, as per Charles’ target market.

Whatevs, gamers, if you want to check out this project and maybe help Charles make his dream come true, you can find Unemployment Quest here. Or you can just have a look at some of the other ideas on Kickstarter here. And as a person with many, many kooky ideas, I really should get started on some Kickstarter pitches myself – there seem to be some generous people out there!

Posted in Arty sparks, Sparky gifts

Tree of Life

I like trees. Especially at this time of year in Australia, when the leaves are turning red or gold and falling to the ground. So we can jump around and crunch through piles of them. Or slip on them when it’s raining, trying to look cool while struggling to stay upright. Yes, good times indeed.

I also like this tree, which I noticed recently on etsy. Designed by Maria in Amsterdam, this tree looks pretty funky just as it is. But, like a lot of things in Amsterdam – don’t be fooled by appearances. This tree is a photo album. Uh huh.

You can add photos of the family for a cute present to welcome a new baby. Or perhaps pics of the kids in the class for a nice end-of-year gift for the teacher. Or snaps of your smiling face for your beloved (or ex-beloved, if you want to make them feel bad). Or faces of workmates for a departing colleague. Or maybe a tree full of happy images – like, say, chocolate, red wine, Liam Neeson, freesias, homegrown tomatoes, sunset, cherry pie, popcorn – to give you a lift on those days that you’re not feeling so chirpy.

Endless possibilities for your little tree of life. And I think I’ll finish on that profound note, so that you can ponder that thought. (While you’re checking out the range of trees at the FemkeMaria etsy shop.)