everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

I love the Humans

It’s the week leading up to Valentine’s Day and, whatever your status or your take on the whole festival, it’s a good chance to think about what we love. Whether that’s people, furry friends, places, foods, languages, brands, weather, hobbies, or even shoes. Or weird stuff, like those people on My Strange Addiction who love eating the synthetic filling in couches or love their car (as in, really love their car) or love their teddy bears as if they were children. (If you don’t believe me, you can check out the stories on the show’s website here.)

Anyways, this week I’ll be posting about some of the things that I love. Today, it’s the incomparable Humans of New York.

Image from the Humans of New York Facebook page here.

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

It’s more than a blog and a book and a community – I’d say that it’s a public service. When I first encountered it, I was hooked. With a snap and a few lines from someone out and about in NYC, you get an incredible insight into their life – sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes hopeful, sometimes heartbreaking. For a fanatical people-watcher like me, it’s gold.

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

Brandon Stanton is the man behind the Humans (well, technically he’s behind the camera in front of the Humans). What started as a ‘photographic census’ of NYC grew into a hugely popular blog and it’s now even bigger thanks to Facebook (the page has almost 3 million likes). There’s also a book of HONY photos and quotes that you can buy.

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

These are just a selection of some of my recent favourites. If you are on Facebook, I strongly suggest that you get on board with Humans of New York. You can also check out the book here and the blog here. I LOVE IT!

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He’s baaaack – another StockPhoto Man sighting

Today’s post comes to you with huge thanks to my old school friend, C, who heard the call of the hunt for StockPhoto Man via Facebook and delivered this gem. She came across this website pic in the course of her work and promptly referred the sighting to StockPhoto Man HQ so that we could add it to our files.

It seems that StockPhoto Man is promoting the relationship counselling service of a psychology practice – not sure if that means that he and his fake lady friend are having problems and may not even go on their fake Camino pilgrimage, or if their fake partnership is much improved after their visit to the (presumably real) counsellor. Just another day in the intriguing fake life of StockPhoto Man…keep searching, friends…

StockPhotoManC

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StockPhoto Man – Another Sighting

You may recall my recent post whereby I exposed the fraud that is StockPhoto Man – the guy promoting everything from superannuation to corporate reports to THE CAMINO. Well, my eagle-eyed friend Steph (aka ‘Color Run Steph’ or ‘Camino Steph’ as she’s known in my family) has discovered our old mate StockPhoto Man promoting diversity & inclusion on a corporate training site. The image was attached to an email from Steph with the intriguing subject: Stock photo man speaks up about unlawful behaviour… I have edited the image to protect the organisation and to highlight StockPhoto Man, just in case you couldn’t identify him amongst all of the other diversity-friendly work colleagues…

I am inspired – the hunt is on and I’m asking for your help. Please keep your eyes wide open and email me any pics you find of StockPhoto Man doing his thing. I would like to put together a CV of sorts for him – a tribute to his many guises. So far, we have Camino Trekker and Corporate Colleague (endorsing lawful behaviour)…but I think the sky is the limit for our StockPhoto Man…who knows where will he turn up next?

We see you, StockPhoto Man.

We see you, StockPhoto Man.

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Friday rant – Stock Photo Man

As I type this, it’s 5.21am in Perth and I can’t sleep. Cross-country jet lag after my arrival from Sydney, where we are two hours (and a few decades, so the joke goes) ahead. Anyways, as I scrolled through Facebook, best pal of the sleepless, I came across this post.

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Now, this Camino forum always posts interesting and helpful threads, so I have no complaints about that. But I have a strong objection to the image – that guy is not walking the Camino with his family, that guy is THE MOST OVER-USED STOCK PHOTO MAN IN THE WORLD.

Seriously, keep an eye out and you’ll see him everywhere – advertising things from pension funds to corporate promos to Father’s Day. I think he looks a wee bit like an Australian politician (Malcolm Turnbull), which is how he first caught my eye some years ago.

Please be on the lookout and report any sightings – be alert, not alarmed. I think he’s harmless, if a little over-exposed and deceitful about his activities…

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Friday Foto – On the Bus

This is a sign on Sydney buses. I’d never really looked at it closely before, but now that I have, I say welcome aboard, Man with 1.5 legs, Wobbly person with a bag and stick & Lady with wide hips singing “I’m a Little Teapot”…

BusSign

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Merry Christmas!

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours – I hope that you have a wonderful festive season, full of everyday sparks, and the time to enjoy being with your family and friends. And also some time to enjoy being by yourself, maybe to look back on the good things that happened in 2012 and look forward to the exciting adventures that await in 2013. I’ll be keeping an eye out for Christmas sparks today – we’re lucky to share our family lunch with seven little people plus grownups, so I’m sure there will be plenty of sparks around!

I came across this flash mob video this week and thought you might like it too. It is from earlier this year, but it feels very festive. It also makes me want to organise a flash mob in 2013, so if you’ve got any ideas – please let me know…

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Like herding cats…

This morning at work was one of those mornings, when you know it would have been better for everyone if you’d just stayed at home in bed. After a particularly annoying email, as I tipped my head back and released a silent scream, I was reminded of a You Tube clip that someone had sent me years ago. The term was used a lot when working in professional services HR, but could apply to pretty much any workplace/looking after kids/organising an event/managing home renovations: “This is sooooo hard, it’s like herding cats”. I’ve always felt it was a powerful image to sum up that point of utter frustration and despair, when people just would not agree or fall in to line. Here’s the video that still makes me laugh every time I see it – I think it was released as one of those magical SuperBowl ads, back in 2009. Enjoy!

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Trick or Treating

So, yesterday was Halloween – the one night of the year when it’s perfectly acceptable to turn up at your neighbour’s door and demand lollies. I was lucky to be invited by some of my nieces to join them as they toured their neighbourhood and collected a bizarre assortment of candies in big buckets shaped like pumpkins. Good times.

The main unofficial rule of the evening are that you can only stop by houses that have decorations outside, showing that they’re on board with the whole idea. Although even the decorated houses participate in different ways – some welcome you to their door and personally hand out treats (with a few even making their own lolly bags), while others leave a basket outside the door or gate with a sign that optimistically suggests that you take ONE ONLY, and then there was the man who didn’t even open his security gate as he struggled to pass the kids their chocolates through the bars of the fence.

We had a good time and got a great haul of jelly body parts, eyeballs, jelly pizzas, sherbets and even some sugar-free lollies from one of the houses. A lot of people in the neighbourhood made a huge effort to make their homes spooky and really got into the spirit of the day. It was lovely to see so many kids of all ages (even the dreaded teenagers spraying their silly string) dressed up and walking around the ‘hood. Wandering around in the late afternoon sun, it was a really nice community feeling as people admired outfits and decorations while sugar-filled kids squealed and laughed – I think Halloween is a great excuse to make that happen. ‘Til next year!

OK, so these were actually our decorations – spooky eyes peering out from behind the gate. With horrible, sticky, fake spiders’ webs all across the gate, of course.

Scary stuff. This house also had grave stones and body parts scattered around the otherwise beautiful garden.

You’ve got mail.

A friendly Halloween house.

One of our skeletons, just chillaxin’ in the bushes.

Our witch – she has a frightening cackle when touched. But still not as scary as the skull hung on our verandah, which drops down from the ceiling when you clap – its horrible wail freaked out many unsuspecting people who followed our directions to clap loudly if they loved Halloween & wanted to meet our skeleton. And then they screamed. (Then they laughed, I promise – it was very funny to hear them as we sat inside eating our lollies.)

An amazing witchy pumpkin, hand drawn and carved by the girl across the street – looked even more incredible as it got darker…

And one of the highlights – my niece (7) had prepared notes for 60 Halloween potions (‘posions’). I was impressed by the range of ingredients – from monkey fur to cocoa to screws to garlic to wool to bananas. Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Knitted Fashionistas (Fashioknitstas)

Diane is from Canada and she sells knitting patterns on etsy. Unfortunately, you can’t buy these dolls ready-made, as Diane notes that she doesn’t have time to knit them for you, but she will sell you the pattern so that you can do it yourself. And if I could, Diane, I would. Because I can think of so many people who would love your work. Ok, mostly me, but there will definitely be some other people who like them. They are kooky, they are bright, they are hilarious. Put them together and you could have a beauty pageant to rival Miss Universe. And I love that Diane has named all of her dolls and provided funny back stories on the site.

This pink doll mightn’t fit the pageant look, but I had to include her. Back in my day, there was a cartoon about a chick in a rock band called Jem. I can’t remember much, but that theme song has stuck with me since the 1980s. Probably because the lyrics were mostly a repetition of: Jem. Truly outrageous. Truly, truly, truly outrageous. I can’t remember if she really was, but since they said it so many times, I guess she must have been? Anyways, the pink haired, pink leg warmered doll reminds me so much of Jem. Although Diane says that she modelled this on an outfit she saw on Dancing with the Stars. Uh huh. I must try and find that episode to see it with my own eyes.

If the beauty pageant isn’t your thing, you might prefer your own knitted family. Or you can recreate (or dream about) your special day with the knitted wedding scene. Or adopt the doll that looks a bit like Marilyn Manson, with different coloured eyes. Diane’s etsy shop is well worth a look and you can find it here.

And the post wouldn’t be complete without a knitted streaker. Here he is.

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Body of work

Wow. Wow. Wow. Gesine Marwedel is a German artist who specialises in using the human body as a canvas for her paintings. (I don’t know if that’s her in the gold frame in this photo – her website seems to suggest that it is, but it also suggests that a woman is a flamingo and a man is a tiger, so I can’t be sure.)

When I first saw these on the Laughing Squid site, I couldn’t quite believe it. I had a look at Gesine’s website, and it does seem that she also paints some more conventional pieces that would be easier to hang on a wall. But it’s her incredible bodypaintings that I wanted to show you.

Whether it’s a swan or a flamingo or a tiger or a city, I think these are just amazing. Not being even remotely artistic myself, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to paint on a canvas – nevermind on the lumps and bumps of the human body as you try to recreate a clear image like these.

And props to these poor models, who have been covered in paint and contorted into awkward shapes for the sake of art.

You can check out Gesine’s website here. And good luck if you decide to get out some paints and give it a go this weekend. Just remember that the Avatar blue of that cityscape mightn’t wash off by Monday morning…(Although if your hand was painted like a flamingo or swan head? That would be very cool.)

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