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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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.

20130517-052425.jpg
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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Something to think about…

I’m aware that today’s post will definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that might kinda even be the point. Most of us are so busy, busy, busy that we don’t really stop and think about things. I mean big picture things, not what type of lettuce to buy or what time bus to catch or what colour top to wear. Stumble Upon recently steered me towards an amazing site called Thought Questions. It’s based on a very cool idea (or, at least, an idea that really appeals to me): “A question that makes you think is worth asking…So we ask one new thought-provoking question every day”. I like it a lot. And if you feel like sharing, you can enter your answer to the daily question or tell your story.

But back to the actual questions – the creators of the site suggest that “the questions posted here should be reviewed regularly when you have some quiet time to think. After all, reflection is the key to progression.” Amen to that. They remind visitors that there are no right or wrong answers to the questions asked. Anyways, enough jibber jabbering, here are some examples for you…

 

They use cool images with their thought-provoking questions. Looking through the archives was an interesting experience – I rolled my eyes at some, wanted to wallpaper my apartment with others, and considered sending a few on to different people I know. If you’re interested, you can like Thought Questions on Facebook or sign up for the daily question to be emailed to you. The website is here if you’d like to check it out.

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Birds of a feather

Pigeons often get a hard time – whether you mock them as ‘rats with wings’, or snigger as they rummage through school rubbish bins to try and salvage some dinner, they’re not exactly the most admired in the bird world. Except for racing pigeons – those guys are just amazing and I don’t think I’ll ever understand how they ‘work’. Anyways, a recent pigeon post on designboom caught my eye and I thought I’d share it here.

In a nutshell, German artists Julian Charriere and Julius von Bismarck (how’s that for a great name?) came up with a project they called “Some pigeons are more equal than others” during this year’s Biennale in Venice. In a daring PR campaign to make the pigeons ‘less offensive’ and more attractive to visitors, they took some of the birds from the Venetian piazzas into specially created booths and spray-painted them in different colours. Birds of spray, if you will. (Sorry.)

It’s an interesting idea and it definitely changes the whole look of the birdies. But, like ladies dressed up and fake tanned for a day at the races, the bright packaging will fade and true colours will be revealed before too long. And pigeons will be pigeons. Here are some of the photos – see what you think.

You can check out the designboom post here, with lots more photos of the multi-coloured pigeons.

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Hey, Four Eyes

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m a sucker for prints of animals as humans. Give me a cat in a suit or a dog driving a car or a bird reading a newspaper and I’ll laugh every time. Kevin Lucius of LuciusArt in Chicago is a master of the animal as human print and I love his work. Too many for just one post, so today I’ll just focus on the smartest animals in town. Uh huh.

Here is Tony, the Inquisitive River Otter. Tony was always asking questions. He had an irresistible thirst for knowledge.

Tony

And here is Marvin, the Book Smart Bear. Marvin took his studies very seriously.

Marvin

And here is Tiger (no name required). Some Tigers are cooler than others.

Tiger

Ah, Roger, the Studious Owl. As you can imagine, Roger was picked on more than anyone else in the 4th grade.

Roger

I know a monocle isn’t the same as spectacles, but here’s “Mr Fancy Cat”. Johnny was best dressed cat at the winter formal. Relive the memories of that night with this original print.

Johnny

If you’d like to see more, you can check out the LuciusArt shop on etsy here.

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Bonjour, monsieur

Yann is a professional photographer based in Paris. Yann claims to specialise in many things: portraits, products, landscapes, reportages… But today, I wanted to share some of Yann’s prints that are for sale on etsy. Because I really like what he’s done here and I really LOVE the thought that there might be a teeny tiny chap in a top hat doing his thing without us even knowing.

The Threader
(c) Yann Pendaries

The Macaroons Hatter
(c) Yann Pendaries

The Seed Gatherer
(c) Yann Pendaries

The Snail Tamer
(c) Yann Pendaries

The Morning Ringer
(c) Yann Pendaries

The Shell Renter
(c) Yann Pendaries

The Coffee Stirrer
(c) Yann Pendaries

These are just a selection of Yann’s amazing work for sale in his etsy shop Photography Dream. I can’t decide between The Seed Gatherer, The Snail Tamer and The Shell Renter. Now if only Yann could find the guy who hides the socks in the washing machine, or the car keys when you’re in a hurry to leave, or your ringing mobile phone buried in your bag…

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The Bubbles of Fabian Oefner

Designboom recently featured the work of Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner, who has explored the art of the bursting bubble in his project ‘iridient’. It’s easy to appreciate that these amazing images are extremely difficult to capture as the soapy air pockets are immortalized in two states: the moment immediately before and after rupturing; and the famous spectrum of colors. The result is an amazing collection of art – lively photos that are full of rainbows. And, as with clouds in the sky, I can definitely see other worlds – outer space and under the sea…and maybe the musical Hair…

These photos are from the designboom post here. And you can check out Fabian Oefner’s website here – including his incredible ‘Dancing Colors’ project, where Fabian has focussed on ‘making sound waves visible’, capturing stunning pics of coloured pigments as they leap from the surface of a vibrating speaker when music is played. Amazing.

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