I’d say that the guy in this Flipboard video is boringly serious or seriously boring but I like the way he talks! It’s the second video in past few weeks that I see him in, both about geeky products. The first one was about Square mobile payment system that I mentioned earlier.
And yes, the Flipboard. It’s a crossover between social media and a digital magazine. Just checked the application on my iPad and I too, like many others, liked it very much. Flipboard taking online social media out of its mould into mobile social media, we would see this kind of apps becoming a norm soon. This is something that I highlighted in detail a while ago under ‘Future of Web Design’.
I was watching a documentary on the telly the other day on Bhutan about the challenges people facing there having their country opened to the world and their GNH (Gross National Happiness) preference over GDP and asked myself a conflicting question: should media be censored or even banned to save cultures and societies?
To be honest there’s no definite answer to this and if so then it can’t be generalised. To me our identities come from cultures that flourish in our societies, and societies form civilisation that changes from geographic region to region with our planet’s curvature.
When we talk about preserving something we accept the fact that it is in danger or endangered. In my 36 years of life I’ve seen the impact of globalisation (along with some positive aspects) eating up people’s individuality, their identity, their cultures, beliefs, languages and their whole way of life in general from Australia to America and from Africa to Europe. As human beings our cultural differences are like our faces that are different from each other for a reason – to mark our physical identity and individuality. Our differences are the colours of this world.
Through the blessing of the media in our age we see popular cultures heavily influencing not so popular cultures by all means and, if a culture tries to protect itself by distancing itself from the mainstream then it is very negatively branded. I fail to comprehend why it is an issue? Why accepting someone’s individuality is difficult as long as it is not intrusive?
Political mumbo-jumbo aside I’d support the idea (if it actually exist anywhere) of screening the media – not to deny it access, but to preserve its intended and unintended audience from its negative influences especially when we see how polarised and politically influenced it is. I’m not the one to define media’s negative influences here but, like any medicine, there are side effects therefore the target audience is the one to decide about it freely and we need to accept and respect it.
So I saw all of these mediocre pictures of that volcano in Iceland nobody can pronounce the name of, so I figured I should go and do better. But the flights to get over took forever as expected (somewhat). 4 days after leaving I finally made it, but the weather was terrible for another 4. Just before leaving it got pretty good for about a day and a half and this is what I managed to get.
Wish I had more time. I missed all the cool Lightning and the Lava of the first eruption. But I figure this will just be a trial run for another day.
IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign acknowledges the importance of intelligent systems in the world today. In the retail industry, for example, consumer data around something as simple as color can have massive implications around shipping, inventory and, ultimately, overall sales.
This interactive billboard is a simple and engaging virtual demonstration of how a smarter retail system can work.
Sydney photographer and filmmaker Keith Loutit attracted an internet and media sensation, following the release of his ‘Bathtub’ series of short films that transformed both iconic and familiar Sydney scenes into miniature wonderlands. Known as the pioneer of the tilt-shift / time-lapse technique, Loutit was the first to recognize how time and focus combine to support the powerful illusion of miniaturization in film. In his scaled down and sped up realities, real world subjects become their miniature counterparts. Boats bob like toys in a bathtub, cars race like slot-cars, and crowds march as toy armies. Loutit’s aim is create a sense of wonder in our surroundings by “challenging people’s perceptions of scale, and helping the viewer to distance themselves from places they know well”.
I wrote about Pakistani folk music before. Here comes a fusion of classical Pakistani folk and Sufi music with modern strings. I’m extremely sceptical when it comes to remixing classical folk with modern tunes but what is done at the Coke Studio below by Rohail Hyatt is so full of life, vibrant, refreshing and soul warming that I want to stand up and applaud, and applaud, and applaud…
The tracks below are in Seraiki, Sindhi, Punjabi and Urdu languages, featuring legendry Sufi kalam and folklore. Pakistani music is very diverse at its core, with heavy influences from South Asian, Central Asian, Turkish, Persian, Arab and modern western music especially American Rock resulting in a very distinct and signature sound.
Coke Studio prides itself on providing a musical platform which bridges barriers, celebrates diversity, encourages unity and instils a sense of Pakistani pride. Coke Studio is an inspired step by Coca-Cola for having created a platform where renowned as well as upcoming and less mainstream musicians from various genres can collaborate musically.
Mai Ni Main by Atif Aslam
Aik Alif by Noori & Saieen Zahoor
Aj Latha Naeeo by Javed Bashir
Toomba by Saieen Zahoor
And, this post wouldn’t be complete without a nice pop song by Zeb and Haniya.
I read John Grogan’s best-seller novel Marley & Me around three years ago and liked it very much. I had the same expectations from the movie but it completely disappointed me and my wife when last night we eventually got to watch it.
Those who have read this novel have a completely different view of the movie. The book is about Marley (the world’s worst dog) and Grogan’s life around Marley – not about Grogan and his wife and their life with Marley. The presence of the two A rated actors (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) overshadowed the whole story, their characters looked overwhelmingly stronger than the main subject – Marley.
The overall dramatization of the novel was also a bit commercially spiced up that didn’t go well with the story. Those who are still planning to watch this movie I’d suggest don’t bother – it’s better to read the novel and you wouldn’t miss a thing.
Back in December 1999, I wrote to CC Carpenter II that how fascinated I was with his poetry and requested for his permission to use some of it in one of my projects. I got his reply and permission after three attempts. It has been over 9 years since I had last contact with him – his website, his work is no longer online. I could only dig out 2 emails from that time in my inbox without any contact details, the email address not working anymore – I couldn’t trace him anywhere actually!
To be honest, I don’t remember much about him now – in fact I never knew much about him at the very first place, but his words are still scattered all over in many of my finished / unfinished projects. Back in 1999 I was searching for many answers for one question and somehow found CC Carpenter’s poetry online. It simply clicked. I had done ‘Nut, Bolt & Sparky’ earlier that year and was looking for another substance. His work opened up several windows in my mind. I found a rhythm in his poetry and started to look for a sound that can match it.
It took me over three years to find something that can go with his words. Pakistan produced many great folk singers – remember Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan? He is just one of the legends that the world knows, but, there was another one, Pathaney Khan, who passed away quietly three years after him. Pathaney Khan’s voice added life to CC Carpenter’s poem ‘Magic’ with a melodious tune of Reshman (another folk legend) in the background.
I assembled the whole piece in May 2003 but, I’m only been able to write about it now – after six years to be exact!
I took for granted all the things
You said to me.
And now I see that you’ve taken
It all away from me.
Magic by C. C. Carpenter II
Pathan-e-Khan (Mai wi jana jhok ranjhan)
Reshman (Aksar shab-e-tanhai mein)