How creativity should inspire life!

Design is one of the most inspirational things on this planet, I think.

Pushing the boundaries of what we have seen has been the most important thing driving human civilization since the beginning of time!

When I saw this video the reason I watched it was really to see the brilliance of this technology that’s being created all around us, but after I watched I couldn’t help but hit replay with my eyes closed! Not because the creativity combined with technology didn’t blow me away but because I wanted to hear the words again. I wanted to imagine what we could achieve as a people if we took them with us when we woke up in the morning and killed to see them get done!

There are so many brilliant lines in this video. Not just about design and creation, but about life and about how we should live our lives, about how we should use our gifts to make something of value. As the video quotes ‘Creativity is no longer reserved for the musician or the artist – it’s something you can find in anyone’

The tragedy is most people don’t want to create something of value, or believe the cant. They don’t want to contribute to the universe, they just want to build something for themselves! They don’t want to put in but see how much they can suck out to gorge themselves on!

People who create, people who can stretch our definition of possible should be praised, they should be rewarded and they should be used as inspiration for what humanity should be achieving rather than wallowing in greed, lies, deceit and everything else that we find going wrong with the world!

Kristian Ulrich Larsen is one of these people and if you want to see how some people are changing the world around us while most of us are sitting here on our asses watching it pass us by – go look at this!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvRMsl8hJYU

Im on my GAP YA!

‘Gap Ya’ or as it’s known to anyone other than the Poms – GAP YEAR is the powerful year after school that most kids to use under the guise of travelling, learning and finding themselves to get absolutely wasted in exotic locations around the world!

I wasn’t allowed the joy of ‘the gap ya’ which probably makes me slightly bitter and resentful but from what I can tell the year is used for everything except learning (which I agree is certainly not a waste of time in fact I’ve spent most of my time trying to make up for the lost hedonistic year)

The only thing that annoys the hell out of me is the constant story telling of how the gap year was used to get inebriated and then chunder in the most arbitrary places – just check out below . . .

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKFjWR7X5dU

Wake up South Africa!

The second I arrived in Mumbai it quite literally blew my mind!

I’ve been privileged to travel to many countries in my short life but so far I cannot find one that has been so exceptionally different / interesting in every respect. Now I could go on for paragraphs about this place and what I’ve seen (I’m here working by the way not touring) but this isn’t a travel blog and lets be fair I wouldn’t give a fk about someone else’s ramblings and pics – the reason I’m writing this is to comment on the difference in service delivery between this place and the place we call home!

I’m in a service industry and we strive for superb service to whichever customer or client we deal with but this really isn’t a common attitude and perhaps because I’m in this kind of sector I am super critical of service in every way in South Africa!

Today I went to a tailor (who fetched me from my hotel) took me to his store, measured me up and can produce two jackets and 17 shirts in two days (and im particularly annoying about cut and fabric that Ive needed two fittings rather than one)!! He managed to find me a coffee on a dusty, dirty street and made me feel like I was the king of small undiscovered country. All at a third of the price normal off the rack stuff in SA would cost. He is certainly not the only one like this in the city, not even on the street and he knows if he wants to get and keep customers he will need to be better and cheaper – which is a theme that’s runs through everything here.

I’ll give you a very simple example. In my room is an ashtray and because I don’t like smoking in my room I went onto the balcony, had my smoke (If you are an anti smoker by the way GO READ THIS!) and put my ashtray on the floor outside – that evening whoever cleans my room obviously realised this and by the time I got back there was a chair and table brought up from downstairs and placed with a fresh ashtray and matches on my balcony – half the places I’ve stayed in South Africa couldn’t care less about the guests preferences because service just isn’t part of their days or lifes aspirations.

Another silly yet brilliant example is I had a few things lying around on my desk in my room – the same person got a cloth and placed each thing strategically and carefully displayed on it . . .

Now you make think these are silly examples but this has been the tone of every person I’ve encountered in this place from the second I stepped off the plane from driver to doormen to heads of businesses. They have an attitude that runs so deep that if they are not better than everyone else they will die (and they quite literally will)

The annoyance I have is with South Africans. Although there are hundreds of millions of people more in India than in SA the ratio of poor and wealthy is roughly the same but yet these people try so much harder. South Africans (and I hate to but I am generalizing) are just slack and lazy from the lowest functioning jobs to the highest! We don’t push ourselves to service excellence, we don’t fight harder than anything and we certainly don’t try and compete on a global scale – WE NEED TO WAKE THE FK UP or else we will get left even further behind than we already have!

We complain that there is no work and we complain when we get work. We complain about our lives, governments, roads, taxes and the list goes on as long as you can find something to complain about! These people are worse off in every single aspect of this list yet they accept it and they work as hard as they can to improve it – we just sit on our arses and blame something else!

Its not often I’m ashamed of my home nation (in fact when I travel globally normally I tell everyone  I can where I’m from) but seeing what these people go through and how motivated and passionate they are, makes me sad to know what we in general are like back home. We are sad pathetic and hopeless human beings in comparison!

Champion cock!

This a story of a champion. A story of a cock who couldn’t take it any more. A cock who stood up for itself and proclaimed, “you can take my life, but you won’t force me back in the ring!”. Seriously. It may not have proclaimed it, but you get the gist.

A cockfighting rooster appears to have taken deadly revenge on its trainer for forcing it back into the ring too soon.

The bird is said to have attacked owner Singrai Soren and slit his throat with razor blades he had attached to its legs.

Roosters are usually given a break of at least an hour before taking on another opponent, but Soren wanted the rooster to go to the ring within a few minutes of its first fight. The rooster tried to get away from the ring several times, but Soren pushed it into the ring repeatedly and this is when it got upset and slashed the fuck out of him! Most of it taken from here.

Don’t know about you, but I think this is fantastic news. I’d rather not share the planet with anyone who derives pleasure from this sort of thing. Sad that the chicken will probably end up back in the ring.

Just to show you where STM is hanging out this week . . .


View from the water (gateway of India on the right)

STM has had to hit Mumbai for the week to do some business (all above board we swear) but we thought it would be a good idea to show you!

If you are wondering, this is the place the terrorists hit in late 2008 but since then there are blockades for a 100m around the hotel and about 100 security officials scanning and checking at the front door so hopefully those days are over!

Very colonial so far but absolutely exceptional . . . gotta go, the tailor is on his way to my room but here are a few pics of the TAJ PALACE!

The HOTEL at night
The room!
The view (well not my view - mine has this over the Gateway of India - SPECTACULAR)

Mime sucks . . . or does it now?

Since its been a bit heated this week and fortunately for all our sakes my partner reminded me just how glorious it is to sit back and enjoy something rather than ranting about it, I think its time to end off this week with some fun shit!

Now I find the best thing about ‘the next generation’ (in other words the generation following your own) is the fact that they take what the previous generation did and improved on it! So to give you an example, when I was in junior school and you said mime my brain automatically went to this . . .

And then because I hate those annoying white face painted idiots who cant get out of a box made of nothing but their bloody imagination (fine yes I had a bad mime experience once) my brain straight away went to this . . .

BUT we as a generation (well when I say we I don’t mean I because if I had my way they would all have been shot at dawn) realised that there was some entertainment value there only we need to get rid of the creepy ‘child molester’ vibe they give off and make it fun . . . a few practice sessions later and out pops pure entertainment genius!

The brilliance of David Armand or should I say Johann Lippowitz!!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glzkWmJgCgY

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zajDLCsDxeM&feature=related

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp_hcJ-Sepg

Thursday’s Threesome

Mike’s been on a role with posts that have substance, so I don’t feel too bad about posting the mindless stuff. Plus, with the day I had my brain isn’t really working. Today’s picture comes with a calming message that makes me want to do yoga on the beach. Well not really, but as it’s almost weekend and there’s some sand on the other side of the click so I guess it’s fitting… 

Relax, breathe and smile. And again…

While we are getting into some heated debate . . .

. . . We may as well keep the momentum going (we made the cardinal sin – excuse the pun – of entering into commentary on religious / political issues which has seen some people take great offense and we like it)

I came across this post the other day and my initial reaction was simply WOW!

The amount of time and money, I thought, went into building such incredible structures defined by architectural expression combined with environmental beauty must be staggering. In fact I have been to see a good few of these purely to take in the awesomeness of mans ability to express and create in such mammoth proportions . . . here are some of the bu8ildings I’m talking about . . .

Cathedral of Saint Basil - Russia
Church of Hallgramur - Iceland
Las Lagas - Columbia

But then I started thinking (which is dangerous at the best of times) about what the point of these things were. I suppose they were to give people a place to prey, but could you not do that in a simple big hall or venue? So I decided to ask a few people and the general response is ‘to honour God of course’.

Really? You built this palatial building with money you took from hard working congregants to honour God?

Now don’t misunderstand me! I’m not here to have a debate on whether or not there is a god and if so which religion is correct because I think I get enough abuse already, so for the sake of this discussion let’s assume there is a god.

Now does anyone really believe that if there is this all powerful, all knowing, all creating being that he / she / it (I’m going to use ‘it’ from now just for ease of reference) would want us to honour them with things like this?

Basilica De Higuey - Dominican Republic
Jubilee Church - Rome

If this being is so potent and so magnificent do we really believe ‘it’ is this much of a narcissist? Do we really think that this omnipotent thing wants us to use hard earned money from people who desperately need it and take it under the guise that it is serving god to build decadent glorified halls? I think that it (being the god) would rather you give that money children starving around the world, use it for text books, education, medical supplies or anything really that will benefit society other than aesthetically for fks sake!

Surely taking this money and using it to build one of these is merely for PEOPLES egos rather than to honour anything? I mean I’m pretty sure if there is a god it doesn’t have an ego and so the building of these massive decadent Churches, Mosques, Temples or whatever are peoples own pissing contest!

Personally I think these are magnificent buildings, they really are and I seriously recommend you go visit and appreciate the beauty of their history and architecture (if you don’t fell like travelling CLICK HERE and go see the rest – they are truly spectacular. The greatest ones are those in this article that are small and unique in position or age or origin)

BUT I really do feel, just like with religion in general (and this is a much larger discussion for another time), humans have taken it and manipulated it to feed their own hubris (that’s means arrogance for those of you who didn’t have my vagina drawing Latin teacher)!

When I look over these photos again I can’t help but wonder how many meals, vaccinations and mosquito nets these buildings represent and if this would not be a far greater way of honouring god than building a showy and self indulgent castle to show off!

St Michaels Monastary - Kiev

I see you driving round town with the girl i love and I’m like . . .

Its not often that someone signing a version of a song is funny – let alone hilarious!

I love this song!

Not the shit ‘forget you’ edited version they keep murdering (as they do with every song) on 5FM but this beautifully expressive no holes barred version and to watch someone sign this kind of emotion out is just sensational!

(I suppose if you were to drive in Joburg everyday you would see most of these actions just without the soundtrack)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oseH9dErZLM&feature=player_embedded

Via Lize Kay

Do anti smoking campaigns really work?

I’m a smoker! I LOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEE to smoke! I love it after sex, with coffee, after a big meal, on my home and the list goes on!

Chances are I’m going to have to give up within the next year, not for any other reason than, well I know I have to really.

Is it because of anti smoking campaigns? Probably partially but really we live in a world of so much free information about everything that it doesn’t take anti smoking campaigns for me to realise the stuff is bad for me. I mean really, do the anti smoking establishments think I quiver in my boots when I read ‘Smoking can be harmful if I’m breast feeding’ on my pack of smokes?

The truth is I’m part of a generation where we believe everything happens NOW! If we want something, we go get it. If we want to know something we Google it. If we want to express something we update our Facebook status or Tweet – it’s as simple as that! We just need everything instantly; we need cause and effect immediately otherwise we just don’t get the point!

So when adverts like these come out about anti smoking it just doesn’t hit home. Maybe I’m a little less sensitive than other people but I look at these, I feel a little sick and then I go outside and have a smoke to calm myself down again! The truth is I may as well be looking at clubbed baby seals or dying children in Somalia – they all evoke unpleasant feelings but they don’t make me want to quit smoking!

The fundamental question is while these adverts are creative, interesting and well thought out do they impact a generation really that needs instant reaction? If we cannot almost immediately see, hear or feel it do we still react to it?

You look at the pics I’m going for a smoke!

One of the hotels i stay in actually has one of these in their smoking rooms. Its actually quite cool to have a smoke and lay on your back checking what it would feel like and wondering who that hot blonde chick is!

For the rest of them GO HERE!

Want to get high?

Although I’m sure a lot of you would answer yes to that, I’m referring to a slightly different high. One that involves mountains, strange suits, jumping and a fuckload of adrenaline. It seems like people have always been fascinated by flight – ask 100 people what animal they would be if they could change and 63 will say a bird (serious, I didn’t just make that up). So anyway, this must be the closest thing a human can come to unassisted flight. I think you come quite close to death too, but shit, this is absolutely incredible.

Watch it.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaMTSOI1Zk4

The power of great teaching . . .

I have had the pleasure of two spectacular teachers (probably would have had a few more had I gone to more than a handful of lectures at varsity but fuck it, it was much more fun where I was) in my academic career so far.

The first was an English teacher in my first year of high school who reminded me much of the brilliant John Keating in Dead Poets Society – it was probably all in my head but this man made me want to learn. He made me fascinated in what he was teaching purely by THE WAY in which he taught it! This is far more than I can say for the hundreds of other teachers and educators I have had over the years!

The second, to be fair had me won over the first moment I walked in the door, he had a giant vagina sketched on his board and inquiring as to why he merely stated ‘I was giving a few pointers to the older boys.’ Needless to say he was a Latin teacher!

The point is in both cases these two men, and coupled with the lecturers at Harvard Business School and a few exceptional international & local speakers, have found a way to connect with their students, to engage them and to get them to buy into the subject matter themselves! The ability to do that is unfortunately so rare (for a number of reasons of which I’m sure salary / lifestyle are fairly high on the list) and so desperately needed because really if you think about it what is more powerful than being able to get young students to learn? What is greater than an EDUCATOR rather than a TEACHER?

We have seen a number of these kinds of educators on TV and no I’m not talking about the learning channels on SABC who would put and ADHD kid into a coma. I mean things like the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, Myth Busters and even Bear Grylls. While they may seem like interesting shows merely brought about for our amusement (or disgust – yeah he slept inside a dead camel) they are constantly jamming knowledge down eager people’s throats!

I was sent this clip which made me think about just how brilliant great educators are and how interesting they can make any information.

I mean this guy is talking about 200 years of income VS life expectancy!!

If he were lecturing this in a class I would have jammed two pencils up my nose and played Woody Woodpecker on my desk BUT yet just watch this clip and tell me you don’t find it fascinating! Tell me you don’t learn something and tell me you wouldn’t want this guy to be a teacher of yours or your kids!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo