Sabtu, 31 Juli 2010

0 Buried buildings, like icebergs in the ground

[Image: Watership Down by Maier Yagod and Jon Reed at the Cleveland Public Library].

In a project for the Cleveland Public Library, designed by Toronto-based architects Maier Yagod and Jon Reed, "domestic fragments" have been embedded in the pavement, forming a surreal new kind of public bench:
    Watership Down creates a scenario where five houses are frozen for a moment in a process of complete submersion into the ground of the Eastman Garden. Placed throughout the Garden, the gables of these houses project out of the earth at various angles. These create focal points of interest within the garden and become follies to climb, sit and rest upon.
Taken too far in one direction, of course, this idea could very easily become a kind of postmodern joke—architectural theme-props for a children's playground—but the installation manages to avoid explicit dramaturgy, its fragments more like Gordon Matta-Clark's Building Cuts emerging from the surface of the city.

[Image: Watership Down by Maier Yagod and Jon Reed at the Cleveland Public Library].

A fever of roofs pushing up from below, breaching ground level with the archaeological buoyancy of lost ships.

[Image: Watership Down by Maier Yagod and Jon Reed at the Cleveland Public Library].

While the deliberate use of simulated building fragments can run the risk, mentioned earlier, of simply repeating the PoMo theatrics of things like "upside-down buildings," the evocation of underground architecture, like tombs, scratching through the earth, buried by an orderly landslide of the urban fabric around them, is an interesting direction to take.

Jumat, 30 Juli 2010

0 Upcoming Gmail Features

How many changes can you spot in this screenshot of an internal version of Gmail from the Chromium OS bug tracker?

Here's what I noticed: there are three links for "mail", "contacts" and "tasks" below Gmail's logo, there's a new button for composing messages, a "call phone" option in Gmail Chat, a drop-down for switching between Google accounts and the options that let you select unread or starred messages use less space.

{ Thanks, Mateo. }

Kamis, 29 Juli 2010

0 Tips for Tipping in Every Food Scenario

We’ve all been there. I order my small black coffee, hand the barista my debit card, grab the pen to sign off, and halt at the gratuity line. Am I supposed to add something here? Am I cheap if I don’t? Can I just pretend I already tossed some change in the tip jar? I don’t know—and it’s far too much indecision to deal with before my cup of the black morning elixir.

Any American old enough to read a menu knows we’re expected to tip as our server politely clears away our meal at restaurants. We feel confident about what’s expected in these situations (15 to 20 percent, in case anyone needs reminding).

But what about today’s alternative eating-out situations — beyond the confines of the standard sit-down restaurant?

The Bar
Sure, sure, we’ve all heard the standard dollar-a-drink rule. But what if I also order food? Or I end up sitting there through two sporting events (meaning about six hours)? I can’t possibly be expected to shell out a buck per drink if I’m with a huge group. The eminent etiquette expert, Emily Post, approves equally of both the dollar-per-drink guideline and adding a 15–20 percent tip to the total bar tab.

The Takeout Counter
Whenever I go through the takeout dance with a host (she retrieves my food, I pay—inevitably with a credit card — and my eyes scan down to that darned gratuity line), I feel anxious. Am I rude if I don’t tip? A sucker if I do? What’s the proper percentage? (Surely not the full 15 to 20 percent.)

“I’ll leave a couple of dollars, maybe more if it’s a larger order and required more work by the host,” says Heather Chang, a former hostess at a San Diego gourmet pizza restaurant. What constitutes more work? “Things the host would’ve helped put together, like a salad or something that required fancy packaging.” If this turns out to be the case, 10 percent is plenty.

At the Doorstep
Delivery is hardly limited to pizza at this point; everything from sushi to barbecue seems available as a to-go order. No matter what specific cuisine I’m craving, what’s the delivery person expecting in terms of tip? Luckily, there’s a whole Web site,, dedicated to these people’s livelihood to clarify matters. “You’re supposed to tip the pizza delivery driver like you tip the waiter,” says the site. “They rely on tips and use their own car.” Despite the fact that restaurants tack on a delivery charge, the person performing the actual delivery isn’t seeing any of this—meaning, tip like you’re sitting at a restaurant table: 15 to 20 percent. (C’mon, someone’s actually bringing food to your home, meaning all the work you’re doing is moving from the couch to the front door for a hot meal.)

The Coffee Counter
The tip jar—it sits right next to the register, staring at me as the barista rings up my order. Sometimes it’s full. Sometimes it’s empty. The last thing I need before my coffee is a moral dilemma. A dollar in there seems like way too much (over 25 percent!), but tossing in change feels cheap.

Tip jars, according to Post, carry no obligation. But when should we contribute to them? And how much? My sister, Amber Firestone, is a former barista who isn’t afraid to enlighten me on tipping expectations: “If all you’ve gotten is a plain coffee or tea, you’re probably not going to offend anyone by not tipping,” she says. “If you order something complicated or if you’re a regular, you need to toss something into the jar.”

Is the change toss-in really enough? “Totally,” Amber says. “Even that adds up over the course of the day.”

The Super-Gourmet Coffee Counter
There are a slew of coffee shops that make going above and beyond expectations their MO. I’m not talking about the usual chains—I’m talking places that make quality brews and service an art. It’s important to note that not all coffeehouses are created equal in terms of craft. Most chains have a mechanized process for brewing, so all baristas have to do is push a button and pour to complete our orders. In these cases, forgoing the tip is probably all right.

On the other hand, getting a custom-made, single-drip brew from a place like Philz in San Francisco does call for a gratuity. In places like this, where the coffee is truly gourmet and made to order, a dollar tip, minimum, is definitely merited.

Alternative Service Restaurants
These are the spots that aren’t exactly self-serve but aren’t quite sit-down-and-order, either. Maybe we order our food at a counter, then a server brings it out to us. Others even have us grab the food ourselves, limiting the service to the people who clean up our tables when we finish. Buffets fall into this category, too. Do I cut the tip in half if I’m doing half the work? Or is the icky-cleanup half worth more than the taking-my-order half? Post says that, yes (whew), we can reduce the tipping amount—but only by a little, leaving 10 percent of the total. Of course, we should also use discretion, depending on the level of service. Did they run back to the kitchen to get that special sugar-free sweetener for you, or happily fix an order the chef flubbed? Reward positive behavior—especially if you want to come back for equally great service in the near future.

Instead of having to memorize a different percentage expected for each situation, we can all fall back on a few recurring rules in ambiguous, awkward moments. When in doubt, 15 percent is a safe bet. Tips jars? Spare change is quite all right. If you’re a regular, tossing in a fiver every once in a while will probably keep those smiles and prompt service coming. And in any situation, service that delights should definitely be honored in return with a monetary thank-you.

Written on 7/30/2010 by DivineCaroline. DivineCaroline a place where people come together to learn from experts in the fields of health, spending, and parenting. Come discover, read, learn, laugh, and connect at Credit: TheTruthAbout...

0 YouTube Increases Video Length Limit to 15 Minutes

YouTube decided to increase the video length limit from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. It may seem like a small change, but YouTube is testing the waters before dropping this limitation.

"Without question, the number one requested feature by our creators is to upload videos longer than 10 minutes. We've heard you, and today we're pleased to announce that we've increased the upload limit to 15 minutes," informs YouTube's blog.

The main reason why YouTube added a 10 minutes limitation back in 2006 was that a lot of users uploaded full-length movies and TV shows. Now that YouTube uses a content identification software and Viacom lost the case against YouTube, Google's video site can safely remove this arbitrary limitation. YouTube is cautious, so it will release incremental improvements.

"We've spent significant resources on creating and improving our state-of-the-art Content ID system and many other powerful tools for copyright owners. Now, all of the major U.S. movie studios, music labels and over 1,000 other global partners use Content ID to manage their content on YouTube. Because of the success of these ongoing technological efforts, we are able to increase the upload limit today," explains YouTube.

0 Find Blogs Using Google Blog Search

I remember that someone asked Matt Cutts if Google could restrict search results to homepages. He answered that it's a good suggestion, but adding [-inurl:html -inurl:htm] to your query works pretty well.

Now you can restrict Google results to homepages, but only if you're looking for blogs. Google Blog Search has always highlighted a small number of blogs related to your query and now you can find even more blogs by clicking on the "homepages" filter from Google's sidebar. Google's definitions of blogs is vague and it's likely that any site that offers feeds is included in Google Blog Search's index.

"We've updated Google Blogsearch to make it easier to find blogs that match your query, instead of just finding blog posts. The blogs tool on Google search results filters your results so you see only blog posts. We've added a homepages option that shows a full set of blogs related to your query," informs Jeremy Hylton in a Buzz post. Here are some examples: [tesla car], [google], [android].

{ spotted by François Beaufort. }

0 YouTube's Playlist Bar

YouTube started to show a persistent bar at the bottom of the page that shows the videos from the active playlist. For example, if you click on a video from your subscriptions, the bar lists other recent videos uploaded by your favorite users. Click on one of your favorite videos and the bar is populated with the rest of the videos. The bar is also useful if you add videos to the queue, a temporary playlist built dynamically.

Sterling, a reader of this blog who noticed the new bar, found an annoyance: "Even if the cursor isn't over the bar, it still pops up, so if you go rate a video, favorite or share it, as soon as you move near the bar, it pops up, blocking those settings, so you have to either scroll down or click on the bar to collapse it. It looks like the spot where the bar is triggered is just above where the video player ends when it's in shrink mode."

Once you collapse the bar, it no longer auto-expands, at least until you watch a new video. I couldn't find a setting that disables the bar or moves it to its original position.

{ Thanks, Sterling. }

0 Give Yourself a Break – and Become More Productive

It sounds paradoxical, doesn’t it: by taking a break, you can get more useful work done. But it really works.

You can struggle along for days, weeks or even years, working hard but without really producing anything good. With so many interruptions and distractions (from meetings to phone calls to Twitter), it’s easy to come to the end of a week and question what you’ve really accomplished.

If you’ve ever worked on a big project, whether at work or in your personal life, you’ll know how easy it is to get bogged down in trivia – or to procrastinate. Rather than plowing on grimly, sometimes you just need to take a break. Here’s why.

You’re Not Very Productive When You’re a Quivering Wreck

I’m a freelancer, and I realized a while back (while trying to follow various time management tips) that one of the big areas where I “lost” time was when I kept pushing myself and pushing myself to work ... ending up burning out.

If you work too long or too hard, you’re working yourself up to a crash. You’re not going to be at all productive if you’re lying in a ball on the floor, or if you’re lashing out at employees or relatives because you’re so stressed.

Looking Forward to a Break Helps You Stay Focused

Have you ever had a whole day to get something done – and ended up spending most of that time fiddling around with other tasks? I’m sure most college students are familiar with the essay-writing process, which involves a lot of cups of coffee, sharpening pencils, doodling, filing lecture notes – anything but actually getting on with the essay!

When you give yourself all day to do something, chances are it’ll end up taking all day. When you give yourself two hours – with the promise of a proper break at the end of that time – it’s much easier to concentrate and stay on task.

Limited Time Makes You Stick to Important Tasks

Another problem with plowing on, and on, and on with work is that you’ll often end up doing unimportant tasks: the ones which let you look or feel busy (like repeatedly checking emails). When you know you have an end point for your work session, you’re forced to focus on the things you really need to get done.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, go through it and put the numbers 1, 2 and 3 against the three most important tasks – the things you really must get done. Then work through them in order, and don’t switch to anything new until you’ve completed them. This is a great way to race through work and to avoid darting between tasks without finishing anything.

Your Mind Keeps Working During a Break

Have you ever had a great idea when you were in the shower, or driving, or doing the dishes? Your unconscious mind doesn’t switch off when you’re having a break: on the contrary, a period of time when you’re not focusing on a particular task is just what your mind needs in order to come up with something amazing. What might you be missing out on because you’re not giving yourself that sort of thinking time?

All it takes is one or two good ideas, well-executed, for you to live the life of greatness. Most of the influential creatives throughout history – including present ones – started with one really good idea. The rest of their life was spent either working on that idea or living off of the fruit of that idea. You may be incubating that great idea, or you may be one step away from it and I want you to get it out so we all can enjoy it.(Charlie Gilkey, Demystifying the Creative Process, Productive Flourishing)

Breaks come in different shapes and sizes. A five-minute break to gaze out of the window can calm you down and prevent you from trying to work in a frantic but unproductive way. A week’s vacation can give you a whole new perspective on your life.

What sort of break can you take today, or this week?

Written on 7/29/2010 by Ali Hale. Ali writes a blog, Aliventures, about leading a productive and purposeful life (get the RSS feed here). As well as blogging, she writes fiction, and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing.Photo Credit: JOVIKA

Rabu, 28 Juli 2010

0 Quick someone give me an award for being the most self-absorbed blogger!

Took a ton of camwhoring shots when I was doing my last essential advert so here they are!!

I made a lot of stupid faces.

Also, numbered for your easy criticism/reverence. See? I'm so considerate. Now instead of saying "In the fourth photo from bottom you look like a whore with ebola" you can just say "In photo 19 you look like a whore with ebola". Nice!

That's all folks!!

p/s: LOL Hilarious follower on twitter suggested I really put a photo of a whore with ebola as photo 19 so I went to google image "whore with ebola" and all I got were super gory photos wtf. So yeah, I guess ebola is not really that funny, ahem.

p/p/s: Also generated a photo of Paris Hilton.

0 More About Google's Experiments

A new Google paper gives more information about Google's experiments. Google tests many new features on a subset of users and that's the reason why you may see a different Google search interface, a new background color for Google ads or more Google search results.
At Google, experimentation is practically a mantra; we evaluate almost every change that potentially affects what our users experience. Such changes include not only obvious user-visible changes such as modifications to a user interface, but also more subtle changes such as different machine learning algorithms that might affect ranking or content selection. (...)

An experiment in web search diverts some subset of the incoming queries to an alternate processing path and potentially changes what is served to the user. (...) In addition to specifying how serving is changed via alternate parameter values, experiments must also specify what subset of traffic is diverted. One easy way to do experiment diversion is random traffic, which is effectively flipping a coin on every incoming query. One issue with random traffic experiment diversion is that if the experiment is a user-visible change (e.g., changing the background color), the queries from a single user may pop in and pop out of the experiment (e.g., toggle between yellow and pink), which can be disorienting. Thus, a common mechanism used in web experimentation is to use the cookie as the basis of diversion; cookies are used by web sites to track unique users. In reality, cookies are machine/browser specific and easily cleared; thus, while a cookie does not correspond to a user, it can be used to provide a consistent user experience over successive queries. For experiment diversion, we do not divert on individual cookies, but rather a cookie mod: given a numeric representation of a cookie, take that number modulo 1000, and all cookies whose mod equals 42, for example, would be grouped together for experiment diversion. Assuming cookie assignment is random, any cookie mod should be equivalent to any other cookie mod.

That's probably the reason why you can "opt-out" from an experiment by clearing Google cookies.

{ via SEO by the Sea }

0 A New Social Google Service?

There's a lot of speculation about a new Google service called "Google Me" that is supposed to compete with Facebook. Most likely, the service will expand the already existing profiles and activity streams, while adding support for social apps.

Wall Street Journal reports that Google has been in discussion with companies that develop social games for Facebook. "Google is in talks with several makers of popular online games as it seeks to develop a broader social-networking service that could compete with Facebook, according to people familiar with the matter."

Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, said that "the world doesn't need a copy of the same thing", suggesting that Google won't try to imitate Facebook. It's clear that Google hasn't anticipated Facebook's success, placed losing bets and efforts like OpenSocial couldn't save Facebook's competitors from extinction.

Now that people spend a lot of time online using Facebook and find information filtered by their friends, even Google's search engine can become less useful. A lot of information is trapped inside Facebook: social connections, status messages, discussions and Google can't use most of the data to improve the relevance of search results.

Google has been more concerned with creating open standards for building social apps, for delivering real-time notifications, for public preferences, aggregating social graph data, but it didn't manage to build a coherent user experience that links all these pieces.

0 Quick Links 14

[Image: A film still from Wolfen].

<1> Reduced to Rubble | Cartographies of the Absolute:
    There are a myriad of films that came out in the seventies and eighties that depicted, documented, exploited, and/or contributed to this dystopian image of a section of one of the world’s greatest cities reduced to rubble, not through aerial bombardment but so-called ‘benign neglect’ and ‘planned shrinkage’: Bonfire of the Vanities, Fort Apache, The Bronx, 80 Blocks from Tiffany’s, etc. Most of these, as well as a series of Hollywood films that use NY as a set for acts of shocking violence (one could add Death Wish, C.H.U.D., The Warriors, Escape from New York, Driller Killer, and innumerable others to the list) say little about what created the situations, usually implying that urban decline is a natural process and that the resulting depravity is the inevitable result of packing people together (especially non-white people).

    One of the more ambitious and unusual films to fall under this rubric is the 1981 horror film Wolfen. An unusual mix of werewolf movie, police procedural, and serial killer thriller, Wolfen is based on a 1978 novel by Whitley Strieber, and directed by Michael Wadleigh, best known for directing the documentary Woodstock (1969). Entangled in a plot symptomatically torn between political history, capitalist practice and mythologies of the land, Wolfen is an odd and beguiling narrative about a critical moment in the collapse of radical politics and the emergence of a feral neoliberalism against a backdrop of urban dereliction and real estate speculation.
<2> Open Carry | L.A. Times:
    More than a dozen people packing pistols on their hips strolled down the Hermosa Beach strand Saturday, picking up garbage and distributing fliers about the rights of gun owners.

    The event was part of a burgeoning and controversial "open carry" movement nationwide promoting the right to carry guns in public. Although carrying a concealed weapon is illegal without a permit, California allows people to openly carry guns in many areas as long as they are unloaded, though they can keep ammunition with them.
[Image: A 20,000 square-foot underground shelter by Vivos; courtesy of Vivos].

<3> An Investment in Life | USA Today:
    Jason Hodge, father of four children from Barstow, Calif., says he's "not paranoid" but he is concerned, and that's why he bought space in what might be labeled a doomsday shelter.

    Hodge bought into the first of a proposed nationwide group of 20 fortified, underground shelters—the Vivos shelter network—that are intended to protect those inside for up to a year from catastrophes such as a nuclear attack, killer asteroids or tsunamis, according to the project's developers.

    "It's an investment in life," says Hodge.
[Image: Photo by Spencer Weiner for the Los Angeles Times].

<4> The Mogi Doughnut | L.A. Times:
    Seismologists call the possible pattern a Mogi doughnut. It's the outgrowth of a concept, developed in Japan, which holds that earthquakes sometimes occur in a circular pattern over decades—building up to one very large quake in the doughnut hole.
[Images: Emergent North by Lateral Office/InfraNet Lab].

<5> Emergent North | Bustler:
    Emergent North looks at the challenges and opportunities of the public realm, civic space, landscape, and infrastructure emerging from a unique geography. Ms. Sheppard and Mr. White will conduct two travel routes through Nunavut, Yukon, and Northwest Territories, as well as Alaska and Greenland, to gather first-hand knowledge and documentation of Far Northern settlements.
[Images: Photos by Linda Pollak, courtesy of Urban Omnibus].

<6> City of Alternate Signs | Urban Omnibus:
    [Linda Pollak's] investigations into mysterious carvings in the granite sidewalks of Lower Manhattan have much to teach us about the ways natural forces determine urban form. They also have yielded photographic imagery that is visually arresting on its own. I happened to glance at one of these images in Linda’s office last winter, and immediately afterward I started seeing the “cuts and patches” they depict everywhere I went. Turns out many of them are coal chute covers, relics of a different era of energy infrastructure in formerly industrial neighborhoods like SoHo or TriBeCa.
<7> City of Acoustic Side-Effects | Local Ecologist:
    If you stand at the edge of the inner most ledge of the spiral and utter "Ah" you are supposed to hear "Ah" as if you spoke it into an echoing microphone.
[Image: Institute of Oriental Studies, St. Petersburg/Giraudon/Art Resource, via Saudi Aramco World].

<8> Great Tent Cities in Muslim Lands | Saudi Aramco World:
    From the Middle Ages onward, European travelers... wrote admiringly of great tent cities in Muslim lands—especially in Central Asia, but also in Turkey, Egypt and later Mughal India. They were astonished at the size and organization of these cities that at times numbered thousands and even tens of thousands of tents.

    The cities that amazed Europeans were not simply the black camel-hair ridge tents of the Arab world or the domed yurts of the nomadic Central Asian tribes. They included movable palaces, some complete with mosques, that housed traveling royalty and their vast entourages, or were set up to mark important celebrations, such as the marriage or circumcision of members of the ruling house. And it was not just the size of these tents that caught western eyes, but their splendor and comfort, and the way they served as showcases for wonderful textiles: cloth of gold, brocade, ikat, embroideries, velvet, chintz and appliqué.
<9> The Man Who Moves Buildings | Guardian:
    Jeremy Patterson moves large structures from place to place... Patterson's latest monster move involved a 19th-century brick mansion on a hill, which the owners wanted transported five miles south to their winery... Patterson and his crew dug out the foundations and cut holes in them at intervals, into which they slotted a lattice of 110-foot steel beams. Then they pumped the beams up on jacks, demolished the foundations, slid some wheels underneath and drove the whole thing away... He can't stop talking about what an insane idea moving a building is. He kept mentioning the threat of the house collapsing and killing everyone. A few minutes later he collapsed himself, of a suspected heart attack.
[Images: The SNOLAB neutrino detector and mine in Ontario, Canada].

<10> The Light Below | BBC:
    Scientists are looking to relocate an underground experiment searching for dark matter to an even deeper site. Cosmic rays striking the Earth could completely mask the rare dark matter events sought by the experiment. Team members want to cut out as much of this cosmic ray interference as possible, even if it means moving the experiment 2km below ground. This could help them positively identify the particles thought to make up dark matter. Dr. Marek Kos, who is a team member on the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search II (CDMSII) project, outlined details at the International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) in Paris. He said the experiment could be relocated from a mine in Minnesota to a deeper facility in Ontario, Canada.
(Some links via Steve Silberman, Jim Rossignol, Nicola Twilley, and possibly others I've forgotten; don't miss Quick Links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13).

Selasa, 27 Juli 2010

0 How To Discover Your Productivity Patterns

When it comes to the work you do every day, what are the things that truly only you can do because they are an extension of your unique gifts and abilities? These are the things worth organizing your day - and your life— around.

Beyond these genuinely unique contributions, daily work-related tasks and responsibilities generally fall into the four categories described below. The key to discovering your productivity patterns is to identify what tasks you spend your time on and then organize and plan them in a way that allows you to make the most of your time.

When you do, you’ll find that you are able to get more work done in a shorter amount of time, and your sense of accomplishment and satisfaction of a job well done will grow.

Time Sensitive Tasks

These are things that have to be taken care of at a specified day and time. For example, if you scheduled a visit for your annual checkup six months ago, this is an appointment you need to keep. Likewise, if you have a meeting with your accountant, be sure you are available and ready to meet at the agreed upon time.

The time to ‘take control’ of your appointments is when you make them. Rather than accept the first appointment time offered or the first meeting date suggested, make sure that the proposed date and time is convenient for you before you commit.

You can even plan ahead to batch some of these necessary appointments. Those of you who know me and read my blog know how extremely important I think this is. For example, if you have to meet with a client on site (across town), what else can you schedule ahead of time to do before or after the meeting while you’re in the area?

Collaborative Tasks
These are things that require and benefit from the participation of others. From team conference calls and strategy sessions to performance reviews and mentoring sessions, collaborative tasks involve you interacting with other people. In a larger work environment, you might already know that these people-friendly tasks can burn up the clock like nobody’s business. On the flip side, if your business is primarily you and you alone, you might be tempted to gloss over this category, but don’t forget about client meetings, client calls, and oh, did I mention meeting with clients?

You can do your part when you’re involved in the milieu of group scheduling to be clear about when you are available. Be specific and be bold. For example, if you know that a 2:00 pm call on Wednesday would be best for you, go ahead and throw it out there and ask if that works for those who are an essential part of the meeting.

Believe it or not, many of those endless scheduling marathons are simply the result on no one proposing a specific day and time! Your time and the time of those you are meeting with is precious—use it wisely.

Creative Tasks

Today’s competitive marketplace requires everyone to be creative and think original thoughts. Effectively scheduling this category of tasks involves not only knowing when and how you are most creative, it involves respecting that knowledge enough to use it.

To illustrate this point, an acquaintance of mine who happens to be a writer knows that there is predictably one particular week of the month when she is at the top of her game in terms of creativity. Ideas come easily, words flow like lava, and her energy level greatly surpasses any other average week for her. She admits that when she’s smart, she keeps this in mind when creating deadlines for herself and her clients. Of course, this doesn’t mean she’s off the hook the other three weeks of the month, it simply means that she knows she should reserve particularly challenging creative tasks for that week whenever possible.

Would Rather Get a Root Canal Tasks
Even after you’ve delegated and you’ve shucked and you’ve procrastinated, there are tasks you need to do, but simply don’t enjoy very much. It’s perfectly normal, but you still need to get them done. If you haven’t already, figure out what works to motivate you to accomplish the tasks you don’t look forward to. For some people, it’s the satisfaction of being able to cross them off a written list. For others, it’s a modest reward (an iced coffee, etc.). For me, it’s a ‘V’ in my Victory Column. Hey, whatever works!

Ready to Put Your Productivity Patterns into Practice?

Begin by keeping a simple task log for the next 3 days. Write down the things you spend your time on. You can use the categories just described as a starting point. Depending on your work, you may readily identify others. If not, keep jotting down tasks and then look for patterns.

Once you’ve captured your tasks and categorized them accordingly, consider how you can batch them for efficiency. For example, if you’re not a morning person, make sure to reserve afternoons for your collaborative tasks. If you know you are restless in your normal work setting on a particular day of the week, consider making that day your appointment day. The possibilities are endless, as is your potential when you focus on the little things that matter.

Todd Smith is the creator and author of Little Things Matter—daily lessons to help you become the person you need to be in order to achieve your goals and live the life you want.

Written on 7/27/2010 by Todd Smith. Todd is the creator and author of Little Things Matter—daily lessons to help you become the person you need to be in order to achieve your goals and live the life you want.Photo Credit: Ingorrr

Senin, 26 Juli 2010

0 Live and direct

As some of you might know, I am @bldgblog on Twitter—but I've also started an account called @bldgbloglive so that I can live-tweet events, lectures, sites, interviews, panel discussions, and more without clogging up @bldgblog and driving readers insane with an avalanche of instant messages.

So far, I've covered graduate research presentations here at the CCA given by Léa-Catherine Szacka, Zubin Singh, S. Faisal Hassan, and Molly Wright Steenson, but I hope to post at least a few live notes from Foodprint Toronto this Saturday—and then many more events and lectures to come.

So if you want to see occasional, quantitatively intense bursts of descriptive micro-messages sent live from the front lines of the lecture hall, consider adding @bldgbloglive to your list of sources; if you'd prefer—or would also like—the odd link to good articles here and there, don't miss @bldgblog. And, of course, if you are wondering why you might also consider using Twitter, here are some random thoughts about its note-taking potential.

0 Google Punch

A video posted by Google shows the name of a new Google Docs feature: Google Punch. A "punch" is a Google Docs filetype, just like a document, a spreadsheet or a presentation.

Here's the video:

One of the definitions of the word "punch" is "an iced mixed drink usually containing alcohol and prepared for multiple servings; normally served in a punch bowl". Maybe Google Punch is a free-form document that lets you combine data from other documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms. What do you think?

{ Thanks, Jeremy and Mark. }
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