Eclectic Curiosity


Late Night Ideas

Posted on October 22nd, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

As a longtime night owl – perhaps stubbornly so – I find this headline rather vindicating: Bright ideas come to us at night, not in office hours.

The article claims that, “research now suggests that if you want to be the wisest, you really need to stay up – well, until 10.04pm at least. This is supposedly the best time for a eureka moment, according to research.”

Good stuff. Now, if only the article’s author would actually cite what research study says this I will sleep better at night.

(Thanks Jane)… more


Posted on October 21st, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

Saw a pretty impressive play this weekend. Theatre so good that it elicits a reaction of silence by both using silence as a major plot theme and a dramatic device.

Described by [playright] Wajdi Mouawad as an exploration of “the questions of origins”, Scorched centers on Jeanne and her twin brother Simon, who are summoned to the office of a notary to hear the last will and testament of their mother, Nawal. They are each handed a letter written by their mother; one is to be delivered to their brother and one to their father. The mystery begins, sending them on a journey into their mother’s past, to a Middle Eastern country engulfed in a civil war where she was a political activist and later became a prisoner.more

Banksy’s Pet Shop

Posted on October 11th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

More Banksy brilliance.

This time it’s a fake pet shop in New York called The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill – his first official exhibition and the first Banksy project to employ animatronics – which aims to question “our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming”.… more


Posted on September 22nd, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

“First of all, let’s ask the questions: What do we need the skin of a car for anyways? What’s it there for? Does it have to be metal? Do we always have to make it in the same manner?”

These are the questions BMW’s Director of Design Chris Bangle asks in this stunningly sleek presentation of the GINA Light Visionary Model, a car shape-shiftingly skinned in fabric. Every season car companies advertise that their new designs are, well, new and revolutionary. This one actually is.

(Thanks Michael)… more

Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants

Posted on September 10th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

Step inside the Wild Beasts‘ transfixing music video for the falsetto lilting song Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants. The video employs the droste effect, an Escher-esque immersive technique in which similar smaller images appear spiraling deeper and deeper within the shot, to the nth degree.

Wild Beasts – Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairevoyant

(via Adland, who goes into a bit more detail on who put it together and how)… more

Three Nights of Culinary Bliss

Posted on September 7th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

Well aware of the culinary devotion and rigor of analysis that recreational diners on such sites as Chowhound and Zagat possess, I hesitate to call myself a foodie. But my experiences last week at three of the finest and most innovative restaurants in the US – Zenkichi, moto, and Alinea – probably say otherwise. That I would plan a trip around the chefs’ (and sommeliers’) tours leaves no doubt that I’m dedicated to this generalist thing, even on a taste level. 😉

The first outing, Zenkichi, was a pleasant accident. In New York with friends, one of us received a random text message recommending an obscure modern Japanese brasserie in Brooklyn’s hip Williamsburg area.… more


Posted on August 26th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

Alexandre Enkeril over at Disparate opens a recent reflective blog post about respect between academic disciplines with this interesting passage:

The diversity of skills, expertise, and interest is especially useful when people of different “walks of life” can collaborate with one another. Tolerance, collegiality, dialogue. When people share ideas, the potential is much greater if their ideas are in fact different. Very simple principle, which runs through anthropology as the study of human diversity (through language, time, biology, and culture).

The problem, though, is that people from different “fields” tend not to respect one another’s work. For instance, a life scientist and a social scientist often have a hard time understanding one another because they simply don’t respect their interlocutor’s discipline.… more

Know What You Don’t Know

Posted on August 25th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

Several nuggets of insight and good advice for Creative Generalists in this article – The Never-Ending Debate of Specialist v. Generalist – about computer technology, catch-all Craigslist job postings, and that “the more you know, the more you find out you don’t know.”… more

The Geography of Hope

Posted on August 17th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

…[H]ere’s the real crux of it, the thing that puts bounce in the step of the ones already on this path – there is the chance to be part of possibly the greatest project in the history of civilization, to be at the forefront of the generation that confronted the worst conflagration the world had ever seen – and sorted it out. Scientific American calls climate change “arguably the most imposing scientific and technical challenge that humanity ever faced”; a veteran British politician warns of “an ecological time bomb ticking away”; and the former chief economist of the World Bank predicts “major disruptions on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the twentieth century.” To look back, perhaps half a century from now, to say to our children – to our grandchildren – that we took all this on, fought and thought, worked our asses off, tried and failed and tried again, and finally got this wondrous new contraption moving down a clear path toward the sustainable city on a hill – what could be better, more worthwhile, more flat-out balls-to-the-wall exhilarating, than to be part of that?more


Posted on August 13th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

Some reflections on dilettantism, job searching, organizations, and personal branding, among other things, from the Unrepentant Generalist

One other interesting development during this job search was my realization that I have become more comfortable with my personal brand as a generalist. I can admit to myself that I am better at thinking across disciplines and considering the big picture than I am at specializing and making sure all the details are right, instead of trying to be good at everything. …

The really brilliant people, the deep thinkers, are the ones who are able to identify useful separations between the general and the specific.… more

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