Sunday, June 9, 2013
Remember those Cracker Jack toys--a little picture that "moved" and changed back and forth if you tilted it this way and that?
OK, you don't even know what Cracker Jack is. Never mind.
Anyway, printing that can only be seen from one angle is being used in a clever poster by Mexico's ANAR Foundation--on the subject of child abuse.
It's a large poster of a boy's face--from the height and viewpoint of an adult, it's just a kid. But if a child is standing there, from a lower angle, the lenticular process shows the kid's face bruised and abused. There is also printing only the child can see that tells the tot where to go for help.
The printing is done on ridged material--when the ridges face down, the message only shows from below.
Can you think of other uses?
Go to http://www.anar.org for more info.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Well, according to the Acoustical Society of America, a parasitic fly called Ormia ochracea, which is native to the Southeast United States and Central America, has ears that sense sound pressure--much like human ears do.
Ronald Miles, a professor of engineering at Binghamton University, and his team, studied the way this tiny fly could target sounds coming from different directions.
They designed a microphone small enough for a hearing aid that does the same--pivoting inside the ear in response tro changing sound pressure.
Of course, this took a ton of tinkering--the creative part. That, and saying, "Hey, I think that fly is listening to that guy over there--what a great idea for a hearing aid."
The paper will be presented at the 21st International Congress on Acoustics in Montreal June 2-7.
For more...check out: http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/603695/?sc=dwhn.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Croatia is joining the European Union in a month or so and 466 square miles of it are still studded with mines from the Balkan Wars of the 1990s.
Bees have a perfect sense of smell that an sniff out explosives. They are being trained to associate the explosive smell with a food smell.
To test the trained bees, the researchers put out pots of food and pots of food laced with TNT. The bees go for the TNT mixture.
Of course, they admit, it's easier to train one bee than thousands.
Creative? Maybe a little wacky--but yes.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Justin Brady, owner of the Test of Time graphic design company, writes about how some companies have it all wrong on the creativity subject (WSJ, May 23, 2013).
Along the lines of my post below on serendipity, Brady says some companies open up work spaces, create tiny conference rooms, set out catering, and offer free child care--and then wait for the ideas to flow.
Creativity and its cousin innovation, as Brady terms it, are not the product of gimmicks.
The gimmicks come out of the creative environment--not the other way around.
"The process of real creativity," Brady writes, "is messy, chaotic, sometimes even disgusting, and it reeks of failure, experimentation, and disorganization."
Most leaders don't want real creativity, they just want the results of it, Brady says.
Truly creative companies have leaders that listen, strain to find meaning in what the person is saying.
They empathize, put themselves in the speaker's shoes. They WORK to find the truth in what the person is suggesting or saying.
And third, you need trust. Sometimes an idea makes no sense to anyone but the innovator--you need to trust that person in order to poke, prod, and form the idea.
If you hate failure, you aren't ready for creativity. It's scary and sloppy. And letting people bring their pets to work or offering free wine on Friday afternoon won't make it appear out of nowhere.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
These were magnified 100 million times!
How would you like to trudge off to work and do something like this?
Hint: You will see something in this film you recognize from this blog.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Rachel Emma Silverman wrote about this in the WSJ, May 1, 2013.
Companies are not leaving chance to...um...chance. They are looking at what makes 2+2=5 and trying to institutionalize it.
Companies are analyzing their teams down to the ground, trying to fit skill sets together like puzzle pieces, and arranging for people to be thrown together where they might spawn the "big idea."
They also put "playful" prompts in elevators and on walls. Maybe the THWIM thing (see title of this blog) came from one of those in the olden days. THINK?
Google makes sure each worker is never more than a 2.5 minute walk from every other worker.
What do you wanna bet they still text?
Zappos closes off halls and a skybridge to make sure people have to go out on the sidewalk where they will encounter supposedly inspiring common folk. Expect a homeless app any day.
People also work in what is basically the building lobby--it's magic, said one exec.
People with common interests are matched up for lunch. They can even lunch with people in overseas offices via a monitor.
Salesconference.com has yes and no doors. You answer a question, such as "Is your work tapping into your inner genius?", by walking through one door or the other.
Is there a door for "Would you like to slam this door?" Enough already! Retreats, executives swapping work responsibilities...I need a morphine drip to even type more of this!
How about a million dollars and 10% of the backend for every patent you bring in that makes any money?
I could get real spontaneous for that!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
David Cohen, TechsStars: Ideas tend to come when you are hard at work on something else. For instance, he said, I wanted info on music and could not find what I wanted, so I created earFeeder--it checks your computer for music and then sends info on those bands.
Vivek Wadhwa, Singularity University: Coming up with ideas is not necessarily a young person's game. The typical entrepreneur is a middle-aged professional who knows the market and starts a company with his or her own savings.
Angela Benton, NewME Accelerator: Look outside your industry to see how others are attacking problems. Be present in your life. Do things you are invested in.
Samer Kurdi, Entrepreneur's Organization. The key is not the idea but the entrepreneur's willingness to try and keep trying.
Ben Baldwin, ClearFit: Let your subconscious do the work. Smell the flowers and let your mind pop out a solution.
Brian Spaly, Trunk Club: Be sure you can fail fast and cheaply and move on if need be.
Victor W. Hwang, T2 Venture Capital: Listen to weird stuff, watch obscure documentaries, walk in weird places, talk to weird people.
What isn't such a good idea: Reading a market forecast from a big-name consulting firm and creating a product for that need. This from Guy Kawasaki, Apple.