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Jeff Werner

Designer in Vancouver, Canada. Secretary of the 221A Artist Run Centre, member of Fieldwork design collective, and former exhibit designer at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and the Vancouver Aquarium. Graduate of Emily Carr and University of Victoria, and worked in the Philippines, Indonesia and the Netherlands. Cycling advocate and race on the Garneau Evolution team.

Reading

Buffalo Charging

I've been reading about 19th C. Metis Prairie hunts so I changed the name on my telephone from 'Telus' to 'Buffalo' while it was plugged in this morning....

Review in Tabs: The Orchid Thief

A review in tabs—excerpts I found noteworthy in Susan Orlean's novel about orchid collectors in the swamps of Florida, about what passion really is and means. The non-fiction novel formed the basis for Charlie Kaufman's film Adaptation, which inspired me to read the book. Page 30 Is what I did ethical? I don't know. I'm a shrewd bastard. I could...

Review in Tabs: Life of Pi

A review in tabs—excerpts I found noteworthy in Yann Martel's novel about a boy trapped on a life raft with a zebra, hyena, orang-utan and tiger. Page 31 "I'll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for a while. We must all pass through the garden of...

Saguaro by Carson Mell

A review in tabs—excerpts I found noteworthy in Carson Mell's—who as far as I can tell is a young independent writer—writing about Bobby Bird, "a classic rock star who's been producing rock albums of greatly varying quality since the early 60s", 2006 (second edition 2008; ordered directly from Mell and his apartment in LA). Page 7 "But here I was,...

Transcribed Inspiration

Passages from films I've found particular poignant / relevant / inspiring of late. Adaptation John Larouche's pollination monologue Note: skip to 3-minute mark "Point is what's so wonderful is that every one of these flowers has a specific relationship with the insect that pollinates it. There's a certain orchid looks exactly like a certain insect, so the insect is drawn...

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

A review in tabs—excerpts I found noteworthy in Gladwell's latest sociological look at the factors that contribute to the outstanding success of individuals with talent, drive and, most importantly, the right opportunities at the right time. Page numbers from the first edition hardcover, November 2008.

David Foster Wallace Dead

The most influential artists in my life seem to kill themselves soon after I discover them. Spalding Gray, Elliot Smith and most tragically of all, today, David Foster Wallace. David Foster Wallace Dead of Suicide at 46 My favourite author, a man who was highly influential in not just informing my writing style in both essays, blogging, and even online...

Anne Frank House

I likely first heard about the Diary of Anne Frank in grade school, though I don't recall reading the actual diary. I never gave her much thought again until I happened to walk past the Anne Frank Huis, now a museum and major tourist attraction, on my first visit to Amsterdam in 2003. At that time I vaguely understood...

Studying in Translation

So while most of my Dutch peers and instructors conduct our Public Space Department classes in English at the Design Academy Eindhoven, often entirely for my benefit (sometimes I'm the only non-Dutch at the table)--and for which I must say I am so grateful and in debt to for such accommodating kindness and self-restraint--they'll still occasionally lapse into Dutch...

Umberto Eco's Intern

I walked up to him across the lawn of the stable, near the old red barn, and shook his hand. And Umberto Eco replied "You talk too much. In the car you were gossiping and gossiping with that man." Then he looked away, but in a manner that said he didn't mind me. He would tell me more soon,...

A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink

A review in tabs—excerpts I found noteworthy in this look (paperback, 2006) at the new 'Conceptual Age' and how right brain thinking--art & heart--will lead the next generation of Americans to better happiness, health and wealth in a world increasingly automated by computers and workers in India taking over tech jobs.

Mitch Hedberg Revisited

So I was catching up on some classic Hedberg. You know, since I was introduced to him I have both consciously and unconsciously altered my personality in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. He is a model for humour and delivery: --------------- "I have an underwater camera just in case I crash my car into a river, and at the last minute...

Kahn on Enriching Design

Andreas, a friend and student at Stanford University's Graduate Design Program, relayed this to a couple of us yesterday: Some Project Guidelines and Thoughts about the Program [PDF]. It's a five-page outline by Matt Kahn, a professor of art for nearly 60 years at the school, and has some advice on how students can approach their thesis subject. It's nice...

Faith in Numbers

An outlaw faith healer with sock monkeys for the kids Was the status message on Cat's gChat and I thought to myself I like the sound of that. Google brought me to In/Words 5.2, a Carleton U. student publication and prose by Rich Terfry. I read the whole thing and there was that same line. And more. And I asked...

The Constant Gardener by John le Carré

A review in tabs—excerpts I found noteworthy in this fictional account of the pharmaceutical industry's plundering and ethics in Africa and a British diplomat trying to solve the mystery of his wife's murder because of her involvement in exposing it.

Captain Canada

Origin: Daniel Eaton is selected by Captain Newfoundland (a.k.a. Captain Atlantis and Samadhi) to become Canada's national superhero, Captain Canada. Eaton is given a powerful costume and is then, through encounters with various superheroes and goddesses, taught about the many levels of consciousness and sources of mental power. - From the Library of Canada website on Gaurdians of the North...

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

A review in tabs—excerpts I found noteworthy in this follow-up to Card's Ender's Game, his Hugo-winning novel about training genius children for military leadership and about the fear and miscommunication between races. In Speaker we return to Ender and his role in developing community and race relations.

Loser Goes First by Dan Kennedy

A review in tabs--excerpts I found noteworthy in this short autobiography by a young American guy who wanted fame in music but settled for a string of jobs like packing CDs, slinging coffee at the first Starbucks and writing ad copy.

A review in tabs: Nick Hornby's Songbook

This review is more like a summary of my response to passages I recently tagged with little coloured sticky notes in Nick Hornby's pleasant Songbook (2002, McSweeney's Books)---short musings of some of his (the author's) favourite pop songs and the genre in general.

Current Reading

He Died with a Felafel in His Hand - John Birmingham, 1994 The Amazing Adventures of The Escapist, No. 1 [comic] - Michael Chabon, 2004 Songbook - Nick Hornby, 2002 High Fidelity - Nick Hornby, 1995 Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation - Lynne Truss, 2003 The Elegant Universe - Brian Greene, 1999...

Ware gets Graphic

The UVic student newspaper, the Martlet, published my review of Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth (Chris Ware, Random House, 2000). (Link active April 1-7)....

Limp

This noun/verb is mentioned in the tome I'm currently immersed in for a second time since like high school, D.F. Wallace's Infinite Jest, hailed by some as a modern classic US-Of-A hit in fiction lit., a claim I'm as yet undecided on except to say it's one dang interesting read from just a formalist, school-of-pop-culture, student-of-writing subjective perspectiveSo ya "limp"...

Book: Jimmy Corrigan

Finished the agonizing, horribly depressing tale, the miserable life, of Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth (Chris Ware, 2000). A graphic novel compilation tracing the suffocating reunion between a hopelessly lonesome, depressed, looser protagonist and his estranged father....

Current Reading

No Logo Naomi Klein (2000, Vintage Canada) Literary Lapses and Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town Stephen Leacock (1910, 1912, Prospero Books) Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware (2000, Pantheon) Graphic Design, A Concise History Richard Hollis (1994, Thames and Hudson) Papers of Samuel Marchbanks Robertson Davies (1947, 1949, 1985 Totem Press) Josef Mller-Brockman: Pioneer of Graphic...

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