Humans of New York is a facebook site started as a photography project by Brandon in 2010, shortly after being fired from his finance job. Brandon started HONY to create a catalogue of New York City’s inhabitants, setting out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. Somewhere along the way, he began to interview his subjects in addition to photographing them, and alongside their portraits, would include quotes and short stories from their lives.
The facebook site now has over 11 million followers, and has recently turned a corner from an art site to creating social impact in a major way, with the photo and story of a boy named Vidal, from the HONY facebook page:
“Who’s influenced you the most in your life?”
“My principal, Ms. Lopez.”
“How has she influenced you?”
“When we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter.”
Vidal’s simple comment sent photographer Brandon to Mott Hall Bridges Academy to meet Ms. Lopez. Which then led to learning more about the school, and what they needed from Ms. Lopez and her team. Which led to an indiegogo campaign to send the 6th grade class to visit Harvard. Which led to thousands of people in the comments sections of these posts and follow up posts offering to help not only the kids in this school, but the kids in neighboring schools and kids in schools around the world.
And the story isn’t done yet. Brandon keeps taking photos of kids, teachers, administrators – hearing their stories, giving them names and voices and a platform for positive change. And people all over the world are responding with strength and encouragement and resources and networking. See a video here.
One photographer is changing the world. One face, one story at a time.
In the Age of YouTube, it’s becoming pretty much standard practice for up-and-coming musicians to post videos of their jam sessions or live performances online. And while the affordability of HD video cameras/phones may mean that the visuals in those videos look nice, music is first and foremost an auditory art-form. That’s why Sony is introducing a new musical-performance-specific camcorder, known appropriately enough as the HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder.
The MV-1 records audio in either uncompressed Linear PCM or internet-friendly AAC format, via a tunable 120-degree X-Y stereo microphone. Recording levels can be manually controlled, and a line-in port allows for direct feeds. Audio quality is monitored either via user-supplied headphones, or using the camera’s built-in speaker.
Video is captured by a wide-angle 120-degree lens – to ensure that all band members get in the shot – at a resolution of either 1080p or 750p (both at 30 fps). A back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor is claimed to capture sharp images even in dimly-lit clubs, and the option of manual exposure control will keep the iris from closing down every time a stage light comes on.
Footage is recorded to a Micro SD card or a Memory Stick Micro, in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format. Shots are monitored or reviewed using a 2.7-inch LCD screen, which can also be used to check and adjust audio input levels. Additionally, the camera can be remotely operated using a Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device – this could come in particularly handy in cramped venues, where a videographer would be in peoples’ way if they stayed with the camera.
The user’s mobile device can also be utilized to post footage online, via Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile app.
The Sony HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder will be available as of December, at a price of US$299.99. Footage shot with it can be seen (and heard) below.
This idea was the thesis project of Syracuse University Industrial Design graduate Amanda Savitsky. Measuring cups and bowls that are numbered, different colors, and different shapes, so those with autism spectrum disorders (and those just who like artsy cool measuring tools) can more easily follow recipe instructions. The Match Prep Cooking System design teaches linear left to right layout and employs workstations that create structure and routine, two powerful ways to encourage learning for people with autism. There’s even an iPad app that takes cooking preparation tasks and breaks them down into small steps – basically an online cookbook to complement these measuring tools. It doesn’t look like this idea has been manufactured yet, but this video shows the concept in use.
For a unique vacation experience, try a tiny hotel in Portland Oregon, where you stay in a tiny house in the Alberta Arts district. There’s lots of sights to see and things to do, plus local food shops will even give you room service!
Blurring the line between pets and plants, Dean Sauer and Andy Bass of Yonder Biology in San Diego have come up with the Dino Pet: a living, bioluminescent night light/pet. This little dinosaur-shaped food grade plastic toy is filled with tiny creatures called Dinoflagellates, saltwater, and nutrients. When the toy is set in light (sunlight, another lamp in the room), it absorbs the light. Then when you shake up the water, the sea creatures release the stored light.
This invention complicates the whole pet/plant paradigm. You have to feed the Dinoflagellates to keep them alive, so it’s like a pet. Yet it’s a sea plant. I guess it’s kind of like a fish, in that it lives in salt water and needs nutrients to survive. But yet it also is like a plant in that it uses photosynthesis to create light. So it’s a pet that creates light. How cool is that? Yes, this would be a fun biology project for kids, but geeky adults Continue reading →
Young photographer Ari Seth Cohen has captured the fashion sense and confidence of the classic older set in his book Advanced Style. As a boy, his grandma’s fashion sense, watching classic movies, and taking trips to the library to see pictures of the past enamored Ari. He was struck by the images of elegant and glamorous times where men and women wore hats, gloves, and dressed up because it was the thing to do. Advanced Style shows Ari Seth Cohen’s photos of real women, most in the age range of 60-100, many giving advice on how they chose styles that work best for them.
These are great ideas no matter what your age, but are especially wonderful for Continue reading →
On a walk through our neighborhood yesterday, I saw a cute wooden box, and inside it was a little free library of books! If you like little things, and you like to read, you might like the idea of installing a little free library near your house for the neighbors to enjoy.
The mission of the Little Free Library:
To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity, and wisdom across generations
To build more than 2,510 libraries around the world – more than Andrew Carnegie–and then more.
It took me a couple of times to get the full impact of this hero video. It’s only about a minute long, but it welds a powerful punch to visually project how, by standing up for each another, we can help build a better world for all of us.
Teaching and learning from each other has never been easier. Skillshare is a global marketplace for classes, where you can learn real-world skills from anyone, anywhere. Skillshare powers thousands of creative, collaborative classes on everything from programming to design to crafts.
Being’s that this is Good Friday, I thought I’d share a parable I wrote about grief, followed by an amazing song.
Parable of the Grief Boulder
What if you had a huge boulder of grief rolling along behind you your whole life – being chased like the boulder chasing Indiana Jones? It started when you were a little kid, in total terror running to get out of it’s way, and being crushed and bruised if you weren’t fast enough.
As you grew into a teenager, since you were growing stronger, you realized sometimes you could outrun the ball of grief. It became a game of Continue reading →
You’ve heard about 3D printing, right? It’s not just for industry anymore. Anyone can now design and print their own custom items. If you have an idea for a new product, Shapeways 3D Printing lets you model your design with their software, upload it to their site, choose the materials you want your item to be made of and what price you’d like to sell it for. Then Shapeways will SELL your item for you on their site, and you’ll get a cut from the sale. How cool is that? Check out the site to see examples.
This coffee table does double duty – its sleek and simple style classes up your small apartment or large house. And it’s designed in such a way that pre-fab panels can be slid into the pre-formed slot grid to create a working doll house. No more pink plastic Barbie house clashing with your nice furniture – now you can consolidate by purchasing ONE item that looks nice for your house…and is functional fun for your daughter or son (or adults who like posing action figures etc).
Spark Arts Center is a cute little shop set up to give art classes, art parties, provide art supplies and more to kids, families, and adults. It seems so often art is scrapped from schools due to budget cuts. Or art consists of a harried English teacher telling kids to draw illustrations for the paper they are writing – with no instruction help involved to guide a child on what/how to create beauty. Sparks Art Center is the brain child of Julie Jetton and Marla Munnich, artists and dynamo moms who’ve been involved in PTA and school fundraising, as well as inspiring kids and adults with their art and talents for years through teaching, mentoring, volunteering, and working professionally in Continue reading →
What a great use for scraps from 2×4’s! My son wanted to build something, but at the time he was only a third grader, and I’m not very handy with building tools. So we created this simple folk art project from scrap 2×4’s laying around the garage. Using a combination of nails and screws, we attached the boards, then painted them with outdoor paint. The sponge clown nose is attached with a nail, and the antlers are Continue reading →
Gift wrap – it’s pretty, but it costs a lot of money and then you throw it away. Here’s an earth-friendly alternative, especially if you have a lot of fabric or scarves laying around. Scarves, pillowcases, and random pretty fabric can all work …closed up with a few safety pins, rubber bands, or creative tying. Here are some examples:
Put your square or rectangle gift inside a pillowcase, fold the case over, then tie Continue reading →
Interesting short scientific facebook video about how the human heart can literally impact the world. Gregg Braden, former Senior Designer for Martin Marietta and Technical Operations Manager for Cisco Systems, has been featured in PBS, History and Discovery TV programming, film, and radio interviews.
Friendship Has No Boundaries Photo credit permission given by artist Aubrey Frimoth.
Voice Talent and co-owner of the Hughes/Taylor audio production company.
Encouraging thought leaders (those with innovative and sometimes odd, simple, practical ideas) through Better Ideas Now.
Creating Free fashion, frugal fun through Swap Positive.