Saturday, July 31, 2010


Try it:


As a 3 Life Path, you possess great talent in creativity and self-expression. Many writers, poets, actors and musicians are born under the 3 Life Path. You are witty, possess a gift for gab and savor the limelight. Your talent for the expressive arts is so abundant that you may have felt drawn to becoming an artist at a very young age. However, your artistic abilities can only mature through discipline and commitment to the true development of your talent.

Thanks to your gift of self-expression, you can be the life of a party and the center of attention. However, you could easily squander your talent by becoming a social butterfly. Your creativity is a gift that can give you the comfort and luxury you desire, but not without continual focus and discipline.

You are optimistic, and you posses the resilience to overcome many setbacks. You are socially active, popular and inspire people with your happy-go-lucky attitude. You can be generous to a fault. Many people born under the 3 Life path have difficulty handling money, because they can be disorganized, and not particularly serious about their responsibilities.

You are emotional and vulnerable. When hurt, you withdraw into a clause of silence, eventually emerging from you reticence with jokes and laughter that cover up your true feelings. You can become moody and cynical when depressed. You can succumb to sarcastic remarks, which can be painful to those around you. When used positively, your talent for self-expression can be a great inspirational force in the world, uplifting others, and bringing much success and happiness to you.

How to present the importance of design strategy to your CEO

How to present the Importance of Design Strategy to your CEO?

In D Management, D Thinking on January 30, 2010 at 4:58 pm

By visualizing its return on investment (ROI), would be the short answer.

The manifestation of design strategy, namely the creative process itself, is often or even in general not linear, regimented, easily measured, or even described successfully. There is also one other fact, namely that design strategy is rarely seen by others in organizations as strategic or even as possible leadership model of an organization. One of the possibilities design strategists or even designers have, is to visualize strategic design thinking in order to establish effective communication to a leadership of a mayor company. Simple model how to present return on investment of a design strategy is visualised in the Figure below. The first Figure presents when usually a company invites design into a mayor strategic project, looking for a return. Usually that is in the point X of the first Figure when the product and/or service are already in decline. The best that could be done by design and/or design strategy is presented by the line Y.

Figure: Presenting mayor design effort in an ordinary company

Source of the figure: Dziersk, 2008, p. 124

And what would be the possibility to gain a higher return on investment, be that development or redevelopment of corporate identity, new products and/or new services. And in that process create also an innovation pipeline. Possibility exists by creating a continuous pipeline of innovation, without even reinventing the wheel each time out (Dziersk, 2008, p. 125). The Figure below presents such a possibility by an example of a truly visionary company. We know that every investment, especially strategic investment has a negative return in the beginning of the investment. By creating a continuous wheel a possibility exits to even lower this first phases of negative cash flows. And not least, then there is a possibility to gain higher added value of a investment/s.

Figure: Presenting mayor design effort in a visionary company

Source of the figure: Dziersk, 2008, p. 125

Dziersk, Mark. 2008. Visual Thinking: A Leadership Strategy. in Lockwood T. and Walton t. (ed). Building Design Strategy. Using Design to Achieve Key Business Objectives. Allworth Press. New York. 257 p.



Posted on: March 30, 2010 12:39 PM, by Jonah Lehrer


Jonah1.jpgJonah Lehrer is a contributing editor at Wired. He's also written for The New Yorker, Seed, Nature, and the New York Times and is a contributor to Radiolab. He's the author of Proust Was A Neuroscientist. His new book isHow We Decide.

David Brooks, summarizing the current state of happiness research:

The daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting. According to one study, being married produces a psychic gain equivalent to more than $100,000 a year.

In other words, the best way to make yourself happy is to have a short commute and get married. I'm afraid science can't tell us very much about marriage so let's talk about commuting. A few years ago, the Swiss economists Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer announced the discovery of a new human foible, which they called "the commuters paradox". They found that, when people are choosing where to live, they consistently underestimate the pain of a long commute. This leads people to mistakenly believe that the big house in the exurbs will make them happier, even though it might force them to drive an additional hour to work.

Of course, as Brooks notes, that time in traffic is torture, and the big house isn't worth it. According to the calculations of Frey and Stutzer, a person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40 percent more money to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office. Another study, led by Daniel Kahneman and the economist Alan Krueger, surveyed nine hundred working women in Texas and found that commuting was, by far, the least pleasurable part of their day.

Why is traffic so unpleasant? One reason is that it's a painful ritual we never get used to - the flow of traffic is inherently unpredictable. As a result, we don't habituate to the suffering of rush hour. (Ironically, if traffic was always bad, and not just usually bad, it would be easier to deal with. So the commutes that really kill us are those rare days when the highways are clear.) As the Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert notes, "Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day."

But if commuting is so awful, then why are our commutes getting so much longer? (More than 3.5 million Americans spend more than three hours each day traveling to and from work.) In my book, I cite the speculative hypothesis of Ap Dijksterhuis, a psychologist at Radboud University in the Netherlands, who argues that long-distance commuters are victims of a "weighting mistake," a classic decision-making error in which we lose sight of the important variables:

Consider two housing options: a three bedroom apartment that is located in the middle of a city, with a ten minute commute time, or a five bedroom McMansion on the urban outskirts, with a forty-five minute commute. "People will think about this trade-off for a long time," Dijksterhuis says. "And most them will eventually choose the large house. After all, a third bathroom or extra bedroom is very important for when grandma and grandpa come over for Christmas, whereas driving two hours each day is really not that bad." What's interesting, Dijksterhuis says, is that the more time people spend deliberating, the more important that extra space becomes. They'll imagine all sorts of scenarios (a big birthday party, Thanksgiving dinner, another child) that will turn the suburban house into an absolute necessity. The pain of a lengthy commute, meanwhile, will seem less and less significant, at least when compared to the allure of an extra bathroom. But, as Dijksterhuis points out, that reasoning process is exactly backwards: "The additional bathroom is a completely superfluous asset for at least 362 or 363 days each year, whereas a long commute does become a burden after a while."
The same thing happens when we go car shopping. We tend to become fixated on quantifiable variables like horsepower (they're so easy to compare), while discounting factors, such as the cost of maintenance or the comfort of the seats, that will play a much more significant role in our satisfaction with the car over time. I'm always surprised when people brag about variables like torque or the speed with which the car can rocket from 0-60 mph. Who cares? I'd much rather spend 30 minutes testing out the front seat.

Update: Matthew Yglesias argues that the misery of commuting should lead to congestion pricing. I agree.

Inspiration: Marcel Wanders

Marcel Wanders is amazing!

Panasonic's package design

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Panasonic Gets A Gold Star For Earphone Packaging Design

Panasonic Stereo Earphones RP-HJE 130 (Image courtesy COLORIBUS)
By Andrew Liszewski

I can’t attest to the sound quality of these Panasonic RP-HJE 130 earbuds, but even I’ll admit that this brilliant packaging, designed by Berlin-based Scholz & Friends, would make them hard to pass up. It’s another case where a simple visual idea can outdo even the most elaborately designed graphics, and the fact that they’ve incorporated and displayed the actual product is worth a couple of bonus points as well.

Money won't buy you happiness is put to the test

Why Money Makes You Unhappy

Money is surprisingly bad at making us happy. Once we escape the trap of poverty, levels of wealth have an extremely modest impact on levels of happiness, especially in developed countries. Even worse, it appears that the richest nation in history – 21st century America – is slowly getting less pleased with life. (Or as the economists behind this recent analysis concluded: “In the United States, the [psychological] well-being of successive birth-cohorts has gradually fallen through time.”)

Needless to say, this data contradicts one of the central assumptions of modern society, which is that more money equals more pleasure. That’s why we work hard, fret about the stock market and save up for that expensive dinner/watch/phone/car/condo. We’ve been led to believe that dollars are delight in a fungible form.

But the statistical disconnect between money and happiness raises a fascinating question: Why doesn’t money make us happy? One intriguing answer comes from a new study by psychologists at the University of Liege, published in Psychological Science. The scientists explore the “experience-stretching hypothesis,” an idea first proposed by Daniel Gilbert. He explains “experience-stretching” with the following anecdote:

I’ve played the guitar for years, and I get very little pleasure from executing an endless repetition of three-chord blues. But when I first learned to play as a teenager, I would sit upstairs in my bedroom happily strumming those three chords until my parents banged on the ceiling…Doesn’t it seem reasonable to invoke the experience-stretching hypothesis and say that an experience that once brought me pleasure no longer does? A man who is given a drink of water after being lost in the Mojave Desert may at that moment rate his happiness as eight. A year later, the same drink might induce him to feel no better than a two.

What does experience-stretching have to do with money and happiness? The Liege psychologists propose that, because money allows us to enjoy the best things in life – we can stay at expensive hotels and eat exquisite sushi and buy the nicest gadgets – we actually decrease our ability to enjoy the mundane joys of everyday life. (Their list of such pleasures includes ”sunny days, cold beers, and chocolate bars”.) And since most of our joys are mundane – we can’t sleep at the Ritz every night – our ability to splurge actually backfires. We try to treat ourselves, but we end up spoiling ourselves.

The study itself is straightforward. The psychologists gathered 351 adult employees of the University of Li├Ęge, from custodial staff to senior administrators, for an online survey. (I should note that it remains unclear whether happiness and other aspects of well-being can be meaningfully measured with a multiple choice test. So caveats apply.) The scientists primed the subjects by showing them a stack of Euro bills before asking them a bunch of questions which attempted to capture their “savoring ability.” Here’s how the savoring test worked:

Participants are asked to imagine finishing an important task (contentment), spending a romantic weekend away (joy), or discovering an amazing waterfall while hiking (awe). Each scenario is followed by eight possible reactions, including the four savoring strategies referred to in the introduction (i.e., displaying positive emotions, staying present, anticipating or reminiscing about the event, and telling other people about the experience). Participants are required to select the response or responses that best characterize what their typical behavior in each situation would be, and receive 1 point for each savoring strategy selected.

Interestingly, the scientists found that people in the wealth condition – they’d been primed with all those Euros – had significantly lower savoring scores. This suggests that simply looking at money makes us less interested in relishing the minor pleasures of life. Furthermore, subjects who made more money in real life – the scientists asked all subjects for their monthly income – scored significantly lower on the savoring test. A subsequent experiment duplicated this effect among Canadian students, who spent less time savoring a chocolate bar after being shown a picture of Canadian dollars. The psychologists end on a bleak note:

Taken together, our findings provide evidence for the provocative notion that having access to the best things in life may actually undermine one’s ability to reap enjoyment from life’s small pleasures. Our research demonstrates that a simple reminder of wealth produces the same deleterious effects as actual wealth on an individual’s ability to savor, suggesting that perceived access to pleasurable experiences may be sufficient to impair everyday savoring. In other words, one need not actually visit the pyramids of Egypt or spend a week at the legendary Banff spas in Canada for one’s savoring ability to be impaired—simply knowing that these peak experiences are readily available may increase one’s tendency to take the small pleasures of daily life for granted.

This makes me think of the Amish. From a certain perspective, the Amish live without a lot of the stuff most of us consider essential. They don’t use cars, reject the Internet, avoid the mall, and prefer a quiet permanence to hefty bank accounts. The end result, however, is a happiness boom. When asked to rate their life satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10, the Amish are as satisfied with their lives as members of the Forbes 400. There are, of course, many ways to explain the contentment of the Amish. (The community has strong ties, plenty of religious faith and stable families, all of which reliably correlate with high levels of well-being.) But I can’t help wonder if part of their happiness is related to experience-stretching. They don’t fret about getting the latest iPhone, or eating at the posh new restaurant, or buying the au courant handbag. The end result, perhaps, is that the Amish are better able to enjoy what really matters, which is all the stuff money can’t buy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sparkling Water Recipes

Krazy in the Kitchen: Sparkling Water Recipes

Posted by Heather // Krazy in the Kitchen // Comments (1)

Remember this coupon?!?

$1.25/1 – LaCroix 8 pack or 12 pack sparkling water – (

Yesterday Joanie posted about Cheap Sparkling Water, which she just loves… and I have to admit I really don’t like Sparkling Water by itself… So, I found a few recipes that look yummy!

Coconut Cooler
By Bar None Drinks


  • 2 oz. Coconut Milk
  • 2 oz. Lime Juice (Fresh)
  • Sparkling Water


Shake milk and juice and pour over ice cubes in a glass. Fill with the sparkling water and stir gently. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade
By Martha Stewart


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pint (about 2 cups) raspberries, plus more for garnish
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • Classic Homemade Lemonade, or 1 quart store-bought lemonade (see how to get for free HERE)
  • Ice, for serving
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) sparkling water

Bring water, raspberries, and sugar to boil in a large saucepan, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve, pressing gently on berries to release juices; discard solids. Let syrup cool completely. Combine syrup and lemonade in a large pitcher. Divide among 16 ice-filled glasses. Top each with sparkling water, and vodka if using. Garnish with fresh raspberries.