Graphic Talk

My tennis buddies and I are discussing the pros and cons of purchasing services on line. I bought a designed logo, business card and letterhead from an online service that allowed me to choose submissions from 3 or 4 designers who bid on my job/design request. The company is crowdSpring and I loved their service and the options I could exercise. My friend John is a graphic designer and he sees this type of service as inferior to consulting directly with an artist. As you will see we are having some good fun with the subject.

Jupiter Enters Aquarius – a good year ahead

Originally uploaded by Laura Travels.

Oh mighty Jupiter, Lord of Fortune, Time and Expansion, bring me good fortune in the coming year and I’ll dance till the cows come home. Or as long as my wonky knees will allow me.

My friend Dawn told me it will be a very fulfilling year for me as Jupiter is entering Aquarius. Jupiter, Lord of Fortune and Expansion will bring prosperity to many levels for me. Oh boy, I’m due for a boost as I’ve begun a career change and stepping forward into the public domain as I never did before. Here is an excerpt from Astrology on the Web. You can click here to find out how Jupiter will effect your sign.

Aquarius, the Water-Bearer

Every year, Jupiter, Lord of Fortune, moves from one sign to the next, setting the stage of human consciousness for the ensuing year. January 2009 sees the change from earthy Capricorn, the Goat, to airy Aquarius, the Water-Bearer, generating better chances for general success in life, but invoking a restless, nervous and erratic atmosphere in the collective, especially at a political, financial and religious level (these are the areas mainly governed by Jupiter). Rob Tillett, one of the founders of Astrology on the Web, discusses the effects this new transit will have on the various signs of the zodiac.

Jupiter is an optimistic and expansive influence, so in the coming year a good deal of benefit comes your way, as Jupiter transits your sign. Your unique way of presenting yourself to the world comes under the spotlight and it is a great time to push yourself forward and achieve your ambitions. It’s the ideal period in which to pursue pleasure, advancement and executive honours. It’s just the year to follow that urge to travel! As your health and physical appearance improves and your individuality comes into focus, you’ll be uncharacteristically bullish and noticeably more outgoing and optimistic about the future. Pleasure is to be found just about everywhere! You should not hesitate to put your plans for advancement into action, as you will naturally attract attention and will exude confidence. Travel for pleasure, higher education or spiritual development is favoured, as people from distant parts or other religions and cultures to your own take the focus. You will benefit through interaction with them, so relax and enjoy the experience. Jupiter is expansive, but your expansion should not be mainly in the waistline! Avoid overindulgence in all forms, especially in food, drink and the pursuit of excitement, particularly gambling and speculation. Overconfidence will be the big trap.

8 Random Facts About Me

Too cool! Michele Martin, one of my most favourite bloggers ever has tagged me in the 8 Random Facts About Me meme. What a great way to start the new year. Now let’s see what revealing random facts about me will suffice for this challenge…

First, the Rules:

1) Post these rules before you give your facts

2) List 8 random facts about yourself

3) At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them

4) Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged

Now, the facts:

1. I have an identical twin and we communicate telepathically but prefer face to face.

2. I love to play tennis and I’m working hard to get a year round covered structure so we can play all year around (it’s cold in Aurora).

3  My mother is going to be 96 in 2 months, lives in her own apartment in my house… and is a true joy to have with me.

4. I’m venturing into the consulting field with my new business “Social Media Tools for Work & Learning” and my first project is to apply social media tools to help disseminate research project reports so they can be more widely understood and utilized in the community. (so exciting)

5. My daughter is in her 2nd year at the Toronto School of Naturapathy and she loves her career path. My son is completing his apprenticeship in cabinet making and loves his career path.. What blessings.

6. I’m a veteran of the new age movement (60’s, 70’s) and I’m still as passionate as ever with growing, learning, changing, sharing, discovering who I am and enjoying life to its fullest.

7. I played basketball in high school and college, winning the first ever national high school championship tournament in 1967.

8. Although a skeptic at first, I am totally into Eckhart Tolle’s book (and writings) “A New World – Awaking to Your Life’s Purpose”. His perspective is so clean, clear and deep (Michele, his approach to the monkey mind is life changing)

Now I’m tagging:

Emma Rooney

Evelyn Rodriguez

Robb Wall

Ewan McIntosh

Leigh Blackall

Alan Levine

Brian Lamb

Danah Boyd

That’s all folks,

End of Year – amusing, interesting, wow sites

Over the past week I’ve been busy pulling different resources together for my work and also enjoying some of my favourite blog sites with their best of the year posts etc… here are a few that I thought others might like.

50 Stunning Images From Flickr Under Creative Commons – The Future Buzz

50 Viral Images (and how they spread) – The Future Buzz

Review of 2008: 100 great articles – Jane Hart – interactive 360 degree panoramas

Top 10 Best Presentations Ever

Fuzzy Yellow Balls – OK, you know I love tennis!!

Lessons From the Art of Jazz – Presentation Zen – the sweet sticky thing (This music celebrates human beings and *our* creativity.”  – Wynton Marsalis)

An Awaking – the freedom road home

It’s been a tumultuous time lately. I am going through a major job/work/life change. I try to on a regular basis to reflect on what I am all about and why am I here in this world, I am creating conditions that I feel are going to be successful, especially in my work and I’m trying to meet my needs for companionship as well. Work goals are proceeding very well albeit some adjustments to a whole new way of thinking about work and being independent rather than an employee. On the companionship front, my life is full of new insights about my evolving understanding of who I am…..

Gosh, I won’t turn this post into an expose of my inner ruminations and reflections but I will say that I’ve discovered what my own freedom is. It’s finding my way home. Over the past few days, I see that not being free (not connected to home) is attaching myself to what I want, think, feel and expect..etc… and acting on these energies. To be living with or in freedom is to not do this. Freedom is to see, understand how I (I think we all do this) attach myself to my ideas and feelings and act on them but in seeing that path, choosing not to go down that road.

Of course this has been going on for many years and the play just keeps on repeating itself. Upon seeing this, I find myself in a new place and one that is really my home.. It’s spacious and ever changing, peaceful, beautiful, intriguing and ever powerful. I sense it as a place of freedom, where I’m not reacting to stuff, but dealing with stuff and also giving free reign to my creativity. It is what I believe many folks call the “field of now”. I like this place as it is a center where all stuff emanates from and I’m learning more and thinking less about so many trivial things.

I have known about this field of now for a long time but knowing is one thing and living in it is something that I’ve not discovered how to do.. It’s strange, it has always being there but I didn’t have touchstone or way to get to it until now… I’ll have more to say as the future unfolds.

I looked for a picture that would reflect freedom and awakening but I was mesmerized by Richie Haven’s performance of his song “Freedom” at Cannes. It will have to do..

Research Confirms Internet is Good for Young People

I loved this article that cites Danah Boyd’s (and others) research. She has been a part of a team of researchers at Berkeley and USC that focused on digital youth practices. Danah Boyd focuses on normative teen practices and the ways in which teens engaage in networked publics. So often I hear from teachers and parents about the wasted time on the Internet, it’s a pleasure to hear from researchers who are debunking these stereotypes.

The findings can be viewed and downloaded here:

Teenagers’ Internet Socializing Not a Bad Thing –

Good news for worried parents: All those hours their teenagers spend socializing on the Internet are not a bad thing, according to a new study by the MacArthur Foundation.

“It may look as though kids are wasting a lot of time hanging out with new media, whether it’s on MySpace or sending instant messages,” said Mizuko Ito, lead researcher on the study, “Living and Learning With New Media.” “But their participation is giving them the technological skills and literacy they need to succeed in the contemporary world. They’re learning how to get along with others, how to manage a public identity, how to create a home page.”

The study, conducted from 2005 to last summer, describes new-media usage but does not measure its effects.

Carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley, the digital youth project explores how kids use digital media in their everyday lives. Read more

Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers

A fascinating new book from Malcolm Gladwell. It looks very intriguing and I’ll definitely put it on my Christmas Book List.

gladwell dot com – outliers

What is Outliers about?

1. What is an outlier?

“Outlier” is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience. In the summer, in Paris, we expect most days to be somewhere between warm and very hot. But imagine if you had a day in the middle of August where the temperature fell below freezing. That day would be outlier. And while we have a very good understanding of why summer days in Paris are warm or hot, we know a good deal less about why a summer day in Paris might be freezing cold. In this book I’m interested in people who are outliers—in men and women who, for one reason or another, are so accomplished and so extraordinary and so outside of ordinary experience that they are as puzzling to the rest of us as a cold day in August.

Malcolm Gladwell Outliers