Peter at the beach

The other day at work I learned that you can remove backgrounds from images in Word 2010. What takes 10-20 minutes to do cleanly in GIMP takes 10 seconds in Word: insert picture, click "Remove Background" under "Picture Tools", and you're done (provided the image isn't too detailed). Insert a new background image, click "send to back", and you've got a new setting. Mind blown at the simplicity of a utility that's been there all along. Here's Peter from The Snowy Day and Whistle for Willie in new landscapes.


Amanda Palmer: The Art of Asking (TED)

I know many feel TED talk fatigue, & I can be one of them. But if you're interested in the sharing economy, or art, or Twitter, or bringing humanness to a busy impersonal place or interaction, or even just or maybe especially *how to present a short talk well*, I recommend Amanda Palmer's 13-minute talk (2013):


"The Friends List: a Poem in 292 Parts"--Carolyn Guinzio

I love Carolyn Guinzio's "The Friends List: a Poem in 292 Parts"--a short stanza on each of her Facebook friends. On Facebook, Kathleen Ossip shared it and wrote that it "chimes with affection and connection". I think so, too, but also think some sections capture the slightness and wisp-like surprise, the oddity of some of those connections--it's a poem that makes sense of Facebook, when "Making Sense Of Facebook" sometimes doesn't seem so far from "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All".

A few brief excerpts that I hope it's okay to quote (read the entire poem here*):

She was worried 
about the phantom
kittens in the grate.

I was won over
by the fictional contents
of the fictional little girl’s purse.

I both knew and did
not know that was her
at the next table.

You can look, but I think
he has already found
all the good fossils.

Where can she be
at peace?
On a horse.

Even at the hospital,
I see her in the light 
of chandeliers.

*link may be broken after a week or two--just learned of poet's intention to only keep the page up for a short while


Neon salesman's suitcase


 "One amazing relic of the golden age of neon are the suitcases carried by neon salesmen. They contained every color they could make. The suitcases are so beautiful. You open them up, and there’s a little switch for each tube. If you turn them all on—which you’re not really supposed to do—you just get this incredible rainbow radiating out of the suitcase. It must have been so magical when a salesman walked into a little shop and opened up his suitcase, especially when neon signs were first starting to catch on."

--Kirsten Hively, via Collectors Weekly