Monday, September 18, 2017

Thee Oh Sees, Selfie Sticks & How To Talk To People About Things

Weekly Update 2017-38: Nostalgic garage psych-rock from California's Thee Oh Sees, a better use for selfie sticks, and Misha Glouberman's How To Talk To People About Things.

Music: Thee Oh Sees
This band is a weird one. The only consistent thing about Thee Oh Sees is the frontman John Dwyer, constantly changing the name with his mood. Originally called OCS during the post-millenium psych/rock/garage resurgence, the band has since seen many names such as Orinoka Crash Suite, Orange County Sound, and more. The constant band names seem to match their erratic sound and thrashing guitar licks. Somehow it all comes together into a style of music that's great for heandbanging or chopping vegetables to.

Check out Carrion Crawler/The Dream, my favourite release of theirs.

And a bonus: I guess Wikipedia generates these cool little charts representing all the changes of the band's members. I especially appreciate the fact that the band consistently employs two drummers at once now. Gotta have a strong percussive presence.

Last week I applied for the Emerging Designer Competition held by the Design Exchange, and started planning my experience for the Exhibition for Design, Information and Technology coming up at the end of the month. I'm really excited about all the cool stuff that the Design Exchange is doing at the moment.

I also finally joined the Slack group for DesignX, Toronto's newest (and seemingly most communicative) design-related group. It's nice to have a place to share ideas, get feedback, and chat with other designers. You can find more about DesignX and join the Slack group here.

This week, I'm going to attempt to begin the process of setting up a file to 3D print. I'll be checking out the Fort York Library on Wednesday, so hopefully I'll be able to get some guidance there if I run into any issues.

Random Thought: Selfie Sticks
Ever since my first encounter with a selfie stick, I have constantly thought that they were basically useless beyond being a symbol of the vapid turn that first-world society has become.

Then, I noticed some kids skateboarding in the park with selfie sticks to record their tricks. After watching one of those videos, I think there is a hidden potential that we haven't yet uncovered. Much in the same way that GoPros provide an interesting new first-person POV for viewers of film, so too does the selfie stick. Take this video for example:

The angle that is produced by a skateboarder holding a selfie stick while they skate around, provides the perfect way to understand how a body must move to retain balance and perform tricks. This view is much more helpful for me to understand how to actually balance on a skateboard, than say, another person filming it from a few feet away. 

I wonder what other activities could benefit from selfie-stick filming to better understand how they're done. 

Inspiration: How To Talk To People About Things
You may have read my ramblings about Trampoline Hall on this blog before. The host, a very exuberant and charismatic Misha Glouberman, glides around the stage with feet and words, moderating and attending to questions and keeping the room somewhat under control. He is very, very good at this job, so I jumped at the chance to be a part of his own lecture series/workshop on effective communication, cheekily entitled How To Talk To People About Things.

I've attended one class so far out of the total six, and it's shaping up to be a very interesting class. I especially admire the diversity of the people in attendance, mostly women but from completely different backgrounds and walks of life beyond that. Further, within only one class, we have become comfortable enough with each other to promise a certain level of openness that I think will be the only way to ensure we all meet the goals we want to achieve for the class.

Beyond that, it's kind of nice to come back to a classroom setting after being out of school for so long. Call me crazy but when fall hits the trees, I find myself sometimes longing for a pencil and an uncomfortable school desk. 

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