Picture Sample

Sep 29, 2008

Weird Razor Webcam Shot

This is seriously wacked. Here's a screen shot of the city's webcam - located on city hall and pointing towards our office - with what appears to be human arms in the frame. I'm guessing it's a reflection on the window... I hope. 

Posted by email from stephenbrander's posterous


Testing out Posterous http://posterous.com/ to see how is works. It's a site that allows you to autopost everything to one central place. Seems pretty cool. 

Posted by email from stephenbrander's posterous

Jun 17, 2008

95 percent of all returned gadgets still work

This is research I believe. According to a recent study, of the $13.8 billion worth of returned products in 2007, only 5 percent were because gadgets were truly broken. Poor usability is often to blame. You can add me to this list as I still have a universal remote I can not figure out (and lost the sales slip). Read more here on Engadget.

Trash silhouettes

These are great. A spotlight, some trash and there you go --- art! Love to know how long these took to create. See more here.

Pixdaus - Amazing Photos

Wanna kill an hour or more, check out pixdaus.com

There seems to be no limit to the number of fantastic shots on this site. Best of all, anyone can upload. Check the site out here.

Jun 15, 2008

The Grass Is The Same Colour On The Both Sides Of My Fence

So, did you ever really think about your lawn? I was cutting mine (again) tonight and logically having one doesn’t make any sense at all. Here we are, building beautiful homes and surrounding them with what is essentially domesticated weeds. Having a lawn is one of the few things that people just automatically do. Got a house - gotta get that lawn planted. In fact, someone invented sod cause some people can’t get their lawn fast enough!

But where does it all come from? This desire to grow a green blanket around your domicile? I think it likely has something to do with mans desire to conform and have control over some (small) part of their life. At some point along the way it just became an expected thing to do. No doubt a King somewhere grew a lawn and all the peasants copied it to be like the King. A lot of things get started that way.

Lawns could also hearken back to some primal jungle urge. In this world of chaos, the lawn, especially for men, is one thing they can have complete control over. You can plant it, cut it, water it…and pity any weeds that even think about poking their heads out! Even if your lawn is only the size of a postage stamp, there’s a level of satisfaction that’s very hard to explain.

Having a lawn is class-less. You could live in a multi-million dollar mansion or a tar-paper shack, and still have a lawn. Even people who live in grass huts have lawns - in fact, they build their homes from their lawn. Maybe it’s one of those things that puts everyone on an equal playing field. Regardless of what the rest of the property looks like, visitors can still say “what a beautiful lawn”.

Then there’s the whole issue of mowing lawns. It’s a curious thing really. Have you ever watched people cut their lawns, or thought about how you do it? The way I figure it, the world is divided into two groups based on how you cut your grass: the row cutters and the circlers. You either mow up in a long row and turn around and mow back beside the first row but in the opposite direction - “a row cutter”. Or, you mow in an ever decreasing circle. You begin by going along the outside edge and mowing in a clock-wise fashion (always clock-wise) until the area gets smaller and smaller. Like a big hypno-disc - these are “the circlers”. And it doesn’t matter whether the area to be mowed is rectangular or some odd shape, these two practices prevail.

I’d like someone to do a personality study on the two types of mowers. My guess is that the “row cutters” are more anal retentive and the “circlers” are more dreamers. Just a theory.

So why do we have lawns? I don’t know. Habit I guess. I think I’m going to start my own trend though. A moat around my house instead of grass. Just dig it all up and fill it in with water. But then I guess, instead of mowing, I’d spend all my time fishing kids toys out of the water. It never ends.

Lego and Indy

Neat video that combines over 5 million lego blogs and a classic scene from Indiana Jones.

Jun 11, 2008

iPhone coming

By now we all know the iphone is coming to Canada July 11. Guess who just started a waiting list at the local Rogers store? Knowing Rogers, this likely means nothing but hey, felt good to know I'm first on the list. Can't wait.

Jun 8, 2008

Not a Gouda idea

Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling 2008

Death-defying clips from the 2008 Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake, where every year fearless competitors from around the world tumble down an almost vertical hill in Gloucester, UK, chasing an 8lb Double Gloucester Cheese. It can never really be caught as it reaches breakneck speeds but the first person to cross the line at the bottom of the hill wins the coveted cheese. Thousands of spectators turned up to watch again this year, and there were also a few of the usual injuries.

Vacuum Right-O-Way

So I was watching someone vacuum the other day. Why do people with vacuum cleaners think they have the right of way? Why do I have to move? Just wondering.

Jun 6, 2008

Pet Peeve

... people who stand on moving sidewalks at airports. If you want to rest, get a chair or hop on the golf cart. Other wise, get out of the way.

Jun 5, 2008

Interactive Card Trick

Great use of new media for a simple card trick. It's awesome. Try it, you'll be amazed.

(Took me a minute to figure it out but still very cool.)

Watch the YouTube video here.

Jun 3, 2008

Big is the new normal

I always suspected this... now here's proof. Portions of seemingly almost everything have doubled (or more) in size over the last 20 years. According to this article from CalorieLab:

"our typical slice of pizza has gone from the size of a hand trowel to that of a garden hoe. The basic eight-ounce coffee with milk and sugar has swollen into the 16-ounce Grande cafe mocha. Theater popcorn, once in a modest five-cup box, now comes in a container so cavernous that when you finish the popcorn you can wash your socks in it."

See more comparisons and read the whole article here.

Personalize your steaks

Brand a custom message into anything you grill with this nifty BBQ branding iron. I love this. See all the details and orders yours here. Think I'm gonna order me one of these.

Jun 2, 2008

Most likely to succeed: Ms. AirBag

Spell check can be your best friend ... or worst enemy.

Here's a funny article about how spell-check changed the names of some students in a high school yearbook: Max Zupanovic became “Max Supernova,” Kathy Carbaugh was "corrrected" to “Kathy Airbag” and Alessandra Ippolito was “Alexandria Impolite. Read more here.

Who's checking the checkers?

Beer Myths

Neat video from the HowStuffWorks website about beer myths.

See it here.

Bye-bye tray - hello bag

A great alternative to coffee trays.

May 29, 2008

Check Out This Rule

I have been observing and testing this theory for a log time and can now recommend with confidence:

Never go to a male cashier. Trust me on this one. If you are at a grocery store and are approaching the checkout and have a choice between male and female cashiers. Always go to the female.

I'm not being sexist but for some reason male cashiers are way slower than females. Doesn't matter how long the lines are, doesn't matter how old the cashiers are. Males are slower. Even if there are 5 people in line at the female cashier and only 2 at the male.


The female will always be quicker.

I'm sure there is a logical reason --- but if you want a sure-fire quick route through a checkout, always heed this rule.

May 27, 2008

Monkey Bar Terrorist Training

Ever notice when they show footage of a terrorist training camp -- they often show would-be terrorists on monkey bars. In fact I just saw it a minute ago on CNN. I don't know about you... but I'm not sure I know what monkey bars "train" you to do. Playground domination? Surely CNN and others can find a more accurate -- and scary -- stock tape to play over and over again. If they (either the news or terrorists) want to frighten the public, I think they can do better.

May 26, 2008

When is swearing not really swearing?

The standards on TV has lessened over the years, but the "F" word is still off limits. Or is it? Several TV shows have found a loop hole by using sexual acronyms.

In an episode of 30 Rock that aired in April, the show featured segments of a mock reality show known as "MILF Island." (MILF = Mothers I'd Like to F___)

The teen drama "Gossip Girl" , in a promotion, uses the text-message phrase "OMFG" (Oh My F____ing God)

So if they use an acronym, and we say the word in our head instead of hearing it. Is that really different?

I don't know, but all I can say to this trend is WTF?

Chairs that make a splash.

Add these to my wish list.

FANTASTIC chairs that look like a splashes of Milk. Designed by Michael L. Wendel, these Splash Lounge chairs would make a great prize for our old friends at Milk.

Found on Trendhunter.

Is it time to break your "birth clock"?

The "Birth Clock" by Alex-vF an Interaction Designer and Visual Designer, is a fragile glass object containing a digital clock that is not working; it is designed to help you to come to a decision when you're stuck at a specific point in life. Smash the glass, and the clock will start to work, leaving you with the broken object as a reminder of your dramatic decision. Leave the object as it is, and you remain out of time, having the beautiful object as a reminder of your resistance to change. What would you do?

May 23, 2008

One Gate, Multiple Locks

I love stuff like this... and how people solve problems.
What do you do if you have a locked gate but more than one person is permitted to open it? You don’t want lots of different key, because if one person loses their key --- everyone needs a new one.

The solution?

Multiple locks, chained into one long lock. Open any lock to open the gate. This way each person needs to manage their key (and lock). Genius.

Goes to show that there is always a solution. Always a better way. And simple, once again is better.

Found this on the Improvised Technology portion of Kevin Kelly's site.

May 16, 2008

Garbage Garbage

We just had what I like to call "throw anything out day" as part of our regular garbage collection. Where you can get rid of practically everything.

Got me thinking.

How would you every throw out a garbage can?

Think about it. If you place a garbage can at the end of your drive way as "garbage", would they pick it up?

I bet not.

Theory of declining gratitude

From time to time different theories pop into my head. Mostly from observations of life or things I come across. I notice something, stick it away in my head, then test it and see what happens.

I'll post some of my previous thoughts/theories later, put here's my most recent one. Feel free to test this concept yourself and let me know your results.

I call this one -- the "Theory of declining gratitude" or "the more doors, the less thanks".

Here's an example. Let's say you are walking in front on someone and are entering a mall or building with multiple sets of doors. And lets assume you are a polite person and hold the door open for the person behind you, and they, in return are also polite. The theory states that: The more doors you open, the smaller the "thanks" you receive.

So -- if you hold open one door -- a person might say "thank you".

If there is a second door -- a person might only say "thanks".

And if there happens to be a third door you hold open -- they likely will say nothing.

The more doors... the less thanks you get.

Try it. And let me know.

But here's the lesson I take away from this observation. We all know it's important to be polite and say thanks -- but its easy to stop saying thanks when someone repeatedly does good. Like in my door example. So whether its at work, at home or out in public, think about who you should say thanks to whom you haven't for a long time. Who are you under appreciating. It's never too late to say "thanks".


So here's my new blog. I've been thinking about this for a while now. I sometimes contribute to our company blog razorcreative.blogspot.com but I thought I needed another outlet for some of my musings and ramblings that don't quite fit the style and format of that blog.

So here it is. Please excuse the horrible masthead -- I'm not the designer. I'll likely ask Rich to help me with that later. But for now it will do.

So on with the postings. Stay tuned.