Tag Archives: Recreation

Rob Ford Time Bomb Has Taken Months to Explode

It’s obvious what a public relations debacle Rob Ford’s situation is, and plenty has already been written on it. As one with an interest in PR, there’s a particular aspect I find very interesting.

It’s amazing to me that the situation taken this long to detonate. I remember reading in Gawker six months ago about this video of the Toronto mayor smoking crack. At that point it was just a bizarre, yet well-chronicled tale:

Gawker Original Coverage of Rob Ford Crack Video

Rob Ford, Toronto’s conservative mayor, is a wild lunatic given to making bizarre racist pronouncements and randomly slapping refrigerator magnets on cars. One reason for this is that he smokes crack cocaine. I know this because I watched him do it, on a videotape. He was f-ing hiiiiigh. It’s for sale if you’ve got six figures. -Gawker, May ’13

The only thing that came of it other than an interesting story and an IndieGoGo campaign at the time was suspicion toward the mayor that only added more doubt to a shady tale. If the mayor and his team were at all serious about salvaging their professional futures, coming clean immediately back then and making reparations in some meaningful way would have been the best course of action and avoided a Saturday Night Live parody. But here we are. It will no doubt be interesting to see how this plays out as a great example of a PR “don’t” for decades to come.

As a side note, I have a Canadian colleague who notes that this whole thing will go away once the world sees the actual video, stating that as long as Ford was polite when smoking crack (“May I see that pipe, please? Thank you, kind sir.”), no big deal. If he was rude — well, then it’s all over.

What do you think? Have you been following the Rob Ford story? How do you see anyone in the Ford camp making it through all this? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Find What You Love

Find What You Love by rsmithing
Find What You Love, a photo by rsmithing on Flickr.

And let it set you free.

This is a play on the phrase, “find what you love and let it kill you,” attributed to Charles Bukowski (or not). I like that phrase, but I also like the idea of setting something free or being set free in the name of love. This is a montage I assembled on my iPhone using a shot of a couple of treetops at sunset (with the moon rising), a roadside view of some wildflowers, and a gash of peeling paint in a parking deck. I also consider it to be in the style of my favorite visual artist, Jerry Uelsmann, whose work is endlessly inspiring to me. Click to see the originals and full-size version in greater detail at my Flickr photostream.

What do you think? Are there any literary quotes that have stuck with you through time? Have you ever been inspired visually by something from literature? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why – My Review

Deep Survival by Laurence GonzalesIn the face of catastrophe, and beyond luck, survival is as much a factor of mental acuity than anything else.

I just finished Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales. It’s a compelling book, and I’d recommend it not only for the gripping true stories of survival and the advice these tales impart, but particularly for its examination of how our brains work. This is as much a study of psychology and introductory neuroscience as it is a dos-and-don’ts of how to handle being lost at sea, stranded in the wilderness, or any number of other life-and-death events.

Consider this passage:

The limited nature of working memory, attention, and the executive function, along with the shorthand work of mental models can cause surprising lapses in the way we process the world and make conscious or unconscious decisions.

This is an eloquent explanation of how we can become distracted and thrown off from basic logic, like following standard safety procedures – things that mountain climbers, for example, should do practically as second nature.

And on adaptability, this passage:

We all make powerful models of the future. The world we imagine seems as real as the ones we’ve experienced. We suffuse the model with the emotional values of past realities. And in the thrall of that vision, call it, “the plan, writ large,” we go forth and take action. If things don’t go according to the plan, revising such a robust model may be difficult. In an environment that has high objective hazards, the longer it takes to dislodge the imagined world in favor of the real one, the greater the risk. In nature, adaptation is important. The plan is not. It’s a Zen thing. We must plan, but we must be able to let go of the plan, too.

Phrasing like this – and applying Zen principles to survival concepts – kept me interested the whole way through.

Deep Survival

Click to hear a sample of the Deep Survival audio book at Audible.com (opens in new window)

This book’s subtitle in some versions is “True Stories of Miraculous Endurance and Sudden Death,” and while it certainly covers that, it explores far more – particularly in terms of how the mind handles itself in extraordinary situations.

I listened to the audiobook version from Audible.com, narrated in the authoritative yet friendly baritone of Stefan Rudnicki. Visit the Deep Survival page at Audible  to read other reviews and hear a sample.

What do you think? Have you ever survived a near-death encounter? Have you ever been lost at sea, stranded, or otherwise in great peril? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Greenhouse Effect II – Single Image Sundays

Greenhouse Effect II by rsmithing
Greenhouse Effect II, a photo by rsmithing on Flickr.

An elegant, natural montage between man and nature, generations in the making. As one who appreciates montages, I find it remarkable to spot one in the wild. And highly enjoyable.

Bridge Ahead, Road Behind

Important: My vehicle was NOT in motion when this was taken! In fact, this was during a total standstill, which happened to afford a glimpse of resting gulls amid a view of leading lines in reverse juxtaposed with a pause in forward motion. Briefly. Shot with my iPhone, processed with the TTV Photo Studio app.

Triple Image Sundays: The Arteest At Work

This space is usually reserved for single image Sundays/Saturdays, but this week, it’s bonus time with a look both behind the scenes and close-up.

An Early Rose - click for full size view at Flickr

An Early Rose. Click for full-size view at Flickr

Sometimes, the moment presents itself to you and it’s just your job to step up and be a part of it. Awesome when that happens. Bonus: a behind the scenes view of what goes into a shot like this. Not very glamorous, but interesting, perhaps.

Like this? Do me a favor & share it on Twitter — thanks!

What do you think? Have you ever had a photo opportunity present itself to you, and were you ready to get the shot? Do you make a special effort to have your mobile phone ready just in case? Let us hear from you in the comments!