I met Gwen about 3 years ago at a Nintendo Brand Ambassador event in Seattle. Didn’t know at the time that she was kind of a big deal. Since then, she’s “blank-slated” (her term) her digital self a number of times. It’s been interesting to watch her build it back up, only to burn it down shortly thereafter.
Here’s an email “interview” I did with her.
Do spend some time checking out her work and offerings while you’re at it.
“We have a million fonts, a million colors, and a million piles of shit leaving our fingers all day long. It’s just sad to me, because when you look at this [vintage ephemera], it’s just about communication. One font and a thing called hierarchy.”—Aaron Draplin on the simplicity of vintage design, delivered at the Brand New Conference.
“Imagine Johnny All-Star tells you his father used to throw bottle caps to him to hit in their basement to improve his hand-eye coordination. Great story. But now you’ve got to ask him to describe the basement, to tell you what drinks the caps came from (Yoo-Hoo? Root beer? Ginger Ale?), to tell you if he ever nailed his father in the eye with one of those caps—all the things that turn a generic story into a specific time and place for the reader. The time to think about those details is not when you’re sitting down to write, but as you’re listening and reporting. There are great reporters who are not great writers. I can’t think of any great writer that’s not a great reporter.”—Tom Verducci
I think year-end “best-of” lists would be so much more interesting if they focused on what the reviewer actually listened to, rather than what they thought they should like. Thanks fo the magic of things like last.fm, this is actually pretty easy.
In that spirit, here are my Top 20 Albums of 2012, based upon actual listens recorded by last.fm:
“The first thing I heard today was that he grew up on a pig farm. That’s quite a start in my book. And my last memory was watching him hang 70 on Nebraska. Just those two facts are enough. Then, I hear that he’s out of the Hayden Fry-Bill Snyder-Barry Alvarez coaching tree. Oh, that’s enough for me to like a lot. Then, I hear he’s got a 27-year-old wife. Okay, we can stop. I like him.”—Barry Switzer, former Oklahoma coach, Arkansas alum, on the hiring of Bret Beilema.
“”The views expressed were offensive. Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me. So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.””— President Barack Obama, re: Rep. Todd Akin’s comments claiming that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant.
“[The Samsung Galaxy tablets] do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool. The overall impression produced is different.”—British High Court Judge Colin Birss, dismissing a parent infringement claim by Apple against Samsung.
“[Cole’s] not going anywhere. He was drafted by this organization, raised by this organization and became a superstar in this organization. If you know anything about this organization, that means he’s not going anywhere.”—It’s amazing to hear Jimmy Rollins say this…especially since he’s maybe the last guy left from the time when this was decidedly not so.
Why wear this grass-stained pair for the keynote, a rare and immeasurably high-profile public appearance? My guess: he didn’t notice, didn’t care. One of Jobs’s many gifts was that he knew what to give a shit about. He knew how to focus and prioritize his time and attention. Grass stains on his sneakers didn’t make the cut.
A beautiful, thoughtful piece from Frank Chimero, For Steve
Technology and design have the potential to be life-enhancing, and I have never felt that more acutely than when using the things Steve helped make.
The Macintosh was the first thing in my life that I recognized as being wholly new. Everything I’d seen thus far in my nine years had seemed like it already existed prior to my birth—perhaps like it had always existed. But here was something different, something amazing, and this magazine explained how it had been created by this small group of people.
The implications bloomed in my mind. We aren’t stuck with the things we have now. We can make new things, better things.
And, uhm, will the President be eulogizing youlike this?
By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike.
“People love to complain that R.E.M. should have broken up when Bill Berry quit in 1997, to preserve their legacy in a pristine state. Except this misses the fundamental point of R.E.M., which is that rock and roll is something you do, something that’s part of your real sloppy life, rather than a fleeting phase. They decided not to be a “go out in a blaze of glory” band like the Smiths or Husker Du, and they also decided not to be a “blaze gloriously and then kinda fade out so everybody assumes you broke up even though maybe you officially didn’t” kind of band, like Echo and the Bunnymen or the Jesus and Mary Chain. They decided to be a “run it into the ground” band, plowing ahead whether they had the wind at their backs or not. And they ran it into the ground. That’s an essential part of their greatness”—
“Given the choice, I’d rather make history than simply take it in and post it to Instagram with a grainy old-fashion filter.”—Jason Calacanis, in a brilliant piece on why we’re really at 10% unemployment, and why that number is only going to grow, no matter what the government does. Seriously, go read this now if you or someone you know has, or wants to have, a job.
“If $85 (million) is not enough to take care of my family and other generations of families then I’m pretty stupid, but how much money do you really need in life?”—Jered Weaver, discussing his contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels and ignoring the advice of his agent, Scott Boras.