Saturday, December 23, 2006

Tony Robbins, an extrovert

Continuing on the fascinating subject of introverts and extroverts, I was reminded of this funny article by Dave Barry (definitely an introvert) observing at a seminar by Tony Robbins (the KING of extroverts. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Madonna's book "Sex"

Remember Madonna's book "Sex" from 1992?
Well, somebody posted it on a well-done fan site. In case you're interested.

I must admit that back then as well as now, I did not find the book hugely interesting, not as art and not as erotica. But I did find it interesting as a cultural phenomenon. It's important not because of any quality of the contents, but rather by its very existence. Madonna did something one could not imagine any other major cultural personality do, not even now. And she got away with it.

Of course "got away with it" is relative, because I did read an interview with Madonna later where she bitched intensely about how she got "the shit kicked out of her" because of that book in order to Create Freedoms for other people later to use similar ideas, like people apparently did in fashion photography and whatnot.
Sure, that can be argued. But really, what did she expect? Seriously? She obviously did the most confrontational move one could do in the USA, and she did not expect controversy? And the book outsold any other art book ever. In days. Surely she can't regard that as a failure.

Until Ray of Light, which was amazing, I did not find Madonna as an artist very interesting. But there's no doubt she is a trailblazer. Even before Ray of Light, when I saw the documentary "In Bed With Madonna", and saw her stage show, I suddenly understood where she came from as an artist, everything she did was about breaking down barriers. Which I can respect. And later she has grown beyond that.


Outing Your Innie
By Susan Henderson

What's an Innie? Are you one?

According to Marti Olsen Laney in her groundbreaking book The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, introversion is a type of temperament. We are born with it; it is in our genes. She writes: "It is not the same as shyness or having a withdrawn personality, and it is not pathological. It is also not something you can change. But you can learn to work with it, not against it."

Extroverts (Outies) outnumber Introverts (Innies) three to one. Our cultural bias towards the outer-directed characteristics of this type of temperament has caused many an Introvert (Innies) to believe something is wrong with them starting in childhood where the rewards are given for action and speaking up - such as class participaton as 25% of your grade. The truth is one is not better than the other. The primary difference between Innies and Outies is where their source of energy comes from.

Outies are energized by the outer world and gain that energy by participating in activities outside of themselves. They enjoy talking, socializing and working around people; feeling refreshed by the contact. This is their fuel.

Innies, however, refuel their energy by the internal world of impressions, ideas, emotions, and thinking things through. Although they may like people very much, just being in crowds, classes and noisy social functions can be draining and they feel the need to escape to a quiet place to refuel.

December is probably the most stressful month for Innies with crowded shopping malls, office parties, and family gatherings, large or small. You do not have to attend every function that comes along, but if you can't avoid (or want to attend) a gathering, that you know will drain you, here are some tips offered in The Introvert Advantage to conserve your energy before you go.

Don't schedule too many social occasions in the same week. Take a walk, read, nap, or sit in nature before the get-together. Drink plenty of water and take deep breaths when you feel anxious about the party.
Eat some protein to boost your energy before you leave home. Have the sitter come early so you can get ready without a hassle. Listen to a relaxation tape of calming music on the way to the party. Set aside time the following morning to recharge.

Since I am a raging Innie, I have to gird my loins in order to get out amongst the masses. I know my limits and I do stategize a plan before I go. Once there I tend to find a place to plant myself and stay in one spot observing or entering into some deeper and more interesting conversations with whoever may show up. If things get too over-whelming, there is always the option of a bathroom break for quiet and a few deep calming breaths. When I have had enough, I unapologetically take my leave.

Happy Holidays!

Hugs, Susan

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nerd or not

Occasionally somebody will think I'm a nerd/geek because I'm sort of interested in computers and gadgets, and know more about them than most people. But I'm really not, and I just found the explanation why.
In the excellent TV show Triumph Of The Nerds, Douglas Adams says with his usual insight: "A nerd is somebody who uses a telephone to talk about telephones. A computer nerd is somebody who uses computers in order to use computers."
That's spot on.
And it's not me. I use computers to communicate. That's the long and the short of my interest.

Art in a church

Was Michelangelo just a big ole pervert? Current debate about art in a church.

MS iPod package

"What if MS had designed the iPod package", a really well done spoof video.

Sony Ebook Reader

TidBITS reviews the new Sony Ebook Reader.

Sadly I am not surprised that Sony has, like everybody else, decided to price online downloadable e-books way too high. They are barely cheaper than paperbooks.
In Steven Levy's book about the iPod, he tells of an experiment done with pricing of online music. It turned out that when a song was set to cost 50 cents instead of a dollar, users bought six times as much! Did the big corporations learn anything from that? What do you think?

I hope Apple is working on an e-book reader device. I would like that so much more than the dang Apple mobile phone people have been babbling about for years.

Monday, December 18, 2006

SearchMash, a new search engine

I thought Google was the Ne Plus Ultra in search engines, but this new one actually has some interesting features. I'll be using it for a while, see how it goes.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Victim culture

There's many ways to victimize people. The most insidious is to convince them that they're victims.
-- Tom Robbins

The more you look, the more ways you find this is being done.
"Have you had an accident in the past two years, Sir? Please look at this brochure."
"Poor you, he is treating you evil."

If the media used as much ink educating the public as they use to pamper to their victim-culture, much would be different.

New blogger version?

Does anybody have experience with the new version of Blogger? The features do not sound compelling to me, but if it is faster and more reliable... ?


Like I mentioned, one of the first lenses I wanted in my yoof when I just started photographing was a super-wide, or a fisheye. But I couldn't afford one. Later when I could, I eschewed strong effects. But heck, what's wrong with just-for-fun? So when I read a review of fisheye lenses, and the very compact Nikkor 10.5mm one got great grades, I got one.

By the way, I am hoist by my own petard. I bought this lens mainly for use with the Nikon D40, not giving a second's thought to the fact (which I even mentioned below) that the camera does not have autofocus with all lenses, not even most. Only AF-S or AF-I lenses. And this one is neither, it turns out. It does not have a motor for AF, and neither does the camera... So manual focus it is, when using that combo. Fortunately for my sense of humor, focus is hardly an issue at all with such a short focal length. At F8 the depth-of-field goes from .5 meters to infinity! So I found it pretty funny when I finally realized why it was that the dang camera did not focus for me. :)

More Pogue

Another funny video from David Pogue, "proving" how Windows Vista is NOT just a copy of Mac OS X.

More fun is how many people take it literally.