Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Hidden Cost of War

Very nice motion graphics and message. It reminds me of another anti-Iraq war motion graphics video that links the war to America's quest for oil that's on ihaveanidea. Does anyone know what i'm referring to?

Via It's Nice That and GOOD magazine.

TAG in Dallas

"A group of Texas Advertising students will be making a trip to Dallas to tour some ad agencies. On Thursday, TAG is hosting a happy hour. We'd love for you join us! Feel free to extend this invite to others (yes, even non-Texas grads!)

October 2, 2008 | 6-8 p.m.
Texas Land and Cattle | 3130 Lemmon Ave. Dallas, TX 75204
Appetizers and drinks will be provided!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Levis 501 and Toyota short films

Levis UK has produced some HD short films. Warning: some of the short films are NSFW*. While the concept is interesting and very well-produced, I prefer it when the logo and company mention is more subtle i.e. Toyota's new campaign for the Tundra pickup featuring small town high school football teams.

*Not Safe For Work.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Turning your creativity off can be good for you

Tom Monahan is the founder and former ECD of Leonard/Monahan and now runs a creative consulting firm called Before and After. He's also the author of the best-selling Do It Yourself Lobotomy which interestingly enough you can read for free at Google Books.

There's a post on the Before and After blog about how turning off your creativity can allow you to be more creative.

I though this excerpt was insightful and it also echoes what Sean, Matt, and Maria taught us in Portfolio classes. I remember Sean's syllabus instructing us to watch movies, watch TV, read magazines, watch people at the mall (but not in a creepy way).

When you’re working on a problem head on, so to speak, it’s your conscious mind that’s doing virtually all of the work. Your conscious mind is what you’re processing on the conscious level - mostly your observations, knowledge and recollections. Even when you’re trying to imagine new things, what’s the raw material for the new thoughts? Stuff you know. I mean, you can only think about what you know, right?

Well, the conscious mind is quite disciplined by nature. It likes order. It likes to make sense of everything. This is a good thing most of the time. It keeps you on he right side of the road when you’re driving. It helps you deliver your work on time. But when you’re using this orderly machine to find new ideas, yes it can serve you, but it’s like a car in perfect alignment, whether you’re steering or not, it tends to go where it’s pointed. So your thoughts tend to be linear, therefore predictable.

There’s another side of your mind that is a lot less disciplined, much less predictable. That’s your subconscious mind. Where we can only process a mere seven or eight thousand bits of data a minute on the conscious level, we are processing literally billions of bits of data on the subconscious level at any given moment. That’s an absolutely immense well of possibilities to tap into...

Bringing this back to the main topic of this article - the on/of method of thinking - when you’re “not” thinking about something consciously your subconscious mind is free to toss around some ideas on the subject in that gigantic thought auger where anything goes. So when you’re not using the conscious linear method you’re simply more likely to have fresh combinations of data that materialize as new thoughts.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Voice of God is gone

Don LaFontaine has passed away at age 68. He is famous for his phrase "in a world where..." and he was recently part of the catchy Geico commercials.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The future of democracy is here

Piryx is a website designed to help the democratic process through new technologies. Check out their blog. The following is from Naveed

Our company, Piryx Inc., has recently been backed by angel investors – providing us with the focus to achieve our vision. We are passionate about empowering people, and through our endeavors we aim to enhance the democratic process. Our vision site will be launching very soon, so stayed tuned for more information!

Most importantly, we want to extend a huge appreciation and thanks to those who have supported our vision along the way. There are many of you out there, and without your help we wouldn’t be here today. This is just Chapter 1, and we look forward to showing you more.

Lastly, we ask for your support again in helping this Austin Startup get into the 2009 SXSW Interactive Festival. Vote for our panel discussion “Politics, Technology, and Pop Culture – Bridging the Gap" and feel free to comment. Visit our preview page for more information on how to help, and get a sneak peak of our upcoming launch.

Thank you again,

Tom Serres
Chief Executive Officer

Naveed Lalani
Chief Interaction Officer

The future of coworking is here

Conjuncted is a coworking concept that recently launched in Austin where freelancers or others can pay a small fee to share a professional work environment with others. The following is from one of the founders and Texas Creative alumni Cesar.

Coworking is quickly gaining popularity in our backyard. Just this Sunday, Conjunctured was featured with our friends at LaunchPad Coworking and Caroline Collective (Houston) on the front page of the Statesman's Life & Arts section. Our pal Omar did a great job capturing the developments with the story, video and pictures—view the extensive coverage here:

Since July 1, we've had time to repair the A/C (whoo Texas!), stock the place with snacks and drinks and get some superfast wi-fi installed. We even acquired a few temporary pieces of furniture (folding/rolly chairs, plastic tables) so we could fire up our laptops. Check conjunctured.com/rates for a list of current features and amenities and a wish list we need help with. Our goal is to furnish this place well-enough by the end of the month then throw a shindig to celebrate, which you're totally invited to—more details as they develop.

We're working with a local interior designer, Adrienne Breaux, to help sketch out a dream plan for the interior that will encourage work + play + community. Moving forward, we don't expect to have this plan fulfilled right off the bat, but we're fine with that. Just as several of you helped us lease the space by paying months in advance (you are rock stars!), we're bootstrapping this all the way.

When the plan is complete, it will serve as our vision—something to work towards. In the moment, however, let's get coworking in the space, and in Austin, ASAP! The free coffee's a-flowin' and we're paying rent regardless of ugly paint or a lack of furniture. :) Come see the space—help us imagine the layout, share your thoughts. Or, if you're like us and excited about the opening of Austin's first coworking space, come work with the five paying coworkers who are willing to work on the temporary furniture we've got!

As always, thanks SO much for helping us bring Conjunctured Coworking to Austin.

Lots of love,
Cesar, David, Dusty + John

PS: As always, we're looking for desk or conference room sponsors (we want to keep costs as low as possible for everyone) and new great people like you to be a part of the community. Contact us if you have questions/leads!

Save Denver Water- pt 2

Here is part 2 of the killer Save Denver Water campaign. I love the ambient media aspect of it. View part 1 here.

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LEGAL STUFF: The views expressed on The Ranch are not officially representative of the The University of Texas at Austin. © 2008. All rights reserved. Founded by David Wen, with Silver Cuellar's help, on a lonely February 14, 2006 in Austin, TX for the benefit of all.