Thursday, November 22, 2012

Purple Logs?

What playground doesn't deserve a log walk painted purple.

Fab, fab, fabulous......

I was so focused on the PURPLE I forgot to credit the artist.

This piece of fabulousness is by Michael McGillis and is called Wake. You can visit it at the Franconia Sculpture Park,
Shafer, Minnesota.

Found via Colossal.

Dumb ways to die



So cute!

Check out the website that goes with the campaign. Here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Beyond the Ball



Following on from the last post, here's another program in Chicago that was mentioned in the article about Playstreets, called Beyond the Ball.

Hats off to all the people that work there...... the short movie above says it all.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Playstreets in Chicago

They should be very proud of themselves in Chicago. They have implemented a new program designed to expand places where children can play safely.

"PlayStreets" periodically closes off streets in different areas of the city to provide safe, supervised space with organized sports, fitness and dancing programs. The aim is to reduce childhood obesity.

 Great, love it.

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time

I love getting my Brainpickings weekly email and this week was no different, mainly due to the post about the book Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time  by Jeff Speck.

I won't requote from the post, as it's well worth just checking it out for yourself.... However, I will mention a small quote from the 2012 Wired conference, where Alissa Walker put up a slide that made me laugh out loud:

"Let's have a moment of silence for all those who are stuck in traffic on the way to the gym to ride stationary bikes."

As they say in America, "Now that's funny...."

I will be adding this book to my wishlist, Christmas is coming up......

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meatless Mondays

My old hunting ground Los Angeles, has just become the biggest city to endorse the movement to reduce meat consumption for health and environmental reasons.....

Meatless Mondays goal is to "help you reduce your meat consumption by 15% in order to improve your personal health and the health of the planet."

I love this and we've been trying to do this ourselves. Mexican Mondays with refried beans, which luckily is my kids favourite meal.

UT study: Natural playgrounds more beneficial to children, inspire more play

Dawn Coe, assistant professor at the University of Tennessee has completed a recent study that shows that "children who play on playgrounds that incorporate natural elements like logs and flowers tend to be more active than those who play on traditional playgrounds with metal and brightly colored equipment."

I've been saying this for ages.... but it's nice to see a study focusing on this very subject. Proof at last!

"Natural playscapes appear to be a viable alternative to traditional playgrounds for school and community settings," Coe said. "Future studies should look at these changes long-term as well as the nature of the children's play."

Woo hoo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Magazines for kids

Flashing back to my youth......... I used to read Smash Hits, my brother got 2000 AD and my sister liked The Beano..... but what do kids read today?

Well, here's two lovely magazines to check out. OKIDO and ANORAK. Not only do they look lovely but their content looks fun and informative.

No free poster in the middle to tear out, of Spandau Ballet or Duran Duran but maybe kids nowadays aren't so interested in middle-aged men singing 80's hits.... sorry guys.

Monday, November 12, 2012

One World Futbol

The One world Futbol, the worlds first virtually indestructible football.

"One World Futbol inventor Tim Jahnigen was inspired to start the project after watching news footage of kids in Darfur playing a soccer game using a ball of trash tied up with twine. At that moment, Tim set out to design a ball that played like a “real futbol,” but would never wear out, never go flat, never need a pump."

Their goal is "to bring the joy of soccer and play to youth in disadvantaged communities so that children can be children no matter where they live."

So simple and yet so meaningful.

Also you can buy one and give one....... (Your purchase helps support development programs that use sport and play to teach conflict resolution, build teamwork and rebuild community.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Big Questions from Little People: and Simple Answers from Great Minds

Brainpickings have a great post about this book: "Big Questions from Little People: and Simple Answers from Great Minds" compiled by Gemma Elwin Harris, where they have mentioned a few of the great answers given to simple everyday questions from children by scientists and philosophers.

My favourite by far is this one,  by Jeannette Winterson......


          How do we fall in love?
You don’t fall in love like you fall in a hole. You fall like falling through space. It’s like you jump off your own private planet to visit someone else’s planet. And when you get there it all looks different: the flowers, the animals, the colours people wear. It is a big surprise falling in love because you thought you had everything just right on your own planet, and that was true, in a way, but then somebody signalled to you across space and the only way you could visit was to take a giant jump. Away you go, falling into someone else’s orbit and after a while you might decide to pull your two planets together and call it home. And you can bring your dog. Or your cat. Your goldfish, hamster, collection of stones, all your odd socks. (The ones you lost, including the holes, are on the new planet you found.)

And you can bring your friends to visit. And read your favourite stories to each other. And the falling was really the big jump that you had to make to be with someone you don’t want to be without. That’s it.

PS You have to be brave.

Does master degree imply true mastery?

I'm fascinated by the topic of the future of education and over at Freedom Lab, this post by J├Ârgen van der Sloot caught my eye.

"I've been diving into the topic of creativity for a bit these last couple of weeks. Triggered by talks to Edward De Bono, our Fellow collaborators in New York, Roger Martin's book 'The Opposable Mind' and our own thoughts on a critical mode of thinking, it seems to me that a 'Masters Degree' is just not cut out anymore to face the 21st century. We are always keen on the use of language and a big inhibitor for new ways of more creative, integral or lateral thinking lies in the wording of the degree we want the students of this world to obtain.

A Masters Degree teaches you exactly that: to become a Master in a certain topic. Don't get me wrong, there's a great need for experienced masters in our society, but it also means that you get taught what others long before have learned. And the educational system is obsessed with teaching students to become the masters of their trades. Then after school, we organize our businesses and lives according to the principles of the mastery. Now, that hardly seems to leave room for any alternative perspective on some of the dilemmas of our society. It was Einstein who said that "we can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

So we need new kinds of thinking. Without going into any possibilities for that new kind of thinking, it seems to me that to allow ourselves to open our minds, we should start with changing the one thing that locks us into the current paradigm from the onset: your Masters Degree. After all: you become what you say you are. Let's suppose that in addition to mastery we need 'creativity' (as broadly defined as possible) then what does mastery+creativity change our university degree into?"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds

 My Dad would have loved these photos by Luke Stephenson, he was always partial to birds and these are stunning.

 An Incomplete History of Show Birds.

Available in mid December but you can always pre-order it here.....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stop Stealing Dreams



This is seriously excellent. Worth watching.

I'm a big fan of Seth Godin's blog as well and if you want you can download the ebook of the talk here.