Dropping into research mode

I tend to veer from one thing to the next. It's a process not entirely unlike driving a '72 eldorado fast on a icy road. It's usually an interesting journey, but it can be a bit polarizing in that I'm usually all in or all out on something. I think I have problems with moderation. I do this with art, food favorites, skateboarding, biking, writing, work, design, photography, you name it. For months I'll be carving lino cuts intensely, then the next day that vibe has passed and I'll pick up my camera with the same intensity. Then it'll be on to making snowboards out of cedar fence boards. I'm sure there's medication for this, but I'll take a pass on it.

I guess this is just a long way of saying that I seemed to have slipped into a heads-down working-on-ton-of-things mode. Lots on the plate keeping me very busy lately. Coinciding with this is that I also seem to be in a deep research mode. There's so much cool stuff happening out there, and I'm on a heavy intake spree. Some things I've found interesting this week include:

  • yayeveryday. I'm probably the last to know about this. An amazing flow of fantastic ideas. Thanks Jim Schnieder for cluing me in to this. It's the proverbial tip of the iceberg to a lot of great work and talent out there in the big wide world.
  • Scipsy. Way interesting science information, plus an author who is ridiculously committed to responding to questions that come in. In the era of the curator, it's nice to see somebody curating science knowledge. Growing up with a physicist dad and a math teacher mom, science is my comfort food.
  • 500 Photographers. Always interesting. Always gives me good rabbit holes to go down into and poke around. Love it. I bet he had no idea what a monster he was creating, but I thank him.
  • This AdAge article on how Home Depot is creating an army of social media peeps on their store floors. It's pretty cool in how they're developing a genuine and useful connection to their customers, and see the value of keeping those experts in the stores where the action is real. Huge relevancy to what we work with at REI. We've been trying to bring the stores peeps into more broad interaction with our customers, and it sounds like Home Depot has similar issues and is making good steps.
  • Bring a trailer. My motor head self contemplates the purchase of many of these rigs, and envisions the perceived and cascading life changes it would bring about. (Especially this jacked up 70s wagoneer, which I envision mud bogging while blasting Queens of the Stone Age.) These guys do a great job at curating a very cool bunch of vehicles.  
  • George Greenough. I bought one of his fin designs at a swap meet this weekend, and you can feel his funky vibe radiating from it. I stuck it on a board and can't wait to get it on the water. The dude was an innovator. (the fin above is not his -- it's what his replaced.)

Dig through. See what's good for you. For me, it's wonderful, frightening, intimidating and inspiring to see all of the great work that's happening out there. Let me know what you find interesting. I'm soaking it all in, and can't wait for the next bout of whatever to hit me.

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