Monks and mobile phones

monk & mobile phone
Photo by Samuel Rich
Found by chance, I find these photos show an interesting contrast between tradition and modernity.

Some people like to say ‘monks shouldn’t do this, monks shouldn’t do that.’ But monks are just ordinary people with a more visible moral framework to live by. If monks are going to be leaders in society, they should have an education equal to the people in that society, rather that someone who doesn’t know how to use a computer or talk about history or math. An education and familiarity with modern tools are necessary. – Phra Pandit Bhikkhu

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100 Legendary Trunks


The video for the book.
Trains and steamships transformed transportation in the mid-19th century and opened the world to a new breed of traveler. Louis Vuitton understood the need for more practical luggage, and strove to create products that were adaptable to all situations–and the travel trunk was born.On my wish list for Christmas.
100 Legendary Trunks


Bubble Bag

Bubble Bag
I’m always a fan of reused materials, especially in bags. The Bubble Bags are made from rescued street banners which boast “awesome typography and gorgeous splashes of color”. The body of each bubble bag has a double layer of street banner for extra durability, with elastic-lined straps, and two interior pockets that will organize your smaller belongings.
A one of kind bag.


The Urban Speaker

The Urban Speaker
AN exploration of the personal and social experience of communication in public places. Call 979-997-3041 on your mobile and your voice will be broadcast to those who pass by the installation in New York.

The Urban Speaker is an art installation that transforms public space into an instant stage for mass communication. This portable urban furniture allows people to broadcast their voice in public by calling a telephone number from their mobile phones.
The Urban Speaker resembles construction signage and blends in with its urban surroundings. It consists of a tripod with an amplified loudspeaker, smartphone, battery and a traffic sign. The signage instructs passersby to dial a phone number to speak in public. Users who place the call get an automatic answer and can speak their mind for sixty seconds after which the call is terminated. A QR (Quick Response) barcode on the sign allows some mobile phones to instantly access the urbanspeaker.mobi website for location, event and other details as well as quick dialing of the installation’s phone.

Carlos J. Gómez de Llarena is a media architect exploring physical and digital experiences that shape social interaction and our perception of space.
The Urban Speaker


Yayoi Kusama Mobile Phones

Yayoi Kusama Mobile Phones
Yayoi Kusama and her ‘dots obsession, full happiness with dots
Yayoi Kusama Mobile Phones
Hand Bag for Space Travel
Based on the idea of a mobile phone as art, KDII brand iida has collaborated with
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama to produce three limited edition mobile phone models:
‘dots obsession, full happiness with dots’, ‘my doggie ring-ring’ and ‘hand bag for space travel’. Dots obsession and hand bag for space travel are pictured above.
Avant-garde sculptor, painter and novelist Yayoi Kusama started to paint using polka dots and nets as motifs at around age ten, and created fantastic paintings in watercolors, pastels and oils.
Yayoi Kusama. Via Designboom.


What the developing world can teach us about technology

Creativity, Cost-Cutting & Keeping it Simple: what the Developing World can teach us about Technology by Anna Leach reports on a fascinating talk at CityCamp London. There is a lot we can learn back from the developing world about the inventive uses they find for the technology we take for granted.

Using simple tools to reach the vulnerable.
I know most of my readers on here will have smartphones, download lots apps and have broadband connections. But Africa is not the only place where people are still using candy-bar Nokias – only 20% of the population in the UK have smartphones, and among the ones who do, most of them don’t have more than 2-3 apps. The socially vulnerable people in the UK are the ones least likely to have fancy phones. Designing an iPhone app to tackle social isolation or knife crime in the UK is not going to reach its target audience. FrontLine SMS is a texting network tool that puts people in contact with the people who can help them over text, reaching people on the wrong side of the digital divide and is used in both developing and developed countries.


Veja Wallet

Veja Wallet
Included in vela’s 2010 fall/winter collection entitled “project number two ” are these beautiful vegetable-tanned leather wallets with organic cotton lining. The strap is useful accent. Love the available colours.
The small sized wallet might lend itself to a more comfortable back pocket carry. If given the space we tend to fill it.
Veja Leather Wallet


Travel: the peak-end rule

Psychologists and economists have looked in some detail at vacations — what we want from them and what we actually get out of them. They have advice about what really matters, and it’s not necessarily what we would expect:

  • How long we take off probably counts for less than we think
  • Taking more short trips leaves us happier than taking a few long ones
  • We’re often happier planning a trip than actually taking it
  • Interrupting a vacation can make us enjoy it more
  • How a trip ends matters more than how it begins
  • And though it may feel unnecessary, it’s important to force yourself to actually take the time off in the first place — people, it turns out, are as prone to procrastinate when it comes to pleasurable things like vacations

[…] what matters far more is the intensity of sensation, whether it’s excitement or pain or contentment. And it’s not the overall average of the experience that people remember, but how they felt at the most intense moments, combined with how they felt right as the experience ended. Psychologists call this the “peak-end rule.”

Read: How should you spend your time off? Believe it or not, science has some answers.


The beauty of small

Less can come in many forms. You can have fewer things, you can do fewer things, you can use fewer things, you can focus on fewer things. But less isn’t just fewer: it can also be smaller. Small is often downplayed in this world of “bigger means better”. But small is beautiful, and often better.

Smaller suitcases (such as a small backpack) are easier to carry around, fit easier in overhead compartments, don’t require you to check luggage and worry about luggage not getting to the right destination, are easier to pack and unpack.

From: mnmlist: the beauty of small. Via Pack light. Go fast.


TED: Music is medicine, music is sanity


Robert Gupta, violinist with the LA Philharmonic, on the essence of music and art, told through a violin lesson he once gave to a schizophrenic musician:

This is the very essence of art. This is the very reason we make music. We take something that exists within all of us at our very fundamental core — our emotions. And through our artistic lens, through our creativity, we’re able to shape those emotions into reality. And the reality of that expression reaches all of us. And moves us, inspires, and unites us. (4:35)

Via @bobulate.


Farm Tactics Bags

farm tactics cape code bag
Farm Tactics Cape Code bag
I love the aesthetic of these handmade bags from California based Farm Tactics. Unfortunately my knowledge of the brand is limited but luckily Limitedhype has a great introduction via an interview with the founder Kyle Ng.

While repurposed materials are anything but new, Ng’s choices of materials for Farm Tactics certainly are. Among our favorites are bags made from materials such as 1960’s Dutch military bags, 1940’s gas masks and Oil Filson Tin cloth and other military webbing. On the clothing side of things, you can expect to find a similar aesthetic with pieces inspired by Ng’s grandfather who was an industrial designer in the 50’s and 60’s, but with a self-described “neoclassical” twist.

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Antique Tan Leather iPad Sleeve

Leather ipad case
The design is a bit too reminiscent of the envelope craze that many bag makers embraced on the launch of the MacBook Air but that nitpick is easily overcome by the excellent choice of materials and craftsmanship. Julie Boyles’ Leather iPad Case is made of premium vegetable tanned leather that has been hand oiled, then rubbed with an antique tan patina. The inside of the sleeve is finished with a protective black coating and the outside edges have the same finish. The design features 2 self made leather buttons with a braided cord that wraps around them.
If this isn’t your cup of tea you should check out her other leather iPad sleeve. The more I look at it the more I like it more than the one mentioned above.
Antique Tan Leather iPad Case