Burma, the world is watching

As a mountain dweller, I happen to go down in valleys. I am currently in the Thames' but I happen to have visited a few others, including Pagan's and its million of pagoda. This is probably one of my most enriching experience as a traveller.

Burma is a magnificent country, full of magnificent people who are there to open their heart, their homes... So it hurts me badly when I see what is going on there. So yes Burma, beware, the whole world is watching you!


Blade Runner in Nappies

As you can see on my mugshot, I am a great fan (and consumer) of razors. You could also read here a previous posts on this exciting topic of shaving. But in any case, I could not avoid relaying this commercial found on Sandrine's blog:

Fight For Kisses //// www.ffk-wilkinson.com
envoyé par killafather

A great execution enriched by many cross-references. As mentioned by Stephen Johnson in his book Everything Bad Is Good for You, that kind of multi-layered stories has a great chance to succeed in a society looking for increased complexity. And Johnson is true: as a matter of fact I am contributing to this viral campaign because it inspired me...


All under one roof

At the superMAZEket

After a year in London, I am still amazed by the way supermarkets are organised. Obviously the layout of the aisles has nothing to do with either what I experienced before in other countries, or with my merchandising classes... The aisles dedicated to canned beans or sliced bread are enormous but there is very little room left to baby food for instance (which is surprising when you see the number of pushchairs that are populating the British streets). It took us 3 months to find the pastries which were with the margarine, while we were looking for it on the pizza, puffed sausages... shelf, which was of course on the other side of the shop. And what to say about the presence of a pet food section in the middle of the food alleys?

But beyond the shop map, I am also surprised by the shelves themselves, and how products are displayed or organised. If you are a frequent reader of this blog you are probably aware my devious mind tends to see evil in grocery baskets (read here and here to catch up), but the latest experience was all the more eloquent.

Medicine man

This is the shelf I faced yesterday morning when doing my groceries (yes, I have more free time currently to do my groceries outside office hours:-P).

And another quirky smile on my face. With all these medicines, you have all in hands to handle your intimate life. A self-explanatory Anusol, a toothpaste for fresh breath, and a whole lot of aspirin tablets against the Saturday night "migraine". Ultimately, I am wondering whether this shelf implementation is not more efficient than the one I am used to. It is all under one roof. But on the other hand, if the way you work reflects the way you live, I pity the husband of the section manager. It must not be that funny every night.


Paper tigers

High-Low technology

It's amazing how technology can infant its own counter movement. As a matter of fact, the more hi-tech Internet becomes, the more it offers low-tech activities that empower the Internet users. Craft activities have indeed boomed thanks to the Internet... And although one of the key promise of the digital world is a paper-free world, several examples have demonstrated, on the contrary that Internet can encourage paper consumption. And I am not talking about people printing their emails or maps to this brand new night club their colleague mentioned at the coffee break. No. I am referring to brilliant craft ideas that echo the offline momentum around origami and other paper-based, basic fun.

kidscanprint.com, an activity centre for parents

I mentioned in a previous post that Kodak has launched a new home printer and accompanied this product release with some online activities. Part of this project was to offer parents some peace of mind when they are stuck at home with their kids. Kidscanprint.com is an activity centre that allows the struggling mothers to entertain their kids with craft activities, of course all printer-based (but as Kodak's advertising says, the fun is even funnier when it does not cost a fortune, referring to their promise that their machine could make you save up to 50% on everything you print). Anyway, this site makes you to dive back into your childhood and play finger football again...


If you have not got enough with this pitch workout, you might consider Paper Critters. This site allows you to configure your own little paper robot. You fill the guides with loads of forms, images, colours, etc. Ultimately you create your very-own printable critter that you can fold and display on your desk as a proud representant of its online colony.

When you look at the gallery of paper critters, you realise that we are no longer talking of child's play here. This is serious business. Some very talented graphic designers are playing around with this little character. Just like origami is not a matter of making a plane of a boat, it can become way more complex.

Of course everyone has heard of the regressive trend that characterises the Generation-X. These young adults who enjoy partying on the rhythm of the cartoon soundtracks from the 80s. But I think that this is more than the Peter Pan syndrome, there is also a celebration of DIY in this phenomenon. It is all good to allow the machines do more and more, but sometime it is so great to realise that you can also do things by yourself. I mean beyond switching your computer on.

Hand-made has its own appeal. It might not be as perfect and flawless as a CAD product, but it has its virtues. It is yours, with your own efforts and sweat in it.

Amazing enough, an upcoming film celebrates this trend. A movie by one of the greatest commercial, video-clip, and now cinema director, academy-award winner Michel Gondry. In its upcoming feature, Be Kind Rewind, Gondry tells us the (his own?) story of two guys who decide to re-shoot the blockbusters of their video rental shop after one of them accidentally erases the originals.

This trailer is extremely promising, and totally backs up this article. Home-made is a growing trend and meets a very favourable response from the public who sometimes feel overwhelmed by the fast-paced technological development. So take out scissors and glue from the drawers, they are not over yet.