Transitional Behaviors

With the current mix of technologies, lots of people prefer to access media through their smartphones. However, lots of those same people don't yet have a car that allows them to pipe audio on their device through their car speakers. So, we get a transitional behavior: wearing headphones while driving a car.

History & Anachronism

2014-07-23 11.44.30 I'm glad I went on this trip with Gabe. He pointed out that depictions of historical events very often contain anachronisms. This image shows military dress that's all wrong for the period depicted (obviously, he can say more about it than me).

When we tell stories, we tell them from our own vantage points.

Castle or Trash Dump?

Moorish castle in Cartagena, Spain One of several castles in Cartagena, Spain, this one is seriously neglected, possibly due to its being associated with the period of the city when the Moors occupied it. According to my good friend, Gabe, this is a pattern in Western narratives of ancient and early-modern history, to ignore Moorish contributions. Here, it is obvious. This castle literally overlooks a hugely busy port in the city. We walked up here in 10 minutes from our hotel and had free reign as there are no security/safety barriers to be found.

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... while the back has a poor neighborhood built right up to within a few feet of the castle walls...

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Anarcho-Syndicalist Labour Union

CNT - su mundo nos destruye construyamos el nuestro My best go at a translation using Google and my limited Spanish: "Their world destroys us. Let's build ours."

My friend Gabe and I were in Cartagena, Spain doing some work for his dissertation (I was mostly there for the coffee, wine, and tiny fried fishes). We kept seeing street art, stickers, and posters from the CNT (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo). They seem to have a pretty strong presence in the area. Checking out the map on the wikipedia entry, the Murcia regional group is the only one that doesn't span multiple Spanish regions. Perhaps that is due to the very busy port located in Cartagena through which most of the country's oil flows.

Tech as Symbol

2014-07-16 19.05.14 QR code as symbol rather than functional tech. Image is from a t-shirt at a curious bookstore geared toward libertarian conspiracy-theorists.

Health Ads in the Yucatan

20140611-094627-35187626.jpg The Mexican version of the Today show was on at the bus station. At a commercial break, I watched all 5 ads, each one with a message in Spanish at the bottom of the screen that read, "Consult your doctor." Gastritis, dandruff, heartburn... it seems that a lot of OTC medication is consumed in Mexico.

Natural medicine


20140609-131452-47692533.jpg At a Sunday street market in Merida, MX. Every convenience store also sells remedies of questionable efficacy. A tour guide twice brought up the effects of particular foods on one's health... spinach is good for the blood and Coca-Cola light is bad for the pancreas.

What drives the purchase of and culture of so-called "natural medicine"?

Clean and Dirty

20140607-085607-32167669.jpg Dissonance between the message and the context in which it's presented. Does this make it more or less effective/affective?

Communication Loop

20140606-093002-34202802.jpg The app told me there were no e-tickets available for the flight. The printed boarding pass tells me to go paperless... by using the app.



20140516-160906.jpg Above the entrance to the Old Capitol building in Iowa City. "IOWA."

Why the period?