Showing posts with label Imagination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Imagination. Show all posts

July 11, 2020

Super Cufflinks

If you've got to wear cufflinks then they might as well be Superman Cufflinks!

These will definitely make you feel special. 

Maybe like a quasi Superhero. 

Some may think you're a little arrogant and all that. 

But maybe you just are hoping to be super at whatever you do. 

It's good to have an imagination and aspiration, and maybe a little sense of humor and fun. 

As long as you don't let it go to your head or to your pompous a**. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumetnhal)
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June 2, 2020

You've Got To Do It

Interesting message on this car window:
Imagine all the wonderful things that will never happen if you do not do them.

You've got to get up and get out there and try. 

Never say never. 

Success is within reach. 

Rocky, Rocky, Rocky!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 28, 2020

Reach Out And Grab Ya

This is a candleholder. 

But in a bizarre way it looks almost like a toilet. 

The place for the candle is the toilet!

Sort of would make a pretty scary toilet in real life if the back of it (ie. tank) has a body with arms that looks like it is reaching out to grab you as you take your royal seat. 
Hey, someone let me out of here!

Ok, I have definitely been shut in too many days due to this Coronavirus thing. 

I am imagining the world's scariest toilets. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 14, 2020

Israel 2020: Day 5

Went to the Holon Design Museum (south of Tel Aviv) today. 

They had exhibit called States of Extreme.

I found some really cool exhibits and ideas there.

Sort of felt my mind being expanded by it, which is I suppose one of the purposes of going to this. 

Two of my favorite from today:

1) The chair with people legs and 

2) The Fanuc robotic arm feeding the baby in the crib.


Hope you enjoy these as much as I did. 

And Shabbat Shalom to everyone from the Holy Land!

(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 17, 2019

Eyewash Smiley

Had to take a second look at this eyewash station with the bright yellow caps.

I suppose this is good if you get something in your eye(s) and need to flush it out. 

Are the yellow caps supposed to be for keeping the faucets clean and unobstructed. 

Whole thing looks a little like a face:  the yellow caps are the eyes, the big center faucet is the nose, and the sink basic the big mouth. 

Maybe just my imagination, but I think it's saying "there are too many cooks in this kitchen, get the h*ll out!" :-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 21, 2018

@Wiener Museum Of Decorative Arts























(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 13, 2018

Ship+ In A Bottle

You ever wonder how they build that big ship in that little bottle. 

Someone needs very dexterous hands and a lot of patience to put the pieces through the opening of the bottle and assemble the ship inside. 

But this second grader, Dylan Yasseri, upped the game on this whole concept and imagined a whole beach in the bottle. 

The sand, ocean, sky, birds, crabs, fish, umbrella, and even the shack (snack?) bar!

This is one reason that kids are so awesome--their purity of heart and their endless imaginations make almost anything possible.

The fantasy becomes the reality. 

The colors are magical too here. 

If adults could maintain even half the heart and creativity of our children--oh what a world it could be. ;-)

(Source: Andy Blumenthal Photo of Dylan's beautiful painting).
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December 9, 2017

Just My Imagination



These folks make some beautiful music together. 

Sit back and enjoy!

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 11, 2017

The Fine Line Between Fantasy and Reality

So I've started to realize that there are at times a (very) thin line between fantasy and reality. 

In some cases, people hear some facts or some truth, and then in their mind, they concoct entire stories of fantasy or full-fledged conspiracy around it.

But more than that, the fantasy in their minds, because it starts with a real fact or two then becomes entirely perceived as reality itself. 

We saw plenty of this in the last election cycle and even today, with one political side or the other purchasing phony dossiers or making up stories about the opposition--and they may even have some underlying facts associated with it. 

But around these facts, entire scripts and stories are concocted through inductive reasoning or highly imaginative thinking, whether for example, of deep Russian conspiracies reminiscent of the era of McCarthyism or the Salem Witch Trails of yesteryear. 

Again, I'm not saying that nothing is there, but the question is whether there is real truth then to the whole conspiracy that has been drawn from fantastical minds of opposition agents, reporters, and others gainfully benefiting and perhaps running amuck with these grandiose versions of alternate reality?

What I am coming to believe is that it's not so much that people are willfully making up these stories (although there can certainly be plenty of biases, exaggerations, and agendas at work as well), but that in their mind, they create these bombastic versions of what seems like truth to them and then they pawn it off and sell it to others who are only to happy to latch unto some juicy new gossip or theory of "what's really going on."

Similarly, some people who get very mad may actually take albeit a genuine fight with another person and pour layer upon layer of evil doings and manipulations on them until by the time their mind is done, the other person has become the devil themselves--and the fantasy for a short time seems like it is the reality--until such time that cooler heads prevail and reality replaces the mind's fantasy or it's ultimate fears. 

In short, there is a very fine line between fantasy and reality--our minds can get carried away with facts or notions of the moment and build those into full-fledged conspiracy theories of "who done it" and "why didn't we see it all along."

Certainly, this doesn't mean that there aren't some very good pretenders out there who truly are doing very bad things and covering their tracks, and it's for the gifted and detective minds out there to perceive those and prove them as being the greater reality.

But we have to be careful in accusing people--until such time that the facts are all there and the perception or fantasy of our mind's eye is shown to be the reality indeed. 

We need good investigative journalism, excellent law enforcement and intelligence, and clarity of mind to know what's real and what's fake in life and in our fantastical minds. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 21, 2016

The Pundits Know Sh*t

If you haven't seen any of the many videos flying around about everyone who said "Trump will never be president," then you should.

Presumably, these were people in the know--senior politicians and statesmen, experts galore including scientists and professors, news media, talk show hosts, comedians, and Hollywood stars.

Virtually none could even imagine him winning as they "promised" and "guaranteed" it and even swore they would leave the country otherwise.

But as we all now know, they were completely wrong and misguided. 

Similarly, in a book review today in the Wall Street Journal of "Public Intellectuals," the big mouth know-it-alls out there or what my friend's father used to call "intellectual idiots" failed to predict all the black swan events.

From the fall of the Soviet Union to 9/11, the Internet bubble and recession of 2001 to the mortgage meltdown and financial collapse of 2008, from the Arab Spring to Brexit...the pundits are all left looking like schmendricks!

Whether this is caused by personal biases, shortsightedness, herd mentality, or incompetence, the educated intellectuals just don't seem to be able to see around that next bend anymore than the rest of us. 

Moreover, because of their walled-off elite status, they are functioning and talking through loud speakers from their ivory towers rather than from the real man's world of everyday hardships and challenges. 

As I often tell one of my esteemed colleagues, it's not how often or how loud you say something, but how sincere it is. 

The pundits typically miss it (although they seem so smart when talking with 20-20 hindsight about what happened and why), and as contrarians already know, it typically pays to do the opposite of what the so-called experts tell you. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 20, 2016

What Beauties

What beauties these purple flowers are?

Tall on the thin green stem. 

And then ballooning and budding out into these futuristic spherical lattice-shaped flowers. 

Almost like soft clouds that we can reach out and touch (and touch too hard, and the flowers just fall off into the breeze).

But think again with technical imagery and these can be an advanced interconnected living neural network that with "big data" can solve all our information and artificial intelligence needs. 

Each flower computing, sensing, processing, analyzing, and problem-solving. 

A swarm of living and dying nodes and sprouting forth again with a natural processing function. 

A gorgeous flower, but you can imagine it as so much more. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 3, 2016

Forcing Kids Backfires Big Time

Fascinating article in the Sunday New York Times today on how the stress we are putting on our kids is making them sick. 

With testing of High school students showing incredibly alarming rates of mental illness:


- 54% with moderate to severe depression.


- 80%+ with moderate to severe anxiety.


And 94% of college counseling directors "seeing rising numbers of students with severe psychological problems."


Even pediatricians are reporting 5-, 6-, and 7-year olds coming in for migraines and ulcers!


Another teacher said with all this, "We're sitting on a ticking time bomb."


Under the pressure to get into great schools and get a foot in the door in excellent careers and attain high-paying jobs, we are making our kids work longer school days, do more homework, take more Advanced Placement (AP) exams, participate in numerous extracurricular activities, and achieve, achieve, achieve. 


We've taken away normal play time--the fun out of life growing up--and the imagination, exploration, and discovery away from kids just being kids. 


The paradox is that "the pressure cooker is hurting, not helping, our kid's prospect for success."


Especially for parents who themselves grew up poor or lacking, maybe they are trying to do the "right thing"and give their kids more than they had and a "better life."


But maybe even the best intentions to mold children to be what we want them to be, or think they should or could be, is misplaced.


If only we could all take a little (or BIG) chill pill...you can't force success--with forcing you get the opposite results.

Back off people--instead of pushing and endless disciplining--how about we listen to the children, guide them, show unconditional love, and be excellent examples--show them integrity, a strong work ethic, along with an appreciation for work-life balance, then perhaps we will get not only the success of the next generation that we all need, but also happier, better adjusted, and healthier children. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 11, 2015

Imagining The Unimaginable

So today, I am imagining the unimaginable, and thinking the unthinkable. 

What if extremists in Iran stopped hating Israel and the United States, and instead liked or even loved us?

Not because of the recent agreement on nukes and lifting of sanctions, but actually in spite of it--because as the Ayatollah has said, he prohibits any further negotiations and often refers to the U.S. as it's enemy (the only thing missing is the usual Iranian chants of "Death to America!").

But today, I saw the Iranian family again the I referred to in a Sept. 27 blog post, where the father had a stroke and the son comes on the weekends from Texas to help his father with physical and occupational therapy to recuperate. 

Well today, I saw the daughter too, and both she and the son where in the pool trying to help the father in every way to move and walk again. They swarmed around him in such loving-kindness, I couldn't believe the amazing display of love and devotion to any parent or disabled person. They were all there for him!

And my heart opened up, and I couldn't help thinking what if the Iranian leadership could be moderated by average normal people who just want to care for their families, earn a living, and worship and live in freedom? 

What if the Iranian leadership could learn to forgive and love again those who they have hated for so long and so much--the USA and Israel?

If the U.S. can forgive Iran for the hostage crisis that took 52 American diplomats and citizens hostage for 444 long days and the bombing of the Beirut barracks that killed 241 marines, and Israel can forgive the endless Hezbollah terror attacks, the bombing of the Argentinian Jewish Center that killed 29 and wounded 250, the Holocaust denial, and threats of maniacal genocide...then surely, Iran can forgive the U.S.'s role in the 1953 coup that brought the Shah to power and can forgive Israel for merely existing!

As a son of Holocaust survivors, I am a die-hard for the defense and security of the Jewish people, so maybe today I am just being naive, foolish, or letting my imagination run wild. 

But I feel that Hashem is putting the words on the screen through my fingertips...what if Esau can stop hating Jacob? What if Iran can stop hating the USA and Israel and there can be peace and not war?

This is a fantasy, but perhaps it can become a reality.

Instead of the cycle of hate, the sponsorship of terror, the secret building of nukes, and aggression escalating until ultimately major devastating military strikes...instead imagine abandoning the old hateful and belligerent ways...imagine forgiveness for the past transgressions and affronts...imagine peace!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 9, 2015

See The World Through The Eyes Of Others

It's not only important what we think, but also what and how others see things. 

One the things, the folks that work with me frequently hear from me is "Let me put myself in the other person's shoes for a moment, and give you feedback on that."

We are what we are and not as our customers are, and while we may strive for excellence in customer service, our customers may have completely different notions of what that means.

For example, I may think a 24-hour turnaround on something is pretty good given everything on our plate, but when I imagine myself in the customer's shoes for a moment, I may change that expectation to "We need to get this done by noon today (or sooner)!"

People are different, our experiences, our cultures, our context and the way we interpret things. 

So when it comes to work or family or even social issues, being compassionate often means seeing the world through someone else's eyes. 

There was an interesting article in the New York Times called "Imaging The Lives Of Others" by psychologist, Paul Bloom. 

While he notes the importance to "behold the universe through the eyes of another," he also says how difficult this really is. 

If you haven't done something, how can you really imagine what it was like, let alone know what it was like for someone else to experience it?

Without the access to the particular significant life experience, the duration, the controls (so you can't just say stop like in an experiment), perhaps a person can never fully know what it's like. 

For example, if you haven't been through a devastating war, can you truly know what it's like to be in a foxhole and have the bullets whooshing by your head and the tanks rumbling over it?

Yes, we can imagine, but that is probably a far cry!

Yet, to really empathize with others, do right by them, and to make good leadership decisions, we most certainly need to at least try to see and experience the world the way others do. 

Thinking about the over 805 million hungry people in the world today, it is much more impactful to imagine myself hungry and starving, then just to say the mere fact that these poor people exist.

We can probably never know someone's else pain and suffering the way they do, but through our own experiences, extrapolation from them, and our imagination, we can at least try to elevate ourselves for a purely self-centric universe of one that is of billions (under one G-d), and who need our understanding, compassion, support, and help. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 27, 2015

Trouble In Protection Land

The Secret Service is one of the finest agencies in the Federal government, but unfortunately, the "recreational" drone crash landing at the White House was a protection disaster this week.

(And it comes on the heels of knife-wielding assailants running wild through the front doors of the White House, people taking pot shots at the White House, and even planes crash landing there). 

This time it was perhaps, a small drone innocently passing low without a significant radar signature unto the White House grounds, but next time it may be a miniaturized drone the size of an insect that attacks the President or his senior staff in the White House itself. 

This could happen with a pin prick of poison or a small drone carrying explosives, biological, or chemical weapons. 

We are entering a new dimension of threats that are not easily addressed with existing technology. 

It is said the the President is proverbially protected by a bubble of defenses around him, but where we are going is that this bubble may need to become an actual physical bubble that nothing, not even an insect drone can get through. 

It may sound ridiculous, but it may be the only way (for now) to really protect against these threats that literally fly beneath our radar!

Perhaps at some future time, we will have our swarms of defensive drones that go after any attack drone, no matter how small or how many, but in the meantime, we must protect our critical leadership and assets. 

Almost two years ago, I blogged about robots, drones, and commandos in exoskeletons attacking the White House and our not being prepared with adequate defenses and counter-measures.

This week's drone crash should be making the alarm bells go off on this issue big time now!

We must move past reactive steps and a failure to anticipate and become true forward-thinkers, strategists, planners, enterprise architects, and futurists. 

The protection of our leaders, institutions, critical infrastructure, and people depend upon true out of the box thinking, not doing the same thing but on a different day. 

The time is now to think about protections from much more than traditional attack patterns to the wildest and craziest we can imagine--because our enemies are not hampered by the past and won't rest until they see what we won't. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to David Illig)
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November 16, 2014

Anime Kicks Butt

Japanese Anime is so cool.

They have these amazing characters that any kid would like to have. 


With swords, shields, guns and well-honed fighting powers, these champions are ready for battle. 

This one was at Barnes and Nobles for $34.95 this holiday session. 

If I was still a kid, I could wrap my imagination around this, and help save the world from all the evil and stupid characters out there--unfortunately, both fictional and too often real.   ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 6, 2014

The Painted Sky

It was a beautiful walk in Rock Creek Park (even with my ongoing limp post surgery). 

Coming down the trail, I saw this amazing horse with a mounted police officer, and he was nice enough to stop and let me pet the horse and take this photo with them.

It was a truly beautiful animal and it was so cool seeing them on patrol for all the people taking advantage of the great outdoors here. 

In a fantasy type of way, I thought what a dream job (not high-tech, but oh so much in tune with nature and helping people)!

Anyway, this time of year, it was really lush green in the park and pretty peaceful. 

It was also interesting today visiting my dad and sitting outside on the deck with him, he looks up at the sky and says rhetorically, yet so innocently, "Who painted the sky so beautiful?"

I thought wow--what an amazing and poetic way to think of the hand of G-d and all that he has created for our benefit. 

Now, I think to myself outside, how our physical reality is just a manifestation of G-d's artistry, imagination, and kindness, and it makes it all even better.

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

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January 19, 2014

We Can Fly


Totally awesome viral video.

Looks like 3 flying people. 

Really they are drones in the shape of human figures. 

If only we could really fly that way--wow we!  ;-)
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March 30, 2013

Planning For The Next Big One

I saw the movie Olympus Has Fallen, where the North Koreans attack the White House and take the President and the National Security Council hostage. 

While the acting was a "B" at best, the creativity of the attack and the action was an "A".

The attack begins with a stolen Air Force modified AC-130 with side-mounted Gatling guns unleashing hell on the streets of Washington, D.C. and the White House, followed by suicide bombers creating a breach in the gates, RPG's blowing up the security towers, 40 commandos storming though, and more Gatling guns hidden in the sides of two garbage trucks taking out our finest, the Secret Service agents that protect it. 

There is plenty of subterfuge as the North Koreans posing as the security detail for the South Korean leader visiting at the White House make their way into the Presidential bunker, and there's even a countdown to a potential nuclear holocaust by detonation of our own Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) in their silos by the terrorists.

It was so upsetting to see the Secret Service agents overwhelmed by the North Korean's vicious attack--being literally mowed down trying to protect the President and White House. It was also wrenching to see them throw the American Flag from off the White House, as well as terrorize and nearly kill the President, Vice President, and Secretary of Defense in order to get the codes to access our nuclear missiles to shut them down and then blow them up. 

There is a saying that "Generals are always trying to fight the last war," and this is the feeling you get when you see this brazen dastardly attack on the central pillar of our political power base--where we are taken by surprise and the White House and President are held in foreign hands on our own soil. 

These types of movies are great action, but also a wake-up call to our security professionals to think out of the box---yes, even like Hollywood--about what such a creative attack could look like. 

I remember after 9/11, when everybody seemed to be saying that no one could've ever imagined something like this happening to us with airplanes being used as weapons, yet the movie "Executive Decision" with Kurt Russell in 1996 posed just such a scenario with an airplane loaded with a bomb and poison gas hurtling towards the east coast. 

Years ago, as robotics and drones started to take anchor, I wondered out loud how prepared we were for armored robot(s) or commandos in robotic exoskeletons making just such a brazen attack. 

Science fiction today is real threats of tomorrow. We may not be there just yet, but how creative are we in really thinking and planning for the next big ugly surprise. 

I say get out your most outrageous thinking caps and let your mind run wild with the worst scenarios you can imagine, and then figure out what you will do about it--rather than waiting for the bad guys to figure it out for you! ;-)
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March 20, 2013

Imagine If People Really Looked Like This?

What does SpongeBob mean to you?

I thought this was funny--thinking what if people actually looked like this? 

Hey, they actually look better then some people I know. :-)

No, all kidding aside, the creations of our imagination are sometimes scary and other times funny. 

Like what if people walked around like flesh-eating zombies or if they were indeed square with bright yellow faces. 

It's interesting to see what we come up with--how zany it can be--and how it provokes us into ever new territory to explore our fears, drives and sense of being alive.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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