These 60-second 3D modeling tutorials are entertaining and educational

Ian Hubert is the host of the "Lazy Tutorials - For Lazy People, By Lazy People" YouTube channel, which has 60-second videos of Hubert using Blender to create 3D models and textures of various things like air conditioners and bulletin boards. He makes it look easy (I know it's not), and he's also funny.

[via Core 77] Read the rest

Listen: Inspiring commencement speech from Astro Teller, X's captain of moonshots

Astro Teller is the head of X, the "Moonshot Factory" that first launched as an R&D division of Google. iHeart Radio invited Astro to be part of a fantastic podcast series of virtual commencement speeches for 2020 graduates (and the rest of us) that they collected from the likes of John Legend, Bill & Melinda Gates, Hillary Clinton, George Lopez, Mary J Blige, and several dozen more. I've recently been working with the folks at X, and their celebration of weirdness, radical creativity, and urgent optimism is very real. And it's infectious. Listen to Astro's speech above. From his blog post:

On the one hand, this is an incredibly daunting time. On the other, we have a once-in-a-century opportunity to hit the reset button, let go of conventional ways of thinking, and rebuild the world in radically better ways. This shift in perspective might feel difficult, even premature. However, the alternative — to try to claw society back towards an old normal that wasn’t working that well in many ways — is far worse. And counterintuitively, those of us who are newer and fresher in our fields, like the Class of 2020, may have some of the strongest tailwinds as we search for new approaches to the world’s most pressing problems. We’ve seen many times over the years at X that strategic naivete is actually a superpower.

One of my messages for graduates is to not worry that they don’t know the answers. The mental freedom and flexibility they have, and their willingness to learn and experiment, is going to be a secret to success in a world where there are no ready answers and no playbook.

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How a children's book about a mouse is keeping me motivated in quarantine

When I was a teenager, I worked at the Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop in New Haven, Connecticut — which, as far as teenage work went, was pretty formative and fantastic. While the campus is based in Eli Whitney's original factory, the museum itself is more of an experimental learning workshop that uses alternative teaching methods to celebrate and explore the intersections of engineering, design, and innovation. And yes, that man above was my boss, who hopes to enjoy his well-deserved retirement soon, depending on how this pandemic plays out.

On the weekends, we'd host birthday parties at the museum for younger kids, where they'd get to do some hands-on woodworking projects that also introduced them to simple machines or electricity (like a single Christmas light and a battery; we weren't monsters). We had a series of projects loosely based on the books of Leo Lionni, including one very simple project for 5-year olds that was based on the story of Frederick the Mouse. The basic idea of the story is that all the other mice accuse Frederick of being lazy while the rest of them are busy getting ready for the winter. They're all gathering wood and straw and nuts and stone so they can hide away in comfort when it gets cold out — and Frederick just sits there, insisting that he, too, is collecting things like colors and stories and sounds.

This, understandably, irritates all the other hard-working mice. But when the winter finally comes, and they're all trapped in the cave together, going out of their little mouse minds, that's when Frederick finally pulls his weight. Read the rest

Watch The Americans play Tom Waits together, apart

Faced with forced isolation, creative musicians are pushing the limits of telepresence tech to play together, apart. In the video above, my favorite roots rockers The Americans cover Tom Waits' "Hold On" from three different locations connected only by iPhone. The result is magnificent.

Below, The Americans' soulful take on Guitar Slim's 1954 breakthrough R&B hit "The Things I Used To Do." See more clips on their Facebook page.

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Every COVID-19 commercial is exactly the same

Youtuber Microsoft Sam saw something interesting.

I left the agency side of advertising over a decade ago because the creativity was smothering me. Read the rest

How to roll an imaginary 6-sided die in your head

I recently re-read Mindhacker: 60 Tips, Tricks, and Games to Take Your Mind to the Next Level, by Ron Hale-Evans and Marty Hale-Evans. It's full of interesting ways to memorize things, think creatively, solve problems, and learn new things.

Here's a sample:

Hack 36: Roll the Mental Dice Quick! You need a way to generate random numbers using just your brain, because you're playing in the pool, driving, falling asleep, or doing something else that makes it difficult to roll physical dice. Maybe you're playing games (board, role-playing, or purely mental) or breaking out of a rut by making decisions randomly. Don't panic – you can use simple math on random words from your surroundings to quickly create random numbers, just about anytime and anywhere.

For each of these procedures, you'll need to be able to come up with a short random word, either spontaneously or from the environment. To get one, check nearby signs or reading material, ask a friend or passerby, or do anything similar that seems good to you. You'll also need to know or work out the number value of each letter, corresponding to its place in the alphabet: A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, and so on through Z equals 26.

To emulate a 6 sided die, follow this procedure:

Find a short word, such as “cat.” Sum the numerical values of the letters in the word: C = 3, A = 1, T = 20, and then 3+1+20 = 24. Calculate the number modulo 09 (see the section “How It Works” for the procedure).

If the remainder is a 0, 7, or 8, which will happen one third of the time, discard it and try a new word. Read the rest

Locked-down wedding photographer shoots beautiful LEGO wedding

UK wedding photographer Chris Wallace is on lockdown like so many of us. To keep his creativity alive, he staged and photographed a fantastic LEGO wedding. You can see the photos and Wallace's narration of the nuptials over at Petapixel. It looks more romantic and fun than many real weddings I've attended!

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Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's wonderful new Zoom music video

The wonderful weird alt.folk noise pop band Thao & The Get Down Stay Down released a new music video today shot entirely using Zoom videoconferencing. It's a radically creative clip for an equally rad tune, "Phenom."

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's new album Temple is out next month. Read the rest

This deck of cards will help you to get to know yourself better

Know Yourself is a set of 60 cards to prompt you to examine your beliefs. Example card: “List five things that are important to you in your life. How much of your time do you give to each of these?” The back of each card offers advice to make sure you answer the questions in a useful way. You can use their cards on your own or with another person you feel close to. Be prepared to surprise yourself. These could be good prompts for people interested in keeping a journal or writing a memoir. Read the rest

'Lord of the Rings'-themed wedding looks like a lot of fun

IMGURian @Sgraceoh shared these phenomenal images of their “Lord of the Rings themed wedding,” and it looks like a good time was had by all. Read the rest

'I go to thrift stores with $20 and try to make the weirdest outfits I can.'

“Old lady night gown, rubber boots, lampshade, red sunglasses.”

Oh, this is wonderful. Extreme frugal thrift store shopping for maximum mayhem and fabulousness. I am here for this content. Read the rest

The true nature of creativity: pilfering and recombining the work of your forebears (who, in turn, pilfered and recombined)

Alex from Copy Me (previously) writes, "Copying is one of the most essential steps to creativity. And if we don’t understand how it works, copyright can easily become detrimental to the very creativity we want to protect. Copy-Me's got a new video about how even the great geniuses copied others and how this practice goes waaaay back to the most famous artists and inventions. With loads of examples and quotes from experts. We tried to reach the emotion behind the beliefs we all carry with us because facts alone don’t change anyone’s mind, especially when those beliefs are so woven into every aspect of our society. It’s called, appropriately, 'Geniuses Steal', the 3rd part in a miniseries about how minds really work and how the romantic notions about creation hinder our own ability to create. Read the rest

This guy hand-paints amazing art on Vans loafers

Wow. Read the rest

Lynda Barry's "Making Comics" is one of the best, most practical books ever written about creativity

I've been a fan of cartoonist, novelist and memoirist Lynda Barry for decades, long before she was declared a certified genius; Barry's latest book, Making Comics is an intensely practical, incredibly inspiring curriculum for finding, honing and realizing your creativity through drawing and writing.

'I was born without my right hand and use duct tape to play guitar'

Abby is a one-handed guitar slayer and drummer, and she can really sing. Read the rest

Watch: Epic ink pen drawing on a pizza box

“This is probably my favorite thing I’ve ever drawn,” writes IMGURian @smallssss. “It’s on the back of a pizza box but I’m pleased with how it turned out.” Read the rest

Just some really gorgeous psychedelic glass art

Shut up and take my money, @sableglass. Read the rest

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