Cocktail Posters

I don’t drink much cocktails, but this collection of 34 of the most common cocktails is really wonderful.

The clean design, neat layout, and attention to detail is really top notch.

If cocktail’s your tea of tea (or drink), go ahead, browse around be lost in the world of your own. If you’re not, you can take a cue or two from the designs and let it be the spark to your own work.

(Via Smoking Designers)

Future Is Bright For Chelsea

If there’s a silver lining to come out of this disappointing football season, it’s this kid that brought a smile to my face.

Backup goalie Turnbull’s son impressive solo run, and an even more brilliant hand-raised celebration drew the loudest cheers from the crowd.

Sign him up now, before the potential world conqueror get snapped up by other lurking clubs.

On a side note, Ivanovic’s son isn’t too shabby either.

(Via The Loop)

Haruki Murakami And The Art Of Japanese Translations

Perhaps the best-known Japanese author outside Japan. Perhaps he is the only contemporary Japanese writer anyone outside of Japan knew.

According to him, he doesn’t read his works in English. It would lose its original meaning and to him, it’s essential that his works be understood in the native Japanese. The translator here, therefore, plays a critical role in shaping how the novel would be like. Translation is no easy feat. To translate a novel requires delicate finesse and meticulous attention to the smallest details.

When you read Haruki Murakami, you’re reading me, at least ninety-five per cent of the time. – Jay Rubin, one of Murakami’s longtime translators

It’s suffice to say we are reading Murakami through the words and mind of the translator. That doesn’t mean it’s less interesting, but to really grasp the prose of the author, it’s important to read them in the intended language.

While I caught the film “The Great Gatsby” in cinema recently, I’ve yet reach for the novel. Murakami cited The Great Gatsby as the inspiration behind his works and that alone warrants a tick in my growing to-read list.

(via The New Yorker)

Sunday Coffee Table Linked-List (3)

I enjoy posting and sharing links. This is the primary reason why I’m going to continue this mini series of link-sharing post every Sunday.

Though it could just be any other day, I find Sunday’s a little more appropriate, given that it’s the end of the long week and we usually wind down and give our mind a much needed rest. Moreover, as we working class prepare for the next working day, many would prefer to engage in passive activities like watching movie and reading interesting short articles rather than opening up the Business Times.

So, as we approach the third week of this series, I’d like to share with some of the interesting finds around the net.

(i) Findings
I wished I could had discovered this earlier, but it just got by under my radar. Having use it for just a couple of day, I can already see tremendous value in it already. Sometimes I collect, bookmark and clip article and forgot about the reason why I saved them in the first place. This handy service saves, highlight and refer back to the original source. For inspiration, I will browse through the site and discover something new and meaningful each time.

(ii) Drafin
Editing made easy. It’s a simple service that really showcases what editing is all about. Overwrite changes and the original author can choose to accept, instead of merely accepting and wondering what have been changed. When you are done with the editing, comparison can be made with a view of the original piece against the edited piece. And all these great features (and more) for the cost of nothing. Totally free.

WordPress Turns 10

Time flies.

Though I can’t recall what is it like a 10 years back, I certainly appreciate the contribution of WordPress in bringing forth the accessibility to the mass. Publishing online have never been this easy.

It’s more than just a blogging platform now, it has evolved and developed into the engine used and trusted by the biggest companies. It will face strong competition from Tumblr, Medium, Svbtle and the upcoming Ghost.

It will be interesting to see how WordPress goes from here. Here’s a toast to the next decade of exciting future.

(via TNW)


Groupon’s Inspiring Mission Statement

If I have to be honest, I absolutely detest the business model of discount sites. It’s downright depressing to know how the business operates and functions. Once you get to its core, you know it’s not going to be sustainable in the long run. The only winner is Groupon and the clones.

Discount sites in general, breed new kinds of behavior that besides driving prices down, cultivates a of mindset in customers that there is little loyalty in company. Whoever offers the cheapest gets the nod. It becomes a platform for price war to rage.

It drives genuine businesses out of the game. It creates downward pressure on prices. It doesn’t enable businesses to create value for its customers, placing emphasis on currency instead. It makes customers deal-prone. It becomes a vicious cycle where customers are addicted to the deals, not the companies or products or services.

Deal is the name of the game, as such, it becomes a almost ritual-like routine where users log in to check out the site, and buy things they probably don’t need or want.

Groupon’s model is simple, it’s built on impulse purchases. It stimulate group buying, that’s why it always encourages people to share the deal and spread the word. The word-of-mouth is the strongest form there is and seeing your own circle of friends buying can only add exposure and credibility.

As much as  I hate these discount sites, I do admire the mission statement of Groupon. A search didn’t turn up the results I wanted, so I have to type it out from my trusty moleskine.

We want the time people spent with Groupon to be memorable. Life is too short to be a boring company. Whether it’s with a deal for something unusual, such as fire dancing classes, or a marketing campaign such as Grouspawn, we seek to create experiences for our customers that make today different enough from yesterday to justify getting out of bed.

We believe that when once-great companies fall, they don’t lose to competitors. They lose to themselves – and that happens when they stop focusing on making people happy. As such, we do not intent to be reactive to competitors. We will watch them, but we won’t distract ourselves with decisions that aren’t designed primarily to make our customers and merchants happy.

I can’t promise, word by word, it’s the exact replica of what Andrew Mason said. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic piece of statement that is inspiring to employees to customers to just about anyone.

Google Reveals Our Fears

It’s amazing how Google wiggles into our mind and play upon our anxieties, our fears and our insecurities. Mind reader it is not, but close enough to worry those who are worried in the first place.

30. It’s a random number I came up with. It’s an age where men are defined by their career and achievements. That’s what society wants us to be. We strive to get out of this rat race that sucks us right in before we know it.

We buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t know. It’s a strong statement and that is the problem that hinders us from doing the things we love. Because we are molded since young to adhere to the protocol set out by others, we are like cars in the factory. Line by line, one by one.

Enough of my thoughts, here comes Google’s thoughts on what is it like to be 30.

Google 30

Sunday Coffee Table Linked-List (2)

I didn’t think I’d have the diligence to sit down here on a Sunday night to post something on my blog.

Granted, posting links require little effort. Click, copy-paste and publish. It’s as simple as that, nothing more. But the act of turning up requires a more disciplined approach, an approach I hope to reap the benefits in the future by having better control of my lifestyle.

So, for the consecutive week running, I’m sitting here by the table, laptop in front of me and ready to publish my thoughts before the world. This week’s theme is working hard, and none epitomise this better than the great Michael Jordan.

(i) On Michael Jordan, by Wright Thompson
Michael never seems to age. He defies age like he used to defy gravity. He is the icon of the sporting world. He is the king of basketball and he sparked the interest in so many children imitating his “tongue out” move.

His clutched shots and magnificent achievements will forever be remembered, but it’s his character that really shines head and shoulder above anyone else. He has no peers. He wants to win. He can be a sore loser. It’s worth noting his struggles lies beneath the glorious limelight he hogs, and the fire within him is still burning strong.

It’s a wonderful piece of article, and if I may say, it’s sport journalism at its best.

A Picture A Day

I have little interest in photography at this time. I do, however, like to browse through photos and enjoy shots of portrait vintage faces. They each tell a story. Behind every wrinkle, scar and eye shadow is a story.

Recently, I stumbled upon Momentile, a site that keeps track of a single photo every day, for as long as the publisher wants. I think it’s a brilliant idea. The picture could convey the emotion surrounding you and a picture is all that’s needed. Looking back at the pictures over the past years would definitely be something awesome.

Also, much of the inspiration and initiative to start also comes from Jonathan Harris. Looking at his pictures I can imagine myself many years down the road, looking back at them with fond memories at those fleeting moments. Just like how I’m religiously documenting in Day One, I want this to be the pictorial version of my dairy, my personal journal. I always read through my entries in Day One, it’s filled with heart aching confessions, pleasant surprises, tasty food adventures, my daily end-of-the-day reflection and many others. It’s a place where I won’t be judged, because it’s all personal. Though my photos will be published publicly, I hope to stay sane by balancing the fine art of being honest and sensible in posting pictures.

There you go. I’m intrigued by all these random thoughts and the future, so much so that I have decided to jump into the bandwagon of posting a picture every day. These are meant to be reflective of the moments in my life that I deemed worthy of remembering. It certainly doesn’t tell the story for the day, but it’s a snapshot of I what I felt at that particular moment, captured in the form of picture. And that’s good enough for me to embark on this experimental project. I have no idea if I have the diligence to post daily, but like everything else, taking the first step is the most crucial bit.

Update: Unfortunately  I arrived a little late. Momentile is no longer accepting new users so I have to look for alternatives. Maybe it’s a good time to look in the direction of Tumblr, amidst the sale of their platform for a staggering $1.1 billion in cash to Yahoo.

On What Not To Write

These day, I’m thinking quite a bit. I ponder about what to write here, what to include in this blog, what kind of content fall outside this blog. Maybe choosing what to exclude will give me a better direction of where I should be heading. There should be no rules, no guidelines as to how to create and structure a blog as personal as this. They say break the convention, bend the rules, listen to no one but yourself. Your inner voice will guide you to where you belong. Things are easier when you don’t know the limits.

Maybe the honest approach is to write things that interest me. Dilemma strikes at this point each time I give some deep thoughts. Because I have vast interests in diverse topics, and sometimes these topics don’t intersect or they appear to be out of place, rather than blending in harmoniously. I write about what holds my interest at the particular moment. Time waits for no man.

I harbor the notion of my writing not being shrewd enough, and my prose not being elegant enough, and my content not being focus enough. There will never be enough enough. While these thoughts will linger in my mind, it will not affect the way I go about writing. It’s about being true to myself and being honest is the best way forward. I thought of the following values that will guide me in the way.

-> Favoring long-form articles
-> Post only when I have something to say
-> Post things of value
-> Never add to the noise by posting unnecessary bullshit
-> Linked posts are fine, only when they are really worth sharing
-> I favor arrows over bullet points

During the 1990s, people are freely linking to each other. This is the type of free market mentality that accelerated the meteoric rise of the Internet. It’s about sharing the good things. These days, people are eager to keep visitors glued to their own site. Stealing content and passing off and their own, copy-paste the entire content with a small credit hidden somewhere down below is unethical. I think the world would be a better place if we can open up.

Keep visitors (and eventually readers) coming back for more, by directing them away.