No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure. Happiness is a glory shining far down upon us out of Heaven. She is a divine dew which the soul, on certain of its summer mornings, feels dropping upon it from the amaranth bloom and golden fruitage of Paradise. (Charlotte Bronte, Villette)
Happiness is not a potato.
Close to 2 years ago, I was preparing to roast some vegetables for dinner. I washed a potato, and started to cut out some of the eyes that looked like they would be a bit tough, when, to my surprise, I had the impression that the potato was looking back at me. Yes, we all know that potatoes have eyes, but they don’t usually have mournful eyes. Further, I realized that the “eye” I was cutting into with the point of my knife was actually more like the potato’s nostril. Filled with remorse, I stopped to take some photos of my sad, sad potato. (And then I continued to cut it up and put it in a roasting pan.)
Some days later, I came across the quote above, by Charlotte Bronte. Indeed, happiness is not a potato, and I had the photographic proof.
If anything, as far as I can tell, sadness is a potato.
Sad potato is sad.¹
While perhaps not with the same frequency as my sharing of leaves, this is far from the first time I’ve shared vegetables with faces. In fact, 3 years ago, a butternut squash and I declared November 21st to be International Day of the Odd Vegetable.² Together, the squash and I reminisced about an eggplant we once knew.
How about you? Have you come across any produce with personality?
¹ That’s what I was imagining I’d call a post about this potato.
² Alternately, The Day of Peculiar Produce.
That’s no moon. That’s a melon.
Still tired, still busy, still apparently not feeling inspired to post original content. But here is a YouTube video that follows nicely from yesterday’s food animation pick, specially given the recent release of the trailer for the new Star Wars movie. (And also the Wes Anderson version.) Please enjoy “Grocery Store Wars,” from 2005.
This is how I felt much of this past winter.
That door is alarmed, you say? Well, this guardrail is downright dismayed.
This campus sculpture is distressed.
And this leaf is appalled.
Yesterday, I posted a set of photos of happy faces. This seemed like a reasonable follow-up, since some days, you just don’t want to put on a happy face. (You see them too, right? This is not the first time I’ve shared found faces. If you’ve been visiting for a while, you may even recognize the little leafy guy in the bottom photo.)
I confess that when I first read this sign, it made me think about blocking the loading dock. Thank goodness they didn’t catch me and tow me away! Even now, so many months later, when I read this sign, I find myself thinking about ways I could block that loading dock. I try to come up with creative ways to block it. I could set up a lemonade stand in front of it! Or maybe sculpt a statue of a clown in front. Or make giant origami installation. My thoughts are in clear violation of this notice. If you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know why…
This week’s friday foto finder theme is “notice.” To see what other notices have been noticed, haul yourself over to the fff blog. (But whatever you do, don’t think about blocking this loading dock.)
Web design has come a long way in recent years, and the many varied themes and templates can make much of it easier for the casual web designer. But before you get started, it’s still helpful to know a few basics of web design that can lead to a more effective web site.
- Clarity: Probably the most important element of web design is clarity. The strands of content should be clearly highlighted, and easy to discern and interpret.
- Simplicity: too busy a web design can make it difficult to find the critical content, and visitors may not even know where to land.
- Effective use of space: A more effective web design makes better use of space put the content in focus, and make the navigation structure clear.
- Integrated designs: Another type of web design is for smaller sites that are integrated into larger sites. This clever design makes use of a small space in a larger layout. Its sparse but elegant lines integrate well into the aesthetic of the larger site.
- Background: One simple but important detail of good web design is background color. In this example, the web designer tried to make use of too bright and bold a background, making the important details of the design hard to spot. Designs like this are more likely to draw attention to the web designer herself, rather than the web content, which is a deterrent to most website visitors.
- Visual elements: Choosing the right images for your web design is also key. Choosing a unifying theme, repetition of design elements, and subtle use of color can give pleasing harmony to the web design.
- Stickiness: One of the main goals of good web design is to get visitors not just to fly through, but to land and stay. This web design may not look like much at first, but its structure has great elements to get visitors to really stick.
- Upkeep: One also must not forget to maintain one’s web design. It doesn’t take long for a web site to start to look dated. Even if a web site has compelling visual elements to attract visitors to the site, multiple broken links will guarantee that visitors will take off soon and land on more frequently updated web sites.
When you start out on your own web design, try to keep these points in mind to make your site more effective. Of course, never lose sight of the ultimate goal of web design: to trap visitors and drain them of their bodily fluids.