If you are like me, you will need a good translator when buying a car in Morocco. Maybe three.
Morocco is a bilingual country. Arabic is spoken by almost everyone and French comes in a close second. Many people will switch back and forth between Arabic and French several times in one conversation. Very few people speak English, which is all I speak.
My wife Amy had spent weeks searching for a used car by internet and word of mouth. We had decided to take a break from looking for cars and spend some time in one of the local markets to shop for stuff for our new house. While wandering around some back alleys of Casablanca, I saw a classic Renault R4 that had been fixed up and painted bright red.
I am a fan of Canon SLR cameras. I like their controls and the fact they can use virtually any manufacturer’s lenses including Nikon. Some people like Nikon’s controls better and feel more comfortable with them. The two companies compete so heavily there are practically head-to-head matches in all equipment. I’ll focus on Canon where I have more experience and will only reference Nikon equivalents occasionally.
My recommendation for anyone interested in buying a digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera for the first time is to go with the Canon EOS Rebel XSi (450D) body for around $560. If you are interested in Nikon, the equivalent camera body is the D3000. The camera body is basically a small computer and will become obsolete roughly as fast. Spend your money on timeless lens technology, not rapidly evolving electronic technology.
Nate: This article is adapted from a couple blog posts and an article on photography Steve wrote a while back. Here are some tips on developing your Photographer's Eye along with simple things you can do to take better photographs. Remember, it's not the camera that takes great photos, it's the person behind the lens!
When you meet him in person, Steve Evans is a little like Clark Kent or Peter Parker. Intelligent. Mild-mannered. Unassuming. A reporter. You probably wouldn't notice him in a crowd. But, spend any amount of time with him and the facade quickly unravels.
Steve is a cultural researcher, communications specialist, and world-class photographer. He has posted over 2,500 photos to Flickr, each one better than the last. He travels extensively and (as of April, 2018) is currently based out of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa.
Nate Piekos (pronounced 'PEE-kos') is the man behind Blambot.com, a website well known in the comic book industry for fonts, lettering, and logo design.
It's not just the comic pros at Marvel and DC that use Nate's fonts though. Everyone from The New Yorker to Kellogg's Cereal to MTV to Hasbro to Hallmark have used Blambot fonts. Besides lettering comic books (which is an art in itself), designing fonts, and designing logos, he also keeps up a webcomic of his own called ATLAND and has written a few articles about his craft on Blambot.
The cool thing about Blambot is for most commercial fonts Nate releases on the site, he releases a free font as well for independent comic creators. Nate was good enough to answer a few questions for us recently.
Who am I to talk about sex and romance? I’ve never had either. I almost did, once. And it took a fair amount of time for my bruised little heart to get past the confusion of the moment. Recently, the closest I’ve come to a date was with a 'genius' at the 'bar' at the Apple store. He couldn’t help me.
My track record in the love department sucks. I have felt forgotten, used, dragged along and, worst of all, like a body double. I often share too much, too fast. Then, I develop ideas of what I think a person should do with that information. But they respond either not in the way I expect, or not at all. I then turn that disappointment into complete rejection and begin to tell myself that I have no hope at ever being in love. I’ve given away little bits of me to poor expectations and replaced them with cynicism.
I wish I had a better story to tell. I used to be a romantic. Most likely I still am. I still love Sleeping Beauty and Sense and Sensibility. I still sing with Bridget Jones as she lip-syncs to Celine Dion – 'All by myself, don’t wanna be, all by myself, anymore.'
The sky was spitting in the freshness of the evening. A slight breeze wandered down the narrow streets and caressed the small, arched bridges of the city. The night was to be yet another of reasonable weather and fair social happenings in this sprawling urban area.
My walk through the circular streets of the central part of the city had carried me round and round, breathing in the late fall air while enjoying the sights and sounds. Yet it was that corner, that turn into a certain place I will not soon forgot.
Short and terse was the man as he asked, 'How much?' to the woman through the half open door. It was a simple question, thinking back to the day now, yet it stuck with me so – the sight, the sound of their voices, the quandary of the questioner.
My friend Johnny has had more jobs than anyone I know. Ask him to tell you a work story and you might hear about the evenings he spent at a recording studio supervising amateur musicians, or about the bizarre clients he has designed websites for, or maybe about the time he worked at a sausage factory and the machine broke, leaving him covered head to toe in sausage meat. I’m not making this up.
And then there’s my old flatmate, Ayesha, who looks like she's stepped out of the web page of a street fashion blog or a vintage clothing vendor on Etsy. Ayesha makes a living for herself buying clothing in thrift shops, then altering, modeling and photographing it, and selling it in online auctions for at least ten times the price.
I bet when you read the title to this article you were intrigued.
Now you’re saying to yourself, 'He’s right. I am intrigued! But why?'
The reason: we’ve all done it.
We’ve all tried looking busy at work when we’ve had absolutely nothing to do.
You pass papers back and forth across your desk at intermittent times throughout the day to make it seem as if you are reading important documents. We make multiple runs to the supply closet for our fourteenth bag of paperclips. How about swapping out random folders in the filing cabinet, regardless of whether you need them?
When money is tight, which it often has been for me, I reach for ideas. I reach for resourceful ideas to eat and have fun. I learned this sandwich from my old boss. He learned it in jail. He called it a bang-bang and had many variations for it. You can add mackerel, veggies, honey or jalapenos to spice it up or use cola to boil the noodles instead of water. This is a decent meal for under four bucks!
‘Rap is something you do, hip hop is something you live!’
KRS-One has described hip hop in many ways, but my favorite was on his album with Marley Marl entitled ‘Hip Hop Lives.’ The song was called ‘I Come Back’ and in it he gives a couple acronyms, my favorite being ‘Holy Integrated People Having Omnipresent Power.’ That’s comforting to me. I love it.
When a movie trailer comes on TV, something in the back of your mind switches on. As you see movie posters in the mall, a feeling passes through your gut. Any mention of the Oscars, Sundance, or Cannes moves your heart a little.
You have a Big Idea, and you ache to see it written, revised, bought, cast, shot, edited, and projected onto a big screen in front of an audience. And you believe that your job is Job #1: put the Idea on paper. You want, or dare I say, need to write a screenplay. You are compelled, and if you're the Believing type, you believe that it's the will of God in your life. Simply put, it's your dream.
However, dreams aren't easy to achieve; otherwise they'd just be chores. So you frequently ask yourself:
'I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away. I don't know where my soul is, I don't know where my home is.' -- Nelly Furtado
My friend Draise has been on the move off and on for two years straight, most of that time away from family and old friends. We were talking a couple months back and he asked me if I felt like Massachusetts was home. I said yeah, definitely. My family’s not up here and it’s been a struggle forming the same kind of deep friendships that I’m used to having back in Florida, but it does feel like home. He said he hadn’t felt at home in a long time and it was obviously starting to get to him.
We all know home is where the heart is, but what if your heart's not where you are? The idea of home is a tricky thing. I never even thought about it until I moved out for the first time.
Last week I flew with my boss and a few anthropologists to Kodiak Island, here in Alaska. Our team’s intention was to invite key community leaders into a new research project to prevent pre-teens from abusing everyday legal products. It seems that many Alaskan kids have a deviant-scientific side to them and have uncovered 1,001 ways to get high off everything from gasoline to Lysol and Ritalin.
Who would think to ask why a stinky 10 year old boy has a can or three of Axe body spray in his backpack?
In Kodiak, we met with a few community leaders, and all went methodically well. True to the island’s reputation, the weather quickly became snotty, blowing wind and cold rain every way but up. It was a fairly gray day, until we met with Father Paisius at the coffee shop for a lunch meeting.
My wife, Wendy, and I just moved from central Florida last year to metrowest Massachusetts. We’ve experienced Spring before, but never really lived in it like this. Outside our front door, I’m seeing little shoots of trees, plants, flowers, weeds and every other natural growing thing sprouting up.
The funny thing is, you never know during the winter where the little bits of new life are going to pop up. But the snow melts, the weather changes and there they all are, scattered about in no apparent pattern and growing like crazy.
That’s a little bit how I’d like you to look at this humble first issue of the Creative Revolutionary’s Handbook.