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Monday, May 26, 2008

Finding Inspiration in a Billionaire Without a Home

Nicolas Berggruen is a multi-billionaire that doesn't own his own home...or a car...or not much else, for that matter.

He lost interest in acquiring and owning material things. At some point, he realized that you can't buy happiness, nor can you find it in possessions...and then he sold off everything he had.

According to Mr Berggruen, “Living in a grand environment to show myself and others that I have wealth has zero appeal. Whatever I own is temporary, since we’re only here for a short period of time. It’s what we do and produce, it’s our actions, that will last forever. That’s real value.”

As a hopeless packrat, I am starting to really feel the burden of possessions and have recently embarked on a whole house de-junking adventure. While I am not too sure why I own most of what I have, I do understand why I can't just toss it away. My frugal nature prevents me. Some of it could be useful to someone else. But I can't locate the someone else that would provide a home for my unwanted things.

I had considered placing an ad somewhere, promising a 'gift' to anyone and everyone that shows up at my house on a particular weekend. If the turnout is good, I should have a lot more breathing space on the following Monday.

Just imagine the look on the face of the person that shows up and gets an Encyclopedia Britannica set, originally worth over $2000. I have been trying to get rid of that, unsucessfully, for the last 5 years!

There are other things that I can't part with, not because I need them, but because of the symbolic nature of the objects. They have a sentimental value to me. It's my feelings for the person they remind me of, that prevents me from discarding them.

Why do humans place such a high value on silly objects that were owned by deceased loved ones & friends, and people they will probably never see again? Is it a thought that by keeping these things that you are keeping a part of them alive? Keeping the good times of the past by keeping the objects of the past? Can the memory live without the objects? How much of a long term impact will it truly have on your life, your memories, and your feelings, if you part with grandma's old worn out sewing box? Or a bracelet that your deceased brother made for you back when you were 9 years old? Or baby clothes that were worn by your child, who is now all grown up?

I am going to use Nicolas Berggruen as my inspiration, and try to learn to let go of "stuff". At the very least, it will make it much easier to pack, the next time I have to move.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Silver Buttons

Another batch of blank buttons for you to have some fun with.

The zip file contains a variety of sizes from 23x23, to 600x23.

Included is a number of formats: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, and .png.

These buttons may be used for both non-commercial and commercial purposes.

You may use them on your website, in your applications, or whatever you wish.

You may alter these buttons to suit your needs in any way you desire.

Download link can be found on my art site.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Creative Commons and Author's True Intentions Creates Copy Confusion

You see it every day on blogs all over the web: content posted with a Creative Commons license.

The Creative Commons license, for his own original works, is the choice of the author. He is not forced to do this (unless it's a derivative work based on another Creative Commons work, or he is publishing someone else's CC licensed work). He does it willingly. He makes the conscious decision to make his work copyable under certain restrictions, whether they be giving him credit, not making derivative works, derivative works allowed, restrictions on commercial use, no restrictions on commercial use, etc.

But he is giving you the right to copy it, nonetheless.

I spotted this one at the bottom of the page on a blog today:

According to the Creative Commons license for that site, in which the author links to, I CAN copy his content. According to the little Copyscape banner above it, I may not.

So which is it? Can I or can't I?

I wish authors would think about it seriously and make up their minds before they put the banners on their sites. They can't have it both ways. They can't say out of one side of their mouths you can copy their work, and out of the other that you can't. They are conflicting statements and ideas.

If you don't want to give people the legal right to copy your work, don't release it under any type of Creative Commons license. Retain full copyright and priviledges for yourself. And get the Creative Commons badges off your site!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What does a 13 year old boy from Texas do with hookers?

He plays Halo with them, of course!

And then grows up to be a politician.

This is one of the most hilarious news articles that I have read in awhile.

"13 Year Old Steals Dad's Credit Card to Buy Hookers"