• 2018

  • The Magnificent Eleven

  • Robert Capa, is hands down, one of my all-time favorite photographers. He was an incredible photojournalist. Took immense risks to get the perfect shot and was seemingly, everywhere. A selection of his work is documented and available to view on The Met archives.

    While I could drone on and on about his accomplishments, his life’s work, and incredible war motifs — I suggest that you, yourself get lost in his body of work at Magnum Photos another time. But today, I want to share something specific from his life.

    A documentation of a terrible day in history, D-Day. It’s true that the horrors of war are often poorly captured, and all too-often, censored. But Capa, being of the daring and lucky sort, volunteered to be a war photographer during the operation at Normandy. 

    He took over a hundred photos, which is astounding given the total and complete chaos that ensued on all six of the gritty, blood-ridden foamy shores. After the monumental achievement of surviving the battle, he mailed off his rolls of film for processing at a film lab in London operated by Life. 

    Of all 106 photographs Capa took that fateful day, a photo lab assistant had ruined all but eleven photographs. While it’s tragic, it’s almost fitting that the images that survived carry the full weight of that dangerous and wicked day. In a sense, it amplifies the mythology and altitude of the operation. The images have since been called The Magnificent Eleven. You can see all of the eleven here, but this one is my favorite:

    It’s straight from a nightmare. It turns out that the eleven served as inspiration for Spielberg’s, Saving Private Ryan. Which is not surprising. It’s a powerful film, and wonderful homage to Capa’s work, and more importantly an homage to all who braved their lives during the war.

  • Snapchat Loses 3M Daily Active Users in 3 Months

  • From Endgadget:

    According to the Snap’s second quarter earnings report, the number of daily active users have dropped from 191 million in the first quarter of the year, to 188 million. That’s a drop of 2 percent, or 3 million users, since the last quarter, and marks the first time that user count has dropped in the company’s corporate history.

    Yikes. Looks like my prediction for a Snapchat sale happening in 2019 is fast approaching after all.

    Scott Galloway weighs in:

    So, what to do? Simple, sell. Only Snap is a terrible investment and a nightmare for investors, as the firm is controlled, via two-class stock, by a 28-year-old who is already a billionaire, so he is a terrible fiduciary for shareholders, as he will not sell to the highest bidder. There are only two relevant criteria for who will acquire Snap:

    Galloway goes on saying “It can’t be Facebook,” and that much is for certain — and who would Evan Spiegel even work for after an acquisition? Galloway has his sights on Disney or Amazon, and honestly I don’t see Iger making a play for Snap. But it could happen. Disney could use a pick-me-up for their teenage audience.

    Amazon is the more likely bet, simply because they have the capital and the current CFO is an Amazonian Alum. They could (and would) monetize the absolute shit out of the Snapchat app. It would, undoubtedly become the QVC of the appverse. 

    A sort of fitting end to a superficial ephemeral “social-network.”

  • On Mediocrity and Having Hobbies

  • Contributing New York Times opinion writer, Tim Wu:

    I’m a little surprised by how many people tell me they have no hobbies. It may seem a small thing, but — at the risk of sounding grandiose — I see it as a sign of a civilization in decline. The idea of leisure, after all, is a hard-won achievement; it presupposes that we have overcome the exigencies of brute survival. Yet here in the United States, the wealthiest country in history, we seem to have forgotten the importance of doing things solely because we enjoy them.


    But there’s a deeper reason, I’ve come to think, that so many people don’t have hobbies: We’re afraid of being bad at them. Or rather, we are intimidated by the expectation — itself a hallmark of our intensely public, performative age — that we must actually be skilled at what we do in our free time. Our “hobbies,” if that’s even the word for them anymore, have become too serious, too demanding, too much an occasion to become anxious about whether you are really the person you claim to be.

    While hyperbolic at first, I think Tim is onto something here. Having a hobby is hard. There’s certainly a deep social expectation that one must be an expert to satisfy the appearance of a hobbyist. I’ve felt it. What once was leisure, is now subject to the intensity and bombardment of excellence.

    There’s nothing’s wrong with maintaining mediocrity — and there’s certainly nothing wrong with amateur hobbies either. Be it painting, drawing, yoga, reading, jogging, or even playing video games (or golf, for  a different generation). Skill shouldn’t matter in the arena of hobbyists. That’s the whole point. It’s just a hobby.

    I’m not saying hobbies have no room for improvement. I’m sure many will seek out means to hone their craft. Others will not. Some will become frustrated and move onto other hobbies. That’s how it should work. Probably best to ignore societal pressures to pro-actively level-up your hobby too. Let’s say you enjoy gardening. You’ve’re under no obligation to study up on heredity, and follow the footsteps of Gregor Mendel in breeding varieties of pea plants. Because, well that would no longer make it a hobby wouldn’t it?

    The entire concept of having a hobby at all is because we enjoy leisure and relaxation. Focus on yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  • Design Canada Trailer

  • Through the lens of graphic design, Design Canada follows the transformation of a nation from a colonial outpost to a vibrant and multicultural society.

    Cast (Designers): Burton Kramer, Rolf Harder, Fritz Gottschalk, Hans Kleefeld, Stuart Ash, Heather Cooper, and more

    With Commentary by: Massimo Vignelli, Douglas Coupland, George Stroumboulopoulos, Hannah Sung, and more.


    This looks so great. I’m glad to see Vignelli is in the documentary as well. He (and the infamous Helvetica documentary) were huge inspirations to me in high school. May he forever rest in peace.

    I’m also a huge rail-nerd. So seeing Vignelli critique the 1969 CN logo is going to be mind-blowing for me. You can read more about the Allan Fleming re-branding here, and more about CN’s history, here.