This is the kind of shenanigans we players get up to during our games… especially when the DM brings 3D printed magnet-edged tiles:
Month: January 2019
In keeping with the recent theme!
Disneyland upon opening in 1955:
And here’s the same(ish) view of Disneyland just a few months ago:
It’s amazing to see how much Disneyland has grown, both in density and by expanding outward beyond the railway (not to mention California Adventure, most of which isn’t shown in the picture). The railway itself has changed over the years, especially so for the new (and positively ginormous) Star Wars land, adopting a more sinuous route around the shortened river…
(It’s also fun to see how much has changed around the park — from groves to hotels and houses!)
As noted before, we are not rational, but rationalizing creatures. Pretty much everything we do in our lives makes sense to us within some sort of internal logic.*
So here’s the thing.
If someone is exhibiting behaviour that you do not understand, it is because you are missing a part of their context.
If you are exhibiting unproductive behaviour, and can’t seem to reign it in, it is because you are missing a part of your context.
Said another way, in both cases there is context that is hidden from your view.
When confronted by this, it is most helpful to respond to a person’s – including your own – ineffective behaviour with curiosity, rather than judgement.
There are always barriers. We all have them. They all arise inside of our own, personal, context.** And those barriers hem us in, keeping us being and acting within their narrow confines.
Recognizing those barriers – and viewing them as legitimate – is often the first step to breaking lazy or unproductive behaviour patterns.
With others, you can listen, extend empathy, and, without blame or shame, seek to speak and engage constructively.
With yourself, you can work to unconceal what’s there, discover your hidden stories, and, without blame or shame, transform them.
And, altogether, grant great realms of freedom and choice.
* Logic that can, of course, be quite easily, and often most definitively is, twisted or incoherent or be full of blind spots and even hypocrisy. Cognitive dissonance is powerfully obfuscating indeed. Still, at least on a superficial “answer off the cuff” level, it really does makes sense to us. It feels right and fine.
** Even though, for the most part, we didn’t consciously and deliberately choose or design many of our contexts…
If you’ve heard the term “glass pavilion” before, well, this certainly fits the bill. Lots of glass and even mirrored glass makes this diamond-patterned box, along with its dramatic and likewise diamond-patterned roof that appears to float above it all, a striking object nestled into its wooded site.
The purpose of all this pizzazz is for a neighborhood library. Once inside, the drama of the glazed exterior transitions to something much more sedate. I love how the deep wood boxes that make up the diamond pattern becomes almost quilt-like as it envelops the stacks and reading areas. And by pulling back the second floor in various places, these large atriums get created that let that mosaic strut its stuff, further enhanced by the luminous ceiling.
It’s all about the outer wall (and roof) here, and that’s alright. With its nifty design there’s a lot of fun plays between light and shadow, transparency and solidity, outward views and inward texture. As a temple for reading and community gathering, it’s suitably exciting without detracting from the quiet and comfy needs of the readers and gatherers. Cool stuff.
The Francis A Gregory Library by Adjaye Associates.
Wonder Saturday (aka Wednesday)
Missed the usual Wonder Wednesday post this week as it was in the midst of another wonderful day at Disneyland!
Meeting up with some old friends…
Chip and Dale were totally amused by my shirt, and spent several minutes alternately pointing themselves out, hiding the other’s picture, doing hearts over them, and so on, all in a rapid flurry of paws. It was great!
Getting a deliciously big hug from Tigger…
I went with my friend Shadow Cheetah, who, as a costumer himself, totally loved watching all the mannerisms and especially interactions of the Disney characters with the guests. It was also his first time to Disneyland, for which I was incredibly excited and honoured to be the one to introduce him to all the theme park magic.
Can’t say hi to Tigger without visiting Pooh as well!
Also finally got a chance to try out the new Guardians ride at California Adventure, and it’s a blast! The Rocket animatronic in the antechamber was especially well done. Only got a chance to ride it once, so only saw one of the six music/sequence combos. More for next time!
Also got a chance to see the latest of the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge construction. You can get a great view from the second lift hill on Thunder Mountain, and what a view, oh my! Night had fallen, but the land was still lit up letting us see just how big it is. It. Is. Freakin. Huge. I never grasped the scope of it until now. Framed by the spires of Thunder Mountain, it filled the horizon to the edges of our vision with massive rock formations and a mess of buildings. And it’s all looking great already, the detail and the level of craft I think is going to be mind blowing.
Click on the above to see it in a 360 degree panorama format! (You may need to click on it a few times to get to the panorama feature)
To finish off the day we attended the Mickey and Minnie mouse 90th birthday dance party on Main Street. With a gaggle of Disney songs remixed (quite well) into a dance beat, it was a rocking time as projections flowed over every facade down main street, accompanied by a thousand spotlights all waving in patterns to the beat (even around the castle, which was half-covered in scrim for maintenance — you can see it in the image above).
As the lights returned to normal and the after-party music began, Shade and I continued to dance away, eliciting cheers and “right on!”s from other guests as they began to stream towards the exit. A powerfully fun end to a wonderful day.
“But mostly we just walked in companionable silence. Which I think might be the meaning of life. To be alongside people you love, fording the streams and climbing the hills together.”
Check out this amazing view of the space shuttle Endeavour breaking through the clouds during a launch in 2011!
(I swear it also looks like it was taken through a tilt-shift lens, which gives it that miniature look, but it might just be the unique perspective playing with our perception…)
There were many things that were amazing about my Sifu. I learned so very much from him. One of which he never taught me directly… he was simply an embodiment of it.
Sifu loved Kung Fu. That may seem like an unnecessary statement – of course Sifu loved Kung Fu, you’d think. After all, he practiced it diligently for so many years. But this is not just some matter-of-fact thing. Sifu loved Kung Fu for its own sake. When Sifu practiced, he practiced because of that simple enjoyment. There was no “in order to” behind it.
And that was the great insight, lesson, and wisdom he demonstrated.
Often times in our lives we take on something, practice something, or do something “in order to” accomplish, have, possess, or gain something else. We don’t do it just for the pleasure, satisfaction, or pure difference it might make in the world. We do it “in order to” get that other thing.
We train martial arts in order to feel manly or not scared.
We run marathons in order to look sexy and have something impressive to tell others.
We take a job in order to make money*, because we want money in order to feel powerful.
We buy something in order to distract us.
We like a particular band to fit in socially
We seek conflict in order to avoid loneliness.
Sometimes we undertake things because of some perceived flaw in ourselves. Other times, we may not even be aware of the hidden purpose,** the “in order to” remaining hidden from our view. “I like it!” we think. “It’s just what’s needed,” we add. “I have no choice,” we finalize.
While these “in order to”s can be great motivators, pushing us with an intensity and persistence in our pursuit of that goal, they also rob us. Rob us of freedom, rob us of satisfaction, rob us of joy. Rob us of the experience of the moment. And, most ironically (though you can probably guess), they also rob us of our performance. They get in the very way of the thing we’re trying to get. If anything starts to slip, we become frantic. Small or large, any panic will stunt our game.
When we set aside our “in order to”s, new levels of growth and delight are available. When we practice, do, or take on something for its own sake, we free ourselves to play and dance. What we do becomes a self-expression, leaving us energized and fulfilled.
And In that space, we love it.
* As distinct from earning a living.
** Or we don’t want to admit it to ourselves…
Sometimes, when you do well in school you get a gold star. This particular school takes that notion in an almost literal way.
Shaped like a star, the layout of the school does a couple of cool things. Each radiant point houses a grade levels or two, each sporting its own design character as well as age-appropriate sizing. At the same time, grouping the shared and special functions by the centre creates the school unified and creates a strong communal point. It at the same time allows for separate environments and scale that allow the students to relate to the building and feel safe within, while still allowing the school to be a unified whole through interactions and gatherings in the communal core.
And what a core! The piece de resistance, the stair and open-air (and deconstructed) library and gallery seating and stage and who knows what else keeps the area alive and engaged with activity throughout the day while also being a powerful and ownable element in its own right.
The angled nature of each of the wings means that there’s no hallways per se; things are wide enough that the circulation can serve double duty as seminar and collaboration space. And if that wasn’t enough, the place is littered with smaller rooms and nooks and all sorts of great spaces for students to gather and do work or just socialize.
Wait… is that… a nook with a literal PIT of LEGO? (Well, I guess it is in Denmark) Man… I love this school even more now.
As a bonus, check out those wicked and very fun conceptual drawings of the building!
Compared to many of the institutional and staid schools that abound, this is a design that aims to make an engaging and delightful place for the students and teachers who spend so many hours there. Plus its design is geared towards natural ventilation, full of light, covered in solar panels, and aims outward towards playgrounds and parks and trails leading into the surrounding neighborhood. Splendidly done.