Independents Day 2016 

By far, my favorite Columbus festival is Independents Day. And it continues to get better every year, but 2016 is going to be really hard to beat. 

My favorite part was the flower installation work done by Sunny Meadows Flower Farm. The festival’s visual commander miss.birdy had a vision to create an environment that made people engage with their surroundings, point, and look at new details. See nailed it. People flocked to the bridge where she set up beautiful seating areas and hung flowers. The space was magical. I’ve never seen so much awe or joy in a crowd. Everyone was enamored with the previously invisible space.  

(Photos from @littlecritters00, @ckovitya, @unikoen, and me.)

The expanded beer tent was also an upgrade. All my favorite local breweries were present and there were even options for wine or mixed drinks. I enjoyed sipping Zauber and Rhinegeist very much 🙂 

There were more vendors this year than ever before. Where Alex and I were set up with a table in the Columbus Idea Foundry there were close to double the amount of people than in 2015. Outside our building, the tents housed tons of exciting local artists and activities.  

I also really loved seeing kids walk through the Columbus Idea Foundry in awe. They were so curious. Alex was demoing how he makes his chess pieces and kids lingered for more than 10 minutes, watching him on the lathe. Many had never thought about how game pieces or other familiar objects were made. Similarly, they hung at the 3D printing stations and virtual reality arena.

I made a purchase, too. I picked up 2 books from Two Dollar Radio. I had never heard of them before, but they publish independent works. Have you checked out any of their authors? Im excited to dive in! 

If you were there at IDfest, what parts did you love the most? Or what did you buy and discover? 

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4 Stories I Can’t Forget

There are a few podcast episodes I find myself bringing up again and again in social conversations. The stories are so darn interesting, I can’t stop thinking about them.

1. For starters, did you know that there is an underground crime ring for Venus fly traps?! No joke. Stealing and reselling the plants is grounds for big money and big trouble.

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Criminal – Episode 5: Dropping Like Flies

2. The history of white bread fascinates me. The mass production of sliced bread was spurred when village bakers started cutting ingredients with fillers like saw dust. WHAT?!

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99% – Episode 137: Good Bread

3. You’ve probably seen a Thomasson somewhere but didn’t know there was a name to describe it. They are architectural leftovers or mistakes that are kept and maintained. You know, the second-floor doors that open to nothing, stairs that go nowhere, paths that just stop. There’s a whole story behind how these monuments got themselves a name.

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99% – Episode 129: Thomassons

4. I didn’t realize that other countries handle trash collection differently than we do in the U.S. In Taiwan there are music playing garbage trucks that ride around five days of the week. Residents all bring their trash out to street corners at designated times and wait for the trucks to come by to collect. Even more interesting than the fact that they don’t have dumpsters or garbage cans is that garbage bags are really expensive. The trucks only accept government sanctioned blue bags, so the market and high price is fixed. People are therefore incentivized to generate less trash. This different approach impacts their entire culture.

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99% – Episode 213: Separation Anxiety

 

Challenge to Write More

Whenever I write I feel better, somehow more productive and accomplished. But I don’t write often – I mean look at how sporadic my past blog posts are… Being inconsistent is my biggest flaw (in my opinion). So I want to challenge myself to write more. For no other particular reason than to keep myself accountable, I’m pledging to write a blog post every week through the end of 2016.

This blog doesn’t have a strict “editorial mission statement” or goals for readership, unlike all the writing I do for work. This blog is instead a stream of conciousness around things I find interesting. Being scatter-brained I often get excited about something, but don’t ever really explore it. Surface-level interest. I want to force myself to think about things deeper, take a stand on something. Writing once a week will hopefully force me to do this and go beyond my comfort zone. 

I have an arbitrary list of topics started, but not nearly enough to fill the whole remainder of the year. I’m a little terrified that I might get writer’s block, want to quit, or give up… But that’s the whole point, right? I need to get over my tendency to back out of personal commitments. It’s easy to justify quitting when I’m the only person being let down. When things get hard (or I get lazy), I need to remember the reason I started this challenge in the first place – personal growth and a commitment to my own happiness. 

Challenge accepted! xoxo