28 February 2007

creative altruism

Well, I guess since other people are posting about it, I shall too. My most recent Media column is out today, so there you go! For those click-lazy (and I'll put a .pdf here as soon as my editor sends me one):

We have noticed a resurgence of creative altruism in our industry of late: Selfless communications aiming to make a difference and help others. The highlighted campaigns - by their very participatory nature - are inspiring us to become more engaged in issues they are passionate about. The campaigns raise awareness on diverse topics and leverage the online medium to ignite people to want to change the world.

>> Make a Big Noise for Make Trade Fair. The Rumpus Room has partnered with Young Guns for this year's competition, which is aiming to generate awareness for Oxfam's The Big Noise campaign, a petition for fair international trade rules. The winning idea will be brought to life globally, getting people to sign and pass along the petition and live more conscious lifestyles. http://makeabignoise.org

>> (PRODUCT)RED. The largest and most salient example of creative altruism today is (PRODUCT)RED, which is an altered business model rather than a charity. Brands from Apple to GAP to Motorola donate portions of all profits to The Global Fund to help Africans with the HIV virus and AIDS. Influential brands are now nobly using their power to work with us to change the world. joinred.com

>> My Dream. Lincoln, the automaker, has provided a chance for people to share dreams and goals and motivate each other. Similar to 43things.com, the social networking site acts like a graphic tag cloud that is richly interactive and promotes discussion and inspiration. Videos of people who have achieved their own goals are posted, and those with shared ambitions are able to interact with each other.

It doesn't stop there: Strategically-placed links pointing to Amazon.com guide people toward the tools they may need to help realize their dreams. mydream.tv

>> Turn on TV. Aiming to educate youth about HIV and AIDS, MTV's global Staying Alive initiative has partnered with brilliant creative shops like 180Amsterdam and WK12 to bring you Turn On TV. The rights-free television campaign is designed to be virally passed around and picked up by third-party broadcasters, raising HIV/AIDS awareness. staying-alive.org/turnontv

>> One (RED) Day. Graphic-design students in the UK have created a series of 18 viral videos meant to raise awareness of and build support for (PRODUCT)RED, which gives money to The Global Fund. The fund helps women and children with HIV/AIDS in Africa. youtube.com/profile?user=OneREDday

26 February 2007

it never gets old, for me.

This is probably no big deal for anyone else, but I squeaked with excitement when I looked out of my bedroom window this morning.

And also while I walked to the L train, even though most of what I had to walk through was gross.

23 February 2007

Watch Out

Watch Out
Originally uploaded by chet gulland.
I'm going to point everyone to my friend Chet's photo stream now. He has the best action shots I've seen on Flickr.

18 February 2007


An email conversation between me and JetBlue (in the form of me reading the email and talking back at my iBook):

As a result of system disruptions impacting flights to/from the Northeast, we are unable to complete your travel as scheduled. Your flight #1076 on Monday, February 19, 2007 for travel from Richmond, VA (RIC) has been canceled.


You may receive a full refund* or travel credit on JetBlue which is good for one year. If you would like to rebook your itinerary without fee, please call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583) by May 22, 2007.

me: May 22nd?! I want to GO HOME!

I am not pleased. I was about to write that I wish I had more operations management knowledge, to be able to legitetmately say that I am angry with JetBlue. But then I read this and decided that yes, I am angry.

They handled my Tuesday night pretty well. They constantly kept us updated and set up a table full of snacks and drinks. My flight ended up landing at 3.00am instead of the scheduled 11.00pm, but that is much, much better than the 10 hours at JFK of people sitting in JetBlue airplanes on the runway. But I just wish they had known their limitations and had more of a contingency plan since this inclement weather was announced with several days' warning.

Wanna know the best part?

Please be advised that we are currently experiencing extremely high call volumes and may be difficult to get through to a Reservation Agent. We'll do our best to answer your call as soon as we can. If you can, we recommend you wait to until a later date to call and rebook.

I decided to take the risk of being on hold for hours. So I called. Because I see online that there is a flight on Tuesday leaving Richmond at 7.00am, "arriving" to JFK at 8.15am. If it was on time (ha, ha, ha), I would only be a teensy bit late to work. Well, guess what happened. There was a recording saying that due to extremely high call volume, my call could NOT be taken, and to call back later. "This is the end of this call" was even spoken by the recording. Now what. I wonder if I can just buy this ticket (flights were cancelled through tomorrow (Monday) only) and just sort out the money stuff later (of being reimbursed for the difference). I can see that as escalating into an eight month overcomplicated ordeal, like the stuff I read on Consumerist. I don't know what to do. What is "later" to them? Later today? Tomorrow? May 22nd?

There are direct parallels between JetBlue and my biggest weakness. I have been told this a couple of times by different people: I get so excited about brands and what they can do, that I get lost in that bounciness and forget about the businessy stuff. One of the most resonating things said at my end-of-year review was "You have to remember that clients aren't as excited about brands as you are." Sounds similar to when the New York Times said "The cancellations raise new questions about whether JetBlue’s management is equal to its ambitions."

I am angry. Very, very angry. So angry that I am about to walk almost a mile in the freezing cold just to go to the aforementioned World Cup. I expect that it will calm me down because the atmosphere will be comforting, reminding me of a nice summer 2006 in which none of my flights were delayed.

14 February 2007


I had expected something cartoony. I am pleased. Not that cartoony is ever bad.

13 February 2007

coffee shops

Amarin Cafe
Originally uploaded by tokyohanna.
Hello from JFK airport. My flight is predictably delayed, not because it is JFK (as per usual), but because of the crap weather. Hopefully I make it to my destination!

Anyway. My point. Right. Coffee shops. This is a topic that has been written about to death. Most recently, the organized, communal meetup. But I'm talking about going alone here. Going to take advantage of some good quality me-time.

It's something I did at least twice a week last summer. I had just gotten my Master's degree, and I was officially unemployed. I would spend hours and hours emailing people that I wanted to work for while at different Richmond coffee shops (most notably and agressively, Paul: ask him. I think I annoyed him into hiring me.) ...working on my book, writing down reflections and thoughts about the whole thing. I would often order the special tea or coffee of the day. I would be there with Stella (my iBook), a journal, a pen and headphones. I had a mental list of a few places I would go to - Crossroads, Wired, Shockoe Espresso. My favorite, above all, was World Cup, though. One entire wall was a transparent garage door that they would open whenever the weather was nice. Sunlight filled this place like you wouldn't believe. There was a little park right outside of that garage door, where people would ride by on bikes (Richmond bike culture is another entry altogether) or sit with their dogs. I would love it. Mango green tea. Tropical green tea. China gunpowder (for those extra productive days). I wish I had the time and money to do this as often as I used to. But anyway. It was the best part of that summer.

I didn't mean to write an entry on coffee shops - I really just meant to link to this piece on coffee culture in Serious Eats. It was written by the Amateur Gourmet - whom I've been reading for a year and a half - and is brilliant. Spot-on. He did a bang-up job. Especially this part:

...the quality of coffee is slightly less important than the quality of environment when weighing the merits of a coffee shop. Good coffee will certainly make you want to come back, but if there's nowhere to sit, or if the seats are uncomfortable, or if the staff is inhospitable and irritated at your commandeering a table with your laptop, you won't want to go back.

There is a very very cute part at the end, too. I had no idea that that's how he met Craig!

Anyway. Yay. Coffee shops. Introspection. Inspiration. Making things. Getting a job (the job of my dreams, the one I most wanted more than anything else) after three months of toiling. Continuing to write. And waiting for my plane to take off :)

10 February 2007

Jean-Paul Goude exhibit

Jean-Paul Goude exhibit
Originally uploaded by tokyohanna.
I just came back from a long and freezing cold walk to Hasted Hunt Gallery in Chelsea. I heard about the Jean-Paul Goude exhibit in Artkrush, and today was the only day I could have gone before it was over (17 February). What a wonderful exhibit! The colors were rich, the scenes were extravagant and the faces were familiar (Grace Jones, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano and Linda Evangelista, among others). I truly loved this, and it's FREE. Go see it, you won't be disappointed.

09 February 2007

stories to sell Tuscan Whole Milk

I have been meaning to write about this for two months! But for whatever reasons, I constantly got distracted. So some of you have probably already seen /heard about this, but it still makes me smile, so here we go.

Back in December, a friend of mine urged me to read the reviews for Tuscan Whole Milk on Amazon.com. He told me that it was unlike anything he had ever seen. I looked it up, and for whatever reason, everybody has - instead of writing reviews - written fantastical stories about Tuscan Whole Milk and how it has affected their lives.

Here are a few:

...it has changed my life. My once bald head is now covered in thick, Fabio-like hair, my impotence is cured, I no longer have vertigo, dementia, incontinence, ringing ears, depression, psychosis, post-nasal drip, explosive diarrhea, herpes, or the plague.

...As I was pouring the Tuscan Whole Milk 128 FL Oz, I sneezed and several drops of this elixir dropped on to the pile of dirt next to me. Within seconds a zombie burst forth from the ground and he immediately took the milk from me and drank the rest.

...Open [sic] opening it, rainbows shot out. It was good milk otherwise.

There are 903 reviews as of now. I would love to sit down on a freezing weekend and read through all of them. Interesting how great sotrytelling can make people want to buy a product more than a real review. That might have to do with the fact that this is a low involvement purchase, but still.

06 February 2007

Hello, Jann!

Originally uploaded by tokyohanna.

Reading about people's excitement over their new MacBooks is probably boring and redundant by now, but I just cannot stop thinking about mine! I got one at work today. It's a boy, and his name is Jann (pronounced "Yahn"). My favorite part about these things has always been the keyboard.

1. that the keys don't touch one another
2. that they are perfectly flat, instead of concave

I don't really care for the shiny screens, but I'll learn to love it. Because this is my darling Jann! If you're wondering what will become of my darling Chip, he is being given to someone at Naked that I like very much :) so he is in good hands.

04 February 2007

our new friends

An ice skating rink
Originally uploaded by tokyohanna.

"This apartment is the opposite of a college apartment. We're like two yuppies who had a child, except we are the child." - my roommate.

I guess this is true. Here is the newest addition to our apartment. Laura took a 365-day-calendar holder, filled it with water and froze it. Several days later (tonight), she made a team of ice skaters for it. From left to right: Patrick (my boyfriend), Laura, Hobart (Laura's and my friend), me (with the curly arms). In the back: a cat, a ghost and a snake. This is to add to our amorphous freezer friend and our Marble Run Vortis.

03 February 2007

Marc Bouwer Fall 2007

Marc Bouwer Fall 2007
Originally uploaded by tokyohanna.

I went to the Marc Bouwer Fall 2007 show tonight (Fashion Week has started!). My friend Diana works for the shoe supplier (Michael Antonio), and wasn't in town to take photographs (to be included in newsletter /email). She asked me to take her place.

I was beyond flattered, especially since I have my humble (but loved) 3.2mp Minolta Dimage Xg. Because of this, some of the photographs that could have been stupendous came out blurry, but I don't even care. It was a wonderful experience, and I loved Marc's collection. I hadn't heard of him prior to this, but he has worked under Halston and the entire Fall 2007 line reminded me of a cross between Badgley Mischka and Oscar de la Renta. gorgeous. View the few of the better photos at my Flickr set.

02 February 2007

thanks Clay!



Voting for the 2007 Bloggies closes at 10.00pm EST - hurry! I already have a dozen or so tabs open, full of blogs I have yet to start reading. It's a good place to vote for your favorites and discover new ones.

Naked offices

Originally uploaded by Naked Faris.
I started a Flickr group for Naked Communications last night. I've often wondered about other offices of ours around the world, since the NY one has so much personality and I always hear people talking about how cool the London office is. Since I don't exactly have the budget to travel to all of them at the moment to see for myself, I thought this might help a little. So far we have grown to an impressive NINE members (ha ha) with 52 photos. Unsurprisingly, lots of the photos come from Faris, including this one. Check out the pool, it's pretty fun to sift through. One of the common themes : our neon sign.
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