Visual Bits #255> Writings On The Wall: Quotes & Types

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Pop-Up Restaurants: They’re Here to Stay

People are aware that the restaurant industry is massive — to the tune of $372 billion a year — but, what they may not be aware of is that a quarter of these restaurants fail within the first year, and 60% fail by their third year. This rate of failure has driven some cutting edge chefs and restaurant financiers to seek out new investment opportunities.  The pop-up restaurant trend was inspired by supper clubs, and first started in London in the mid-2000s as “happenings”. A cheaper investment upfront coupled with the opportunity for constant reinvention and chance-taking make pop-up restaurants ideal for restaurant financiers and chefs looking for a new investment.

Visual Bits #182> Hot Air Balloons and Rooftop Views

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Inspiring Post-It Notes Left in Public

Sometimes we just need a helpful reminder of how good life actually is… or if it’s not right now, maybe a little motivational note to remind us how to get through the day. Many times the smallest statements — the littlest kernels of truth — are the best way to snap us back into seeing the world in all its beauty and make us forget the momentary trouble that had been consuming us. That’s just what these inspirational Post-It Notes are sure to do.

Mr. Happy Man: 88 Year Old Shares Daily Love

When people first encounter 88 year old Johnny Barnes, standing on a traffic island, waving his arms and blowing kisses at the many cars driving by, they probably wonder about his sanity. Yet, this charming and youthful fellow has more wisdom to share about life and love than almost anyone you’ll encounter. Each day, Barnes spends 6 hours, rain or shine, waving to cars, sharing love with passerby and doing his very best to better the world through his presence. In the beautiful film below, you’ll find he’s far from crazy, but rather has a beautiful and simple philosophy on life from which we can all learn.

Storytelling with Sand

With only a few handfuls of smooth volcanic sand, a ligthbox, and a projector, Kseniya Simonova moves audiences with her sand art performance. The fluid gestures of her arms tossing and wiping the sand, all in sync with the accompanying music, brings her stories to life. Simonova’s face remains expressionless during her shows, letting her movement and sand reveal her true emotions.

A Hobbit Home for Under $5000

With nothing more than hand tools, friends, family and a desire to avoid an expensive, unsustainable home, Simon Dale built his own. As a staunch advocate for low impact living, and with only a meager income, 32 year-old Dale decided to build a home in a hillside in Wales, one that he and his family could own outright and was sustainably hand-built directly in the middle of the forest. The design has an uncanny resemblance to Hobbit homes in the Lord of the Rings films, which has contributed to its rise in popularity.

The Say Something Poster Project

If you had the opportunity to say one thing to the next generation of youth, what would you say? The Say Something Poster Project has invited artists to do just that in the form of a poster, one that they will then donate to a non-profit organization to hang on their facility walls.

French Toast and Hugs Change the World

Birthed at Burning Man, Shyam Vasant Yadav started French Toast and Hugs (FTX) back in 2000. I had the pleasure of meeting Shyam at Burning Man 2009 as part of his very fun, welcoming camp and just being around this positive guy gave me a refreshing look at life. His happy perspective is infectious: from simple stories about his favorite slice of pizza to introducing me to the relaxing music of Hammock.

What a perfect person to start a project that hands out hugs and french toast at no cost, for the simple pleasure of making people happy. Together with his FTX gang (you get a numbered jersey for lending a hand or spatula), he has fed an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 people around the world: cities like Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Auckland, Santa Monica, New York, Melbourne and Jodphur.

Scott London Captures The Magic of Burning Man

Scott London has beautifully captured Burning Man once again. This year, the behemoth desert based event (which sold out for the first time in 25 years) seemed to me even grander in scale then in years past. There were so many major pieces of art burning that I could barely keep up.

In the exclusive interview below, London was kind to answer a few questions about his experience this year at Burning Man and how he captures his incredible shots in such a harsh, dusty environment. Just a small sampling of his diverse portfolio, see many more photographs at