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Feng Shui Made Easy

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Anyone wondering where some of my affinity for good design came from? Here’s a good place to start.

Nearly 15 years ago my father William Spear wrote a book about Feng Shui. At the time of release, I believe there were maybe 7 or so books with the words Feng Shui even in the title– and a decade and a half later, there are thousands. His original book was translated into countless languages (15 at last count, actually) and became a staple in a sea of misinformation and comedy. The original Feng Shui Made Easy book went on to become a bestseller with more than 22 printings and the definitive guide to an ancient art.

In the past decade however pop culture really had a fun time with it. Feng Shui haircuts, Feng Shui chocolate bars, Feng Shui pet houses. Feng Shui was a catch phrase and it slowly lost the deep purpose and meaning and began to be more about decor than it did about transforming yourself from the inside.

Today, he is releasing a revised and expanded edition which I think will once again set the bar even higher for the practice of getting your energy flow right– both in the house, and inside your mind and body. You can buy it everywhere books are sold.  I encourage you to.  Heck, if you’re a friend of mine and you’re unsure about it, I’ll buy it for you.

(By the way when I grew up explaining what my father did  for a living was difficult, and near impossible.  Part of my life I was convinced he was a spy…)

In the publishers words:

This revised edition expands on the author’s intuitive approach with new sections on health, children’s environments, and ecological concerns and sustainable practices. The author also corrects misconceptions about feng shui and uses fascinating case studies to share valuable insights he gained from interactions with his clients and readers.

Feng Shui Made Easy was created after a lifetime of solving puzzles. Making the most complicated things more accessible and easily understood was ingrained in me; transforming philosophies and concepts into practical methods had been fascinating to me since childhood. This book will be like a feng shui consultant coming into your own home. But Feng Shui Made Easy tells you more than just how to rearrange your furniture, it tells your how to change your life—and that is what feng shui is really all about. This is a remarkable system for self-development and a practical took for improving business and relationships. All you need to do is practice—the energy flows by itself.

A couple great quotes:

“We are shaped by spaces of our lives and, in a time of information overload, the need to create moments of solitude and peace are even more vital than ever before. This guide explains the Feng Shui philosophy and shows you how to define your environment and the surroundings you wish to live in.
In a time of great change there is a great desire to create harmony within one’s personal space. William Spear takes you into a deeper knowledge of Feng Shui and how it can influence your surroundings.”

Cameron Sinclair, cofounder and CEO (Chief Eternal Optimist) of Architecture for Humanity, 2006 TED prize recipient and coeditor of Design Like You Give A Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises

“My family and I have benefited greatly from our relationship with William Spear over many years. Shortly after my first feng shui consultation with him, I won my first Grammy! In this book, he shares the same great resources for all creative spirits who love the earth.”

Paul Winter, four-time Grammy® Award–winning composer and musician

Congrats dad!

Everything You Know Is Pong

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EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS PONG is the most important book you’ll ever buy. Well, the most important book about sports you’ll ever buy. Fine, the most important book about table tennis, ever. Go, buy, now. Congrats Roger!

This book tells the ripping story of Ping Pong’s definitive role on global politics, history, and culture with additional fabulous insights from our friends in Pong including Nick Hornby, Jonathan Safran Foer, and fresh off his Booker prize win, Howard Jacobson.

Flashback: Retro Design

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New Victionary book about retro design and how it’s appearing in contemporary graphical work. Looks good as both inspiration and a reference tool.

Emerged today as the perfect marriage between old and new, retrospective designs are deemed to be an inevitable phrase in the design cycle when designers begin to look back and find inspirations for new graphic styles in the depressive pixel age. Some think these designs has cheered the digital era with the lost enthusiasm for new findings and the future, others reckon it as a tribute to the prominent art and design movements between 1920 and 1990. Taking a trip down memory lane, Flashback unveils how the epoch persists to be an enduring spring with a bold and pronounced application of colour, shapes, typefaces and illustration works in contemporary graphic art.

Blockhead: The Music Scene

The Music Scene.jpegBlockhead has only gotten better and better, and that’s saying a whole lot when you look at his contemporaries. Deeply intricate instrumental hip hop is a genre that gained numerous contributors after Endtroducing… told unspoken stories without the need for a lyricist. Subsequent albums made the style appear limited, as RJD2 managed only to put out one killer record (Deadringer), and DJ Shadow proved that being the founder doesn’t make you the king with The Outsider. After providing the maudlin soundtrack to Aesop Rock’s audible internal monologues, the New York based beatsmith dropped Music by Cavelight on Ninja Tune in the spring of ’04. While the record had depth and staying power, it wasn’t a demonstration of Blockhead’s full potential. The following year’s Downtown Science was a similar story. Two years later, and after a couple of solid mixtapes, Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book came out, and the path of this producer’s skill had hit a brand new checkpoint, and it happened to come at a slightly higher average BPM rate. Blockhead has been playing with Ableton Live, so we can expect something a bit more loop based with The Music Scene. If you’ve used the software or seen it it used, you can probably guess that a guy like Blockhead will run with it. The Music Scene is out tomorrow on Ninja Tune records.

This & That Ontour

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Ontour’s latest collection “This & That Ontour” is out now. Very nice, some of my favorite pieces after the jump (and I love these gloves!)…

In their words: “This & That Ontour” AW09 collectionWith our biggest and most detailed collection so far we show the direction Ontour is taking;we’ve grown up and combine sophisticated pieces, subtle details with our bold graphics and eye-catching garments.Our designs are soft and loud, round and square, they zoom in and out and combine the past and the present.Opposites attract…enjoy our This & That Autumn / Winter 09 collection.

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Lee Memorial: Lives of Lee Memorial

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Lee Memorial’s new album took me by surprise twice over. First off, I’ll admit that I can’t think of a single Australian act that struck me since I heard Yeo and the Fresh Goods last year. Secondly, a mellowed out acoustic sound with poetic lyrics is not style of music that often captivates beat snobs like myself. You may be familiar with Sodastream, a duo that’s dropped releases in this vein for a decade before breaking up. Half of that now-defunct band, Karl Smith, assembled a band with a decent resume and put together The Lives of Lee Memorial, possibly named for a hospital, is fraught with Smith’s mystifying whines layered together. If you doesn’t sound like your taste, you’re probably not sold, and you’ll just have to take my word for it. It’s not out for a couple of weeks, so you’ve got time to conduct your research.

Monsieur T Summer Collection

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Monsieur T has always provided us with plenty of kick ass tees to rave about on a regular basis. However, with the sizzling season officially upon us, our good friends have upped the ante on their kick ass-ness to not only warm the cockles of our hearts, but our otherwise naked torsos as well. Their scorching new Summer ’09 collection features designs from a gaggle of top-notch talents such as Arbito (best known for teaming up with MHAK, and Evan B. Harris). While there’s no shortage of eye-popping graphics on this set, there are very limited quantities of the actual shirts. So whether you’re walking around half-naked and need to cover up to get into that fast food restaurant or you’re just looking for a top that will catch that special someone’s attention while cruising the skate park this summer, we suggest you head on over to the Monsieur T website and grab something before they’re all gone.

Black Landlord

51Q8s7QYOPL._SL500_AA240_.jpgPhiladelphia often spits out something unconventional and intriguing. Bahamadia the whispering lady rapper, G-Love the hipster-ahead-of-his-time, and a band like no other called Black Landlord. I started hearing their name around town a few months back from a few heads gushing about their killer live shows and now there’s a full album to be had. The nine-piece band includes everything but the didgeridoo and gives an instrumental style like a funked out Soil & Pimp, with vocals laid down by founder Maxx Stoyaoff-Williams. Clever, funny, and inherently heavy, Addicted to Distraction kills it in every respect. In regard to album cover, I preferred the pimped out Redd Foxx on their myspace page, but I can see why they went another way with it.

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