MUNDANE | Made Up of Nothing, Devoid of Anything New or Exciting

A collection of mundane things via Pexels

When was the last time someone asked for “mundane” from you?

Mundane is tedious. Drab. Banal. Boring. Vacuous. Beige. Bland. Tired. Sedate. Paltry. Inane. Obtuse. Maudlin. Homogeneous. Achromatic. Same-old-same-old. Something lame. Pedestrian. Uninspiring. Trite. Stale. Lukewarm. Innocuous. A trudge. Nondescript. Vapid. Yawn-inducing.

I can appreciate that “mundanity” in the right context could be comforting, safe, like routine. Or if you’re going in for a heart operation then you want nothing but a mundane experience. However, in the context of designing and then delivering delicious learning experiences, it’s not in my professional lexicon.

*I don’t do mundane!

It’s a value which in the past has destroyed a potential career path, meant the loss of a healthy dose of money / about a year in time / loads of positive energy, and deeply affected my mental health, because:

“A principle isn’t a principle until it costs you something.”

Bill Bernbach

More recently, I’ve returned to this experience as a catalyst for designing a range of positive ‘products’—for creative maximilists looking to encourage dangerously original things!

Sign up here to get informed of when it goes live:

coming soon - mundane series

Oh and had this in an old slide deck which fits here:

boring is the riskiest strategy - Seth Godin quote - from the 'Purple Cow' book
*some proof of my non-mundane pedigree.

#65 June 2024 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Taken at a recent trip to Salzburg MOMA.

A bunch of things (which I added to my Tumblr) for your eyes and ears plus brain to spend time on (as no longer on Twitter).


“It’s only when Salim Ismail, SU’s “global ambassador” and the week’s moderator, fails to project his slides that we are reminded that the technological singularity may not be quite as near as predicted. “AI is really easy,” Ismail sighs as he fiddles with the projector connection. “AV is really hard.””
On the exponential curve: inside Singularity University | WIRED

“Research has shown that we don’t consider plants to be important mostly because they grow close together and don’t appear to move. As Wandersee and Schlusser wrote, “Static proximity is a visual cue humans use to group objects, so individual plants and different plant species tend to be de-emphasized.” A vine takes hours to turn toward sunlight, a bristlecone hundreds of years to mature. Each organism’s clock — its sense of time — is so different from ours that we can’t even sense it. In other words, what we call plant blindness is really time blindness: an obliviousness to temporal frames of reference that deviate from our own. And, despite Wandersee and Schlusser’s schoolroom agitprop, the situation is probably worse today than in 1999, exacerbated by our ever-diminishing attention spans, e-commerce, social media and more. The pace of civilization continues to quicken.”
A Clock In The Forest – NOEMA

“While Apple maintains its in-house AI is made with security in mind, its partnership with OpenAI has sparked plenty of criticism. OpenAI tool ChatGPT has long been the subject of privacy concerns. Launched in November 2022, it collected user data without explicit consent to train its models, and only began to allow users to opt out of such data collection in April 2023.”
AI is coming to your Apple devices. Will it be secure? | Apple | The Guardian

“Let’s assume, fast-forward five or six years, that AI is ready,” Yuan said. “AI probably can help for maybe 90% of the work, but in terms of real-time interaction, today, you and I are talking online. So, I can send my digital version, you can send your digital version.” Using AI avatars in this way could free up time for less career-focused choices, Yuan, who also founded Zoom, added. “You and I can have more time to have more in-person interactions, but maybe not for work. Maybe for something else. Why do we need to work five days a week? Down the road, four days or three days. Why not spend more time with your family?””
The future is … sending AI avatars to meetings for us, says Zoom boss | Artificial intelligence (AI) | The Guardian

“A group of current and former employees at prominent artificial intelligence companies issued an open letter on Tuesday that warned of a lack of safety oversight within the industry and called for increased protections for whistleblowers. The letter, which calls for a “right to warn about artificial intelligence”, is one of the most public statements about the dangers of AI from employees within what is generally a secretive industry. Eleven current and former OpenAI workers signed the letter, along with two current or former Google DeepMind employees – one of whom previously worked at Anthropic.”
OpenAI and Google DeepMind workers warn of AI industry risks in open letter | Artificial intelligence (AI) | The Guardian

“Large language models such as ChatGPT are some of the most energy-guzzling technologies of all. Research suggests, for instance, that about 700,000 litres of water could have been used to cool the machines that trained ChatGPT-3 at Microsoft’s data facilities. It is hardly news that the tech bubble’s self-glorification has obscured the uglier sides of this industry, from its proclivity for tax avoidance to its invasion of privacy and exploitation of our attention span. The industry’s environmental impact is a key issue, yet the companies that produce such models have stayed remarkably quiet about the amount of energy they consume – probably because they don’t want to spark our concern.”
The ugly truth behind ChatGPT: AI is guzzling resources at planet-eating rates | Mariana Mazzucato | The Guardian


If no video appears please click here: MARSHALL MCLUHAN on ADVERTISING | 24 Hours | Writers and Wordsmiths | BBC Archive


Get AI to write a whole song via Suno.

This site does one thing: copyshrugemoji.com

Listen via ESA to the scary sound of Earth’s magnetic field.

Cara is a social media and portfolio platform for non-AI artists. 

These images of the Eastern Ukraine’s Massive Soledar Mines.

Play old school retro games in browser like the terrific Bomberman.

Jan is a privacy-first, open source, on-device app that runs AI locally on any hardware.

If you want to lace shoes, tie shoes or learn about shoelaces, Ian’s Shoelace Site is the place!

Explore over 30,000 BBC Sound Effects and download to use freely (if for non-commercial use).

Krita is a professional FREE and open source painting program. It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone.

A comprehensive resource for anyone interested in the craft of brand manifestos from a writer inside the creative studios at Apple and Meta.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.

For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories #13 | Thumping & Plucking The Bass, Informational For Buying A Car, and Drumming Blind

A few chosen narrative examples, to uncover forms, inspire the soul and stir the creative spirits.

Bass player, Larry Graham, taking us through a musical story of how he established the slap bass technique we’ve all come to know (and love). It’s a case of showing / illustrating whilst telling which simply adds a literal underscore to the narrative being shared. And check out the integrated microphone on the guitar itself. Phat!

The pure amount of information crammed into this video about buying a used car is intensely cool. Think about any ‘how to’ videos you’ve watched recently or ones you develop to share knowledge and now see it through the lens of this approach. More is definitely more in this case.

As an ex-skin-basher I found this a wonderfully intriguing plus awe-inducing. From the ‘blind listen’ to the reveal / education of using a lead sheet right through to the exploration of improvisation. Removing an instrument track or an element from an existing creation and asking someone with mastery to complete it is a fascinating example of creative exploration, recording it and sharing it with the world is bold as. What would this look like in your industry / sector?

Check out all the ‘For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories’ posts.

Image credit.

#64 May 2024 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Image credit

A bunch of things (which I added to my Tumblr) for your eyes and ears plus brain to spend time on (as no longer on Twitter).


A little-discussed detail in the Lavender AI article is that Israel is killing people based on being in the same Whatsapp group [1] as a suspected militant [2]. Where are they getting this data? Is WhatsApp sharing it?
Meta and Lavender

“Maybe AI art is the future. Maybe I can create so much more, express myself, and do everything I never had the energy to do,” you say. Your AI therapist wholeheartedly agrees with you. You are inspired. You are powerful. You are spending twenty dollars per month on ChatGPT Plus.”
The Seven Stages of AI Grief (for Artists) – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

“As I’ve argued previously, we — with good reason — continually complain about the state of Twitter under Elon Musk, but I’d argue Raghavan (and, by extension, Google CEO Sundar Pichai) deserve as much criticism, if not more, for the damage they’ve done to society. Because Google is the ultimate essential piece of online infrastructure, just like power lines and water mains are in the physical realm.”
The Man Who Killed Google Search

“Social networks have become “the web” for many people who rarely venture outside of their tall and increasingly reinforced walls. As Tom Eastman once put it, the web has rotted into “five giant websites, each filled with screenshots of the other four”.1 Within those enclosures, the character limits, neutered subset of web functionality, and constant push to satisfy the enigmatic desires of an algorithm tuned to keeping eyeballs on the platform encourage sameness, vapid engagement farming, and rage bait while stifling creativity.”
We can have a different web

“The real moment of change, he believes, came some months before the crash south of Stockholm, when a conversation took place in his office. It was during a visit from Ines Uusmann, the minister for infrastructure, and Tingvall’s political boss. At one point she turned to him and asked, simply: “How many deaths should we have as our long-term target in Sweden?” Tingvall replied: “Zero.” To his surprise, Uusmann said she was interested and would like to hear more. This was the beginning of an approach to road safety known as “Vision Zero”.”
More than a million people die on roads every year. Meet the man determined to prevent them – BBC Future

“The results reveal that internet access, mobile internet access and use generally predicted higher measures of the different aspects of wellbeing, with 84.9% of associations between internet connectivity and wellbeing positive, 0.4% negative and 14.7% not statistically significant.”
Internet use is associated with greater wellbeing, global study finds | Internet | The Guardian

“Aside from the fact that everyone has hated this corporation for years, what is the actual case against Live Nation? The argument is that the corporation violated Federal and state laws against monopolization, unlawful tying, and/or exclusive dealing in multiple markets, from primary ticketing services to concert and artist promotion to venue management. And they are seeking a divestment of Ticketmaster, an end to its unfair contracts and anti-competitive practices. According to the Department of Justice’s complaint, Live Nation has built a ‘Flywheel,’ dominating a bunch of different parts of the live entertainment industry through a bunch of different coercive techniques, such as threats, exclusive contracts, and acquisitions. It then uses its power to harm certain artists, and to impose a ‘Ticketmaster Tax’ via fees on consumers.”
Antitrust Enforcers to Break Up Ticketmaster and End the “Ticketmaster Tax” (finally)

“This is a comprehensive excavation of The Gateway Process report. The first section provides a timeline of the key historical developments that led to the CIA’s investigation and subsequent experimentations. The second section is a review of The Gateway Process report. It opens with a wall of theoretical context, on the other side of which lies enough understanding to begin to grasp the principles underlying the Gateway Experience training. The last section outlines the Gateway technique itself and the steps that go into achieving spacetime transcendence. Let’s go.”
How to Escape the Confines of Time and Space According to the CIA



cobalt is your go-to place for downloads from social and media platforms. zero ads, trackers, or other creepy bullshit. simply paste a share link and you’re ready to rock!

Explore Movies Frame By Frame – In Random Order from critically acclaimed films to gain a new perspective on the art of cinematography.

100+ Abstract shapes with cool grainy gradient. Ready to use with any design dev project.

Funky little platform to animate some text and output via gif / mp4 / webm.

For nearly 15 years this site has existed: Chicken On A Raft.

Some good insights here…Launching Your Book.

Create Before After video , Gif from images.

White screen (+ others) | Online Tool.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.

#63 April 2024 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

remind yourself

A bunch of things (which I added to my Tumblr) for your eyes and ears plus brain to spend time on (as no longer on Twitter).


“The vulnerability, which allows the keystroke data that these apps send to the cloud to be intercepted, has existed for years and could have been exploited by cybercriminals and state surveillance groups, according to researchers at the Citizen Lab, a technology and security research lab affiliated with the University of Toronto.”

Almost every Chinese keyboard app has a security flaw that reveals what users type | MIT Technology Review

“By 2013, Netflix had begun entering into a series of “Facebook Extended API” agreements, including a so-called “Inbox API” agreement that allowed Netflix programmatic access to Facebook’s users’ private message inboxes, in exchange for which Netflix would “provide to FB a written report every two weeks that shows daily counts of recommendation sends and recipient clicks by interface, initiation surface, and/or implementation variant (e.g., Facebook vs. non-Facebook recommendation recipients). … In August 2013, Facebook provided Netflix with access to its so-called “Titan API,” a private API that allowed a whitelisted partner to access, among other things, Facebook users’ “messaging app and non-app friends.””

Facebook let Netflix see user DMs, quit streaming to keep Netflix happy: Lawsuit | Ars Technica

“In 2001, a poet named Bart Droog began attending the funerals of people who had no one to attend them and honoring the dead with a poem based on whatever was known about their life. A year later, Dutch poet and artist Frank Starik took the idea even further, launching The Lonely Funeral project to ensure that someone who cares consciously acknowledges the life of a person who has died. The idea was to create a network of poets who would find out whatever they could about the person, write a custom poem about their life and read it at their funeral. As of 2018, over 300 “lonely funerals” had been attended by poets in Amsterdam and Antwerp (where Flemish poet Maarten Inghels launched a Lonely Funeral project seven years after Starik’s).”

The beautiful thing that happens in Amsterdam if you die and have no one to attend your funeral – Upworthy

“We find that for 2016–2021: (i) per coin climate damages from BTC were increasing, rather than decreasing with industry maturation; (ii) during certain time periods, BTC climate damages exceed the price of each coin created; (iii) on average, each $1 in BTC market value created was responsible for $0.35 in global climate damages, which as a share of market value is in the range between beef production and crude oil burned as gasoline, and an order-of-magnitude higher than wind and solar power. Taken together, these results represent a set of sustainability red flags. While proponents have offered BTC as representing “digital gold,” from a climate damages perspective it operates more like “digital crude”.”

Economic estimation of Bitcoin mining’s climate damages demonstrates closer resemblance to digital crude than digital gold | Scientific Reports

“Leaked documents show Tory executives discussed exploiting members’ personal data to build a mobile phone app that could track users’ locations and allow big brands to advertise to Conservative supporters. The party would take a cut of sales. The project was considered over several months last year, with the aim of launching the “True Blue” app in time for the party’s conference in October. The idea was developed by the boss of a cryptocurrency firm with a string of failed businesses behind him. Yet senior Conservative officials appeared so captivated by the plan that they prepared to provide the party’s database of members in order to move the proposal forward.

Tories planned to make millions from members’ data with ‘True Blue’ app | Conservatives | The Guardian

“A new tool from OpenAI that can generate a convincing clone of anyone’s voice using just 15 seconds of recorded audio has been deemed too risky for general release, as the AI lab seeks to minimise the threat of damaging misinformation in a global year of elections.”

OpenAI deems its voice cloning tool too risky for general release | OpenAI | The Guardian



Make some melodies for free via MusicalBox.

Eyecandy is an exhaustive visual technique library.

Meow.Camera is a collection of livestreams of automatic feeders for streetcats in Japan.

Convert any web pages into markdown with images via markdowndown.vercel.app

Very clever little free tool to upload an image then add tilt and zoom: blurmatic.com

The ‘Creativity Pioneers (micro – up to €5,000) Fund‘ is from the Moleskine Foundation and is open (deadline is 27th May 2024, 11:00 pm CET).

Currently, this site boasts that they’ve “analysed 5667 AI Tools and identified their capabilities with OpenAI GPT-4, to bring you a list of 30257 tasks of what AI can do today.”

If you’re getting your head around automating AI and other platforms to craft / distribute content then check out this LinkedIn video.

Tim Berners-Lee gives predictions for future:
– Prediction 1: Everyone will have a personal AI assistant
– Prediction 2: We’ll take true ownership of our data across all platforms — including VR
– Prediction 3: A Big Tech company could get broken up

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.


Open Call To Play | Back On The Creative Market

Via the astonishing bleuje.com

The role I moved from NZ to the UK for wasn’t for me so am looking for new adventures—am a creative nomad hungry to add value in the world and I don’t do MUNDANE!

Here’s what I can do as a:

  • Speaker Coach : tutor leaders (1-2-1 & teams) in honing powerful spoken stories (in-person and online) via masterclasses in ‘purposeful storytelling’ (foundation and advanced learning experiences available, either half-days or full-days)
  • Creative Producer : consult and / or craft and deliver delicious learning experiences on a scale of 10 to 1,000 attendees with 5,000 people watching online plus do in-studio content creations like this
  • Speaker-for-hire : about the stuff I’ve done and am doing.

I’m driven to enable people find and have voice.

A fan of reaching beyond my grasp and taking others on that journey. About being bold and ambitious, shying away from business-as-usual and not being held back by fear or risk aversion (see Defining ROI | Exploring New Definitions).

Huge fan of working with people who know more than me and crafting space for them to excel. Collaboration is about combining skills in open spaces for people to shine and not dulling them because you have a lack (see People Are Awesome | The Hope Generator That Is TEDx).

When trying something new I look for those with pedigree and / or aligned successful processes, then either enable that person and get out of the way, or learn rapidly, to adapt / adopt via the evidence on show. Once experience is gained you can then iterate (see Crafting Creative Collisions | 100 Starts).

I spend a lot of time developing killer taste, curating tasty things and not being interested in good but in great. Maximising to excellence and surround myself with others who strive to ask / answer better questions (see CLNZ19 Talks Are All Live | Watch, Learn, Share).

I cherish difference. If that means you prefer drawing or moving as an expression of communication rather than just writing then I’ll do my best to protect that. Being inclusive means mentoring, celebrating, managing by doing, creating conditions for others to be them, defending your team members if you have the authority to do so, knowing that bringing opposites together for wonderful intersectional creations is what moves us all forward (see Wrapping Up Creative Welly | A Study In Human Intimacy).

One of the precious things I’ve learned in the last decade is that of self-respect. To challenge (always with kindness and politely) those who make you feel small and defend others without agency. If you don’t, toxic / muted environments bloom and those in “power” blame others for what they created (see Authority Doesn’t Come From Titles | Brave Leadership Summit 2023 Review blog post).

To illustrate, here are some highlights:

Check out the testimonials on the front page for a flavour of what people think about me.

So if anything sparks from above just holler at me via the contact page.


The Subtle Art of Public Speaking | Stage, Page & Screen Podcast

Back in September of last year I had the wonderful honour of virtually chatting with Josh Shipp and Jesse Rice for the above podcast.

I’ve slept since then so had forgotten what we chatted about but boy did I love experiencing this conversation again as a listener.

There’s lots of insights here from my lived experience as a speaker coach and speaker myself plus how to present online effectively. I also got to ask some questions also of Josh and got some advice / insights from his brain.

I featured Josh in a MediaSnackers podcast back in 2009, met up with him a couple of times during the following years and kept in touch ever since. He’s one of my favourite speakers and humans on the planet. A mentor. Author. MTV advice star. TV personality. Now business leader / youth speaker agency founder. An exemplar of the practice of oratory.

Thank you Josh and Jesse (cohost / producer of the podcast) for their time, questions and wonderful (listen to their wonderful back catalogue of podcasts here).

Have a listen and let me know what you took away in the comments below.


#62 March 2024 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

A bunch of things (which I added to my Tumblr) for your eyes and ears plus brain to spend time on (as no longer on Twitter).


“Regulators and lawmakers fail to make any changes to proactively protect the public, while allowing crypto firms to advertise and recruit new customers who seem far more likely to wind up as victims of yet another collapse as they are to become the next crypto-millionaires. How many people will have to lose how much money before we stop believing the lies from an industry that has preyed on people’s trust and hopes for financial miracles, only to dash them on the ground in failure after failure?Bankman-Fried is going to prison, but nothing has changed.”

Sam Bankman-Fried is going to prison. The crypto industry isn’t any better for it | Sam Bankman-Fried | The Guardian

“Use of the arts in healing does not contradict the medical view in bringing emotional, somatic, artistic, and spiritual dimensions to learning. Rather, it complements the biomedical view by focusing on not only sickness and symptoms themselves but the holistic nature of the person.When people are invited to work with creative and artistic processes that affect more than their identity with illness, they are more able to “create congruence between their affective states and their conceptual sense making.” Through creativity and imagination, we find our identity and our reservoir of healing. The more we understand the relationship between creative expression and healing, the more we will discover the healing power of the arts.”

The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature – PMC

“MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International) and the Center for Countering Digital Hate claim the platforms are restricting local abortion providers from advertising, but failing to tackle misinformation that undermines public access to reproductive healthcare. MSI, which provides contraception and abortion services in 37 countries, said its adverts containing information on sexual health, including cancer advice, had been rejected or deleted by the platform.”

Meta and Google accused of restricting reproductive health information | Global development | The Guardian

“A study published by a team of international researchers last month found that gravity batteries in decommissioned mines could offer a cost-effective, long-term solution for storing energy as the world transitions to renewable power. Scientists from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) found that the world’s abandoned mine shafts could store up to 70TWh of power – roughly the equivalent of global daily electricity consumption.”

This disused mine in Finland is being turned into a gravity battery to store renewable energy | Euronews

“For many, it’s not just about recognizing a global issue but feeling a deep, personal impact on their mental well-being. Especially for those with a strong connection to their environment or homeland, this pervasive anxiety and distress manifests in unique ways. Such feelings can give rise to “solastalgia,” which refers to the dread originating from environmental change. Unlike nostalgia, which is a longing for a place or time in the past that one cannot revisit, solastalgia is the experience of distress from belonging to a home that is undergoing change.”

A Psychologist Offers 3 Tips To Deal With ‘Solastalgia’

“Scholars might call it a philosophical treatise. But it seems familiar to us, and we can’t escape the feeling that the first text we’ve uncovered is a 2000-year-old blog post about how to enjoy life.”

Vesuvius Challenge 2023 Grand Prize awarded: we can read the scrolls! | Vesuvius Challenge



Curated list of games no betterverse.be to help you think critically and imaginatively about the future of society, and collectively imagine brighter tomorrows.

Love the way this muzzleapp.com demonstrates the problem it’s going to solve (see notifications examples on the right hand side of the screen).

Starting a couple of new projects soon and always good to get some inspiration from onepagelove.com.

Want to practice your typing? typelit.io does that for free, online, and gets you to type out classic books.

morss.it creates RSS feeds from websites and a whole lot more, check it out.

ambient.garden is an algorithmic audio landscape.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.

#61 February 2024 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

(A good reminder, via What’s Your Gift?)

A bunch of things (which I added to my Tumblr) for your eyes and ears plus brain to spend time on (as no longer on Twitter).


“Google, especially, has relied on the open web RSS protocol to gain so much market share and influence, but continues to engage in behavior that exploits the open web at the expense of its users. As a result, Google has single-handedly contributed to the reason many users who once relied on RSS feeds have stopped using them.”

How Google helped destroy adoption of RSS feeds – Open RSS

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” Zig Ziglar

99 Great Quotes That Will Help You Handle Criticism | Inc.com

“When writing by hand, brain connectivity patterns were far more elaborate than when typewriting on a keyboard, as shown by widespread theta/alpha connectivity coherence patterns between network hubs and nodes in parietal and central brain regions. Existing literature indicates that connectivity patterns in these brain areas and at such frequencies are crucial for memory formation and for encoding new information and, therefore, are beneficial for learning.”

Frontiers | Handwriting but not typewriting leads to widespread brain connectivity: a high-density EEG study with implications for the classroom

“Put simply, the numbers don’t add up. Data from Patreon and Substack suggests the average conversion rate from follower to paying fan is about 5%. This means a creator would need a total fanbase of 20,000 followers to yield 1,000 paying supporters. And building a core fanbase of 20,000 engaged followers is extremely difficult in today’s crowded creative landscape.”

The creator economy can’t rely on Patreon. — Joan Westenberg

“A Vicar asks his congregation in the valleys the question “What would you do if Jesus returned tomorrow?”. A voice in the flock pipes up; “Move Barry John to inside-centre”!”

From the comment section of Barry John was ‘the King, a magician, my friend’ – Sir Gareth Edwards – BBC Sport

“Much furor has been raised in recent months over the unauthorized scraping of the web to train AI models; OpenAI even thanked the faceless “millions of people” who created the data to train GPT-3 in its paper describing the model. But when it comes to data willingly shared with Facebook and Meta, that Faustian bargain was struck long ago.”

Zuckerberg Boasts He Will Be AI God King Because We Already Gave Him All Our Data



This minimal, customisable typing online tool / test.

Check out the quietest places in the world’s loudest cities.

A nice Terminal-level workaround for applications hiding under the MacBook Pro notch.

Free ‘innovation’ posters for exploration / sharing / discussion (via Innovation illustrated – by Dave Gray).

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.