Robert L. Peters

29 April 2010

Shake it, shake it…


Vancouver, Canada

Thanks to long-time friend Ronald Kapaz (of Oz Design in São Paulo) for this quotable… one of many in the presentation he gave at Design Currency today.

Design Currency


Vancouver, Canada

I’m pleased to be participating in the Design Currency: Defining the Value of Design event here this week. Davin Greenwell has been documenting this multidisciplinary design conference…

Photo: ‘Yours truly’ moderating the Sustainable Cities session on Wednesday morning—photo by Davin Greenwell.

27 April 2010

Happy World Graphics Day!


Vancouver, BC

I’m out on the west coast of Canada today, enjoying the family and fellowship of designer colleagues attending the Design Currency event… couldn’t be more timely, given that today is also World Graphics Day.

Cheers, mates!

26 April 2010

Powerpoint makes us stupid…


Kabul, Afghanistan (from today’s online New York Times)

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was shown a PowerPoint slide in Kabul last summer that was meant to portray the complexity of American military strategy, but looked more like a bowl of spaghetti.

“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war,” General McChrystal dryly remarked, one of his advisers recalled, as the room erupted in laughter. The slide has since bounced around the Internet as an example of a military tool that has spun out of control. Like an insurgency, PowerPoint has crept into the daily lives of military commanders and reached the level of near obsession. The amount of time expended on PowerPoint, the Microsoft presentation program of computer-generated charts, graphs and bullet points, has made it a running joke in the Pentagon and in Iraq and Afghanistan. (more here)

While I have my doubts that PowerPoint can actually make you stupid, I’d agree that it’s a great tool—in an arsenal of many others—that can readily help portray your stupidity… although in the case of the USA and the coerced “Coalition” still fighting in Afghanistan, that seems to be a foregone conclusion.

Thanks to friend Marie-Aline Oliver for the link.

25 April 2010

More nice…




Barcelona, Spain

Javier Jaén just keeps them coming…

24 April 2010

Looking back at innovation…


23 April 2010

14 @ 8000m+ (sans oxygen)



Annapurna, Nepal

I’m a moderately-skilled, low-altitude mountaineer (mostly rock-climbing and summit scrambling)—which puts me in a position of more than a little awe of those who push the boundaries of alpinism. So, naturally, I was quite enthused when I heard from a designer friend in Porto today (Toze, aka Antonio Coelho, himself one of Portugal’s premier mountaineers) that his long-time climbing partner, João Garcia, has just become the 10th climber to summit all 14 of the world’s mountains over 8000 meters (26,246′) without supplementary oxygen. For João, this culminates a quest he began 17 years ago with the ascent of Cho Oyu (João was also the first Portuguese to summit Everest, in 1999).

The summit of Annapurna marked another first on 17 April 2010, the day of João Garcia’s ascent: the 36-year-old Spanish climber Edurne Pasaban became the first woman to summit 13 of the 8000ers, putting her at the front of the race among women climbers to match Reinhold Messner’s momentous 1993 achievement.


22 April 2010








Barcelona, Spain

Smart. Simple. Stylish. Sympathetic… need I say more?

Works by Javier Jaén.

21 April 2010

A salute: Mark Twain (1835-1910)


Redding, Connecticut

Mark Twain, aka Samuel Langhome Clemens, passed on one hundred years ago today. The popular American author and humorist is noted (among a great number of other achievements) for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). A friend to presidents, European royalty, artists, and industrialists, and he was also very popular with the common man, and his keen wit and incisive satire earned praise from critics and peers. Upon his death, he was lauded as the “greatest American humorist of his age,” and William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature.”

I read many of Twain’s novels when I was young, and I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Twain’s former home in Hartford, Connecticut (where he lived from 1874 to 1891 while writing some of his greatest works) when I was teaching at the Hartford School of Art a few years back—the classic old home has been turned into a museum well worth visiting.

Here are a few of the many bon mots and eloquent lines of advice, wit, and profundity the great Mark Twain left us to ponder:

+  +  +

Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.

Age is an issue of mind over matter.

If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool
than to speak out and remove all doubt.

A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.

Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living.
The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

Golf is a good walk spoiled.

Familiarity breeds contempt—and children.

Man is the only animal that blushes—or needs to.

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.

It is easier to stay out than get out.

We have the best government that money can buy.

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

Noise proves nothing.

Often a hen who has merely laid an egg
cackles as if she laid an asteroid.

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive;
but it is lightning that does the work.

Be careful about reading health books.
You may die of a misprint.

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds
on the heel that has crushed it.

The most interesting information comes from children,
for they tell all they know and then stop.

What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

Impossible? Not hardly…


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