Mighty Life List
Aug 21 2009

Mighty Life List: What’s Next

Hi. I haven’t slept in a while, as I’ve been preparing for the next leg of this adventure.

As many of you already know, Intel is sponsoring ten items on my Mighty Life List. So far, I’ve:

1. Redesigned Mighty Girl.
2. Taken tap lessons.
3. Gotten a little closer to my goal of tasting 1,000 fruits.
4. Gone swimming with bioluminescent plankton.

The campaign has even inspired me to get moving on some of the more personal goals. On my own I’ve taken Hank camping, given him his first ice cream cone, and played with some sparklers on July 4.

So what’s next? Well, very shortly, Intel is putting me on an airplane to Greece. The country where they keep the Feta and the philosophers.

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with gratitude as I type this, and honestly I’ve been weepy over the last few weeks whenever I think about any of it. That could also be sleep deprivation, of course, but let’s not split hairs.

I’ll be visiting Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos. If you’ve been to Greece and you have any tips, please let me know in comments. I know from reading all of your lists that lots of us dream about Greece, and I love knowing that. So if you’ve made your own Mighty Life List, please don’t feel weird about linking to it, because I like it when you do.

I’m traveling with Laura and Aubrey, who are both very fun, so that means no sleep in my immediate future either. Our main objective on this trip is to watch the sun rise over the Agean.

You guys, I have always wanted to do that.

Intel is making my site more interesting by sponsoring my Mighty Life List over the next few months. They’re paying for my trip to Greece as part of their Sponsors of Tomorrow campaign, and also because they are nice people in general.

Aug 20 2009

Born to Rebel: Jeremy Gutsche of Trend Hunter

Over the next few weeks, I’m doing a campaign for Gap that features profiles of other design bloggers. The interviews are an extension of Gap’s Born To… Campaign, which is about pursuing your passion. As you may have noticed, I’m into that. Find out more about the campaign on the Facebook page here. For completists, the whole set of interviews is over here.

This is Jeremy Gutsche, author of Exploiting Chaos (due out Sept. 1), and founder of Trend Hunter, which is why he can rock this Risky Business action:

I personally think the shot would have been better in tighty whities, but Jeremy has a professional image to maintain, and I guess that means pants. Fair enough.

Trendhunter is a social network for trend spotting and innovation, which means Jeremy is the kind of guy MTV calls when they want to know what’s hip with the kids these days. He grew up in Rural Alberta racing dirt bikes, and now heads up a team of editorial interns and programmers at the Trendhunting office in downtown Toronto.

“Sometimes I’m doing graphic design, other times I’m programming, and other times I’m off in another city doing a speaking gig,” Jeremy says. “I deliver keynote speeches about five to ten times a month, so I’m typically traveling somewhere new.”

The site’s goal is to outpace mainstream media, the idea being that by the time these trends reach the printed page, they’re not cool anymore. But do his eyes ever glaze over at all the hipness? Does everything start to look the same after a while?

“By definition, we’re looking for new things,” Jeremy says. “So they don’t look the same. However, after a week of looking at TrendHunter, everything in a traditional magazine does seem boring and outdated.”

After years of trend immersion, Jeremy has developed a pretty good eye for what will hit. Common themes are creativity, elements of shock or suprise, and of course, the naughty factor. “I’m more happy to see when I am wrong [about a trend],” he says. “We’re looking for all of the little sparks that could capture viral attention, and to be surprised is actually rewarding.”

What’s on Jeremy’s radar right now:

Stupidest Trends

Self-Mutilation as Art

Danger Foods

Spoiled Pet Mania

Most Original Trends

Faking Awesome

Becoming Superhero
[ed note: I’m way ahead of the curve on this.]


Aug 20 2009

Face Facts

Two things more people should know about their faces:

1. If you, or your kid has had a cold for a few days, apply some Burt’s Bees Beeswax lipbalm to the nose and upper lip. It protects the skin that’s been chapped from all that nose blowing, and the peppermint in it facilitates a blissful cooling sensation.

2. Ladies, if the skin on your upper lip seems to be darkening, it could be hormones. OR could it be that you’ve been using SPF makeup every single day for a year or so, but have neglected to put any on your upper lip.

It’s a fact!

Aug 18 2009

Mighty Girl Feelings Book and Contest


The gorgeous personalized children’s book above is by Sarah of Party Perfect. She used objects familiar to her baby to help teach first words. Ever since I saw it, I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to make a photo book specifically for Hank.

I wanted an idea that would have the maximum impact if it was personalized. Because Hank seems intrigued by feelings lately, I decided to go with that. I’d really like him to learn early on how to identify his emotions and then do something constructive with them, and he already loves to talk about how his toys are “so happy” or “really cross” (thanks Thomas the Tank Engine).

I love the end result. Here are some examples of what I put together:






Shutterfly bought some ads on Mighty Girl, and they let me try their photobook service to lay out my book and print it. It actually ended up taking more time to choose the photos than to make the book. If you’d like to try it yourself, Shutterfly is offering codes to twelve Mighty Girl readers to let them print books for free. You can enter the drawing by leaving a comment about what you’d like to make.

The contest will run through August 24, and I’ll announce winners here. One entry per person please, I’ll have to delete duplicates for fairness. Good luck!

Aug 18 2009

Momversation: Swimming

Aug 18 2009

Twitter as it Relates to This Internet Website


Hello. Do you know I’m on Twitter? If not, you should follow me here. I am not noisy.

Also, if you use Twitter to keep up with your favorite sites, and you’d like to know when I’ve posted here, on Mighty Goods, or elsewhere, you should follow me here too.

The first account is mostly for original content and the occasional post of which I am very proud (I’ve sent you my clippings, Mrs. Tenenbaum!), the second is an automatic feed I just set up to update when I’ve posted.

In conclusion, follow me, my friends. I will not lead you astray.

Aug 17 2009

Top Ten Best Tap Numbers in Film

I’m sure all of you remember my tap instructor John Kloss?

Yeah, I bet you do.

If you’re in the Bay Area this weekend, you must attend his Bay Area Tap Festival, which features Friday and Saturday night performances by professional tap dancers from Broadway and film.

To celebrate the culmination of a whole lot of work putting the festival together, I asked Mr. Kloss if he’d share his top ten favorite tap performances on film. (Shockingly, mine did not make the list, but I’m climbing the charts with a bullet, you guys.)

Here they are, counting down to his favorite. Take it away, Mr. Kloss…

10. Savion Glover “Time After Time [Cadenza and Finale sections]”

“There is much Savion Glover material on film, and many clips, such as ‘Ribbon in the Sky’ with Stevie Wonder, could easily compete with this one. But I’ve been watching Savion’s performances — from backstage, from in the audience, on my TV, and on the big screen — since around 1995, and to me, this performance best crystallizes his technical wizardry, unquenchable passion, razor-sharp wit, and superb showmanship.”

9. Peg Leg Bates

“Peg Leg Bates could make it on this list for any number of clips of his work — a compilation of some of his work on film appears here.”

8. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers “Pick Yourself Up” from the film “Swing Time”

“Though Ginger’s taps routinely were later dubbed in by Astaire choreographer/collaborator Hermes Pan, she and Fred both are undeniably “in the pocket” in this righteously tasty morsel of their on-screen work. See 1:20-1:30 and 2:00-2:07 for examples of how Fred and Ginger were ‘serving up the funk’ long before that expression meant what it does today.”

7. Various Dancers, “Lullaby of Broadway” from the film Gold Diggers of 1935

“A huge cast, innovative camera angles, striking lighting effects, reverse motion film, remarkable sets, Broadway presentation, and raw hoofin’ all come together in this tour de force of choreography and cinematography courtesy of Busby Berkeley.”

6. Sammy Davis, Jr., Gregory Hines, et. al. “Challenge” Scene from the film TAP!

“HD footage of some of the greatest in Tap laying it down — opening dialogue provides essential narrative context, but dancing starts at about 1:57.”

5. Bill Robinson Stair Dance from Harlem is Heaven

“An ultimate classic — the stunning simplicity of rhythm tap, incredibly sophisticated compositional quality, and the unmatched clarity and precision of Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson.”

4. Gregory Hines with Sammy Davis Jr. from “Sammy Davis Jr. 60th Anniversary Celebration”

“Not quite film, but an absolutely spectacular capture of the essence of Gregory Hines in a touching televised tribute to Sammy shortly after Sammy’s cancer diagnosis.”

3. Gene Kelly Singin’ in the Rain

“Of course, a classic. Close runners up for Gene Kelly entries to the list include the “Alter Ego Dance from Cover Girl (Cinematic Achievement); Live Action Gene Kelly with animated Jerry Mouse in Invitation to the Dance (Cinematic Achievement) (ed note: This video unfortunately also shows a Family Guy version on the right); and also “I Got Rhythm” from An American in Paris, which is pure fun.

2. Jimmy Slyde “On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)” from the Tap Documentary About Tap

“A quintessential recording of my favorite tap dancer of all time and an inspiration to so many other tap dancers at the top of his game.”

1. Nicholas Brothers “Jumpin’ Jive” from the film Stormy Weather

“Here we are at number one. Fred Astaire called it the greatest tap number on film — I have to agree.”

Well, if that last one didn’t put you in a good mood, you can’t be helped. Again, many thanks, to John Kloss of Stepology. If you want to get in on the action this weekend, tickets for the Bay Area Tap Festival are available here.