KRAWCZUK INDUSTRIES                                                  WHAT A WEEK!                                          Mon Aug 27, 2018  #31_

Project Mc2 - Ultimate Lab Kit

I was visiting with L.K. this weekend, and while we were sitting at a coffee shop,  two girls walked in carrying these oversized purse-like toy boxes and set them up on their table. I was curious what they were, thinking it was maybe a doll house. I was happily incorrect. It was a Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit. Now I understand why the smaller of the two was saying “it was heavy”, as she had about about a liter of water in there. I talked to their mom about it, and I was assured that the girls asked for those kits for their birthdays, and that they had plenty of dolls as home, but wanted to bring these toys with them.

I looked into them, and it seems to be part of a larger integrated system of S.T.E.A.M. education which follows the video series on Netflix of four super-smart and seriously cool girls who use their love of science and their spy skills as they go on missions for secret organization, NOV8 (that's “innovate”!)Here is the video for the kit. (Okay, the experiments they do are cool…) This reviewer liked it, and called out that it is an equipment kit, but you need to get your own materials.

This is one of my favorite flying hacks: the air sickness bags fit over the screens in the back of the seat, so when you can’t turn off the video, you can still get around having to watch it.

Okay, instead of gifs, here is a cool optical illusion. Should work for the print version too!

My Lucky Problem At Work:

Most of the Biggest Conflicts Come From Divergent Good Intentions

I’ve made a career being a freelance producer / project manager for large companies and marketing agencies, mostly focused on digital projects. (It’s a mouthful, and my mom still doesn’t really understand what I do. It’s okay.)

Most of the people I work with are really passionate, highly trained, have world class experience, and have well-researched opinions.  The work environments are fast paced, deadline driven, and have tight budgets, so things regularly feel high pressure. As reputation is a driving element, the interpersonal and interdepartmental politics can get real.

So, when there are conflicts, well, let’s just say things can escalate quickly.

The interesting part of this for me is that these conflicts almost always come from a place of good intentions. One side is looking at the situation with a certain group of facts and goals, and the other side has a slightly different set of inputs. But, they both generally want success for the project, the team and the companies involved.

In situations like this, the tactic I like to use is to get both sides together in a casual setting, point out both sides good intentions, and why they are taking the approach they are taking. Then we talk about while both sides are working towards a common goal, they are actually going in different directions, which is causing the conflict. But, hey, same team!

The results tend to be good: Both sides develop empathy for each other, misunderstandings are identified, faulty information is replaced with the real story, and they figure out “the greater good” or some compromise together.

I think the key is that both sides seem heard, nobody is made the bad guy, each side’s hard work is pointed out and then both sides work out the solution.

I can’t say it is a universal solution. I was talking to the security guard, who mentioned people want to put him in a headlock or worse every day. I doubt the tactic would work for him in a number of the conflict situations he encounters. And, in less dramatic situations, it still probably comes up short

One trick I use when dealing with people who may NOT have always had the best intentions is to take a page from Dale Carnegie and give them a fine reputation to live up to. Giving them a bit of an out by giving them the benefit of the doubt, and giving them a path to get on board has also been something that has been effective.

How about you? Any tricks for working though this sort of conflict?

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September 28 - I had a great time at the last Rental Car Rally -  next one is going from Oakland to Tahoe! Wanna go?

October 6 - New York City -

Lost Horizon Night Market - details:

November 3 - Intersections by CODAME -

There is an empty five-story, 250,000-square-foot mall at 950 Market Street that finished construction in 2016.

The building is dubbed 6x6. Who wants to talk to them about letting artists / experience designers do something in that space?

3X3X3 - I got asked to present on
3 people I admire, 3 things I am inspired by, and 3 things I conspired on.
Here are my slides. It includes Richard Serra, Tom Sachs, Samuel R. Delany, Royal Deluxe, Meow Wolf, Beam Authentic, Lost Horizon Night Market, Cardboard Animal Parade and You’ve Got My Eyes.

I bought a Beam Authentic, but I don’t know if you need one, yet...

Last week’s newsletter was mostly animated gifs because, as I mentioned, I was researching a project.

Well, it came in the mail last week: It’s called a

Beam Authentic -


The Beam Authentic is a tiny video screen pin that can show images or gifs, either singly or as a slide show. The way it works is you download the Beam Authentic  app to your phone. You upload images or gis to the app, or use the tools in the app to create them. The app then does some optimization of the imagery, and then uploads the imagery through bluetooth.

In general, it works well! But, wow, it sure goes to show how much companies like Apple spoil us by rounding off the rough edges, which this device has! It came with out of date firmware, and you could only update with a Windows 10 computer. The synching is a bit of a black art: sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and it isn’t always clear why. It shuts off, but has a full battery. It can only hold a limited amount of images and gifs, and uploading takes a long time.

Personally, I love all of the rough edges: it makes me appreciate all of the work that the other devices I have do seamlessly. It’s interesting to see the design decisions they made, and it feels “risky”.

Why’d I get this? Have you ever been in a large group of people, and knew SOMEONE there MUST want to talk about the obscure topic you wanted to talk about? I thought it would be GREAT to have a digital button that I could wear that would announce that topic! I’m still toying with how to display this, but looking forward to the conversations I stir up. (Would love to hear your tips!)

If your okay with something that feels a bit hackery, you may like it! But, if you get frustrated with your phone you may want to wait a bit on this one!


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