WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO VISIT ON YOUR PLANET?
Nepal is one place in the world I have wanted to visit for a long time. My dream since a young child has been to explore and trek the Himalayas. There is something empowering and incredibly invigorating about being on top of the world. Ultimately I think it would be good for my spirit and mind, opening me to alternative cultures and unique environments.
After recently viewing an exceptional virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel online, it got me curious as to what other interesting virtual tours existed on the web. This is by no way an extensive list, but is some of the ones I consider to be the best and least polluted with advertising.
A great idea that has potential but could be executed better. Tour is small and requiring Quicktime, but allows you to click through the various rooms in the building and click on the paintings to bring up more detail and information.
A great site providing many 360 tours, but at small size and require Quicktime. Useful if you are interested in the design of an art gallery or want to check out a location before visiting. No option to explore locations in detail.
I guess I could have stood in front of you today and spoken about something I am interested in like photography or aviation. I could have also stood here and spoke to you about the many adventures I have had in the past few years traveling around the country, but the reality is, it’s a story we have all told people over and over again. So instead, I have decided to speak about something very personal that not only affects me but also a lot of other people in society. Truth be know, there is a very good possibility you may know someone who suffers from what I am about to discuss.
What is it I hear you ask? It, use to be called manic depression, and I am sure in the early part of this century it was referred to a lot of other things which I daren’t repeat. I am of course talking about Bi-polar.
Before you get any crazy thoughts in your head about what it might be. Bi-polar is one of those conditions which is highly under diagnosed globally. It is generally characterized by extreme feelings of being high and on top of the world in one moment, to instant swings which can leave the sufferer depressed, sad and hopeless for days. It is, as you might say, a bit of a roller coaster for the sufferer and those around them.
Many relationships between friends and family have disintegrated due to the pure unpredictability of the condition. I know personally, my life has been incredibly difficult since the condition manifested in me. Forming and keeping relationships has been incredible difficult, and my existing relationship with my family has been pretty much on the rocks all my life.
Despite its extreme nature, Bi-polar like many other medical conditions is completely treatable. The way it has been dealt with over the years has significantly varied. In the early part of this century and even into the sixties, it was not unusual for sufferers of Bi-polar to be subjected to a frontal lobe lobotomy. When I first pictured this procedure, I thought it had something to do with ones anus. Of course, as I delved further into it, I discovered this was not the case. In fact, the reality was much worse.
A frontal lobe lobotomy is performed by inserting an ice pick looking tool into the eye socket of the patient. The surgeon then performs a quick nudge until the point of the ice pick passes into the frontal inner skull. The doctor then rotates the ice pick around in a beater like motion, which essentially dislodges the frontal lobe from the front of the brain, he then proceeds to do it on the other side resulting in a full frontal lobe lobotomy. Overall the procedure is quick and efficient. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the inaccuracy of the way it was performed, many procedures resulted in terrible side affects. Some patients were essentially converted into vegetables, and others fatally wounded.
Thankfully today this procedure is no longer used, at least not to my knowledge. Bi-polar and other depressive illnesses are now treated with medications. There are several types but essentially they all do the same thing, treat the condition the best way they can but often leaving the sufferer feeling lethargic. Sometimes I would even go so far as to say that even today’s modern medication is a bit of a guessing game, just like the frontal lobotomy.
As a sufferer of bi-polar I have been trialed on at least a dozen different anti-depressants. One particular example sticks in my mind the most which occurred when I was first diagnosed. Due to legal reasons I won’t mention the brand or type of medication, but this drug resulted in making me more depressed. So much so, I ended up in hospital for eight weeks after making an attempt on my own life.
I can tell you now, you don’t want to be stuck in a psychiatric hospital for a long period of time. Sometimes it can feel like you are sitting in a gaol cell doing time! Although I will admit, I did enjoy the company of other sufferers who knew what I was going through, despite them getting me hooked on smoking for the eight weeks I was in there. By the way, I don’t smoke anymore mind you!
One of the biggest problems I have experienced since being diagnosed with bi-polar is that very few people understand you. I don’t know how many times people have treated me as if I have a contagious disease, or those who have ridiculed me for being crazy or weird. If we didn’t have crazy and weird people, we wouldn’t have half the stuff we have in the world today. My favourite saying is, “Crazy people are creative people”. Many of the world’s greatest artists and inventors were know to have bi-polar. Alas I am not one of them.
Unfortunately, the most annoying experience is when people tell you to just cheer up. The reality is, bi-polar is much more than just a case of cheering up or toning down your behaviour . The currently accepted theory on what affects a vast part of our behaviour and our moods is our inner brain chemistry. As complex as our feelings and emotions may be, it all comes down to a bit of chemistry and wiring. Not that exciting when you think about it, and certainly takes the romance out of life!
Apart from medication correcting this balance there are other treatments sufferers of bi-polar can opt for. One that I have found particularly useful is cognitive therapy, whereby I talk through with my psychiatrist on ways I can deal with my highs and lows when they occur. This form of therapy obviously requires the participant to admit he or she has the condition, can recognize the symptoms of the episodes, and can develop strategies to deal with them effectively.
Bi-polar, is not unlike other medical conditions. Clearly it can not be treated effectively if the patient does not admit he or she has a condition. Secondly, taking the medication, and hoping that it will fix all your problems doesn’t work either. Mental health should be approached holistically. That is, the suffer should try to engage in a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise, not only keeps your body physically in shape and all your parts working properly, but when you engage in physical activity your body releases endorphins which make you feel great. In fact, these endorphins make you feel so good, you can become addicted to physical activity, hence the term “Gym Junky”. Not far from the truth really, when you think about it. Eating properly can not be over emphasized. If you put crap in, you will get crap out. Vitamins and minerals play a huge role in our mental chemistry. Eating lots of vegetables and fruits is a good start, plus I have found that taking fish oil can have a similar effect to anti-depressants! My doctors thoughts on that is that as a species we don’t eat as much fish as we are suppose to,
Practice a balanced life. Don’t stay up all night working, nor spend the whole day working for that matter. Balance your leisure, relaxation, work and family/friend time carefully. To put it simply, if there is no pleasure in our lives we are guaranteed to become depressed and unhappy. The same goes if we are stressed and continually under the hammer.
Get plenty of sleep on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean sleeping in all the time, but it does mean getting eight hours at least of quality sleep. This means exactly that, not watching TV in bed, reading a book or dare I say it, sex. You will find if you set this up on a regular basis you will generally feel better during the day.
Make time for yourself whereby you spend it alone. How you use this time is completely up to you, but it should be something relaxing that allows yourself to unwind. Whether this is reading a book out in the sunshine (sunshine is really good for you by the way!), or simply taking the dog for a walk. It should be something you enjoy, so no, it doesn’t include doing the washing or catching up on the house work!
The final point I would like to make is in relation to how we treat each other. A lot of depression and anxiety is brought on by the way other people interact together. Respecting each other differences, accepting people for who they are and not intimidating them goes a long way in preventing mental health problems in today’s society. I don’t know how many times I have come up against abrasive people, but to me it does seem to be on the rise. I think at the end of the day we need to get back in touch with our inner humanity, and start caring for those around us, even if they aren’t immediate friends or family.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to me, and remember, take care of yourselves and each other.
Could it be that bad design is in fact a contradiction? Before you get angry and ask, what is he on about, lets consider this statement in more detail. Is indeed, badly constructed graphic design, as bad as it sounds, or in fact does it have a hidden agenda.
In this age of computers and technology, the ability to create technically accurate designs has become as easy as setting up a few page rulers, typing in a few grid co-ordinates, and clicking the mouse. Indeed anyone with computer experience and an eye for detail can achieve it. Herein the problem lies; since the ability to produce attractive design is so common these days, and practiced in such large numbers, have we become so accustomed to it that it no longer has an impact on us? Is in fact good design loosing it’s ability to capture the imagination of the masses?
By creating large amounts of technically correct designs, are we in fact boring the people viewing the work. In a sense it could be argued that good design is about distinguishing oneself from the rest. By adopting a design style that matches that of the majority in a particular genre, are we not contradicting the whole point of design? We are no longer identifying the design as an individual, but rather as one of the sheep. From an advertising perspective, producing commercials that fit in is in many ways providing the client a dis-service. We are no longer identifying the product as an individual, and as such run the risk of blendig in with the rest.
Is the answer to the numbing of good design, to produce bad design? What do you notice more, a page that has been technically well designed, or something that is a bit out of whack? This is a question worth posing, especially if design is to remain innovative and progressive when it comes to capturing the attention of society.
Other than graphic design, photography is another great passion of mine. My work is varied and I enjoy exploring all different types of subject matter, so come by and check some of my work out. If you like what you see, don’t forget to add me as a contact. I look forward to seeing you soon.
How to deal with clients who want something for free.
Recently a good friend of mine sent me this link describing one designers experience with a client that wanted something for nothing. It gave me quite a smile considering I have come across this numerous times from family and friends, and in some cases with people off the street. If only I had approached my situation in the same way. The full article can be read by selecting the articles heading or by selecting here.