ALERT: A Message to My Email Subscribers

As you already know, I have moved my blog to a self-hosted wordpress dot org site which in the long run, I believe, will provide my readers with a better experience. But as I have just transitioned I anticipate some technical hiccups along the way. I choose to learn by manually doing a lot of the set up for the dot org site myself, so these are some of the growing pains for sexyoctopus.com :

Until I figure out how to install the “Subscribe by Email” plug-in please follow me on Twitter @thesexyoctopus to get my posts immediately (along with other tweets) OR email me at sexyoctopus1@hotmail.com with your email address so I can manually send you my stories until I get this resolved. Sorry for the trouble and thanks for your patience.

ALERT: Sexy Octopus Has Migrated

Dear Readers,

I have moved this Sexy Octopus blog to a self-hosted wordpress dot org site. Therefore, I will not be posting on this wordpress dot com site anymore. Please pardon the inconvenience and visit sexyoctopus.com at this point to continue reading. I appreciate your patronage.

The change is effective immediately.

Thank you.

Cheers,

Cara

  PS….you can also follow me on Twitter @thesexyoctopus

Foreign Film: The Beauty of the Unfamiliar

One month into the new year and Twenty Twelve is turning into a foreign film year for me. I already have seen In the ‘Land of Blood and Honey‘, ‘My Tehran for Sale’ and will see ‘A Separation’ later tonight.

The elegance of foreign film is in its inherent ability to transport us to an unfamiliar territory. The medium gently challenges us to think and dream in a different capacity. In doing so, the spirit of foreign film charms and inspires me to associate beauty with travel. Travel is a very good education. And educated minds are beautiful minds.

Cinema Paradiso is one of my favorite foreign films of all time (here’s a little snapshot):

Alfredo getting the reel ready and a captivated little Salvatore from ‘Cinema Paradiso’.

Experiencing this film led me to the discovery of the musical genius of Ennio Morricone. To get an idea of how cinematic music can uplift your soul, listen to this. Here is the theme from Cinema Paradiso, one of his classic compositions:

A life without art would be hollow. The art of the foreign film not only nourishes the human spirit with visual creative expression but it also develops the mind. When was the last time you watched a film where the characters did not speak in your native tongue? How did the story influence your outlook on life?

The “Falling Man” Ad: In Bad Taste or Creative Genius?

This is the poster promoting the fifth season of the popular American cable television series “Mad Men“:

Some call it a “teaser trailer.” Do you feel teased? Do you?

I used to watch the series religiously when it first debuted. It’s quite an intelligent commentary on the the social mores of 1960s America. Don Draper is the series protagonist. I thought he was quite dapper and the man about town until he got into trouble. (Just watch the series) Don works at an ad agency on Madison Avenue. I no longer own a TV and other interests have consumed me so I don’t watch Don on Madison Ave anymore, but I saw a mention of this poster in one of my news feeds tonight so I thought I’d give it some attention.

Artistically, I like it because it is different from a lot of other graphically saturated posters. It has a strong minimalist design. But the poster has been in the news lately because of its perceived message. Some have it called “offensive”, suggesting a visual reminder of 9/11. More specifically, reminiscent of The Falling Man photograph. Do you think the creator of the ad intentionally wanted to suggest such an association? After all, the networks are promoting the premier of a television series. The job of any advertiser is to ignite curiosity and interest. As in “I want to know more.” Do you think the maker(s) of this ad consciously created imagery suggestive of The Falling Man? If you knew they did, would you still be encouraged to tune in?

The Contemporary Man’s Thirty Minute Guide to Understanding Women

I had a fantastic long weekend. One of my friends had a birthday gathering in Hayes Valley and the occasion also turned into a nice reunion of sorts to catch up with folks who were out of town for the Holidays. The group was a lovely blend of men and women highlighted by animated conversation and hysterical laughter. Some sidebar discussions were peppered with terribly inappropriate, politically incorrect commentary. It was a hoot. Life would be quite dull if there was too much correctness, right?

Women talked with men. Men talked with other men. And women talked about men. I had several sidebars with a couple of friends updating me with their dating escapades. And it got me wondering if men talk about women with their manfriends as much as women talk about men with their womanfriends when it comes to getting advice about the behavior of the other sex.

The message I’d like to offer for men in the modern age is this:

If you would like to understand women better, just spend thirty minutes on Pinterest. Pinterest is the gathering place for the universal woman. And half an hour is all you’ll need. Really. And if you want to explore further and develop a deeper understanding, become a community member.

The Octopus: Intelligence and the Distributed Mind

I am writing about this topic again because people continue to ask me about the name of this blog ‘Sexy Octopus’ and my complementary Twitter handle @thesexyoctopus……

The nature of the intelligence of octopuses remains a mystery. Scientists may find it easier to investigate other “intelligent” animals such as dolphins or chimpanzees because they are more closely related to human beings as vertebrates. However, the octopus is an invertebrate. Furthermore, the question has arisen whether the octopus mind lacks the cohesiveness of the single consciousness that humans have. For example, do octopuses make decisions based solely on their brain or do their nerve-infused arms play a collaborative role? Is there a distributive role?

Learn what a distributed mind is  and how to think like an octopus here.

What if human beings had decentralized brain power? What if humans viewed the world with eight different view points?

Perhaps there is another planet out there inhabited by octopuses. Or intelligent aliens.

‘Females, it seems, sometimes eat the males.’~ Harvard Philosophy Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith, regarding the difference between humans and octopuses

The Asian Jetset: Discovering Champagne Powder in a Mystical Village

I just read about Niseko, or the St. Moritz of the East in the New York Times this morning which, sadly has been predicted to be one of the few remaining independent newspapers in the next five years. Print media and traditional journalism must be gasping for air (but that’s another blog post). Expiration Date: 2017ish

Niseko is located in Hokkaido, Japan‘s northernmost island. It’s where the jetset of Asia (think well-heeled gliterrati from Hong Kong and Singapore) play. The snow there has been described as ‘champagne powder’ and although the scenery may not be as dramatic as the Alps, the reporter calls it ‘mystical’. So here is an excerpt from the article explaining the allure of this mystical resort village:

‘Niseko was coined the “St. Moritz of the Orient” by insiders in the 1960s, but the area still remained seriously under the radar until the ’90s, when it became the preferred playground for Australian snowboarders tipped off to the powder.’

 Hot Springs at Niseko resort

The way the reporter describes his experience in Niseko  it sounds like an ideal retreat for a skiing/snowboarding enthusiast who also wants a luxurious meditative and poetic journey away from home.

I suppose describing a destination as The _________ of the East, or The ________ West, or ____________ is the Paris of ____________, etc…. helps us to visualize the place. Have you heard that Buenos Aires is THE Paris of South America? Or that Boston and San Francisco are kind of European? The latest I heard was from a German engineer who just moved here to San Francisco. I was in a Ruby (computer language) coding workshop and we were discussing the Start Up scene in Europe. He mentioned that Berlin is a hot spot for tech and Start Up activity. He feels that Berlin is THE San Francisco of Europe. (That’s why he moved here). Lots of creativity and creative people. Actually, there was a Slovenian, Belgian and several English engineers in my work group that evening. Europe was generously represented. But come visit San Francisco and you’ll meet many citizens from non-European nations, too. People converge from all over the global community to San Francisco and the Bay Area at large. Diversity is a beautiful thing.