Sing It Into Existence

My daughter sings. A lot. She’ll repeat simple phrases that explain the world: about the color of her crayons, a new experience, or how she feels about a person. She’ll do all this without thought—and without realization that someone might hear her.

She will also use song to narrate memorable or—more often—traumatic moments in her life. My favorite example of this is a recent visit to the doctor. She handled the vaccination needles just fine, and was immediately chatty with the doctor herself. Then we went to collect the urine sample and I forgot to let her turn on the light.

Rashomon but with toddlers would be a nightmare

She eventually calmed down, used the potty, and turned the light off-and-on-and-off. Then we went downstairs, got in the car, and had a snack. And then she sang her song. I didn’t really pay attention until I heard my name: “Daddy was so mean, he wouldn’t let me turn on the light/ He yelled at me and made me cry…”

It went on for another ten minutes, covering all the events of the day.

I replayed the visit in my mind. I knew that I had remained calm, reasonable; I gave her space, offered solutions. But still, she had her version, and in song no less. Who would you believe?

It didn’t matter if it were true—it was how she experienced it, and now how she remembered it. Memories are slippery and highly dependent on our emotional state at the time. All of us are subject to the same morphing of events to fit our internal narrative as time goes by; maybe not as quickly as the walk from the doctor to the car, but quickly enough. It’s something I try to keep in mind when relitigating old events or passing judgment on someone I disagree with. Everyone sees the world differently.

Luckily I’m no longer the villain in her songs. She’s forgotten the “Light Switch” and moved on to singing “A Thousand Pies” from Octonauts.

Making the playoffs costs money

With baseball’s playoffs coming up soon, I thought it would be a good time to dust off a project I started back in April. Every year there are a handful of articles written about how the wild card has brought competitive balance to baseball, which most fans of the game know is an absurd statement. I did a little digging into the numbers from 1995 (the year the wild card format officially began) until 2011 (the last year of the single wild card). The results are startling only in how much money actually matters. Below are some rough graphs. I’ll try to finish them up before the playoffs begin.

Looking at the data, there was clearly bigger gaps that simply “rich teams” and “poor teams” and so I tried to take a systematic approach in dividing the teams into groups. For each year, I found the average team payroll and the standard deviation from that average, and then bracketed teams based on how many standard deviations from the average they fell in either direction: teams that were within one standard deviation above the average were called simply “Above Average Teams”, teams within one standard deviation below the average were called “Below Average Teams”, and so on.



Global Tiger Initiative

In the summer of 2010 I helped develop this video along with Pikkles Creative for the Global Tiger Initiative. I came up with the initial concept which was then refined by Pikkles and the very talented animator who put it all together. (Who’s name I unfortunately cannot find anywhere online. I’ll keep looking!)

Categorized as Updates

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… Your Art

Ha! Look at this: a post from three months ago that I never published. Sorry blog! Sorry internet!

All the hardcore Georg fans out there already noticed this, but for the casual audience out there I thought I’d just go ahead and point this out: the new poster I just made for the Harvard Square Business Association features art I made nine years ago. Check it out!

Havana Restaurant Project

I made this guy for a class assignment, I think my Junior year of college? I think it was a poster or menu or something for a fun and sassy restaurant. I always liked this but never got to use it for anything.

Harvard Square MayFair

The "new" poster

And now here we are in 2010 and they are still partying! I spent all morning drawing rather scary-looking square people and realized this was a way better solution. I also drew these little guys! (But they were rejected, sadface.)