Evan Biddell – a Canadian Designer

The winner of Canada’s Project Runway, Evan Biddell is making quite the name for himself. His 2010 spring. collection has recently been added to his online collection and it includes outstanding pieces. The pieces that dominate the collection are outfits that flow in the wind and successfully achieve that lively look that most designers so desperately work to achieve. Although some of the dresses are wrapped around the body as one large piece of fabric, Biddell still achieves structure and lines that flatter the female form.
While the longer dresses are dramatic, the shorter shirts and pants are less attentive. Despite still calling attention and highlighting the female form, some of the fashions in his spring collection are more realistic in terms of daily use, seeping away from the dramatic and unrealistic look that the runway, at times, present.
However, this is not to assume that the collection is rather boring or ready-to-wear. The male fashions are rather provocative, including a spandex body suit and rather feminine touches to shirts and pants.
The colors and themes that dominate his collection include the traditional black and dark grey colors, deep blues and hippie orange shades. While the white pieces in the collection are elegant and luxurious, the navy blues, light browns and orange shades create a sense of the 70’s – relaxed and hippie themes.
One could argue, based on the above mentioned – and quite obvious – interpretations of the spring collection, that this particular fashion line is missing some cohesion. Although the color palate holds the collection together, it can be quite difficult to find a vision as it drowns in the dramatic pieces and tight spandex suits.
However, this intense curiosity for an answer and understanding of his fashions could be the primary reason why he won Canada’s Project Runway. His depth and love for fashion definitely shines through this collection, even though his target audience might not see the cohesion between the pieces. But then again, who buys a piece of clothing based on its cohesion with other fashionable items in a given collection?

Stress Free Summer Activity Ideas Designed to Help Keep You Cool and Comfortable

With warm weather, many people are taking advantage of outdoor activities designed for the summer season. While being outside playing can be a lot of fun, there are a few safety precautions that people must follow in order to stay cool and comfortable. By following these simple tips, you will not only protect your health this summer, but you can also focus on enjoying your day of leisure.
1. Wear light color clothing that is made of a natural fiber such as cotton. The exception is when wearing swimwear. Try to purchase a swimsuit that is made with a special SPF fabric. This will protect the covered area from sun damage.
2. Suntan lotion should match your corresponding activity. If you are going to be outdoors for a long time or are fair skin, purchase a suntan lotion with a high SPF number. Also, if you are planning on participating in sports, you will need a sweat-proof product that will not sting or run into your eyes. Waterproof lotions are also available for people who will be participating in water activities.
3. Try to refrain from wearing any fragrances or cosmetics outside. During the summer, the warm temperature makes it the perfect time for bug season. Many bugs are attracted to fragrances and will follow you, no matter how hard you try to get rid of them. Also, if you want to stay comfortable, try to no wear any makeup while participating in an outdoor activity. As you sweat, the makeup will break down and could possibly sting your eyes. Furthermore, some of the newer mineral makeup, when combined with warm temperatures and sweat, will cause severe burning and stinging all over a person’s face.
4. It is most uncomfortable to be outside during the hours of 11 to 5, as temperatures are at their warmest for the day. In order to stay cool and comfortable this season, try to schedule and outdoor activity in the early morning, late afternoon, or evening to avoid the season’s heat.
5. If you do choose to be outdoors during the daytime, try to avoid all flowering bushes or trees, as bugs congregate in these areas. As a safety precaution, find out if any members in your party are allergic to insect stings or have any other allergies. This is especially important if you are going to the beach, as the dune areas have wildflowers that attract bees and the water contains jellyfish, sea urchins, and other stinging creatures.
6. Should you choose to hold a nighttime outdoor activity, avoid all areas of water. This is important because children or people with vision impairments sometimes have difficulties with depth perception. What may appear as a small puddle may actually be a larger area filled with water. Also, at nighttime on beaches, currents and undertows are hard to distinguish. Next, try to avoid having too much artificial lighting when having a nighttime activity. Bugs, especially gnats, are attracted to artificial lighting, and sometimes they are not visible until you make contact with them. Using citronella candles can help keep bugs away.
7. Last, know you body. If you feel the need to slow down or rest, do so. Be sure to check on other members of your party (children, elderly, those with medical conditions, and pets) frequently to observe for signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Encourage all companions to spend time in the shade and re-hydrate. By following these easy tips, your outdoor activity will bring you and your guests much enjoyment, while helping you to stay cool and comfortable all summer long.

Pascal’s Wager: Argument Designed to Encourage One to Believe in God

For those who don’t know, Pascal’s Wager is an argument designed to encourage one to believe in God. It makes no pretensions as a means of proving God exists. It is intended to persuade non-believers who simply are unsure to believe.

The wager is as follows: either God exists, or He does not. If He exists and you choose to believe in Him, you gain a Heavenly reward; if you choose not to believe in Him, you will be damned and you will lose everything. If He does not exist and you believe in Him, you lose nothing, while if you do not believe in Him you will lose nothing. So, the consequences of not believing in Him are either nothing or eternal damnation, and the consequences of believing in Him are either nothing or a Heavenly reward. Hence, it is more advantageous to believe in Him than not.

The normal reply to this by the religious is that God can recognize sincere belief over a belief arrived at by such shrewd calculation. So, the wager will fail, because she who believes in God simply because it has the best probability of a beneficial outcome will be damned anyway. The counter-reply to this is that Pascal’s Wager serves as a means of establishing initial belief. Over time, this initial belief will become habitual and eventually will grow into a sincere belief. For myself, I think I have met an individual to which the counter-reply is applicable. He was once an atheist, became a theist because of Pascal’s Wager, and is now a devout Catholic.

In any event, I’ve never liked Pascal’s Wager because the argument hinges on the notion that it is merely the belief in God or not that determines if one is to be damned or saved. To me, basing salvation on whether or not one leads a good life (morally speaking) is far more plausible. I have met moral atheists and I find it incomprehensible that God would damn any of them simply because they do not believe in Him and He has never given proof that He exists. Similarly, if anyone is worthy of damnation I would argue it is the militant terrorists of the world who target civilians or tell their young, trusting children that a suicide vest will “spray flowers” when the detonator is pushed, and generally speaking, these terrorists claim to believe in God.

Pascal’s Wager may have some limited uses, though. It might be enough to persuade someone from leading a life of sheer evil, for example. If a potential serial killer were presented with the wager (with the modification that believing in God requires one to lead a good life), it might be enough, if he reflects at all, to change his mind about the path he is about to set out upon. Then again, he may be so far gone, that he may be beyond saving. In the end, I think Pascal’s Wager, like the Ontological Argument, is an interesting intellectual exercise, that is, however, ultimately unconvincing.

How to Create a Terra Cotta Design with Paint

Earthy tones are making a strong showing in many new home designs throughout America and around the world. From lamps to furniture and even entire rooms are using multi colored methods for achieving these earthy tones. You can create a terra cotta look easily and cheaply with the instructions in this article. You don’t need to spend a fortune on painters or paint supplies. You just need a little patience and time to create a unique design that will look and feel great in your home. If you’re intimidated by doing a whole room, start small on a picture frame or old lamp. You can create a terra cotta design on any object large or small.

The material list isn’t too large. Basically for brushes you need a small paint brush for small projects or a larger one for bigger projects. You will need several small sea sponges, but you can buy a few large ones and tear off pieces as you need it. You will need basic painting supplies as well. Disposable gloves, paint trays, and brush cleaning supplies. You will need a large variety of colors. A large 1 gallon can of yellow base coat or latex, and small paint cans of black, red, light brown, dark green, white, and light brown paints. If you’re doing a small project first use small cans of paint. The larger the project the more paint you will need.

To start, use the paint brush to apply a coat of yellow base coat or yellow latex. Let the paint dry and apply a second coat. You can use a roller to apply the paint over a large area if you want to make the work go quicker.
Break a small piece of sea sponge off a larger piece. Use a plastic disposable paint tray to hold the many colors you will need for the terra cotta look. You can get creative and use old milk jugs or soda bottles to hold the paint instead of buying trays you don’t need and save a few bucks. Pour a small amount of black paint into a tray. Use a small sea sponge and dip in the tip of the sponge. Apply it to the yellow base paint in small splotches uniformly around the yellow base

Let the paint dry for a few hours then use another paint tray and pour in the red paint. Use a new sea sponge and dip in the red paint. Spread in a uniform pattern just as you did with the black paint. Repeat the same process with the dark brown paint. Let it dry for a few hours between coats.

Now take the dark green and pour it in a paint tray. Dip in the sea sponge and using a light touch, dab the green paint on the project. Use the green sparingly and with a light touch. Don’t over apply the green. For each color you add, you should be able to see all of the other colors.
Mix a small amount of black with the white paint in a paint tray. Dab the sea sponge in the paint and apply sparingly to the project as you did with the green. Finally add the dark brown in a tray and use a sea sponge to dab it on. Don’t use nearly as much brown as you have before with the other paints. Use as small amount as possible.

The Power of Sketching Interaction Designs

Some of my best designs (not speaking subjectively, but based on quantitative interaction metrics) come from spending a fair amount of my time literally drawing out prototypes and use-cases. Yes, with a pencil and paper. It’s easy to think through the functionality of a site in your head and assume you have it all worked out, but it’s never wasted effort to take things one step further. Or two, or three.

By putting pencil to paper, an Interaction Designer will spend more time putting himself in the user mind-set and create a bigger window into understanding the properties of their user’s capabilities. In a sense, it allows you to become an architect that brainstorms then refines countless drafts of his building to ensure all the beams and framing will hold up to the physical traffic, customizations, and decorations that future tenants will bring.

“The application of this understanding to the design, development and deployment of systems and services” – a.k.a. Human Factor – is all the rage for resume buffers. But as a manager looking to hire a real interaction specialist it’s almost too easy to spot the less talented that claim to be UI/UX experts showing such flawed designs in their portfolio. All of which could have been made far more intuitive and useful had they only spent the time with even an online prototyping/mock-up tool.
In some cases, sketching out website pages and functionality as I envision it has lent itself to providing inspiration for design elements. Take a look at these and you’ll see what I mean. And grab yourself some graph paper, a ruler and a nice no. 2 pencil already.