Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Fools

This month The Change Experiment will be thinking differently by becoming a collaborative effort between Jesse Danger of New York and Bryan Augstein of Baltimore. We will be challenging each-other to pursue our respective challenges, and using the collaboration to push each other to challenge our paradigms.

Jesse's Challenges:
Physical:Learn to Juggle
Structural:visualize/meditate nightly
Mental:Write left handed
Social:Write 1 letter daily
Musical:Get video of my songs/words
Creative:Draw something daily

Bryan's Challenges:
Physical:Learn to Juggle
Structural:Wake up immediately
Mental:Read 2 book/week from a different literary period
Social: Create and maintain a Facebook
Musical:Play the Sax (20 mins daily)
Creative:Learn a new origami creation daily

Monday, March 29, 2010

Marching Along

There is no peace you can find anywhere you go that was not with you to begin with.

More insight to come to sum up the month, soon : )

Challenge Wrap-up

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.

Tried some spiced Loaf, but didn't pay too much care:

Left this in the oven for about an hour too long:

Getting back into the groove with it:

Good spread:

Soggy Oggy with some fresh bread:

Probably my best tasting loaf yet:

This is something that I will be taking with me through my life, with a little time, not many ingredients and not too much attention paid I can make a damn fine loaf of bread now. This is a great example to me of something that seemed daunting becoming almost effortless.

Musical: Listen to 5 new bands

kitsunenoir - Great weekly mixes every Friday

The Antlers

The Rural Alberta Advantage

Miike Snow - good trying on clothes music

Goddamn Electric Bill

Nujabes His music lives on

These are some of the ones I've enjoyed^. I need to continue to try to listen to new music, but really listen to it, give it a chance.

Physical: No shoes
Trying to remove shoes when possible.

Shoes are evil, our feet are tremendously receptive to the world.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Some good workouts with it.

When I work out early in the morning it gives me a jump start to the day, I have energy through it.

If I make myself a nice breakfast and tell myself I've got to workout before eating it then it becomes a lot easier to make it happen.

Creative: Create one thing
Leap Shirt:

My message to you:

This month with this challenge I've created more than I have in a long time. Perfectionism masked as 'standards' stops creation. We've all got a certain amount of bad art in us, we need to get it out to get to the good stuff!

Mental: Watch a TED talk

Ken Kamler
speaks about the 1996 Everest Disaster. I've read this from Krakauer's and Visteur's point of view but his is different, and more than incredible in it's own respect

I've learned some amazing things, and it's always important to remember that we can change the world, the people out there are solving problems that wouldn't be thought possible to solve.

Social: Random Acts of Kindness
Started adding (Pass it on) to the notes I hand out.

Handed out "You're Beautiful, never forget it" and "You're great, this is easy"

How can we positively effect the world in our everyday life, how can we let others now that the world cares, that there is good and truth and beauty.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Subject to Change"

If there's good in all things then it's our job to find it!

This goes further to say that it's healthy to look for it places we haven't, and keep looking until we know for sure it's there. The world is an amazing place.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Rye Flour and Caraway seed with some dill, needs to be refined, not the flour but the loafmaking

Musical: Listen to new bands
The Welfare Poets
A couple of Cornell students that came together to rhyme for a good cause. I stumbled across this in my search for do good fun events around NY. They rhyme for a reason.

Physical: No shoes
No shoes

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Crumby workout then good bread, will be looking to scratch that and reverse it.

Creative: Create one thing

I've been making some ambigrams, they need work but I kind of like them.



I think the Leap one turned out the best.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Woody Norris talks about the amazing things he's invented and his interesting approach to invention. It's really pretty cool, and he's a good talker.

Social: Random Act of Kindness
I've taken to folding cranes again, I don't know if anyone sees them and smiles, but to me this is nondestructive graffiti, only positivity turning just a piece of paper into something that enriches the beauty of our world.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



This says it ^

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.

Dramatic Loaf:

Musical: Listen to new bands
Nice sound:
Phoenix: electronic up-beat,kind of kooks-y

A couple I really liked the lyrics:
Ghost Mice: A bit of an annoying voice but an amazing message

Andrew Jackson Jihad: Kind of Paul Baribeau-y

Physical: No shoes
Nothing really extensive with this

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Making sure that not following this doesn't stop me from working out.

Creative: Create one thing
Actually I've been working past while on creating just one thing, I hope to have it out and ready soon.

I've got a couple other creations that just need to be photographed.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Watched quite a few ted talks that didn't do all that much for me, then today I stumbled on this one, absolutely amazing. Dan Barber talks about how he fell in love with a fish, but really, about how we can make a better world, people are doing it already!

Social: Random Act of Kindess
The note handed out has inspired further such action. Giving away a train ticket or a nice note is just a great way to tell someone that the world cares.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Random Act of Kindness

Gave someone a note that said "you are beautiful, never forget it!"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."

Here's to trying new things, and to doing things you don't want to because you don't want to.

I've fallen behind on most of these. I'm trying to better understand that we do have the time and energy for the things we care about and to better understand how to tap that to push forward into the unknown.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Hectic schedule makes for hectic bread. The last loaf I made rose for too long both times and baked for the wrong amount of time, but it ended up delicious. As my mom says, bread is very forgiving, maybe we can learn something from that.

Musical: 5 new bands
Thanks to excellent response on my facebook post I've got a whole mess of bands to check out.

Physical: No shoes
Trying to see opportunities for not wearing them when I normally would. Took them off on the walk home.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
This has become more of a "if I've got the time" issue, and whether I plan on doing anything physical that day.

Creative: Create one thing
I'm going to have to catch up.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
I just haven't been keeping up with this, I'm going to try to remember to put one on while I'm doing other things. Bread time is usually good for this.

Social: random act of kindness
This keeps slipping my mind, I'm going to write on my hand to remember.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wet Paint

Art is something that makes you think.

It's not about you liking it, especially if it isn't trying to sell you anything. If it makes you think, if it makes you feel something, that is what's beautiful about it. If it musters up disgust or dislike that proves it's worth, and what you can take from that is only up to you. There is a comfort in complacency, but in that we lose our adventurous spirit. We must be unafraid to take a step outside of the norm and to embrace those that are doing just that.

How much did that blank wall ever make you think?

Graffiti is amazing. It puts the power in the paint covered hands of every person in the world. You look on a wall and see ugly writing ruining good paint, I see someone not afraid to express themselves. You see a misled youth, I see someone who is visibly modifying the world. You see someone disrespecting property laws, I see someone challenging the concept of property.

I hear a lot of people say that they like the good stuff, "the stuff that's art". That's not how it works. The art is in the action, and whether you like it is not of their concern. Someone going outside the system to show that they have an impact on this world, unafraid to memorialize the places they've been, the nights they've had, the gas masks and the running. Every mark, from quickly scribbled scratch to elegantly mapped mural is a masterpiece of human potential, a tribute to truth and beauty, and a reminder to all of us that we can change the world.


Make Moves Not Excuses .

Think Different.

Love .


Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Weekend Loaf

This weekend has been a rough one with keeping up with the bread. I was on a morning rise and I decided to try and switch over to an evening. I ended up losing a day in the process and had to get up early. I'm not worried, 7 a week means I can make a couple loaves in a day, but altering my current schedule really knocked me off the baking flow.

This bread I bake is a buddhist loaf, that is to say, no knead.

Musical: Learn Guitar
I'm going to alter this permanently to "listen to 5 bands I haven't before". I'd really like to know how to play guitar, and what's more I'd like to learn from someone I know. I think that condition is one I would have to lift in order to make progress on it this month, so with no further justification, I'll be opening my ears to some unheard tunes.

Physical: No shoes
This one is a tough one for me to fully wrap my head around. No shoes is explicit but there are times when it's hard to make the call for whether it's necessary. For now if I'm walking somewhere outside I've taken to not wearing shoes, maybe carrying a pair of sandals to slip on, but if I've got to make it to a train or I'm going inside somewhere or I'm just trying not to be that guy I've taken to wearing them. I've pushed it a bit, and I've talked about it a bit too.

What I'm worried about here is the social aspect, putting up a barrier. I'd like to always to be approachable, I don't want my outward appearance to put anyone off or make anyone uncomfortable but at the same time I want to be able to encourage people to think different.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
This has encouraged me to make some good breakfasts to encourage me into working out. I've had some good workouts so far, the idea I'm using now is really just grease the groove for eating, it becomes a way to earn the meal, or in the words of the warrior diet, to 'simulate the hunt'.

Creative: Create one thing

Charlie suggested that I try and write some articles so I'm going to textually represent some of my opinions.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Gary Vaynerchuk talks about doing what you love. This is an absolute must see.

Do what you love, no excuses.

Patience and Passion.

Social: Compliment 5 people
I really want to believe in this as a way I can grow but I think in it's current form it doesn't allow for much challenge. I keep thinking to myself that I say enough compliments, but I don't like the idea of not trying to better myself because I already believe myself adequate at it.

Rick suggested that I do one random act of kindness a day, and I think that's a beautiful idea, I didn't change to it because I had already chosen this as my challenge but as a further experiment in thinking different I'll be using that from now on.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Not all who wander are lost
Not all who wonder are lost


Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Modified my recipe and technique to make a Challah Loaf today, so good! Will be making French toast with it for sure. I need to refine it a bit though so I can get a deeper brown and a smarter braid.

Musical: Learn Guitar
I had a little meditation session with the guitar, trying to make things that sounded nice. I think this is going to need a rededication

Physical: No shoes
No shoes, no shoe blues, rainy today.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
My new strategy is make a delicious breakfast and just set it there until I work out. Doesn't take long.

Creative: Create one thing
Just some late night spraying, camera needs to be charged though, will upload it tomorrow.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Gary Lauder has a very short talk about one sign that could make a big change in our traffic patterns. He goes in to say some pretty startling numbers for how much needless stop signs cost us.

Social: Compliment 5 people


“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.” Thoreau

There is value to be found in all things in life, and anywhere you go you can find happiness.

Stay Positive. Be Proactive.


Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.

Made a round loaf brushed with olive oil:
Round Loaf

and a couple questionable rolls:

and Made some great toast:
Jesse's Toast

Musical: Learn Guitar
Didn't do anything for this today.

Physical: No shoes
No shoes

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Another day of sporadic training and meals, I think I need to refocus.

Creative: Create one thing
This has been a long time in the making but finally saw it's fruition. I think I might still work a little on it, but I'm glad to have it done:
Collage Proj

A poem I wrote:
The young cling to the old to find comfort in the unknown,
The old clutch to the young to find comfort in their energy.

Let me grasp you,
with all that I am,
for all that you are.

Let me get lost in the forest of your thoughts
to climb on every branch and hang on every word

Let us take solace in the shadows of our unanswerable questions

And for just this moment, let us be
without trying to be someone

Because everything that has passed is until now
and in this moment
we are as young as we will ever be.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Eric Mead talks about the magic of the placebo. It's a short talk, but it was interesting to find out that a needle placebo is more effective than a capsuled placebo is more effective than a little blue placebo is more effective than a white placebo.

Placebo is real.

Social: Compliment 5 people
Haven't been giving out as many in person, not sure whether that should be the requirement.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


My thought to random insight is that all things are relevant.

so sometimes people do things that we don't understand
probably even more often than we think
because if you can't really know a person
then you don't really understand
but sometimes these things are
a few steps removed from anything we understand
that's frustrating
sometimes we rationalize, or we justify, oh that person is this way or that way
but that concept is actually kind of alien, because we can only really understand people with perspective
and this or that is a floating term
it's an easy way to write it off
but if we understood we wouldn't have to write anything off

seek truth

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
I shaped the double into four loaves and folded in some fresh rosemary from the garden.
Four loaves became one, started another double batch so I'm going to try bake some rolls separate from the main loaf tomorrow.

Musical: Learn Guitar
Watched a video, not all that informative, this might not be practical by the end of the month, or as a part of the project.

Physical: No shoes
No shoes all day. Got some weird foot cramp after taking my shoes off last night.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Just gtg working out and gtg eating

Creative: Create one thing
This means some form of artistic expression to me. I worked on a couple things, neither are done yet though, but should have both done tomorrow.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Watched John Hodgman talk about encounters with aliens. Not his best work but kind of funny. I really enjoy this guy usually.

Social: Compliment 5 people
Got my five compliments sweet talking today.


Here's some Thoreau as part two of the weekend insight:
"I have learned that the swiftest traveler is he that goes afoot"

"The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till the other is ready"


how many days spent saving and planning and waiting

when do we travel the path to our dreams.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Started a double batch today, not sure what it will shape up into tomorrow

Physical: No shoes
Got some nice shots of my shoes today, so I had to be wearing them. My feet have started to become uncomfortable in shoes though.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Training day today at Roosevelt with Pyro and Ludovic. I'm not sure whether this is a good excuse or not.

Creative: Create one thing
Started working on a poem, thought it would be up but it's not quite done yet.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Eric Lewis : an astonishingly talented crossover jazz pianist. Parts are amazing and other parts I really don't understand. Definitely talented, but it gives insight to a genius misunderstood.

Social: Compliment 5 people
A couple compliments, but I've actually been at a stasis with this, Zac had suggested I instead 'talk' to one person, or one new person. This ended up clouding my hierarchal needs. I wasn't sure which was more important, the thing I said I would do or the thing I thought I should do. So I ended up not doing either. Not a good solution. 5 compliments this month.

Musical: 5 New Bands
This is actually a similar problem as compliments, but with a different hierarchy. I'm relying on someone else for guitar lessons, but when those aren't possible (they haven't been yet this month) I've decided that my day to day should be listening to 5 bands I haven't yet.

Ra-ra-riot: I can dig it
Tokyo Police Club: Not bad
The Stranglers: Not a fan
The Scene Aesthetic: kinda whiny, but some nice sound and good lyrics
Eric Lewis: See TED

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I got a lot of time for quiet reflection up in the woods this past weekend, to make it better I've been rereading Walden and pawing through Laotse.

Some good thoughts have come of that, here are some passages from Laotse I thought were worthwhile:

One who considers himself great can not be considered great 32:1

To know truth and not be able to follow it is called disease

If you have a lot of money - share it with others. Then what business will you have to attend to? A sage lives like a partridge (without a constant abode) and he eats like a young bird (contented with whatever the mother bird gives him) he goes about like a bird (without definite destination) and does not declare himself. Whe the world is in order he prospers with all things, and when the world is in chaos he cultivates his character and leads a leisurely life.


The fam at the summit.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.

baked this the day I left and this the day I came back


Got a little rusty, will start a new loaf tomorrow morning.

Musical: Learn Guitar
No music learned

Physical: No shoes
Ski Boots

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Worked out plenty, breakfast was always amazing too.

Creative: Create one thing
Just journal writing

Mental: Watch a TED talk
no technology until the 8th, then I watched Bonnie Bassler talk. Pretty good, she goes into cellular communication and how we can use it to our advantage to fight off diseases and strengthen our immune systems.

a thought to leave you on - of all the cells that are a part of us, 90% are bacteria

Social: Compliment 5 people
Quiet weekend. I have endless compliments for the place I stayed though. Stump Sprouts is something I really believe in.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I'm going to head up to the mountains for a couple days, will seek good insight there.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Started tomorrow's loaf to make early in the morning.

Musical: Learn Guitar
Broseidon lord of the Brocean

Physical: No shoes
Caught myself with shoes on a couple times, didn't do this too well.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
A bit of jogging and juking with Bella but pretty much a rest day.

Creative: Create one thing
Here are my creations so far:
Let it light the whole world

Mental: Watch a TED talk
Gary Flake: is Pivot a turning point for web exploration?

He talks about a new method of navigating the web, it's a little daunting but pretty interesting. It changes the way we can maneuver with data, which in the right hands I'm sure can be used for great things.

Social: Compliment 5 people
A few here or there, no meaningful convo.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


sow a thought, and you reap an act;
sow an act, and you reap a habit;
sow a habit, and you reap a character;
sow a character, and you reap a destiny.

make moves
Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
Whole wheat loaf today
Musical: Learn Guitar
No moves on this, my friend said that she would help on Monday so until then I'm going to listen to five new bands every day.
Physical: No shoes
I walked to the train station and trained in Central Park. In the snow it's relatively impractical to not wear shoes, but I try to do it as I can.
Structural: Workout before breakfast
Big training days are going to be an exception.
Creative: Create one thing
Nothing created.
Mental: Watch a TED talk
Daniel Kahneman talks about the riddle of experience. (Put Link Here) It was pretty interesting, he talked about the difference between the happiness and well being. Essentially he was saying the difference between experiencing and remembering.

money doesn't money buy you happiness, but lack of money does buy you misery
Social: Compliment 5 people
I complimented people during the day, it's really about just making the connection between thinking something and saying it. I think I'm going to change this to Zac's suggestion of "Start a conversation with someone you haven't yet"


Off to a bit of a slow start this month.

Culinary: Bake 7 loaves of bread a week.
So far I've baked a couple of no knead loaves, they've come out lovely. The loaf rising now is whole wheat. I'll be expanding my repertoire through the month but for now this is a simple routine I can add daily.


Musical: Learn Guitar
Cristal dropped off her guitar, someone else suggested I do this, and I've really always wanted to know how to play. If I'm around someone who plays I'll ask for a little lesson, something I can practice, but that hasn't happened yet so I've just been pawing at it.

Physical: No shoes
On the first I went to a convenience store and the supermarket, one guy there said "you're cool" with sarcastic undertones. Last night I went out an an adventure with Zac. About a mile from my house my feet started getting pretty numb so I ended up caving on it there.

Structural: Workout before breakfast
Light workout before breakfast, dips and pullups, with weighted toe to bar and some good mornings (It was only a few but feel I them this morning).

Creative: Create one thing
I've been makings some light renovations in my room, I'll take some pictures of them.

Mental: Watch a TED talk
I haven't watched a TED talk yet : (

Social: Compliment 5 people
When I say this people always say something along the lines of "they should be genuine compliments". This is an experiment in thinking different, and change requires emulation, so at least for some period of time I will be complimenting when I otherwise wouldn't. To me that's not genuine, but perhaps I can learn something from lowering my high standard of acceptable times to compliment.

Monday, March 1, 2010

February Conclusion

"In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer"
- Albert Camus

There is an eternal positive energy source, I definitely haven't tapped it yet but I'm starting to grasp the concept. Negativity was a powerful force in my life, and I saw times when I could use it for this project. I used to rationalize and say that negativity redirected to positivity was a good thing, and in a situation where you don't know what to do, if you're angry or sad and you want to go train to get it out, this is a good solution, but I feel now that the best thing to do is find your invincible summer.

When I say negativity was a powerful force in my life, what I mean is when it came to me I tried my best to redirect it positively. This harbored a destructive relationship though. My training was laden with self denigration. There was no desire to be stronger, it was only a desire to not be so weak. I used it similarly elsewhere, and feel as though I could have used it a lot in this experiment, to potentially better results.

Strictly speaking I didn't succeed at my experiment this month. In the end I fell short of all of my goals, but what I did came from positivity, a desire for growth. My goal was to take a step into the unknown to see what I could see, I may have only gotten one foot out the door, but I know I'm on my way.

I know what I've learned this month will continue to help me, I look forward to next month and a new array of interesting challenges!

Structural: Sleep 6 hours nightly
This is probably what I've stuck to best, waking up early definitely has it's perks and over time you adapt to a specific sleep cycle.

On the positive I found myself waking up naturally when I wanted to, I felt well rested and it was generally easier to be on track the days that I stuck to this plan.

On the negative if I stuck to this a lot I would miss out on key interaction hours.

Physical: Stretch regularly (min 20 minutes)
I have stretched more this month than probably the rest of my life combined.

On the positive I see how inflexible I am in some areas, and that will help me to better fix this.

On the negative I see how inflexible I am.
Mental: Learn 10 common sayings in 10 different languages
I am about 70 short here, which is rough, I've got some others that I couldn't verify to some extent online or that I wrote only as phonetic so I didn't put them up.

On the positive I learned a bunch of phrases, some I'm inclined to use at times, others I've already used. More than that I realized how much different language is all around, I believe I'm one step away from an incredible wealth of language.

On the negative I'm one step away and yet I didn't make it. I know that if I had asked everyone I knew I would have more than come up with the 100 phrases necessary.

Cuidese: Take care [Spanish] (Xian)
Que hubo: What's up [Spanish] (Xian)

Fleischwurst: Bologna [German]
Schweinhund: Pig-dog [German](Borga)
Dumkopf: Dumbass [German] (Borga)

Na zdrovyeh: To Health [Russian] (Community)

Nao fode nem deixa foder: Does not and does not let %^*& [Portuguese] (Cristal)
Tudo Bem: "Wuz poppin" [Portuguese] (Cristal)

Semper Ube Sub Ube: always wear under wear [Latin] (Zac)

Tashi Dele: Hello [Tibetan] (Eva)

Busa: A kiss on each cheek [Arabic] (Janine)

Prosze: Thank you/Please [Polish] (Borga)
Jak tam stary: What's good pimpin [Polish] (Borga)
Dobra Noc: Good Night [Polish] (Borga)
Daj Mi Wodka, Albo Cie Zabije: Give me vodka, I'll kill you [Polish] (Borga)

Peut-etre: Maybe [French] (Claire)
Peut etre: May be [French]
Bizou: A kiss on each cheek [French] (Janine)
Zut Alors: Well %^&* [French] (Janine)
Je pense que tu es belle: I think you're beautiful [French] (Janine)
J'ai la fievre: I have a fever [French]
Raison d'etre: reason to be [French]
Decouper: Cut out [French]
Je t'aime mon petit ami: My boyfriend, I love you [French](Pyro)
Mon petit Chou Chou: My little cabbage [French] (Janine)

An scannán is fearr ariamh: the best film ever [Irish]

Miluješ ho: Do you love him [Czech] (Once)
miluji těbe (milyu tay: I love you [Czech] (Once)

Oishi: Tasty, delicious [Japanese] (Xian)
watashi wa neko otabi mas: I eat cats [Japanese] (Justin)
Watashi no meishi desu: This is my namecard [Japanese] (Justin)

Ci vediamo: We'll see eachother [Italian] (Janine)

Musical: Listen to only classical music
This was a combination of learning a little bit about classical and a lot about not listening to music.

On the positive I learned that classical makes for good whistling music, and that watching parkour videos or action scenes from movies with classical music on makes for a very epic feel.

On the negative I miss my tunes. I've been craving them

Creative: Practice better penmanship
My handwriting is better, and I feel with that goal in mind it will continue to improve.

On the positive I learned that writing lists is really good for remembering things.

On the negative I didn't have a strict goal here so I have no way to gauge success. I did decide I was going to write a letter every day, and I'm yet to complete any of them so far.

Emotional: Hug 5 people
Hugs are everywhere.

On the positive I learned that there are people out there looking for hugs, that everyone needs them, they are a healthy part of this complete life.

On the negative, I didn't get my quota, I should continue to work towards meeting it.