Green Juice Day

April 25th, 2012 View Comments

Now in Tumblr documenting the subtle magic of green juicing. Visit the Green Juice Day blog here.

Green Juice Day Logo

Green Juice Day

Wall Chart Illustrations on Entomology

April 6th, 2012 View Comments

These insects might do damage in the garden but their minimalist poise is admirable. Source: Wageningen UR, the Netherlands. Link to: Wall charts Entomology and Phytopathology [Binnenhaven]

Hideways Beach

April 5th, 2012 View Comments

Hideways Beach – a perfect secluded, sparkling setting for morning swims in Kauai, HI. Would you agree?

Texas Country Road

April 5th, 2012 View Comments

What better than to step back and enjoy a quiet sun set on north Texas country roads.

Design Inspirations in Pinterest

June 25th, 2011 View Comments

Now collecting design inspirations in Pinterest.

North Texas on Google Earth

December 10th, 2010 View Comments

Life in Dallas Metroplex, Texas: Corporate business locations, small shops, retail areas, and everyday sights that capture the unique feel of North Texas. Interaria has just launched a pilot project on studying photo mapping on Google Earth. We are interested in learning more and collecting first hand information on how quickly images show up on Google Earth, what is the criteria for selection, how well – if at all – these images can be found via search engines, and what type of traffic the local images get. We also study the positive effects of getting some fresh air and being part of our communities.


Dallas Museum of Arts: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Wasmuth Portfolio. – Spring 2011

September 30th, 2010 View Comments

A must exhibition for anyone interested in Frank Lloyd Wright’s American architecture for the modern era. The exhibition features 16 works from a rare portfolio which includes defining works such as the architect’s Oak Park home and studio, Unity Temple, and the Larkin Company Administration Building, among other projects. For more information about the exhibition, please click here to visit the Dallas Museum of Art web site.

Unpopular Ride in the Google Car

September 24th, 2010 View Comments

I know: I should hate the Google car; the car that disturbs peace and privacy and causes torment in small neighborhoods; the car that’s objected to by many local governments; the car that pans our streets to extreme scrutiny, and now thanks to the new high resolution technology shows every single dying landscape shrub and paint chips on the front door.

Unfortunately Google knows me. I’m a modern human, a couch potato, a voyeur. As a hobby, I like rolling the yellow man onto the “street view” map and seeing what ever people are seeing in that specific location. As for my defense, on top of just scouting local real estate listings, I use the map service simply to explore nice spots on the globe.

My yellow man has been a very active travel partner. We’ve discovered many breath-taking locations and of course I’ve made plans to move to each one of them. With the limitation (or benefit) that Google Road View continues to be geographically/regionally limited and blocked from many areas of the globe, here are my favorite Google moments (I’ll post USA listings when Google updates images to higher resolution…):

1) West coast of France

“Je ne parle pas français”, but I do think the west coast of France is stunningly beautiful and often looked over by the traditional choices of Paris, Provence, Chamonix and so forth. The roads don’t snug the coast line in the same way as say in California (hurray), so the car and it is not able to capture all of the beauty, but I am getting enough hints for wanting to make a trip very soon.

2) North tip of Scotland

Like many, when I think of Scotland, I think of dark green, gloomy, rain, clouds. At least in between the rain and the clouds, the light in Scotland is stunning. The landscape at the northern coast of Scotland is light and airy, so pretty that I definitely want to become a sheep farmer and a folk dancer – anything that can keep me outside, when it’s not raining.

2) Kaivopuisto, Helsinki

Well, so much for the discovery: Timeless summer Helsinki. Too bad Google Car doesn’t deliver ice cream for home nostalgia. (Yes, I’m from Finland.)

My Architect: A Son’s Journey (2003). Film by Nathaniel Kahn

September 17th, 2010 View Comments

As a fan of autobiographies (I’m currently reading Andre Agassi’s story), it doesn’t come as a surprise that my favorite film of all time is a biographical narrative as well, and particularly the one of architect Louis I. Kahn through his adult son’s eyes. Louis I. Kahn was known of his eccentric architecture. His architectural projects were praised by many where as critiques considered them to be out of control – opposite to the “good” – rational and functional.

I love this film. The story obviously has many layers, one of them being how creative geniuses direct all their energy to the creative process and powers. Creativity is in the center, and everything else wraps around it, in what ever form and how ever things happen, without clear plans, without a clear vision. In Louis I. Kahn’s life his family was reduced into its stereotypical stiff official function and his secret lovers with secret children as the uncomfortable but always so patient and understanding other.

“My Architect” is a narrative of walking from the margin towards the center, and looking to the eye of what ever is in the core. In the ending scenes the hidden secret son – Nathaniel Kahn – raises his head high up and looks up at a high sealing of a parliament house in Bangladesh, designed by Louis I. Kahn. There are no lessons. His father is around him, mortal, timeless, contradictory and real.

Shifting Flash

September 16th, 2010 View Comments

It’s been a very definite shift that the use of Flash media in websites has taken a backseat role as a symbol for modern identity. In the past, and shall we say in the very recent past since we are talking about Web media, the use of Flash was regarded as a must if the company wanted to position itself in the attribute axis of “trendy – leading – fashionable – boutique – high dollar – artistic – creative – dynamic”. The shift for less Flash and more other technologies and solutions in my view had three or four major inputs that are inter-connected at least to a certain level:

1A) New technologies: Flash is no longer the only technology platform for interactivity. New technologies such as AJAX can now do the same as what Flash did. For instance, slide shows can be programmed with AJAX technology which doesn’t require the Flash Player for viewing.

1B) Apple’s decision to knock Adobe, the maker of Flash software: Apple decided not to support the Flash Player in their iPhones and iPads. This shift alone has forced the ascendance of new technologies, for instance substituting Flash video with HTML5 video. Adobe hasn’t hidden how upset it has been to Apple’s deliberate decision to hurt the company. It is possible that Flash will have a strong rebound if it finds a direct route on to the iPhone. Just recently, Apple relaxed its controls and now allows the Flash program to export to the native iPhone / iPad programming language.

2) Update and site growth problems: Many companies with websites that heavily utilize Flash media and Flash programmed content have experienced serious complications with updating and growing their websites. Most reasons for the jams are: a) Updating Flash media takes time and is expensive. b) Many Flash developers rather seek new work than want to spend hours updating “old” Flash movies. c) Flash movies are often coded and animated with a strong personal “handwritten” language. Flash developers are reluctant to work on Flash media developed by other developers. d) Flash program problems: older fla files don’t always open and convert cleanly in newer versions of the Flash program. And if a company as of today is still running a “LIV” Flash movie developed with LiveMotion, finding someone who knows and wants to update this movie is very difficult if not impossible. e) Flash movies are often locked with their pixel size and scale. In most cases this was deliberate choice to give the web presence a defined and controlled feel. Where as an HTML page may expand with new content almost indefinitely, websites developed wholly on the Flash platform tend to be more rigid with their structure. Adding several pages of new text is not an easy task if the website’s growth wasn’t seriously taken into account when developing the site.

3) Search Engine Optimization: The competition for search rankings has become fierce. Especially in today’s economic environment any “free” results are welcomed and companies don’t feel that they can lose any points in their decisions. Although Google has indicated since 2008 that it has learned to crawl through Flash based text and although there are ways to optimize Flash content and inject HTML text and code for Search Engines, the results are not very well documented. Many companies regard that Flash as simply not providing enough of a strong platform for beating the competition.

4) Changes in symbolism: Flash animations and a Flash boutique presence would position the company as modern and trendy, – leader of its time. Today social networking and stronger utilization of video (granted often Flash video) has taken over these attributes.

Flash was the secret joker in the deck. Very impressive. Very exclusive. Very charming. People were impressed, until they learned to say: “Here comes the Joker again”. Joker knows however, that it has its place in the game. Check out the latest Flash video utilizing Flash animations by Lacoste ( and know, that the journey was worth it and made us richer in the choices for expression. Today Flash has returned perhaps back to its original position: to be there when no one else can. To impress and win, when no one else can.

© 2010. Meri Kuusi-Shields / Interaria. All rights reserved.

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