Bit By Bit 

We saw a very unusual art exhibit today in Lofthus, Norway, which is located on the shores of the Hardangerfjord, a region that is surrounded with snow capped mountains and captivating  fjords. Our elegant, old charm hotel is inches from the water and every room has a balcony view.

The Hardanger Folk Museum was a ferry ride away.  It didn’t look like much from the outside, but the works of Norwegian Karen Bit Vejle inside, were magical. 

Karen’s art pieces are called psalm graph, the creation of pictures on paper by cutting patterns and motifs. The psalm graphical work is formed by a large continuous piece of paper and is cut exclusively with scissors.

Each paper cut has its own story.  The stories have a message about peace and love among humans and other living things. They are very poetic.

I truly suggest you watch the video to find out how Karen was discovered (less an a decade ago) and what’s happened to her since. She is 59 years old and was born in Denmark. She uses her middle name Bit as the signature on her works and products. She lived in Trondheim in the years 1984 to 2014, and then moved back to Denmark.

Today she has assignments and exhibitions in the Nordic countries, Europe, the United States, and Asia. Adrian Sassoon of London is her art dealer. Karen also collaborated with Chinese paper artist Xiaoguang Qiao. Their work has been shown in several countries. Bit recently designed other products, such as blankets, tablecloths and tableware based on her paper clip patterns. It was a natural. 

It’s never too late to discover an inner talent. Karen is complete self-taught.

Bus, Train, Ferry Ride Through Norway  

We spent the day in the heart of Norway’s Fjord region. The bus took us to Voss. Then we went on the world’s famous Flam Mountain Railway for a thrilling ride descending 2,600 feet through waterfalls and  towering mountains. A ferry cruise took us through the Sognefjord. The photos by Eliot Hess tell it all. 

If It’s Sunday, It Must Be Bergen

Today we are in Bergen, (Bryggen) a city on Norway’s southwestern coast. We are surrounded by mountains, fjords and colorful wooden houses on an old wharf. The panoramic views and hiking trails are breathtaking. Periodic rain doesn’t stop the action in the Sunday fish market.  

Photos by Eliot Hess 

Bergen At Night

To TV Or Not TV, That Is The Question 

Seth Godin

Seth Godin is an American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker.

He is quite popular on the Internet. Many people who are involved in the digital world follow him on social media and read his blog. 

I thought you would be interested in what he has to say about people who watch a lot of television.

You can click on his blog here or read his words below. I cut and pasted it for you. 

“It turns out that the more you watch TV, the more you believe that the world is dangerous. It turns out TV watchers believe that an astonishing 5% of the population works in law enforcement. And it turns out that the more you watch TV the less optimistic you become. Cultivation theory helps us understand the enormous power that TV immersion has.

“Given the overwhelming power of interaction, I’m confident that we’ll discover that internet exposure, particularly to linkbait headlines, comments and invective, will also change what people believe about the world around them.
It’s hopeful to imagine that we can change these outcomes by changing the inputs. Of course, the hard part is choosing to do so.

“Every time I see a toddler in a stroller with an internet device in hand, I shudder. If we want a better future, it helps to be able to see the world as it is.”

Posted by Seth Godin on August 10, 2017

My retort. 

“I have a much different opinion. I am grateful to be living in a world where we have so much access to information. I want to hear and read as much as I can about what’s going on today,  even if that means that I’m glued to my TV set and Internet devices. 

“While a lot of what I learn though electronic communications may be depressing, it also makes me stronger to succeed in a personal and business level. I do spend a great deal of time interacting with electronic communications because it has educated me beyond any expectation I ever could have had for myself. If it wasn’t for the Internet, I wouldn’t know who Seth Grodin is. Don’t fear electronic communications. Embrace it. You will always have time for live events.”

Instant Home Photo Studio

Memo to Marilyn Scher —this is perfect for your eBay business. 

Truthfully, the Instant Home Photo Studio is fabulous for anyone who needs or wants to take photos of products, or any kind of object.

For approximately $6.00, it’s better than your kitchen table.  This creative little stage will make your photos look totally professional. 

The manufacturer said, “This lightbox is like a miniature pro photographer’s studio. It eliminates distractions and pulls in the focus factor to deliver truly professional looking photos. Extra bright light beams in from an LED strip concealed up top, lending clarity and quality to every image. 

White or black background? You choose! Your lightbox is perfect for social media, ideal for  retail, and great for taking selfies of your favorite valuables. Whatever your needs, whatever your focus, your Instant Home Photo Studio will boost your possibilities, transform your creative output, and make all your photos stylish, captivating — and pro.”

I think it’s adorable and a problem solver. No more shadows, no more glares, and no more blurs.

Watch the video.  It’s a competitive product but similar installation.

Medium ( 23 x 23 x 24cm / 9″ x 9″ x 9.4″)
Large ( 30 x 30 x 30cm / 11″ x 11″ x 11″ )

Extra Large ( 40 x 40 x 40cm / 15.7″ x 15.7″ x 15.7 ” )

Amazon Has Secret Brands  

It took me a long time to like private labels. Once I understood, that in most cases, major companies were the manufacturers behind the house brands, I never snubbed my nose at them again. In fact, I now prefer them.

They’re good and they are less expensive.

That is definitely the case at Publix, our local supermarket on Miami Beach.  Publix’s private label, called Publix, is the brand of choice. When you open the pantry at many of my friend’s homes in Miami, all you will see are Publix products. The quality is the best.

Now Amazon is trying to do the same thing. They have started to sell self-produced products, but the public is not really aware they are buying an Amazon brand. The retailer has a host of brands that do not exist outside the confines of 

Here are just a few:

Arabella Lingerie

Beauty Bar Cosmetics

Denali Tools

Franklin & Freeman Men’s shoes

Happy Belly Fresh food

James & Erin Women’s clothing

Lark & Ro Women’s clothing

Mae Underwear

Mama Bear Baby products

Myhabit Consumer goods

North Eleven Women’s clothing

NuPro Tech accessories

Pike Street Linen

Pinzon (by Amazon) Linen

Scout + Ro Kid’s clothing

Single Cow Burger Frozen food

Small Parts Spare parts

Smart is Beautiful. Clothing

Strathwood Furniture

Many manufacturers are beginning to feel the squeeze. Amazon seems more interested in copying them than buying their goods. 

To read about their new crop of brands, click here




20 Things You Should Never, Ever Google

I recently read a scary story about searching for certain topics on Google.  It frightened me a little because it reminded me that anyone in authority can trace every word I ever searched. 

The same thing holds true for YouTube. My searches are all over the map, depending on who I am working for, and the topics I hear, or read about. If I was traced, someone could get the wrong impression.

I’m sure you are in the same situation. CNET did a story about 20 things you should never Google because they are either scary, or are marked as “trouble spots.” If you land on the wrong website, the police could storm your home.

Click for the CNET story here.

Below are photos I took of two examples that I didn’t want you to miss. Be sure to read the entire story. 

Tech Tidbits 

YSL Is Selling Stiletto Roller Skates
I wonder if YSL provides injury insurance with its latest fashion entry. I love innovation, but this is just crazy. The price is even more crazy. The new Anya 100 Patch Pump Roller from Saint Laurent retail for $2,600. There are two designs: — a Roy Lichtenstein face or a cool snakeskin print. Mashable Click here.

Remember the Victrola? You can find it in Port Washington, Long Island.  Newsday  Click here

There are new career opportunities for people without college degrees. Tech jobs focus on skills. New York Times. Click here.
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This is good news for all of you who are worried about your children, and grandchildren, spending too much time on their smartphones. Watch the video for more details. 

Al Gore Live 

Ed, Eliot, Meredith, Lois and Paul.

Al Gore being interviewed by a Miami Herald reporter.

Al Gore has no plans to re-enter politics. He calls himself a recovering politician.

I never thought I would be sitting in my local movie theater on Miami Beach listening to Al Gore speak. A group of us went together to see Gore’s new documentary on global warming, “An Inconvenient Sequel.” This film is a follow-up to the 2006 documentary Gore made called “An Inconvenient Truth.”

At first we thought Gore would appear via Skype. After all, the film was debuting in theaters across the country. Why would Gore appear live here? Maybe it’s because Miami Beach is more vulnerable to the impact of global warming than any other city in the United States.

We witnessed that earlier this week when we got hit with seven inches of rain in one afternoon. Our streets immediately got flooded because underground drains couldn’t handle the amount of water being accumulated. Water was pouring out of manholes. 

Gore knows we are in trouble here with the rise of sea levels all around us. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine is working closely with Gore to help resolve the situation. Some of the streets are being built-up and new water pumps are being installed everyday.

Everyone must see “An Inconvenient Sequel.” It’s an solid reality check for what’s going on in the world. We know a lot of the information already, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need a refresher course.