Does anyone else feel as annoyed as I do that Coca-Cola is still using polar bears to sell their product? Besides being just weird, what types of messages are they projecting? I suspect a denial of climate change, that polar bears are just cute, not endangered, and all is well in the consumer world. Anway, regardless of your stance, i decided to write to Coca-Cola and tell them what I thought. Because I'm lame and didn't copy my letter before I sent it into the ether, I will highly paraphrase what I said.

"Since I suspect you will continue to use polar bears to sell your product no matter how gross I or others think it is, I have a Big Idea for you, it's really a no brainer. Give 50% of the profits you make from these commericals and donate it to an organization or two whose mission, or part of it, is to save polar bears and fight climate change. To save you some trouble, here are three organizations who do that. Or pick your own. Yeah, you may lose a little money, but I suspect it's a drop  in the bucket compared to your overall annual profit.

Polar Bears International

World Wildlife Fund

Defenders of Wildlife


If I actually hear back I'll update this post.


AuthorRenee Anderson

∆T + SiO2 

[fire + sand = glass]

The alchemy of glass has been enriching cultures for over 5000 years.
Come see what a diverse group of contemporary glass artists from Public Glass have created with fire and sand.

Terry Ow-Wing (
Rene Hendrix 
Sarah Cadwallader 
Robin Humphreys (
Kelly Burlingham (
Eric White (
Linda Bassett
Herb Dang (
Renee Anderson (
Anne Hughes 

- Kiln-formed, flame worked and cast pieces
- Both functional and sculptural

Come mingle with fellow glass lovers for our opening and enjoy food, wine, music and glass blowing and flame working demonstrations.

Opening - Saturday, May 28th 5:30 - 8:30
Hot Glass Cold Beer - Saturday, June 18th, 6-9pm
Closing - Sunday, June 26th 1:00 - 5:00

Also available for viewing during Public Glass open hours.

AuthorRenee Anderson

One of the reasons I returned to the freelance world was to choose the types of projects that felt important to me, and that made my inner do-goody feel a tad bit better about being a lazy ass about political and social issues. I get Really Mad all the time about all the awful and really, really dumb things our politicians are (aren't) doing, but do I actually stand up and make a fuss? No. I'm not a Santa Cruz banana slug anymore, and dammit, I'm tired. But I also know that the greatest impact can be behind the scenes.

[This is not unrelated.] I am a snobby foodie. I love eating and will never be svelt. I can hardly go out to eat at fancy places anyore because Erik and I rock it at home. (Give me bahn mi anytime though, or mac and cheese with bacon.) I follow the trends, the blogs, the food network, new restaurant openings, closings, the soap operatic nature of the food culture in SF and beyond. After all of that, guilty over the unappreciated priviledge that goes with it, I make believe armageddon has arrived and there will be no more coffee or cheese (ack!) or sourdough bread. No more fancy.

This is where a large section of our population now resides. Food inequality in this country is despicable. It's one of the effects of the ever widening of the class divide, and again, something that anyone in a privledged position hardly bothers to examine. Including myself.

So how excited was I and my inner do-goody to find I could wipe away a wee bit of guilt by collaborating with Sarah Brooks, Laura Haertling and Cody Andreson on a non-profit startup, Catalyst Commons, aimed at tackling the entire US agriculture and food production system. A large undertaking no doubt. Scary. Look at the Big Picture infographic to get a feel for the breadth of what this non-profit is attempting to do.

The site is currently a demo, presented at a recent conference (click on the blinking arrows to move from static page to static page). Catalyst Commons, spearheaded by Melanie Cheng, a local SF Mission-based non-profit entrepreneur, is in the process of raising additional funding to build out the entire system. Once built, it will be both a data and information warehouse, and a matchmaking service between projects needing funding and VC's and grantmakers looking to fund new initiatives in the space.

AuthorRenee Anderson

ok, I read comments on news stories, CNN, Yahoo, places where the conservative media obviously pay stay-at-home randoms to be asinine (not that they would know what that word meant). I admit it's a horribly masochistic habit. So in a case like this, where there's a story about taxes, the disparity of wealth, and stats that can't be refuted, sigh. I love that there is nowhere a whisper from paid trolls and the brainless.

AuthorRenee Anderson

I am so glad I stumbled across Karen McGrane's blog. I don't even know how I got there (that silly internet full of links and things). She writes about UX and IA and CS, puts presentations on slideshare, and is kind of funny in that geeky "you know you're a UXer-ish person when..." way.

I'm giving her full credit on this screenshot from her presentation "We are all content strategists now" - I love the simplicity, and I love that it's so effective in defending why content can't be forgotten.

And after reading Peter's post and resulting comments (if you're reading this, you know what I'm talking about), this was so refreshing. And calming. Oasis like.

AuthorRenee Anderson

And I got to wear my cute red shoes since I never dress up. Thank goodness for Sarah and Freddie, without them I would be frumpy every day! Here's Erik and I in the free photo booth at The Hub, the old Chronicle building converted to a collaborative workspace for small businesses and freelancers. Again, thanks to the couple, without them I wouldn't have stepped footinto this place intentionally.

AuthorRenee Anderson

I dug this up. I was working with 3VR, a facial recognition/physical security software company about 5 years ago. I was really only hired to do some layout work and update their user guide, but I ended up doing technical illustration for some of their other stuff, like this one-sheet installation guide. It was weird because I never considered myself an illustrator, but I guess I am - when it's anal and technical enough anyway. Give me a kid's storybook to illustrate and forget it. Give me server farms, I'm your gal!


AuthorRenee Anderson

A couple of days after I gave notice at Hot, I took a walk to the Embarcadero to clear my head and breathe. I realized I didn't take enough time to breathe at Hot. It's not about Hot, it's about me taking time outs and focusing on my space, not having to give every last dribblet of brain towards work and colleagues.

So I took a walk. I knew the Louise Bourgeois Spider sculpture had moved on, but I didn't know it had been replaced by a Rocket collaboratively built by a number of folk, including The Crucible. I love it. While I won't dwell on "meaning' and "signs," I do like that i was drawn to the implications of release, whilst propelling into somewhere unknown, maybe dark, maybe hard to breathe (not that!), but pretty darn exciting.

AuthorRenee Anderson

I, like 25 million (or more?) Americans, have insomnia. Mine is the kind where I fall asleep no problem but then wake up at 2am, stay awake for 3 hours, then doze until I have to get up. It typically lasts for 2 nights, then I crash hard, repeat. People "cluck" at me, ask me what I've tried, or give me Advice (yes, tried that too).

For a long time I was in denial. I wasn't like other people, I don't need drugs, I'm not stressed. I can manage on 3 hours of sleep - I may not be kind, but I can still be a solid thinker. Then i caved and began taking drugs, which honestly help immensely.

But I got to thinking: why is insomnia a bad thing? Really, in and of itself, sometimes I do some incredibly creative thinking in the middle of the night. If I actually didn't have to go to work the next day, I might think to get up and jot shit down, or pluck snail from my lettuce, or carve some glass. Then it struck me: I don't actually think I have a problem. Modern society is the problem, not me. If I didn't have to get up at 7am, insomnia would be a complete boon.

I began fantasizing about being born in the wrong century. Maybe I should have been a farmer, getting up at 3am, harvest something or milk something, go home and eat a hearty breakfast, go water something, come back for a nap, repeat.

Or maybe I have the wrong job, I should be an artist or author, someone who lights a candle, puts on slippers and a robe and scribes a new paragraph or two.

So while I certainly can't do either of these things (well, I could be an artist, but I have an SF-sized mortgage), thinking this way made me feel a lot more in control of a so-called problem. I don't take drugs as much, and when I wake up, I let my mind do whatever it wants and refuse to get frustrated. It's possible I may solve a mojor issue or design the best UI ever at 2am. Probably not, but I don't mind it anymore.

This warrants another post, but it relates to my theory about the increase in autism. Some may say, well, there's somethign about innoculations, or better reporting or whatever. I think autism is actually the next stage in human evolution. We are so inundated with information, market-driven clutter, pace of life, I don't think human beings are actually capable long term of handling it. Autism seems like a natural evolutionary mind-protection, a barrier to the overload.

The end.

AuthorRenee Anderson

I got through security on my way to Denver and my glass is in the front window of the Hudson News store, right there! Neat-o. Mine is the bottom stuff, Susanne Khawand's is the top piece.

AuthorRenee Anderson

I've been doing a lot of dots and circles, I like how clean they are. And cute. Come on, they're cute. In the past I've been keeping the sprinkles 3-d by doing a tack instead of a fuse, but this latest stuff is full-fused. Really clean, very crisp.


AuthorRenee Anderson