Good Things to Marvel At

As the snow falls, you may be in need of a little wonder. Here are three things to marvel at this week so stop being such a grownup and open up your little heart ...

Thing To Listen To: Make Believe with Hayden

Since I heard As Bad As They Seem in the mid-nineties, I've loved Hayden Desser's songwriting and subtleties. Well – his first album wasn't so subtle, but still. Hearing he recorded that whole album on a four-track in his room – a four-track like I had in a room maybe like my room – was a revelation. It set me on a path I haven't veered far from. His latest song Make Believe continues that tradition – giving visuals to marvel at that Hayden created all on his lonesome, with what he had, in his home.

Feast your eyes and ears here

Thing To Try: A Crazy Sound Experiment from Google

I discovered Tone Transfer this week and got so excited that I immediately worked it into a project. Tone Transfer takes any sound source and turns it into another sound (from a small collection of options at this point). For example, you can record yourself singing a melody and turn that into a very realistic saxophone performance.

In addition Saxophone there are Flute, Trumpet and Violin modes.

There are glitches, to be sure, but that's actually part of the tool's utility. You can feed it non-musical sounds and get really interesting results. What does it sound like to turn rainfall into a violin performance, by way of a buggy computer experiment?

The Tone Transfer website even lets you record sounds directly into it. You should totally try it out, because who couldn't use one more reason to smile with wonder?

Try Tone Transfer at

(you may need to use Chrome to get it to work)

There's also a fun video about the tool at

Thing To Look At: Nikon Shows Us Tiny Worlds

Nikon's Small World Photo Competition is viewable online and there are some incredible images in the top 20 and beyond.

Every wonder what a human hair looks like magnified 20 times? You can see here - It's kind of like a fruit rollup?

I was amazed by how much texture changes with scale. For instance, I don't consider a moth to be "cuddly". While I still wouldn't want to give a human-sized moth a hug, they are certainly soft and fuzzy - like the Yeti of the insect world. See for yourself here -

All of this invites me to pay more attention to the little things around me. It also reminds me of reading OWL magazine as a kid.