In defence of mechanical buttons

A few years ago, when I was still an automotive journalist, I test-drove a Ford Edge with a purpose-built Sony audio system. The sound quality was excellent, but there was one huge problem: in their infinite wisdom, the designers had used touch-sensitive buttons for most of the dashboard controls. Because, y’know, touch-sensitive stuff was cool and cutting-edge.

So what if they were totally useless? Continue Reading

Needs some context

I’ve been thinking about creativity and innovation today, and that led me to remember a particular quote that I’ve always liked from the movie “Robots“: “See a need, fill a need.”

This is a variation on the enduring “find a need and fill it” quote typically attributed to Ruth Stafford Peale, and I admit that I had to look that up because I couldn’t remember her name. However, I prefer the Robots quote, if only because it appeals a little more to my sense of rhythm.┬áIn any case, the message is the same: innovation comes from recognizing opportunities. It really couldn’t be any simpler than that.

Which is, of course, part of the issue…because it’s not really that simple, is it? Continue Reading

Parody Songwriting 101

It’s fairly common knowledge that the hardest thing for me to do is start a project. Once I get going on it, I’ll work tirelessly for hours and hours without a break, and I’ll love every minute of it. But if I get distracted and start focusing on something else, I sometimes have trouble getting back into the original task.

But when something sparks my creativity, well, it’s hard for me to stop. Continue Reading


My scatterthoughts are supposed to show up on both my Facebook and Google+ feeds, but a plugin that I installed to manage comments broke the Facebook side of that. So, if you thought that I had already gotten bored and stopped writing…you definitely thought wrong.