happy little biz

Creative Inspiration of the Week

How did it get to be Friday again? I swear it was Monday just five minutes ago.

Here's some wonderful content that kept me inspired in my work and life this week. Leave a comment if you've got anything to share - it doesn't have to be technical, it can be anything you found fascinating, moving or just plain fun!

I went to a great talk on Wednesday evening over at Bensimon Byrne with Girl Geeks Toronto. If you like contemporary architecture, you'll find the office space itself pretty inspirational; scroll down about half way through this article to read a bit about it.

But the talk itself was good inspiration for those working in digital design in any format. And as a bonus, one of the first slides was this, from this larger comic from The Oatmeal. Gotta love a speaker with a sense of humour about these things.

Client communicates enthusiastically

Also in design, This post on the top ten web design topics of the year is great. It's basically a review of everything we talk about as web designers: trends and specifications both.

Typography - the number one topic

On a different theme, the beauty of this photo, from National Geographic's Photo of the Day, blew me away. It's taken in China’s Sichuan Province and those pretty bits of paper are all prayers, written out and tossed into the wind from a sacred hilltop. Wow.

And finally... inspiration of another kind. This issue has been on my mind almost every day since I returned from Algonquin Park. It might be something you've read about in the news too: The Ebola Outbreak in Western Africa.

What you may not realize is how dire the situation really is.

From the Economist:

Ebola is now growing exponentially with the number of new cases doubling every three weeks or so.

In Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, it is thought to be doubling every two weeks

From MSF:

The UN has called the epidemic a “crisis unparalleled in modern times,” but so far the international response has been, in the words of MSF International President Dr. Joanne Liu, "lethally inadequate." 

From the WHO:

To date, more than 240 health care workers have developed the disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, and more than 120 have died.

And also from the WHO:

Some documented infections have occurred when unprotected doctors rushed to aid a waiting patient who was visibly very ill. This is the first instinct of most doctors and nurses: aid the ailing.

In many cases, medical staff are at risk because no protective equipment is available – not even gloves and face masks. Even in dedicated Ebola wards, personal protective equipment is often scarce or not being properly used.

Training in proper use in absolutely essential, as are strict procedures for infection prevention and control.

In addition, personal protective equipment is hot and cumbersome, especially in a tropical climate, and this severely limits the time that doctors and nurses can work in an isolation ward. Some doctors work beyond their physical limits, trying to save lives in 12-hour shifts, every day of the week. Staff who are exhausted are more prone to make mistakes.

And yet, medical staff keep going. Keep on trying to fight this disease, to help the thousands of people who are suffering either directly or indirectly from it. Even though the risk to medical staff of contracting the disease is about 1 in 10. That is amazingly courageous, and they all have my deepest respect!

If you're interested in donating to help with the efforts to end the Ebola crisis, I suggest Doctors Without Borders (MSF). If you're not in Canada, here's a list of all of their international websites.