“Fig 1. is a front elevational view of sunglasses showing my new design.”

sunglasses
— Shigeki Sueyoshi, 1981, Patent # D258662Guess what? Google has a Patent Search! It launched sometime last month, and is in beta. And like most trinket toys that Google leaves scattered around the web, I stumbled upon it by accident. Gotta love the “more” link above the regular Google search… To me, it seems to have more entertainment value than anything else. But I’m sure it’s a godsend to inventors. A quick news search brought up a few articles that criticized some errors in the system. I found one myself, actually. When clicking on the featured patent labeled “Zipper” (next to “Skateboard” and “Futuristic Toy Gun”), I was instead directed to the patent for the Expanding Internal Brake, created by Emil Zipper. But hey, it’s in beta.The point is, Google’s neat. And my love-hate relationship to them for dominating the world through the dissemination of useful technology continues.

JenkaSome people do work because they need money. Some people do work because they want to grow in a certain direction. And some people do work because it’s who they are. Meet Jenka. She is Identity. And in this culture, there’s a market for identity — a big one. She does work because it’s who she is. And she just recently started writing about it at social.creature. Check it out. She kicks it off by telling us how and why she became identity.

being a former russian immigrant, turned american resident, living in israel, and speaking russian, english, and hebrew fluently would consistently disorient people’s understanding of what my “identity” was and how they were supposed to be treating me. … this experience in israel is, in retrospect, where my understanding of identity comes from: just how mutable it really is, how much of it is a constructed performance, how important a role context plays in that performance, and how the process of choosing who to be is just that. … making a message that has to fit in, has to rebel, has to speak to the VIPs, to the underdogs, to the clever ones playing all sides, and is keepin’ it real the whole time is a practice i’ve been working on my whole life.

First of all, I love how she’s transformed being an other into being valuable. May we all sit up straight and learn this lesson. Second, she’s right. We choose who we are. Sometimes we just need a little help from someone who knows what she’s doing.