Nelson Mandela, by Zen Pencils

Merry Christmas, everybody! I’ve already done a couple of other festively-geared posts, turning to Bing Crosby and investigating the origins of holiday traditions, so this speedlink will be largely business as usual. Enjoy!

I’m a big fan of Gavin Aung Than and his Zen Pencils web comic. He went with a great Nelson Mandela tribute for one of his most recent posts, setting lines from the “Invictus” poem against the backdrop of the South African President’s life in prison. We get a great look at his “unconquerable soul” and how he really is the “master of [his own] fate.”

In a recent episode of Dot Com Pho, we were introduced to Stephen Fung’s doppelganger. His resemblance to Steve Tan really is uncanny, so much so that the staff at Happy Pho thought they were brothers. What’s interesting is that both Steves are into videography too. Steve Tan recently offered us a behind the scenes look at one of the videos he produced, showing us how he is able to achieve some nifty special effects.

When you work for yourself from home, staying on task can be something of a challenge. Bob Buskirk provides some simple advice on how you can be more productive: go out more. This is not unlike the advice I gave a few years ago about the importance of stepping away from the computer and getting out of the house. When you make social plans, you provide yourself with motivation to get your work done right now.

What are the absolute essentials in life, assuming that you have food on the table and a roof over your head? Leo Babauta is once again keeping things simple with his list of what every man should own. We should all have a library card, a tea cup and soap. He also goes on to describe nine free things that every man should do, like practice compassion, read often and learn something new. That sounds good to me.

Okay, I lied. We are going to have at least one holiday post for this Christmas edition of What’s Up Wednesdays. For that we turn to sunny Florida where Ray Ebersole has shot a couple of videos of the Christmas light displays in and around the Sarasota area. It all looks quite elaborate with plenty of flashing, multi-colored lights. I just wish he shot the video in landscape instead of portrait.