posted by Ian Summers on August 3rd, 2013


Seth Godin posts some of the most interesting, informative, amusing, valuable  blogs on the web. He does this everyday. I mean every day. Lots of jumbo. No mumbo. You may subscribe to  his daily blog post here.


“Jumbo was the famous elephant that PT Barnum exhibited. His name came to stand for the big story, for the audacious claim, for making quite a noise.

You probably need more Jumbo in the story you’re trying to tell.

Mumbo, on the other hand, is deliberately obfuscating the facts. Mumbo is manipulation, the creation of placebos that don’t scale or the extension of power without the facts to back you up.

No more mumbo please.

Feel free to quote me on that the next time someone brings you a big heaping plate of hype.

[In fact, Mumbo-jumbo was probably a term that was xenophobic when it was first used more than a century ago (having nothing to do with elephants but probably something to do with an exotic religion), but I think it has evolved to have more to do with technology and slick salesmanship now.]

Mumbo just doesn’t last as long as it used to.”



posted by Ian Summers on April 8th, 2013


Looking for a good beach read this summer? Every photographer ought to read this amazing fact-filled biography. Learn about the relationship between Leland Stanford who was the richest man in the American West, Railroad tycoon, California Governor, and founder of Stanford University with Edweard Muybridge who invented stop action photography among other things. He was also a real life murderer. I read it on the Kindle app with my iPad. 

I would like to hear your comments when you  have completed this action packed detailed account of the 19th Century wild and wooly west.

From the Backcover:

From Edward Bell, Book Award-winning author of Slaves in the Family, a riveting true life/true crime narrative of the partnership between the murderer who invented the movies and the robber baron who built the railroads. 

One hundred and thirty years ago Eadweard Muybridge invented stop-motion photography, anticipating and making possible motion pictures. He was the first to capture time and play it back for an audience, giving birth to visual media and screen entertainments of all kinds. Yet the artist and inventor Muybridge was also a murderer who killed coolly and meticulously, and his trial is one of the early instances of a media sensation. His patron was railroad tycoon (and former California governor) Leland Stanford, whose particular obsession was whether four hooves of a running horse ever left the ground at once. Stanford hired Muybridge and his camera to answer that question. And between them, the murderer and the railroad mogul launched the age of visual media.
Set in California during its frontier decades, The Tycoon and the Inventor interweaves Muybridge’s quest to unlock the secrets of motion through photography, an obsessive murder plot, and the peculiar partnership of an eccentric inventor and a driven entrepreneur. A tale from the great American West, this popular history unspools a story of passion, wealth, and sinister ingenuity.




posted by Ian Summers on April 5th, 2013

Thanks to Alfred A. Knopf Books you may receive a free poem each day during April as a gift to those who seek food for the soul. You can catch up by visiting Knopf’s Tumblr Site. Some of the poems contain poetry readings.


I have given members of my Think Tank groups a stretch: Find a line of poetry that feeds your soul and create artwork that is stimulated by the reading. Want to play in our sandbox? Send your artwork to me via and I will post it here.