posted by Ian Summers on February 19th, 2007

When was the last time you were in a bingo parlor? Can you see the characters from the callers to the players? Can you see the still life potential? Half eaten hot dogs and left over pizza crusts. Yellow markers and beans. Cigarettes with lipstick stains. Good luck charms. Hands moving quickly to cover numbers on an array of cards. What about the faces of people filled with anticipation? There’s that wonderful cry of Bingo and the echo “oh shit!” What expressions can you think of that include Bingo? It’s a Bingo means it’s a winner.Shouting bingo may be an expression of sudden realization or surprise. Bingo is slang for marijuana.

A prepaid postcard inserted in a magazine by its publisher to enable a reader to order free information about advertised products is called a Bingo Card.
What else?

Beano: The Origins of Bingo

It was an evening in December of 1929 when a very tired New York toy salesman, Edwin S. Lowe, decided to drive on to Jacksonville, Georgia so that he might have an early start for his next day’s appointments. The year before, with two employees and $1,000 capital, Lowe had set up his own toy company. Soon after, the market crashed and the outlook for his budding firm looked bleak inde

A few miles from Jacksonville, Lowe came around a bend in the road and was greeted by the bright lights of a country carnival. he was ahead of schedule, so he parked his car and got out. All of the carnival booths were closed except one, which was packed with people. Lowe stood on tiptoes and peered over the shoulders of the participants. The action centered on a horseshoe shaped table covered with numbered cards and beans. The game being played was a variation of Lotto called Beano. The pitchman, or caller, pulled small numbered wooden disks from an old cigar box and, at the same time, called the number aloud. The players responded by eagerly checking their card to see if they had the number called; if so, they would place a bean on the number. This sequence continued until some someone filled a line of numbers on their card – either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. This feat was marked by the shout of “Beano!” The winner received a small Kewpie doll.

Ed Lowe tried to play Beano that night, but, he recalls, “I couldn’t get a seat. But while I was waiting around, I noticed that the players were practically addicted to the game. The picthman wanted to close up, but every time he said, “This is the last game’, nobody moved. When he finally closed at 3:00 a.m. he had to chase them out.”

After locking up, the pitchman told Lowe that he had run across a game called Lotto while traveling with a carnival in Germany the previous year. His immediate thought was that it would make a good tent or carnival game. He made a few changes in its play, and a change of the name to Beano. The game proved to be such a surefire crowd pleaser and money maker that on his return to the United States, he continued to work the game on the Carnival circuit.


Returning to his home in New York, Lowe bought some dried beans, a rubber numbering stamp and some cardboard. Friends were invited to his apartment and Ed Lowe assumed the pitchman’s duties. Soon his friends were playing Beano with the same tension and excitement as he had seen at the carnival. During one session Lowe noticed that one of his players was close to winning. She got more excited as each bean was added to her card. Finally there was one number left – and it was called! The woman jumped up, became tongue tied, and instead of shouting “Beano,” stuttered “B-B-B-BINGO!”

“I cannot describe the strange sense of elation which that girl’s cry brought to me,” Lowe said. “All I could think of was that I was going to come out with this game, and it was going to be called Bingo!”

The earliest Lowe Bingo game in two variations – a twelve card set for one dollar and a two dollar set with twenty-four cards. The game was an immediate success and put Lowe’s company squarely on its feet.

Although the name Bingo could very well have been trademarked, the game itself, having come out of the public domain, had little chance of being protected. Imitators came out of the woodwork once the success of Lowe’s game was evident. Lowe was very gracious about the whole affair. He asked his competitors to pay him a dollar a year, and to call their games Bingo, too. A small price to pay to avoid litigation – and this the name became generic.

…and Bingo was his name, oh!

Bingo is an English language children’s song of obscure origin.

There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name, oh!
B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, and Bingo was his name, oh!

The verse is normally sung six times. From the second to the sixth repetition, the participants substitute a successive number of hand-claps for each letter in the word “Bingo” as spelled out in the first. Usually the first letter is replaced (clap-I-N-G-O), then the second, and so on.

posted by Ian Summers on February 15th, 2007

May the Circle be Unbroken

Use the circle as a source of inspiration. Tires. Rings. Clocks. Hula hoops. Circle pins. Circular saw. Round table discussions. Bagels. Pizzas. Games children play. How many circular things can you find in your house? Your studio? On the street? Take a circle walk with your camera. Don’t come back until you have found and shot at least fifty circular things. This may sound like a silly exercise. Think of it as an entry in your journal. These ideas are likely to give birth to others and may open you up to a new way of seeing.

Inner circle. A circle of friends. Circle the globe. Drumming circle. Seance. Critics’ circle. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. Family Circle. Literary circle. Ouroboros: A snake or dragon eating its tail. Workmen’s Circle.

Explore the Circle as a spiritual symbol.

CIRCLE (sacred hoop, ring): An ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, the goddess, and female power. To earth-centered religions throughout history as well as to many contemporary pagans, it represents the feminine spirit or force, the cosmos or a spiritualized Mother Earth, and a sacred space. Gnostic traditions linked the unbroken circle to the “world serpent” forming a circle as it eats its own tail.

CIRCLE with a DOT (BINDU) in the center: In the complex symbolic system of Hinduism and Buddhism, the bindu (dot) represents the male force. Together, the circle and the bindu symbolize the merging of male and female forces.CIRCLE (quartered): The sacred circle filled with a cross, four equal lines pointing from the center to the spirits of the north, east, south, and west — or to the basic element: earth, water, air (or wind), and fire.

In Native American traditions, it forms the basic pattern of the MEDICINE WHEEL and plays a vital part in major spiritual rituals. Many contemporary pagans consider it their main symbol for transmitting the energy of the goddess. Churches have used variations of the same popular shape, usually calling it the Celtic Cross.

posted by Ian Summers on February 14th, 2007

A Selection from
1001 Quotes Questions & Pondering
about the Creative Process

The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.
Albert Einstein

In what ways do you encourage your mind to stop judging? When were you surprised by solutions coming from a source unknown to you?

An artist is someone who produces things that people don’t need to have but that he – for some reason – thinks it would
be a good idea to give them.
Andy Warhol

In what ways is art needed or desired?

Boldness has genius, power and magic. Engage, and the mind grows heated. Begin, and the work will be completed.

Do you approach your creating boldly? When has genius, power and magic heated your mind?

… the very question of whether photography is or is not an art is essentially a misleading one. Although photography generates works that can be called art – it requires subjectivity, it can lie, it gives aesthetic pleasure – photography is not, to begin with, an art form at all. Like language, it is a medium in which works of art (among other things) are made. Out of language, one can make scientific discourse, bureaucratic memoranda, love letters, grocery lists, and Balzac’s Paris. Out of photography, one can make passport pictures, weather photographs, pornographic pictures, X-rays, wedding pictures, and Atget’s Paris. Photography is not an art like, say, painting and poetry. Although the activities of some photographers conform to the traditional notion of a fine art, the activity of exceptionally talented individuals producing discrete objects that have value in themselves, from the beginning photography has also lent itself to that notion of art which says that art is obsolete. The power of photography – and its centrality in present aesthetic concerns – is that it confirms both ideas of art. But the way in which photography renders art obsolete is, in the long run, stronger.
Susan Sontag

Is photography a medium or an art form or both to you?

It is in the world of slow-time that truth and art are found.
Norman Maclean

How can you slow down to move forward?

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
Mark Twain

Substitute photography, painting, poem or any other creative medium for ‘word’.


We’re creators by permission, by grace as it were. No one creates alone, of and by himself. An artist is an instrument that registers something already existent, something which belongs to the whole world, and which, if he is an artist, he is compelled to give back to the world.
Henry Miller

What are you compelled to give back to the world?


All behavior consists of opposites… Learn to see things backward, inside out, and upside down.

Select a creative problem you have been working on. Make a list of all the truths you know about it. Then make a list of the opposites of all the truths. In what ways does thinking contrary help you to see things differently?

We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot

How is this like the Fool’s journey? Study the Tarot.


The life of the creative man is lead, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.
Saul Steinberg

Are you bored? How does boredom affect your creativity?

For 991 more Idea Stimulators like these, ask for your free copy of 1001 Quotes Questions & Pondering. This e-book will be sent to you as a PDF file. I hope you find it interesting, informative, and inspiring.