Here are some interesting items I came across this week:
- PostSecret: Frank Warren started PostSecret.com as a community art project. Since November 2004, he has received more than 150,000 postcards, each sent anonymously and containing that person’s secret. The website receives more than six million visitors a month, viewing the heartbreaking, shocking, soulful and laugh-out-loud funny thoughts and feelings shared by these secret donors. Warren has turned the postcards into five books, the most recent being PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God. “I feel like a kid waking up Christmas morning when I’m walking up to my mailbox,” he said in an interview.
- Six String Nation: One unusual guitar, 64 pieces, six strings and one Canada. This guitar features pieces of Canadian history and heritage representing different cultures, communities and characters. For instance, there’s a caribou antler carving from Nunavut; a piece of gold from Maurice Richard’s 1955-56 Stanley Cup ring; and part of a seat from Massey Hall in Toronto. How cool is that?! The guitar was conceived in 1995 by writer and broadcaster Jowi Taylor, inspired by the Quebec referendum looming that year. Taylor gathered the materials and had the guitar crafted by luthier George Rizsanyi. Nicknamed Voyageur, the guitar made its debut at the Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa in 2006. Since then, it has travelled thousands of kilometers across Canada, been played by hundreds of musicians and held by thousands of Canadians.
- Heathrow’s writer-in-residence: An article in the Aug. 27 Toronto Star (“A novel view of airport customs” by San Grewal) described the writer-in-residence program at Heathrow Airport. Swiss author Alain de Botton spent a week at Heathrow, observing travellers coming and going, and is now writing about his observations and experience. Publisher Profile Books will give 10,000 copies of the book, to be published Sept. 28, to Heathrow visitors.
What gems have you found in your online travels?