Painting with Light? Introducing Pixelstick: A New Rainbow Lightsaber

Imagine yourself at night, wearing dark clothing and holding a six-foot stick lined with LED lights. As you turn on the stick, it looks like a rainbow light saber. A nearby friend with a camera gives you a cue and you start walking with the LED stick. The result, when you edit the image later, looks like a lit-up ribbon floating in the streets. This new product called the pixelstick, developed by Bitbanger Labs, is like a more advanced version of light painting, the process in which you use long-exposure photography to capture the movement of light.

Housed by an aluminum body, the stick runs on 8 AA batteries. Your SD card is read by its controller box with buttons that acts like the pixelstick’s brain. Before heading out to the streets, you simply choose an image, open it in Photoshop and then save it to your SD card. One line at a time, pixelstick reveals the images that you pre-loaded on the card through its 198 RGB LED lights. The wand then creates this image through the LED lights and you capture the magic on your camera. Users just need to wear black or dark clothing so they don’t appear in the frame.




If this doesn’t inspire swellness…I don’t know what does. All I know is that I want one!

“Everything is Incredible”

“Everything is Incredible” is a moving short documentary about Agustin, a Honduran man who despite being severely disabled by polio, has been building his own helicopter for the past 50 years. The helicopter, which resides in Agustin’s small house, is made out of bicycle parts, rebar, and other scavenged materials. It’s a beautiful and motivational story about the power of imagination and the depth of the human spirit.



How Do You Become a “Swellness Warrior?”

I have long been fascinated by our connection to the stars. As many of us have, I’ve wondered about the greater energy of the universe. Wondered what holds everything together. Wondered what it all means.

We may be closer to having some answers. As the world enters the next stages of technological and scientific revolution, what we are beginning to unravel about the universe is rapidly propelling us to the frontiers of the unknown. For me, it is very exciting to see the fusion of quantum physics, quantum biology, neuroscience, cosmology and parapsychology (among many other factors) — all of which are beginning to reveal that our bodies and minds are not just biochemical systems. In fact, this convergence of seemingly disparate fields of study may in fact be providing a physical-scientific basis for universal and collective consciousness.

All of this is further illuminated in “The Quantum Warrior,” a thought-provoking book by John Kehoe. According to John Kehoe:

“The next evolutionary leap on the planet is a leap in consciousness. It is happening now, very slowly, so slowly that many don’t even recognize it. This is going to change. As more individuals commit themselves to making the world a better place they resonate with an energy vibration that can shift the collective consciousness of the planet.”

To Kehoe, quantum warriorship is a path to becoming a fully integrated human being. It is a journey into the wonder of self and the universe. For anyone wanting to learn about the mysteries of life and the vastness of human potential, it’s a must read.


So for all of you, as you look to your own lives, think about how you can be not just a “quantum warrior,” (a term and concept I’ll likely revisit!) but also a “swellness warrior.” A warrior in making your life truly “swell” — however it is you define it for yourself.

Ghost Food & the Future of “Eating”

Living in NYC, I can say with confidence that the food truck craze is still in full swing. But just when you thought that all of the novel ideas were already taken, the Ghost Food mobile food trailer comes along. Ghost Food differentiates itself by serving up scents in lieu of actual food. This traveling, multisensory installation was created to raise awareness of the endangered state of three common foods: cod, chocolate, and peanut butter. Customers are fitted with a facial device that delivers the scents of these foods into their mouths, simulating the futuristic experience of “dining” on “ghost foods” that may someday cease to exist due to climate change. And the cherry on top (no pun intended), is a 3D-printed mask that lets you smell what you’re supposed to be eating.


We know that scent’s role in taste is well-established. In fact, during our Philadelphia retreat we looked at the powerful effect smell has on the body. But what Ghost Food shows us is that aesthetic experiences can be created that connects our memories of the real food with its engineered substitute. So what could this mean in terms of how we view “food,” in the future? How can we create swell meals that have little or nothing to do with actual food? And how can we leverage our other senses — taste, touch, smell — to rethink and recreate the eating experience?

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is TODAY – talk about the epitome of Swellness!  All the wonderful memories as a kid.  I loved coming up with my costume every year.  And that feeling of transformation, out in the Halloween dark with my friends, when we truly assumed our new identities and roamed the neighborhood in disguise – sure no one recognized us.  Then there was coming home with the haul, sorting the candy by categories and trading for favorites with my sister and brother.

Candy Corn swellness

And these days, it’s swell to decorate a scary stoop for the kids and to offer treats I am proud of – big and respectable candies…worthy of the occasion. No fruit wrap or mini treats!

One of my favorites is candy corn – a quintessential Halloween treat. The classic: a delectable, triangular confection with a white tip, orange middle and yellow base. I also liked the variation with a chocolate base.  “THEY” went too far though with candy corn colored for other holidays – white, green and red Christmas corn somehow just doesn’t work me.

So have a happy haunted Halloween and remember – give something big and good! What’s YOUR favorite Halloween memory?  Got any butterfingers to trade?

PS – I was going to tell you about the nutritional benefits of candy corn but that might just detract from its total Swellness!

What Can We Learn From Figment?

Growing up (and still today), Figment was my favorite of all the Disney characters. The little purple dragon in his sporty yellow sweater took me on my first “Journey into Imagination.” Or so I thought.  In this mid-80s EPCOT attraction, Dreamfinder, the wizardly scientist, teaches Figment how to use his imagination. And together, Dreamfinder and Figment imagine things to fill the “idea bag.” When it’s full, Dreamfinder empties the ideas in the “Dreamport” which, as he says, is “never far away when you use your imagination.” At the end, Dreamfinder tells Figment that imagination is the key to unlocking the hidden wonders of the world.

When we started thinking about Swellness and the creation of an “imagination engine,” Figment served as one of my inspirations. (I cannot speak about the others!) He taught children that “hidden wonders” could be unlocked through their imaginations. But why is this lesson just for children? Why not adults, too? What can we do to inspire wonder? Curiosity? Imagination? And how do we make this a part of our entire lives — for both young and old?

That is our goal: to become an engine for imagination. We invite you to join us on this journey…


Hudson Valley…Here We Come!

Lots of images may come to mind when you picture autumn in the Hudson Valley — from apple-picking to fall foliage to farmers markets. But one more image can be added to that list this weekend: Swellness. The 4 of us, and our “Roving Band of Imaginers” are traveling this weekend for our 5th retreat. The themes are: (1) Mindfulness, and (2) Food.

We’ll be spending much of the day on Friday at the Omega Institute. Omega was founded on the holistic worldview that the well-being of each of us is deeply connected to the well-being of all living things. We will be taken on a guided meditation session, and explore how “mindfulness” can be applied in the commercial marketplace of the future.

On Saturday, we’ll be visiting the Culinary Institute of America, the world’s premier culinary college. While there, we will delve deeper into the sensory aspects of food and the eating experience, as well as explore the intersection between mindfulness and food.

We are excited for our next journey…!