The Curator’s News Feed: June 1, 2012

Today we're reading about the boundary-pushing LA Kings Twitter feed, Michelle Obama's gardening book and a talented hamster. It's been the kind of week where this image just makes perfect sense.

For Brands To Be Heard, They Need To Stop Following The Herd, PSFK. I was instantly drawn to this piece, as I am now basically an anglophile after residing in London for the duration of last semester. Not only does it highlight an awesome tea company that I plan to sample in the near future, it more importantly reminds us of some of the key values a smart, curated brand should possess. – Megan K

The Patent Wars, Fast Company. In the book Guns, Germs and Steel, the author explains how civilizations have risen above others throughout history because of disparities in knowledge and technology. The first to develop a better way to grow crops or make war became the dominant society, but in the information age, it’s the patent holders that become the empire builders. We occasionally hear about patent lawsuits in the news, but the actual number of patents in legal dispute is staggering. Check out the infographic in this story for a jaw-dropping visual. – Matthew

Mary Meeker on the Economy, Mobile, Facebook, GigaOm. Mary Meeker gave her now-famous “Internet Trends” presentation at the D10 Conference on Wednesday. Flipping through the presentation, you’ll see that she spends quite a bit of time explaining our current state of “re-imagination.” Nearly everything around us is being transformed because of technology, new devices and connectivity.  From slide 32-86, she shares compelling examples of this re-imagination, from pet care to education to government subsidies. But what excited me most was the idea that we’re just getting started. In fact, Meeker called this phase Spring Training. I can’t wait to see what’s in store when the regular season begins. – Ann Marie

Fug the Fab: Eurovision 2012, This is one of my favorite fashion-humor blogs that I’ve been reading religiously for over six years (a century in blog-years). I will forever owe them for introducing me to the wonder and glory that is Eurovision. How to describe it? As the Fug Girls first put it back in 2006, “a one-night international American Idol marathon with more language barriers, loud and drunken reveling, culture clashes, crazy clothes, and camp value.” Basically, every country in Europe (plus some others) submits a musical act to compete, with all the countries voting for the winner over several rounds. The winning country gets to host the following year, which is why this year’s event was in Azerbaijan. (And if you need more background, The New Yorker wrote this great Eurovision overview a couple years ago.)The Fug Girls’ blog post, a now-yearly ritual, breaks down the mind-bending costumes, incomprehensible lyrics and bizarre dance routines. My favorite this year might be Moldova, but the singing grannies from Russia were pretty glorious. PARTY FOR EVERYBODY! – Lisa  

How the L.A. Kings Are Redefining Sports Social Media, Mashable. Most professional sports teams err on the side of blandness when it comes to interacting with fans on social platforms like Twitter…but not the LA Kings. They have been making waves with their unique approach to an otherwise buttoned-up genre of social media. They have no qualms about offending anyone – rival teams, cities and media are all fair game, and this has created quite a stir in the sports world. For example, after the Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks in an early playoff game, the official Twitter account posted a tweet reading, “To everyone outside of BC you’re welcome.” While this not so subtle tongue-in-cheek humor has made a lot of people mad, it has also garnered the team over 60,000 followers since April. I personally love that they’re showing some personality, let’s just hope it doesn’t bite them on the butt once (if?) they start losing on a consistent basis! – Megan A

Hamster Plays Dead on Command, YouTube  – So, every week I’ve submitted serious business news articles. All of which I still think are important and relevant, but sometimes the best things to spark creative innovation in the workplace is just a good laugh. And, this week in particular I wanted to share a little bit of Friday humor with everyone! It’s so simple, but this video clip of a hamster playing dead on command just cracked me up. So, what’s the professional lesson in all of this? If they could teach a hamster to do this, then you can teach your employees almost anything! Never underestimate the power of good training. – Annie

Aslaug Magnusdottir, The Coveteur. I’m reading the profile of Aslaug Magnusdottir, the CEO and Co-Founder of Moda Operandi on The Coveteur. She’s fascinating and inspirational. Anyone who has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Masters in Law from Duke and then goes on to be queened “Fashion's Fairy Godmother" by Vogue (which I imagine is limited to Aslaug only) is worth reading about. Particularly when she also figured out a way to offer coveted designer looks on a made-to-order basis long before the retail stores offer them (if they do at all) becoming a win-win for designers and consumers. – Julia

Michelle Obama’s ‘American Grown,’ and More, New York Times. Last weekend my son and I built and planted an 8’ X 4’ raised vegetable garden. We’re officially calling ourselves Gentlemen Farmers now. And while the title may be a bit ambitious, we definitely have the vegetable gardening bug – having seen the first sprout of arugula break through the dirt yesterday, we’ve already planned to build and plant two more beds this weekend and are researching new recipes to use the bounty of kale we’re planning on. I also love the focus our First Lady has placed on nutrition and health, especially as it relates to young kids. Her new book, American Grown, showcases the vegetable garden the First Family has built on the grounds of the White House and focuses on the need for quality food for our families. I’m looking forward to reading the book, almost as much as planting our new beds! – Scott