This is true love of art!

It’s possible you’ve never heard of Simon Beck, but after today, you won’t be able to forget him or his wintry works of art. Simon is an artist and is most well-known for making incredibly delicate and detailed art in the snow, just by walking over a fresh snowfall. Heliterally walks miles in the snow to create these pieces. And the part that blows our minds? He could spend hours upon hours creating one design, just to have it be covered by snowfall or blown away by the next day. But he still makes them.

If you’d like to see more of Simon’s art (which is genius bordering on insanity), visit thisFacebook page dedicated to it.

Shockingly beautiful way to bring new life to old tales

Guy Laramée, a Canadian artist from Montreal, is doing something seemingly shocking with books: he is destroying them. Don’t worry, though, it’s all in the name of art. Some might protest using this medium in such a way, but when you see the final outcome of his pieces you’ll stop questioning why he chose to carve books. He creates incredibly detailed landscapes and caverns by whittling a book down or carving through the interior pages.

The 56 year-old artist has dabbled in music composition, directing, writing, painting, singing and many other art forms. When you see his carved books, though, you’ll think he was born to do it.

Simply incredible. If you want to see more of Guy’s outstanding work, visit his website. It’s hard not to be in awe of his skill.

He stated, “I carve landscapes out of books and I paint romantic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening.”

Source: Guy Laramée

The Secret Garden in Mexico

Deep within the rainforests of Mexico, seven hours outside of Mexico City, lies a magical hidden gem that very few have had the pleasure of stumbling across. It’s called Las Pozas and it is a sculpture garden, tucked away from prying eyes and at one with nature. It was created by a man named Edward James, an eccentric man who spent millions to create this magical wonderland that’s comprised of 20 acres of natural waterfalls and mountain springs.

Finding Las Pozas may be easier than it once was, but when you arrive there it will still feel like a forgotten kingdom hidden among the trees.

Source: designfaves.com

11 of the Best Customer Service Stories Ever

11 of the Best Customer Service Stories Ever

When someone wants to tell you a story about a recent customer experience, it usually tends to be more Tales from the Crypt than Happily Ever After. But that’s not to say good service isn’t out there. Here are 11 companies that will restore your faith – at least temporarily.

1. MORTON’S STEAKHOUSE

In August, author and business consultant Peter Shankman was getting ready to board a flight that was the last leg of a long day of traveling. It just happened to occur over dinnertime, and he knew he would be starving when he deplaned and headed home. “Hey, @Mortons – can you meet me at newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)” Imagine his surprise when he got off the plane to find a tuxedoed gentleman holding a bag that contained a 24 oz. Morton’s porterhouse, shrimp, potatoes, bread, napkins and silverware. Shankman noted that the Tweet had to be noticed, someone had to get approval for the idea, a cook had to make his food, the food had to be driven 23.5 miles away from the nearest Morton’s, and someone had to track down his flight information and figure out where he was landing to meet him at the right location. All while his stomach was grumbling on a 2.5-hour flight. Pretty impressive.

2. SAINSBURY’S

Sainsbury’s, a grocery store in the U.K., must have been pretty amused when they received a letter from a three-year-old girl named Lily. “Why is tiger bread called tiger bread?” she asked, referring to one of their bakery items. “It should be called giraffe bread.” Lily was just being observant – the pattern on the bread does resemble a giraffe more than a tiger. To everyone’s surprise, Chris King, a customer service manager at the chain, responded. “I think renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea – it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it? It is called tiger bread because the first baker who made it a looong time ago thought it looked stripey like a tiger. Maybe they were a bit silly.” He enclosed a gift card, and the bread was renamed earlier this year.

3. ZAPPOS

I could do an entire Quick 10 on Zappos customer service superstars alone, but I’ve limited it to one of my favorites instead. A customer’s mother had recently had some medical treatment that left her feet numb and sensitive to pressure – and also rendering most of her shoes totally useless. She ordered her mother six pairs of shoes from Zappos, hoping that at least one of them would work. After receiving the shoes, her mother called Zappos to get instructions on how to return the shoes that didn’t work, explaining why she was returning so many shoes. Two days later, she received a large bouquet of flowers from Zappos, wishing her well and hoping that she recovered from her treatments soon. Two days later, the customer, her mother and her sister were all upgraded to “Zappos VIP Members,” which gives them all free expedited shipping on all orders.

Not impressed? Just Google “Zappos” and “customer service” and you’re bound to findsomething that astounds you.

4. TRADER JOE’S

A Redditor’s 89-year-old grandfather got snowed in a couple years ago and didn’t have much in the house for meals. His daughter called several markets in the area to see if any of them had grocery delivery services, but the only one that said they did was Trader Joe’s. They don’t, actually, but were willing to help out this WWII vet. As the man’s daughter placed an order, the Trader Joe’s representative on the phone recommended other items that would be good for her dad’s low-sodium diet. An up-sell, you may be asking? Nope. They didn’t charge her a dime for the delivery or the groceries.

5. SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

While these other stories have been nice, this one might actually make you teary (it made me teary, and I’m a hard sell). A man was en route from a business trip in L.A. to his daughter’s home in Denver to see his three-year-old grandson for the last time. The boy, beaten into a coma by his mother’s live-in boyfriend, was being taken off of life support at 9 p.m. that evening so his organs could be used to save other lives. The man’s wife called Southwest to arrange the last-minute flight and explained the emergency situation. Unfortunately, the man was held up by L.A. traffic and long lines at LAX and didn’t make it to the gate on time. When he finally made it there 12 minutes after the plane was scheduled to leave, he was shocked to find the pilot waiting for him. He thanked the pilot profusely, and the pilot said, “They can’t go anywhere without me, and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.”

6. AMAZON

If you order a PlayStation online and it gets snatched from your doorstep instead of being delivered safely to your living room, that’s your problem, right? Or maybe it’s the delivery service’s problem. Or it’s the problem of the neighbor who signed for your expensive gaming system but didn’t bother to bring it inside to protect it from sticky fingers. Wherever the blame lands, it’s definitely not the problem of the company who fulfilled their end of the bargain by shipping the system using a secure method. However, when this scenariohappened to an Amazon customer a few years ago, he called them to beg – plead – to see if there was anything that could be done because his son was expecting a PlayStation from Santa. Much to the customer’s shock, they not only sent another, but they didn’t even charge him for shipping. It even made it there on time for Christmas.

7. THE RITZ-CARLTON

Because of their son’s food allergies, a family vacationing at the Ritz-Carlton, Bali, was always careful to bring their own supply of specialized eggs and milk. In this particular instance, however, the food was ruined en route. The Ritz-Carlton manager couldn’t find any of the special items in town, but his executive chef recalled that a store in Singapore sold them. The chef contacted his mother-in-law, who lived there, and had her purchase the items, then fly to Bali (about 2.5 hours) to deliver them. Only at the Ritz-Carlton.

8. NORDSTROM

The tales of Nordie’s customer service are so mind-boggling that some of them are considered urban legend, but I’ll give you one that’s definitely factual. Last year, a member of the security staff noticed a woman crawling around on her hands and knees on the sales floor. When he discovered that she was looking for a diamond that had fallen out of her wedding ring while she was trying on clothes, he got down and searched with her. He also recruited a small team of people to help comb the floors. Eventually, the crew painstakingly picked through the dirt and debris in the store vacuum cleaners before coming up with the woman’s diamond.

9. APPLE

This one may be a rumor, but the story was all over the place with the launch of the iPad 2 last year. Apparently a man bought an iPad online, then returned it to the company almost immediately, affixing a Post-It to the front of the device that simply read, “Wife said no.” Returns processors must have gotten a kick out of it, because the story eventually made its way to a couple of Apple VPs, who refunded the customer and returned the iPad with an attached Post-It that said, “Apple said yes.” If it is a rumor, perhaps Apple should take note with the upcoming iPad 3 launch.

10. LEXUS

Most of us have experienced it at one time or another – the dreaded vehicle recall. It’s usually some minor part, but replacing it ends up being a huge inconvenience for the car owner, even when replacement parts are free. Lexus certainly knows how to take the sting out of that. Although previous recalls had been addressed by sending technicians to the affected customers’ homes to fix the problem on the spot, when the Lexus ES 350 sedan was recalled in 2006, the company decided to ask owners to come on into the dealership. Instead of sitting in a waiting room waiting for their cars to be worked on, customers were given a brand new Lexus instead, no questions asked.

11. GAYLORD OPRYLAND

A writer was in Nashville for a blogging conference last month and adored the clock radio at her hotel, the Gaylord Opryland. It wasn’t just any clock radio, but a clock radio/noise machine with very specific spa-style music that relaxed this writer as if she were actually getting a deep-tissue massage every time it played. Wanting to experience the same serenity at home, the blogger took to Twitter to ask the folks at the hotel where she could purchase one. Their response, essentially, was, “Sorry, it’s made just for us, but here’s a similar one at the Sharper Image.” Unfortunately, the one they recommended lacked the spa music feature that the blogger loved so much. She told them as much and thanked them for the effort anyway. When she returned to her room later, she found a second clock radio sitting next to the permanent one, along with a note saying, “We hope you enjoy these spa sounds at home.”

 

Olivia Wilde Tells Us Her Dos and Don’ts of Turning 30

The star of Drinking Buddies and Rush is about to hit 3-0 and is defying all Hollywood stereotypes by being…wait for it…excited.
olivia-wilde-1

In human years I am 29. In actress years I’m the ripe, promising age of 18 to 35. That’s how it works here in Hollyweird. You aren’t a specific age—you’re an amorphous mystery cloud of time that molds to whatever the director has in mind. “Sure, I’m a freshman in college! Can’t you tell by my ponytail and henna tattoo?” or “Of course I’m a 34-year-old neuroscientist. Did you not see my lab coat and sensible shoes?”

 

Back in the human world, though, I’m hitting a major milestone: 30, or as I like to call it, the Cut the Bullsh-t and Go Be Awesome stage. I’m thrilled about this impending development (I might finally grow boobs!), but my brain has some catching up to do (I’m gobsmacked when bartenders refuse to ask for my ID).

 

Sure, it’ll be tougher to convince an audience I’m the “feisty young coed,” cramming for my biochem final and wondering if Zac Efron‘s character likes my new crushed-velvet headband, but I was never crazy about those roles anyway. People assume actresses are afraid to get older; the truth is the roles get a whole lot more compelling once you’re too old to play dumb. So I’m welcoming this development with open arms, and so should you. Here’s some advice I’m offering (and hopefully also taking).

 

DON’T freak out about all the brilliant people who accomplished more than you by 30.

Yes, Einstein had discovered the theory of relativity by your age, and Emily Brontë had written Wuthering fu*#ingHeights, but honestly, what you achieve is far less important than what kind of human being you are. What do you want people to say at your funeral: “Olivia may have cured HIV, but she ran over my cat and drove away laughing”? No, thanks! I’d rather be a good person who makes people happy than a dick who wins a Nobel by 32.

 

DO enjoy your sexual prime.
Hey oh! According to horny Professor Alfred Kinsey’s 1953 page-turner Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, women really start heating up in their thirties, so let’s just say it’s finally your turn to act like an 18-year-old boy—except you’ll be 1,000 times better at…everything.

 

DON’T cut your face.
I am so saddened and grossed out by young women who look like creepy, old aliens because of their new Barbie noses and lips. Is that a smile or a grimace? Did you melt hot wax on your face, or is that your skin? A better approach: Take care of yourself now that you’re old enough to know how. Drink water, sleep eight hours (I wish), and don’t go within 400 feet of a tanning booth or I’ll slap you. Hard.

 

DO travel.
This is possibly the last time until retirement that you won’t be considered a bad person for booking a last-minute ticket to Morocco with friends just because you damn well feel like it. You’re old enough to know where not to go (Cancún) but young enough to feel guilt-free being entirely unreachable.

 

DON’T propose to the next guy you meet just because you worry he’ll be your last chance at lifelong companionship.
Sure, you’ve attended more bridal showers than yoga classes in the past year, but that doesn’t mean you’re destined to be a craggy spinster, searching for roommates on Craigslist at 50. The danger with “husband hunting” is you start to see every date as a job interview (“He does seem to be homosexual, but that might be good for fatherhood!”); it clouds your ability to get to know someone.

 

DON’T feel pressured to pop out kids.
I love kids with a passion I usually reserve for hot cheese, miniature chairs, and Prince concerts, but I feel no stress to reproduce simply because of a fear of withering eggs. Wait for the right partner, and make sure you’re where you want to be in life before picking neighborhoods based on school districts. This is not to suggest you should live irresponsibly for the next 10 years, then expect to get knocked up when your chosen dude finally sneezes inside you. But you’ll never find the right baby-maker or enjoy baby-making if you’re doing it out of anxiety. Relax, be good to your body, and when the time is right, get busy.

 

DO reap the benefits of your accumulated wisdom.
You’re 30: You know stuff now. Your twenties were for “ducking up,” as my auto-correct would say, and learning from those mistakes. (For instance, never again will I convince myself that sleep is for sissies and go straight from a party to the airport. You will not “sleep on the plane”; you’ll vomit in the security line. Go to bed.) Now you get to live with that knowledge under your belt. Also, make it a nice belt. You’re 30. Stop dressing like a hobo.
DO learn a new skill.
You’ve already lived longer than most women in the thirteenth century, so why not look at your thirtieth as a rebirth? I started stand-up paddleboarding at 29 and consider it my baby step toward becoming a badass 30-something semipro surf goddess (as long as the sharks go vegan).

 

And DON’T be bogged down by your past.
Saturn has now orbited the sun once since you’ve been alive; make this next go-round whatever you want it to be. Consider your baggage (bad boyfriends, job setbacks, body issues) lost by the airline of life, leaving you empty-handed at your new destination with only one choice: Go shopping.

That’s it. Now go—be awesome.