New Lantern

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Welcome to the New Lantern blog. Our goal is to shine light on leading innovators and creative artists, and how your business can learn and profit from them. Companies large, medium, and small can benefit from employees who think more creatively. New Lantern may be just the source of inspiration your company needs to spark more innovative products, services, and processes.

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Monthly Archive for March, 2011

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Posted by on March 30, 2011 at 8:59 pm

According to the National Park Service, yesterday marked the “Peak Bloom Date” for several thousand Yoshino Cherry trees, which line the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC.

The 2011 National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 99th anniversary of the gift of cherry blossom trees from the country of Japan. Each year, over one million tourists flock to the nation’s capital during the last week of March and the first week of April to get a glimpse of the puffy pink blossoms of these spectacular trees.

In 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, DC. “The gift and annual celebration honor the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and the continued close relationship between the two countries,” as noted on the Festival’s website.

The United States returned the favor in 1915 with a gift of dogwood trees to the people of Japan. In 1965, two decades after the end of World War II, Lady Bird Johnson accepted 3,800 more cherry trees from Japan. Then in 1981, the “cycle of giving came full circle” when the U.S. gave cuttings from its trees to Japan to replace trees that had been destroyed during a flood.

Given the recent devastation from the earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan, maybe more cherry tree cuttings from Washington will once again be sent to the Japanese people.

Ichiro Fujisaki, the Japanese Ambassador to the U.S., spoke emotionally about the dire conditions in his country during the March 22nd Points of Light Institute tribute at the Kennedy Center, which honored former President George H. W. Bush. “We are grateful…Japan must and will come back. It means so much to us that you are standing with us. . .We will never, never forget it. ”

Competition between two companies, like that between two countries, can sometimes be fierce. But it doesn’t mean that decency and civility should be set aside.

Look for opportunities to do the right thing when your competitors are least expecting it. You may find that the favor of offering a “cherry branch” may someday be returned when you’ll need it the most.

Lumières, Camera, Action!

Posted by on March 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm

On this date in 1895 two French brothers, Auguste and Louis Lumière, first demonstrated motion pictures using celluloid film in a private viewing in Paris, according to Later that year, the brothers held their first public screening of their cinematic invention on December 28 at the famed Le Grand Café in Paris’s Opera District.

The Lumière brothers were not the first inventors to develop motion picture techniques. Yet, film historians consider the Grand Café screening to be the birth of the cinema as a commercial medium where admission was charged. The screening actually debuted ten short, 50-second films, the first showing workers walking out of the Lumière factory.

Auguste and Louis inherited their passion for film and photography from their father Claude-Antoin Lumière, who ran a photographic firm, where both brothers worked. Based on this experience, the brothers patented a number of significant processes prior to the film camera itself, including the perforation of film that allowed it to be advanced through the camera and projector. They received their patent for their cinématographe camera and projector on February 19, 1895.

In 1896, the Lumières took their cinématographe on a world tour including London, New York, Buenos Aires and Bombay, and the “moving images had an immediate and significant influence on popular culture.” (

Strangely enough, the brothers then turned their attention from moving pictures to color photography in 1903, proclaiming: “the cinema is an invention without any future.”

Whereas the Lumière company did quite well throughout much of the 1900s as a major producer of photographic products in Europe, the name “Lumière” eventually faded after its merger with the Swiss company Ciba in 1961, which later became Ilford France.

Ironically, “lumière” translates as “light” in English, such as the glow that comes from a newly invented movie projector or a New Lantern.

Definition of a New Lantern

Posted by on March 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Encarta’s Online World English Dictionary describes the word “lantern” as follows:

1. portable lamp: a portable case with transparent or translucent sides that protects and holds a lamp
2. lighthouse room: a room containing the large lamp at the top of a lighthouse
3. structure with windows: a structure with windows on all sides, resembling a lantern, e.g. one at the top of a dome

A “new” lantern, therefore, provides the maximum amount of light given the glass of a new lamp, lighthouse, or architectural structure is at its most pristine state.

Lanterns have been used for centuries to provide a source of light to guide those seeking a particular path, direct those aiming toward a certain objective, or to generally add light to an otherwise darkened state.

Our goal at New Lantern is simple: shine light on artists, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs from which we in business can learn.

This is what defines our company and our name.

What’s in Your Tackle Box?

Posted by on March 8, 2011 at 8:10 pm

It’s been almost 40 years, but I can still smell the fish and the worms, and hear the waves splashing against the pier pilings at the Caspian seashore where I would fish as a young girl. I spent most of my summers as a child vacationing in a small seaside town in northern Iran with my family; and I would routinely sneak down to the piers to fish and talk to the fishermen. I loved to fish.

I would always look for an old fisherman with the largest and most impressive tackle box, and would stand beside him with my small fishing rod. I marveled at the orderly compartments of his tackle box and all of its contents: bobbers, weights, hooks, pliers, bottle opener, extra line, rubber worms, and a variety of colorful jigs.

Every item type had its own place in the multi-tiered box. I discovered over time that the most successful fishermen were meticulous in their preparation, and were ready for all contingencies.

I reflect often on those summers at the seashore and my fishing outings, and the life lessons that came from the experience.

Plan for every contingency. Meticulously prepare, and seek to find joy in what you do. Admittedly, my weak spot has always been the meticulous part.

These same traits would benefit you as a corporate manager. Make sure your tackle box is amply stocked, well-organized, and ready for anything that may come your way.

Likewise, approach your job or next project with the experience of a wise fisherman and the curiosity and enthusiasm of a young fisher girl.