Our 19th instalment of the (optional.is) Quarterly Newsletter.
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02016Q3 Newsletter

Yan (1), tan (2), tethera (3) ... Go! These are sheep counting numbers. It is always interesting to see old hold-overs from languages long gone sneaking into our daily lives. How you might ask? "Hickory, Dickory, Dock ...", "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe ..." are glimpses at these old sheep counting numbers that we all know from our childhood.

If you're interested, you should listen to Episode 93 of Lexicon Valley.


The summertime slump has ended and we are gearing up for more projects, client work and proposals. Every good contract is a negotiation. Someone starts with their version of the contract and then you discuss and refine. Over the years, we've seen and been part of some great contract negotiations. A few things we always remember before we sign anything:


Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement: Any time you are discussing a change, you first have to know what your situation would be if this contract falls through. Never negotiate yourself into a worse position than doing nothing.

Listen to an FBI hostage negotiator buy a car 

We continually come back to this 10 minutes of audio: how a hostage negotiator uses all his knowledge to get the best deal on a car. These stories and tips are life-long lessons in how to find the best possible deal in any negotiation.


Xavi Bou photographs birds a single frame at a time visualizing their motion, making visible the invisible.

Availability Forecast

Q4 looks clear with a 70-80% availability. Two projects leaving and one entering. If you need help with projects, just hit reply.


We are looking for beta testers for our next iOS app called Triagemail. It is a new type of email client. It only looks at unread mail, forcing you to systematically deal with each message one-by-one. Reply to help us test with more email providers.

Passive Aggressive Anger Release Machine

We have contemplated vending machines at the office before, but nothing like this one: â€˜Passive Aggressive Anger Release Machine’ is an interactive sculpture by Yarisal and Kublitz. Experience the most satisfying feeling when a piece of China breaks into million pieces. All you have to do is insert a coin, and a piece of China will slowly move forwards and fall into the bottom of the machine, breaking, and leaving you happy and relieved of anger.
With the holidays fast approaching, I'm sure you'll have oranges, clementines, satsumas and other citrus fruits around the house to snack on. Consider turning the task of peeling into an art in itself.

Additional Reading