An archive collection of design, art, travel, fashion, cinema, and all other things that inspyher you
For anyone who needs a daily dose of inspyheration.

Taking the plunge

Maybe that’s the problem. Perhaps it’s better to commit to wading instead. Ship, sure. Not the giant life-changing, risk-it-all-venture, but the small. When you do a small thing, when you finish it, polish it, put it into the world, you’ve…

The Marketer’s Guide to Instagram:  In just four years, Instagram has exploded to over 200 million monthly active users (MAUs), making it the fastest growing social network on the planet.[1] While the number of MAUs falls well short of other social networks, Instagram has the most engaged users.[2] A study was done using the rock band Paramore’s social media accounts. […]
How 9 SaaS Companies Hacked Their Growth:  I’m a huge fan of growth hacking. I’ve built several companies on the principles of growth hacking. Heck, I might just build several more and put growth hacking to work again. Traditional growth methods don’t work like they used to. I would argue that unless you have insane amounts of funding, traditional growth marketing is […]

Biggest vs. best

There’s not much overlap. Regardless of how you measure ‘best’ (elegance, deluxeness, impact, profitability, ROI, meaningfulness, memorability), it’s almost never present in the thing that is the most popular. The best restaurant, Seinfeld episode, political candidate, brand of beer, ski…

Announcing the New CEO of KISSmetrics: Brian Kelly:  We’ve got some big news. Brian Kelly has joined KISSmetrics as our new CEO. We’re thrilled to have him. Why We’re Excited to Work with Him Brian Kelly has been on both sides of data – building it and using it. He began his career at Teradata, analyzing customer data for retail and financial institutions. […]
Aquaponics – the Automated Ubergarden of the Future:  An Introduction from MMM: I was late to the party in learning about aquaponics, but it made a big impression on me when I toured a massively creative food facility two years ago.   The slightly wild entrepreneurial founder had converted some cheap, remote industrial buildings in Loveland, Colorado into a spectacularly productive indoor farm. […]

"Desire is full of endless distances"

Just one more level on this game, she says. Once I get to level 68, I’ll be done. Just one more tweak to the car, they beg. Once we bump up the mileage, we’ll be done. Just one more lotion,…

"Google it!"

The job is no longer to recite facts, to read the bio out loud, to explain something better found or watched online. No, the job is to personally and passionately make us care enough to look up the facts for…


The former imperial capital of Hue sits just below what was once the DMZ between North and South Vietnam and was, near the end of the war, the site of some its fiercest fighting. You’ve seen it in newsreel footage—and recreated (in England) in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”.
It’s one of the few areas of Vietnam I’ve never been.

Hue is, in many ways, a city of ghosts, of memories and spirits—and we play on that in Sunday’s episode. It begins with a camera movement inside a “Spirit House”—the dollhouse sized shrines that many believers keep outside their homes and businesses. The Vietnamese are largely ancestor worshippers. Helping your deceased relatives into the next life—and making sure they are happy while there—is important. On special days and holidays, families visit temples and pagodas and leave offerings, often food, sometimes replicas of money or appliances or luxuries for the departed. Things they liked in life that might make the afterlife more comfortable. Spirit houses, as I understand them, are designed to deal with the problem of hungry, dissatisfied spirits who may not be settled, who have, for one reason or another, unfinished business left behind. They sit out front, or near the house or store, usually filled with incense and offerings, in the hope of distracting the spirits away from the main destination.

In the weeks following the initial North Vietnamese taking of the city, many hundreds—if not thousands—of citizens, deemed dangerous or counterrevolutionary or otherwise undesirable, were summarily executed and buried in unmarked mass graves by the communist forces. When the United States Marines and army of South Vietnam retook the city, it was only at the end of brutal, house to house fighting and finally, air strikes, that Hue was retaken –flattening much of the city in the process. Many, many people were lost—their bodies never identified or recovered. This—the inability to find the physical remains of a relative—is a particular agony to Vietnamese.

For this reason, this episode is haunted by ghosts. We hadn’t intended it to be so. But that definitely emerged as a theme. You feel it as you drive the streets and early morning rice paddies on a scooter, walk the parapets of the ancient citadel, look at the flag hanging in the mist across the Perfume River. At one point, a young woman I’m having dinner with casually mentions that her mother doesn’t like her to go out after dark. Too many ghosts. Under almost every square of pavement… 

And we descend down into the tunnels beneath a small village where a whole generation of children were born—and raised—in total darkness.

I don’t want you to think that this episode of PARTS UNKNOWN is some kind of a bummer. A depressing discussion of a war about which there are still strong feelings and disagreements here. It’s not. One of the crazily awesome, incongruous things about Vietnam that I’ve found from the first time I visited is how friendly, welcoming, quick to move beyond the past the Vietnamese are. It is an incredibly beautiful country. One filled with passionate, proud cooks,. And opinionated, enthusiastic eaters. You will see me with some old friends—and you will, as always in Vietnam, see me eating some amazing food. 

And if you thought pho was the best thing..ever?
Wait till you see Bun Bo Hue.

11 Words that Enhance Trust in a Blog Post:  Every blog article is an attempt to secure the reader’s trust. If the reader doesn’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. If the reader doesn’t trust you, they won’t believe what you’re saying. If the reader doesn’t trust you, they won’t convert. Whenever you write, you should pay attention to this all-important subject of […]