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A change of heart August 29, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Sometimes graffiti can be mean:

But sometimes, someone will come along and make it beautiful:

And when I see that happen, it always makes me smile:

Graffiti with smiley, Northeast Portland, OR. Photos taken August 2001.


BONUS: Reader-submitted rainbow smiley (plus, good news!) August 28, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Smiley with rainbow. Picture by Laci W.

My friend Laci W. posted this on Facebook the other day, with the simple note that this is what happens whenever someone puts crayons and paper in front of her. Which I love! What better cause to smile than such an immediate and gleeful regression to our childhoods?

Here’s hoping you find a box of crayons and some paper today.

Okay, I have at least one other reason to smile today. It might not be better than a box of crayons, but this morning I checked my stats and discovered that as of today, August 2011 has brought in the most visitors so far! How appropriate, since this is the Smile! blog’s first anniversary month! That, plus the Best of Smiley Award, plus a growing influx of happy images from readers and friends…. This has been an awesome August, and the month’s not even over!

And all those things — the increased hits to the blog, the award, the cool new submissions — are because of you. So thanks, happy readers!

You all are excellent reasons to smile! 🙂

Clay art August 25, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Decor, Holidays, Smiley.
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Clay smiley art, made by Aidan S.

My nephew Aidan made these for me this past summer, and I love the whimsy of them! (If I remember correctly, the blue smiley with its tongue out is a “zombie” smiley.) I’ve been waiting to post them till this week because this week is Aidan’s birthday.

And when Uncle Smiley says “Happy birthday,” I really mean it to be HAPPY!

Happy birthday, Aidan! 🙂

BONUS: Reader-submitted superball August 20, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Reader submission, Smiley, Toys.
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Superball. Photo submitted by Dylan S.

My good friend Dylan (we went to high school together!) sent me this bouncy little happy face in Facebook the other day. “Ha!” he wrote, “Saw it and thought of you Sam.” He found it in a local grocery store in North Texas; it’s a suberball, “with glitter and a flashing light in it. It’s fab-u-lous!!

So are you, Dylan! Thanks for sending this! 🙂

Got a smiley you want to share? Check out the “About the blog” page and send me an email! 🙂

Balloon August 18, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Decor, Holidays, Smiley, Toys.
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On my wife’s birthday, we were driving across town when I noticed a bright yellow balloon skipping down the sidewalk like a runaway puppy. The cars passing on the busy city street buffeted the poor lost balloon, and I saw that soon it would drift into an intersection and perhaps be lost forever. So I whipped the car to the side of the road and ran down the sidewalk to catch the balloon, which jumped into my arms like it had been expecting me. And then I gave the balloon to my wife, because it was her birthday. 🙂

This week is my birthday (and the first anniversary of this blog!), and I, too, have a yellow balloon. But I’m Uncle Smiley, so my yellow balloon has a face.

Balloon. From my personal collection.

BONUS: Best of Smiley Award! August 18, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Awards, Web smileys.
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Good news, happy friends! This afternoon, I received an email from Ken at Smiley Store.com informing me that the website has given this blog their Best of Smiley Award!

Thanks, Smiley Store! I’m honored! 🙂

BONUS: The Daily Show August 16, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Simulacra, Smiley, Video, Web smileys.
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I was watching The Daily Show last night and was delighted to find a reference to a smiley simulacrum!

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James Schmool:  “You see the smile? That’s what you need to do.”

Samantha Bee:  “Did you just look at a scan of your brain and see a smiley face?”

It happens around the 3-minute mark.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Punch balloon August 15, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Smiley, Toys.
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Punch balloon. From my personal collection.

Oh, joy, the fun I used to have with these things! Hours and hours of fun, or therapy, or maybe both. It’s such a simple, idiot game, just banging that thick balloon around, but I always loved feeling that satisfying slap against my knuckles (or, when it flies off course the way its smaller cousin, the paddle ball, often did, the sting against the side of my head), hearing that hollow thwang you only get from these big punch balloons and those soft red kickballs in gym class. And the glee of doing it long enough that my parents started shouting “Will you take that thing outside!”

And it’s a gorgeous day out today. So I think I will. 🙂

Smiley simulacrum: smiley elevator August 11, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Simulacra, Smiley.
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Smiley elevator. Intercom speakers in an elevator. Photo taken in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 2010.

Still in the UAE, this is an elevator on the Dubai campus of Zayed University, in the United Arab Emirates. I was on campus visiting my wife, who normally worked in Abu Dhabi where we lived but this day was attending meetings on our university’s sister campus. This elevator is in the library, so I was already happy when I stepped inside (I love libraries!), but finding this tall face grinning at me was a nice surprise. 🙂

Sale signs (English and Arabic) August 8, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Sale signs, in English and in Arabic, in The One furniture store, Abu Dhabi, February 2011.

When I lived in the United Arab Emirates, one of my favorite coffee shops was the café in The One, a chic furniture store in Abu Dhabi. They have some cool furniture and decor, and their advertising in the café contains all kinds of cool slogans, icons, and signage. But I was especially happy to find this smiley sign advertising a major sale just a couple of months before I moved back to the US.

(Seriously, go check out the website for The One — you might not like all their furniture, but their sense of style on display in their advertising is awesome. The “guru” in the Afro is especially nice!)