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I am a localization manager/translator and intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about languages, cultures, diversity management, body art, dancing, self-empowerment, coaching, effective communication and, last but not least, vegan gluten-free food and good movies.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

"Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?", or the one about 16 (yes, 16!) cool t-shirt slogans that can make people smile or think about life

Most of us like to think that very deep thoughts and life-changing ideas have to be long, complex and difficult to get. Otherwise, everyone would get them, right?

Well, sometimes.
And sometimes, it is really so simple.

A story is the expression of how and why life changes. 
A story begins with balance, then something throws life out of balance, then a story goes on to describe how balance is restored.  
Robert McKee

Sometimes, something tiny can make all the difference: a sentence or a question may be enough for creating a new mental landscape, for showing a new perspective to someone willing to get it and able to see it, for playing with a challenging and yet refreshing suggestion.
In other words, for providing someone with a very valuable piece of information or a moment of pure and precious serendipity.


Oddball brainteasers have been a big hype in the recruiting style of big internet companies for a while, and then they started to fade out. My favorite one?

"Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?"
Whole Foods Market meat cutter job candidate (Lexington-Fayette, KY)

The question sounds crazy, I know. (even more because now you are visualizing 100 duck-sized horses, and if you tell me that you don't, I won't believe you anyway).
And yet, how you will reply and react to it tells a lot about you.

The more, the merrier
Are you a natural problem-solver that is not afraid to deal with a lot of small issues, problems, and bugs at once and can keep their cool while knowing that, after this one problem, they will have to take care of other twenty similar and yet not identical issues, all related to the first one?
When the Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)
Are you the Mr. Wolf that has to deal with the problem, the big issue that is a major blocker and it is huge and takes a lot of time and energy and know-how to be figured out?

[Cool black t-shirt 
that would wow every Pulp Fiction fan,
with three different memes 
from Tarantino's cult movie]

What does matter the most to you?
Deductive or inductive reasoning?
Metonymy or synecdoche?
Holism or synergy?
Going all in, at once, or committing to baby steps, one day at the time?

Probably right now you are thinking something like:
"Wait, is all that related to a question about 100 duck-sized horses that don't even exist?!?
Did you get me with one line that sounds like a paradox and contains so much hidden information in it?!".
Yes, it could be. 

[Rubber Duck is way bigger than a horse-sized duck, but still...
Giant floating sculpture 
by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman,
the surprising art installation that has been 
traveling the world for ten years]

The same happens with t-shirt slogans.
They are like the ultimate insider joke: usually short and sweet, sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, apparently cool in a casual way and yet well-reasoned and, most of the times, able to make you smile and/or think about life, with ten words or less. Take it, Twitter.

Here you have 16 cool t-shirt slogans for brightening up your day:


#01. Bad choices make good memories 
For the resilient ones that like to have special stories to tell and, after a while, are able to laugh and to see the silver linings while remembering how things went just so bad or the s**t hit the fan.
#02. Get rich, sleep till noon, and f**k'em all 
For the drama queens out there that like to be provocative and edgy and to have people asking them about their t-shirts all the time. 
#03. Go hack yourself 
For the geeky ones, the super cool branding motto of Swedish internet security company Detectify.

[Yes, this is my own absolutely cool 
Detectify t-shirt,
received last year 
during a tech Meetup in Berlin
Thanks, Johan! ]

#04. GOOD MOOD - Every day, all day 
For the ones into self-awareness and that are able to do state-management, a cool t-shirt I saw yesterday that immediately sparked a very pleasant conversation about positive mindset, mindfulness and how wearing such a t-shirt can help you change your mood for the best, even when you don't feel like.

[During the mentioned conversation, 
we decided that 
"Good mood, all day every day" sounds better
than "Good mood, every day all day".
What do you think?]

#05. I don't want feelings. I want new clothes 
For the inner fashionista in all of you and for the ones willing to take their own retail therapy habits with some humor.
#06. If it wasn't for booze we'd all be virgins 
For the cheeky ones that are either looking for a great conversation-opener or for a hookup at a bar or that are into sociology, human sciences, and human dynamics.
#07. If not NOW, then WHEN 
For the ones that are struggling with procrastination and for hard-core fans of Peter Weir's Dead Poets Society
#08. In a tornado, even a pig can fly
For the ones that, for whatever reason, lose their hope and need to remember that, somehow, we all get a shot, even if sometimes we don't deserve it. And for the cynics that like to sound down-to-earth and street smart.
#09. Indigo blue is the new black
For the ones able to do stuff their own way and to go beyond mainstream standards and expectations. And, last but not least, for everybody that has a clue about different color nuances and shades, apart from the seven basic rainbow colors.

[If you were wondering...
This is the color called indigo blue]

#10. Irgendwas ist immer 
Since in German it means more or less "There is always something happening/something going on", this one is for all people ready to stop making excuses and start making things happen in their own life and/or career.
#11. Let your dreams fly 
For the ones that know that reality is a matter of perception and are ready to fly and to dream big.
#12. Let's train with the devil 
For the ones that like to walk on the wild side, the adrenaline junkies and, of course, the growing Crossfit community. Have fun, guys!
#13. Talk is cheap 
For the ones that want to put their money where their mouth is and that expect you to do the same. And for the fan of Madonna's Sorry. Or of Henry Rollins.
#14. Too early - Too cold - Too Monday
For all night owls out there, struggling with Monday mornings and considering The Boomtown Rats' I don't like Mondays like their personal anthem. Welcome to the club, ladies and gents.


[Actually saw on a Monday morning 
at my usual U-Bahn station,
while going to the office.
Ok, you got me. It was not morning, 
it was 2 PM already.
It felt like early in the morning... since it was Monday!]

#15. Too hot for heaven, too cool for hell 
For the ones that like to be self-ironic and to show that they are amazing and they know it.
#16. Two things define you: your patience when you don't have anything and your attitude when you have everything
Depending on the sources, this quote is attributed to either Imam Ali or the erotic writer Jason Luke. No idea about who actually said that, but it is a great quote for a badass t-shirt, for all those willing to share insight and food for thoughts with other people that cross their path on the street.

This one is for Niels.
His t-shirt was just so cool that I had to post it, even if I was initially planning to write about only 15 t-shirt slogans. But "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans", right?

Tags: T-shirt slogans, Funny mottos, Oddball brainteasers, Rubber Duck, Quotes


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