6 min read

N.77 / What's your north star?

Contemplating the the narrative around Polaris as our North Star, falling with style and fence jumping.
N.77 / What's your north star?

What the what? If you’re new here — HELLO, I’m Sammy Haywood and you’ve signed up for the Making Hay weekly newsletter at one of my websites, sammyhaywood.com /.email / .work, which has no explicit theme. If you’re just tired, so tired, and the thought of deleting another one of these next week is too much, then there is a one click unsubscribe.

Otherwise, welcome to the ever-growing crew.

Welcome to newsletter N.77,

This week, I was contemplating the the narrative around Polaris as our North Star.

Since, it's not uncommon to hear the phrase “What’s your North Star?” when you come to a crossroad.

Due to it’s underlying search for clarity, it can feel like a dramatic line in a movie.

Perhaps the turning point in our own personal script.

This is often followed by a deep and sometimes eternal pause.

Since, the North Star is the single source of truth — and by having one it allows an orientation or illumination of our activities.

Simply peer up at the sky and follow the North Star.

Yet, Roger von Oech rightly points out in this ancient blog post from 2007 how the North Star isn’t necessarily fixed in space or time.

This is a cool concept because that star up there that might have been guiding our life’s purpose all along, and you think it has been there for eternity.

But it wasn’t always the guide for “true North” — no matter how absolute we would like it to be.

Via NASA, also

At present, the star known as Polaris is the North Star. However, Polaris has not always been the North Star and will not always be the North Star. As the the earth shifts and changes in its relation to the universe, so does the North Star (apparently in 26,000 years it will be updated to a different star).

It’s a nice metaphor for how the changes in oneself can result in reorienting one’s relation to the universe.

You can still have a North Star, but it may end up that it has changed over time — and it may have happened so slowly that you never really noticed it.

Periodically asking for one’s North Star isn’t a bad thing because it doesn’t have to always be the same — so you need to poll what this might be.

Someone whose North Star keeps changing may not be as flaky as you might think — they may just be going through a lot of change.

Whereas someone whose North Star remains always the same could be someone you don’t want to trust all too much – because they are completely static and frozen in the universe.

Their North Star hasn’t changed because they themselves haven’t changed.

Amidst, this ongoing uncertainty that we get to call life, this is a nice little reminder that nothing is as fixed as it appears to be. <3 Sammy


Falling with style

In 2016, Luke Aikins became the first person to intentionally jump and land without the aid of a parachute or wingsuit — check out the video above to see how he does it. At one point, his heart rate is displayed on the screen and I’m certain that mine was in the same ballpark just before he landed. I recommend you also watch a video of the jump narrated by Aikins as he talks through what’s happening before, during, and after the jump.

Office Music

There are so many songs about breakups, and so few about interoffice email, but at this point the latter is as central an aspect of human existence as the former, and we need an art that reflects and celebrates and interrogates and recombines it. However, unlike conventional commercial music created solely to enhance the advertising and marketing content companies use to sell their products, Mobile Steam Unit creates music for the people who make up the company itself - which is a decent theme for your marketing copy.

Anyway, here’s their new single, “Desk Jockey + Steakhouse.” “I’m a desk jockey, an office jock; I like to Gchat and pick stocks,” it goes. And: “I follow timelines, complete sales; I build portfolios, keep up with emails.” And: “I wear a cornflower blue tie.” And: “I’ve got to get out, I’m in the cab to a steakhouse.” I appreciate it.

Natural Light

The setting, the use of space and light, the simple but elegant materiality of this “contemporary country farmhouse” on Tasmania’s Bruny Island is something else.

Coopworth, Tasmania | FMD Architects

Watch type

Good watch typography should be almost unnoticeable as this article posits and it's an area of communication that I hadn’t really considered before, and even if you’re not interested in either of these fields, it’s an interesting, well-written piece.

Blending seamlessly into the rest of the design, it should tell you everything you need to know, without you being aware of it. Despite the many restrictions that are applied to dial layout, the creativity that can be seen in typography across horology is quite staggering. To put it simply, typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible and appealing when displayed. As the dial is the main point of interaction with a watch, it is arguably one of its most important parts, and certainly one that can produce the most emotion. This is why typeface can play such a vital, yet subtle, role in how we experience and feel about a certain piece.
Our Favourite Uses of Typography in Watches
We examine the interesting and creative ways type has been used across the horological world...


About once a year I think about, and eventually take a minute to dig up this video, this 18-second video.

Never gets old.

Stella! Stella! Stella!


I'm finding a great new feature of most technology items. It's called the off button.

Like everybody, I’m posthuman and simultaneously love being connected to all knowledge in the world while also knowing I use my phone way more than is healthy for me or the people around me.  I’m not great at using the off button. But life is always better when I turn my phone / tablet / computer off and tune into life as it happens.



Enjoy the wow that’s happening now.
- Daniel Tiger

I came across the note below on General Office and thought it was quite fitting for what I’m trying to do with Making Hay. I’m unsure of the source but it feels like a good reminder for us all.

Thanks for your time, energy and presence in making it all the way to the bottom.

Spelling mistakes, glaring omissions, furious rants or grudging tips of the hat, I welcome it all.

Upwards, Inwards & Onwards

<3 Sammy
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The office is located in Brunswick West, Melbourne, the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people. I acknowledge that the culture showcased here owes the roots of its theory and practice to traditional and Indigenous knowledges, from all over the world. We all stand on the shoulders of many ancestors – as we learn, and re-learn, these skills and concepts. We pay our deepest respects and give our heartfelt thanks to these knowledge-keepers, both past and present.⁠

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