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The Recommender: Christian Gaffney, Who Can Make You A Mean Mac & Cheese

The three best things Fast Company's designer found on the Internet this week.

Name: Christian Gaffney
Role at Fast Company: Designer. Christian played an integral role in our October design issue, in which we present an oral history of Apple design. Also, if you're interested in the business impact of good design, consider joining us at our upcoming Innovation By Design Conference.
Titillating fact: Christian never learned to cook because his mother threw away the stove. "The gas wasn't ever connected, and we used the oven as a storage space for books," he says. "Realizing it was a waste of space, we threw it out and bought a bookshelf. We ate take-out every night, and to this day I only know how to make eggs and Annie's Mac & Cheese."

Things he's loving:

1. The (vintage) Kid's Guide to the Internet
I got my first computer in 1998 at 8 years old, during a time when dial-up modems and 10,000-hour free AOL CDs were my key to the Worldwide Web. Although this video is painfully cheesy ("Surfing?! That sounds cool already!"), it makes me nostalgic for the days when the Internet was a simpler place and social media had yet to be invented. Plus, it's basically just a 1990's version of the Fast Company Recommender, 15 years ahead of its time.

2. Swissmiss
As a designer, I'm always looking for cool new visual inspiration, and Tina's blog is the best. Design blogs tend to take themselves too seriously, but Swissmiss always manages to be quirky, fun, and light. I also met her once (she swapped desks at Fast Company), and she gave me a free Tattly temporary tattoo, so I basically think she can do no wrong.

3. Reddit TIL
Despite the promise of unlimited knowledge and the free transfer of all information, oftentimes on the Internet I'll find myself looking at mind-numbing BuzzFeed lists. In an attempt to keep learning new things I check out "Today I Learned." There's always crazy new facts to learn (Did you know that two Russian tortoises circled the moon three months before NASA Landed there?!), and it's on the Internet, so you know it's true.

[Image via Flickr user k4dordy]

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  • Zzardvark

    Boy, that mother of yours must be one big shiksa. No Jewish mother would ever throw away a stove.


    Some people think food is love,
    but hugs & kisses require no prep time,
    saute pans or clean up :)
    Guilty as charged,

    ps c'mon over for dinner. 
    i know a place that delivers a mean truffled
    mac n' cheese that'll blow annie's outa the waater.

  • Golf guy

    Christian Gaffney sounds like a really cool guy. I wonder if his grandmother told him to learn how to make at least one dish and this is it. I can give him a recipe for salsa and cranberry meatballs that the whole family can enjoy while on the Internet!