Tonight I was unloading the dishwasher before class and realized just how many mugs I have. I mean it's kind of an absurd amount when I think about it. Of course since I am all over social media I decided to post a picture of my mugs (to the right) and bunch of friends comment on it but one stood out. My friend Kara from high school brought up: "I am also a firm believer in mugs telling a lot about a person. It's a form of expression!"
After thinking about it I realized how right she was. Then I started looking through my mugs and you can tell what kind of person I am. Most of my mugs have earthy tones which goes to show my ties to the earth. I have a couple of mugs from old companies I've been a part of at which shows what disciplines I have worked in, a mug that is the Norwegian flag symbolizing my heritage, a Ron Swanson mug that shows my love for Parks and Rec, and an "I'm crabby until I get my morning coffee" mug with a crab on it that shows both my obsession with coffee and that I'm a Marylander. These are all things that are very much a part of me and can simply be seen by my choice of mugs.
This got me thinking about a study that was done in 1973 by anthropologist Dr. William Rathje known as the Tuscon Garbage Project. Dr. Rathje, who sometimes is referred to as "Captain Planet", and his students studied the trash of Tucson residents so they could learn more about them and their patterns of consumption. The data was compared with information known about the owners of the trash.
For example, alcohol consumption was proven to be
significantly higher in reality than in the information provided by
the people studied. Such findings have highlighted the difference
between what people said they did versus what the actually did.
Now this may seem random but my point was a lot could be shown about the residents by what they were consuming. Well I've been inspired to do something similar with mugs. I want to document people's mugs and see how much it says about them against their personalities. I have an edge though to Dr. Rathje; I have the internet. I still want to go to people, talk to them, and then capture a photo of some of their mugs (with their permission of course). With the added help of the internet though I can turn this into a much larger scale.
So I'm starting The Mug Project but I need your help my faithful followers. If you could, I'd love to see pictures of your mugs! There are a couple of ways we can do this: you can post to your Facebook, twitter, or blog about your mugs and then send me the link. An alternative would be to send me an email with the pictures (email is curtincall89 [at] gmail [dot] com). Either way you do it I want to know about it! Then I will do some analysis on the different mugs that you guys show me and will write a follow-up blog post on the subject. If all works out well I would love to use the results in my Capstone Project for Grad School. So let The Mug Project begin!