Thursday, September 27, 2007

Designer Slash Model

Mildly ammusing promotional video that pokes fun at the pretentiousness of the design world.

This kid rocks

Dragon Tank Truck

Not since George Barris (see TSF post on him), creator of the Batmobile and just about every other concept car for TV and Hollywood have I seen such a tricked out vehicle.

The Dragon Tank Truck hails from somewhere in Russia

Kiss of Death

VIA REUTERS: Lover to die for kiss-and-kill pill

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A Chinese woman who killed her lover with a rat poison-laced kiss when she suspected him of being unfaithful has been sentenced to death, a newspaper said Thursday.

Xia Xinfeng, from Maolou in the central province of Henan, passed a capsule with rat poison from her mouth to her long-time lover, Mao Ansheng, during a kiss, the Shanghai Daily said.

Mao swallowed the capsule and died soon afterwards.

"The couple had said that if either one of them cheated on the other, he or she would have to die," the paper said in explaining the mouth-to-mouth assault.

Xia found Mao had been "talking" with another woman and deemed that he had broken their promise.

Handmade Music

Handmade Music Night is going down this evening in Brooklyn at EtsyLabs. If I wasn't double booked for a launch party for a project my agency just finished and a charity event for New York Cares I'd be al over this.

Handmade Music is an evening of original creations for music making, open to the creative minds of the New York area. It's equal parts party, show-and-tell, performance, and science fair, open to whatever oddball software and hardware people want to bring, complete or not. Some come with projects, others just to hear and see unusual new instruments, from software to game systems to homemade electronic instruments. Each installment brings plenty of surprises, but appearances confirmed for this one include:

* A featured performance by Richard Lainhart, a renowned electronic improviser and innovator.

* Seven-foot tall "Suburbanite" aka "60 Switches of Fury", a music controller by Eric Johnson.

* The Monome, a minimalist open-source hardware controller with grids of buttons.

* A fluid musical instrument controller entirely by webcam, by Peter Kirn.

* Lots of other things that may just appear.

Handmade Music Night is a convergence of the music community/blog, the kings and queens of all things DIY at Make Magazine and the Etsy Labs.

Visual MSG

Visual MSG is the term I use to describe elements added to films to give them enhanced texture, resonanance or mood. MSG, or monosodium glutamate is the food additive often described as a "flavor enhancer". Essentially it is used to activate taste receptors that trigger "savory" sensations. Commonly used by chinese restaurants.

Watching Sin City, it occured to me that the use of rain and snow was the visual equivalent of MSG. It makes the picture on the screen more alive and visually fuller just by giving the eye a layer of added visual activity to process. The stark, graphic black and white look is cool but may have been flat and monotonous without the rain and snow.

The other film that used a lot of visual MSG was Gladiator. Next time you watch it look at the use of fog, smoke, dust and most of all the use of flying dirt and debris in the fight scenes. A heavy handed use of "visual enhancers" that in the end works very well.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Swastikas, Swastikas everywhere

This time cleverly disguised as a Navy barracks building in California. VIA CNN

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Black White + Gray

2 weeks Monday, I show up at the Agency where I work and the freelance art director we brought in to work on some projects says "I know you". It turns out to be a guy I went to the Center for Creative Studies with in Detroit. We probably havent sen each other in 16 years. Other than having someone who knows what they're doing helping us out, I had a chance to play "memory lane" and "who's where".

Aside from playing advertising art director, Dave (Giles) has worked on a couple of films. One of them (his credit: Editor) "
Black White + Gray is making the fesitval rounds now. Click here for the trailer.

The Sherman Foundation Salutes: Judge Floro and his Elves

I'm going to cut and paste the contents of the entire article since its so short. Good stuff!

Fired Judge Blames Elf for Court Mishaps
The Philippines Supreme Court has asked a fired judge who claims he is assisted by three elves to stop making threats of “ungodly reprisal.”

The court kicked Florentino Floro Jr. off the bench largely because of his belief in the supernatural, the Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.). A medical clinic determined that the judge was suffering from psychosis.

Since then Floro has battled to get his job back, appearing on TV and winning converts who seek his healing powers. At the same time, a series of unfortunate incidents have befallen the supreme court justices or their families, including serious illnesses and car accidents.

Floro says the person to blame for the mishaps is one of the elves, "Luis," a "king of kings" who is an avenger. He told the newspaper that the elves help him predict the future, but he has never consulted them when issuing judicial decisions.

The Supreme Court has not reversed any of Floro’s decisions since firing him.

Not nearly as silly as the Judicial nonsense that goes on here in the states. See my post:
Crisis of Credibility: Judges behaving badly

Waiting Room Ponderances

I had to get blood drawn this moring for some medical tests. The waiting room provides an excellent excuse/oportunity to puruse trash magazines. Here are a few things that caught my eye in Entertainment Weekly magazine:

An ad for Diet Coke Plus.
It's starting to border on an exercize in styling. How many variations on a riff can you squeeze out of carbonated cola beverages. It was funny when there were all the sugar free/caffeine free combinations, nows it's a numbing confusion. It seems odd given the fact that fewer and fewer people are drinking soda. The number of non-soda drink options is staggering and continues to multiply. Does it really make sense to pour money into developing niche line extensions for soda brands?

I have a conceptual framework that I developed for thinkng about the difference between profit realization and value creation, but I'm not goijg to get into that now.

• • •

Author Madeleine L'engle (A Wrinkle in Time) passed away on September 6. Author Lemony Snicket (a.k.a. Daniel Handler) said that she had "an unerring sense of how the ordinary and the fantastic could collide at any moment". That's a thought worth pondering a while, how our day to day lives at any moment can take dramatic turns. Don't I know it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Brite ideas

The jpgs below are the rules and suggestions printed in the cocktail menu of Brite on manhattan's west side. "Bump and Dump"... very amusing.

Yahoo's editorial strategy

It could be described as schizophrenic titillation, a cubist splicing and patwork of distracting shards. There's always a needle like "Number of gay characters falls on network TV, rises on cable" burried amongst the stories about cancer, suicide bombers and international conflict. Is there any way to model the effects on human consciousness of this sort of semantic irradiation?

Oh, yea, here's the link to the gay character story if you were interested: Gay characters decline on network TV

Friday, September 21, 2007

If comment threads were real life situations.

pwnd... lol

Nazi Merchandise

It seems that a few times a year stories pop up about merchandise with swastikas on it and the ensuing controversy that arises. The latest transgression comes in the form of handbags from Zara.

Zara withdraws swastika handbags

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Logic flowchart for a dog

Designer Khoi Vinh created the diagram below to map out his dog's (Mr Presient) logic flow. Very amusing.

Weirdness on this Wednesday

Today is International talk like a pirate day.

A man was caught in Germany trying to hide dildos in sausage for transport back to Dubai.

Peruvians who live near the site of a meteorite crash are getting sick.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Helvetica (the film)

Last Saturday I had a chance to catch the documentary film Helvetica at the IFC theater downtown (NYC). 2007 marks the 50th anniversary of the design of the typeface. Nothing embodies the spirit and ideals of the modernist design aesthetic as fully as Helvetica does and few things are as polarizing. The interviews with designers and typographers in this film captures exactly that, a broad spectrum of opinons and perspectives on modern design.

The film, for those with a design background is really quite entertaining. Erik Spiekermann was wildly amusing, when asked why Helvetica is so popular spouts back "why is bad taste ubiquitous?".

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dirt Interface Design


The Hulk Television Program

I always suspected that the Hulk television show (starring Bill Bixby) was a metaphor for homosexuality. A man with a secret and a secret identity goes from town to town and always seems to get caught up in some trouble and beated up by other men who perceive him to be a strange or problematic "outsider". Close on his heels is a reporter who is trying to "out" him.

This clip is a gem.


The trailer for the coming Ironman movie is out. Mixed feelings. I had high hopes for this, Ironman was my favorite comic superhero.


Wow. A very simple but surprising dope animation for Issey Miyake.

Original Design Gangsta

Too f'in silly.

Shermanism: Vender Bender

When suppliers take you out to booze you up in apreciation for their business.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Curating the City: Wilshire Blvd

Curating the City: Wilshire Blvd is a very cool, very well done interactive piece that explores the this remarkable street in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Que Hora Es

The Spanish soap opera for people that have only had 3 weeks of Spanish (in the fourth grade).


Is kinda bad. Everyone's been pumping it but.... I don't know. Saw it with the guys last night and found myself getting bored at points.

Lemme save you some time and money. Here's one of the funniest bits.

Is Castro Dead?

From the Economist, rumors yet again the Fidel Castro may be dead.

But for those of you that didn't already know it Fidel has been dead sincde 1981 and was relaced by a CIA double.


Speaking of Joy Division, Control, Anton Corbijn's film about Joy Division and the tragic life and death of singer Ian Curtis hits theaters on October 10th. Check out the traler on the film's site, it looks magnificent.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Love Will Tear Us Apart Again Poster

I just came across this poster design that visualizes the cover versions of Joy Divisions "Love wll tear us apart". Very cool. Amazing how many times the song has been covered by other artisits.

Using information design principles and graphical techniques, the 85+ recorded covers of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is mapped in relation to the original recordings by the band. Although available information was limited, the graph is data rich in representing time since original recording, recording artist, release name/date and label. Various graphical techniques employed (eg. radiating dots) allowed for data to be accessed (number of recordings per year) while also creating an interesting aesthetic presentation.


Musicovery and interesting combination of internet radio and music recomendation engine.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Witch Burning

Looks like some Africans are keeping the tradition alive. BBC News Story: SA pupils burn 'witches' to death

I wonder if it went off anything like this scene from Holy Grail.

Never look for logic in the chambers of the human heart.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Victoria's Secret and Rodin's Iris

I was walking by a Victoria's Secret this weekend and the seated mannequins caught my eye. They're leaning and resting they're weight on they're left arms. The right leg is crossed over the left turning the hips and exposing the ass and genital area. In the animal kingdom this is called "presenting". I was reminded of Rodin's Iris. Looking at it now I see how much more explicit the Rodin is.

Live From Congress: The Skull F****** Bill

Contains adult language

This is actually from the Onion, spent some time looking at their video podcasts this morning, surprisingly high production values.