Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The End/Future is Near... let's make a deal

The New Yorker Festival is looking to be the TED Conference of the business world. This year promises to be quite extraordinary. The participant list is quite impressive.



One thing that throws me is the conference's subtitle, 2012 Stories from the near future. You would think that such a literary bunch would know that 2012 in the date for the end of the world on the Mayan calendar.

The beat of the Street

On 23rd street in Manahattan, way over on the west side is a little park with these interesting blue curiuosities.



I've seen smaller versions, they're called butt plugs. I really hope someone got a government grant to create these. Well done.



In other butt plug news: Tom Cruise Sues Disney over Butt Plug Image. What's most interesting is that Holesome Fun Incorporated, makers of the Mission Insertable butt plug, is the world's largest manufacturer of sex toys AND A DISNEY SUBSIDIARY. Where's the goofy dildos and the Minnney Mouse pocket pal?

Monday, February 26, 2007

B'owl



Hilarious. Via AdFreak.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Offline

Went to the SonicVision show at the planetarium and a midnight showing of Reno 911 last night.

Dispite my lack of love for Moby, he did a nice job selecting tracks for this. A plesant surprise for me was the iclusion of Mea Culpa off of the Eno/Byrne collaboration My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Hearing it loud on such a great sound system was amazing. Much more layered and intricate than I realized (and I've listened to that song aleast 200 times).

Here is a video I found for Mea Culpa on YouTube. (Obviously not what is used in theSonicView show)


There is actually a nice review and some pics of the SonicVision show here.

Image from the Mea Culpa section of SonicVision.


Reno 911 was a good. Not Borat funny, but I def got my money's worth in laughter.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Abu Dhabi Arms Fair Markets Death, Destruction

Needs a rocket launcher? Why not head to the Abu Dhabi Arms Fair Abu Dhabi Arms Fair (NPR Story: Abu Dhabi Arms Fair Markets Death, Destruction). This event really makes the Bill Goodman Gun n Knife shows back in Detroit look rather pedestrian.

I hope it comes to the Javits next year.

Twittter

Twitter is yet another deceptively simple Web 2.0 site. Tell the world what you are doing at any given moment.

In one ear...

I haven't been posting as much over the past few weeks, I've been busy on numerous work fronts and have beeen going out and doing junk, in the real world. Including catching some live music.

Made it out to Brooklyn on Saturday to catch the Dirtbombs last 3 numbers. Phenomenal live act, they really know how to rock. I'm gonna get my ass there on time next time they come around. (We were at Sin-E for the Giraffes before headed to Southpaw to see the DBs. Unfortunately, our double hit startegy resulted in us not seeiung much of either. Dope graphics from the Giraffe's site:



Saw Explosion in the Sky last night. Amazing show. Part of the Wordless Music Series. (The kids at Wordless do some really nice silkscreen posters, they need to update the site and get some of them up there.)



Nick Z just tipped me off to this Full Metal mash-up that is apparently the work of Kubrick's daughter.


Monday, February 19, 2007

String Theory in 2 Minutes or Less

Discover magazine is hosting a consumer-generated media contest called: String Theory in 2 Minutes or Less. Contestants are asked to create a video that explains the essence of string theory in 120 seconds or less. Cool idea, but I wish I could see the submissions.

The deadline is March 16.



Saturday, February 17, 2007

News War

Frontline has produced a great four-part documentary called News War on the history, current state and future of politics and news media. The website contains some interview clips and excellent overview material on the series AND you can watch the entire series online. (PBS is to be commended on being savvy enough to release current on-air material online.)



Drawing on more than 80 interviews with key figures in the print, broadcast and electronic media, and with unequaled, behind-the-scenes access to some of today's most important news organizations, FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman examines the challenges facing the mainstream news media, and the media's reaction, in "News War," a special four-part series.

NPR interview with investigative reporter and documentary producer Lowell Bergman. (Top-notch interview and a great overview to many of the issues raised by the doc.)

Do you???

Holmes

I was just catching up with a former colleague, Michael Holmes. He's shot an impressive collection of digital panoramic images over the past 6 years.



Thursday, February 15, 2007

YouPorn

I thought that as we are fresh off the heels of Valentine's Day it was a good time to share with you the existence of this site: YouPorn. It's self explainitory, the YouTube, user-generated content model applied to porn.

Actually, MoBog pioneered the model years ago for stills from mobile phones.

The links are NSFW. Duh.

CDX

The BBC has launched a site that is a multipart adventure game as a companion to the series "Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire". As cool and slick as the Caveman's Crib site was for Geico I felt that it was lacking a bit in interactivity.
CDX takes the flash video site to that next level. Very cool.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's Valentines Day!

Wanna drink Bailey's from a shoe?
Wanna go to a club where people wee on each other?



No matter who you are, old gregg probably loves you.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Who's your daddy?

This theory has been rattling around in m brain like a BB in a boxcar, urging its expression, ever since a little bird dropped it in there. Listen carefully, I'm simply reporting something interesting that I overheard. It's mildly outrageous, but not implausible. So take it for what it is, a interesting, speculative theory.

Anna Nicole Smith's tabloidesque, drama-filled life came to an end last week. The preliminary autopsy did not reveal a cause of death. The death of he son, Daniel was never determined either. Add to this the fact that a DNA test was never performed to determine the father of her child and you have a lots of loose ends without many sufficient answers.

According to the theory I overhead, the father is right there in the pictures below, her son Daniel.



Annna's lawyer was present for the birth of her daughter in an attempt to keep Daniel quiet about being the father of the baby. Somehow, things didn't go according to plan and Daniel ended up dead.

Withh Anna now dead the plot thickens.

Incest? infanticide? suspicious deaths.... you decide.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ironic Skullduggery

Skulls. Once the domain of metalheads and nihilists can now be spotted on the knit jackets for dogs. Is there no end to the maddness and ironic turns.



See Also: The Frankenstein Aesthetic: Cut n' Paste

Contextual Archeology

I've been thinking about something that I have come to call "Contextual Archeology", shifts in the meaning of forms that happen through the result of changes in use and recontextualization over time. For example, in New York city many buildings that were originally designed to house financial institutions are no longer homes to banks. (Bank's now borrow the form language of retail stores in an attempt at being more accessible and consumer friendly. High end retailers have taken over these spaces as a way to harness prestige and create a feeling of exclusivity.) Here's an example. This regal looking building is now home to Balduccci's, a gourmet food store.



These shifts in use and context sometimes destabilize the meaning of the original forms in such a way that the end result is incongruency. In the case of Balducci's, refitting itself within a shell that communicates "moneyed prestige" works out rather nicely for them.

Another classic New York example is the former church that later housed the Limelight nightclub for many years. An ironic statement or a more honest positioning of the place that sex, drugs and rock 'n roll occupy in manhattan?



Looking for love?

Check out the: Hot Prison Pals web site.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Antony and the Johnsons

Antony is one of those rare talents whose "voice" is so unique that the music can't really be categorized. I had the chance to see him at Carnegie Hall in 05. He justed poped up on iTunes as I was working, thought I would share.



Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cajun Boy

I had a chance to catch up with my friend Brett yesterday on all the things transpiring in our lives. Brett is a gregarious, hilarious, nefarious and alarmingly amusing motherfucker. I spent some time yesterday catching up on his blog Cajun Boy in the City. He discharges prose like a Bruce Lee 1 inch punch.

I highly recommmend the following posts:
A very happy ending and the much anticipated "if i had to do a guy" list.
Brett Michael, Master Cleanser.

A big shout out to Brett's dear friend and rising star Laura Bell Bundy, she's getting rave reviews for her performance in Legally Blonde. I met her at Corner Bistro last year, she's as personable and delightful as she is beautiful. Congrats girl.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Killing the goose...

That lays the eggs.

Sexy Carwash



Adverjacking

Via BlotTo



"Advertisements for the newly released Microsoft Vista operating system crept into Finch subway station, and then someone (presumably a computer nerd with a blade) strategically defaced the ad by cutting out letters.
That's one bold (not to mention criminal and risky) way to display loyalty to open source and the relatively nerdy Linux operating system!"

Get the cash you need AND a "Dutch Oven" from the GE Genie



Done down under by Grey.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mind Control

Washinton Post Article: Mind Games
New on the Internet: a community of people who believe the government is beaming voices into their minds. They may be crazy, but the Pentagon has pursued a weapon that can do just that.


See the Wikipedia entry on Tinfoil Hats

Black History

It's Black History month and I would like everyone to reflect on this: If it wasn't for African Americans, America would be about as cool as Canada. The Debt owed is incalculable.



10 Things I Hate About Commandments



Slow My Bitch Up

The audio mix could be better but it's still fun.



Women Behaving Badly

Wallmart pitch kerfuffle called "Snakes in the Garden". I love the photo they used of Julie Roehm, she looks like a magnificent sparkling tart. Howard Draft is the only people that comes out not smelling like m'poo poo.





AN American astronaut drove 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) wearing a diaper to confront a woman she believed was her rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot.

Astronaut -- armed, disguised and diaper-clad -- charged with attempted murder
NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak is being charged with attempted murder today, hours after a judge set bail that would have let her leave jail on assault and kidnapping charges.
Nowak is accused of attacking and trying to kidnap a Patrick Air Force Base captain in a dark parking lot at Orlando International Airport early Monday morning. Nowak told police she wanted to talk to the woman about their involvement with the same male astronaut.


Great piece in New York magazine about the

Jaws looks quaint by comparison



From: National Geographic

Flaring the gills that give the species its name, a frilled shark swims at Japan's Awashima Marine Park on Sunday, January 21, 2007. Sightings of living frilled sharks are rare, because the fish generally remain thousands of feet beneath the water's surface.

Spotted by a fisher on January 21, this 5.3-foot (160-centimeter) shark was transferred to the marine park, where it was placed in a seawater pool.

"We think it may have come to the surface because it was sick, or else it was weakened because it was in shallow waters," a park official told the Reuters news service. But the truth may never be known, since the "living fossil" died hours after it was caught.

Democracy in action...

or a country of whining, complaining pussies?

GM Robot Spot Draws Ire
BOSTON The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has called on General Motors to pull a TV spot in its "Obsessed with quality" campaign that depicts a GM factory robot that dreams it gets laid off and eventually kills itself.


Snickers Site Closes After Complaints

K-Fed as fry cook is insulting to fry cooks.

Prince's halftime imagery questioned.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Brief Safe

Brief Safe

The “Brief Safe” is an innovative diversion safe that can secure your cash, documents, and other small valuables from inquisitive eyes and thieving hands, both at home and when you’re traveling. Items can be hidden right under their noses with these specially-designed briefs which contain a fly-accessed 4″ x 10″ secret compartment with Velcro® closure and “special markings” on the lower rear portion.

Leave the “Brief Safe” in plain view in your laundry basket or washing machine at home, or in your suitcase in a hotel room — even the most hardened burglar or most curious snoop will “skid” to a screeching halt as soon as they see them — wouldn’t you? Made in USA. One size. Color: White (and Brown).

VIA
PFD



Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Is that a Snickers bar?

Or did some ad agency shit in the punch bowl?

From AdWeek: Snickers Site Closes After Complaint.

NEW YORK Masterfoods has shuttered a microsite featuring its 30-second "Mechanics" spot from Sunday's Super Bowl, in response to complaints from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign, among others.

The spot, from Omnicom Group's TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, depicts two mechanics eating opposite ends of a Snickers bar until their lips meet and they break apart. Sheepishly, one mechanic then says he thinks they just kissed. To erase the thought, they decide to "do something manly" and each pulls a clump of hair from his chest.



(A special tip 'o the cranium to Friend of the Fundation... well, it's best he remain nameless (you know who you are) for the punch bowl line)

VAST

I really dig Jon Crosby (VAST). His first 2 albums didn't get nearly the attention that they deserved.





While I'm in the mood to celebrate my teen angst, here's the video for Prodigy's Spitfire. (The last album was a bit of a letdown after such a long wait, but this rocks)


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SuperDeluxe

SuperDelux is an ad-supported online entertainment network (Turner Broadcasting is behind this one. It features work developed by established and up-and-coming comedians as well as episodic features.

Additionally, there is a user-generated component that allows for the uploading of videos.



The FarkTV videos are good. Checkout FredEx

From the shorts on the site I recommend: The Time Machine and
Bible History #1

NGTV: No Good Television

No Good TV is another online entertainment network. This one boasts Gene Simmons participation and an irreverant uncensored attitude. The teaser video is very cool but there seems to be delays in the actual launch of content. One to keep an eye on.



Monday, February 05, 2007

Bud TV

Yesterday Anheuser-Busch (makers of Budweiser) launched the incredibly ambitious Bud.tv.

I've been collecting links on various online entertainment network sites and news articles for the past month while keeping an eye on their growing online presence. Bud.tv joins the ranks and enters into the branded content fray with guns blazing.



The dollars (somwhere between 30 and 40 million) and the talent behind this are no joke. The shows include:

• “Finish Our Film,” a mash-up of reality show and making-of-a-film documentary that will be produced by LivePlanet, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s production company. They will be providing the beginning and end of the film winers of the contest will fill in the middle.

• "Replaced by a Chimp", exactly what it sounds like, self-explanatory.

• "Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show", a comedy tour show.

• "What Girls What", a make-over show.

• "afterworld" a very cool looking animated series, the least expected of the offerings.

There is a good piece from the NY Times called BrewTube, definitely worth a read.

But Bud.TV is striving to be more than a repository for Budweiser ads and lighthearted, slightly mocking beer-commercial humor; Schumacker and his team are aiming to redefine what an online entertainment network and marketer-created content can mean in a short-attention-span world.

Anheuser-Busch has budgeted more than $30 million for the start-up costs and the first year of operations of the site, but Ponturo told me that figure is likely to pass $40 million by the time 2007 comes to a close.

The Web site’s technological demands have proved costlier than planned, and Bud.TV’s voracious appetite for new content — at least 15 new segments will be posted each week — has eaten through expectations and forced Schumacker and his team to decide as they go just how much they are willing to spend on programming. The development and production tally for the first three shows Bud.TV commissioned (“Truly Famous,” “Replaced by a Chimp” and a makeover show for clueless Casanovas called “What Girls Want”) came in around $2 million, averaging between $20,000 and $25,000 a minute. At that rate, Ponturo told me, the annual budget would be sapped in a matter of months. “You can let the ball of yarn get away from you very fast,” Ponturo said. The later shows, he added, are costing a more affordable $6,000 a minute.

Beyond keeping a lid on programming costs, Bud.TV executives will also deal with some of the pit-of-the-stomach dread that comes with the job description of any network executive: the tyranny of ratings. If after a year, between two million and three million people between the ages of 21 and 34 are visiting each month, “It would put us in high cotton,” Ponturo said. (An audience of that size would tower over what sites like Heavy.com and Break.com see.) But if that traffic figure is stalled in the mid-six-figures, “then I would think that we’ve missed the mark,” he said.

In this topsy-turvy world of media and entertainment, where marketers play programmer, studios play ad agency and viewers play possum when traditional ads come on television, one other twist is in the offing. If Bud.TV becomes a virtual hangout for young men, Anheuser-Busch may well start selling advertising to other companies who crave pushing their marketing messages in front of this fickle audience. That debate is already taking place within Anheuser-Busch. At first, Schumacker itched to market Bud.TV. But on further reflection, he realized that that would negate the streamlined, almost minimalist design of the site. After all, Schumacker told me, he didn’t want Bud.TV to look like it was selling out.


This has got to be giving network television executives some sleepless nights.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Information Design: Toll of War

Toll of War, an interactive piece on fatalities in the Iraq war since March of 2003.



A couple things of interest here. First, the second tab on the upper-right gives civilian and Iraqi force's fatalities from 4 sources. The spead from those sources is astonishing. The Bush Administration comes in at 30,000 the John Hopkins School of Public Health at 650,000. Click on the blue bars in the graph and you get a pop-up with information on method of counting and links to the sources.



The second thing that strikes me about this piece is that it is a smart repurposing and recontextualization of older NPR stories. On the initial "US Troop Fatalities" when you click on the blue bars in the graph you get pop-ups with stories on events from that time period.



Valentines Day Gift Idea: Your DNA

Need a Valentine's Day gift idea? Why not give her some of your DNA. Anyone can leave it on furniture, cloths or in her hair, why not take an extra step to show you really care by having a framed visualization of your genetic code created by
DNA11?



I would do it, but I'm not convinced that it isn't part of the
FBI's National Indexing Program.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Beat on the Street



Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Sherman Foundations Salutes: Tim Brady

Tim Brady borrowed a Porsche 911 from work, without the permission, and was clocked by police doing an awesome 172 MPH. Kudos to Tim for quitting his job before they could can him.

If convicted he will have the title of Britain's fastest speeder, the current record is 155.

Ironic Sexism

Ironic (sometimes called Retro) Sexism continues to be a strong character voice in popular culture. The lastest example are neon signs at the Diesel store with such tied old sayings as "No Problem I'd do you too" and "I would look good on you". Ho-hum. Nobody does this as well as Axe Deoderant. (See examples under the label retro-sexism on the foundation.)



The Unseen Video

I stumbled upon The Unseen Video site this evening. It is a weather controlled, dynamic music video for Mike Milosh's - You Make Me Feel.

It's nice to see more and more people doing generative or system based approaches like this.

Here are a few screen grabs from my viewing.