DESIGN, ART, GADGETS, FASHION, AND SAFEWAY

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why Danish People Are So Happy

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Supposedly, this is a legitimate depiction of how Denmark police treat bicyclists without helmets. Free helmets and a free hug? What the hell is this, a utopian society? Ah, but it does explain the perfected social design, the lowest number of riots in any country, and lowest homicide ratio...

Bianchi Pista, Yeah - I'm Lookin' Atchu!

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Baby, you're so sexy I could just eat you up with my eyes closed. If only fixies weren't so absurdly impractical and completely useless in a city environment. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Makin' Spaghetti With Spam

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Digital spam, that is. And uh, wallpaper spaghetti, not the delicious Italian kind either. Nonetheless, it's a clever little organic piece that fits in perfectly into the any digital decor, complementing itself with its elaborate intertwined pieces of illegal money scams and viagra offers. More info here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Kicks To You, KIKSTYO

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Nothing like simplistic awesome and a bare minimums approach to design, bringing this shirt to the forefront of spectacularness. Love, love KIKSTYO!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Don't Like Whiskey, But I Do Like Your Face

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Haven't heard much about Lowry, but apparently they pulled off this music video for a mere $99. Who said awesomeness had to come at a price? Come to think of it, I'll be directing my newest music video pretty soon. Who's interested?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Casino Royale Review

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A bit of an oldie, but a worthwhile mention anyway. James gets really emo in this one. Emo enough to uh... not know how to end a movie. Still, it's James so you still get that enjoyable, thrilling, and frighteningly polished experience coming your way. I just kinda wish there wasn't choppy editing in such a high production film - is that too much to ask for? 8.1/10.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This Be the Cypress Wallet, Mon

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Screw metal clips - they no last very long and so smelly, ya? Instead, go for the Braithwaite Cypress Wallet; this different animal fuses a half-bifold design that keeps your cash securely folded inside, along with three cards, thanks to a secure magnetic closure. The terrific wood grain-like Woodstock leather detail tops of this awesome little design.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ya'll Got Me Greedy, Wantin' More

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Hot damn these kicks look might fresh. Maybe even fresh enough to match the power of my new Macbook unibody. Yeah, you like my pompous ass now, don't ya?!

More Illtastic Framing Techniques

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This one comes courtesy of Jess Chamberlain. Me thinks the secret is to use similar colored themes and frames.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In Defense of Eye Candy

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Regarding "pretty design" and all things similar; To affect, which is inexplicably linked to attitudes, expectations and motivations, plays a significant role in the cognition of product interaction…the perception that affect and cognition are independent, separate information processing systems is downright flawed. In fact, how we perceive comes together in a single, overlayed entity. Kinda like Nutella with banana and bread. A list apart.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Headphone Bikini of Choice: The AKG K271 MKII

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The AKG K271 MKII, from personal recommendations and unanimous reviews, happens to be one of the most comfortable, besting sounding, isolated headphones available on the market right now. While they're probably not the best looking (I still find the Grado GS1000's drop-dead gorgeous), it's enough for me to put some more mula into the ever deepening hole that is my "tech fund."

Tiffany's Germany Studio Loft

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Sizzle. Love those desk legs. Gotta find me some. Oh, and backpacks as display pieces? You go girl.

Windows As Far As I Can See

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If there are three things I could wish for in a future dream home, it's a ridiculously ample amount of windows for natural light. After working in offices and x-ray rooms for so many years in darkness, it's time to let this vampire roam free! Wait, did I say vamp? Hmm...

It's Officially Bloody Frickin' Hot

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Just thought I'd Tweet about it. Wait a second... Gah, I hate it when I do this.

Milk Review

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One of the echoing words of Harvey Milk are, "I am not a candidate, I am part of a movement. The movement is the candidate." And there's a lot to it in just those couple of words. In "Milk," we explore his character, finding the person behind all of that rare charismatic energy and passion that drove him to do what he did - uniting an entire generation of gay synergy and driving San Francisco to be one of the most important places for the gay movement today. However, what's more important is that the film isn't more about an issue, but an essence of a man that was fighting for the lives of others. What comes out the other end is a slightly melancholic piece that outlines how masked shortsightedness can bleed into universal acceptance of something wrong and unjust. It's what keeps us stagnant, and we should continue to do all we can to change that. 8.7/10.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Those Dogs At MSI Are Unbelievably Reasonable

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Like how certain people enjoy getting a good deal by buying designer rip-offs when it comes to expensive furniture, MSI seems to firmly believe they can cater to that crowd in the technological mobility sector and get away with it.

And somehow, through all of the hula hoops and miraculous miracles that tend to circumvent reason today, they've somehow succeeded in blatantly stealing the Macbook Air's design, repackage it as their own and make off with profits by selling it without the OSX OS or the ridiculous Apple price tag.

First off, fuck MSI. I hate that company with a passion. They've declined rebates for my graphic cards twice now, putting me back a good $180 that I should've gotten if I had known about Better Business Bureau (or where their headquarters were located so I could stand there until they gave me the rebate). Still, as much as I hate them, I can't help but to completely agree with their approach and pricing.

Though to be quite honest, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out their business model or formula of thinking. Step 1) Read all the comments from Engadget upon the announcement of the Macbook Air. Step 2) Copy the design, tweak it by a few micrometers, and then call it the, "Wind." Step 3) Sell it for $500 more than what it cost to make, instead of $1000 more like Apple did. The result? A high quality, Chinese import-lookin' excuse for a decent computer.

Fact is, people are willing to pay for this sorta cheap knockoff as long as it makes sense. And in a recession, this makes a whole lot of sense. As unfortunate as it is to see a sleazeball company make off with a design like this, you can't help but think about how unreasonably priced (and painfully under-specced) the current Macbook Air is. Gotta hand it to them for that, I guess.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Playing On My Casiotone When I'm Painfully Alone

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The first time I heard this song, I envisioned a melancholy student film about a boy who lived 1000 miles from his lover. Day in and day out, he would walk the streets, live his life, feeling a little empty inside as he sent letters to her mailbox every Wednesday morning. When the letters would reach the intended address, the camera pans horizontally across the screen. First, focusing on the mailman's hand, then moving across until you see the letter dropped on the pile of letters on the floor. The camera would then slowly zoom out from the abandoned New York apartment. The final scene ends with the boy committing suicide by rooftop. Of course, all of this is shot with intention. No blood and guts there. There's no glory in this crash.

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Northfield, MN (MP3)

Duplicity Review

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Didn't think I'd be sitting in on this one, but I did and my, what a surprise. Though from looking at the reviews and trailer alone probably doesn't give enough credit to such an eccentric, fun, and witty piece of work. Owen and Roberts give an amazing performance throughout and the stylized story-telling method is actually kind of effective given how simple of a formula it is. The plot, while complicated, is fairly easy to follow, and the settings are terrific (Rome, London, New York). On the other hand, this equates to the weakest part of the movie - the guessing game driven direction. All in all, it was far better than expected, and worth a watch if you're looking for a virtuous story of spies, romance, and gunless drama for yo mama. 7.3/10.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Case In Point, Supremely Bored Edition

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Ah, I really need to get off the Internet now. Otherwise I'm going to keep creating random useless crap. Ugh.

I Can't Get A Life When I'm This "Supreme"

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"Dude, where'd you get those LV Supreme stickers? Did you pay $30 for them?" Three words for ya buddy. Future LT Bold Oblique. Wait. Four words.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire Review

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Given that Crash somehow pulled off an Oscar win in 2004, the fact that Slumdog won didn't really surprise me. It's a mainstream hit, infused with love and a new flavor of multiculturalism that isn't normally seen in American cinema. More importantly, it's the direction of Danny Boyle that gets the huge kudos here. As soon as the movie starts, the audience is instantly sucked into Danny's world, taking in all the romantic, violent, and fantastic exerpts of life the film has to show. What does slow it down are some of the inappropriate comedic elements littered here and there, but it's negligible given the overall appeal; Slumdog Millionaire is an extraordinary adventure that doesn't stop to ask for directions - it's a film about India, a friendship that transcends time and doubt, and hanging on a glimmer of hope during the worst of times. 8.6/10.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Putting An End To This Mac Vs. PC Bidness

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PC or Mac? Coming from a field that's been so heavily focused on both interfaces, it's hard to choose favorites based on operating system alone. Additionally, the push for cloud computing has made it even more difficult to hand over the kudos to Apple's slightly more innovative Macbook line. Basically, if everything is possible over the internet, it doesn't really matter if you're on a Mac or PC. What does matters is a reasonably sized keyboard, a decent screen, a strong WiFi card, and lightweight body for portability.

Fortunately, both of the Macbook and HP Mini series are capable machines that sport all of the above requirements for an above-average notebook. The only difference being the price. With a good company or educational discount deal, you can have the new unibody Macbook 13" for about $1100. The HP Mini 2140 can be had for about less than half of that - $500. There are reasons for it being this cheap, outside of it being "PC" instead of a "Mac." Quotations are present for obvious reasons.

One of the big differences is resolution. While the Macbook allows for the standard 1280x800 resolution (good for 720p films and such), the HP only supports 1024x576. If you're looking to browse the web for extended periods of time, squinting at the text rendered on the HP Mini just isn't really a good idea. The Macbook's larger digital workspace lets you comfortably browse without added eyestrain, while maintaining the body weight down at a reasonable 4.5lbs (vs. HP's 2.5lbs).

Secondly, the specs are worth a quick mention. The HP uses a 1.6Ghz Atom processor while the Macbook comes in flavors of 2.0GHz or 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo. There's no doubt the Macbook is a superior machine in terms of performance, but where it strives in power, it loses in battery life. In real world tests, you can squeeze about 3 hours out of the Macbook on a single charge; you can get about twice as much using a six-cell battery on the HP Mini. There is no expansion for the Macbook due it its unibody design.

Aesthetics and ergonomics come into play, but are absolutely subjective depending on the individual. Personally, I find the Macbook's design many levels above the HP Mini, though this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Thoughtful design has always been one of Apple's strongest selling points and continues to be up until now. The HP Mini, on the other hand, isn't a pushover either. The simple, lightweight design pushes the boundary on what a cheap "netbook" could and should be. Its spacious keyboard truly allows for comfortable computing without making you feel like you're on a child's toy.

Finally, the last thing we should glisten on is longetivity. In IT, we use the term "destructive technology" a great deal when dealing with hardware refreshes. Simply put, a new piece of tech is deemed destructive when it completely annihilates another industry. For instance, the MP3 destroyed CDs. DVDs to VHS tapes. Facebook to Myspace. The list goes on. This does not happen much with the field of personal computers, but it does happen, just on a smaller scale.

While the Macbook may continue to be more than usable for 3-4 years after the intial purchase, "netbooks" have had a natural tendency to become outdated fairly quickly (just by looking at the rate of new netbook releases every 3 months) and feels like they've become more of a "phenomenon" than a true market niche that's destined to stay. Some may argue otherwise, especially when you consider the upward trend of netbook sales, but one must truly consider value in every conceivable definition before making a final decision on something you'll be using on a daily basis. Hell, most people take up more time picking out a bed than laptops these days anyway.

In the end, technology is technology and every budget is as different. If you're doing most of your daily work via an online interface anyway, the Mac vs. PC argument can end right there. Because even though gestures are a noteworthy plus, there needs to be much more than that to justify $400-$500 above a similarly speced PC.

So it really comes down to is how much you're willing to throw down. Those extra bells and whistles matter to you? (It's quite okay, if they do, really) For me, they're enough to greatly effect my purchasing decision. While I'll never let go of my pimped out desktop PC, but for portability, I'll stick with my Macbook. I'll tout it around like an asshole, but for me, it just makes sense. Gesture control is perfect for my blogging habits, the ability to dual boot into Windows will allow me to switch on over whenever OSX pisses me off, and the design is on par to a BMW I can't afford as of the moment, so why not settle on a little machine that'll bring a smile to your face the next day? Ah, yes. I said it. A piece of aluminum can really bring a smile to one's face. Strange world we live in, no?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Yummy Loft Life

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I would totally love to live in such extravagance one day. Wake up, smell the smoke stacks, and bike to work - ah yes, that's the dream, friends.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Universe of Bobby Chiu

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With a technique and style as utterly impeccable as his, who can't love the worlds that Bobby Chiu creates? Someone give this guy a Pixar position already.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Touch of Stockholm

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From entrance walls to the skinny-leg lovers, there's something about the overpriced IKEA STOCKHOLM collection that I can't help but love.

For The Love of Arne Jacobsen

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Can't say Arne wasn't onto something with these egg-shaped marvels. Love the framed art as well. It's all so dy-no-myte, yeah.

The Perfect Mid-Century Modernist Poster

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An illustrated collection of icon mid-century modern furniture, including Eames, Bertoia, Le Corbusier, van der Rohe, Noguchi & many more. Courtesy of James Provost. Available starting at $10.

Warm & Fuzzy Robot Takes Over New York

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Okay, so I've decided women's fashion is probably one of the most frustrating things I've ever decided to write about, so I'm just going to end it here. Instead, we're going to watch a robot try to get to his destination on the opposite side of New York City without getting raped or mugged. Let's see how the little guy does, shall we?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Doin' It Like Liya Kebede

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The wonderful Ethiopian sensation responsible for the numerous Vogue magazine covers and her very own J. Crew fashion line for kids coming this Summer has more than a couple of secrets up her sleeve. Balancing simplistic colors with a mix and match style using accessories, she successfully pulls off a look that's a sweet combination of sophisticated urban chic.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Yo Mama Said Kanye Was Tight

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Pastel? Acrylick? Who can keep track these days with all these paint-inspired fashion labels? If there's one thing we can all take away from this, it' the fact that all these new fresh cut pieces feature the "peacock" aesthetic. Kanye West sports this attire quite well. N.E.R.D. does the same. It only makes sense to expand the peacock to a more developed women's line - so eat eat 'em up! Button downs, tees, and a few cardigans round will keep things casual and nice.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Beanie Behavior

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Unless you're going for that urban look, really - don't bother. The purpose of a beanie is to give off a recluse expressive dynamic. If you are, you must be willing to dip your feet into the never-ending juice of disappointment for bitterness and pompous strive for victory over "all those who trespass against you." In other words, let your personality speak, not your beanie.

The Ubiquitous Scarf Look

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Paired with skinny jeans and fluffy, under-sized jackets, you can immediately transform into an acceptable hipster within seconds.

Somebody Once Asked Me a Fashion Question

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And to be quite frank, I haven't the slightest idea as to how fashion works - how things somehow string together to create, "a look" or how models manage to stay so goddamn skinny all the time. It makes completely no sense to me, but since I promised to give it my best, the next few days are going to be filled with absolutely nothing but unadulterated fashion tangents with terrible descriptions. So enjoy, if you can.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Mission Sexy No Jutsu Apartment Makeover

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Epic combo breaker: dark floors, white chairs and walls, and lots of windows. Unless you're totally against dusting the floors every once in a while, this one's kind of a no brainer. Photos from Houzz.

Monday, April 06, 2009

New iPhone To Be Slippery, Like Bar Soap

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Something tells me all this hub-bub is just going to blow up into a big circle jerk of disappointment. So I'm just going to stop visiting technology sites for the next few months. Perhaps turning off this Twitter thing might do me some good, too...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Overlooking Rooftops While Sippin' On Some Cider

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Hello Auckland, New Zealand. Who would've thought you had this up your sleeves? Quite impressive, to say the least.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Praising BANKSY Is A Crime

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Because some dark forces out there believe all your ideas and beliefs belong in nothing but your Moleskin notebook. Which should be burned after reading, of course.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Burn After Reading Review

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Like with all Coen brother movies, the movie is geared towards adults, with adult themes in adult situations. And like many of their previous movies, namely Fargo, it starts off extremely slow and then builds up into a 500 mph clusterfrack that's both unpredictable and humorous. Though there were times it felt a bit forced and rambly, the cast performs quite well with the odd-ball material. Anyway, compared to the dry trash Hollywood seems to throw out left and right these days, some may even consider this piece brilliant in comparison. Though worthy of repetitive watches? Nope, you'll feel like burning it after watching. 7.8/10.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Role Models Review

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I was a bit reluctant to give this one a chance. Especially after the Tropic Thunder fiasco the other night, I was afraid I'd be greeted with another hollow piece of cotton candy with nothing to offer. Fortunately, that is not the case at all with Role Models. While not epic in any sense, it does have enough substance, a great cast, and a decent story that manages to keep the laughs coming well into the movie. 8.0/10.

Tropic Thunder Review

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This is a great example of exactly why I don't like Ben Stiller. It's one of those movies where you're thinking to yourself throughout the whole movie, "Man, who the hell pitched this movie? Who the hell produced this?" Ben Stiller. Ben Stiller. Sure, there are a few giggles and guffaws here and there, but Tropic Thunder can never quite make up its mind about what it is. Is it satire or slapstick? It tries for both but achieves neither. Mostly it's just a lot of crude humor and hammed-up bluster. You can get a better show watching late night stand-up on Comedy Central. 6.3/10.

Heavenly Sword Review

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With production values like MGS4 and gameplay nearly identical to the God of War series, what could go wrong? Well, many things. Things like terrible SIXAXIS controls for weapon manuvuering sections, repeatitive enemies coming wave after wave, and the fact that you start off having the same weapon from beginning to end - with combos that make little to no sense - yeah, things can go wrong. Fortunately, some pretty graphics, decent pacing, and excellent voice acting was just enough to keep me going until the end. Very much rent-worthy, indeed. 7.5/10.

More Jack Obsession

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I think it's the big glasses that's doing it for me. Big. Huge. Ridiculously over-sized glasses.

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