Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Coded Candy | NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio does it like Van Gogh

The ocean currents have an untapped beauty. Untapped till now. 
Those clever folks at NASA got their art on and assembled from a huge amount of satellite and computational data the “Perpetual Ocean”. Check out the goodies below and here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Design | Recycle, Save and Style

There is this guy out there (industrial designer Samuel Nelson Bernier) who takes recycling to creative level. His Project RE_ is a DIY haven that will tickle a greenie, saver, miser, inventor, xyz-er and/or kid in you. Kid you not! … ahem … never mind … For the iThingy lover who still wants to draw like in the olden days, we have a stylus made of a metallic paint brush, an eraser tip and some conductive foam. And Bob’s your uncle! And there is always a way to reuse those cans that lives up to the phrase “pushing iron”. 
There is a gal out there (artist Jihyun Ryou) who can show you how to “Save Food from the Refrigerator”. I like her. See, she listened to those who observed what food needs to survive without technology, i.e. the refrigerator. She listened to the traditional oral knowledge and designed little shelves with add-ons that let you dry that parsley how it’s supposed to be dried, keep those spring onions upright and at right humidity to stay fresh longer, store eggs so they do not absorb refrigerator smells and can be tested for freshness right there and then. Ooo! Yummy! Did I say I like her?
There are these two dudes (designer Yves Béhar and entrepreneur Assaf Wand) who banded together and made pill popping, or rather storing, dosing, transporting and cutting, a beautiful proposition to those of us who are on a pharmaceutical regiment. Sabi is the name. A pill folio?! One could not enjoy one’s secret life as pill popping celebrity in more style and still, at least initially, keep it under the radar. And if in a sharing mood, there is a pill splitter, too. Oh my my, the parties! But seriously. We all need nice design no matter the reason why those pills are in our lives.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Music | Sugarcuts presents Eclectic Relaxation v.5

Snapped up form LICHIBAN'S NEOMANA blog J

DJ Dhundee

Frank Ocean – Super Rich Kids | 6th Borough Project – Settle | Major Lazer – Get Free | Norah Jones – Say Goodbye | Nas – Cherry Wine feat. Amy Winehouse | 9th Wonder – 20 Feet Tall (Remix) feat. Erykah Badu & Rap | Robert Glasper – Afro Blue feat. Erykah Badu | Break Beats – Heavy Break | The Black Keys – Tighten Up | Frank Ocean – Monks | Santigold – Disparate Youth | Flying Lotus – ...And the World Laughs With You feat. Thom Yorke | Mike Slott – Cadeting | Sa Ra Creative Partners – The Bone Song

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Music | Def FX I’ll Be Your Majick … for Mabon

From Wikipedia, “Def FX (1990–1997) was an Australian industrial-dance-rock group, formed in Sydney. The core of the group was the writer and bassist Martyn Basha, keyboardist and vocalist Sean Lowry (also a visual artist & writer) and vocalist Fiona Horne (a famous Wiccan and environmentalist).” 

Then May-June 2012 reunion tour happened and some wonderful soul finally put this video on YouTube! Blessed be!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fashion | Prada does a bit of Geisha

Never shying away from peppering in something unusual ("beauty by itself is too easy"), Miuccia plays with traditional notions of femininity and the added power. The report by Nicole Phelps at style.com on Prada’s Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear collection (just shown at the Milan Fashion Week) is an interesting read about what was, as usual, an interesting presentation:

SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 | MILAN | By Nicole Phelps 
"Dream is forbidden, nostalgia is forbidden, to be too sweet is not good. Everything we used to feel historically, now you can't enjoy. The clothes are the expression of this impossible dream." Miuccia Prada was in existential mode backstage tonight, talking about sentiment and feeling—both our yearnings for a more innocent state and the futility of those yearnings. No wonder there was a lot to unpack on the runway. The flowers, the pervasive Japonisme—here we had Prada embracing traditional tropes of femininity and womanhood, a geisha's servitude, even. And yet in her signature way, she couldn't help turning those notions inside out. 
     She opened with a short black dress in stiff satin, a panel print of two flowers stitched to the torso. There were only a handful of looks that followed that didn't have some sort of florals blooming on them: A white fur coat (for Spring!) was inset with Andy Warhol's Pop art daisies in red (adding to the sixties feeling was the collection's whiff of Courrèges). A black satin coat, meanwhile, was embroidered with papery origami blossoms. Still, the clothes had a spareness that worked like a balm after seasons of endless prints. 
     The collection moved from dark to light. By the end, Prada was manipulating, folding, and wrapping duchesse satin in palest pink and green to evoke the ritual of kimono dressing. (Both the runway and the columns in the show space were decadently lined with that satin.) Prada explained that the Japanese element came late in the design process. "I wanted it to be tough and serious," she said. "All the folding was a consequence." Duchesse satin tough? Again there was that duality.
     There was poetry to these clothes, but walking the runway in either towering Harajuku girl platforms or leather judo socks bound with patent leather bows—flats in both cases, Prada pointed out—the models exuded power too. Leave it to Miuccia to tweak nostalgia into something that felt modern and new.

The video is currently shown at prada.com.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Coded Candy | Big Buck Bunny

Alright, alright, I know, not that new. So?! … … … That’s why it’s slotted under “Coded Candy” – to serve as a reminder what can be done using free software. Blender in this case. “Big Buck Bunny” was released in 2008 and is a visual brain child of Dutch dudes “Sago” and Ton, with music by German Jan

Here it is just 3 seconds shy of 10 minutes. OK, glass half full glass half full glass half full… J

Monday, September 17, 2012

At Home | Stylescope

La Dolce Vita pointed me at a HomeGoods website new feature – Stylescope. “Just as your horoscope determines your personality, your Stylescope determines your personal décor style. Authored by Interior Designer and HGTV Host Taniya Nayak on behalf of HomeGoods, the new Stylescope is a unique one question quiz that will reveal your design mood with 12 Stylescope personalities. Your style today may fit perfectly in to one of the 12 distinct style personalities – Boho, Classic, Metro Modern, Socialite, Farmhouse Glam, New Country, Spa Life, Set Sail, Vegas Baby, Sassy, World Traveler, or Urban Chic – or you may be on the cusp, pulling in design elements from more than one personality!” Gave it a whirl and I am all about Spa with a smidgen of Boho for good measure – LOL – a wish? J What is your style?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fashion | Posthumous Alexander McQueen collection, slowly

Typically fashion shows are full of prancing ponies galloping down the runway. Not so in this posthumous Alexander McQueen Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 (Angels & Dæmons) collection inspired by Flemish painters and the Romantic Gothic. Pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine and savor it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fashion | Atsuko Kudo’s dressing for pleasure at SHOWstudio

Surreal. Curious. Fascinating. Ha?! Funny. Something else. For sure.

“Latex doyenne Atsuko Kudo provides a lesson in dressing for pleasure. Slowly enveloping a nude model in layers of rubbery fabric live on camera, Kudo offers a unique, and subversively fetishistic, exploration of the dialogue between clothing and empowerment.”

– from SHOWstudio’s “Selling Sex” exhibition

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Movies | Shakki (2012)

SHAKKI, a short film by Julien Landais | Starring Daphne Guinness, Laura Eastwood, Andrea Ferreol, Julien Landais, Dragan Nikolic, Emily Caillon, Christophe de Choisy, Clémentine Landais, Gerhard Freidl and Sarah Biasini | Music Where Safety Ends/Revolte |

Who hasn't dreamt of being someone else? Martin has the power to enter other people's bodies and dominate their souls thanks to Judith, with whom he made a Faustian deal. Judith abandoned him. He will persist tirelessly to conquer her again under different shapes.
| ©FLAGSHIP 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Animation | Lovable insects of Minuscule

Minuscule (2006)
Cuteness! Minuscule – the private life of insects could make the spiders and ants appealing in this French-made series of short films. Production of a feature film was commenced in March 2012.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fashion | “Who is Daphne Guinness?”

“I wouldn’t presume to call myself an artist. What is my art? I try to look neat and tidy.”
– Daphne Guinness
Rare, but it happens. Back in April, May and June I developed a mini-obsession with a muse and an icon of the fashion set – Daphne Guinness.  She was friends with the late Alexander McQueen and chosen by Tom Ford to close his comeback show in 2011. Works for me. She is quite striking in her presentation and futuristic even though some of that couture is from years gone by. All the more credit to the designers. Snappy dresser she has not always been. In the eighties, she was, well, quite eighties – poufy fringe and all – and even in early 2000s, she looked just like an average socialite. Then she evolved into the
creature she is admired as now. See “The Incredible Evolution of Daphne Guinness” at Fashionista.com. Although Daphne said back in February 2011 that “[She is] completely unemployable!”, her introversion and need to protect oneself propelled her towards designing armour inspired jewelry. Self-employment, I guess. Fabulous indeed. I do not have an opinion about her as a person one might actually know and possibly hang out with, or her pedigree, personal life and philosophy, but she is interesting to watch. Geisha like, she practices the art of being the art – no matter how unusual or uncomfortable it may look. But such is the price of aesthetic.

 œ

Monday, September 10, 2012

Random | Anime vs. Cartoon vs. Computer Animation

I hit an odd labeling conundrum. Is it anime, cartoon or computer animation? What is a difference? See, I saw Afro Samurai, Blood+ and The origin of O-Ren as anime, Serge the Seal and Hipsters in Space as cartoons, but La Marche des Sans Nom as computer animation. It is a case of “when you see it, you know what it is, but cannot verbalize the difference.” I also stumbled upon FanNordicRavenna’s YouTube video that is comparing and fleshing out the difference between anime and cartoons. I have to agree with them, but is my third group justified? Computer animation nowadays, and a lot of the other stuff gets done digitally too, has a different look and feel to it, so I would say yes. What’s your take?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Travel | “… and the unicorns danced”

Image of narwhal from
Brehms Tierleben

Following is a passage from Tim Ferriss’ “The 4-Hour Workweek” that inspires a “mini-retirement”:

The Bora-Bora Dealmaker
Baffin Island, Nunavut 
Josh Steinitz stood at the edge of the world and stared in amazement. He dug his boots into the six feet of sea ice and the unicorns danced.
               Ten narwhals – rare cousins of the beluga – came to the surface and pointed their six-foot-plus spiral tusks toward the heavens. The pod of 3,000-pound whales then fell into the depths once again. The narwhals are deep divers – more than 3,000 feet in some cases – so Josh had at least 20 minutes until their reappearance.
               It seemed appropriate that he was with the narwhals. Their name came from Old Norse and referred to their mottled white and blue skin
               Náhvalr – corpse man.
               He smiled as he had done often in the last few years. Josh himself was a dead man walking.
               One year after graduating from college, Josh found out that he had oral squamous carcinoma – cancer. He had plans to be a management consultant. He had plans to be lots of things. Suddenly none of it mattered. Less than half of those who suffered from this particular type of cancer survived. The reaper didn’t discriminate and came without warning.
               It became clear that the biggest risk in life wasn’t making mistakes but regret: missing out on things. He could never go back and recapture years spent doing something he disliked.
Two years later and cancer-free, Josh set off on an indefinite global walkabout, covering expenses as a freelance writer. He later became the cofounder of a website that provides customized itineraries to would-be vagabonds. His executive status didn’t lessen his mobile addiction. He was as comfortable cutting deals from the over-water bungalows of Bora-Bora as he was in the log cabins of Swiss Alps.
He once took a call from a client while at Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier. The client needed to confirm some sales numbers and asked Josh about all the wind in the background. Josh’s answer: “I’m standing at 10,000 feet on a glacier and this afternoon the wind is whipping us down the mountain.” The client said he’d let Josh get back to what he was doing.
Another client called Josh while he was leaving a Balinese temple and heard the gongs in the background. The client asked Josh if he was in church. Josh wasn’t quite sure what to say. All that came out was, “Yes?”
Back among the narwhals, Josh had a few minites before heading to base camp to avoid polar bears. Twenty-four-hour daylight meant he had much to share with his friends back in the land of cubicles. He sat down on the ice and produced his satellite phone and laptop from a waterproof bag. He began his e-mail in the usual way.
“I know you’re all sick of seeing me have so much fun, but guess where I am?”

Friday, September 7, 2012

Food | Yakibuta Ramen by Cooking with Dog

There is 3-minute ramen, staple of many a student, and there is real ramen. My fav “chef”, Francis from Cooking with Dog, narrates the recipe dutifully demonstrated by his “assistant” (note to self: find out “assistant’s” name) this time for real Japanese ramen dish that originated in China. Yummy!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Beauty | Rebel Belles at style.com

From style.com
Can ladies raise some hell? Yes, according to style.com slideshow, on screen they can.
We have The Better Half Belle (Faye Dunaway as Bonnie), The Undercover Lover (Pam Grier in Foxy Brown), The Killer Clone (Daryl Hannah as Pris), The Good Girls Gone Bad (Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon as Thelma and Louise Sawyer), The Runaway Rambler (Patricia Arquette as Alabama Whitman), The American Psycho (Juliette Lewis as Mallory), The Rebel With a Cause (Lori Petty as Tank Girl), The Web Wizard (Angelina Jolie as Kate a.k.a. Acid Burn), The Savvy Survivor (Uma Thurman as The Bride), The Righteous Ones (Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz as Sara Sandoval and Maria Alvarez), The Punk Provocateur (Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander), The Young Gun (Saoirse Ronan as Hanna), and The Wild Child (Kara Hayward as Suzy).
Thirteen isn’t quite enough, I say.
Femme Fatales, and I throw them in the rebel bucket, have a long cinematographic history; Dominique Mainon and James Ursini’s Femme Fatale: Cinema's Most Unforgettable Lethal Ladies counts well over thirteen, starting with Theda Bara who portrayed Carmen, Camille, Salome, Madame Du Barry and Cleopatra pre-1930s Hollywood repression a.k.a. Code. 
Polling for off screen Rebel Belles.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Last Week of Summer № 7 ● Music | Rae & Christian ft. Veba Swan Song (For a Nation)

Random thoughts. Random remembrances. Yes, what was that song? “Northern.” “Soul.” “Northern Soul”? Can hear it. Can see putting the CD in a player. The light in the room was… yes, there were two possible locations with that light. Actually, just one. So the year must’ve been 1996? No. Later. 1997? Breathing. Something to do with breathing… Exhale? Swan? A name “Rae”? What was the other one? “Christian”?

Artist/s: Rae & Christian, Veba
Album: Northern Sulphuric Soul
Year: 1998
Song: Swan Song (For a Nation)

So close!
Next summer is only nine months away.
And there is always the equator and the southern hemisphere.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Last Week of Summer № 6 ● Entertainment | Cramming it!

Bill Hicks – Mandatory Marijuana | The Streets – The Irony of It All | Lil Kim feat. Mr. Cheeks – The Jump Off | Richard Pryor – First Black President | Video explains the world's most important 6-sec drum loop – the “Amen Break” | Eddie Murphy – Italians & Rocky | Margaret Cho – Beautiful | Zoe Jakes - Tribal Fusion Belly Dance
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