Date Archives May 2008

The Northern Plains of Mars

On Sunday night, NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander landed on the far northern plains of Mars called Vastitas Borealis, which I think is so rad. While it’s out there it’s going to be searching the soil with it’s big fancy “trench-digging arm” to see if there’s frozen water below the soil. They’re also looking for microbial life as well, because where there’s water, there’s potential life. And of course they’re taking a ton of photos as well, which is definitely my favorite part. I just want them to rotate the camera and suddenly see a giant alien stature or something (maybe they could put it in the NEXT Indiana Jones film?! hahaha).

The NASA sire also has a cool Phoenix Mars Lander interactive site where you can read all about what the lander does. I had no idea it was so big! The solar arrays that power the lander are 18 feet wide! If any of this interests you be sure to visit NASA’s website, they do a really great job of posting all sorts of awesome photos and info pretty regularly.

There’s also this New York Times article that goes into the details of the landing itself.


Memorial Day

Today in the US it’s Memorial Day, and because of our current “war” that’s going on, I thought I’d post these photos I found on DIGG. I read the captions and totally started to cry, I couldn’t help it. I’m very fortunate and haven’t lost anyone that I’ve known to this ridiculous sham we’re calling a “war”, and seeing these photos makes me entirely too upset. Fuck this war, fuck George Bush, fuck everyone involved in getting us into this ludicrous situation. I just hope we can clean up this mess we’ve made so more innocent people, and I mean everyone involved including the Iraqis, and everyone else serving abroad, don’t have to lose their lives in vain.

I know this isn’t very eloquently written or well thought out, but it’s what spilled out of me at the moment.


New Ratatat Video for a New Ratatat Song, Mirando

Chris over at Gorilla vs. Bear posted this great video for an upcoming Ratatat song called Mirando. The song is gonna be on their next album called LP3, and it’s pretty damn rad. As Chris describes it, it’s sort of has an 8 Bit/Bollywood sound to it, which is kind of weird in writing but good to hear. The video itself is really damn great, and was create by Evan from Ratatat. All he did was edit together some footage from the movie Predator, but man it looks good/is hysterical. I love the ending with all the thermal imaging… I think thermal images might be the cool next thing, so I’m gonna do some research and see what I can find.


Scott Hansen / ISO50’s New Obama Poster

Eagle-eyed reader Victor just sent me an email letting me know that Scott Hansen, better knows as ISO50 to the design-y types, has the poster he created for Barack Obama on the official Obama site. About a month ago Scott wrote on his blog that the Obama campaign had contacted him to create a poster, just like Shepard Fairey had done previously. He also described on his blog about how crazy this project became. The final file ended up being 2.77 GB, with almost 1000 layers!!! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, a file of that size, with that many layers, is basically unheard of. I deal with digital images all the time, and I cringe at a 200 MB file, let alone almost 3 GB!

I think the poster turned out really amazing, it’s definitely going to be pretty damn popular. The colors are fantastic, and I’m sure there’s a TON of detail that you can’t see in the tiny image above. The poster measures 23″ x 40″, and comes in an edition of 5000, which I don’t think is that many, especially with the size of audience that is probably seeing the image. The poster isn’t officially ready, but you can pre-order it for $70 right now.

I just think it’s rad that all of these ultra-creative folks have stepped up to the plate to really show their support for Obama. It makes me really happy to see them rallying behind Obama and hopefully getting more and more younger voters into voting.


Buttefly Lamp by VINTA

K.I.S.S., Keep It Simple Stupid. It may be cheesy, but it’s honestly one of those sayings that I take to heart not only when it comes to design, but my life in general. And I definitely feel like the folks over at VINTA live by a similar mantra. I couldn’t really find much information out about them, but I’m pretty sure they’re Japanese, at least the end of their URL is. Anyhow, I saw this awesome lamp they created called Buttefly and was instantly in love. And so we’re clear, it is Buttefly, not Butterfly, haha…

The lamp was inspired by one of the simplest things out there, a folded piece of paper. But imagine the piece of paper being folded almost perfectly in half. Because of that imperfection, the light can peak at no matter what. But then when you unfold the light it becomes a really large, beautiful light. It’s simplicity is amazing, and the aluminum body really makes it sleek. I’m pretty sure that this isn’t for sale, but I could see MUJI totally being into this sort of design, couldn’t you?


Card-Board: A Cardboard Surfboard

I haven’t been surfing for probably 5 years now, but when I would go I really loved it. I was never good and I’ve probably ridden about 5 waves successfully, but there’s definitely something exciting about surfing and surf culture in general. But what happens when a web programmer decides to build his board not in the traditional way, with foam, but with 3-D modeling? Well you get an entirely new experience.

Mike Sheldrake had no idea how to carve a board, so he took to his computer, a tool he was much more familiar with, and designed himself a snap together board made out of… cardboard. The board is made up of almost 400 pieces of regular old cardboard which are cut out by a computer controlled saw. Because of the unique hexagonal and triangle patterns the boards strength is increased, dispersing the force evenly throughout the board. After he put it all together it’s wrapped in a fiberglass cloth and hardened with epoxy, just like a real board. So what you’re seeing up there is more like the core, you don’t ride that hole-y beast. Mike wants to start selling these online in the near future, so keep an eye out!

Found through Pop Sci


Kronan’s American Online Store is Open

I can’t remember where I saw my first Kronan, I want to say it was a catalog that was photographed really well by someone, but since then I’ve wanted one. The biggest problem was that they had no stores in the US and you couldn’t order them online… until today. Kronan is a Swedish company who’s been making bikes since the 1940’s, so they know what they’re doing. But these have been updated will all the bells and whistles of modern day bikes, so you get that old fashioned style mixed with modern technology.

I just think they look damn sexy. I haven’t ridden a bike in years, but these make me want one sooo bad. I’d even face Los Angeles traffic if I had one of these (I’m lying, I would ride it on the sidewalk). I also really like the colors they have, including the ultra sexy creme in the photo above, but also black, red, green and blue. They also come in different styles as well, depending upon you and what you like. They have a men’s and women’s 3-Speed, a men’s and women’s single speed, and an aluminum, unisex 5-speed. So whatever style you like, they’ve got it. But of course, something so awesome doesn’t come cheap, so you’re looking at $500 to $700 depending upon the model you want.

I think these bikes would be worth every penny, they’ve got a beautiful classic style and they look as sturdy as can be. Just go visit the site and fall in love like I did.


Untitled Magazine No. 002

Mike Perry just released the second issue of his cool artsy magazine, Untitled. This time around it’s the swimsuit issue, and based upon the preview it’s definitely fill with a bunch of bikini-clad, hot chicks. But because Mike is the brainchild, there are also a ton of really rad drawings, cool fonts, and splashes of blue and lavender all over. The contributors on this issue are Anthony Wallace, Luke Ramsey, Brigitte Sire, Robin Cameron, Noah Sheldon, Damien Correll, Ben Frederickson, Milan Zrnic, Jeremy Williams, Josh Clancy, Theo Morrison, Wyeth Hansen, Anna Wolf, and Mike Perry.

The issue is 80 pages and only costs $18, so go visit the site and pick yourself up a copy!


A Few More Beats – And Maybe, A New Sound: 01

I hear new music almost every day from all over the place, but I don’t always feel like an entire album review is warranted. So I decided that I’ll post some of the songs that really stand out to me every week, new or old, doesn’t matter, just things I’m liking. I’ve decided to call it A Few More Beats – And Maybe, A New Sound. I borrowed this title from somewhere, and it’s up to one of you to figure it out. If you can tell me where I got this name, I’ll send you something rad and random in the mail, no matter where on earth you are. I’ve Googled the title and done a number of searches, so hopefully it’s not too easy!


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Lon Chaney by Vetiver

Vetiver has a new album coming out called Thing of the Past, a cover album of old and rare songs. I probbaly could have written a review about this album, its really damn good, but this one song really stuck out to me. The song is a remake of a Garland Jeffreys song of the same name, and it’s absolutely haunting. Though it comes in at around four and half minutes, I don’t ever want this song to end, with it’s beautiful piano part and it’s moaning cello.


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Chemtrails by Beck

Beck just the other day released this new song of his upcoming album Modern Guilt and it’s sounding really good. The song is called Chemtrails, and it’s kind of haunting as well. This new album is being produced by the unstoppable Dangermouse, and it’s clearly evident once you hear how layered and crisp everything sounds. This album is gonna be a definite purchase for me, I can’t wait to hear more.


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I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You by Black Kids

I’m really excited about the Black Kids upcoming album, especially after hearing their first EP, The Wizard of Ahhhs. They kind of sound like a mixture between the Cure and The Go! Team, which means dance party forever. I dare you to try and not dance to this song, with all it’s awesome synths, guitar solos, and harmonizing.



I’ve been keeping this idea to myself lately, but I swear it’s true. The Australians are going to destroy us with their art, and seeing the work of Ghostpatrol further solidifies this idea. Ghostpatrol is an Australian artist currently working in a studio in Melbourne called Mitten Fortress, which may possibly be one of the best names for a studio EVER. Ghosty started out stenciling walls but has since moved into painting which I’m enjoying a lot. Above is one of my favorite things I saw on his site, these sanded down pencils with paintings of children with large noggins. But his work goes all over the place, from plush dolls to giant murals so be sure to check out all of his amazing work!

Found through draw.kyu