Date Archives February 2010

Jamie Oliver’s TED Talk

Whenever there are new TED Talks it’s always interesting to see who ends up speaking and finding the most interesting of conversations. I think this year there was easily one man that caught my attention the most, and that would be chef Jamie Oliver. I remember Mr. Oliver from his very first cooking show, The Naked Chef, which I was quite excited about because he’s very cute, but sadly he was never cooking in the nude, no matter how dangerous that may be.

The reason Mr. Oliver was speaking was because he’s currently trying to fight the rising tide of obesity here in the United States and across the world. Obesity is becoming one of the major causes of death around the world and especially here in the States and this is because of a few reasons. The first is that our diets are comprised of mostly fast food.

100 years ago if you were overweight it was a sign of wealth, that you were able to feed yourself well and probably ate three meals a day. These days it’s the exact opposite. Fast food has given the country an endless supply of calories to consume, thus getting fat, while the wealthy are able to by organically grown produce and eat finely crafted, healthy meals which keeps them trim.

As Mr. Oliver points out this isn’t entirely our fault. There’s a severe lack of knowledge about food and options when it comes to fast food and the foods we can buy at grocery stores. Basically we’re killing ourselves because of our diets and something needs to change.

I’ve kind of just summed up the main ideas but I implore you to take 20 minutes and watch the video above. I cooked all of my meals yesterday, thinking about each ingredient I used and checking every label, seeing just what I was consuming.


‘Build On’ by Gestalten

A few weeks ago (I know, I’ve been behind on my book posts!) I was also sent a new book from my favorite publisher Gestalten called Build On. I had seen the book in one of their email blasts and asked if they’d send me one (and they did) and it’s as rad as I thought it would be.

The book is about transformative and converted architecture, taking an existing building and modifying it in some way. Take for example the Selexzy + Dominicanen Bookstore by Merkx + Girod Architects, which graces the front of the book (and which I posted about back in 2007). The structure itself is a thirteenth century church which had a giant, steel, three story bookstore put inside of it. To me it looks like it absolutely fits in the space, makes full use of it’s vertical space and lets you see the ancient friezes that line the ceilings.

They’ve split the book into three sections; As Found, Insideout and Change Clothes. The first is about using the existing structures and transforming them into spaces that make sense for people of today. Insideout is about adding onto buildings in unique ways that fully merge the old buildings with their contemporary additions, adding to the buildings built-in characteristics. The final chapter is Change Clothes which is about changing one entire aspect of a space drastically, take for example the High Line in New York.

When I first got this book I poured over all of the projects. I’ve seen a few of these online, but I’d say that 90% of these I had never seen before, so it was quite a treat. Build On totally makes me want to move to some tiny nordic town and create my own little paradise in a 300 year old building.

Click here to grab yourself a copy.


‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’ by Brian Selznick

A couple weeks ago my roommate lent me a book he was reading called The Invention of Hugo Cabret, written and illustrated by Brian Selznick. He prefaced it by telling me that it was kind of kids book with illustrations but it was a clever story and quite a quick read. I flipped through it and was immediately intrigued by it. You see, Hugo Cabret is like a picture book told like a movie. In fact, the first page is a detailed, close-up drawing of the moon, and the next 40 pages (all two page spreads) are drawings which lead you into the story.

The story is about a young boy named Hugo Cabret who lives in a train station, keeping all of the clocks running since his uncle mysteriously vanished three months ago. Since his uncle disappeared though he’s been obsessed with rebuilding a mechanical man, an automaton, which for some reason he has a hidden connection to. Add to that an old man who works at a shop in the train station and his curious goddaughter who have a mysterious connection to the automaton as well.

Overall I loved the book. I think it’s certainly meant for children but I enjoyed it without a doubt. The story takes some twists and turns I didn’t foresee and the illustrations are pretty well done. It’s definitely a quick read, I think I finished it in two nights. It’s also kind of interesting because Mr. Selznick ties in real history to the story, though a few things were invented to make the story more exciting. I’d definitely suggest checking this book out, especially if you have older kids around 8-10.


Kitsune Noir Mixcast / No.026

For this week’s Mixcast I didn’t really have any sort of theme, it’s pretty just what I’ve been listening to lately. It definitely has an undertone of electronic music and it’s probably peppier than most things I do. There also isn’t a lot of singing on this one, it’s mostly good beats.

I do think though that there’s a pretty good mix of really popular artists mixed with rather unknowns, so hopefully you can find some new tunes on this as well. A couple notes, I did narrate this one and I may have made myself laugh a couple times. This is probably due to the fact that I’m totally exhausted right now. The second thing is that I’ve put the track listing in the lyrics part of the metadata. I’ve had a few people ask for it, so there you go. I hope you enjoy this mix, I think it turned out really well, kind of surprisingly so.

Here’s this week’s tracklist:
Giant Squid by RjD2
Hypertexan by Ben Benjamin
Plastic People by Four Tet
Pleasant Experience by Small Black
7 by Collections of Colonies of Bees
Nitetime Rainbows by A Sunny Day in Glasgow
Alley Cats by Hot Chip
James’ Second Haircut by Caribou
All Dried Up by Phantogram
The Screens by Atlas Sound
Dawn Chorus by Boards of Canada


J Dilla Documentary by Stussy

Four years ago hip hop suffered a major blow when one of the most talented and imaginative guys, J Dilla, passed away at the age of 32. I’m far from an expert on Dilla and his career, but I bought Donuts when it came out in 2006 and loved it from the first time I heard it. It’s basically a giant mixtape of random loops and beats taken from all over and who knows where.

Unfortunately there are still a lot of people out there who don’t know J Dilla or his music, so Stussy has teamed up with his record label Stones Throw and the Dilla Estate to release a three part documentary outlining his short but incredibly influential life. So far only part one and two have been released but I’ve already learned a lot of things that I never knew. It’s so great to hear guys like Peanut Butter Wolf and DJ Rhettmatic from Beat Junkies retelling Dilla’s rise from his days in Detroit to his blossoming as a producer in Los Angeles.

I’m really looking forward to part three, and I’ll be sure to update this post (and put a reminder on the blog) when it’s released. Until then, enjoy these two 8 minute parts and learn about a talented man who left an amazing impact.


‘Bear’ by The Antlers

In my favorite albums of last year I think I was pretty clear that Hospice by The Antlers was hands down my favorite. So it’s kind of funny that there’s just now a brand new video out for one of my favorites off of the album, Bear. I’m pretty sure the song is about a young couple who end up getting pregnant and then choose to abort the baby. But I think they make the choice because they’re so old, or as he repeats in the song over and over, “Just too old… we’re not old at all…”

I’m not quite sure what the video has to do with the song at all, but it’s certainly beautiful. It was directed by Evan Owen Dennis and was shot by Aaron Phillips, who I think did a great job. LIke the video in the previous post, there’s a lot of contrast and very desaturated colors which really give the video an old, somber kind of feeling. Is the ball meant to represent the baby? I honestly have no idea what any of this means but if you do please share it in the comments.


Filming Myself in the Snow

The other day I got an email from a guy named Stebs Schinnerer, who was writing to tell me that he filmed himself doing some tricks on his bike in the middle of the snow in Massachusetts. On the video description it says that it took him about 3 hours to shoot and edit the entire video… which was done by just himself. That’s right, he shot it, he edited it, and he rode around the snow.

The video itself, while simple, is shot really beautifully. There’s kind of a quiet beauty to the video, with Mr. Schinnerer cruising around to the sound of Efterklang’s Mirador. He did an amazing job of editing the video together and creating a look and feel. The contrast was amped up and the color desaturated, giving the video look even chillier. It would be really great if more people could do small, beautiful projects like these in only three hours.


Noby Noby Boy for the iPhone

I’m not sure if you’d heard, but Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi has released his latest game Noby Noby Boy on the iPhone, and boy is it weird. You basically control this little turd guy, making him stretch and interact with all kinds of weird objects. I downloaded the game last night and I’m not sure I’ve discovered the point of it…. if it even has one.

I think it’s interesting that the game really doesn’t have a point, that’s it’s just entertaining, especially for kids. To promote the game they’ve made a series of trailers showing the characters in a board room talking about the game and giving you a preview of it as well. Like I said, it’s totally weird, but worth checking out.


The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Ciara Phelan

Ciara Phelan

Good morning, I hope you’re having a good day so far. I’m writing this from a hotel in San Francisco today, which is quite a change of scenery but I couldn’t be happier. For today’s wallpaper we have something a little different, a beautiful paper cut collage by the amazing Ciara Phelan. Ciara is a designer currently living in London where she’s been creating this intricate, hand-cut collages that are both playful and extremely colorful.

I really thought that her desktop wallpaper went well with the things I’ve posted over the last few days so I thought I’d share it today. I love the color palette on this one, I think it’ll work great as a wallpaper. Not too flashy and distracting but with a few splashes of color and some nice textures to give it some pop. A big thanks to Ciara for sending me such a rad wallpaper!


Criminals (Live) by Atlas Sound

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Criminals by Atlas Sound

Last year when I made my best songs of the year Mixcast I probably should have included a few more songs. But it was a rather lengthy mix, so it was probably best that I chose to edit a few out. But if there’s one that I really regret leaving out it would be Atlas Sound’s Criminals. The song comes off of his album Logos which is a totally amazing album, but I’ve been listening to it a lot lately and Criminals keeps popping into my head.

So I thought I’d share this live version of the song which was recorded by Southern Shelter on New Years Eve last year. The performance is one of my favorites and I love how it turned out. There are some annoying people talking during the performance but listen in the background for the keyboard kind of sounds and the harmonica, definitely makes the song even better.