Date Archives February 2010

‘A Bicycle Made For Two’ Print by James Gulliver Hancock

My buddy James Gulliver Hancock sent me a really rad silkscreened poster that would make a great gift for Valentine’s Day or really any other day. It’s called A Bicycle Made For Two (he’s Australian and doesn’t realize that bicycles are built, not made for two) and features a bunch of sweet looking bikes and fun, random shapes all over it.

It was created along with ReForm School, which is the best craft/gift shops in Silver Lake. They have a project called Student of the Month where they make limited edition objects with local artists, and James was chosen for this month. If you’d like to grab a poster you can click here.

Or if you’re feeling lucky, tell me what the best love song ever written is and why in the comments and I’ll send you the poster for free. I already know what the answer is so if you can guess it and give the best answer it’s all yours. This is purely judged by me and if you don’t like my decision that’s too bad.


QR Lovecodes by Laszlo Kovacs

Sending paper valentines is so 20th century. These days you can email awesome looking Valentine’s Day cards with custom QR codes that reveal secret messages. My friend Laszlo Kovacs created the illustrations you see on each of these which I think are really fun and totally adorable.. I tried downloading Semacode for my iPhone to read the code but I couldn’t get it to work. It might also be that I have a first-gen iPhone, and the camera sucks, so hopefully you’ll have more luck.

To send your own look up “QR Lovecode” in the App Store, and for more info visit yellowapp.


‘Better Together’ for by FriendsWithYou

I wanted to transfer from the videos of Thursday into the lovey feelings of Friday. Yes, Valentine’s Day is this Sunday, hopefully you’ve realized. so I have a few special V-Day posts planned for today. The first is this really cute video which was done by the awesome folks over at FriendsWithYou. A bit ago they started FWY Studios to handle commercial animation jobs and since have been creating some rather charming pieces.

This one above was created for and illustrates how we all have a match, it’s just a matter of finding it. In this case, Peas and Carrots unfortunately seem to keep missing each other, but obviously through the wonders of Match they’d find each other… right. Nonetheless the animation is spot-on and totally adorable. I love that the bat and robin go together… like Batman and Robin.


Square: Mobile Payments Made Easy

I’ve been keeping my eye on Square for a little bit now, and they continue to pique my interest. Square is a simple idea: letting you people pay for things with just an app and an iPhone/Touch. The benefit of this is giving small businesses the ability to take credit card payments. So when you show up at the taco truck at 1AM after a long night of drinking without cash, you’ll still be in luck.

This seems like such a simple idea, though I’m sure it’s taken a lot of planning and research. But something like this is definitely in need, especially if the process is as easy as the video above illustrates. I’d love to see something like this combined with an iPad, it would almost be like the ultimate all-in-one order form. I’m really looking forward to seeing this idea progress into a more mainstream device.


‘In Our Talons’ by Bowerbirds

A little while back everyone was going crazy for that Grizzly Bear video that looked like melty clay… and in my opinion was pretty lame. In comparison is this video for the Bowerbirds song In Our Talons, which is off of their 2007 album Hymns for a Dark Horse. Pretty much the entire video is done in stop motion and looks absolutely amazing, way better then that clay crap.

I think my favorite part is when the crow starts dancing. He rolls into a ball, his feathers change colors, and overall he looks pretty dang real. The crab dancing is funny as well, though the best is when he’s spinning in place, it’s so magical looking. But I think the most beautiful shot overall has to be the praying mantises facing off against each other in the middle of a wildfire. Just writing it out it sounds awesome… and the ending is quite poetic and beautiful.

The video was directed by Alan Poon, who should get some sort of medal for this video. This is how you do stop motion.


‘Go Do’ by Jónsi

The first video off of Jónsi’s upcoming album Go has been released and boy is it a doozy. Musically the song gives me chills. It’s yet another reason to be really excited by this album. I love the way that he chopped up his voice, giving it a bird-like chirp that’s pretty rad. Everything he does always sounds so lush and full of enthusiasm, I don’t know how he does it. Plus listen for the flute part, it’s great.

As for the video it’s kind of insane and reminds me of Tori Amos… I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. It’s certainly pretty but he just looks nuts. Maybe he’ll get a part in Batman 3 as the Birdmaster?


‘Diamond Head’ and ‘Walk Don’t Run’ by U900

When you think of Japanese ukelele players you probably think of adorable knit figures, right? Well after you watch the video above you’ll always relate those things together. U900 is a ukelele duo that have made the two awesome videos above with feature a black rabbit and a non-plussed looking bear recording a couple songs on the beach and in the studio. I’m totally in love with these characters are pretty catchy as well. Hopefully 7-11 teams up with these guys next so I can have a U900 Pumpkin Latte.


‘Shaved’ by Babe Rainbow

We’re gonna start the day off with kind of a creepy video which comes from the band Babe Rainbow. Babe Rainbow is the alter ego of Canadian musician Cameron Reed, who makes some really creepy electronic music, so the video definitely works for this. The video is for the song Shaved, which comes off of the EP of the same name which came out this week. The video kind of reminds me of Little Red Riding Hood mixed with The Descent with a splash of The Good Son… you know, but with girls. The video was directed by a collective named Salazar and I think they did a great job of creeping me out, though I’m not quite sure what happens at the end, any ideas?


The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Alex Mathers

Alex Mathers

It’s a little late in the day for the wallpaper, but sleep was more important last night. This week we have a very busy and talented young dude from the UK named Alex Mathers. Alex is all over the place these days. You might find him creating illustrations for his personal site, or writing about interesting art and design on his blog Ape on the Moon, or on Red Lemon Club, a site that’s dedicated to helping freelance creative types promote themselves and their work. Clearly he’s got a lot on his plate, but somehow he manages to make it all work.

Yet amid his busy schedule he was able to create the rad wallpaper you see above. I”m not 100% sure what it mens exactly but it sure is cool looking. I really love all of the colors and the wave patterns which appear all over. Thanks again Alex for the wallpaper.


Redefining America

I came across a couple of interesting articles that seemed to tie together kind of nicely, so I thought I’d post them both at once.

The first is by Annie Lowry who wrote an article called What if senators represented people by income or race, not by state? which she wrote for the Washington Post. The article talks about trying to bring about a better sense of balance when it comes to the Senate. According to the official Senate historian Donald Ritchie, “Half of the population of the nation lives in 10 states, which have 20 senators. The other half lives in 40 states that have 80 senators.” So what Ms. Lowry suggest is basing the Senate “on statistics rather than state lines.”

For example:

“Imagine a chamber in which senators were elected by different income brackets — with two senators representing the poorest 2 percent of the electorate, two senators representing the richest 2 percent and so on.

Based on Census Bureau data, five senators would represent Americans earning between $100,000 and $1 million individually per year, with a single senator working on behalf of the millionaires (technically, it would be two-tenths of a senator). Eight senators would represent Americans with no income. Sixteen would represent Americans who make less than $10,000 a year, an amount well below the federal poverty line for families. The bulk of the senators would work on behalf of the middle class, with 34 representing Americans making $30,000 to $80,000 per year.”

In essence we would have a body of power that truly represents the make-up of the United States. Originally Senate seats were divided more equally so that larger states couldn’t take advantage of smaller ones. This same thought doesn’t really have the same importance anymore, and breaking out Senate seats into income classes seems like an extremely intelligent way of going about it.

The other article is by Pete Warden,who’s been busy data-mining from Facebook’s 210 million profiles. Based on the data he’s accumulated he’s been able to divide the U.S. into seven major geographic regions; Stayathomia, Dixie, Greater Texas, Mormonia, Nomadic West and Socalistan. While I think the names are a bit silly, the information is rather interesting.

He was able to create these geographic clusters together by using a couple of different criteria. The first is the relation of the user in distance to their friends, and the second is by popularity of fan pages. By aggregating this data he’s found information like the following:

Sorry Bay Area folks, but LA is definitely the center of gravity for this cluster. Almost everywhere in California and Nevada has links to both LA and SF, but LA is usually first. Part of that may be due to the way the cities are split up, but in tribute to the 8 years I spent there, I christened it Socalistan. Californians outside the super-cities tend to be most connected to other Californians, making almost as tight a cluster as Greater Texas.

Keeping up with the stereotypes, God hardly makes an appearance on the fan pages, but sports aren’t that popular either. Michael Jackson is a particular favorite, and San Francisco puts Barack Obama in the top spot.

Though the data isn’t perfect it certainly gives an interesting glimpse into the makeup of the country. Also, Nomadic West sounds awesome, like Mad Max in the U.S.