Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Power Trip

If you're looking for more than just a printout to hang on the fridge when you leave for your next business trip, checkout TripIt. It's a new kind of online travel service that automatically organizes all your travel plans into one master online itinerary with everything you need for your trip – including travel confirmations, daily weather, local maps, city guides and more. All you do is e-mail your confirmation message from your provider and TripIt stitches all of the info together like your own personal concierge. If you're going to share the itinerary with friends & family, you may want to exclude your frequent flier number lest Uncle Leo jets to Rio with your miles.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reverse Graffiti

What if instead of spraying paint on public property to form images, you instead wiped off years of grime to reveal the clean walls of a tunnel? That's exactly what Alexandre Orion did in a São Paulo street tunnel: He wasn't painting city property, he was cleaning it. For over two weeks last year, the Brazilian artist selectively scrubbed soot from the tunnel until the white surface underneath stared through as a cemetery's worth of skulls.

Every night he worked, the reverse graffiti artist says, he had at least five encounters with state police or the city traffic department. They sound less than pleasant.

"The São Paulo state police are usually very forceful, often holding guns trained on my face, and shouting very loudly," he says. "When they had confirmed that I really was cleaning, they eased the authoritarian attitude and lowered their guns, a few smiled hesitantly, made a few remarks among themselves, and there were even a few words of support."

The only way the city could put a stop to this inconvenient spoof was to beat Orion at his own game. Early in the morning of July 26, they washed the skulls away. When he kept working on the rest of the tunnel, they washed the whole thing. Then, for good measure, they washed all the other tunnels in the city. Check out his clean getaway:


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Japanese Paper Trout

I don't always think of Japan when trout fishing comes up in conversation, but then I had never been to Yoshikazu Fujioka's Trouts and Seasons of the Mountain Village. Not only does he get into fly fishing for trout, he also paints the object of his obsession and shares these by way of print-them-yourself paper trout and selling limited edition prints.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Real Men Know How To Do Stuff

I remember when there was a time when all you had to do to prove your manhood was not eat quiche. Now, according to the October 2007 issue of Popular Mechanics, there are 25 Things that are required. (Like some of the comments posted, I doubt that extending your wireless range is more important than finding food.)

I can do 20 of them and have valid reasons for not knowing the remaining 5.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Five for Printing

I read an article today which listed some of the technologies that have passed on and we're glad they did. One of those was the dot-matrix printer. Now that we are able to buy photo-quality inkjet models for the cost of a dot-matrix ribbon, I tend to agree, and they are much quieter than the brrrapp-brrrapp-brrrapp-kachunka-chunka-chunka.

So check out this post from Friedbeef's Tech to take advantage of this now taken for granted technology.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Power Nap Dali-Style

This summer while in Trinidad, I honed my practice of power-napping to keep up with the young ones in the tropical heat. Whenever we had at least 15 minutes of downtime before the next activity, I'd dash off to the air-conditioned swamp, flop on my bed and listen with my eyes closed to a 10-15 minute ambient song like a stream or rain or crickets. Anyway, when the song ended, I'd wake up feeling rejuvenated.

The artist and napper Salvador Dali had an interesting nap technique, based on the idea that your body benefits from just getting to sleep as much as a couple of hours worth of dozing. He purportedley used a spoon to wake himself up just as he lost consciousness.

Here's how:
Sit in a comfy seat holding a spoon in your fingertips. You should be holding it in a way that when you lose consciousness (fall asleep) you drop it... the clatter (put a big metal bowl under your hand) will wake you.... and you're woken up JUST as you enter the best "dreamy" bit of your sleep. Then paint whatever you were dreaming about, I guess.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Moo Calling Cards

I recently developed the need to print up calling cards for personal contact info so as not to mingle business with mission. A friend of mine referred me to Moo Calling Cards.

They can be made from photos that you upload or are in your Flickr account, or you can use a premade design. The cards are made from high-quality reclyclable paper and the printing is sharp - and you can get 100 for $25 including shipping.

If you want to brush up on the proper use of said calling cards, checkout what Miss Emily Post has to offer.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Indian Summer Memories

I thought of both of these Indian memories from my early childhood for no particular reason. I'm sure anyone who has seen either will never forget them. The first is a film based on the Caldecott honor book "Paddle-to-the-Sea" or "Voyage à la mer" (that's French). An Indian boy far from the shore carves a wooden paddler in a canoe and sets it on a watershed cruise to find the sea by way of the Great Lakes. On the bottom of the canoe, he carves the words, "I am Paddle-to-the-Sea. Please put me back in the water." This lends opportunity for a little help along the way and even a new paint job by one kind soul.

The second is a PSA against pollution. I always remember thinking, "Why is he walking so close to the highway?" and "Wow, those people threw away a lot of food."


Thursday, October 04, 2007

While My Air Guitar Gently Weeps...

So there are times when, being a father, you feel like you're doing all the right things with your kids. And then there are times when you say to yourself, "How did I let this happen?"

For instance, the other night I was browsing iTunes and came upon an iMix for Ultimate Air Guitar Collection. I called my son over to show him the list (since he is now taking guitar lessons) and he looked at it and said..."What's an Air Guitar?" My heart sank. Was it possible that I had raised a son who had never experienced wearing headphones in front of a bedroom mirror playing an invisible guitar with abandon? I looked at him and said, "Son, before there was American Idol, Karaoke and Guitar Hero, we used to crank up the tunes and strum the air with vigor, pretending to wave the long hair we didn't have and singing into a hairbrush. I even remember a time when I was at a college visiting friends and we attended a 'Battle of the Air Bands' where top prize went to the Robert Palmer 'Addicted to Love' entry (They rocked.) We didn't need fancy electronic gadgets and talent to have fun. We made it up - we faked it 100%. I told him that people turn pro and compete to be able to enter the World Championships in Finland. They even made a documentary about the search to find someone from the USA who had enough 'Airguitarness' to represent. Check it out:

So now I feel it is my fatherly duty to invest the $25 in the following digitized songs for the sake of my son, and the fading legacy of the Air Guitar Mullet Heads out there.

Here's the Beginner's List:

[Johnny B. Goode] Chuck Berry
[(I Cant Get No) Satisfaction] The Rolling Stones
[Purple Haze] The Jimi Hendrix Experience
[Smoke On the Water] Deep Purple
[More Than a Feeling] Boston
[Wild Thing] The Troggs
[Walk This Way] Run-DMC
[Layla] Derek & The Dominos
[Free Bird] Lynyrd Skynyrd
[Bohemian Rhapsody] Queen
[Black Magic Woman!] Santana
[American Woman] The Guess Who
[Hot for Teacher] Van Halen
[Crazy Train] Ozzy Osbourne
[White Room] Cream
[Frankenstein] Edgar Winter
[Fortunate Son] Creedence Clearwater Revival
[Born to Be Wild] Steppenwolf
[Cinnamon Girl] Neil Young
[Sweet Child o Mine] Guns N Roses
[Barracuda] Heart
[Cat Scratch Fever] Ted Nugent
[You've Got Another Thing Coming] Judas Priest
[All Right Now] Free
[Walk Away] James Gang


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Model Community

New Zealand designer Grant Robinson has a Cellular Automata simulation that allows you to experiment with 3 simple rules to launch an organic community. I was struck by how quickly I was reminded how our own person-to-person relationships can mimick the results of basic cellular life. But then again, maybe that's by design :)


P.S. Grant also created a Heat Map version as well.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I want free software that will...

If you can't answer your question with this list, then you just may need professional help.

My favorites:

Yahoo! Widgets

Pear Budget

icon sushi