Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Earth Hour - click each picture to see before/after lights-out

Ohio man charged with drunken driving on barstool.
Apparently, there's a whole industry set up around this kind of thing. I'm way outta the loop.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Manhattan Project (nymag)
America's Bankers are Oligarchs (boingboing)
The poorly rasterized charts can be found accompanying this Atlantic article on the same topic.
Here's what a pixel on google earth looks like (via bifurcated rivets)
If there's one brand I've always associated with conservatism, it's Harley-Davidson. At one point in the 50's they made cool motorcycles before shifting permanently to tacky, logo'ed to the eyeballs, heavy junk on wheels. Despite their carefully calculated 'rebel' image, their core customer is a pot-bellied 50-something male, who is willing to pay (and pay big) to be a part of the tribe, right down to the factory-authorized belt buckle and tucked-in t-shirt combination.
Ironic, then, that their latest ad campaign uses a soviet-inspired font in a jingoist ad.
Spanish judge to hear torture case against Bush officials (guardian)
Spain is bravely attending to what the US SHOULD be doing.

"The only route of escape the prosecutor might have is to ask whether there is ongoing process in the US against these people," Boyé told the Observer. "This case will go ahead. It will be against the law not to go ahead."
Marketing the Cloud - wsj
"I have no idea what anyone is talking about," said Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Larry Ellison, when talking about cloud computing at a financial analyst conference in September. "It's really just complete gibberish. What is it?" He added: "When is this idiocy going to stop?"

Hollywood caricatures of the 1930s
Looking in to the past (flickr)
Find an old picture of a known location. Manually superimpose it on the way it looks today. Snap.
Reinventing America's Cities: The Time is Now (nytimes)
Although the W.P.A. is mostly associated with rural dams and roadways, there’s hardly a city in America where it didn’t leave its mark, from riverfront parks to schools and housing projects.

Eisenhower’s investment in highways was equally audacious, but its effect on cities has not always been positive; in many ways the Highways Act set the stage for decades during which suburban interests trumped urban ones.

Taking in the Trash: Salon on dumpster-diving

Friday, March 27, 2009

So you want to make a diamond-covered platinum skull?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

[Within The Product of No Product] An interesting article at Metropolis Magazine, about how design is affected when economic downturn begets anti-consumerism.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Animated Knots

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Box house (literally)
Movito Transforming electric scooter prototype design

Some amazing pics of an underwater volcano erupting off the coast of Tonga

This one looks like a giant winnie the pooh rising from the ashes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If you don't do anything else today, READ THIS:

Obama's Critical Early Test: Corporate Arrogance (boingboing)
Today, we face corporate arrogance that is almost transcendent and vastly more damaging than any of organized labor's excesses. Wall Street's barons, and the people who have been running and allegedly governing many of the nation's biggest companies, have raised a collective middle finger to America even as they've forced us to bail out the enterprises they've run into the ground. When commentators fret about corporate leaders' tone-deafness, they are implying that the executives simply don't get it. Oh yes they do.
1000 songs everyone must hear (guardian)
Excellent short reviews on a 1000 songs with a keen eye/ear for detail. Via metafilter

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

With tough federal rules that limit bonus compensation, failing Wall Street firms are getting creative with finding loopholes for using your tax money to line their pockets. (wsj)

This culture of arrogance and greed knows no bounds. THEY ARE NOT WORTH SAVING.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mosquito laser (wsj)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ukelele Freakshow: Oddballs of the ukelele universe

Friday, March 13, 2009

Scopitone Archive (from boingboing)
Charcoal House. Just don't lean on the walls with that white sweater.
Sign of the Times: Cheers bartender laid off

It's not very often that the Jive gets excited about bus design, but as with their taxi, London has a winner with this. Why can't the switch the steering to the other side and get these beautiful things on the streets of Philly?
Stewart vs. Cramer (last night, crooksandliars)
Especially interesting in light of the Cramer market manipulation segment (youtube) from TheStreet that has been recently making the rounds.
Here's what the NYTimes had to say on the piece.

Part of his frustration may stem from the fact that while Mr. Stewart clearly won the debate, Mr. Cramer and CNBC stood to profit from the encounter. In today’s television news market, the cable network and its stars are like the financiers they cover — media short-sellers trading shamelessly on publicity, good or bad, so long as it drives up ratings. There isn’t enough regulation on Wall Street, and there’s hardly any accountability on cable news: it’s a 24-hour star system where opinions — and showmanship — matter more than facts.

Uncensored version of the whole show on dailyshow
[Part 2] [Part3]
Girls on Vespas from the 50's, 60's (flickr)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What's a trillion dollars look like? (via boingboing)
FastCo's photo gallery of container dwellings
Star Trek cologne

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Old video games as vintage paperbacks
Obama, Bush Secret-Keeper (slate)
Polls increasingly show that—despite the tanking economy—close to two-thirds of the public want investigations into the Bush team's use of coercive interrogation and warrantless wiretapping. My guess is that those numbers will only go up, as America digests the OLC's newly released constitutional quilting projects. This latest batch of memos, after all, offers us the proposition that U.S. citizens wouldn't be protected by the Fourth Amendment if the military were deployed against suspected terrorists in the United States and that the president (as channeled by then-OLC lawyer John Yoo) had secretly granted himself the right to suspend free speech and a free press.
The (print) media misery index (TNR)
Lots of financial and distribution data, but this, I think, is most telling:

Percentage of respondents who believed the press "hurt democracy" in 2007: 36 percent

Operation Happy: What happens when the FDIC seizes your small bank (vid, 60 minutes, CBS)
"The night of February 27, no one at the bank knew that the end was minutes away."

Kudos to 60 minutes for an amazing piece of journalism.

Friday, March 06, 2009

How the Crash Will Reshape America (Atlantic)
No place in the United States is likely to escape a long and deep recession. Nonetheless, as the crisis continues to spread outward from New York, through industrial centers like Detroit, and into the Sun Belt, it will undoubtedly settle much more heavily on some places than on others. Some cities and regions will eventually spring back stronger than before. Others may never come back at all. As the crisis deepens, it will permanently and profoundly alter the country’s economic landscape. I believe it marks the end of a chapter in American economic history, and indeed, the end of a whole way of life.
Obama's Timid Liberalism (salon)
Neoliberals are liberals in one sense -- they fret about unequal outcomes. But rather than help middle- and low-income Americans by regulating the prices of privately provided public goods, as the crude and direct New Dealers would have done, neoliberal Democrats have argued for allowing the "market" (translation: the publicly subsidized entities) to set prices and then promised to provide tax subsidies or grants to help middle- and low-income Americans pay for the expensive, privately provided public goods.
Unemployment is at 8.1% - the highest it's been since '83.
Inflatable Bag Monsters (youtube)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Don't fuck with Jon Stewart

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Collecting from the dead. (TPM) (via metafilter)

Paul Kelleher: Yes, I'm calling to inform you that my mom died on the 24th of January.

Bank of America Estates representative: I'm sorry. Oh, it looks like she never even missed a payment. That's too bad. Well, how are you planning to take care of her balance?

PK: I'm not going to. She has no estate to speak of, but you should feel free to just go through the standard probate procedure. I'm certainly not legally obligated to pay for her.

BOA: You mean you're not going to help her out?

PK: I wouldn't be helping her out -- she's dead. I'd be helping you out.

BOA: Oh, that's really not the way to look at it. I know that if it were my mother, I'd pay it. That's why we're in the banking crisis we're in: banks having to write off defaulted loans.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Top 10 Media and Marketing Books of All Time (adage)
Bad Bank (ThisAmericanLife, mp3, free, I know money is tight, but support them if you can)

The collapse of the banking system explained, in just 59 minutes. Our crack economics team—the guys who explained the mortgage crisis, Alex Blumberg and NPR’s Adam Davidson—are back to help all of us understand the news. For instance, when we talk about an insolvent bank, what does it actually mean, and why are we giving hundreds of billions of dollars to rich bankers who screwed up their own businesses? Also, two guys go to New Jersey to look at a toxic asset.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mapping mutual incomprehension

When an English speaker doesn't understand a word one says, it's "Greek to me". When a Hebrew speaker encounters this difficulty, it "sounds like Chinese". I've been told the Korean equivalent is "sounds like Hebrew". Has there been a study of this phrase phenomenon, relating different languages on some kind of Directed Graph?


Gallery of Russian Book Jackets (1917-1942) (via designobserver)
"Gonna find a cave where we can hide
Everything we crave will be inside" (ebay)
(lyrics: Banana Splits)

The Essence of Line: Over 900 19th century French drawings
A really nice, intuitive color scheme designer