two cents

A fresh look at the stuff we use every day

I love it when someone puts a useful spin on the mundane. These scissors make quick work of shredding, confetti, or even slicing herbs. Inspiring - makes me want to rethink everything...

Links and images via cool hunting

Mentos Fountains

Appx 1500 students break the world record for Mentos fountains (mentos dropped into 2-liters of diet coke).

May be a bit wasteful, but what a sight...

link via the cool hunter

I told Jay I did a song with coldplay...


In case you haven't yet heard, Coldplay is giving away Violet Hill, a track from their upcoming release Viva La Vida. I quite like it. It's got some weight to it. And I'm also really digging the album art.

Be sure to grab it - it's only for a limited time.

Not a Coldplay super-fan by any means - perhaps my low expectations is why I'm so impressed.

"abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz"

clocks

Christiaan Postma has created an art installation of a clock, made up of many individual spinning clock arms that over time converge to spell out the correct hour. So at Twelve, the word twelve appears by the convergence of all the clock arms. Again at one, the word one appears, and so on.

Like much art, quite hard to explain, but the flash animation on his site sums it up...and is really amazing.

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This week in basketball...

The United States men's basketball team will face host China in its first game at the Beijing Olympics. Tensions will be high, and this probably won't help.

Jay-Z gets involved in a Lebron James/Deshawn Stevenson war of words. As an aside, I always want Jay-Z on my side.

update: you can hear the song here.

My Orlando Magic are up 3-1 in the first round, and baring they don't choke tonight, will make it to the second round for the first time since the mid-nineties. GO MAGIC!

update: MAGIC WIN! Next up - Detroit.

Irony

I grew up in the Church. I'm still involved to some extent. So when El Clinto posted a blog about XXX Church's mention in the "Stuff Christians Like" Blog, I took notice.

It's basically a Christian version of "Stuff White People Like" (which I posted about before). The headlines are all pretty spot on, and made for a good laugh upon initial glance. I applaud his effort to point out inconsistencies and grotesqueness in Christian culture, and I believe his heart is good. But in general, for a number of reasons (including, I suspect, an attempt to avoid coming across as judgmental) it loses all of it's bite.

I find it ironic. Like most Christian "stuff" he took something funny, relevant and popular, and put an uninspired "Christian" spin on it.

His next post should be "Christians like...taking something good and making a more bland Christian version of it."

Then again, he's taking action in a world of inaction, which should also be applauded. I just wish it wasn't done in a "He's the Real Thing" sort of way.

two cents.

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Illustration Amazingness


Science Machine from Chad Pugh on Vimeo.

Chad Pugh has created some fantastic illustrations which he's selling prints of in his online store. This is what 40 hours of illustration looks like. Amazing.

link via yewknee

Life-sized mouse trap

Someone has created a 25,000-lb, life-sized mousetrap. I wonder how big the mouse will be?

It will be on display at Maker Faire:

Maker Faire is a two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It’s for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make things.
Link via coudal partners

I Want You to Want Me

Jonathan Harris blows my mind. Consistently. The way he envisions, displays, and makes data interactive is remarkable. He makes it human.

I've followed his work for a while, but was just exposed to his recent MoMA commission focused on love, particularly through online dating. It is beautiful. Because people tend to post the most important things about themselves, he says:

it's a very fertile ground for building a mosaic of humanity

Link via Cool Hunting


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Graphic Design: The New Basics


I've been enjoying the site for the book Graphic Design, the new basics today. Not only does it look like a book worth picking up, the site content is really great. It has an overview of the major, basic design principles, with definitions, examples and exercises.

Stuff you know, worth rehashing.

I don't touch the stuff...but...

I dont see why if I wanted to I shouldn't be allowed.

Congressman Barney Frank today introduced bi-partisan legislation aimed at removing federal restrictions on the individual use of marijuana.

As Dr. Ron Paul once pointed out, the only reason it's illegal and alcohol is not is because politicians like their alcohol.

"To those who say that the government should not be encouraging the smoking of marijuana, my response is that I completely agree. But it is a great mistake to divide all human activity into two categories: those that are criminally prohibited, and those that are encouraged. In a free society, there must be a very considerable zone of activity between those two poles in which people are allowed to make their own choices as long as they are not impinging on the rights, freedom, or property of others."

More on the Raw Story

Some killer music videos

Kraak & Smaak - Squeeze Me

Link via Yewknee via Luke


Link via Apex Exposure

GPS-enabled cameras

What an interesting concept. Altek just announced an 8 megapixel camera with integrated GPS, which tags each photo with the exact latitude and longitude of where the picture is taken.

Photos will be both date and location tagged, allowing you to truly capture that moment in time.

Imagine in the future going to a google maps style interface and see all photos that exist for a location on a date over the course of, say, an hour. People have been doing this manually for a while, but the idea of making it automated is very interesting.

Link via endgadget

Light Emitting Wallpaper

"The back layer is a silver-based solution that conducts electricity, while the layer above this contains phosphorous pigments that light up. On top of this is a flexible, transparent ITO conductor layer, with regular wallpaper placed on top to act as the final, outwardly visual layer," he explained.
More on TechRadar

Link via Andrew Sullivan

Next generation aircraft

With its 64 meters long and 36 meters wide, this aircraft has a top speed of 138 mph with range of more than 3000 miles It boasts some unique properties for a craft of its size including the ability to hover, take-off and land vertically, complete autonomy from airports, etc.


More pictures and info on Kanye West's blog

(Yes. Kanye West's blog.)

The Art of the Title Sequence

Title sequences for movies and tv are such a cool art form, and sometimes can even be the best part of the entire the entire thing. The Art of the Title Sequence features some of the best. It even has some of the Saul Bass classics like Vertigo. One of my personal favorites is Thank you for Smoking.

Worth checking out.

related: These are especially amazing when you think about what opening sequences could be if done the typical mediocre way (thanks yewknee)....

Link via Paul Armstrong

Death = Taxes

Happy April 15th, the beautiful spring day where we are reminded how our fine government takes our money, holds it for a year (with no interest, of course), gives it back like it's a gift, then taxes that as "income" next year. Yes, the day where we remember how inefficient and difficult the government can be. Where we are forced through an impossible labyrinth of forms and files to figure out just how much the Government will penalize our productivity.

Truly, today is the day where we should take a good, hard look at that bottom line figure of what we paid over the past year and burn it into our brain so we will remember next time we vote.

The image is from Boortz/Linder Fair tax book, which I tend to think is a good idea. It may not be a perfect solution, but it is much better than the system we have now. Learn more about the fair tax at fairtax.org.

And don't forget that bottom-line figure...

Super Mario Theme Played with RC Car and Bottles


Mario Theme Played with RC Car and Bottles - Watch more free videos

Amazing. Also amazingly nerdy.

Link via Jacob.

Sony Wins

Sony certainly knows how to produce a sense of wonder. This ad is just remarkable. The Sony Bravia ads to date have been spectacular, and this is no exception. Here they feature Sony cameras, and produces a similar sense of wonder while falling in closely to the existing brand.

I beg to differ with Nathan on this one. His point is taken that many over-document instead of just experiencing a moment, but it's certainly something I'd want my camera on-hand to record.

Link via Veryness

Obey Orwell

Shepard Fariey (Obey) has been busy. He's branched out from his generally subversive work to design the popular Obama political posters, and now for Penguin he's designed covers for two Orwell classics. Love it.

Link via Boing Boing

Narnia in 5 Seconds

via Veryness

Vinyl Wall Stickers

These Paristic wall stickers seem like a cool way to spice up a room (or window, furniture, etc).

Low impact (easy to remove) and works well with large expanses of blank walls.

Color-changing pavement

I've heard about see-through concrete and luminescent gravel, but color changing pavement?

It's a thermosensitive varnish put on roads to indicate freezing conditions. Great idea to help keep people safe.

via cool hunting

Dear God

I just ran across Dear God.

Dear God is a global project for people around the world to share their innermost hopes - and fears - through prayer

Part post-secret, part religious expression, people are posting short requests to (and rails against) "God".

I find them to be an interesting insight into the human struggle with their creator.
I think many people use the anonymity of the internet to say things they otherwise wouldnt. That can be very good and very bad.

On the whole though, the idea of a collective, shared prayer is an interesting one, and it's executed in a very interesting way. Check it out.

Link via the cool hunter

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LOST: This about sums it up



via Falfa
(ps - itching for some new episodes...yet another repeat tonight...)

Flickr now has video


Morning Commute
Originally uploaded by BigGuns
To test out flickr's newly added video capabilities, my friend Daniel filmed his morning commute. Looks alot like mine.

I love flickr, and welcome the ability to have both photos and videos together in my photostream. It'll be nice not to have to tell people about 2 separate sites. I wonder how this will affect Vimeo (which i like alot lately, and also allows you to enter videos into your flickr stream)?

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Starz gets it right

New branding for the cable network starz hits the nail on the head. Really great. More on Brand New.

Link via Nathan

It wasn't planned. The goal was to hibernate.

Justin Vernon moved to a remote cabin in the woods of Northwestern Wisconsin at the onset of winter. Tailing from the swirling breakup of his long time band, he escaped to the property and surrounded himself with simple work, quiet, and space. He lived there alone for three months, filling his days with wood splitting and other chores around the land. This special time slowly began feeding a bold, uninhibited new musical focus...
more...
Listen on Virb. I'd recommend Lump Sum first.

First heard about him from Jon Schaaf, then again from Jim Renaud and now I'm hooked. I can't stop listening to this record...

Isn't it cool what can happen when you arent expecting it?

The Hand Written Word

My good friend Nathan started something quite interesting - thehandwrittenword.

From the site:
We're writing out the Bible by hand. 1 chapter a day until we're done. We're using different translations. We're writing in 5.25"x8.25" notebooks. We'll post photos of our pages online. If you want to join, let us know.

Day 1 (Genesis 1) has already been posted.

I think it's brilliant for a number of reasons. For one, you can often retain things better when you write them out. In addition it's a community participatory thing, with low barrier to entry (you must be able to write), and you could theoretically after 3 years end up with a book you can treasure for generations to come.

My handwriting is atrocious and I know enough about myself to realize I won't go the distance. But I may jump in on an easy book down the line.

Air Bear


More Street Art. This time by Joshua Allen Harris.
He...ties (plastic) bags to the ventilation grates above the subway lines so that when the subway rushes through underneath, the animal jumps up and springs to life.
More here and here on Wooster Collective

Signs of Spring

Creative work from street artist Mark Jenkins.

Link via Wooster Collective

The 21 Steps

Just ran across Charles Cumming's The 21 Steps, and am very intrigued. I haven't read all of the story yet, but it is entirely told through short blurbs in points on a google map.

I was approached by Penguin, who were keen to explore new ways of telling stories online, using a variety of different platforms. There are five stories on the site, all very different in style and content.

Fascinating.

Link via cool hunting

Friday Free Font - Petie Boy

I love me some bittbox. He's a designer who gives lots of stuff away. Sort of a give-and-it-will-come-back-to-you sort of attitude. I want to be more like that.

He's giving away the petie boy font for free.

And maybe I'm also posting it because it's what my mom used to call me when I was little...and maybe not just when I was little.

What Every American Should Know About the Middle East

I try to follow this stuff and still admittedly dont know nearly as much as i should. What Every American Should Know About the Middle East is a great super-quick read on the basics.

Link via Secret Experiment

Modernista "through the eyes of the web"

Modernista is an ad agency whose new site is viewed completely "through the eyes of the web." It's best experienced yourself, but in a nutshell, the navigation is anchored in the top left, and links take you to places around the web that either reference or showcase their work.

I think this is brilliant and the future of the web.

Sites like google, wikipedia, flickr, flacebook have already developed incredible technologies. Modernista is properly and creatively leveraging them. Why rebuild?

There is some controversy - wikipedia has objected to the use of their site, citing some sort of violation of their neutrality. Interestingly enough I found this negative press through Modernista's own site.

It's worth checking out.

Link via Nathan

Create your own font

I admit I'm kind of a type junkie, and that is in no way cool, but today I ran across fontstruct, a free web tool to create your own fonts (still in beta). It's limited (using a basic grid only, small palette of shapes to use), but a really cool idea, and some of these creations are pretty cool.

link via form fifty five

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Death Cab frontman's new side project

Ben Gibbard announced his new side project today, Just Jazzin'.




Just Jazzin’ is a new project by Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. Born out of an interest in exploring music free from rules and convention, Just Jazzin’ offers the world a chance to see another side of Ben.
I for one LOVE IT.

UPDATE 4/2/08: April Fools! Reminds me of Spinal Tap Mach 2. Original link, along with other april tom-foolery: Yewknee