Sunday, February 26, 2012

Live from the Red Carpet!

  Greetings from sunny Los Angeles, California. After stopping by our favorite sushi restaurant, The Flying Fish, we are on the red carpet to bring you the latest on fashion, who's with who and the most important of all.....the awards!
   Michelle Williams looks lovely in a sleeveless tangerine dress by Louis Vuitton. 
   Leslie Mann picked a poor choice since she told the world she can't use the loo...
   Green, White, Pink and Gold seem to be popular colors. 
   The Dictator should have had his invitation rescinded. Way to take the event away from people who are actually working.....
  Emma Stone looks like a red velvet Christmas package...with a bow on it.
 Tina Fey is sporting a peplum, which seems to be trending hot on the runways...bad for anyone with bad for everyone, but she manages to pull it off.
Best quote of the night belongs to Penelope Cruz. When Tim Gunn asked her if her clothing line makes her more attune to styles and fashion, she replied, "Not really. I know what I like and I know what I don't like. Everyone woman does". 
   Billy Crystal's opening number was fantastic! Can someone fix the sound though? 
 Hugo takes Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects and Art Direction.
 The Artist takes Costume Design, Original Score, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Film.
 The Iron Lady takes Makeup Design, Best Actress.
 A Separation won Foreign Language Film.
 The Help takes Best Supporting Actress, 
 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo takes Film Editing
 Undefeated wins Best Documentary Feature.
 Rango wins Animated Feature Film.
 Beginners wins Best Supporting Actor (the oldest).
 The Muppets won Original Song (go Flight of the Conchords).
 Midnight in Paris won Best Original Screenplay.
 The Descendants won Best Adapted Screenplay.
 The Shore wins Live Action Short Film.
 Saving Face wins Best Documentary Feature.
 The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr.Morris Lessmore wins Best Animated Short.

 They could have cut the "Focus Group" wasn't that funny.....
Cirque du Soleil was good, but doesn't really show the true experience of the movies...Where's the bad snacks and the $20 movie tickets???
  Since the award show is already so bloody long could we please start INCLUDING the technical awards rather than glossing over them? These are the magic makers people....the deserve more than 3 seconds. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tough Guy Talk

  Wilmer Cook: Keep on riding me and they're gonna be picking iron out of your liver.
  Sam Spade: The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

-The Maltese Falcon

   That  famous quote sets the stage for Alan Axelrod's latest book, "The Cheaper the Crook, The Gaudier the Patter: Forgotten Hipster Lines, Tough Guy Talk and Jive Gems". Take a step back in time to the Roaring 20's, the Depression, World War II and the 50's when slang didn't have to fit in Twitter's 140 letter limit.  Axelrod breaks down the early American lexicon into 6 chapters. So, next time you want to talk tough, here's some gems to help you out.....

Gumshoes, Gunsels, Mugs and Molls

The real tough guy talk...this is a film noir smack down in its' finest form. Whether someone pulled a Brodie (committed suicide) or had a Button man (Hired Killer) plug you (kill) and put you in a Chicago Overcoat (coffin) you could bet a Private eye or  Dick would look into it for a price. If you did get caught, you could be a rat fink and try and cut a deal or do the time and get three hots and a cot (the optimistic look at the prison system). Just remember, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs; or as Al Capone said, "You can get much further with a kind word and a gun that you can with a kind word alone.

Daddies, Dishes, Dreamboats, and Drugstore Cowboys

Girls, are you tired of hearing the same old pick up lines? Well, just think, guys could be telling you that you're all meat and no potatoes (well built) or that you're built like a brick shithouse with hot and cold folding doors and running water (might be a good time to fake a cell phone call and leave if that comes up). If a guy asks you Cash or check than you should reply Cash please (Kiss me now), unless he's all show and no go. 

Hipsters, Hepster, Daddy-O's and Zoot Suiters

If you were hep (with it) you wouldn't want to be seen near a Moldy Fig (conservative who liked traditional jazz music). After you cut a rug since the joint was jumping'; you could invite a V-8 (girl who is too independent for a relationship) back to your pad.

Swabbies, Sad Sacks, Broke Dicks and Jodies

In the army, never trust the brass and make sure Jody (the civilian at home) keeps away from your girl. Keep your brain bucket on your head and make sure you have a shit screen (fall guy) in mind when you encounter a SNAFU, FUMTU, or a JANFU.

Wood Pushers, White Shoes, Kibitzers and Knuckle Busters

If you were living in a Hooverville you better hope you don't get Circus Bees (lice); though you could crab about how it's cold enough to freeze the balls of a brass monkey. Once Prohibition was over you could strike a blow for liberty (have a social drink) with your fellow knuckle busters (mechanics). Even if you were a working stiff as long as you got three squares (meals) a day; there was no reason to go and take the pipe (commit suicide). Yes, we have no bananas (saying no when you want to say yes).

Four-Flushers, Two-Timers, Bad Eggs, and Egg Suckers

If a gal was married to a Dewdropper (loafer) and he said she was "cracked" she could say, "Yes, cracked in the right place" if she had moxie. If you're co-workers are less than stellar you could call them a whole slew of zingers...invested in a Ponzi scheme? Then they are dead but won't lie down. Upper management steal your thunder? could call them an egg sucker, a four flusher, a pantywaist (sissy), they could be as popular as a pork chop at a synagogue, or you could tell them to take a long walk off a short pier. 

Our personal favorite has to be the whole nine yards. 
    This is the tale of Andrew MacTavish who was courting the lovely Margaret Mary. MacTavish knit Margaret a scarf for her birthday and in his fervor didn't stop until it was nine yards long. After completing the scarf MacTavish donned his finest kilt and went to the local pub for a dink with the boys. One drink led to another and another (he needed to build up his courage after all)....Well, when the boys got liquored up they started to make fun of the "ugly" scarf MacTavish was hoping would catch his ladies eye. His confidence shaken, MacTavish made the journey to get Margaret's opinion. Somewhere along the way he lost his kilt (don't you just hate when that happens?).
   Naked except for the scarf, he threw rocks against her window and was greatly invigorated by the notion of seeing his lady love. Greatly. Margaret opened up the window and heard, "Margaret Mary, I have made this just for you. I'm going to give it to you on your birthday. How do you like it?"
   Margaret replied, "Just fine, Andy dear, just fine. It is magnificent". She wasn't looking at the scarf, but just to make sure MacTavish called out, "The whole nine yards?"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

 A little Vintage Mardis Gras! Maybe your day be full of indulgence; a good bloody mary, some gumbo, beads and local flavor. Laissez les bon temp rouler!

Southerners were using Crisco way before Mrs. Paula Deen!

It isn't Mardi Gras until there's King Cake!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Trash to Treasure on your Smartphone

   As an artist I am always looking for materials to incorporate into my work. I scan for coupons, check free cycle and look on the "free" section of craigslist. This is all very time consuming and lets face it, sometimes dumpster diving just has too much of an "ice" factor. What's an artist to do?
   Meet CORA. Cora is a mobile app that will help trash become treasure. You can browse for items that you want or you can post items that you want to get rid of. If you just want to find a recycling center for those damn energy efficient light bulbs....well, CORA can do that too. CORA is more than just a trash to treasure trade. With CORA you can cash in on your goods,  figure out what DIY project you can do with leftover tin cans, connect with your community, move to "zero waste" and much more.
   CORA was founded by Liesl and Rebecca Rockefeller after a trip to the beach and a nasty run in with gobs of plastic waste. Both wanted to deal with waste from a point beyond just picking of the trash.
   CORA is seeking funding through Kickstarter and you can make a pledge here. If all goes well, beta testing will begin (and we are very excited to be part of the beta testing!). Check back and we'll let you know how it goes....but if we see anything cool, we call Dibs....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Mine...Or Else

Valentine's Day...the one day, you buy a card, chocolate, flowers, jewelry, strange stuffed animals, etc and profess your love....
  Isn't this something you should be doing the other 364 days of the year? So, dismissing the fact the "every kiss begins with Kay", and Teleflora's claim that if you buy your significant other flowers they will "give"; we have some old fashioned Valentines for you. The backstory is the company I work has a 1946 diner in the basement and it needed some holiday decor. I gathered some 1940's-1950's Valentines and those red and white lace doily hearts, my trusty glue stick and went to town. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bionic Eyes Sound Cool.....

   So, new broke earlier about Viritual Reality Contact Lenses. A company called Innovega worked with DARPA to make a "lifestyle interface". The deal is you put in contact lenses and a pair of glasses and BAM! You look at a person and you can see their name, Facebook profile, work history and even translate what they are saying into your language.
   Innovega is hoping to use this to further augmented reality, which seems to be the future of advertising and all human interaction. I'll take real reality thank you very much. So, you can try on sunglasses virtually with augmented reality in the store, but this doesn't tell you how they feel. If I do that with a pair of jeans, it's laughable since on average I find one pair out of 100 that I try on that actually fits me.
   The hope out of this contact lens/glasses combo is that you'll be able to function just like the machines in The Terminator. You'll pull up information, see reviews on restaurants and stores (including what your friends think) and you could even use them for GPS navigation.
   I don't know about you, but I have enough information zipping through my brain without adding anything else. Also, in a world of reviews and trending, it's nice to just stumble upon a place. What do you think Robert Frost would think of Virtual Reality eyewear for his travels? "I shall be telling this with a sigh/ Somewhere ages and ages hence/ Two roads diverged in a wood, and I/ I took the one less travels by/ And that has made all the difference. "

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Ads

   After watching the game yesterday and eating way too much, here's our ratings on some of the ads....

Audi's Vampire party....cheeky, liked that he's bringing O+ to the party, love that they use "The Killing Moon" by Echo and the Bunnymen...but, Vampires are everywhere and need to go away...which they do..'cause the headlights in this car kill them....good to know if you're ever stuck in a 30 Days of Night or Omega Man situation....

Chevy Silverado's take on 2012.....poor Ford...guess it's still going around that your name is an acronym for "Found On Road Dead" since the guy who drove a Ford didn't make it through the end of the least they have all those tasty frog legs to eat with their Twinkies

Go Daddy's Body Painting....I will be more impressed with Danica Patrik when she starts winning races and stops taking her clothes original Go Daddy.....

Ads with Dogs......From a dog bribing his owner with Doritos to forget the dead cat, Sketcher's Mr. Quiggly beating greyhounds, the VW dog dieting to Bud's shelter dog with special talent's it is looking like this is the year of the pooch

H&M's David Beckham, Bodywear....Finally someone noticed that 1/3 of the football audience is female. Brilliant almost naked David Beckham with "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" playing in the background...

Chrysler's Clint Eastwood "Halftime in America"....Stirring? Yes....But saying human perserverance got Detroit through togh times....not exactly....that would the $7.6 billion dollars in government loans...which they paid go Detroit, you did what you are supposed to do... and I thought this was a political ad at first...

Fiat 500 Abarth Seduction....This commercial worked because it kept you watching to see where it was this a Victoria's Secret Commercial? Coffee?

Coke deserves bonus points for the brilliant marketing scheme of the Coke Polar Bears watching the game live...So you could watch the game and watch the bears watch the game....the danced, cringed, rooted and tweeted all game long...Now there's an ad agency that should get an award!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Stereograph..Back and Better than Ever

   The original 3-D viewing device is back, thanks to the New York Public Library's Stereogranimator.
 Stereographs have been around since the mid 1800's and work similar to how are eye perceive the world. You place a card that has side by side 2-D images on it in your viewer, adjust and viola! A seemingly 3-D image appears before your eyes.

The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Oranges Growing in Southern California

Doughboys of the 89th Div. Resting in Treves, Germany

Between the 1840's and the 1930's millions of stereographs were produced in a wide range of media and on a variety of subjects (as you can see above). Oliver Wendell Holmes invented a handheld viewer and people were able to grow their viewing collection. You look through the two lenses and adjust your view by sliding the horizontal viewer closer or farther away. Then, the lovely print of Diana can be her glorious tastefully nude self. 

If all of this is seeming familiar to you, just think of the trusty view master of your childhood. Now, back to the New York Public Library.....You can go to their site here and choose from any of the stereographs in their collection. Then, you slide them together and animate! 
We choose to search "snow" since it's winter and all....Here's what we came up with for our animated stenograph...

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator