Friday, April 29, 2005

Nintendo Happy Hour

One last tidbit before the weekend.

Check out this very cool art exhibit called I am 8 Bit, inspired by old school video games. There are a ton of pictures from the opening at Fort 90. I wonder if they went here for inspiration?

I had to share this great work by Bod Dob. If you can't tell, I'm ready for the weekend to begin.

Via Core 77

Show and Link

I'm having a crazy Friday but I wanted to thank everyone for making this Prade's most visited week to date. I'll do my best to keep up my end, as long as you keep visiting.

Here are some tidbits to check out while you surf the web this weekend in a segment I like to call PRADE Show and Link.

  • And the crew responsible for one of the best sneaker sites around, Crooked Tongues, have written a book about sneaker collecting. Josh Rubin thinks it is "the most thorough and cleanly designed sneaker guide" to date. It doesn't appear to be as cool as Where'd You Get Those, by kicks guru Bobbito Garcia, but perhaps it is a better laid out guide for collectors, whereas Garcia's was more anecdotal.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Thanks to Andy Wana

Andy Wana, designer of the Lotus 23 that PRADE featured this week, sent me some kind words about PRADE's coverage of his design.

He also links to PRADE's story from his site andywana.com, putting us right up there with the big dogs - Engadget and Josh Spear.

Thanks to Andy for his support.

You Can't Kill the Wooster

The Wooster Collective is the best site around for checking out the best graf and street art from around the globe.

Wired recently ran a feature on Wooster, telling how the husband and wife team of Marc and Sara Schiller grew the site from just a collection of images of local SoHo and LES graffiti from their neighborhood.

I highly recommend exploring Wooster Collectivefor some really great examples of innovative and thought-provoking street art. The site updates frequently and makes a great addition to anyone's Bookmarks or Favorites.

From the streets of Prague

Tvboy in Milan is a responsible treehugger.

Designer Pre Fab

Deutsche Welle has a great article looking at the German pre fab housing scene, covering the opportunities and obstacles pre fab faces in Germany's conservative building culture.

Despite the appeal of being able to buy a designer home right "off the rack," pre fab housing faces a German prejudice against wood framed houses as opposed to traditional massivbau ( stone and cinderblock construction). Other obstacles to widespread pre fab housing in Germany include conservative building codes and buyers who are unaware of the advantages and options available with modern pre fab housing.

The article also claims that only 13% of new homes are pre-fabricated in stoic Germany, compared to 70-90% of new housing in Scandinavia and a third of new Austrian homes.

Particularly interesting are the designer pre fab houses featured in the article from marquee names like Frank Gehry (of Guggenheim Bilbao fame). These star architects are helping to improve the image of pre fab in the eyes of design concious consumers, bringing pedigree names to the pre fab housing game.

Included are Gehry's "Court Yard House" , Viennese architect Peichl's "Piechl-Haus", and former Swatch designer Matteo Thun's "o sole mio."

Court yard House


o sole mio (my favorite of the three)

Via Treehugger.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Meet Douglas Adams

IGN is hosting an amusing and entertaining look at Douglas Adams, author of the famed Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The article features descriptions of Douglas from friends and professional acquaintences.

My personal favorite is this story from Monty Python alum Terry Jones.

I was lucky enough to buy two tickets for the first ever screening of Abel Gance's Napoleon in Kevin Brownlow's restored version. I don't know why I bought the tickets, because I'd never heard of either the film nor Abel Gance, however the idea of a five-hour silent film with a final sequence that prefigured Cinerama with three screens interlocking sounded pretty intriguing.

However, when the day of the screening came (a Sunday), I had a hangover and so did my wife. She decided she didn't feel up to sitting in the cinema watching a silent movie from 10.00am until 5.00pm. So I rang Michael Palin. He said he had a hangover and didn't fancy the idea of sitting in the cinema watching a silent movie from 10.00am until 5.00pm. So I rang up Douglas. He said he had a hangover and didn't fancy the idea of sitting in the cinema watching a silent movie from 10.00am until 5.00pm.

So I gave up, and decided that since I'd bought the tickets, hungover or not, I'd have to go on my own.

Just as I was leaving the house, however, the phone rang. It was Douglas. He said he'd been thinking about it, and the idea of sitting in the cinema watching a silent movie from 10.00am to 5.00pm sounded so dreadful that he just had to do it to see if it was as dreadful as it seemed.

So that's what happened. Douglas and I met up, thinking we'd give the middle of the film a miss, but instead finding ourselves riveted and at each interval impatient to get back into the film. It was, in short, one of the cinematic events of my life.

But for me the interesting thing was Douglas's fearless curiosity. He came precisely because it sounded like such a bad idea! That really was Douglas.

As a huge fan of the books, it is wonderful to know that DA's sense of humor apparently permeated his whole life. I hope someone can tell a great story like this about me some day when I go.

Spy on Rich People

A group known as Heavy Trash has placed large viewing platforms around Los Angeles area gated communities to encourage people to peer over the walls of these secluded residential areas in Brentwood Circle, Park La Brea and Laughlin Park. The goal of the project is to raise awareness of the growing popularity of gated communities (although, growing up in Florida, I can tell you that these have BEEN popular for a while!)

Taking their inspiration from historic viewing platforms at the Berlin Wall, the group of anonymous architects, designers and urban planners want to illustrate that the walls of these gated communities are not the answer for home owners seeking safety and security. According to their online statement:

"When public services and even local government are privatized, when the community of responsibility stops at the gates, the function and the very idea of democracy are threatened. Gates and barricades that separate people from one another also reduce people's potential to understand one another and commit to any common or collective purpose."

Read more about their beef with walls here, and commence covert surveilance activities.

Via Archinect.

I Dream of Roof Gardens

Not only do I long to live in San Francisco, but I also daydream about reading the newspaper and having my morning coffee on a roofdeck like those designed by Urban Roof Gardens, a London based firm dedicated to designing . . . you guessed it, roof gardens (and green roofs).

Not only does the firm design roofs, but they also "raise awareness of the benefits of urban roof gardens, terraces and green roofs." I can't express how much I value outdoor green spaces in a city - from small parks to terraces and roof decks. It makes such a psychological impact - relieving stress and re-connecting you with nature despite your urban surroundings. And it is good for the environment in a variety of ways - so it is a win win.

I've seen an increasing number of green roof projects recently, and hoepfully this is a trend that is gaining momentum. The more green in the city, the better in my view.

So now my California dreaming will involve me reclining on a roof deck much like this one below, from Cochran Landscape Architecture. You can see more from the firm here.

Via Land + Living

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite Soundboard

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

From your friends at Albino Black Sheep comes the Napoleon Dynamite soundboard, for endless hours of entertainment.

Yes, these are the things that the internet was made for. It almost brings a tear to your eye.

Dwell Dwindling?

I just came across a very cool Modern Design blog called Land + Living. It has some great features on archtiects and design products - and definitely worth adding to your list of sites to check out.

Particularly interesting is the in-depth Dwell debate taking place in the talkback sections. Apparently a disgruntled Dwell reader posted some criticism of the magazine in the Archinect Forums, which sparked off quite a discussion addressing issues some readers have with what they perceive as the magazine's new focus on conspicuous consumption.

Some of that discussion spilled over into Land + Living's comment section, including thoughts from Andrew Wagner, the senior editor at Dwell.

The basic argument boils down to whether Dwell has sold out, abandoning its roots of covering affortable, sustainable modern design in favor of extremely high-end projects, overpriced products, and Hummer advertisements.

As a continued reader of Dwell, I have to say that I still enjoy the magazine immensely. I do agree that increasingly the projects featured in the magazine seem to be moving towards extremely high end - but I also appreciate seeing a variety of budget scales, and would ideally like a mix of the affordable and the unattainable. I believe it is unfair to criticize the magazine for the ads it features, although I question the executive that thought an H2 ad in a magazine that features green design would really be a good sell for his product. I hope that Dwell aspires to feature products and projects for a variety of budgets - with the common link being solid design not upper class luxury (*cough, Wallpaper *cough).

Is America obsessed with consumerism? Definitely. And Dwell is not immune to this fascination with consumption - they need to sell magazines and ads, so they also have to appeal to readers. However, I consistently read articles in the magazine that promote green design or educate home-owners on how to select an architect for a renovation. These articles are undoubtedly contributing to an increased awareness of good design - and are not focused on slanging a specific product to the masses. At the same time - I also enjoyed their look at the latest in washing machine designs. I think a blend of these different perspectives is the best route, and although Dwell may fall on one side or the other from time to time, I believe that its goal is to achieve that balance. If they can sell magazines and ads, contribute to public knowledge of design, and still write interesting and informative articles - then I think they are achieving their goal. After all, it is up to you if you want to BUY the Hummer, not the editors of Dwell.

PRADE wants to hear from you. Comment on this article, and enter the debate here and here, and check out Dwell at local newstands, and online.

New Umbrella Blossoms

As my torn and disfigured umbrella blows away down the street, I've often wondered why no one has ever come up with a substantially new umbrella design. One that dispatches with those metal ribs that always break or tear away from the fabric, opens and closes smoothly, and doesn't splash water everywhere when you try to close it.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one. Andy Wana's Lotus 23 is a revolutionary, fully retractable umbrella that creatively addresses all the problems areas with the traditional umbrella design. Wana's new rain stopper took home the 2005 Australian Design Award-Dyson Student Award for its innovative, lateral thinking design.

The Lotus 23 canopy retracts entirely inside the body of the umbrella, squeezing out the water as it does so you don't have to bring the water in from the rain with you. The canopy unfolds out of the handle much like a flower opening up, which also means that you can semi-retract the umbrella to pass others in tight areas. There are no sharp, pointed arms - and the vented design with flexible ribs means that the wind won't take your umbrella away or leave it a broken, upturned mess.

Not only that, but Andy claims it is even cheaper to manufacture because of the efficiency of the design. It can even come in an assortment of colors thanks to the ABS plastic body. As someone who has been chronically abused by inferior umbrellas, I can assure Andy that I'd be first in line to buy a Lotus 23 if it hits shelves.

Read more about the Lotus here.

Via Josh Spear.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Cool Hunting Re-design

As if running the best cool hunting site on the web wasn't enough,
Josh Rubin has just re-designed his site and it looks great - clean, sleek, and well laid out.

I particularly like the changing banner feature called the Cool Hunting Showcase, and even the google ads look good with the new layout.

You can let him know what you think of the design here.

District of Cherry Blossoms

Thought on a grey and cold DC monday, I'd share some pics of DC when it was in full glorious spring bloom.

These were all taken with my Sony Cybershot DSC-W5 - which is probably my best gadget purchase ever. The 5.1 Megapixel camera has a great look and feel, with a jumbo sized LCD screen and Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens. But the best part is how quickly the camera can turn on and take a picture - I've been able to capture some great shots in a split second's notice. And the battery life is fantastic - one charge lasted my entire 10 day vacation in Costa Rica. I highly recommend it if you are in the market for a digital camera that can take amazing pics and still be practical for weekend snapshots.

Without further adieu . . .

Harlem World Launch

I'm sure you have all read my article about Goliath, a new sneaker spot in Harlem that features some great kicks and gear in a unique storefront that was once a bar in its former life.

Well, if that didn't inspire you to head uptown to check it out, then this should.

Goliath is hosting a launch event on May 12th from 6-10 PM.

The event includes DJ Eli on the 1's and 2's, a silent auction featuring exclusives from JB Classic & LRG vaults, a live graff exhibition by CZAR, and a photography installation by Classic Collections. ANd your host for the night, Rosemary, will be tending to all your GOliath styling needs.

So go visit Goliath at 175 East 105th Street- between Lexington and 3rd Avenues, and tell Rosemary that PRADE says hi.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Chris Abraham - Tech Guru

Just thought I'd hip the throngs of PRADE readers (translation: my girlfriend and my brother) to Chris Abrham's blog - the best place for interesting tech news and other musings.

Want to know what exactly Flickr is and how it can be utilized? Check out his post here.

Want to know the pope's email address? He's got that too.


Via Chris who sits at the desk next to mine.

Stones in Glass Houses

"The essence of space is not determined by the mere presence of limiting surfaces but by the spiritual principle of this limitation. The true task of architecture is to let the structure articulate the space; it is not the building that is the work of art but space." - Mies van der Rohe

The ebay auction for the chance to smash the glass facade of Mies van der Rohe's S.R. Crown Hall has closed.

Granted National Landmark status in 2001, and named by TIME as one of the Greatest Buildings in the World, the iconic building at the Illinois Institute of Technology's campus is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a bang. The building is being restored, and the Mies van der Rohe Society auctionined off the chance to break the first 10 foot pane of the glass facade.

The winning bid clocked in at $2,705, with proceeds going towards the restoration. To learn more about this great building click here and here.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Bottle Opener Sandals

Because ribbon belts just aren't useful enough in the kitchen, Abercrombie preppies everwhere have their mouth watering for Reef's new bottle opener sandals.

Sure to be invading the sidewalks of Georgetown shortly.

Via Maxim and Gizmodo

Tiny Apartments

First off - NYers are crazy. They pay three times what a normal person pays for an apartment, and for half the space. But that is what it means to live in NYC - and because of that, Big Apple-heads are great at making the most of their small space.

But if you thought YOUR apartment was small, check out this place - part of Apartment Therapy's Smallest, Coolest Apartment Contest.

Total square footage for this Harlem browstone studio? 186 sq ft!! That's including bathroom and closet.

Peep the other entries - there are some well-thought out and wonderfully designed pads, and you can easily pick up some tips for maximizing your own space.

My favorites so far are Patrick's and Brandon's, but there are some other good contenders as well.

Threadless Works

In addition to selling dope t-shirts designed and selected by its customers, Threadless also listens to the customers when it comes to bringing back out-of-print designs. Just last week, I voted for this great design below to be re-issued, and when I checked my inbox this morning - I was greeted with an email telling me that my wish had been granted.

You can pick up a copy of "Pandamonium" here, and don't forget to check out the sister site, OMG clothing, here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Prade's Stupid Human Trick of the Day

This really doesn't relate to anything, but I was flabbergasted by this video of a kid juggling while playing Dance Dance Revolution.

And he isn't on the basic level either - this is some advanced, Sweating-to-the-Oldies type DDR. I thought my girlfriend's old roomate was a DDR stud, but this kid is on another level.


Via Boing Boing

The High Line

The High Line is everywhere in the blogsphere right now. But for the uninitiated - here is the basic info on the project.
  • The High Line is a project intended to preserve and reuse a 1.5-mile-long historic elevated rail structure on the West Side of Manhattan. The effort is being led by the non-profit group Friends of the High Line.
  • Constructed between 1929-1934 and spanning 22 blocks (from 34th St to Gansevoort St.), the High Line sports 6.7 acres of space atop elevated rail deck, towering up to 30 ft above street level.
  • The goal is to transform the unused railway into a natural, public space and walkway featuring extensive green areas and tranquil views of the city.
  • Following an open design submission competition, the team of Field Operations (landscape architecture) and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (architecture) were chosen to begin design work on the High Line.
Curbed has a great feature sharing the most recent plans for the line - including some great looking images of the imagined site. The new plans and a large scale model are now on display at MoMA and there is a great article on the project in the New York Times.

What's really interesting to me is the thought that is going into preserving the
image of the line as a naturally overgrown metal skeleton - a relic of the industrialized city. Designers hope to maintain a sense of the "romance of the ruin" and the site's magic as a "found landscape," while still making it pedestrian friendly and safe. Combine that with the plans for floating gardens, lily spotted wetland habitats, and beds of wildflowers, and the High Line could become a unique, and decidedly urban, oasis. The High Line today The High Line of tomorrow? Via Archinect

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Wallpaper By Numbers

2Jane.com is a gallery of "inspired products and services from innovative independent designers, shaping the face of interior space." Their coolest and most popular product is their paint by number wallpaper. The paper comes with acryllic paint to help you fill in the numbered blanks. You can paint it right away, leave it on your wall unpainted as a post-modern statement on the articiciality of design, or just invite over your artistic friends for margarita and paint party. There are a handful of different designs to match your decor of choice.

The newest design is their Hammerhead Sharks print, for the Discovery Channel and Blue Planet lover in all of us.

Now if only I was talented enough with a paintbrush to pull this off . . . I suppose using crayons to fill it in might look tacky.

Via Design Sponge

Green Building

Those responsible Treehuggers have a great look at the latest in green urban design - a new skyscraper in Singapore that aims to redefine "ecologically sound urban planning." The building, the EDITT Towers, incorporates organic components into the design - designating green spaces along a series of vegetated-terraces along ramps that climb the entire height of the building. These spaces feature plant species specifically chosen for the site's location so as not to interfere with the existing local species. In fact, the green areas approximate the gross usable-areas of the rest of the building.

But the building doesn't just feature a lot of plants growing along the outside. Dr. Ken Yeang's plan also extends the public street space upward, placing cafes and shops along ramps that reach up to the sixth floor in an effort to vertically extend the street into the building. Other features include:
  • Vegetation to facilitate ambient cooling of the facades
  • 55.1% water self-sufficiency (by rainwater-collection and grey-water reuse)
  • 40% energy self-sufficiency through a system of solar panels
  • Mechanically-joined connections of materials and structural connections to facilitate future reuse and recycling (as opposed to chemical bonding)
  • Ceiling-fans with de-misters for low-energy comfort-cooling
  • "Wind-walls” to direct wind to internal spaces and skycourts for comfort cooling
  • Removable floors and partitions to make refitting the building easier and more efficient
It is no surprise that the design has already won awards for its ecologically forward design. The idea of a building that actually lives and breathes, both externally and internally, is an inspiring concept. The renderings almost make the building seem overrun with vegetation, but I imagine that those ramps and landscaped public spaces will be wonderful areas to experience in the heart of urban Singapore. The building both embraces its tropical location and its position in the urban landscape - offering a new model for environmentally sensitive urban design.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Miami Becomes a Real City

Transfer has a phenomenally thorough look at the urbanization of downtown Miami. The post is more detailed and informative than I could ever hope to reproduce, so just go check it out here.

For those ADD inflicted readers the bottom line is: A lot of really tall buildings are going up in downtown Miami.

Several of them are going over-the-top in their attempts to be cool and cutting edge, including one that has a virtual golf room for residents. Isn't the point of living in FL that you can play golf OUTSIDE? And does every web site need to feature lounge music and pictures of wealthy young, mixed race hipsters drinking martinis? (My building in DC thinks so)

Herzog and De Meuron

Image courtesy of The New York Times

The extension to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis opened this weekend, designed by the Swiss team of Herzog and De Meuron (whom I first learned of from this library in Eberswalde, Germany that features images embedded in the concrete exterior of the building). The new extension is receiving praise for putting the emphasis on the museum's collection, instead of on the building that houses it. That is by no means to say that the building is boring, with a cantileverd aluminum tower that highlights the entrance to the museum and houses a restuarant, a theater and event space.

It appears that some compromises were made in the interests of costs, however the final result reportedly succeeds in making an interesting space that does not overpower the work it is meant to display.

The duo have another museum project opening later this year in their copper creation for the de Young Fine Art Museum in San Francisco (which I saw in mid-construction late last year without realizing it). I'll be stopping by their Tate Modern Museum in London in early May, the design that first pushed them into the international spotlight. So check back with Prade in May for a full report.

Via A Daily Dose of Architecture

Transformer B-Boys

Ever wondered how well a Transformer could do the robot?

So did Charlie Bayliss, who produced and directed a video featuring 3-d digital models of breakdancing Transformers. The video features music by Lazer and a sweet windmill move by a Decepticon.

Of the Transformers b-boy crew, the best is by far the little guy that goes last - so make sure to watch the whole video.

Via Josh Spear

Friday, April 15, 2005

MIT Gets Punked

I love when an underdog triumphs.

Read all about how a team of 4 high school kids schooled the MIT team in the 2004 National ROV Competition for High School & College Students, organized by NASA and the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center.

The team from Carl Hayden Community High School consisted of 4 undocumented Mexican emigrants who, because of their legal status, pretty much have no chance of attending a university like MIT. Read the article, and if you are moved to help out - you can contribute to a scholarship fund for the students here.

It's an amazing story - I'm sure Disney will be releasing the film adaptation shortly.

Via The Innovation Blog

A Picture Is Worth . . .

Wanted to acknowledge a site called Transfer - a self-proclaimed NYC chronicle of "architecture, bad, good & otherwise."

What I love about the site is how it really allows photos and images to do the talking (with witty captions or titles to underscore the point). These pics speak volumes, and result in a powerful presentation of the themes or ideas that its author is trying to convey.

Two of my favorites are The Anti-Sit: Triple Feature and Attack of the Useless Awning, Pt. 2 (seen below).

But don't be fooled, Transfer's biting commentary about some of the fugliest architectural mishaps in New York are equally amusing.


Now I really love Barcelona - I have family from the area and when I visited them for a summer, I dug everything about the city - particularly the wide boulevards and diverse architecture.

But I can still laugh at Gravestmor's 12 Step Program for architects and the like to get over their Barcelona obsession. Apparently, it is quite an epidemic in the architectural community.

Two of my favorites from the list:

07. Repeat four hundred times: ‘She sells sea shells by the sea shore’ in order to abolish the lithp.

09. Denounce colourful, decorative mosiac tiling as the golden calf that it so obviously is.

Tricycle Re-defined

This sweet ride is called the Shift bicycle from Scott Shim, Ryan Lightbody and Matt Grossman - winners of this year's International Bicycle Design Competition hosted by the Taiwanese government. The trike is designed to teach children how to ride a bicycle, by using two rear wheels that draw closer together as the bike moves - simulating a single wheel bike. Besides that, it is one of the dopest looking tricycles I've ever seen - and any little tyke on this trike would definitely be turning heads at a young age.

Via The New York Times and Apartment Therapy

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tired of Living in the Basement

Spain's government is considering jumping on the pre fab bandwagon to help solve the current national housing crunch.

Spaniards are way more likely to live at home with their folks, even well into their 30's, due to a combination of high unemployment, low starting salaries, and escalating housing costs. An AP article claims that 93% of Spaniards aged 18-25 are still living with mom and pops.

So now the government is looking into purchasing pre fab, stackable housing modules that consist of 270 - 320 square feet units that include private bathrooms and kitchens and shared laundry and storage facilities. If the housing solution proves feasible, we might see one of the largest-scale modular housing projects to date.

AP Photo, Fernando Bague

While the image featured in the article fails to "wow" me, it is exciting to see a government interested in the opportunities pre fab housing presents for efficient, affordable and practical housing.

See more of PRADE's pre fab coverage here and here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


By now, many of you have probably seen the incredibly imaginative and cool Spike Jonze spot for the new Adidas_1.

And you might have read something about this hi-tech running shoe that features a small processor and an on-board motor to continually adjust the cushioning level of the shoe as you run.

But until Josh Rubin's review of the sneaker, I hadn't heard from anyone who had actually tried the shoe out.

Josh seems to dig the shoe and claims that despite all the technology, the best part about the shoe is just that it feels comfortable. The price point is still too high for me, as I am not a die hard runner by any means - but I'm sure eventually the price might come down on this technology. Will this lead to basketball shoes that actually help cushion your landing by sensing when you leave the ground? Or just ugly and pointless rip offs, a la the Pump sensation. We'll have to wait and see - although Josh claims that more colorways and a women's version are on the way from Adidas.

Easy Breezy

LiveModern has a great feature up on the Sunset Breezehouse - a modular home designed by architect Michelle Kaufmann in collaboration with Sunset magazine. This is the same architect that brought you the Glidehouse - another eco-friendly modular home that opened to the public during Sunset Magazine's Celebration Weekend 2004.

The feature of the Sunset Breezehouse that really caught my eye is the signature "Breezeroom" - a sheltered, glass enclosed patio beneath the butterfly-shaped roof that functions as the main living area. This combination of indoor/outdoor living is the type of thing that draws me to live in California and what I long for when I insist on hanging out on my building's roof deck even when it is only about 45 degrees outside. For you left coasters - you can actually be there to check out the finished product when the first Sunset Breezehouse goes up in Menlo Park, CA during this year's Celebration Weekend 2005 on May 21-22.

If you are in the market for a modular house - you can check out the brochure here.

Via Live Modern.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Take a Pill Dude

There is a great article on the next generation of the prescription pill bottle in this week's New York Magazine.

In addition to detailing the problems behind the previous designs, the article highlights a new pill bottle that Target will be releasing, designed by Deborah Adler as her thesis project for the School of Visual Arts.

Apparently Adler approched the FDA, but Target (the rockstar of good consumer design) seized the chance and bought the patent. The design is extremely well thought out and practical, and appears to be a huge leap forward in an industry that is notoriously stagnant.

Get sick and check it out at a Target near you as soon as next month.

Via Unbeige

Catch the Bug

The Contagious Media Showdown is about to take place - do you have what it takes to infect the minds of internet users everywhere?
Then you may have what it takes to create the next Contagious Media sensation, and win cash dollar dollar bills in the process.

The details are all here - and for some insight into creating a piece of culture that millions of people will imitate and pass on, I suggest reading The Meme Machine (currently my Metro commute book of choice).

PRADE's Blog of the Week

Call him Shirley. Paul Shirley.

The Suns's lanky 12th man and benchwarmer/cheerleader, Paul Shirley, kept a travel diary for an 8 day road trip with the team in late March and his daily musings are hilarious.

Bill Simmons calls it "the closest thing to having a friend playing in the NBA," and I just call it humorous and interesting, espcially coming from a professional athlete who appears to lack an ego and is well aware of the absurdity of the existence of an NBA player.

Some of my favorite excerts.

March 23rd:

A couple of things stood out tonight, not the least of which was the usual raucous crowd in Atlanta. By raucous I mean, of course, almost nonexistent. How can a team in the fifth or sixth or seventh-largest city in the US (I need a fact-checker, 1:30 a.m. is not the time to be doing research) not ever fill the arena? I played very briefly for the Hawks two years ago—preseason and a 10-day contract during the year—and tonight was as full as I have ever seen it. There were maybe 6000 people in attendance. Jimmy Jackson said it best before the game. “Watch out,” he warned, “there are a bunch of fans dressed up like seats out there tonight.”

March 24th:

Jake Voskuhl and I did get to watch our fellow end-of-the-bench mate, Bo Outlaw, get into the game. He managed to fire up one of his patented “I can’t believe a professional basketball player shoots the ball that way” jump shots, but with limited success. He did get in the box score though.

As an aside, I will now declare the tattoo trend dead. Not just over — that happened a couple of years ago. Dead. Is there anything more passé than the arm or shoulder tattoo on the male of our species or the symmetrical lower back tattoo on the female? On a further tangent, because this is how my brain works, Tom Gugliotta has the worst tattoo in the NBA. The barbed wire on the bicep is bad enough to put him in the running; the fact that it is the dreaded “I thought I could get away with not having it complete the circumference of my arm” type puts him over the top. It is like wearing a tie that is not only ugly, but is a clip-on to boot. Ugly is at least forgivable; the clip-on aspect makes it reprehensible.

March 26th:

Observations from our game vs. the Heat:
1. Dwyane (it kills me to have to write down a blatant typographical error on purpose) Wade is really good.
2. I played for the Kansas City Knights of the ABA (nearly-defunct minor league) for a while last year. This year, the Knights began the season with a promotion involving some “cheerleaders” and a pole. I am not going to suggest that the Miami Heat just went to some local [gentleman's] club and hired the whole roster as their dance team. Instead, I will simply say that I was impressed with their dancing abilities.
3. It must be a league-wide requirement — every NBA locker room is provided with fresh fruit prior to the game. The fresh fruit in Miami was easily the worst I have seen all year. Does that make sense?
4. Based on the crowd at the game, the use of silicone per capita in Miami has got to be the highest in the US. All in all, a good night for testing one’s ability to focus through distraction.

Friday, April 08, 2005

10 x 10 Part 2

If anyone has ever browsed Phaidon's 10 x 10, I highly recommend buying it (or just grabbing it next time you are in Barnes and Noble and go sit in the coffee shop and look at the whole thing. Not that I do that . . . )

Well, Phaidon has just released the next installment 10 x 10_2, featuring 100 emerging leaders in architecture curated by 10 architectual "critics." For me though, the 1500 images are the most exciting aspect of the book - some of which you can get a taste of on the official site here.

If anyone wants to be particularly generous, my birthday IS approaching (in 4 months)

The book is available for $60 US on Phaidon's site and likely much cheaper on Amazon.

Via Archidose

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Fuzzy Math

Design Sponge tipped me off to an online store called Composition, which sells some cool stuff - from gifts to home accessories and games.

One of the coolest things there are these "New Math" Flashcards, the work of Craig Damrauer and Missy Wilson. They feature some witty formulas for everyday phrases, including such smile-inducers as "Boca Raton= Long Island + 40 Years" and "Paternity= What? + Are You Sure?"

I've always said there are two types of people in this world - cat people and dog people. Apparently Craig and Missy agree with me. "Dog= cat + loyalty"

Check them out and browse the online store for some cool items.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Got Yourself A Gun

How easy is it to send someone a gun in America? Apperently extremely easy.

Last night I came home and received notice that I had a package at the front desk from Fed Ex. I wasn't expecting anything, but maybe someone had thought I deserved a surprise. I took the package upstairs and opened it.

I brushed some of those foam popcorn things out the way and I found a holster on top, with something wrapped in bubble tape underneath. Curious and puzzled, I unwrapped the mysterious bulk, thinking to myself "It can't possibly be a . . . "

And then I felt the cold steel of a Glock 27 in my hand. Yes, someone had Fed Ex-ed me a god damn gat. The obvious questions ran through my head - Is someone trying to frame me for murdering a foreign leader? Am I being recruited to be a secret assassin for the government? Did I click on one of those banner ads to win a free iPod and instead receive a free semi-automatic pistol?

It looked like this - only with my fingerprints on it

I called the DC police, and then made myself a quick dinner and watched some K-1 Karate fighting on TV until they arrived (I'm not going to let a firearm on my kitchen counter mess with my plans for the evening).

I saw this guy, Bob Sapp, manhandle someone in K-1

When the cops showed up, they had similar difficulty figuring out how and why Fed Ex delivered a gun to me (complete with a separately wrapped clip full of bullets). My girlfriend came home in the midst of this to find three cops in our apartment and a gun on the counter - and that takes some explaining to get out of no matter who you are!

At first the 5.0 said that they would have to call CSI (yes, the real CSI) to come and take pictures and fingerprint the gun. Before that ever happened though, they tracked down a law enforcement agent who lived in my building with a somewhat similar name, and deduced that Fed Ex had addressed the package to me mistakenly instead of to him.

How that kind of mistake can possibly happen is beyond me. The gun didn't have any paperwork or documentation with it at all. And does the government really have no better way to deliver a gun to its agent then through Fed Ex?! I didn't even have to sign for the package - it was delivered to the dude who sits at the desk in my lobby and sat there until I got home!

So unfortunately the lesson here seems to be that you can send whatever you damn well please to someone through Fed Ex - including a pistol with a clip full of bullets. Truly one of the most bizarre situations I've ever heard of or been involved in.

It is a good thing for the agent that I wasn't a convicted criminal or disgruntled Postal worker. And I guess my secret agent days are over for now - until the Fed Ex man pays me a visit again . . .

Do-It-Yourself Mr. T

Ever thought that Mr. T would make a great doll for your kids/nephews/neices/brothers/sisters to play with? Of course you have. The T stands for Truth - because that's what Mr. T shares with all the boys and girls.

Well Mike Essl and Greg Riviera, co-owners of the baddest Mr. T collection around, are hosting a design your own Mr. T doll contest for dolls to be featured in an upcoming show entitled “I Pity the Dolls!: Contemporary Artists Create Homemade Mr.T Dolls.”

The show features Greg's collection of homemade Mr. T dolls that are made by customizing a 1984 pattern from a company called “Miss Martha Originals” that essentially allowed people to fabricate their own Cabbage Patch Kid-style dolls. Everything else is up to you - from the doll's skin tone to clothes to mohawk style.

If you need inspiration for your design, I suggest you take some advice from Mr. T and Treat Your Mother Right. I pity the fool that ever talks about Mr. T's mama.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

From Google Orbit

I'm sure by now everyone has played around with Google Video while emailing from their Gmail account and Google searching their boss for dirt on their personal life.

Well Google has added yet another feature to their line-up, a satellite view option for Google Maps.

Ever wondered what my apartment looks like from space?

And from Metlife Blimp height

Via - Googlewillruletheuniverse.com

Monday, April 04, 2005

Useless or Genius?

I'm sick at home today, but thought I'd share this one tidbit from the weekend.

I browsed this hilarious book called 99 More Unuseless Japanese Inventions. The book feature works of Chindogu - or Japanese "almost useful" inventions. These are all products designed to serve some function to make your life easier, but every one is invariably impracticle and downright silly. From the umbrella tie to the portable streetlamp to the baby mop - they are inventive and humorous ideas that are great conversation starters and really poke fun at both the invention craze and some surreal aspects of our everyday life.

The book is the sequel to 101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions, which presumably is very similar in its approach to displaying the best examples of Chindogu.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Electing a New Pope

In an effort to help those interested in finding information about how a new pope is elected - I offer up Chris Abraham's post about Electing a New Pope.

I am in no way an authority on this, but I'm sure this is a hot topic for you Catholics out there, so thought I would pass this along for your edification.