Category: Trends

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Read this on WebUrbanist today. Apparently some small towns in Germany are experimenting with a system for conserving energy and expenses by having the streetlights only turn on when someone requests them to be on. That request is transferred via cell phone. Pedestrians (or drivers) call the phone number associated to that quadrant of street lights and they turn on for 15min.

Pretty good idea.

Video here: Dial4Light

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This video is terrible. But the concept is interesting. Sony took some of their building banners and made them into pants. Then hung those pants back up where the banner used to be, and sold them off the wall at $168 each. I’m not sure how “green” this can be considered, or what sort of statement  on recycling this makes..but it is a pretty smart publicity move. Fun.

Sony Banner Pants

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My neighborhood is filled with inspiration. From my next door neighbor Mudpuppy who dutifully cranks out ceramic mushrooms and pots and small gnomes from his garage and actually makes a living doing it, to the dynamic duo DoubleButter down the street to the tamale lady that pushes her baby stroller filled with her homemade treats down the street every day. (don’t think she has a website yet). People just doing it. Just getting out there and doing what ever it takes to do it.

A few months ago we got a new addition to the neighborhood.. Stranahan’s Whiskey. And I went on a tour yesterday. A tiny company..Colorado bred..Colorado fed (ingredients are entirely Rocky Mountain harvested) this little 7 person company makes 2 barrels of whiskey a day. As they say on their site.. about 5 min worth of production for the big guys. Stranahan’s has an incredible attention to quality and a dedication to the product that is somewhat of a lost art form in the United States..land of importation of mass production for lower bottom dollar. Only the highest quality  ingredients, special filtering processes, only the best part of the batch kept, only one time barrel use and a slow and steady aging process. Every single bottle is hand signed by the distiller. This company can’t keep up with demand..but still adhere to their standards despite a temptation to cut corners to increase output. If you have your finger on the pulse of America..I think you might feel like there is an increasing awareness of the value of handcrafted, locally made. Denims, leather bags, shoes, bicycles, cheeses, whiskeys, even quilts again. Maybe it’s tiring of cheaply made product, maybe it’s tiring of having the same thing everyone else has, maybe it’s a loyalty to supporting the people around you that are following their own path, maybe it’s wanting something in your life that breaths the spirit of love, dedication, and inspiration. Whatever it is, I like it. Cheers.

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This is an super interesting and important movie about copyrights ..music..art..film..video.. I urge you to find a way to see it. Look and see if there is a local screening..or buy the film and screen it for friends.

Times are a changing..the internet and the affordability of digital production and distribution tools have enabled mass rip off..or mass creative exploration and enormous progression of ideas and artist vision. Depends on how you look at it. Are you devaluing your skills by releasing your work under Creative Common Licensing for free (or donation)..or are you helping further the progression of humanity? If we abandon the old Corporate model of distribution for music..film..visuals..which agreeably is not skewed for any sort of benefit to the artist but only for the corporate machine.. what monetary model replaces that? Is the front end where you make your money instead of the back end? (investment in the vision..as compared to retribution from the sale of the final product) It’s very murky waters for me. Maybe you can watch the movie tell me what you think.

http://www3.nfb.ca/webextension/rip-a-remix-manifesto/

http://www.ripremix.com

Btw..this is how I watched most of the movie…through these kick ass bird earrings. Pretty cool. Kinda. Not really.

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So. I decided recently I needed to curb my text messaging. Not because I don’t love it, but because I think I’ve crossed the line from social texter to textaholic. And paired with an unreliable phone service that apparently doesn’t deliver messages when they are sent, from me, or to me, it’s certainly lead to some misunderstandings. More than once. So..I’m on a self imposed 12 step program.

Then I read this  in todays Boing Boing.

Woman publishes book full of text messages sent to her dead husband’s cell phone

65-year old Toshiko Fukuda of Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, lost her husband to asbestos on April 17th last year. Her husband, Motoo, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2006, probably from the steel pipe factory he worked at. He got worker’s comp, but the disease ultimately destroyed his lungs and left him with hallucinations for the remainder of his life. Shocked, the widowed Fukuda started sending text messages to her dead husband every time she thought of something she wanted to say to him. Things like: “I couldn’t live if I didn’t think you were still beside me. I can’t live [without you]. I’m crying every day” and “I want to call you ‘Otosan’ to my heart’s content. Why do you have to be inside such a small urn?” Every time she sent a message, the phone by his home shrine vibrated (she made sure it was always charged).

Now she’s publishing a book with the loosely translated title Job Transfer to Heaven Without Family-I Wanted to Be With You Longer, a compilation of all her text messages from the past year that she hopes will educate the public about the dangers of asbestos. [via Yomiuri via Asia Daily News]

I find this interesting on several different levels. Our reliance on technology, to fortify and communicate our still overwhelming, maybe even greater, need to connect with each other. The way technology has changed the way we communicate..emails, texts, Facebook status, now twitter..all additional ways to connect..but using less and less words. Is the over simplification of the way we reach out helping or hurting us? Does anyone actually care? Or is everyone just scrambling to be the loudest person in the crowd hoping that that means someone is paying attention? It’s human nature to want to be heard, more than they want to hear. So are these tools helping or hurting? In this womans case, she reached out in a way that she could identify with, to her dead husband and his cell phone. But that wasn’t enough. Because truly, no one was listening. So she published a book. Did she publish that book to bring awareness to the dangers of asbestos, or because she needed to be heard?

On the other hand..when I read through my facebook status page and see what all my friends are doing..I feel a little bit more connected and in touch and the worlds feels a lot smaller.

Just thoughts..no conclusions..just thoughts.

Txt msg. Twitter. Talk?

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This one is kind of an old one..found this a few months ago..but it simply does not cease to mesmerize me when I stumble back across it. Outstanding video, outstanding music, outstanding photography. Seriously..Soo good.

http://www.insight51.com/www/

DOPAMINE SURF FILM

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Ok this one messes with my head a little bit. I LOVE this simple little site. I love the music, the imagery, the vibe, the fact that a portion of profits goes back to the Chinese community for education and I even sorta like the shoes.

What I find really interesting is that there is absolutely nothing cool or cutting edge about the imagery. Traditional chinese doing traditional things. Wearing apparently traditional shoes. The shoes themselves are sorta cool..but not super cool. But you put all this in a nice slick flash site with a piece of music and some hollers and hoeing in the background and I’m ready to drop $76 on a pair of shoes I barely like.

Apparently my soul is cheap. Such a push over for effective advertising.

I’m pretty sure we are looking at next years hipster ride of choice. Just as soon as Walmart starts carrying fixies emo’s across the land are going to be out bidding one another to get authentic 1970′s station wagons. 

I’m sure of it.

 

’10 Hipster Ride