Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pimp Your Power Tool for Drag Racing

There's still time to get your MAKE on and create a vehicle for the Power Tool Drag Races. Races will be held Saturday June 28 in Georgetown. The races are part of Artopia, an annual event for innovative art and emerging talent.

Although speedy locomotion is a primary factor to winning a typical race, local-whiz-goes-to-NY-to-MAKE-it Bre Pettis reminds us that "an important part of power tool racing is style: making your power tool look cool."

Learn How to Make a Power Tool Drag Racer

(The chicken assisted starting device at 3:40 is f*cking brilliant.)

Word on the street is that Mr. DIY himself will be present with entrant in hand. You didn't hear it from me.

The Power Tool Drag Races races are organized by Hazard Factory. Motto: Don't run with scissors, commute.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

fly me to the moon

While not nearly exciting as the discovery of water on Mars (go little Phoenix!), you can send your name to the moon on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The LRO plans to "hunt for treasure." (Every geek secretly wishes to be Indiana Jones.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Where the hell is Matt? Dancing around the world!

Enjoy this cheerful little bit of goodness. I want to do this!

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Hat tip to Lee, a world traveler himself (and eater of unusual regional specialties).

Perfect first night of summer

Originally uploaded by JeanineAnderson

We embraced the start of summer on Saturday with a beach bonfire at Golden Gardens Park on Puget Sound. A night of friends, picnic suppers, wines and whatnots, sand, fire, and s'mores. Perfect!

(more pics here.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How to Nap (a little critique)

The Boston Globe tells us the right way to nap in a one-page illustrated article How to Nap. (click pic for larger view)

I like that they took an illustrative approach to a topic which gets a lot of ink. However, I'm not crazy about the page layout and definitely put off by the wordiness. Cut half the words and you've got a more focused and effective article.

Additionally, the graphics are close but not spot-on. For example, these clock are a good visual to illustrate the best time to nap for larks and owls.

However, which is for lark, and which is for owl? The audience must read the accompanying text or study both clocks to determine the one that applies. A better approach would be to label each clock "lark" or "owl." We can then focus on the one that fits and ignore the other -- and wouldn't even need the accompanying text to get the point.

Good graphical communication eliminates speed bumps to comprehension, is efficient for the audience, and makes the content more sticky.

Monday, June 16, 2008

La Cote Creperie on Madison

La Cote Creperie
Originally uploaded by JeanineAnderson
Rectangle-shaped and brown, but get over it: the savory crepes at La Cote Creperie are delicious. I ordered the l'auvergnate: proscuitto, bleu cheese, and walnuts. By "order" I mean I pointed to it on the menu. (What? I don't speak French!) I considered ordering a small salad greens to go alongside, but didn't in favor of saving room to order a lemon-sugar sweet crepe later.

La Cote Creperie uses buckwheat flour for their savory crepes, and boy, what a delight. The buckwheat provides a deep note to balance out the rich savory filling. The l'auvergnate was a nice balance of flavors and textures: salt, crunch, and cheese. The portion was perfectly sized: any larger and the rich flavors would be too much.

And the lemon-sugar crepe: I didn't end up ordering it. I need an excuse to go back to La Cote Creperie soon.

La Cote Creperie
2811 E Madison St
(between E 28th Ave & E 29th Ave)
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 323-9800

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Adorable fashion @ Georgetown Music Festival

Originally uploaded by JeanineAnderson

This young teen looked so adorable I had to take her photo. She has an M.I.A. look going, yet all her own style. I particularly like the red boots balanced with the red shirt, and her mix of patterns and textures. The green wrist warmers are an edgy touch.

She looked to be about 15 years old. Keep on stylin' girl! Righteous!

Dodgeball And a Third Place

dodgeball night
Originally uploaded by JeanineAnderson
Grownups play pickup games of dodgeball on Friday nights at Cal Anderson Park. Cal Anderson Park is a true third place: a third space after home and work to establish a sense of community and of place. It is one of my favorite spots on the hill because there is always something going on at the park.

Friday night I happened across the weekly dodgeball game. The mix was about 5% girls to 95% boys. They were having some serious fun! I want to play too, but I suck at throwing. I'd be a good blocker though!

What else makes Cal Anderson Park a "third place?" Any day, any time, people gather and sit and talk and eat and drink and read and talk some more. Besides the outdoor-living-room type of park use, all sorts of unofficial, inclusive, and socially engaging activities take place at the park: bicycle polo, a marching band playing at 1 a.m., a big group of folks singing "total eclipse of the heart" on Teletubby Hill during the lunar eclipse, people practicing their hooping and dancing. And, of course, dog walking and playground playing.

Cal Anderson Park is a gem and is our third place for many of us Capitol Hill residents.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Two reasons to visit Capitol Hill in the daytime this weekend

Saturday: Value Village writ large!

Need anything? Check out the Capitol Hill neighborhood-wide garage sale, all over the hill.
Two community spaces are in use as well, at the Capitol Hill Arts Center and the old Deanos building.
Saturday June 14th only, starting at 9 am.

Sunday: Strawberries! Cherries! Grotesque - but safe - heirloom tomatoes!

The Sunday afternoon Broadway Farmers Market is in full swing.
Word is we'll start seeing local strawberries and cherries starting this weekend. Oh my. Local strawberries, how I love thee.
Every Sunday through November, 11am - 3pm

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Visual math with corporate logos

Continuing on my theme of mashup posts today (band name + book title here), check out the brilliant math and arithmetic behind corporate logos, from Argentinian bloggers La Luna and Javier at LogosLogos. I'm digging this visual math.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Artist HiIary Harkness: "The world is known in its detail"

NY artist Hilary Harkness creates narrative artwork which makes me want to write a story or ten. There's plenty to be seen in her Escher-like compositions heavily populated with female figures in all sorts of, um, questionable situations and activities.

Jerry Saltz, critic for The Village Voice, wrote about her figures, "Whatever they're involved in, they ooze a bitchy demonic kinkiness, which makes looking at these paintings slippery fun." (#)

Hilary Harkness has been criticized for her representation of women, however this 2004 interview illuminates her approach and viewpoint on the subject matter, composition, and style of her body of work.

"I use sex and power to pull the viewer in; from there, I explore the issues in more detail, sometimes in twists-and-turns and sometimes to the point of their own banality. I also think the manner in which I paint them is important: slow, small, detailed. This allows me to investigate these issues of sex and power in a more detailed, articulated, and maybe thoughtful manner. I hope to infuse these issues with meanings deeper and more idiosyncratic than typically found in the culture at large. I cannot separate how I paint from what I paint, the paintings are not just about one or the other, and hopefully the how and what contrast and combine in a way that creates something interesting, charged."

I would love to see Hilary Harkness' art in person and up close. Roq La Rue in 2009? (I'm dreaming, I know. )

Hilary Harkness is represented by Mary Boone Gallery in NYC, where you can find her work hanging through June 28th. Report back if you go!

New book on Japanese street culture

(Up)Rising Sonz! is a 300+ page pictoral book spotlighting skater and street art culture in urban Japan. It represents the generations which have influenced skate style, fashion, and street attitude, one of the main sources for the creative essence of Japanese city youth. These skaters-turned-artists now boast legions of fans and their influence reaches into fashion, literature, film, and art. I'm curious to know if the authors included anyone associated with The Ghetto, a rad space in Tokyo focused on skating and the street art scene. The Ghetto is located in a former "love hotel" and includes an indoor skate ramp and private-club-like bar on the street level. Upstairs the former guest rooms have been converted to little shops with skate gear, clothing, and art spaces. Here's a few snaps from when I was there in February.
(See more Japanese street art in my Flickr photostream.)

what that says

tokyo street art dude

tokyo stencil hall

(Up)Rising Sonz!
Scott Kinsey (aka GOODFEAR), Mark Felt
304 pages
7"x10" Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-86154-330-1
US $49.50 (er...a little rich for my purse at the moment.)
first edition published in January 2008 by Booth-Clibborn Edditions

(ht to Heavy Backpack)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

William Gibson to steampunk enthusiasts: make it look old!

Science fiction author William Gibson did a short reading earlier this week from his latest book, Spook Country. I wasn't particularly impressed with the reading, however the Q&A afterward was quite interesting.

Gibson on:

The popularity of the steampunk esthetic: Some of it is quite interesting and nice to look at, but for goodness sake make those decorative brass attachments on your laptop look old! Carry the things in your pocket along with a bunch of change and screws first. (Gibson and Bruce Sterling co-wrote The Difference Engine, an alternative history novel which popularized the steampunk meme.)

The science fiction genre: Speculative fiction is not really about the future. It is about society as it is at the time the piece is written. Case in point: the novel 1984 is not about the year 1984, it is an illumination of western society and culture in 1948, the year it was written.

Timeliness: He's tending to shorten his speculative timeline with each work. By the time his most recent two books were published (Pattern Recognition, Spook Country) the concepts were no longer futuristic and speculative. They were/are current and real.

Reading: Authors don't usually read their books start to finish once they are turned over for publication. That would just be too weird -- like trying to relive a part of the past.

The Singularity: The technological Singularity theory is essentially the Rapture, repackaged for geek consumption.

The movie Johnny Mnemonic:The movie released for screening was not the movie that written or shot. Sony completely re-edited the movie to make it an action flick after Keanu Reeves became famous as an action hero in Speed. The Johnny Mnemonic movie was originally a farce comedy.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Burning Man 07 dust storm from 4000 feet

What an incredible picture of a mad crazy playa dust storm.

"Massive dust storm overtakes Black Rock City during 2007. One of the occasional hazards at Burning Man. Photo taken by Jeff Johnstone flying an ultra-lite above the city."
I was curious about what the dust storm looked like from above and now I know. After this storm (and the second one too!), the playa dust covered everything inside my tent. I had left my glasses sitting on top of a bin (not inside, oops) inside my tent. The lens ended up wth tiny scratches all over the surface. Drat. Yet - - small price to pay for an amazing experience.