Archive for March, 2006

Fluffy Fratricide

Stumbled upon during a recent toystore binge in the East Village, this kozyndan bag made certain rabbit lovers in our party cringe. The rest of couldn’t fight the goofy grin. Regardless of which side you’re on, you gotta wonder: Are we seeing a form of bunny voodoo? This particular example is misdirected of course, but rabbits are certainly due a fair amount of get-back for the whole superstition thing.

To give the artists credit, not all of their hares are mauling one another. In fact, most are quite peaceful (exhibit a, exhibit b). Simply lovely illustrations.

Find more Kozue and Dan at kozyndan.com, buy something at Giant Robot, and follow them as they chronicle their rise to superstardom.

photo via jellisvga

Pimp My Killing Machine

Okay, it doesn’t read minds via neuralink like Clint’s Firefox, but the Mozilla Firefox extension mechanism makes browser mods so easy, it almost feels that way. Folks have asked for recommendations recently and goods have been gathered.

Before we get to that, though, a couple of tweaks for musophobes. First, Quicksearch is a little known feature that makes queries to favorite sites stupid fast. Secondly, do Tools > Options > Advanced > General > Begin finding when you begin typing. And recall that if your find highlights a link, pressing Enter will click it. Sexy.

Now, let’s extend like Reed Richards…
Continue reading ‘Pimp My Killing Machine’

Dysgeusia

Microsoft’s PR machine has been working the press into a frenzy over the new Office user interface. It seems that after running out of narcolepsy-inducing features to shovel into the product, they’ve arrived at the realization that usability actually might matter to a couple folks. (And just when Mom and Dad were getting used to navigating 5-deep hierarchical menus, too!)

This is good news. Well, at least until you see it. When you see it, it’s likely to make you cry with the worst kind of screen overload (shades of FFXI), meaninglessly non-uniform button sizes, and totally random placement of key items. But, don’t let that stop you from basking in what it could have been for a few more moments. Heck, have a look at the UI-lead’s presentation of the interface — she makes it seem almost thoughtful. And they certainly have done their usability work. So what the hell happened?

Perhaps what happened can be encapsulated in a classic Steve Jobs quote: “The trouble with Microsoft is they have no taste. They have no taste and I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way.” (totn) Dysgeusia, taste deficit disorder. All the usability in the world can’t save you if you can’t come up with creative new ideas, and Microsoft’s dyed-in engineer culture fights that tooth-and-nail. Tight code and cool hacks, yes. Innovation? Not so much.

If you like torture, have a flip through more shots of the Office 12 UI and check out proof that MS can still do nauseating feature comparisons with the best of ’em.

Moustash

A recent trip to the Jack Spade store turned up moustaches proudly mounted for display. Less clear is exactly what they have to do with the ridiculously overpriced bags the guy sells. But, hey, you gotta give him points for somehow fitting those bags in amongst the weird-ass kitch, freaky taxidermy, and coffee-stained newspaper articles that decorate the store. Is it clever or just pretentious? Some call it art.

Mmmm… all those moustaches make me hungry.

photo via jellisvga, shouts to shai

Psychedelia Grows Finns

A sound heavily influenced yet utterly new, using everything from traditional instruments to wind up toys to electronics. Uncategorizable. Finnish folk psychadelia bends convention and the results are gorgeous, disturbing, thought-provoking, dream-inducing.

David Garland was kind enough to piece together live recordings of a number of artists in this emerging style over the past several months and thow it on the airwaves. The audio just became available online today. Listen. It’s worth it.

Of particular interest is Jonna Karanka’s Kuupuu (first on the show). Her improv piece is otherworldly and familiar in the same instant. It almost seems as if she takes sounds we understand and folds them in on themselves. Uncommonly good.

For more on the featured artists visit Spinning On Air and read more about the Finnish Psych Folk scene at Pitchfork.

image grabbed from mixoftheweek

Peek-a-Bush

What’s the best way to make Bush look like an idiot? Place him next to just about any other world leader, that’s how. Case in point: Indian PM Manmohan Singh. Sitting next him, Bush looks like a towel boy popping in at the wrong moment to ask directions to the men’s. Once the audio kicks in, Dubya’s stutter-stepped “nukular” speech just completes that picture. What a joke.

Take heart, though. Lying among the rubble of his administration’s myriad failures, Bush is buoyant. Hell, in a recent interview, he said he expects history will view him as an “agent for peace.” And why not? What are a few hundred thousand dirt-poor brown people’s lives compared to the battle for world freedom, or whatever? Makes sense that the Dems can’t figure any meaningful response to the Bush positive energy machine, don’t it?

image grabbed from cnn




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