Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Delightful short film shot and edited on iPhone 4 with documentation

100 classic horror/scii-fi films you can watch online

Pick from Nosferatu, The Lost World, The Most Dangerous Game, Dr. Who and the Daleks, The Crawling Hand and dozens more. Most excellent fare!

A wonderful collection of Edward Gorey book covers

I am a major Edward Gorey fan and it was nice to find many of his book covers collected in one place.

Found via Coudal Partners

airplane seats/cozy suites

After ALA and schlepping stuff all around D.C. and through the airports, I was tortured on the last leg of my return flight by a traveler with a newspaper. In the tiny plane between xxx and xxx she sat sideways in her chair with her legs crossed in the aisle so she could hold her newspaper out, two-trucks wide and read like she was in her own private lounge. Feet in the aisle, but back, arm and newspaper halfway into my seat. I was ready to bite by the time we reached our destination.

I was thinking about a portable barrier I could clamp to the armrest in the future (maybe with spikes on the other side) –then I found this cozy suite. More information and images at Thompson Solutions. 15% capacity increase or 2" more per seat! Seriously!!

I was pleased to read Delta had planned to order some. At the end I noticed the date. :-( I now despair that there will never be humane travel in coach or in planes without first/business class service.

Did the Cozy Suite purchase go through? Did Delta install them on 100 of its 777 and 767s? Has anyone ever seen them, experienced them on any airline? (Thompson Solutions customer list: Emirates Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, First Choice Airlines, BE Aerospace,Contour Premium Seating, Sicma Aeroseat and Delta Airlines.) How was it? Should we start pestering airlines into testing them in more planes? Should we start designing portable barriers to clamp on armrests? Maybe instructions about how much space you may use should follow the tips about how to un/buckle seatbelts, wear oxygen masks and use the seat cushion as a flotation device -at least I think that's what they were talking about.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Launchlist: A checklist before launching a website.

Launchlist is intended to help and encourage web designers and developers to check their work before exposing it to the world at large.

The process is simple - Enter your name and email and the same for a recipient (not required - but it's best not to test your own work), your project details and website URL, and then proceed through our list of provided fields.

If a question is irrelevant, you can tick N/A and it will be disregarded. You can even add your own custom fields at the bottom of the checklist if required.

Once submitted, you and your recipient/s will receive a report of your checklist with a summary for your records.

The Hardest Working Person in America

We don't usually post commercials, but the Mitchum Company is sponsoring a contest that is producing some very interesting short films. Their "Hardest Working Person in America" series is worth checking out. Two of the films are offered below, the rest are on YouTube or at the contest webpage. A nice way to recognize the value and contribution of simple hard work.

The art of Richard Amsel

A delightfully nostalgic collection of Richard Amsel's TV Guide covers and movie posters. His work is only partially represented at the links, but it will remind you of how iconic his work was to the 60's and 70s. The images are much larger at the link. Enjoy.....

Found at Coudal Partners

Monday, June 28, 2010


This is a movie of a super-cool "painting" hanging in the basement of the British Library, in London. The author has done many such paintings, but this is the best (and all the others are very similar). It's called "Paradoxymoron", by Patrick Hughes.

Who You Gonna Call?

99 Books with "The Rise and Fall of..." in the title

A beautiful collection of unusual cloud formations

Many more images at the link. From the site:
Nature has always been a source of inspiration for designers to look at things differently.

We all know that a tree doesn’t always have green leaves, water is not blue and clouds are certainly not always white and puffy. As designers, we need to know to look beyond the obvious when looking at things.

Cloud formations such as mammatus or lenticular among others, are perfect examples of how intricate and different nature can be. There are even so called ‘ufo clouds’, which truly resemble the shape of a UFO.

In this post, we take a look at some amazing photographs of the weirdest cloud formations that you’ll ever see, that are destined to inspire your design work and surely blow your mind.

To read more information about any of the photos, just click on any of the images below to be taken to its source. And don’t forget the next time you go out, to look up…

Infographic: The history of the iPhone

Click to enlarge

From Mashable via The Proverbial Lone Wolf Librarian

Kindle adds video to its Apple products

Amazon is adding embedded audio and video in its Kindle books - but not for those that use its own brand of Kindle. This update is solely for the Kindle app running on an iPad/iPhone/Touch.

From the press release:
"We are excited to add this functionality to Kindle for iPad and Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch," says said Dorothy Nicholls, director of Amazon Kindle.

"Readers will already find some Kindle Editions with audio/video clips in the Kindle Store today - from Rose's Heavenly Cakes with video tips on preparing the perfect cake, to Bird Songs with audio clips that relate the songs and calls to the birds' appearances. This is just the beginning - we look forward to seeing what authors and publishers create for Kindle customers using the new functionality of the Kindle apps."

This likely signals that Amazon has decided to focus on books and software, rather than hardware.

Tracking the Gulf oil disaster

Quite depressing, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an animated map that very clearly demonstrates how this disaster has unfolded over the weeks.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dribbble your design shots!

Part of my job involves monitoring trends and identifying weak signals in the technology world. I do this mostly by keeping up with a series of blogs and a few interesting web sites. is one of those.

Dribbble is part social network, part promotion for graphic artists and product designers and 100% eye candy. The site uses a basketball metephor with individual submissions called "shots" and users called "players". The site asks the simple question, "What are you working on?"

While the site is open to the world to view, becoming a "dribbbler" is not. The founders invited some of the best designers on the planet to participate and gave them the option to invite a few of their friends.

Dribbbe is a web site and apparently, based on this image from Dribbler Thomas Ricciardiello, coming soon to an iPhone near you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Serendipity's guide to maxing out your local library

As she states, Serendipity is "a girl in her early twenties figuring out her finances and life in general." She has a brilliant site loaded with very insightful and amazingly astute advice from which we can all benefit. She blogs about personal finance but dabbles into other things, such as weight loss, ramblings of my life, relationships, decorating, fashion, cooking, scrapbooking, reading, pretty things and Zumba! A fun site....

Check out her guide for getting the most from your local library.

Bing adds free streaming music, movies, TV and games

Taken directly from the press release:
As the content on the web has exploded, it has become difficult to navigate and find what you are looking for. In the field of entertainment, 76 percent of people use search to help find and navigate their entertainment options online, but only 10 percent say they have a trusted place to go.

So we see a great opportunity to help customers make important entertainment decisions -- from deciding what movie to buy or see, which TV shows to watch online or on your TV, what music to listen to, how to find and safely play your favorite casual games – Bing is making a first step today to help make entertainment on the web easy and fun, so you spend less time searching for entertainment and more time doing the stuff you love.

Working with key groups inside Microsoft that have deep entertainment heritage, we’ve made significant investments in four key areas: Music, Gaming, Movies and TV. Our focus was on making it easy – if you can type in a search box, you can have a great entertainment experience on Bing. Or, if you prefer a browsing, discovery oriented experience, also make that easy to, just visit

Here’s a look at what’s launching today.

Music: Answers, Lyrics, 5 million free plays.

People love music. In particular, folks want more than just a song or artist, they want a fuller experience around the music they love. Over 70 percent of people look for lyrics online. Whether you want to get ready to kill it in karaoke or just rock it in the shower, it’s now easy to safely find lyrics to all in one place.


We didn’t stop at lyrics. In addition to the full Bing answers experience where you can get photos, videos, and even tour dates for your favorite acts, we partnered with our friends at Zune, and are now able to offer full-length streaming for more than 5 million songs. You get a single play of every song in this 5 million song catalog, and after that 30 second previews. So you can really get into the music you love. When it’s time to buy, we’ll offer you the ability to purchase and download songs from Zune, iTunes and MP3.

Gaming: Search, Click, Play.

In the gaming realm, people go to the web for a few key tasks. They want to choose which games to buy, become a better gamer by finding cheats and walkthroughs, and find and play casual games online in a safe and easy manner. Working with some of the best data sources out there, we now provide detailed information on over 35,000 games, including in depth reviews, cheats and walkthroughs for all your favorite games.

Working with the Microsoft Games team we offer nearly 100 of the most popular casual games online safely from right within Bing. Just Search, Click. Play . So you can now search for your favorite casual game, and with one click, be playing the game. This is cool for a couple of reasons. First, it’s easy. Second, hosting the games inline means you can be sure they are actually games and not malware. Finally, the Microsoft Games team included some fun social features that allow you to actually invite friends from your social network to play with you right from the game.

TV: The Shows You Love, A Click Away

Like most people, we love TV. We know from research that people spend 60 hours watching TV online video every single month. What’s more amazing is that more than 30% of people watch all of their TV episodes online, and over 60% of people have used a search engine to look for full-length TV shows online.

With Bing, we’ve brought together a very comprehensive collection of full length TV episodes and visually organized them so it’s easy to find what you are looking for and start watching. With thousands of episodes from over 1500 shows including lots of HD content, watching your favorite shows online is easier than ever before. And if you are one of those people who watch TV on an actual TV, we’re pulling in guide information to help you easily find what’s on in your area from your service provider, so you can make sure you are on the couch or setting your DVR to catch your favorite shows.

Movies: Plan the perfect night out.

Going to see a movie turns out to be a bit more complex than you might imagine. That’s why 90% of people turn to search to help them find movies information. What time is the movie playing? Which theater? Where does one park? What’s traffic like right now? Is the movie any good – what do reviewers say? What do my friends say about it? What does the Twitterverse say?

Bing brings together all of the information and tools you need to get to the movie stress free and have a great night out. Reviews from the pros, real time Twitter and Facebook sentiment, real time traffic information and directions, nearby restaurants and even parking information from Bing Maps make it simple to spend less time searching and more time doing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beautiful free cookbook in PDF format

A wonderfully produced and totally free 97 page cookbook featuring 65 recipes with 5 ingredients or less and prepared in under 10 minutes.

Gourment Magazine rescued by the iPad. Yay!

A few months ago I read an article in My SXSW about the demise of Gourmet Magazine and a host of others. From the article:
"The magazine world is in turmoil. Between 2007 and 2010, 1684 magazines have folded, including bona fide institutions, like Gourmet. Those left standing, however, are finally getting up the innovation curve. But what a curve - in their expensive (and top-heavy!) quest for glossy perfection, magazines have fumbled at creating compelling online content - and in making their content compelling online. Luckily, just as they are getting the hang of it, perceptions around valuing content are shifting back toward actually - gasp! - paying for it. And all of this has come to a head in just in time for a potential game-changer: the iPad. Is a magazine still a magazine if it's on an LCD screen? Will e-readers like the iPad and the Kindle keep the notion of a "magazine" strong - or bleed it into the amorphous world of "content?" Will advertisers pony up, whatever the medium? Do we care enough about long-form journalism to keep it alive - by paying for it? Is the glossy a thing of the past - or is there an app for that? And the real question at the end of the day: Do magazines still matter?"
Today's New York Times carried an article this morning titled Gourmet Magazine Revived for the iPad in which they quoted Conde Nast as announcing it would resurrect Gourmet magazine, the celebrated food and travel publication the company discontinued last October, as an iPad application called Gourmet Live.

The iPad application will be offered at no charge and according to the publisher, and it will utilize some of the iPad's features to create much more than just an on-line magazine. “It’s not a magazine and its not a digital version of a magazine,” said Chuck Townsend, chief executive of Conde Nast. “It’s a whole new way to engage with consumers.” The new application will also allow users to share articles to social sites like Facebook and Twitter, tag articles as favorites and see which articles are more popular among their friends.

Here is a brief video introduction to the app:

"Please move to the rear of the sphere."

An email from a colleague regarding "future predictions from the past" sent me down memory lane.

One of the seminal moments of my young life occurred in 1962 at the Seattle Worlds Fair. The "bubblelator" was a large elevator in the form of a globe that was the start of a "visit to the future" in the 21st Century Pavilion. As you entered the bubbletor, an operator dressed in a futuristic uniform (it would have worked well on Star Trek), said in a droning voice, "Please move to the rear of the sphere".

A lot of predictions were made during that visit to the pavilion. The one that has stuck with me the longest was that in the future, the job of "leisure time specialist" would be very important as automation would lead to a 24 hour work week and more free time for everyone.

I'm a bit older now and still waiting for that 24 hour work week to become reality. However, many other technologies forecast in Seattle back in 1962 have been realized including the moon landings, home computers, push button phones and digital video.

Among other exhibitors in the pavilion, the American Library Association offered a glimpse of the future of libraries including a UNIVAC computer capable of retrieving quotations from great thinkers (link).

The Bubleator photo is from the Washington State History Link.

Artist Thomas Allen creates fabulous artworks using vintage pulp fiction paperbacks.

Much more at Foley Gallery

Found via Coudal Partners

Rintala Eggertsson 'Ark' - tour of the book tower

Rintala Eggertsson Architects have almost finished constructing a three-storey tower of books for the V&A's '1:1 - Architects Build Small Spaces' exhibition. Follow exhibition assistant Laura Southall on a tour of the interior of the structure which features an intimate reading chamber on each level of the structure (and approximately 6,000 books...)

Rintala Eggertsson 'Ark' - tour of the book tower from Architects Build Small Spaces on Vimeo.

Infographic: The stats about big pharma

Click to enlarge, or go here for an even larger and easier to read version.

Source: Online Colleges and Universities

6 Reading Habits to Develop in Your First Year at Harvard

From the site:
"Critical reading—active engagement and interaction with texts—is essential to your academic success at Harvard, and to your intellectual growth. Research has shown that students who read deliberately retain more information and retain it longer. Your college reading assignments will probably be more substantial and more sophisticated than those you are used to from high school. The amount of reading will almost certainly be greater. College students rarely have the luxury of successive re-readings of material, either, given the pace of life in and out of the classroom."

"While the strategies below are (for the sake of clarity) listed sequentially, you can probably do most of them simultaneously. They may feel awkward at first, and you may have to deploy them very consciously, especially if you are not used to doing anything more than moving your eyes across the page. But they will quickly become habits, and you will notice the difference—in what you “see” in a reading, and in the confidence with which you approach your texts."

The techniques are explained in detail at the site, and include:

1. Previewing: Look “around” the text before you start reading.

2. Annotating: “Dialogue” with yourself, the author, and the issues and ideas at stake.

3. Outline, summarize, analyze: take the information apart, look at its parts, and then try to put it back together again in language that is meaningful to you.

4. Look for repetitions and patterns:

5. Contextualize: After you’ve finished reading, put the reading in perspective.

6. Compare and Contrast: Fit this text into an ongoing dialogue

Thursday, June 17, 2010

America Seen a Whole New Way

In this slide show from The New Yorker called Altered States, you'll see America like you've never seen it before. Some are wry and all are witty.

New York Times Book Review Podcasts

I you hadn't a chance, check out the New York Times Book Review Podcasts. It offers weekly Podcasts of author interviews and news on the latest best sellers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

20 things that happen in one minute

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Archive of Radio Shack Cataloge: 1939 to present

Radio Shack started in 1921 in Boston, Mass., by London-born Bostonian brothers Theodore and Milton Deutschmann. These young immigrant brothers wanted to provide amateur and ham radio equipment to the public; much of it was leftover Army gear. At the time, this radio technology was cutting-edge and the field was wide open. To pursue their interests, the brothers opened a retail store (a block from the site of the Boston Massacre). William Halligan, one of Deutschmann's first employees and later the founder of Hallicrafters, suggested the name, “Radio Shack”.

Here is a wonderful collection of their catalogs over the years.

Found at Coudal Partners

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The F. Scott Fitzgerald Centenary

The F. Scott Fitzgerald Centenary website was launched in 1996, the 100th anniversary of his birth. The site is designed to increase awareness of a great American writer and to celebrate his writings, his life, and his relationship with other writers of the twentieth century. The website draws extensively on books, photographs, and related materials in the Matthew J. and Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald at at the Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina. Among many interresting things are images of all of Fitzgerald's original book covers and such personal items as his briefcase and flask. An excellent resource for his fans and students.

10 days in a "carry-on"

The New York Times has posted a very cool photo-demo of how to pack 10 days clothing in a single carry-on bag. Brilliant!

Who really owns the Gulf of Mexico

The oil companies do, as demonstrated by this telling map of oil company leases that literally blanket the ocean floor. Below is a detailed section and a reduced size image of the entire Gulf. You can download the full-sized 40 inch PDF version (16.6mb) here.

Found at Mother Jones

Telling Tales: The evolution of four stories

Click to enlarge

Found at Lapham's Quarterly

“Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy.”

This is what happens when you give 100 of the most creative artists on the planet a replica Darth Vader helmet to play with. The collection has been touring for the last year and will be sold at auction on July 10th.

Title quote from Star Wars. Helmet by Bonnie Burton; Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo by the Official Star Wars Blog.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Gallery: Digitizing the past and present at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has nearly 150 million items in its collection, including at least 21 million books, 5 million maps, 12.5 million photos and 100,000 posters. The largest library in the world, it pioneers both preservation of the oldest artifacts and digitization of the most recent--so that all of it remains available to future generations.

BoingBoing has a most excellent photo-essay on the Library's preservation efforts. There are also a couple of very interesting videos. Worth a look.

Issuu- digital publishing platform

Issuu is a digital publishing platform that allows you to upload and view digital publications. From their website:

Issuu is the leading digital publishing platform delivering exceptional reading experiences of magazines, books, catalogs, reports, and more. In just a few seconds users can create beautiful digital editions simply by uploading their publications. It's our mission to empower individuals, companies, and institutions to publish their documents across all digital platforms.

Check out one of my favorites, a digital copy of the rare and weird Codex Seraphinianus. (Warning: surreal and mildly NSFW)

Infographic: The eBook Universe....

Click to enlarge

Delightful graphics

Playing Cards from Ukraine

Found here.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Wacchen: Save your videos for watching later

Wacchen is an online bookmarking service that saves and stores all the online videos you run across in one place via a simple browser bookmarklet. It works very similarly to the bookmarking, article-saving service Instapaper, but for video. And, if they can't isolate the video, they will keep a placeholder with a link back to the original
Click to enlarge

Found at Life Hacker

Infographic: World's worst oil spills

Deepwater Horizon isn't the worst (yet), but it will be the most expensive...

Click to enlarge

Found at Fast Company