Monday, 30 April 2007

World Naked Gardening Day

Get ready for the Third Annual World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD)! People across the globe are encouraged, on Saturday, May 5, 2007 to tend their portion of the world's garden clothed as nature intended. The organisers advise people to "do so alone, with friends, with family, with your gardening club, or with any other group collected for that purpose."

When asking myself the obvious question - "WHY??" the site answers for me "It's fun!"..........

USB Cell













It’s not just plastic bags that are wasteful and bad for the environment. Over 15 billion batteries are made and thrown away each year – equivalent to a column of batteries to the moon and back, causing significant CO2/Resource waste in manufacture and toxic landfill.

You can buy a two-pack of AA USB cell for £10.99 including delivery. They can be used in normal battery applications and can be recharged simply by plugging into a USB port.

Fred's Footprints

New Scientist environment correspondent, Fred Pearce, is currently touring the world and investigating his own footprint, but from a global perspective. He is taking every day items (such as his cheap supermarket jeans, his wedding ring, his morning fairtrade coffee, etc) and travelling to the countries in which they were produced to understand the impact these items are having there. Pretty scary stuff.

During his to Tanzania to visit the fairtrade coffee farmers - “So you buy our coffee for $1.46, and sell it for $12. Is that fair trade?” Hmmm.

Cakes

Zhanna, a cake-shop in St. Petersburg, Russia, makes the most incredibly detailed cakes in pretty much any shape you can think of. They do say that the whole cake is edible but I'm not sure they'd taste that nice. Look good though!






































Giant Organ!

The Sea Organ (morske orgulje) is located on the shores of Zadar, Croatia, and is the world’s first pipe organ that is played by the sea. A series of simple and elegant steps, carved in white stone, were built on the quayside. Underneath, there are 35 pipes with whistle openings on the sidewalk. The movement of the sea pushes air through, and – depending on the size and velocity of the wave – musical chords are played. The site also has audio files.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Dilbert

Look! I am blogging on blogging....

Monday, 23 April 2007

How to Make a Room-Sized Cardboard Castle

Mr McGroovy has a design for a room-sized castle made out of eight refrigerator boxes - he also has tips for how to get your paws on free ones. I want one at once.

Dream Home Cinema

If I had $100,000 to drop on a home cinema room (and let's face it, who hasn't?) then I figure I could do a lot worse than this beauty. It was modelled on The Stag screening room at the Lucas Skywalker Ranch (but much smaller) but I think it looks much more comfy. Roll on that lottery win.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Tiny Houses

The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company sells minuscule dwellings with themed appearances starting from $20,000. Each house can be made with integral wheels which beats the traditional caravan in my book! Not only are the houses as cute as, they are also environmentally friendly, have a small footprint and (as they are so small) often don't need planning permission. Interstingly, Small Houses are part of a growing movement towards a more modest way of life. When I win the lottery (and have a country estate) I shall build tiny houses in the grounds for my guests.

Bag End Dollhouse

Little World Livejournaler obeliamedusa has made a fantastically detailed dolls house for Bilbo Baggins and friends. I can't begin to imagine how long it all took her to create (from scratch) this tiny furnished hobbit property complete with a stocked pantry and round windows. I almost feel like making one myself. Almost.

Here's a bit of background info and the finished house photos.












Trey Ratcliff - HDR Photos

I've had the good fortune to stumble across Trey's blog and flickr hdr photography portfolio. I think you should too. His photos are really stunning and I am jealous as hell.


Friday, 20 April 2007

Photos of fast food in ads and in real life

On a lighter note (sort of), here's lots of before and after photos of fast food as presented in the advert/poster and as found in real life. "Each item was purchased, taken home and photographed immediately. Nothing was tampered with....it is an accurate representation in every case." Yeuchh.

Waterstone's Product Placement

Continuing in the bookish theme, I found this interesting. It's from Waterstone's "New Promotional Strands" release at the end of last year and helps to "compliment their "book matchmakers" stretegy"... Whatever that means!
  • If you want your book to be their Offer of the Week it's £10,000. For that they "hope" to sell 10,000 copies. So you are selling a book at discount and paying £1 each for the pleasure.
  • If you want your book displayed in the New Titles shelf it's £1,000 a month.
  • If you want your hardback to appear in the "proper" bit in the normal shelves it's a mere £350.
  • If you want your book to appear with a "If You Like, You'll Love" handwritten note from staff then it's £1,000.
...and to think I thought that the branch staff had an input. Ha. It's not just Waterstone's who charge huge amounts - it was £50,000 to get a book onto WHSmith's recommended reading Christmas list last year! Or £15,000 for a boring "normal" week.

Having done a spot of research, it seems that I am years behind the times, as this Spectator article from 2001 demonstrates!!

Independent Book Sellers

A little post about a piece from the guardian this week about the surprisingly healthy state of independent bookshops. It features Crockatt and Powell who set up their shop in December 2005 and (quite by chance) I sometime read their blog so it was nice to see them in print too.

Some other bookish blogs that I sometimes pop into are:
MostlyBooks
The Bedside Crow
Dove Grey Reader
Neil Gaiman
Madam Arcati

Now I just need to find an independent bookseller in Norwich.... Prefably one who blogs!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Miwa Koizumi - PET Project

I love Miwa Koizumi's PET Project aquariums. She takes plastic bottles (Polyethylene terephthalate, better known as PET hence the name!) and turns them into sea creatures - mainly jellyfish. She says "I love the idea of using liquid containers to make water animals." and I agree with her!

UK Households to get "free" energy monitors

From sometime in 2008, UK households should be able to get their sticky paws on a device that measures energy consumption in their houses as energy providers will be obliged to provide free monitors to customer's who request one.








The aim is that having these "real time" monitors in homes will encourage people to waste a lot less energy and help to cut emissions by 400,000 tonnes a year by 2010.

BBC News
Labour's announcement

Miranda July's book launch site

This website is genius. Miranda July has made the promotion site for her new book (No one belongs here more than you) by writing on her fridge (then stove) in a dry-wipe pen and taking photos. I soooo wish I had thought of this!












Edit - just found her real website. Enjoy decoding the password... ;)

12 Breeds of Client and How to Work With Them

The 12 breeds of client (and how to work with them guide) certainly hit a chord! I recognise several types in there... Scary stuff.











Sunday, 15 April 2007

Eek - P2P tracking revealed!

"All over Europe thousands of people are being threatened with court action for allegedly sharing games like Dream Pinball 3D on P2P networks. Now, documents obtained by TorrentFreak show details of the anti-piracy company’s techniques for identifying alleged file-sharers on the internet and the gathering of claimed ‘forensic quality’ evidence for use in court cases."

Dooomed.

Donkey Kong

Students at UCSC's engineering building have pulled together and, over the course of five hours, made a Donkey Kong screenshot out of post-it notes. 6400 of them. It took around ten people five hours to complete and will be taken down by the 1st May. There's a timelapse video on their site.

Engaget's Third Birthday Cakes

Sooooo - Engaget is three years old and to celebrate they asked readers to make them cakes with loot on offer for the winners. The overall winner's cake is below but plenty more to see here. I have to say that I was pretty impressed by the creativity and talent displayed - clearly my jam sponge cake wouldn't have ranked highly in the tables. I'm pretty sure that they taste baaad though.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Heliotrop House

This futuristic house is the home of architect Rolf Disch who designed it in 1994. The panels on the roof rotate to track the sun, so that its triple-glazed front can face the warming sun in winter and show its well insulated back in summer. More info here.

Cute Overload

Need to see more pictures like the one below? Head to Cute Overload. After my trip there this morning I feel nauseous but fuzzy.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

A bit too Wii-alistic?

From engaget - you can now buy dagger, sword and shield acessories for your Wiimote (for the sum of $27.51). I guess it would make the fighting experience in games like Zelda more realistic if, of course, I could actually get my hands on a Wii. I suspect I would feel like a tool using them, or even confessing that I owned them, but nice idea.

Fat Rant

I quite enjoyed this short film by Joy Nash - perhaps it struck a chord after my recent Paul McKenna session!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Hamster Shredder













This hamster-powered paper shredder by Tom Ballhatchet made me snigger. Also makes me look thoughtfully at the dogs and think hard about what household tasks I could assign to them...

The shredder is part of an exhibition of work for graduating designers from Central St. Martins College of Art and Design. Their exhibit, "Art School," is at at Salone Del Mobile, Milan next week, from April 18 - 23 at stand A15. Should you be there!

Whale Bath















This Whale bath caught my eye this week - utterly pointless but you've got to love a whirlpool bath where the water comes out of the tail of a whale. To attempt to justify the $5,600 pricetag, the site tell me that "fourteen (14) strategically positioned gentle jets are aligned to match the Chinese pathway points on the human skeleton, and bring soothing relief to all of the body's 14 main pathways to harmony, called meridians." Sold.

Audrey Kawasaki















Today's featured artist is Audrey Kawasaki! She paints with oils on wood and her precise technical style is influenced by both manga comics and Art Nouveau. I quite like her iPod skins too! Recent interview with her on MacTribe.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Welcome to Norwich - a Green City

In my recent edition of Citizen Magazine, I noticed a map of Norwich's Green Spaces (pdf) which shows all the parks, allotments, open spaces and natural areas in the city. Although they have forgotten to draw all the shops and houses on this map, it made me realise that it really is a very nice and green city to live in. I live near the spade at number 13!

Chocolate Sign

Last week, Thorntons invited passers-by to tuck into the 14.5ft by 9.5ft (4.4m by 2.9m) sign in Covent Garden, London. The Easter creation, a world first, was made of 10 chocolate bunnies, 72 giant chocolate eggs and 128 chocolate panels, each weighing 2kg. The whole sign was eaten up passers by in a mere three hours.

Painted Sheep

News in from last week that made me smile was a story about a farmer, Andrew Jack, who has painted his sheep red to "brighten things up". The sheep have been released on a hillside beside the M8 between junctions three and four and will remain red until they are sheared at the end of the month.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Keyboard Inspired Fun

I love the design of this ctrl + z Wrinkle Smoothering Cream from Olay. I'm not convinced that the target market would get it though.











This eraser from artlebedev also caught my eye.

The Bootlego Beatles













The artist known as Digger Digger Dogstar has created these Bootlego Beatles album covers. I am a little jealous of his photoshop skills :(

Rolling Bridge










This rolling bridge is located in Paddington Basin, London and has been designed by Heatherwick Studio to roll itself into a ball to allow water traffic through. That's about all I intend to say about it!

Thursday, 5 April 2007

KITT for sale!












This sexy beast is for sale. Calm yourself, I don't mean The Hoff but the car!For a cool $US149,995 this restored 1982 Pontiac Trans Am could be yours and (to quote the car dealer) "Perhaps most importantly, the red scanner light on the nose glows and makes a humming noise." Does it for me.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Get fit and have fun!

A new year, a new me. Oh. It's April. Oh well - I tried... I saw this MXP Workout Master machine from Motivatrix and was impressed(ish). "Your body is a joystick...this is a way to take those Nintendo kids and give them a reason to get a sweat" says their fitness director and this baby has loads of games, routines and music to choose from to make exercise interactive and *cough* fun. Although not sure how much fun this chap is having here as he is being eaten by a shark just because he couldn't virtual-swim fast enough. I digress. No word on pricing but I'm going to bet it's just a tad more than a Wii.

Papillon D'Amour

In Papillion D'Amour, Nicolas Provost takes mirrored footage from Kurosawa's film Rashomon and creates a very unique work. Blurb I found tells me that this short film is a "pure, metaphysical meditation upon Love, its lyrical monstrosities, and wounded act of disappearance." I thought it was just pretty and clever. It received an Honorable Mention from the Shorts Jury at the Sundance Film Festival.


Supermarket 2.0

Supermarket 2.0 is an amusing Israeli video about a Web 2.0-compliant supermarket. I must confess that whilst watching it I sort of expected them to get nekkid as the dialogue is a little stiff (ho ho) but some good nerd gags all the same.

Serenity named top Sci-Fi film!


























The BBC reported yesterday that Serenity was voted in as the number one Sci-Fi film by readers of SFX Magazine with 61% of the votes. Star Wars came in second (28%) with Blade Runner third, followed by Planet of the Apes, The Matrix, Alien and Forbidden Planet. Back to the Future came tenth.

Serenity, as any fule kno, was the film based on the tragically short-lived Firefly TV show. Browncoats unite and storm Fox at once!!

Google homepage firefly/serenity quote thing here!

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Top Ten April Fool's

Top ten April Fool's stories via Slashdot.

Ultimate Gaming Station






















Following my post on lazy gaming a few days ago, I have stumbled upon this gaming station (oh - also aimed at the "business professional") that is designed to give you a feeling of being immersed in a game. It has three screens, 125 watts of sound and can happily connect to your PC, X-box, PS2 or Gamecube. At $6,000 dollars, I might give it a miss.

Micro-Wind Turbines

Engineers in Hong Kong have introduced an innovative wind energy technology than can help both rural and city residents protect the environment and cut down on energy costs - without taking up a lot of space. The mirco turbines (see pic!) can generate electricity even if wind speeds are as low as two meters per second. At the moment, a set of 20 gearwheels costs about $25 however the price is set to reduce as they enter mass production. More on the MotorWave company and their products here!