Monday, February 27, 2012

Visualizing Plastic Pollution

Plastic is pretty much forever, which means that there is a mind boggling amount of it out there as trash strewn across our landscapes and floating in our oceans.  While a beach covered in plastic is an eyesore, that plastic can still be put to an interesting, beautiful, and potential useful and informative end.

Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang have been collecting the plastic from 1 km of beach and making art with it since 1999...

Laughing Squid has a nice little piece on the couple and their project up with some photos and the project has a website (the new version appears to be under construction, but has a link to an active fb page).

(via LS)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Virgina's Flaming Hypocrisy

There are all sorts of things wrong with VA's pending anti-choice legislation, Jon Stewart hits just a few of the finer points...

The WaPo is reporting this morning that VA's Governor is backing off his support of the bill amidst pushback in support of women's rights.

Crooner In Chief

President Obama shows off the pipes...

Morning Edition had a blurb this morning and I found the video via Joan Walsh.  The guy is just a lot of fun!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

99 Problems But Hunger Ain't One

This is inspired and awesome and reeks of the internets at their finest.  LA Weekly has the story of how Conor Knighton visited all 99 of Jonathan Gold's Essential Restaurants and dropped this on the world...

Can we get someone to do this for DC, maybe the Washingtonian 100?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

This Is Just A Tribute

Kirby Ferguson has finished his brilliant little four part series Everything Is A Remix which investigates the origins of creativity and the ways in which technology, inventions, and innovations develop.

Part 3 on the elements of creativity and computers turned out to be my favorite...

Everything is a Remix Part 3 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Check out Part 1 on music, Part 2 on movies, and Part 4 on the evolution of ideas and reality's battle with our market driven legal systems and the idea of intellectual property.

(We looked at Part 1 back in June, 2011)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Read This Now - Making Music

The February 6 issue of the New Yorker has a great little piece by the pianist Jeremy Denk about the recording process and struggle.  He also does quite a bit about Charles Ives' "Concord" Sonata, but the most interesting parts are his thoughts about the differences between recordings and live performances and the goals and results therein...

In performance, at some point near the climax, I happily relinquish the prospect of playing all or any of these notes, and just let the fervor take over, preacher style.  In recording, this wonderful freedom seems a cop-out.  You must have all the notes; after all, it's a document.
Ultimately, editing turns out to be even more nerve-racking than recording.  In the moment of playing, the logistics of just hitting the notes distract you from the continuous choices you are making.  In the edit you have nothing but choice.  And you feel helpless, since everything has already been played.
Unfortunately the piece is behind the pay wall so you'll need a subscription or have to cough up a few bucks to read the whole thing.  There is a nice audio companion to the piece though with a lot of the same thoughts in an interview format and you get to hear some of the music that Denk is playing in the story.

Denk also has a blog that you might enjoy if you like the New Yorker piece.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Your Brain Is A Powerful Thing

This is pretty neat.  Give it a read to take it for a spin...

I'm not sure if some folks can read this and others can't (my guess is that the vast majority of people can, as long as they don't think too hard).

(via George Takei's fb, which is pretty cool itself)

Idiosyncratic & Close To Nature

One of the interesting little side effects to our more connected internet based world and society is the way that it can bring off the grid individuals and snippets of a totally different lifestyle to the masses.  This fun little documentary from the folks at Orion is a perfect example...

eel•water•rock•man from Orion Magazine on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Would This Have Happened In A Pre-YouTube Age?

I doubt it.  Sometimes I think that the Ok Go guys have a little too much fun making music videos, luckily they are almost always also a lot of fun to watch...

Alternate videos and a wider variety of takes on songs are an interesting component of our increasingly digital age and the growth of high quality online video sites.  We definitely live in interesting times.

(via TMN)