July 31, 2010

Continued

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  • Nice interview with Raf Simons (WWD via HB)
  • Lengthy inverview with David Andrew Sitek (BV)
  • Awesome interview with Bill Murray (GQ)
  • Telling interview with Penn & Teller (Telegraph)
  • Decent interview with Ari Marcopoulos (Dossier)
  • Hip interview with Pedro Winter (Busy P of Ed Banger) (OC)
  • Strange interview with Spike Lee (Gothamist)
  • Passable interview with Rafael de Cardenas (S×H)
  • Brief interview with Tara McPherson (PSFK)

China:

20100715_LivingRooms_China-slide-YE61-slide-via-nyt

  • Urban China, ever the work in progress (NYT)
  • China’s Banks: Great Wall Street (The Economist)
  • Bad PR for the nouveau riche in the PRC (WSJ via Gawker)
  • The other oil spill (NYT / Salon)
  • A green movement grows in China (The Economist)
  • The Economist also draws an ophidian metaphor for China’s growth / lack thereof.

Music:

Media & Technology:

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Food:

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NYC:

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Random:

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July 11, 2010

World Cup 2010, Visually

All in all, I thought that the both sides played well in the final—I’m tempted to draw a comparison to the NBA finals, which was equally physical, not to mention prolonged for the teams’ defensive prowess and perhaps even grueling to the point of ennui, yet entertaining nonetheless. Contrary to the subtext of recent imagery, I was hoping that David Villa, the Creative Force in Spain’s Attack, would pull through with the epic overtime clincher, though Iniesta’s execution was also worthy of, say, Donovan.

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  • Boston.com’s Big Picture photoblog documented the excitement over four dramatic chapters. The well-curated selection of superlative photos is coherent (and readily minable) with a palpable narrative arc: in a word, beautiful.

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O'Keeffe-esque

O'Keeffe-esque

Plus:

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June 24, 2010

Assorted Videos

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June 23, 2010

Tell ’Em

This one goes out to Landon Donovan & the Comeback Crew:

» Sleigh Bells – Tell ’Em (2:56) – 6.1MB m4a @ 256kbps

You know how we do.

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June 10, 2010

Obligatory World Cup Post

*If you can’t tell, the images are mostly unrelated to the text

Ridiculously amazing photos of WC2010 buildup on Boston.com's Big Pciture

Ridiculously amazing photos of WC2010 buildup on Boston.com's Big Picture

2010-fifa-world-cup-trophy-case-louis-vuitton-via-hypebeast

  • Slate has the scoop on the secret history of American soccer in the first quarter of the last century (i.e.,the Roaring Twenties), featuring the Boston Wonder Workers, the Brooklyn Wanderers, and, of course, the infamous Fall River Marksmen.

arc-rivington-club-x-umbro

I hope I encounter this in real life at some point in the next month...

I hope I encounter this in real life at some point in the next month...

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May 26, 2010

Assorted Links

UPDATED, one last time before midnight.

Os Gemeos & Blu (Works in Progress) in Lisbon

Os Gemeos & Blu (Works in Progress) in Lisbon

Street art’s symbiotic relationship with the Web makes you wonder whether the genre’s broad popularity stems from the fact that its characteristic features—swift execution, quicksilver response to pop culture and politics, the dominance of quotation and commentary, snarky attitude, fragmented statements embedded in the world rather than meant to stand apart from it—actually reflect the way that plugged-in people process information, more so than “traditional” art. There is something particularly contemporary about street art’s whole M.O., in this sense.

–Ben Davis, Is Street Art Over?, Slate, May 26 2010 (Highly recommended)

Fresh Stuff from Ron English in Queens

Fresh Stuff from Ron English in Queens

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Two perspectives on Marina:

She and MoMA have brought some magic back into art—the sort of magic that all of our courses in art history and appreciation had encouraged us to hope for.

–Arthur C. Danto, Sitting with Marina, The Stone blog on NYT, May 23 2010

There are euphoric moments and then intensely sad feelings of heaviness. Whatever you’re feeling becomes intensified. Certain truths about things I need to fix in my life are revealed to me. Marina says that in her own life she’s not so disciplined—that the performance gives her structure.

–Deborah Wing-Sproul, The Performer Made Bare, NYMag, May 23 2010

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prokhorov-bloomberg-jayz-via-espn

[As Prokhorov] explained to “60 Minutes,” “I don’t use a computer. We have too much information and it’s really impossible to filter it.”

You know what? He’s not necessarily wrong. Do we REALLY need all this information? Like, right now—you’re reading this column and hopefully enjoying it, but ultimately, could you have survived the weekend if you missed it? I say yes. Just about everything online fits that mold—you have to sift through loads of bad writing and irrelevant information to find the occasional entertaining/funny/interesting thing, and even then, it’s not something that’s making or breaking your week. Ever been on a vacation and had little-to-no Internet access that week? You survived, right? Maybe the big Russian is on to something.

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Candy-Darling-by-Peter-Hujar-via-huffpo

Candy reminds us of the postmodern notion of self-creation—the way we don social signifiers with the same ease as clothing, constructing our selves bit by bit from cultural cues and images. Rather than the solid frameworks we cast them as, our selves are more like sweaters we put on and take off. When it comes to social identity, we’re all a wee bit in drag.

–Caroline Hagood, New Documentary Tries to Solve the Riddle of Andy Warhol’s Candy Darling,
The Huffington Post, May 21 2010

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Was2651110

The problem of negative externalities [refers to] costs that accrue when the self-interested actions of one person leave bystanders worse off. The biggest example of a negative externality is global warming: When we burn carbon-based fuels, we benefit ourselves while imposing a great cost on billions of other present and future inhabitants of the planet.

–Felix Salmon, The Man Who Could Unsnarl Manhattan Traffic, Wired, May 24 2010

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j-bennett-fitts-land-of-ahs-via-good

GOOD Picture Show has a gallery of J. Bennett Fitts' incredible photos of Middle America

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April 17, 2010

The Highlight Factor

Damn right hipsters have infiltrated NBA fandom.

The NBA playoffs start today and I’m excited to watch some “grown-man” basketball (along with “posterized,” this locution has been annoying prevalent this season). I suppose that anyone who has been following the NBA this season knows this already, but GQ has a nice rundown of (most of) the teams that made the playoffs.

Personally, I’m tend to be a fan of specific players over teams—I suppose I can only stake a legitimate claim to the Hawks as my local squad: their opening series against the Bucks is promising, and I’m actually looking forward to seeing Jennings school Bibby, my least favorite Hawk. The Magic look good once again and I expect to see them in the conference finals: they’ll miss Turkoglu but Vince has already proven himself and I can’t imagine he’ll be less than brilliant in the postseason. Even though KG was my hometown hero back in the day and I’m glad he got his ring, but I don’t think the Celtics have it in them and I’m a sucker for Wade’s underdog appeal.

Lebron is a foregone conclusion.

The bottom halves of both conferences are stacked with dark horses, though I can only realistically see one and two seeds in the conference finals. If last year is any indication, the West seems more prone to early-round upsets due to tighter competition. I think the Durant (and then Denver) will give the Lakers a run for the money, but I’d take Dallas over the spotty Spurs. Lastly, I have no idea what to expect from the Suns and Blazers matchup.

Presenting the 2010 Los Angeles Lakers

I’m actually ambivalent about the Lakers—they’re alternately the team that I love to hate and I hate to love—but I’m fascinated with the semi-mythological culture of Phil Jackson’s team and, of course, Kobe.

In the manner of Carles: which NBA team has the most hipster cred? Portland is easily the most hipster town, but I’ll venture the Nuggets because they’re all tatted up and Melo is from the ‘authentic’ hipster dive-city (if there is such a thing) of Baltimore (via Brooklyn, no less)… though you could probably make a similar argument for just about any team or superstar.

Of course, the real sign that I’m a hipster: I’d rather hit MoMA to see Fassbinder’s World On a Wire tonight (Art vs Basketball?)… and I’ll catch the games tomorrow if I’m not out biking.

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April 7, 2010

Images

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March 16, 2010

Daylight Saving Time & Other Items

» Aesop Rock – Daylight (4:25) – 4.1MB m4a @ 128kbps

The Persistence of Trite Imagery

The Persistence of Trite Imagery

Since this Sunday marked Daylight Saving Time, I decided to put my philosophy degree to good use by pondering the psychology and metaphysics of this semi-annual ritual.

First of all, there is technically only one daylight to be saved: contrary to folk wisdom that might suggest otherwise, daylight is an indivisible entity. In a sense, daylight is like money—which is also grammatically singular but conceptually plural (insofar as one would hope to have more than one money)—such that daylight is quantifiable, at least in terms of daylight hours. In other words, official terminology denotes that summer is ‘Time to Save Daylight’—i.e., Time for Daylight-Saving—while the colloquial (if not altogether prevalent) shorthand “Daylight Savings” is a gerund, as per the nominal usage of “Savings” for that type of  bank account. (Even the Wikipedia URL for the Daylight Saving Time entry is Daylight_savings.)

The monetary metaphor is useful in illustrating how DST’s pithy essence “spring forward, fall back” belies the curious phenomenon that either occasion—the turning of the clocks in spring or in fall—can be described as gaining or losing an hour. Common parlance suggests that we have indeed acquired a full 60 minutes, yet this increment simultaneously seems to have slipped through a mysterious temporal rift in the wee hours of Sunday morning. It appears that we have both gained and lost an hour on Sunday, a discrepancy that reveals two divergent systems of belief concerning time and how it is measured: absolute vs. relative. The two views correspond to a scientific picture of an independent physical world and a pragmatic ‘lived’ experience of time, respectively.

The former system holds that time marches forward of its own accord and that to push a clock forward—from 2AM to 3AM, say—disturbs the clockwork of the universe to the effect that humans have erased an hour from their day. Here the bank analogy must be modified: on Sunday, we withdrew an hour on credit, which we will pay back in October; for the next six months, we owe one hour to the universe, or nature, or whatever. We have lost it in the interest of practicality—we need to borrow the hour for the better half of the year—though we plan on restoring balance in six months or so. For the absolutist, the hour is deferred.

Those who abide by the second perspective, on the other hand, see time as more malleable, where chronology is purely pragmatic: we gained an hour on Sunday because we now have an extra hour of sunlight—and, ostensibly, productivity—to the effect that the days themselves grow longer. By springing forward, we stake a claim to the greater daylight afforded by the rotation of the Earth, silently folding one hour into the shroud of slumber in order to extend each and every day in those six months. For the relativist, it’s possible to save daylight like money albeit not in the interest of yielding a long-term dividend: everyone cashes out the same predetermined amount at the end of each day.

Of course, both schools of thought understand that the actual demarcation of time to be incidental (i.e. pragmatic in a broad sense)—otherwise we wouldn’t have license to give and take (or take and give) hours as we please. Nevertheless, I wonder if there is any correlation between the saving(s) locution and the gain/loss dichotomy: are relativists more predisposed to regarding DST as a savings account, as opposed to absolutists who treat the extra time as a line of credit?

Does that even make sense? Rather, does it even matter?

Now for the real news:

  • Advertising 2.0: This Time, It’s Personal. FaceBook is now crowdsourcing targeted advertising like social AdSense (=AdBook?). (NYT, Future Perfect) Also, Product Placement: Geolocation is so hot right now (NYT)
  • Mattel Mentality x Mad Men = Barbie. WTF. (NYT)
  • Google Maps now has (spotty) bike directions: Gothamist blurbs, Streetsblog mentions, Wired crowdsources; Bike Snob NYC is more thorough, with an incisive riposte to the Post
  • Big ups to the Alma Mater in the Times. But seriously, the prospect of digitally tracking writers’ inspiration and composition process is quite fascinating.
  • Stanley Fish on Pragmatism’s Gift.
  • I’ve always been a stickler for free throws (i.e. I don’t understand why every player isn’t shooting 90+% from the line), so I was pleased to see that Wired has posted a guide on How to Nail a Free Throw.
  • Old news, but here’s a couple of interesting articles on sports video games and their source material; specifically, how video games are have become increasingly true to life for athletes: League of Gamers (ESPN); Gamechangers: How Videogames Trained a Generation of Athletes (Wired)
  • Speaking of video games, Virtusphere. Just watch the damn video.
  • G4 (correctly, I think) identifies Chatroulette’s ‘Merton.’ NYMag’s Vulture (correctly, I think) identifies Ben Folds as a “Fin de siècle singer-songwriter.” Just watch the damn video.
  • (Over)analysis of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” music video. (Vigilant Citizen)

Music news:

  • What Would They Know: Matthew Perpetua interviews Liars for Pitchfork.
  • Time to Get Away: LCD Soundsystem finishing up their last record. (Daily Swarm)
  • Wanna Be Startin’ Something: MJ posthumously lands a massive record deal. (WSJ, NYT)

Art news:

Bonus Trailer:

Ride, Rise, Roar trailer via Wired.

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March 8, 2010

Psychling

Now that the weather has taken a long-awaited turn for the better, I’m officially setting a fitness goal for myself: I want to make good time on bike five laps around Prospect Park in a month. I’m not sure what exactly that means, but I think it’s reasonable to clock the 16.5-mile ride in at under an hour—it’s not terribly long by any means, but a decent distance for timing, plus that hill at the end is hell on the knees.

I rode 3.5 laps today (0.5 = cutting through Center Drive), but I still need to figure out my speed, since I haven’t been timing myself at all. I could also stand to upgrade my crank, but that’s a luxury at this point.

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