Friday, July 17, 2009

Meanwhile, in another universe...

Occasionally the GoogleAds server throws up a "contextual" ad that you just can't go past.
A while back, I found the BananaGuard, with its informative tagline "Protect your banana!" thanks to an ad in my Gmail sidebar.

Tonight, I was greeted with this little gem:
That's right. Improving your life is as simple as jumping to another dimension! Hooray!
"But how do I perform this jump?" I hear you ask.
With some kind of new technology? A time machine of some description? A psychotropic elixir?


With a set of 6 informative and educational CDs! All for the low price of $197USD!!

After having a flick through the testimonial-laden site, I discovered that apparently, you can jump dimensions and pick up skills from OTHER-DIMENSION-YOU!

That's right, other-dimension-you is a photographer, painter, novelist, tennis champion, world leader, 19th century libertine or any other thing you could want. All you have to do is pop over that fold in space-time, be other-dimension-you for a while, then jump on back to this dimension and show off your newly acquired skills! It's that easy!
Women will kiss you in the street, people will throw wads of money at you, you'll ride a scooter!

Quantum Jumping's Jesus-figure is 81 year old Burt Goldman. He figured out how to perform this little quantum jump thing and according to him, you can even get yourself a BEACH HOUSE by travelling to other dimensions. It says so on his website!

Amazing stuff.

I was about to do some reading and fall asleep, but I just got word on the grapevine that other-dimension-me over in Dimension 9 (where I am a Capoeira instructor to the stars) is having a super awesome party. I'm not sure I'm dressed appropriately, but who cares when you can frigging quantum jump!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

State Of Design Opening Night

Went along with some AGDA peeps tonight to the State of Design opening preview.

Was really good... Some great stuff from the Design:Made:Trade exhibition preview with an interesting mix of conceptual stuff and crafty odds and ends.
My favourite was the kit studio from Arkit. Very smart and sleek and it's classified as a shed, so you don't have to get council approval top erect one... Super cool. There was also awesome cards and assorted tat from Able and Game and some wicked jewellery from one of the coolest collective nouns going around : A Skulk Of Foxes

Anyways, no photos allowed inside, but here's some pics I took around the place and on the walk home:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What rhymes with cloister?

I've said it before; grammar is quite important.
I spent the weekend snowboarding up in the mountains. On Saturday evening whilst I lay sprawled on the armchair feeling particularly exhausted, an ad on the local TV station used the word "moister".
This was used to indicate that the thing being advertised was more moist, or contained more moisture than some other thing.

What a horrible use of English. It seems the people writing the copy for the ad were of the impression that grammar is the lady their grandpa married.

I don't know how this happens as you'd think there would be someone involved in producing this abomination of an ad that would flag the use of the word "moister" as being unacceptable.
Apparently not.

And so it was that Saturday was the day 'moister' became my new most abhorred word. If only I could remember what product it was used in relation to, I could advise everyone against buying it.

The End.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sure, and I'm allergic to rants...

Just to warn you, this could end up slightly rant-ish...
Stick with me though, if you can be bothered.

Not that long ago, stating you were a vegetarian was an accurate way of letting people know you enjoyed naked bushwalking, showered in alignment with the rising of the Pagan moon (which is rarely) and had dreadlocks by accident.
Now though, times have changed.
Have you ever had to fill out those forms when you're attending a function or whatever, detailing your dietary requirements? Me, I usually leave it blank as I'll eat almost anything, providing it's not made of vomit and insects.

Today at work today we got this:

I have severe allergies and need to have a meal with:
no milk
no wheat

no colourings

no artificial flavourings

no natural msg

no preservative

no seafood

low amine vegetables

low salicytate vegetables
low fructose

Absolutely no cherries

absolutely no strawberries

absolutely no blackcurrants
absolutely no raspberries

absolutely no blackberries

absolutely no kiwifruit

is it possible for you to cater for me?

Of course it's possible to cater for you! We have boundless amounts of water! Also, there's some dust gathering on a plate by the windowsill over there, so you can have all that dust too.
You're welcome.
This sounds like recipe for everything on the menu in purgatory.

Is this what we've now come to then?
Is this out of necessity, or is this a result of a society gone haywire?
If you're eating a tofu ragout with a legume salad, dressed in a reduced soy jus off a burlap plate with utensils made of recycled hemp shoes because you want to, or because it's healthier, or because it's more sustainable, then good on you. High fives all round.
However, if you're going to claim that you're doing it because you're allergic to everything else, then I call 'humbug!' and insist you take a good look at yourself.
What did people do ten years ago when they didn't realise they were allergic to everything? Oh that's right. They burped. They felt bloated. They farted. Because it is normal. Feeling a bit bloaty after eating ten pieces of toast is normal. It doesn't mean you have to now purge every time you walk down the cereal aisle in the supermarket. Getting greasy hands after eating chips isn't a medical condition, it's from the oil they were cooked in. It's normal.
What we're doing these days, is an excellent job of putting the hype back in hypochondria... Err... Hypeochondria?
Ten years ago, if you had allergies, you carried around an epinephrine shot because if you got stung by a bee you died. Allergies in the 90's were things that killed you or made your face melt or turned you into the elephant man. Ten years ago, you didn't create a veritable Noah's Ark of banned foods that are forever denied entrance to your gullet because they made you loosen the waist on your designer sweatpants a little bit once.

Sort. Your. Life. Out. People.

It's one thing to be lactose intolerant, or have Coeliac, and yes, I may go so far as to say, you may be one of the rare people to actually suffer from a bunch of allergies, but when you start listing every goddamn organic item under the sun as an allergen, it may be time for you to pop back into your hermetically sealed bubble and quietly leave.

Back to my incredibly witty hype-hypochondria pun; All of this is a result of hype. The same thing happened with ADHD. And with Swine Flu (Or H1N1 as the science people like to call it.)
The more people hear about the incidence of these things, the more prevalent they become. Why? Because of influence and hype.
The science people I mentioned earlier are still debating over whether the spike in ADHD diagnoses in the last decade is a result of more people becoming aware of the symptoms of an already prevalent condition, or whether it is because of the ease inherent with putting a problem in a box. Is it easier to discipline your kid or is it easier to buy in to the hype, have him/her diagnosed with ADHD and medicate?

Same goes with these supposed food allergies. It's the power of the herd (Although 'the herd' sounds like a bit of a wanky marketing term to use). It's the principle behind Digg. And The Hypemachine. It's a hashtag in Twitter. It's viral marketing (pardon the pun).
Something is recognised as being 'it', a few people of influence highlight it, a few more people take this is run with it and voila! Everyone's allergic to something and has to take a 15 tablet-a-day course of supplements to ensure they don't die from "high amine vegetables".

Anyways, I had a point in there somewhere and I think the point was this: Hype giveth and hype taketh away.

These exacerbated medical conditions are the negative result of hype. The facemasks on the train are a result of hype. The proliferation of sensationalist media is a result of hype.
But good things come from hype: Brands that people love. Start-ups with brilliant ideas. Your new favourite band.

All of these have hype and 'the herd' to thank/blame.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you find out your new favourite band has a rider that looks like that list at the start of this post, they're probably not going to be around to make a sophomore album.

NB: Yes, this is disjointed... I'm just hoping it sounds more inane-rant-ish, than insane-homeless-man-on-a-soapbox-ish.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Charcoal. Not just for digestion.

Just when you think you're getting good at something, go check out But Does It Float and eat a fuck-tonne of humble pie. Seriously talented people.

A favourite:
Robert Longo working in charcoal

Also, this is some of the most stunning animation I've seen in ages... Simple drawings plus mega-skillful rendering...

Clockwork from David Prosser on Vimeo.

Makes me think I've got hells long way to go...