Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ask Oxford

Female cattle are cows, male cattle are bulls. But what is the word for an individual of arbitrary sex? Got a question about language that's left you tongue-tied? Check out the frequently asked questions at AskOxford.com where you'll soon discover that you're not the only one asking!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Food Company's Annual Report has to be Baked to be Read

Printed with invisible thermal-reactive ink, this food-company annual report called "Well Done" must be baked before the content of the pages will show up! Kudos to the creative agency Bruketa & Zinić who cooked up this recipe for success. I'm sure they've made their client proud.

Even the Biohazard Symbol Needed Design & Marketing

Biohazard SymbolCharles Baldwin, a retired environmental-health engineer, explains his role in developing the biohazard symbol from colour and shape selection to test audiences and "selling" it through scientific journals.

~via Reddit~


TED Conference speaker Authur Benjamin combines his love of Math and Magic into "Mathemagics" by performing lightening-fast calculations in his head against a panel from the audience armed with calculators. He can even calculate the day of the week you were born on!

The capper? He performs the square of a five-digit number out loud so that you can hear what goes on in his head while he's doing it. With his calculating wit, Math isn't all he's mastered; he's an entertaining performer as well.

TED (Technology, Entertainmet and Design) home page
About TED

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Putting Two and Two Together

Choleena DiTullio's 'Fishtych' paintingMy most recent painting is two-in-one in a couple of ways: two canvases and two views. It's name, Fishtych (pronounced 'fishtick'), is derived from the word for a painting that's been produced on two canvases: dyptych. The painting itself is inspired by the natural phenomenon where fish of the deep sea use bioluminescent nodes to glow in the dark. This fish lives a dichotomous life hinging on the magical time of sunset -- a colourful and playful entity by day, and a dark beast after lights-out.

Its dramatic size of 60" x 38.4" (approximately 5 feet wide by 3 feet tall; 152 cm x 97.5 cm) and glow in the dark property creates an excellent conversation piece!

• For more paintings, visit my online gallery.
• If you're one of those people asking if I know that the 'dark side' of my fish are reminiscent of vampires, the answer is yes.
• And, yes, I know (and love!) Joss Whedon's work in creating/writing Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly. Visit WHEDONesque.

Mechanisms and Movement

Movement has always fascinated me: rocking chairs, wind mills, animated sculpture, clock gears, etc.. I remember taking apart an old watch when I was a kid and being 'moved' by the tiny shoe-tack–sized, paper-thin, shiny-gold discs with toothy edges that were strong enough to move other tiny toothy-edged discs to ultimately move the hands of the watch to precise measures of time. That was a mind-boggling moment for my kid-brain! As I get older, the excitement only grows. But never did I ever imagine that there could be so many different types of movement: linear, rotary, intermittent, reciprocating, oscillating, and irregular. Then all the different kinds of mechanisms that produce those movements: gears, levers, pulleys, cranks, rack and pinion, cams, etc.. And then compound mechanisms where different mechanisms fit together into systems. Nutty!

I don't pretend to understand it all but I remain mesmerized. For those of you who have the same interest, you might find the Mechanism and Movement section of the Flying Pig Company web site interesting.

By the way, I still have those watch components in an old box in my studio. They are so captivating that I could never throw them away.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Automata For The People

The Cabaret Mechanical Theatre has a wide range of automata from pre-built life-sized wooden models all the way down to palm-sized paper models that you assemble yourself. The price range is equally broad. You can buy their products, instructional/ documentary-style CD-ROMs and books online. And, many of the studio artists, Paul Spooner in particular, regularly exhibit their work for the masses to enjoy. At left, I've inserted one of their quirky animations, "Honeymoon Bed". It comes complete with bouncing sound! (June 2010 update: Sadly, this product doesn't seem to be available any more.)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mostra Unusual Typeface

The Marc Simonson Studio, a digital Type foundry, has found inspiration in 70-year-old Art Deco typefaces. The resulting face “Mostra” is a beautiful homage to 1930’s hand-lettered posters and advertising.

Three sets are available offering some characters with different variations to give your designs just the right look. The character sets are included with each weight. Five weights range from Light to Bold to, as they say, “ridiculously Black”. Mostra features a full character set including the oe ligature (as is required for words like the French “oeuf”). Caps only; kerning tables for display setting.

The entire face in all weights is available for viewing in a unique, interactive interface on the Marc Simonson Studio web site.

Starting at $29, this typeface is worth it’s weight; bold or italic. ;-)

Via Daring Fireball.