Today Goes Out-of-Body

September 28, 2009 at 9:32 pm (Education, News, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

OutOfBody

This morning the Today Show reported on the AWARE (AWAreness during Resuscitation) study. The study is trying to determine if people really do have out-of-body experiences (or if it’s just a mind trick) and what the implications of a true out-of-body experience are. Involved in the study are 25 major medical centers throughout Europe, Canada, and 2 hospitals in the United States.

As part of the study a special monitor is placed on a coding patient to determine the amount of oxygen perfusion in the brain; a picture is also placed on a shelf above the bed in each hospital room. The shelf is high enough that the picture can’t be seen from floor level, and the idea is that someone would see the picture if they were having a true out-of-body experience. I wonder what was chosen for this picture, or maybe its just a sign that says:

“You are dead!

Option A: Go toward the light

Option B: Go back to your body and tell us you saw this sign”

It will be interesting to see what the study unearths. Will it confirm the possibility of life after death, or just open a host of new questions? Either way it reminds of the movie Ghost Dad with Bill Cosby. The UK Resuscitation Council, the Horizon Research Foundation, and the Nour Foundation in the United States are supplying funding for the study.

Permalink Leave a Comment

9 – Apocalypse Never Looked So Good

September 27, 2009 at 11:52 pm (movies, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

So I might be a little behind in my movie going expeditions, but I finally saw 9 this weekend. The movie was done very well. Character development has gotten very good over the last few years, and this movie is a prime example of that. The movie centers on anthropomorphosised burlap sacks who fight against a machine that destroyed humanity. Each of the 9 hero characters had a well-defined, if not stereotypical personality, though not all of them had much airtime. The villain cast of characters included a bionic cat, a cobra-esque burlap snake, and a soul-sucking machine.

The movie is set in a post apocalyptic time where machines have snuffed out human existence. The overall aesthetic of the film is reminiscent of World War I with elements of World War II era technology. I assume the city is loosely based on Paris, France, as the Cathedral of Notre Dame appears to have been used as the bases for one of the buildings. Regardless the imagery is amazing, and I liked the ambiguity of the back-story – you learn more about what happened to the human world and how as the hero character does.

I enjoyed the move. I felt the character development was strong, the story weaved in back-story and key plot ideas at it unfolded, and the imagery was spectacular. If you get a chance to see this in the theater I would recommend it, if not get it on Blu-Ray with the special features.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Smithsonian’s Museum Day

September 26, 2009 at 11:52 pm (Florida, free, photography, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Museum-Day

What happens when you trudge up a small hill, climb 105 steps up a spiral staircase, take in the view at 146’ then walk down the 105 steps and the small hill? You get a little tired. But you also get some cool photos and a little history lesson.

Today was the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Day, where 1000 participating museums nationwide allowed free admission to anyone who downloaded the pass from Smithsonianmag.com. To change things up from our usual experiences in art and design venues we headed north to the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. The museum showcases exhibits about Florida’s earliest inhabitants, the history of the lighthouse, and the area’s military activities during WWII. It is located in a World War II U.S. Naval housing building that was built as the married men’s quarters of the Directional Finding Station known as “Station J” The station was used to locate German U-boats and also to serve as a navigational beacon for military ships and aircraft during the war. The building is now owned by the Town of Jupiter and operated by the Loxahatchee River Historical Society.

Jupiter Lighthouse, the one with all the steps, was first lit on July 10, 1860. It has remained, with the exception of a few years during the Civil War, a functional lighthouse ever since. The US Coast Guard took over operation of the beacon in 1939, and has never missed a night. As part of the admission to the museum you are given the opportunity to climb the steps, view the light mechanism, and peer out over the Loxahatchee River from 146 feet above the water.

After our trek up the lighthouse and through the museum we decided to check out another rather unknown area of Florida – The Blowing Rocks Preserve. The preserve is a 73-acre barrier island sanctuary that includes walking trails, an open-air butterfly garden, and most impressively a beach lined with Anastasia limestone rock formations. The formations have been eroded over time to form blowholes able to shoot sea spray up to 50 feet in the air. A very impressive sight indeed!

We had a fun day participating in the Smithsonian’s Museum Day and exploring a little on our own. The lighthouse and museum are finishing restoration on a second building, and should have that open in the coming months. I plan on visiting Blowing Rocks more; it was a beautiful beach with excellent photographic imagery.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Window 7 – So Easy, Even You Can Launch It

September 24, 2009 at 7:51 pm (advertising, Branding, free, networking, News, social event, Social Events & Networking, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

In order to launch Windows 7, Microsoft isn’t sending out reps to address the masses, there’s no pomp and circumstance, and no caucus of bald men dressed as Dr. Evil marching in formation like Macintosh’s 1984 commercial would lead us to believe. Instead they are taking a queue from Tupperware and candle sales. That’s right, they are having a house party – several house parties to be exact.

To prepare for the main event there is a page on houseparty.com to get you pumped up about having your very own Windows 7 launch party. I love the introductory video, which invites you to the festivities and tells you how great it is to host a party. After all you are “just throwing a house party with Windows 7 as an honored guest. Sounds easy, and it is…” All you have to do is load Windows 7 onto your computer, clear off anything you do not want everyone perusing, double check your photo files – just incase your boss or preacher show up, and hope that no beer gets spilled on the keyboard by the guy who talks with his hands.

According to the video our four hosts got to have their parties a little ahead of schedule, and feel like dispensing some awkwardly scripted advice while feigning camaraderie. The video is even shot with cuts and camera zooms as if it was a home video done by someone who almost knew what they were doing. I enjoy the personalities of the four hosts – retiree, housewife, average young professional, and quasi-computer geek, who of course led three activities during his party instead of just two. I like that they tell you show the “help” section as a kind of last call to help wrap up soiree. And remember, “Part of the fun of a launch party is seeing what you already know and what you can figure out.” This gives me visions of my AutoCad teacher in college; everyday in class he would find himself telling us “well, this worked yesterday.”

I do have to commend Windows for adapting multi-tier marketing strategies to a multimedia product. It seems like a smart move in the current economic times, because no one can scream foul about them blowing access money on a big campaign or party. The ROI has to be nearly perfect, and as a buzz marketing case study it will hold value …but are they really only trying to put the product in the hands of the consumer, or really trying to save money – you be the judge.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Graduates of Distinction

September 23, 2009 at 6:38 pm (Art, Art Event, Design, Design Events, Florida, free, Graphic Design, Logo Design, Miami, networking, News, photography, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

portfolio-review

It’s graduation season at the Art Institutes again, and once again I was not disappointed at the showing in Miami. The graduating class at Miami International University of Art and Design seemed a little smaller this quarter compared to last, but the work was equally as good. Interior design was set up outside the hall and the extra space allowed for a little less congestion throughout portfolio review. Fashion Design, Accessory Design, and Fashion Merchandizing had a good showing with a wide variety of styles represented. Graphic Design showed sound composition and design aesthetics. Juan Lopez from the Graphics Department caught my eye with some interesting 3D work.

Visual Arts had only two graduates this quarter, but both were very strong. Alejandra Cicilia showed her diversity in photography. She had some fantastic photos of construction workers in front of the Fontainebleau on Miami Beach, her fashion photography was well composed, and her nighttime photography has an amazing use of color. The work of Chantal Disler can be an event in itself. She takes watercolor, newsprint, and other mixed media and forms them into beautiful arrangements of harmony. Her branding seems to be set around birds in different forms and flight patterns. Her photography, drawings, and portraits all follow a free will aesthetic.

This quarter’s showing was very good. The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale had their portfolio review today at the Broward County Convention Center. Unfortunately I was unable to attend both, but wish graduates from both schools the best of luck!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Shoot’n Hot & Wet on Brickell

September 22, 2009 at 11:37 pm (Florida, free, Miami, networking, photography, social event, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Brickell

Sunday and Monday were photo-filled days. Sunday saw a small contingent of photographers from Shoot Miami converge on Brickell Avenue. We met in front of Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant located a little south of the famed Brickell Avenue Bridge and Miami Circle. The small group that I was with wandered a for a while before finding ourselves at a Miami Metromover station – Elevated transportation stations are a great place to get photographs from in Miami or any other metropolitan area that has them. After getting off the Metromover we got stuck under a pavilion waiting for a rain storm to pass until it was time to return to Gordon Biersch for some food and good conversation

Monday evening was the monthly Shoot Miami general meeting. The photography theme was “architecture.” I saw some really nice HDR images that were not over processed – an all too common abuse of Photoshop’s power. Some of the photos that come from that group are amazing!

Shoot Miami’s next schedule event is October 3 and 4 at the Dragon Boat races in Miami, but there is rumor of a Halloween shoot in the works. Details on the group can be found here.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Facebook May Cost Man 10 Years in Prison

September 22, 2009 at 12:58 am (News, social media) (, , , , , , , , , , )

facebook

Back on August 31 I blogged about the Boca Police Department using the twitter handle @BocaPolice to dispense information to the general public in real time, and joked that social media could cost you your freedom. Well, kids guess what happened to one West Virginia fellow?

19-year-old Jonathan Parker likes burglarizing people, turns out he likes facebook, too. He enjoys these two activities so much that he decided to do them in tandem. In all his excitement he remembered to take the $3500 worth of diamonds, but forgot to log out of his facebook account from the victim’s computer – I wonder if his status was “excited about my new bling!”?

The burglary happened on August 28, and Jonathan is being held in the Eastern Regional Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond, if convicted he could get up to ten years in prison.

I guess the lesson here is: always steal the computer …or earn your money like the rest of us.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Mad Men Gets Wet

September 17, 2009 at 12:20 am (advertising, Art, Branding, commercials, Design, marketing, photography, print media, TV advertising, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

I got this video from my friend’s blog over at Clasiq Designz (from August 14) – Clasiq Designz creates great work in photography and graphic design. See for yourself.

Permalink Leave a Comment

HD Boutique – The Best of Hospitality Design

September 16, 2009 at 12:22 am (Art, Design, Design Events, Environmental Graphic Design, marketing, Miami, networking, social event, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Picture 21

HD Boutique Expo and Conference was held once again at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The show, which brings together vendors from all aspects of the hospitality design industry, was fairly good this year. There seemed to be a few less vendors then when I attended two years ago, but this allowed for the show to be covered in only one day instead of two.

As an exhibit designer I enjoy this show. It is geared more toward permanent installation and high volume sales, but the materials and design solutions that are presented carry over to sales centers, tradeshow exhibits, and live events quite beautifully. I always am interested in the wall covering companies, specifically Wolf Gordon and U.S. Vinyl. Both companies provide high quality vinyl coverings that can really punch up the design in a space. I was also happy to see that Applied Coatings was back with a full line of their Modono glass collection. Last time I saw this company they were making their debut and had a small line of products – not any more. If you need some cool glass tile, I suggest checking them out.

Speaking of wall coverings, The Gage Corporation had a nice showing of decorative metal architectural products. They have decorative, dimensional metal for vertical surfaces, ceilings, and floor systems, and best of all the rep’s business card was made out of aluminum flat stock! Concertex was making its first appearance in the show with “Nature Friendly Wallcoverings.” The company has been in the fabrics industry for years, but decided to expand into wallcoverings that are PVC free. Some of their product line include sparkling glass beads, natural fibers, and high performance fabrics. Maya Ramanoff came out with some incredible textures and materials for wall coverings – everything from paper to felt and glass beads.

We came across some unexpected, but really interesting products this year as well. ShimmerScreen is a neat product – think of a bead curtain with metal beads that you can use to define spaces, add character, project on, or have a logo made from. The Fire Company showed off their ecosmart fire collection, my favorite by far was the Zeta from their Designer Range series. This freestanding, portable piece of “fire furniture” has see through sides, a leather surround, and can spin!

Two of my favorite new lines who use recycled and repurposed elements were Meyda Custom Lighting with their family of lights made from reclaimed wine and olive oil bottles, and LumiVisions’ use of carbonate substrates as primary materials. The color combinations and textures achieved through their system is fantastic!

The show was a lot to take in over a few hours, but was well worth it. The new technologies and textures have already started to inspire my design metaphor within a few projects and I’m excited to see these new textures and materials within my designs. Their next show is in Las Vegas May 18 – 21, 2010.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Call To Action From The Wolfsonian–FIU

September 15, 2009 at 7:42 pm (Design, economy, Florida, Miami, News, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Wolfsonian

Reproduced from an email by the Wolfsonian Museum:

The second and final Miami-Dade County public Budget Hearing is scheduled for this Thursday, September 17th and your personal messages to the County Commission about the value of support to cultural organizations is critical. Presently, if no positive action is taken, there will be “zero” dollars in the County budget for social service and cultural organizations.

We all recognize the arduous task before the County Commission; however, we have all worked so hard over the past two decades to build a vibrant cultural community that reflects the creativity, innovation, and generosity of our community. The arts have demonstrated their impact on quality of life, education, the economy, and job market, not to mention that almost all of the good news that comes out of Miami-Dade County is related to cultural organizations and arts events.

The severe reduction of County support of the arts will impact every cultural institution and the community it serves. It will result in the reduction of staff and seriously curtail most public, educational programs—exacerbating an already dire economic situation. Furthermore, the economic multiplier of this loss of funding is immeasurable, affecting numerous local businesses, service providers, and countless individuals. No one would argue that Art Basel and Design Miami, among other major conferences and events, have chosen to come to Miami, in part, because of its dynamic cultural scene.

If you have a strong opinion about the County budget, we urge you to attend the upcoming budget hearing and state your concerns.

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend the meeting, you may write members of the Miami-Dade County Commission to express your opinions or concerns. Visit http://artsactionalliance.wordpress.com/elected-officials/ for a list of Miami-Dade County Commissioners. Your individual letters about your personal experiences are more valuable than a form letter.

Permalink 1 Comment

Next page »