Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Delancey Underground - The Low Line

A group of three men are working with MTA (New York Metro Transit Authority) and local Community Boards to convert "the vast and dank trolley terminal that has sat disused on the Lower East Side for six decades" into a subterranean park "that they are calling Delancey Underground but will inevitably be known as the Low Line."

“Technology enables us to create an appealing green space in an underserved neighborhood,” says Ramsey. The key, he says, is the “remote skylight,” a system that channels sunlight along fiber-optic cables, filtering out harmful ultraviolet and infrared light but keeping the wavelengths used in photosynthesis. “We’re channeling sunlight the way they did in ancient Egyptian tombs, but in a supermodern way.” Ramsey envisions a stand of dozens of lamppostlike solar collectors on the Delancey Street median, feeding a system of fixtures down below."
NYmag - "The Low Line"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

NBA Economics

Malcolm Gladwell has written a piece for Grantland that examines the New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) Nets. "David Stern would have you believe the Brooklyn-bound franchise embodies everything wrong with the league's finances. It's not true."

Please do read the story to see how NBA Commissioner David Stern is holding up the Nets as a case example of owners losing money when in fact both former owner Bruce Ratner and new owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, are set to make unreal amounts of money in real estate thanks to the new Brooklyn stadium, the Barclays Center.

The below quote doesn't do justice to Gladwell's essay as a whole in any way, but it is interesting enough to share on its own.

"One of the great forgotten facts about the United States is that not very long ago the wealthy weren't all that wealthy. Up until the 1960s, the gap between rich and poor in the United States was relatively narrow. In fact, in that era marginal tax rates in the highest income bracket were in excess of 90 percent. For every dollar you made above $250,000, you gave the government 90 cents. Today — with good reason — we regard tax rates that high as punitive and economically self-defeating. It is worth noting, though, that in the social and political commentary of the 1950s and 1960s there is scant evidence of wealthy people complaining about their situation. They paid their taxes and went about their business. Perhaps they saw the logic of the government's policy: There was a huge debt from World War II to be paid off, and interstates, public universities, and other public infrastructure projects to be built for the children of the baby boom. Or perhaps they were simply bashful. Wealth, after all, is as often the gift of good fortune as it is of design. For whatever reason, the wealthy of that era could have pushed for a world that more closely conformed to their self-interest and they chose not to. Today the wealthy have no such qualms. We have moved from a country of relative economic equality to a place where the gap between rich and poor is exceeded by only Singapore and Hong Kong. The rich have gone from being grateful for what they have to pushing for everything they can get. They have mastered the arts of whining and predation, without regard to logic or shame. In the end, this is the lesson of the NBA lockout. A man buys a basketball team as insurance on a real estate project, flips the franchise to a Russian billionaire when he wins the deal, and then — as both parties happily count their winnings — what lesson are we asked to draw? The players are greedy."

Carlsberg Stunt in Brussels

1.9 million views in 5 days.

Warhol: Headlines

Warhol: Headlines opened at Washington D.C.'s National Gallery of Art this past Sunday and will be open until January 2, 2012 before it travels internationally. The special exhibit includes several paintings of Andy Warhol's collaboration with artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring (as seen above).

"Warhol: Headlines will define and bring together works that the artist based largely on headlines from the tabloid news. Warhol had a lifelong obsession with the sensational side of contemporary news media, and examples of his source materials for the works of art will be presented for comparison, revealing Warhol's role as both editor and author."

Lamborghini Aventador

Italian car maker Lamborghini formally unveiled this vehicle back in February 2011 to replace the then 10-year-old MurciƩlago series. At a retail value of $379,000 the Aventador has already sold out for the first 12 months.

"Like previous Lamborghinis, the Aventador name was chosen for its symbolic connection to the world of fighting bulls, sharing a name with the legendary Aventador, a trophy-winning bull in the world of Spanish bullfighting."

-Source: Wikipedia
Pictures from Flat Black Cars

MGMT - Late Night Tales

Psychedelic rock band MGMT will release their selectively chosen mix of songs October 3 as part of the ongoing decade long "Late Night Tales" series that has previously seen mixes put together by The Flaming Lips, Air, Fatboy Slim and Jamiroquai.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

J. Edgar Trailer

Written by Dustin Lance Black (Milk), directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Armie Hammer (The Social Network) and Judi Dench, J. Edgar will be released in theatres November 11.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Frank Ocean - "Swim Good"

Previous - Frank Ocean

Cyberguerrilla Group - Anonymous

NPR posted a pretty concise story on the cyberguerrilla group Anonymous. The online organized hacker group has recently turned to public events including protests against San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit, Scientology and Wall Street.

Vice Media - Kanye/Spike Jonze

Click here to watch a 25-minute video, "Spike [Jonze] Spends Saturday With...Kanye West" circa spring 2006 (editing the video for "Can't Tell Me Nothing," finishing the album Graduation).

"I don't even have a specific talent. I'm more of like a computer or like I was about to say something politically incorrect, but I tell you something, this theory I have that's way politically incorrect that if you soundbite it..." (not exact transcript of what Kanye's saying... watch the video)

New York Times - "Vice Media to Expand Offerings of Video Entertainment on Its Site"

2011 Space Race

A lot happening around the world of government and private space travel. Check the news.

New York Times - "NASA Unveils New Rocket Design"
"The finished rocket would be the most powerful ever to rise from the gravitational bonds of Earth.

“We’re investing in technologies to live and work in space, and it sets the stage for visiting asteroids and Mars,” the NASA administrator, Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr., said at a news conference in Washington."
"The human race thrives on exploration of the unknown though. That thirst for exploration drove the Romans across Europe, sent the Europeans across the ocean and motivated pioneers to traverse the American wilderness with only a wagon and some oxen. And with every inch of land on Earth now catalogued by our satellites, the stars are the next place we as a species must travel."
"While the United States might be done with the Space Shuttle, the rest of the world is picking up the slack. Iranians are planning new space capsules, China is launching Martian satellites... and India wants to put a man on the moon."

Future Fantasy World

Marcus Troy - "My Conversation With Tinker Hatfield & Tiffany Beers About The Nike MAG"

(Marcus Troy)

Do you remember the original influence for the design of the shoe back then? What were your influences?

(Tinker Hatfield)

It was a unique project because normally, sitting down and collaborating with athletes there’s usually a really strong functional purpose behind all of the design work that we do, as you well know. But, all of a sudden, being asked to design a shoe for a fantasy world, a future fantasy world, it kind of took the shackles off and was kind of fond to think about what could you do if money and time were no object, or technology for that matter. The real inspiration was really more about trying to understand the script, the movie, the character, Marty McFly’s character and then trying to design something that was just unlike any other shoe at the time. What’s been mentioned today and we’ve noticed ourselves is that all these years later, the shoe still has a futuristic look and still seems unique. I guess maybe we were a little bit lucky.

App - Phone Story

Apple has banned iPhone app, Phone Story, "a darkly satirical mini-game collection that exposes the ugly side of smartphone production."

"[Phone Story] comes from provocative indie developer team Molleindustria, which is well-known for making probing titles that take on big forces like oil barons (in Oiligarchy, a global strategy game about depleting the planet’s resources) and the Catholic Church (in the self-explanatory Operation Pedopriest)."

Phone Story is currently available on the Android app store.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Vice Guide to Congo

Vice Magazine has recently re-launched or launched a new website,, that will gather all content from their editorial website,, and their video content site, VBS.TV.

The above video is a trailer from a recent Vice trip to the Congo. Other videos up on the new site include The Rebels of Libya, New Orleans: Totally Fixed!, Egypt's Second Revolution and Pakistan After Bin Laden.

David Blaine

Interesting TED talk from magician and endurance artist David Blaine on his many stunts focusing on his then most recent holding his breath underwater (note, it is old late 2009/early 2010).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Dark Side of Oz

Brooklyn audio engineer Bryan Pugh has uploaded the legendary Wizard of Oz movie played to the Pink Floyd album, "The Dark Side of the Moon."

Definitely watch soon before movie studio heads or music label giants pull the video.

Wikipedia background -
"The Dark Side of the Rainbow and The Dark Side of Oz are two names commonly used in reference to rumours circulated on the Internet since at least 1994 that the Dark Side of the Moon was written as a soundtrack for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Observers playing the film and the album simultaneously have reported apparent synchronicities, such as Dorothy beginning to jog at the lyric "no one told you when to run" during "Time", and Dorothy balancing on a tight-rope fence during the line "balanced on the biggest wave" in "Breathe"] David Gilmour and Nick Mason have both denied a connection between the two works, and Roger Waters has described the rumours as "amusing". Alan Parsons has stated that the film was not mentioned during production of the album."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Best SportsCenter Commercials

Above, three of the funniest 'This is SportsCenter' commercials and below a great new College Gameday ad with Oregon's Chip Kelly.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

High Speed Rail

GOOD - "How to Sell High-Speed Rail, Mad Men Style"

Vanity Fair - "How Fast Can China Go?"

"On the heels of its Olympic makeover, China flexes its engineering muscles once again with a $6.64 billion high-speed train that dusts the competition—including America. Simon Winchester boards the first Beijing-Shanghai express (820 miles in 288 minutes), amid questions about its safety."


"This month, a small portion of Ground Zero will open to the public, to mark the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Because so much of the site is unfinished, the main thing on view will be the memorial to the victims of the attacks, built on and around the footprint of the two World Trade Center towers. This is chiefly the design of Michael Arad, a young architect whose entry was chosen, in 2004, from among fifty-two hundred entries, the largest such contest in history. Early on, public officials made the sensible decision that, whatever happened at the site, nothing new would rise exactly where the Twin Towers had stood. Arad didn’t tiptoe around the footprint; instead, he made it the basis for a strong, almost minimalist design, turning the footprint of each tower into a square hole, with waterfalls running down the sides into a reflecting pool below. At the center of each reflecting pool is another, smaller square, into which water tumbles, as if it were flowing to the center of the earth. Arad figured out how to express the idea that what were once the largest solids in Manhattan are now a void, and he made the shape of this void into something monumental. The names of those who died are inscribed in inch-and-a-half-high letters cut into bronze panels that surround both pools. The lettering will appear dark during the day, and by night will glow, with lighting hidden below the panels.

Early in the design process, Arad was teamed with the landscape architect Peter Walker, who shares his minimalist sensibility, and they have made the space around the two footprints a handsome and restrained civic square, with oak trees, benches, and light poles giving the place a kind of quiet, firm order. You wouldn’t mistake it for an ordinary park or urban piazza, but it isn’t a cemetery, either. You feel a sense of dignity and repose, and you see the shapes of the renewed city in the rising skyscrapers, as you should. Ground Zero can’t be a place where your thoughts escape completely into history, as at Maya Lin’s extraordinary Vietnam Veterans Memorial, or on the battlefield at Gettysburg. You are in the middle of the city, part of an urban life that was as much a target of the terrorists in 2001 as the lives of three thousand people. The people will not come back, but the life of the city has to. When you stand in Arad and Walker’s park and look toward the footprints ringed by names and the new towers behind them, you feel the profound connection between these two truths."

Burning Man - Photos

Photo credit Frank Rodriguez

Terius Nash - 1977

Terius Nash (stage name The-Dream), famous for his own music and for the uncountable hit records he's written for the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce and Mariah Carey, has just this past week followed in the footsteps of other current R&B artists Frank Ocean and The Weeknd and released a free mixtape.

Download mixtape: Terius Nash - 1977

Matt Stone and Trey Parker Creative Process

Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of "South Park" and Tony Award-winning "The Book of Mormon," surprised freshman students at N.Y.U. as part of mtvU's new show, "Stand In," a series in which celebrity lecturers liven up university classes."

Click below to watch the short clip.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Nike Mag

Michael J. Fox (starred as Back to the Future's Marty McFly) will guest on David Letterman tonight to announce the release of the Nike Air Mag. (4 years ahead of Back to the Future's 2015 schedule).

1,500 pairs will be sold on eBay over the next 10 days with all net proceeds going towards The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Tune in tonight at 11:30pm EST/10:30 CT.

Nike Marty McFlys?

Has Nike finally created the self-tying shoe of Marty McFly 'Back to the Future II' fame?

Speculation has begun over at NiceKicks and Gizmodo around the mysterious invitation below from Nike and renowned designer Tinker Hatfield.

Kingdom Tower

American architect Adrian Smith and his new firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture have designed what will be the new world's tallest building in 2017, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Tower.

At a projected height of 1,000 m (or 3,280 ft) it will be a good 172 meters taller than current world's tallest building (and Adrian Smith design) Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE.

Adrian Smith has also famously designed the Trump International Tower in Chicago and the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai.

Q: On the cost of the tower itself, $1.2 billion, how does that compare with what you might find in the U.S.?

A.S.: "Well, New York is a very expensive place to build. In the Middle East you have very inexpensive labor and they work three shifts, so they keep going all around the clock. That helps keep the cost of construction low here. But it's comparable to Chicago, and other parts of the U.S."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tokyo Rising

Rapper, producer and clothing designer Pharrell Williams traveled to Tokyo to see the city's culture and how it's changed following the tsunami/earthquake diasster.

The High Line

NPR - "The Inside Track on New York City's High Line"

NPR has a great post up in anticipation of the High Line's original creators Joshua David and Robert Hammond's new book on the city project.

"Today, the High Line is one of Manhattan's most popular public spaces: a mile-long, modern, high-concept park built on the old railroad track. In the 10 months after it opened in 2009, it drew 2 million visitors and — in a rare ratio for a public space in New York — about half were tourists. Half were native New Yorkers."

Live-Action Akira

Leonardo Dicaprio is in the process of producing a live-action version of the classic Japanese 1980's manga and animated film Akira.

There have been many reports, rumors and news over the past 2-3 years. The live-action film would reset the story in Neo-Manhattan (rather than Neo-Tokyo) with anyone of the following actors in the two leading roles - Joseph Gordon Levitt, Justin Timberlake, Joaquin Phoenix, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, Chris Pine, Zac Effron or James Franco.

Just Blaze: The Making of "Song Cry"

Complex has posted a 2-part series of Just Blaze breaking down the production and creation of his most memorable songs.

Below is the story behind the classic "Song Cry" off 2001's The Blueprint -

"'Song Cry' is probably the most complex song on there. Originally when I did it, I had straight drums and the singing sample all the way through. I literally had 96 sample traps in that beat. If you listen to it, it sounds seamless. It sounds like one long smooth thing but that's literally 96 sample chops all being triggered in that beat.

When Jay did his verse all the way through, I went back and did the whole beat over. When he heard it, he called me and told me 'Yo, you're the best. I want you to know that. Right now you're the best producer around. Nobody can take that from you and I'm glad you stuck around.' Then he called Timbaland and said, 'Yo, you cool but Just Blaze is the best.'

He was so floored when he heard the way I redid the song and made it so much bigger and more intricate. I made it into an actual record. You would really have to hear the demo version to see how different it became. The vocal lead is the same, but musically it was a much more raw experience.

When I was making that beat, two different girls from Def Jam walked in and was like, 'Oh I like this,' and the song wasn't even done yet. That's when you know you've got something. Girls generally don't walk in looking for beats like that. One day if I can dig up the demo version though, I'll let it out."

The Killing

Just saw this Stanley Kubrick film for the first time last night. It's amazing how thrilling this 1950's heist film is.

Kubrick has to be one of the foremost creative geniuses over the past 100 years. The range of films he made: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Spartacus, Lolita, Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut are awesome.

I definitely recommend this movie, The Killing.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


The psychological Sci-Fi film directed by Lars van Trier earned Kirsten Dunst the Best Actress Award at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Melancholia will debut in U.S. theaters November 11
"Stunning. A movie that leaves the viewer in a state of ecstasy."

J. Cole "Can't Get Enough"

J. Cole feat. Trey Songz - "Can't Get Enough"

Cole's debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, is coming out September 27.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Oregon Football

Grantland - "How Does Oregon Football Keep Winning? Is it the uniforms?"

An awesome piece that breaks down how Phil Knight and Nike has played a role in creating the college football powerhouse that the Ducks now are.

Random Fact: "In 2009, when current coach Chip Kelly took over, fewer than 7 percent of the players on the team were from Oregon, the lowest in-state percentage among BCS teams, according to the Wall Street Journal."

NYC Playing Cards

I only recognize the clubs and the Jack of Diamonds. Please do share if you know can name any of the other cards.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Take Shelter

Wild looking movie.

Take Shelter is coming out September 30.