Hokusai Manga

For the art lover, Japanophile or shameless hipster in your life, consider this ponderous 970 page tome containing the 15 separate sketchbooks, or manga, of Edo-period illustrator Katsushika Hokusai.

Best known for his masterpiece The Great Wave of Kanagawa, which is my favorite work of art bar none, Hokusai painted and made woodblock prints in the ukiyo-e style. His great inspiration was Fuji-san, or Mt. Fuji. His collection of prints titled Thirty-Six Views of Fuji-san--of which The Great Wave is a part--is the most famous series of prints in the genre.

The book itself is a collection of his sketches and drawings, which start with a demonstration of his style of geometrical construction, which is basically exactly what it sounds like: building a drawing based on geometric shapes.

The rest of the pages are filled with his playful and seemingly effortless sketches and prints.

This is a real bargain over at Amazon for $43.

via CoolHunting

People People Speaker

So I was going to write a big HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2011 in all capital letters and make it like six pages long with a bunch of cool stuff in it. I didn't end up doing that. Instead, I'm going to make a bunch of separate posts, because my SEO consultant told me that keeping one's blog updated is important for the current Google search metrics, which in turn are important to boost traffic. To be honest I don't really know why I care about that given that I don't make a red cent off this space, but everybody likes to be noticed I guess.

Anyway, the People People Speaker will be my next audio purchase if it is reasonably priced. Actually, it has to be reasonably priced AND the box has to be able to open up so I can clean it, which I totally could because the speaker is assembled at home "IKEA style."

Also, my friend Glenn said that he could see a cat ending up in there at some point, which is probably true. I've included a picture of my cat at the bottom of this post for your review.

The speaker operates via a wifi connector and is designed to "blend in to any living room out there." Oh, and they practice sustainable shipping, so, hey hey!

Anyway, as you could infer from the above, price is TBA. The website for the project is located beyond this hyperlink.

via uncrate



Minneapolis! You must see this man on the decks. January 6 at Epic. Tickets here. I'm just a fan, not a schlepp. This is good music. I wouldn't even tell you about it but it just so happens I have my tickets already, so we're good. You're welcome.


Art Deco Superheroes by Grégoire Guillemin

I'm a pretty big nerd. When I was a kid, it was all about Star Wars, video games, and comics. I'm also a bit of a designophile, particularly illustration and architecture. If you've looked at even the first page of this blog you probably picked up on that, rendering the above a statement of the most redundant variety, but words are necessary to take some of the pressure off of the images and video, and to prove that I'm not an entirely lazy creature.

Anyway, illustrator Grégoire Guillemin re-imagines some recent stars of the big screen in some beautiful illustrations. I'll just plop my favorites down here and you can have a gander. Available for purchase at the artist's website.

via io9


Landscapes by Dustin Farrell

Wow. Two out of the three parts of Dustin Farrell's photo/video/whatever project titled Landscapes. Made with a Canon 5D2 DSLR, "every clip is a RAW image sequence (5616 x 3744) that I rendered out as a 1080P 23.976fps Quick Time movie. The motion control is achieved using servo motors," according to the artist.

The shots were mostly taken in Goblin Valley State Park in Arizona. You'll probably notice some other prominent natural monuments in the two sequences as well though.


via highsnobiety

Star Wars Remix

I'm a greedy, limelight hogging bastard and I dislike giving anyone else's blog credit for being sweet, especially in its own post, but I really have to give it up to Star Wars Remix, which features DIY creations based on themes or characters from the movies. A few samples from the site follow.

The Chewburger, by Charlton Yu of Everything Burger

Jabba the Meat Puppet by Scott Williams

Noah Scalin's Aspirin Troopers

This kind of free expression and adaptation of the Star Wars universe is a key element of keeping the franchise a part of the social fabric of my generation. It becomes more and more necessary with each passing year largely because George Lucas, who is jealously milking his greatest achievement for every last penny it can produce by churning out an ever more astonishing array of absolute crap, is slowly pushing away the core fans of the franchise, which is really quite sad.

There are, of course, things that have been extremely well done in the past, and even more to come in the near future, but the disappointment of the three prequel films ans subsequent glut of unimaginative and poorly conceived content still festers like a credit-sized canker in the palette of most long-time fans.

Anyway, my nerdraging aside, I look forward to seeing if SWR can keep up the content output in the years to come. Mostly because I've kind of failed to do so and seeing them spiral slowly into nothingness would bring me secret joy. Cheers!


Universiade Sports Center

Universiade Sports Center is a massive multi-venue sports complex in Shenzhen, China. Designed by GMP architects, based out of Germany, the stadia feature massive polygons which are illumanted beautifully at night. The site includes a park, ponds, and some other stuff I can't really descry from the map over at contemporist. Enjoy.

via contemporist


La Supercopa de España 2011

Professional sport is, at its very core, an extremely competitive and spontaneous act of theater: it is entertainment. One of the most entertaining spectacles in all of sports comes from my genre of choice, football (soccer). One particularly fine example originates on the Spanish portion of the Iberian peninsula: El Clásico between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The intensity of the rivalry between these clubs goes beyond competition in the Spanish league, where Madrid have won thirty-one league titles, eighteen Copas del Rey, and nine Supercopas versus Barcelona's twenty-one titles, twenty-five Copas, and ten Supercopas. It also represents far more than a battle between two of the greatest sides in European football, with Madrid having raised the European Cup nine times to Barcelona's four. This confrontation is, at its very heart, a war. A war between the ancient realms of Castile and Aragon, between España and Catalunya, between the Capital and the Province.

So the plot is set, but even the finest drama can be butchered by poor execution (Mel Gibson's Hamlet, por ejemplo). Fortunately for the audience these two sides provide not only the choicest venues in the Santiago Bernabeu and Nou Camp, but the cast...oh my, the cast. Between the two teams, they boast the Starting XI of the World Cup-winning Spanish national side (minus that boy with the highlights who is lurking in West London), former FIFA World Player of the Year and Balon d'Or winners Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Kaká, and a supporting cast who would step into any other team anywhere else on the planet on their worst day. Here we have twenty-two men who are worthy to play out the tale.

The final details: Barcelona meet Madrid in the Supercopa for the first time since 1997. Typically a tepid affair (the Supercopa is usually no more than a pre-season friendly), these heavyweights made it clear from the first that this two-legged tie was going to be a statement of intent: for Madrid, it was to be a signal that Barca's dominance of La Liga (three consecutive titles) was at an end; for Barcelona, it was an opportunity to show that the finest football team ever assembled was not about to wrap up its march into history.

I present to you a drama in two parts: La guerra de la Supercopa de España...

First Leg: Real Madrid 2:2 FC Barcelona

Second Leg: FC Barcelona 3:2 Real Madrid

In the end, Barcelona overcame a spirited Madrid side to take a 5:4 aggregate win and claim the silverware over their bitter rivals, but not before a bench-clearing brawl which saw a certain Portuguese manager give a player on the opposing team what appeared to be... a Wet Willy? Weirdos.

Força Barça! Hala Madrid! Viva El Clásico!

images via marca.com and as.com


Move, Eat, Learn

These three short films by director Rick Mereki were commissioned by STA Travel Australia, the Oz equivalent of the venerable student travel agents of the same name here in Amurrica. The films are titled Move, Eat, and Learn. The music is by Kelsey James. The description by the director:
3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage... all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ....into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films.....

= a trip of a lifetime.

Truly, three amazing pieces. Enjoy!


o hai.

So, my loyal readers, I have returned from across the mighty Pacific to my previous life on the North American continent. It has been an extremely painful adjustment, to be quite honest, and is one that is ongoing. Hopefully I can manage to settle back in over here soon, as my angst isn't exactly a creative tonic most of the time.

As an expert blogger, I can tell you that this type of mental calisthenic requires serious training and commitment, as well as available time in which to capture your muse on the page. I can also tell you that I possess exactly one of those requirements and look unlikely to pursue any more at present (I'll leave you to guess which one I mean).

This is all a very long-winded and whiny way of saying that yes, I'm back, but no, I probably won't be churning out posts like so much stomach bile. Anyway, I promised a Bali write-up, and that you shall have when it's all finished.

Until then, keep an eye out for random posts about random things, and dig this track by M83 titled Midnight City:


Seoul Time Lapse by 오충영

A time-lapse montage of Seoul, South Korea. This pretty much sums up what I was trying to say in my last post about this wonderful city.

via tpl


Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas

This is an amazing example of graffiti/modern art fusion by RISK, an artist who (I believe) hails from California. Aerosol, license plates, and neon. All sorts of amazing. This comes from a show at the Pasadena Museum of California Art entitled “Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas,” which runs through September 4.

There's a detail of the piece below and then some other Newrosis selections of what's on display at the show. Enjoy.

via hypebeast


Note from the Staff

It has been brought to my attention that the blog has suffered a bit of blight over the previous year or so, perhaps longer. I feel that I should probably address this point, so I will give you a brief summary of Where Things Stand.

At the end of February last, I moved to Seoul, South Korea from my ancestral home just west of Minneapolis. For the past 14 months I have been teaching English to small Korean children in Mokdong, which is on the far western edge of the city. It has been an interesting time for me, and I must say that I have unlearned many things during this jaunt that are best left unlearned. What are those things, exactly? Well, you'll have to buy the book. Or possibly get me drunk, at which time you may have difficulty getting me to stop talking about the aforementioned unlearned things.

Anyway, needless to say, this far-eastern rampage has absorbed a fair amount of the time I would normally spend flinging words into the ether from my keyboard, but there's something else going on here: I really don't want to write about myself, in the sense that I don't really feel comfortable talking about my life, which means it's difficult to recount the experience properly in this particular medium.

With that being said, I am working on getting over this odd bit of writers' block, and I've prepared the following summary regarding my last 14 months: I would just like to say that, overall, I feel I've had a good run in a wonderful city that is full of amazing things to see and do. At the risk of selling Seoul short here, my Hitchhiker's Guide entry will read thus: A fine place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit.

Seoul is a big place. A really big place. It is difficult to grasp, and can probably be best illustrated by the fact that I have been searching for a properly representative skyline shot of the city for the last two hours without any success, because the place is just that big. According to my suspect and rudimentary wikipedia research, Seoul, with 12 million people in the city proper, is the third-densest city based on population in the world. Only the slum-heavy burgs of Mumbai and Delhi have populations over 10 million and are stacked higher than Seoul.

Unfortunately, the homogeneity of the neighborhoods--architecture, cuisine, and green spaces are the most noticeably bland aspects (bland in terms of options, Korean food is quite the opposite)--makes the vastness unbearable at the worst of times. At the best of times, I have stumbled off of green hills into winding backstreets overlooking the beautifully dystopian mire of Seoul's older neighborhoods, found myself in a nightclub that looks like it was designed by the same architectural firm as the Mos Eisley cantina (with hard house replacing the Cantina Band), and seen amazing skyline views from many of Seoul's wonderful peaks.

While Seoul may seem destined to become a "world city," the unfortunate truth is that many Koreans are extremely xenophobic. Being a "world city" is alright with them, so long as the foreigners aren't living in their neighborhood or polluting the gene pool. To spin it fair, however, decades of American military pseudo-occupation preceded by decades of Japanese occupation have left a bad taste in the mouth of many Koreans, and until the 8th Army packs up and heads home, it seems likely that this attitude will perpetuate itself; they don't call this chunk of rock the Hermit Kingdom without reason.

So here's the rub: if you want to live in Asia and experience a foreign city as your home address, you could do no better than Seoul. Amazing public transport, a great standard of living, and no bar close are just a few of the attractions. If you want to spend two weeks travelling in Asia, head somewhere else. There are far more interesting places to get lost in short-term. I don't really know how to adequately explain this, but to love Seoul really does require immersion. You have to live it to know it, and know it to appreciate it. That is the lamest thing I have written since my last attempt to write poetry in the tenth grade, but it doesn't make it any less true.

It would probably be a lie to say that this experience has changed me in any meaningful way; my overall purpose in life remains the same: to see as much of the world as I can before it disappears and/or I die. I've never really been one to believe in epiphanies or life-changing events or any of that nonsense (mostly due to a lack of personal experience), but I've also been accused (correctly) of being a die-hard cynic and generally mal-tempered naysayer, so bear that in mind when reading my tepid take on life, the universe, and everything. For what it's worth, I feel at home here, and that's as much as I need to know about a place to make it important to me.

So what's next? I'm a bit clueless. I'll finish up here in a couple weeks, then take a much deserved holiday in Indonesia. I'll try to get a couple posts up before I vanish, but sometimes things just don't work out. When I get back though, look forward to a Bali recap and more fashion, architecture, sports, and culture from the far reaches of the internet.

Cheers and best wishes,

images via skyscrapercity


PlaidBench Collection

Pretty execution of a concept that I can't really get my head around from reading the designer's (Raw-Edges Design Studio) comments:

A collection of furniture assembled out of interlocking iconic urban benches into a plaid surface. Stripes arrangement is a common element in iconic benches. Many of the very common archetype benches happen to be shaped in this way. Stripes are also the fundamental element in textile check/plaid pattern where they arranged together in a vertical and horizontal fashion. Making a graphical connection, Raw-Edges created this large set up of different wood benches that interlocked to each other perpendicularly in order to achieve a Plaid/Check patterns.

These are really beautiful pieces, but if I bought one of the tables, would I be able to get it with just four legs? The plaid is great. Excellent. If it was a shirt, I'd buy it. I think it's brilliant. I just don't want an eighteen-legged coffee table. Or a six-legged garden bench. I think that's reasonable.

via contemporist


Seven Ghosts

Absolutely amazing. Tom Curren and friends surf a tidal bore on a river somewhere in Indonesia.

via surfer


Fight for Your Right Revisited

This is a trailer for the new Beastie Boys short film Fight for Your Right Revisited. It is, as the kids say, epic.

via pitchfork


Seoul Sub→urban

Seoul Sub→urban is a blog written by freelance writer Charlie Usher and...pictured by? Is that the right way to say it? It's not "illustrated by," because that implies non-photographic pictures. It's not "pictured by," is it? Yeah that's probably incorrect. Anyway, the pictures on the site were taken by Elizabeth Groeschen.

The goal of the project is to show the expat community--and the world at large, I suppose--that there is more to Seoul than the ubiquitous Hongdae-Downtown-Itaewon-Gangnam loop by writing a guide to the city--one subway stop at a time. As the sidebar on the homepage points out, the Seoul Metro has over 400 stops, and most of those remain neighborhoods commuters hurtle under or over on their way to places of greater import. A visitor's guide it's not, but it is probably the most useful and well-documented guide to the city for people that actually live here that I've yet seen.

While some of the posts seem to be a little down in the mouth for a guidebook-esque blog--"To give you an accurate idea of what there is to see and do around Gubanpo Station, suffice to say that I knocked this post out on my lunch break"--overall the pair have shed light on some parts of Seoul that the average expat hasn't seen, like Ichon-dong's "Little Tokyo" or the antique market at Dapshimni station.

Beyond the more "famous" attractions and districts, there is virtually no easily accessible English language information on the remaining parts of this city of 12 million people. I wish these cats the best of luck with their project and recommend the posts to anyone living or planning to live in 서울.

Here's a link to a write-up from the Korea Herald.


Justice: Civilization

Ed Banger act Justice is back in the cut with Civilization, their first new track in four years. Saw them live in Seoul last fall and they were dominant, even with the likes of Fatboy Slim and Armin Van Buren sharing the bill.

via pitchfork

Geneva Motor Show Specialty Manufacturer Highlights

Yes, that is a full chrome Audi R8. Disgusting.

Just disgusting.


Baufeld 10 by LOVE Architecture and Urbanism

An innovative design for a Hamburg harbor development known as HafenCity. I like the use of asymetry and the lack of stainless steel and curving glass, which are getting a little played out in my opinion. Says the architect:
The Baufeld 10 project was developed in a joint building venture. This means that the various future residents worked together to create a real community for the new building. Within this model, individualists connected with each other with the goal of building THEIR communal house.

via contemporist


Overdue Shoe Posts

I really like shoes. Crispy, tasteful, delicious sneakers. I used to post about them all the time. Then I stopped. I haven't reached a conclusion as to why this occurred, because I haven't bothered to analyze the trend, because really I just don't care much. There you go. Tracked it back to the source.

Here's the adidas Originals SL72 Bluebird, which should be available at "select adidas Originals stockists," whatever that means.

This one up here is the David Beckham x adidas zx800 DB. I like it, I guess I'll leave it at that. Comes in the white and blue colorway and is currently available here. Wow, you know what? That fucking shoe costs almost $200. Fuck you Beckham.

Last but not least, here are some pics of the Lacoste line that is being produced for the English outlet Size?. I had a real moment there when I tried to figure out whether to put a period after Size? or just let it be since it is, technically, a proper noun--to wit, the name of a business--that simply utilizes a punctuating character in its trademark. I opted for the period because I'm a pretty big stickler about this language I ramble in.

Anyway, I especially dig the chukka style boot, but the other crap is pretty good too. Available at Size? stores across the UK from the 21st of March, 2011.

I'll try and stay on top of this footwear thing a little bit more, and also try to keep the number of posts with videos a little lower. I know I get bored with that shit too.

adidas bluebird and lacoste for size? via hypebeast
zx800s via