A compilation of random and interesting things, musings, musics, videos, and more. Brought to you by a UChicago student with a penchant for procrastination.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This is Halloween

Ah, yes - it's finally Halloween - that amazing end of October event which always brings back fond memories of running down the block with a zealous greed for sugar, causing havoc for my parents all night long until finally settling down to sort out mounds of sweets in front of the television (while watching the latest Simpsons Treehouse of Horror). Now that I'm in college there is definitely an element of nostalgia when considering that its way more difficult to to justify trick-or-treating, but the internet is always there to help bring about the right mindset. Thats why in looking about the internets I've managed to find some rather interesting spooky tid-bits.

First off, it goes without saying that watching the Nightmare Before Christmas is the quintessential Halloween experience - not only is it a great movie for any time of the year but playing it to excess on Halloween can totally be justified. A great video was posted up on YouTube of the latest iteration of the 'This is Halloween' tune done by Marilyn Manson for the 3D release of this cult classic. While it preserves the original nature of the song, introducing the Manson flavor really does add that extra freaky factor to it. Of course, checking out the Panic! At The Disco cover of the song (mp3) as well as the original Danny Elfman score (mp3) will have you feeling that Halloween spirit in no time.

Moving on from the stop motion animated goodness of Nightmare, I found 3D animation short in the same sort of neat Halloween vein. Created by Digital Kitchen this quick animation draws you in to a Halloween Dream with a really catchy soundtrack. Apparently its been utilized as part of Screenvision's Halloween-themed movie preshow, dubbed SCREAMvision so you might've seen it in theaters - Not bad.

Seeing as this has really become more of an animated tribute to Halloween, why add another throwback to stop-motion animation? The magic of Halloween themed peeps comes across in this random, yet amazing, quick flick. I really have to try me some of those zombified peeps.

If your desire for Halloween saturated goodness hasn't been satiated yet, check out X-Entertainment Blog, a great place for blurbs on 80s toys, random advertising, and of course, at this time of the year, the home of the Halloween Countdown!

And remember, don't be a Hallowe'en grinch(ette) when the tick-or-treaters come by or else the Freaky Flying-Pumpkin Commandeering Witch will come for you and all of that hoarded candy you thought you could keep for yourself.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rinpa Eshidan: Evolving Mural

With the onslaught of school work: essays, problem sets, labs, midterms and readings regarding the nature of the self and the relation of that self to society ... it's been difficult to find time to simply draw. For me at least, drawing is a way of capturing the wisps of innovation and design sense which may otherwise be filed in some 'to do' folder in the back of my mind. By sitting down in front of a sketch pad or my drawing tablet, with a mellow track running on my laptop, and the time glowing on my alarm clock really being of no consequence - it really leaves me in very amazing zen like state, where the motion of pencil strokes can draw out the interconnected strings of thought that have gone untangled in the corner of my brain like some pair of tossed aside headphones ... it's that sense of finally getting things straightened out by getting an otherwise dormant part of my brain active again which just feels refreshing!

But as long as I'm reduced to left-brain, work-time, logic-based functions - finding amazing examples of creative outlets as exemplified by others is still a good means of keeping my creative side open to great design sense. That's why finding something like the video below, while only something like a six minute interruption in my day, can nonetheless act as a catalyst to awakening my own ability to perceive things in a fresh and creative sense ... even
Epsilon-Delta proofs! (No, wait, never mind).

The group that undertook this glorious week-long display of design and technical skill goes by the moniker Rinpa Eshidan, and while they don't yet have their own webpage you can check out more projects like this on their YouTube Channel. Investigations by other blogs have led to the conclusion that this Japan-based group is defintley going places ... I mean, their style is impeccable! So keep an eye out for them and get inspired -

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ikea & Lamp Love

Stumbling Upon I encountered a fun commercial for Ikea that I hadn't seen in the longest time. It definitely made me smile and reminds me why Ikea has a place in my heart - right next to Sam's Club or a great bookstore - insofar as being an amazing destination in itself. With a great twist on conventional interpretations, the very nature of the commercial is something unexpected and fresh - much like the business savvy of the international store chain. The whole Ikea mentality does away with the notion of stuffy furniture stores and gimmicky 'Columbus Day' sales advertisements in lieu of a straightforward message and clean, if not sometimes unexpected, line of logic. Something that a college student looking to find drapes or a set of bowls can truly appreciate. Thanks Ikea!

On another note - the whole lamp theme made me think of another instance where a poor little lamp just didn't have things go it's way - in a fittingly cruel take on the Pixar lamp creation.

And I suppose, seeing as this has become a very lamp-centric post all of a sudden, an obligatory I (heart) lamp mention can be edged into this blog post as well. If you've never understood the presence of the slogan on oh-so-many internet tee shirts, well, here it is - a true Anchorman moment.

"I Love Lamp"

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , ,

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Music: Aveo

This Seattle-based band has been lingering in my iPod play list for quite a while. With a post-rock sound that's a bit muted and mellow it's found a place alongside staples like The Smiths and British Sea Power in my groupings. Definitely worth a listen, the three songs made available on Aveo's label website -
Barsuk Records - have an energy to them that's equally captivating and yet somehow toned down.

In my experience, at least, this type of music provides the perfect backdrop for burning the midnight oil. When cranking out a five page essay on the impact of diachrony and synchrony in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha at 3 AM, for example, this is the kind of music that is energized enough to keep your typing at a constant pace with your foot unconsciously tapping under the desk - yet not so intrusive as to completely throw off a caffeine fueled focus on the task at hand. These are the kinds of songs which can be praised for achieving that perfect balance and can definitely be that welcome respite from the silence of a late night cram session.

You can find more information at barsuk.com/bands/aveo

Aveo - Dust That Dreams of Brooms (mp3)
Aveo - The Idiot on the Bike (mp3)
Aveo - Frostbitten (mp3)

Songs available are from their album Battery

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Labels: ,