Archive for March, 2012

Lego Reductions of Comic/Cartoon Characters

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

A new Lego ad campaign by German agency Jung von Matt uses the famous rectangles and squares to evoke some famous characters. Here’s one example; Comics Alliance has a full gallery.

Strolling the Streets of Ancient Rome

Friday, March 16th, 2012

I’m a sucker for stuff like this–the Rome Reborn project is dedicated to creating a virtual model of Rome as it stood in 320. This video tour swoops you past all the sites that gave you blisters if you’ve visited the Eternal City. I liked it a lot, even as the music and animation made me feel like I’d just built a new wonder in Civilization.

Rome Reborn 2.2: A Tour of Ancient Rome in 320 CE from Bernard Frischer on Vimeo.

ht: Open Culture

Obama Blows His Top

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

One of my favorite bits from the Onion is the idea that President Obama is steadily building an unquenchable rage toward the American people. “In The Know Panel Analyzes Obama’s Furious, Profanity-Filled Rant At Nation” is another choice addition to this canon. Some artful bleeping really makes it special.

Chicago’s Racial Wounds Are Still Open

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

But Price wasn’t completely blaming himself, either. He wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger, or the one who set events in motion by taunting him earlier that evening at 56th and Justine. “You could say it started when the first slave masters got the first slaves from Africa and brought them here,” he says. “You can dissect all this, but the whole thing was, a person died over nothing. Over the color of his skin, basically. Which boggles my mind.”

In a companion piece to his devastating two-part feature about the racially motivated murder of a little white girl in a Chicago neighborhood experiencing racial transition in the 1970s, the Chicago Reader’s Steve Bogira has an article about a black man in the same era who was murdered by white teens who seem to have never been brought to justice. It’s a tough reminder of a painful past. Judging by the comments it has inspired on the Reader website, it seems it’s also a necessary reminder.

 

Colbert on Rush

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Stephen Colbert does master work documenting Rush Limbaugh’s latest wallow in the swine trough.

And Rush knows what he’s talking about because every time he’s had sex with a woman, he had to slip her a pill first.

Movie Trailer: The Entertainers

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Longtime friends and FLYMF co-creators Nick Holle and Michael Zimmer have spent several years creating The Entertainers, a documentary exploring Peoria’s World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. This annual event brings together piano players and music lovers from throughout the country to crown the year’s top ragtime musician.

Beyond fast hands and outsized personalities, the movie offers a thoughtful look at ragtime itself, exploring how the style still captivates, even as it’s become a niche in the musical landscape.  They’ve just released a new trailer for the movie, which is definitely worth watching.

Both published in FLYMF’s Greatest Hits, Nick and Michael wrote more funny stuff than I can list here. Nick’s highlights include Catch Up, Cool Male, Nice Joe Nagelberg, Cellular Copperfield, Mother Loves One of These, Bob, Muzak My Eyes Out, eBay Feedback, My Lord and Savior, Salve the Savior, Anatomy of a Submission, and I Fly Delta. Michael’s all-time greats include The Future Is Now? and Uncle Donny and the Bear.

New Yorker on a Roll

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Having just ponied up for another year of the New Yorker, it seems like a good time to highlight some of my recent favorites from the magazine.

In “Story of a Suicide,” Ian Parker provides some vital context on the sad suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi. The original angle on the story was that Tyler’s homophobic roommate outed him by using a webcam to voyeuristically broadcast a same-sex hookup. The truth is more nuanced—Tyler’s sexuality wasn’t exactly a secret and the “broadcast” was more abortive than actual. In the end, the roommate faces serious charges for behavior that’s undoubtedly invasive, immature and wrong…behavior that, nonetheless, seem to fall short of criminal.

Ian Frazier’s “Out of the Bronx” uses labor struggles at a Bronx-based cookie factory to tie together everything that seems to be wrong with American business: massive layoffs, constant moves in search of cheaper labor or slightly higher margins, maybe even the willingness of unions to hang themselves over principals instead of accept the best deal they’re going to get. But nothing is as simple as it seems here, and no one ends up happy.

Finally, Raffi Khatchadourian’s “Transfiguration” offers an amazing analysis of the surgical advancements that have made face transplants a reality as well as the psychological implications of transferring one person’s face to another. The details can be graphic—they need to be to tell the story. But the end result is one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time.