Monthly Archives: August 2007

The real Loch Ness


It’s been an intense day, well, week…just thought I’d post a little light-hearted siting. While travelling through Scotland several years ago to Drumnadrochit, I took a boat down the infamous Loch Ness…needless to say I didn’t see any such creatures (except at the Loch Ness Museum, there’s a huge, hideous plastic Nessie in a pond out there). Acutally, I found the water to be extremely tranquil and mysteriously dark – I would say black, but don’t want it to sound polluted…it seemed pristine to me. Well, perhaps then it is possible that aquatic furry creatures could hide out here…

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Miss Teen USA 2007 – Americans at their finest

Isn’t it a shame they won’t be showing Miss Teen on TV anymore?

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Computer recycling up in flames

Just to add to Jessica’s post about what happens to our obsolete computers (check out the videos), here’s another country adding lovely toxins to the air. Well, at least they are doing it themselves, and not sending it off to make another country more miserable in the long run?

I’ve always been annoyed at the way computer technology has us throw away and upgrade so fast rather than have a way to have our technology grow and be sustainable at the same time (I know, not profitable), but I never thought we’d use third world countries as our dumping grounds. Don’t they have enough health issues there as it is? I usually just give my old stuff to Goodwill, but I guess in the end it ends up somewhere halfway across the world in a toxic heap of flames.

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Yeah, only design dorks will find this amusing.

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Michael Johnson: Life before, during and after PC

I always enjoy hearing the advice former or “upper-quartersmen” have to offer to the newer, struggling PC kiddies. This quarter I switched to a focus in Media Architecture with hopes of getting into interactive design someday. I am a little concerned what “Media Architecture” means at PC, how much attention it receives from the school, and that I will be prepared and take the right classes/instructors. I guess I don’t have a clear outline of what will happen in this program, but I also understand that the technology and field are new and changing every minute – so it’s hard to have a concrete outline.

Anyway, I was just reading an interview from Michael Johnson, who recently graduated from the Media Arts program. He offers advice for those in the program, as well as general commentary for design at PC. Print is not dying, and just because daddy didn’t love you doesn’t mean it will make a great design – these are interesting to hear from his perspective, especially the latter. Also, as the mystery of 8th quarter looms over my head even now, I greatly appreciate the insider look at this scary time.

Since Michael isn’t hanging around the basement of PC anyway, you’ll just have to read the interview here.


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Socialized Medicine…and ranting


For some reason I am absolutely dreading doing that socialized medicine poster for Tania’s class. Maybe it’s a manifestation with my frustrations with everything this quarter (I know, I know, everyone else thinks it’s so much better). Maybe I’m just annoyed that Tania thought I didn’t put anything into concepting and that I presented my ideas in too light hearted of a way (I know, get used to it, but dammit this is my blog and I can rant). I was excited all week about ideas that were floating in my head for my Kidney Stone in Ceska Lipa story, but now I am hate-hate-hating it! Thank gawd it seems to have been set aside for next week, but my distaste for this project is weighing on me.

I was thinking of all the cool materials and textures I could use in a an ad for tourism to Ceska Lipa. Or medical clothing products – unless you work for Kimberly-Clark or Procter&Gamble, I guess you have no idea what goes into it. The organization I worked with in the Czech Republic – I’d love to do anything to promote them! And then I thought that if my story was turned into a film, the kind of movie poster I would design – I had it all planned out and was really excited about it, but I guess that’s a silly idea? There weren’t any limits on the poster concept when it was introduced. Thank goodness I didn’t share my czech Wonder Years DVD promotional poster! Gotta work on the presentation and doodling skills – more serious and realife drawings? Eh, next time I won’t even bring any sketches…in one class I’m dubbed a poor illustrator, in the other I’m not original, and…ok, i’ll stop. Just gotta keep moving forward…if I’m floundering with things, at least I can say I keep going forward.

So, class and teacher seem pretty intent on a poster about Socialized Medicine, perhaps juxtaposed with our pricey US system.  I’m just not feeling it. I don’t think it’s the solution, and I don’t think we should just bash our system like we do everything else. I’m not very patriotic and I’d love to live outside the US, but sometimes I’m really tired of the “grass is greener on the other side” that goes’s always easier to look over yonder and think things are rosier. But, I think things are browning on both sides – just a brief bit of research doesn’t turn up much bright light from various foreign voices –

“Socialism is a cancer that has taken a heavy toll on the lives of New Zealanders”

“massive tax increase for declining quality in health care and you may have to wait a year or two to get it”
“The public hospital system is a disgrace,” he added. “Socialism has nearly destroyed it. ”

ok, just quotes from random sites, I’m not writing a research paper so just google this topic to get a source. However, the most disturbing quote:

“what would happen if governments seized control?” ehhhh. If we look at some of the decisions that our government has made recently, I don’t really want some of those folks dictating my medical rites and who administers what and when. Another concern is just by looking at free services that exist – I’m not sure if medicine would be divided by state, but let’s say for example…I know California was trying to create it’s own socialized state. So let’s look at Georgia. We rank #49 in education throughout the country. Not good. Shouldn’t education be the same for all US citizen? Or those that live in poorer sections get half-ass education? Want to have to drive to Connecticut for better treatment? Could be a new form of tourism, but let’s just hope any change in US medicine will be overall and not divided by state, or worse, county.

Anyway, I don’t think the US has a great system going on, it’s being diseased with greed, corruption and all else in that genre. I don’t feel that socialism is the automatic solution, but rather another option that could be researched and improved. I’d like to know, did this disapproval of US health care always exist? I mean, I don’t remember my mom saying she couldn’t afford to see a doctor when she was a kid, and she grew up with little money – and did they have insurance 50 years ago? What happened? When did medicine get so expensive? Can we look to this source and backtrack a little?

In conclusion, I’m dreading making a poster that glorifies Socialized Medicine, when I’m not sure if it should be. Please please share your opinions, especially you Canucks and foreigners out there! Ok, ranting over for the night, I think I can sleep now.

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Inspirational nut


Someday I’m gonna make an inspirational poster out of this little guy. Maybe a Hankism? “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Let me know your ideas…


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Between worlds


I sometimes feel like I live in three different worlds, and they’re just so disjointed at times it’s hard to transition from one to the next. Most of the times I’m in world One, which is PC life, both class and homework. Few grasp what this means except for other PC kiddies and Pig. World Two would have to be my personal life, which is very limited these days. This time gets basic priorities, such as bathing and sleeping, but would otherwise also include spouse time with Pig and visits with friends and fam, etc. This world sometimes understands the first one, and the transition isn’t too difficult, as I’m usually burned out and in need of a change ofscenery, or just so sleep deprived anything goes.

World Three is my working life. This one is incredibly difficult to balance with the first. I’m no longer fulltime, but even my few hours feel like too much sometimes. I feel like World One doesn’t know that World Three exists, and that I slip behind the financially free when I am working rather than attending to my PC projects. I am jealous of those who don’t have to work, but at the same times I’m offered a glimpse of life in another landcompletely different, and even refreshing at times. The transition is extremely difficult to go from a day of intense classes to working a full day in a corporate office. Must dress nice and speak politely. Watch people design and concept that are “soooo not PC”, and work in a bland facility (though our lab is decked out) in the suburbs. Not the picture of cool that student designers dream of, but it is real. I see that people everywhere do things differently, deal with time constraints and cope with ignorant, tasteless clients…real, real and real. In addition, I can go from a day of harsh criticism and downright rudeness at school, to even tempered coworkers who practice corporate politeness and professionalism. So what, they don’t always bluntly speak their minds… sometimes I just need a little fluff and happiness to break up the grinding wheel of World One. Sometimes one needs encouragement in a positive tone and a less tense atmosphere.

So, maybe the facility nazis won’t let us paint our gray walls and I can’t wear jeans, but working with a group of relaxed graphic and industrial designers who bath and sleep regularly is still a valuable experience despite the rough transition between worlds.

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Mmmm…Summer days and horse flesh ice cream


Mmmm, nothing cools down those hot summer days like a scoop of raw horse flesh ice cream. If you thought Americans have screwed up some foods, it looks like there’s some stiff competition out there.

Raw Horseflesh Ice Cream (Basashi Aisu):We’re not horsing around with this one. There mere thought of putting raw horseflesh into ice cream may be enough to produce plenty of neigh … er, naysayers. And, rightfully so. You can get it straight from the horse’s mouth, this would have to vie for the vilest ice cream ever created. The chunks of meat inside it offer ample proof of why horseflesh is usually used in dog food. Not wanting to be a nag, this flavor needs a definite gee-up. The only saving grace is perhaps that tonight’s dessert could well have been last week’s odds-on favorite.”

Anyway, you can check out more contesting flavors here. Those with weak stomachs, beware.

And by the way, I once ate horse. It was awful, tuff and chewy. And I felt guilty later. At the time I was in an Uzbek cafe in Moscow, suffering a nasty cold, and medicating myself with vodka. Somewhere I have pictures.


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The Dark and Enchanting Zimakov


I don’t mean to steal a post from BoingBoing, but I just checked out Vladimir Zimakov‘s work and I do think it’s deserving of a look. I love the dark, expressive style and the story expressed in each piece. I did some wood cuts and linocuts in my undergrad, and got to experience what a pain in the ass they can be – I wish I had his work to look at during that time, it would have been such an inspiration.

And no, it was not the slavic name that got my attention, but samples of his work. So there. Go check it out.




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