Pure Fun.

Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night, in Dominoes

Here’s a little Friday morning fun. Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” created with dominoes. It took 11 hours to set it up and seconds to knock them down. No matter how you slice it this is pretty impressive.Since it’s been viewed over 1 million times, you might have already seen this. If not enjoy.

The Hot Wheels Double Loop Stunt.

Just in case you missed it live on TV, here is the Hot Wheels world record double loop drive through. That’s right drivers Tanner Foust and Greg Tracy set a Guinness World Record racing by driving two cars through a six-story double vertical loop at the X Games in Los Angeles last weekend. This is all part of a year long campaign that Mattel is running for the Hot Wheels brand that will involve a series of story driven stunts that are played out on live TV, as well as through social media and other digital outlets like mobile.

I think this is a great testament to the power of the Hot Wheels brand extending it beyond it’s core target audience of young boys. With over 115 thousand YouTube view since yesterday, this video is well on it’s way to going viral. With all of the other media and buzz that is building around each of the planned stunts over the rest of the year, you can bet Mattel is putting a lot of money behind these real life racing stunts. And it looks like they are paying off.

“BC Moments”. A 14 Foot Bike Dispensing Vending Machine.

This giant vending machine promotion from Tourism British Columbia is absolutely wonderful. Currently located in the Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, the vending machine encourages passersby to interact with the touch screen surfaces to win prizes related  tourism in British Columbia. The machine dispenses everything from mountain bikes, to kayaks, to picnic blankets. The 14 foot tall machine is part of the BC Moments campaign and will be moving to other large metropolises over the summer.

John Peel’s Record Archive.

When I was in college I wa a radio DJ at a couple of college stations. The hours were good, I could be on air after class, get off before the bars closed and still make it to art school the following day with a minor hangover, and whole lot of musical inspiration to push me forward.

One of the things I looked forward to, were the latest releases from the John Peel sessions that used to arrive at the station. These were live recordings made at the BBC studios, and they usually featured a cutting edge band that was bound to influence musical tastes into the future.

For those of you that don’t know, John peel was a very influential radio DJ that introduced so many new bands to the radio waves it is hard to count them all. He had an amazing ear, hearing things that others dismissed knowing that they would be great. Over the course of his career, he collected more than 26,000 LP’s an almost equal number of 45’s, and CD’s. When he died in 2004 his wife helped to create the “John Peel Centre for Creative Arts. 7 plus years after his death, The Centre has begun digitizing a portion of the 26,000 LP’s and singles which will be made available in the future.

To help showcase his immense library of music, they have created a really nice website that invites you to explore the virtual stacks of albums from the archives, and experience Peel’s diverse and immense musical taste.

Do yourself a favor, go to the site and look around.

John Peel was a hugely respected member of the local, national and international communities and always gave support to worthwhile local initiatives. He was renowned for encouraging new music from unlikely sources and for many people he embodied the “punk” ethos of people just doing it for themselves.

John Peel Centre for Creative Arts.

It’s Happy Hour Friday with Kansas Clean Whiskey.

It’s Friday afternoon, and that mean the weekend starts for most of us within the hour. Since I live in Kansas City, Kansas (a state with some pretty crazy liquor laws) I thought I’d post a little something about a whiskey I really want to try.

Kansas Clean Whiskey is a column distilled whiskey. By using a column still, like the kind used in distilling high-end vodka, the whiskey is produced with very few congeners which produce a bitter taste or finish. When the distillation process is finished, the producers of Kansas Clean Whiskey marry the freshly distilled grain to their select artisanal whiskey for the finished product. Along with the vodka-esque distillation process, Kansas Clean Distilled Whiskey is made from steel roller milled amber winter wheat for a lighter taste than traditional whiskey.

Did I mention that it comes in a really nice bottle design featuring Aviano Sans Bold for the logo font? The main copy is a font that was designed, kerned and leaded by the font designer Jeremy Dooley of Insigne. If the bottle itself looks familiar, it takes its stylistic cues from the classic Chanel Number 5 perfume bottle.

Scrabble Typography Edition, A Designers Dream.

Hasbro has to be feeling some pinch from things like the iPad. No matter how many copies of the iPad Scrabble game they sell, it probably isn’t close to the number of physical copies they sold at Scrabbles peak. So if you are Hasbro, what do you do? Well you could go upscale and apeal to design junkies like myself with the “Scrabble Typography Edition”.

This $199.00 version of the game comes in a wonderful 19.00” x 17.50” x 6.00” solid walnut storage case with drawers that resemble printers drawers. The storage case is housed inside a solid birch cover that slips over the top. The game itself features metal tile racks that echo letterpress mark-up hardware, a six-panel solid walnut magnetized gameboard lined with slip free cork back, and solid walnut tiles featuring a variety of different and exciting fonts.

From a design perspective this looks pretty impressive. Attention to craft, materials, and aesthetics show through. I wish the website told you what fonts were used on the squares, but hopefully Hasbro chose wisely.

The “Scrabble Typography Edition” is a limited edition set will also include a signed and numbered certificate of authenticity. It’s the least Hasbro could do for a $199.00 version of the game.

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Grow Anthology Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Skateboards.

I think all this unusually warm early spring weather has given me skateboard fever. Lately I have been looking at longboard decks and thinking about getting one.

This morning while searching for skateboard stuff I came across  Grow Anthology, a company that makes skateboard decks from paper, pressed with resin. This is basically the same material my Paperstone kitchen counters are made from. The decks are waterproof, and extremely durable. More importantly they are made from green sources, so they are sustainable, and make you feel better about the planet when you are carving a downhill run on a deserted street. Grow Anthology skateboards are FSC certified as well as the only Rainforest Alliance certified skateboard.

Grow Anthologies decks have a really nice retro feel to them, with clean simple lines and uncluttered graphics. They are a really nice answer to the over designed, overloaded decks that were so popular a decade ago.

In addition to green manufacturing, Grow Anthology also works to ensure a tree is planted for each board sold.

“Every one of our longboard skateboards is proudly made in the U.S. using sustainable, eco-friendly material. A tree is planted for every skateboard we sell. Buy green. Buy American.”

Grow Anthology

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