Europe

Dear Europe, Vote.

If you think the political turmoil and change has only been happening in America and the UK, you would be mistaken. A number of European countries have major elections this year, and the Nationalist, Take Your Country Back ideology is gaining traction.

Brooklyn based director, designer, and illustrator Erica Gorochow created a collaborative video about the upcoming European elections and how lessons gleaned from Brexit and Trump, might relate. The piece was made by artists who call the US and the UK home and is narrated in English. Turn on closed captions for French, Dutch and German and Italian if English isn’t your mother tongue. The animated short was produced with a crew of 23 US and UK artists and delivers a message to European voters ahead of the upcoming elections on “how lessons gleaned from Brexit and Trump, might relate.”

It’s a really nice animated short with a nice look and a solid message. The complete list of everyone that worked on this is listed below the video itself. It just goes to show you how many people can take to produce quality work.

DIRECTOR
Erica Gorochow

ARTISTS (IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)
Alexandra Lund
Allen Laseter
Marie-Margaux Tsakiri-Scanatovits
Pablo Lozano
Johnny Kelly (Design)
Terra Henderson
Kyle Strope
Ege Soyuer
Nick Petley
Joe Donaldson
Jay Quercia
Brian Gossett (Design)
Louis Wesolowsky (Animation)
Freddy Arenas
Thea Glad
Lana Simanenkova
Yukai Du
Miguel Jiron
Bee Grandinetti
Damien Correll (Design)
Adam Grabowski (Animation)
Robin Davey

MUSIC + SOUND DESIGN
Upright T-Rex Music

SCRIPT
Erica Gorochow

ENGLISH VO
KK Apple
Jordan Craig
GERMAN
Saskia Keultjes (VO)
DUTCH
Wouter Boon (VO)
Martin Pyper
FRENCH
Julie Saunders (VO)
Adrien Joulie

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The New Promised Land.

I spent a portion of my Good Friday reading the news, and catching up on the circus known as the Republican party campaign for 2016. All of it makes my head hurt and just gets me enraged. Especially when I read more of the ignorant hate speech Trump and Cruz spew out. I also spent some time reading about the growing refugee crisis in Europe, which made me decide to post the three animations posted below from Mira Ruldo. These videos were made by Ruldo for a Univision web documentary that tells the story of 5 young Syrian refugees who risked it all for a chance to start over.

The work is really solid, the stories are compelling, as well as the website which gives an in-depth look at what is going on, and why there is a mass exodus from Syria. If you think you know what is going on because someone trying to get elected, reelected, hold on to power, or a TV or Radio pundit told you in a 30 second sound bite you probably don’t. Visit the site, watch the videos, get informed. Take action.

I don’t care what political side you are on. Put yourself in the refugees shoes and then ask yourself what would you want the rest of humanity to do for you.

36 Cities, 21 Countries, 90 Nights.

I love traveling to Europe. I’ve been a number of times, and would go back in a heart beat given the opportunity. I was supposed to go to Italy earlier this year, but with the move and a couple of other things that trip has been postponed. The video below, by Luke Shepard is a tribute to some of Europe’s greatest architecture. The time lapse footage was shot in 36 cities across 21 countries over the course of 3 months. It really is a pretty stunning piece of work. The shots almost have a 3D quality to them, which is a testament to Shepard’s talents as a photographer.

DTWO Long Boards from Slovenia.

Slovenia isn’t the first place that comes to mind when the word “Skateboard” is mentioned. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a skateboard scene there, it just isn’t at the top of my list of skateboard havens. Now, with that said, check out this line os long boards from Slovenian maker DTWO.

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These longboards are beautifully crafted from Slovenian Beech wood that grows on the sunny side of the alps. The boards feature progressive shapes inspired by surfboards with each board having a specific style of ride. The boards are carefully crafted with second dimension in mind and inspired by the beautiful Slovenian country side, deep valleys, urban madness and low lying coastal trails.

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MIT’s City Car, Becomes a Reality as Hiriko.

About 5 years ago, MIT began developing an inner city automobile that was designed for highly congested areas. The commuter car had a distinct advantage in dense urban areas where parking is always at a premium. “City Car” could fold up to reduce it’s physical footprint.

Recently in Brussels, the “City Car”, now renamed “Hiriko Fold” was revealed as an actual production prototype slated to go into production in 2013. The first urban areas slated to receive the car is Vitoria Gasteiz, a community on the edge of Bilbao Spain. Cities slated to follow the debut of for a trial run with Hiriko are Boston, Berlin, Hong Kong, Francisco, and Malmo. It will be interesting to see how well this concept does in the United States, a country that loves it’s over sized gas guzzling SUV’s and Trucks. A country where people don’t mind driving from an hour outside the city on their daily commute. One thing about most of the United States, land is available, and urban sprawl is common. These factors lend themselves to the obsession with Suburbans, F-350’s, Hummers, and Explorers in most of America.

The Hiriko, when unfolded is slightly smaller than a Smart Car, yet the styling is very futuristic, and sleek. Factors that might help it do better than Smart has done since it’s introduction to the American market a few years back.

What makes Hiriko unique is it’s ability to fold into itself allowing it to park in a space about one third the size of a normal car. According to MIT, three to four Hiriko vehicles can fit into the space used by a normal full sized car. This will be huge for American cities like New York, San Francisco, or Boston. In addition, the Hiriko has the ability to turn on its axis with virtually no turning ratio which aids in inner city driving/parking conditions. Powered by four independent electric motors (one for each wheel) Hiriko can even move sideways in a crab-like manner, virtually eliminating the need to ever parallel park the in a traditional fashion.

Hiriko is estimated to cost around $12,500 when it arrives next year. That price point makes it affordable, and it’s size makes it desirable for many. I just hope MIT can come up with a marketing plan that will sell this to an American audience. In my opinion Hiriko will be a huge success in Europe, Japan, India, and other extremely dense urban areas. Here in the good old USA, it might be a tough sell since we have to share the streets with so many bloated over sized vehicles. Either way I can’t wait to see this in person, and actually take it for a test drive.

Wrangler Jeans, Smashed, Crashed, Burned, and Blown Up.

I haven’t worn Wrangler jeans since I was a kid. I don’t have anything against them, I just don’t wear them. Most people here in America don’t. At least the people I know and hang out with. One thing I have always been amazed by, is how popular the brand is in Europe. Seriously, every time I have been to Europe I see a ton of people wearing Wrangler and Lee Jeans. Maybe it has something to do with the perception that these brands are tough, or represent the iconic western culture that is associated with America. I don’t know, it could be, then again maybe the Europeans are just cooler than the rest of us and are on to something.

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A new campaign for Wrangler Europe has just launched. The campaign entitled “Stunt” features images of real life stunt people jumping through windows, setting themselves on fire, falling tumbling, rolling and doing all sorts of adrenaline fueled craziness. Shot by Cass Bird and her crew in “New York”, Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, the campaign features a solid print group, plus an interactive website titled “We Are Animals” that will reveal video footage and behind the scenes shots of what took place during the photo shoot. Both the print campaign and the integrated web campaign work really well, highlighting the Wrangler brand, and reinforcing the toughness associated with the iconic American brand. The behind the scenes video below shows some really amazing video of how they set this up and shot it.