Normal

Over the weekend I encountered a huge bit of advertising for these new NORMAL earbuds - a particularly clever new headphone that uses 3D printing to sculpt earpieces specifically for your head. While this may mean that sharing headphones is more difficult, it does mean that the likelihood of them sticking in your earholes is greatly improved.

Their website does a great job of selling the tech and explaining how you get them the dimensions for your ear (download the app, duh!). They also have a particularly weird commercial that continues to lend itself to my enjoyment of the product - without ever having used them. It's great to see 3D tech actually being applied in a real world scenario instead of just theoretically.

Theoretically, these are awesome. The pricetag is a bit steep for my blood but they are truly one of a kind.*

* unless you have an identical sibling with the exact same ear. then it's just a smart investment.

Frank (Lenny Abrahamson)

I had planned on seeing it in the theatre but once I realized that it was available on Amazon, I dove right in to a viewing of Lenny Abrahamson's Frank. At the outset, I was expecting a somewhat dark comedy about a band trying to find their way. While it certainly delivers on that front it also happens to go, surprisingly, deeper and investigates a bit of the world of the world of exploitation towards the mentally unstable. Think Wesley Willis as a good example. Is he being exploited? Is he enjoying it without really realizing what's happening? Are others manipulating him for their own gain? Maybe it's Yes to all of that.

All and all, I enjoyed and recommend. The head is silly but it makes a lot more sense once you have the context. You won't be able to hear this song without feeling a little tear jerked.

Friday Videos - Sept 12th, 2014

Have you seen the redesigned Devour? Or the redesigned Wimp? Both serve as consistent sources for Friday Videos so if you're ever feeling like the playlist is a bit on the weak side, hit them up for further distraction entertainment. That being said, enjoy!
  • Bill Murray in "Fun & Games" - who doesn't love to see Bill Murray doing some Tongue Twisters? The man is always a treat.
  • Apple Campus 2 construction video - with all the hubbub over the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch you may have forgotten that Apple is building an enormous space ship over in Cupertino. Check out this progress.
  • Ten Walls - Walking with Elephants - I'm not overly compelled by the song but the video is the perfect balance of arty, absurd and entertaining. Finally, humans can be dolphins.
  • Longest 'usable' golf club - did you know the Guiness Book of World Records still exists? Did you know it takes on meaningful accomplishments like this?
  • "Neverland" by The dB's - Fascinating story behind this video. It was shot back in 1982 and sat dormant until 2008 when it was finally edited and released through a series of happy circumstances. The video may not be breaking any barriers but it's a damn fine song and a band worth investigating.
  • BOTHER // LES SINS - I'm calling this my new Theme Song.
  • Hair Style for Safety WWII - I love old propaganda videos and this one uses the term "witchlock" in reference to hair. Into it.
  • Mr. Go 3D Official Trailer - this is a Korean movie starring a believable 3D gorilla as a humans companion that is coerced into playing major league baseball. That's what I can glean from the trailer. Whatever it is, we don't have anything like it.
Still need more? Watch this or this - additional solid entertainment.

Have a great weekend!

Dan Harmon + Neil Berkeley Uncut

It's been out there for awhile but this SXSW Chat with director Neil Berkeley (Beauty is Embarrassing and forthcoming Harmontown doc) and writer Dan Harmon is pretty interesting. Harmon is quite eloquent and, often, brutally truthful. I listen to his podcast regularly and never seem to tire of his pontifications. This is no different and I'm excited to see the Harmontown movie out in the wild.

Illustrator Preset Considerations

You wouldn't think a company named "MoneyDesktop" would have much useful insight in the ways of setting up Illustrator but this article is pretty great. Maybe it's all pretty standard stuff but pushing yourself to use AIT templates as a jumping off point and focusing on shared swatches and library symbols seems like a best practice if there ever was one.

Join The Battle For Net Neutrality

If you read this site semi-regularly, I can safely assume you are no stranger to the issue of Net Neutrality. I realize I am preaching to the choir by reminding you that it is really something we need to maintain in order for the Internet to flourish.

That being said, just because you know about it doesn't mean you've done anything about it. Sites like Etsy, Netflix, Vimeo, Kickstarter, Wordpress and tons more are putting the message up in your face to send word to politicians or sign petitions to let your voice be heard. Please take the time to actually do this. A phone call is the best course of action in terms of impact but if all you feel like doing is signing a form - then do that. Just do something.

Anicons By Sebas And Clim

Loving this collection of Anicons from Sebas and Clim - they are fun, eye catching and, apparently, quite customizable - a feature you rarely see with offerings of this kind. Take some time to browse through the gallery to get a sense of the style. Obviously you'd want to use these sparingly but they are a real treat to gaze at!

FX: Married

I don't typically write about my TV watching habits but given that I have a number of shows that I keep up with on the regular, it seems like a subject matter that's worth mentioning. I'm always looking for a good new story, especially during the summer months when there isn't much out there in the way of scripted TV goodness.

So, with that in mind, I was quite happy that FX's Married is such an enjoyable treat. It's good to see Judy Greer in a lead role (and Nat Faxon's not too shabby himself). The support of Jenny Slate and Brett Gelman is a welcome addition and who knew Paul Reiser had it in him? Long story short, it's good. I don't even have a clip to point you to - just watch it.

Evan P. Donohue - Felix

Something about this new Evan P Donohue track, Felix is really doing it for me. Maybe it's the laid back, end of summer, breezey nature of it. Maybe it's the studio chatter near the end. I can't put my finger on it.. but I'm into it. Very much looking forward to his next album - ridiculously titled Stairway to Evan.

Pixel-drifter

While I'm not actually interested in the software itself, the results of Dmitriy Krotevich's Pixel Drifter are pretty sweet. I love the diversity of creations but am mostly drawn to the small pixel style. It's a nice blend of data mosh and purposeful decay. Browse that tumblog for more goods.

Garth Brooks Ghost Tunes

I can't explain it but I am completely fascinated by this latest announcement from Garth Brooks. He's decided to finally dive headfirst into the world of digital distribution for his music but instead of going through the typical routes (iTunes, Spotify, Rdio) he's launched an entirely new distribution platform Ghost Tunes. It's not just for Garth music, or just for country music, it's a full fledged music store. You can buy the latest Spoon record right alongside the exclusive new Garth album.

His quotes in this article regarding the undertaking read like he was not pleased with iTunes 70-30 split or inability to couple t-shirts along with his new album. Honestly, that's an understandable gripe. And even though Bandcamp can totally do all those things they seem to have painted themselves into a corner of being for "indie" artists.

So, yea, go marvel at Ghost Tunes - the latest in music distribution that lets you download OR store music in your locker. But mostly it gives you access to Garth Brooks music. Weird and fascinating.

Red Oaks and Amazon Originals

I really love what Amazon has been doing lately with their original series and pilot series. It seems pretty based on the UK model of airing a handful of solid pilots, getting an audience response and then moving forward with those series that are deemed worthwhile. Granted, pilots are not easy to make really good but you can usually get the idea if you'd want to see more of something or not.

I caught up with Red Oaks last night - one of the pilots featuring Paul Reiser and Craig Roberts and is produced by Steven Soderbergh. There's a Less Than Zero undertone with the rich youth culture in the 80's, drug fueled partying and a bit of distance from the main character but it's more lighthearted than all that. I think I enjoy just about anything Craig Roberts is in and it's nice to see Paul Reiser finding a place as an amusing curmudgeon.

All and all, I'm all in with Amazon Pilot Season. Time to watch some more.

Alone for iOS

I started playing ALONE... this weekend - a Laser Dog "endless runner" game that feels quite similar to Canabalt but it's in space. This review sums it up nicely - it's well made, great aesthetic choices and, for the most part, it's engaging because of it's relentless pace. It can be a bit frustrating but I'm a sucker for a game with a cool aesthetic.

via Brandonnn

Shyp - Mailing Distruption

No industry is safe from disruption in this day and age so it should be no surprise that someone is tackling "mailing things." Shyp is a new service (available in San Francisco and slowly emerging in NY) that basically sends a courier to you, picks up your content, packages it and gets it to its destination. Rates a bit cheaper because of the scale they are working at and they don't require you to put anything inside a box beforehand. Just hand over the goods and supply a destination address. We've tried it out at the office and it works quite well. Personally, I'm curious if I could use it to ship records at a cheaper cost because, frankly, that is a firmly established PITA.

I believe if you use the code "HELLONYC" you get a little bonus credit to kick things off.

Friday Videos - Sept 5th, 2014

It was an incredibly short week for me this week. How is it Friday? It feels like Wednesday. Regardless, I'm looking forward to the weekend and zoning out on videos like those below.
  • Run Walter, RUN!! - This has to be exactly what it felt like to ride on the back of Falcor, right?
  • Rammer Jammer Cheer - this is too weird not to include. I get the context but I like it even better approaching it completely ignorant as to what a "Rammer Jammer" is.
  • Oh! it's just me! - subtle but a nice surprise for this little Scottish Fold.
  • Unnecessary Explosions - I highly enjoyed this gallery of unncessary explosions and it seems there are plenty of youtube clips showing the same thing. A meme I can approve of.
  • Red Panda Does Pullups - the Nashville Zoo recently welcomed a new baby Red Panda. In celebration, watch this little guy do some pull-ups.
If you're looking for something more to watch - how about helping us increase the view count on this Icarus video for Mount Sharp? Gotta juice those numbers!

Have a great weekend.

Summer Mix Series 2014 Horizon

Given the changing landscape of music procurement, instant streaming and much easy discovery - I'm not surprised that this years Summer Mix Series has been a bit slow going. Fortunately, what has been submitted is all incredibly good. So, head over there and have a listen.

I will shut down the site in two weeks. So, you've got this weekend and the next to bang your head against a wall and get something together. If you've never tried it before, I highly recommend you give it a go - even if it's just an Rdio or Spotify playlist. It's fun to make a mix, I promise. Mine is on the way.

Sept 10th: The Internet Slowdown

In the ongoing battle for Net Neutrality, Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 has been picked as the official day for Internet Slowdown. Much like the prior Internet blackouts, this undertaking is meant to unify websites far and wide to bring awareness to the issue - and, moreso, drive calls to Congress and the FCC to let them know what the people want.

Personally, I don't understand how US government has the hubris to make laws on a thing that is a global phenomena but that's neither here nor there. It really boils down to people having power over the utility that is the Internet and not corporations.

If you're unaware of the fight for Net Neutrality - watch this and then raise awareness and do something.

Somebody By Miranda July

Miranda July never ceases to impress. Even if you aren't into what she's doing, you gotta enjoy the variety in which she immerses herself. Her latest undertaking is Somebody, an app that invites nearby strangers to engage with one another. You write a little script, pick a recipient and then choose a stranger to deliver the message. She even made a short film to accompany the app and it's perfectly quirky and weird. As it should be.

Android Smartwatch

With wearables on the horizon as The Next Big Thing I'm quite curious what tech companies and various press think of their early review options. This Molly Wood Review of the forthcoming LG watch is a pretty fair take on how the newest round of Android devices operate. Spoiler: she doesn't love it but doesn't hate it. Basically, wearables just aren't there yet. No surprise on that but I am curious to start seeing these in the wild and have people hack them into something more useful.

Dragon*con 2014

This past weekend I spent a great deal of time at Dragon*con 2014 and I can't express enough how much every single person I know should attend in the future. It isn't really about sci-fi or fantasy - it's about fandom. People gathering to express their enthusiasm over the love of a particular movie, tv show, graphic novel or piece of art. The commercial aspect of it, as opposed to San Diego Comic-Con, is slight - it really is a fairly pure expression of the love of a topic.

There are some decent galleries of the proceedings but I recommend just diving into the Instagram Tag and losing yourself for a few hours. I've got a few over on my my feed but it's almost impossible to encapsulate the whole thing via media. Just take my word for it, you gotta go.

Photos By Daniel Arnold

After reading this WIRED article on the street photography of Daniel Arnold I was intrigued and immediately started following him on Instagram. Some of the photos are the result of perfect timing, some are ballsy and some are just beyond explanation.

Based on the interview he seems like a rather down to the Earth guy that's just completely unafraid to point his camera (in this case, an iPhone) in the proper direction. I'm certainly jealous of that kind of confidence and the results are worth a follow.