Sunday, October 11, 2009

IRVING PENN 1917~2009

An ode to a great photographer who passed away this Thursday. During my foundation studies in art school, I was greatly influenced and inspired by 3 photographers, whose work instantly captivated and inspired me. Horst, for his exquisite use of light and shadow; Man Ray for his most original style and composition and Irving Penn, who was able to masterfully capture his subjects candidly, perhaps even drawing you into their world, their story.

Thank you Irving Penn , for the inspiration.

Born in New Jersey in 1917, Irving Penn studied design at the Philadelphia Museum School, where he became a student of Alexey Brodovitch. In 1937, the year before he graduated, several of his drawings were published by Harper’s Bazaar. From 1940 to 1941, he worked for the art and advertising director of Saks Fifth Avenue, and the following year he spent in Mexico painting, a medium he subsequently abandoned. Returning to New York, Penn was hired by Vogue magazine, first to create ideas for cover illustrations, then to photograph covers as well as editorial illustrations for the interior of the magazine. Working closely with Alexander Liberman, Penn developed a highly stylized, graphically compelling form of fashion photography which did much to define post-war notions of feminine chic and glamour. In his fashion and portrait photography, Penn favored the use of a neutral backdrop of gray or white seamless paper, or alternatively, the use of constructed architectural sets which created striking effects with oblique, diving diagonals and upward tipped perspectives. Penn also created numerous still life compositions for the magazine: carefully orchestrated assemblages of food or objects characterized by a play of three-dimensional and two-dimensional forms. In 1953 Penn opened his own commercial studio and almost immediately became one of the most influential and successful advertising photographers in the world.
another living legend, Nick Knight. 
(These photographs were borrowed from various sites and will not be used for commercial purposes.)

PH •

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I first tried these nuggets of sin at AOC on Beverly Blvd, here in Los Angeles. Pescatarians, vegetarians and whatever-rians, you might not be able to resist these temptations from hell, and pop one while no one is looking. Salty, nutty and melt-in-your-mouth sweetness ooze and meld into an unbelievable taste that will probably entice you to reach for another before that plate gets passed on. Okay I love it that much! (Let's go get some Diana!)

The worst part is, the recipe is easy peezy:

1 package (8 oz) bacon

1 pound dates (organic might taste better)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut the bacon slices in half.
3. Pit dates.
4. Wrap each date with a half a slice of bacon. Use toothpicks, they help.
5. Set on a baking dish, ideally one with high sides, so the bacon grease doesn’t spill all over your oven when it melts.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the bacon gets crispy (ah the aroma)
7. Remove from oven and DIG IN

*BURP* (I hope you like the gallery)
+  get more Bacon for your buck HERE 
PH •


Actually the post should read "VISA vs. MOHEGAN SUN", but I prefer the alliteration with "MORGAN". Anyway, blog 'pr*tty sh*tty' posted this comparison of 2 commercials featuring individuals shamelessly expressing superfreaking! Which one's more effective? You decide. Enjoy.



+  more dueling HERE 
PH •

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I just couldn't resist. Some hi-end, classy style that is just bordering overkill in imagery and EFX for this über-trendy commercial. I do however feel that the :90 vers. feels more complete. Never been a real fan of the previous campaigns but whoever they hired this time around, has done a dazzling job.

Here's a close second (copycat?). Chrysler targets the same market with a new campaign for the 300C. The dub-by Dean Martin track helps. I still prefer the styling of the 300C although the XFR up close is pretty sexy.

+  still need more inspiration? How about another comparison? 
PH • 


4 kids in the backseat, with an age difference of 10 years between the oldest, my sister Patricia and me, the youngest, shoving, squirming, disagreeing while Mom and Dad, tried to navigate and discipline us at the same time. Maybe the reason why my Dad bought a new car so often was because we were getting bigger and louder. I can't remember when was that last time my whole family, all 6 of us were in Dad's car, or what year, make or model that vehicle was but here are the ones I remembered:

'67 or '69 Volvo (Red)
This is my first memory of riding in a car. As a kid, I thought it was the biggest I'd ever seen. I loved riding in it especially on road trips to Malaysia we would take every year during the school holidays. Being a Volvo of course, it would breakdown  consistently, oft times interrupting our windy journey through open, winding roads and rubber plantations as we headed north for resort towns like Port Dickson and Melaka, and even all the way to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur (a 6 hour drive back in the 70's).

Of course, I was always front and center in the backseat, squeezed in between my parents, lapping up every new turn around a street corner, getting yelled at by my Dad to 'Sit back!' Little did I know the Volvo would be a sought after classic today. Definitely in the Top 3 of my Dad's cars.

BTW I really don't recall what the exact year/model it was but the pictures of the Volvos I found online were close.

(to be continued)
PH •

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Here's a cool time lapse of the Milky Way rising in the night sky, submitted by Michael Castleman on Vimeo. You can even see the galactic bulge. Wow!

ALSO: The Discovery of a new ring around Saturn. Read about it HERE .

+  how about some Jedi training?
PH •

Monday, October 5, 2009


Here are 2 interesting animations, visualizing data about people and their flying habits! Fly the crowded skies.

This animation plots a map, using Tweets that contain the phrases 'just landed in...' or 'just arrived in...'. Locations from these tweets are located using MetaCarta's Location Finder API. The home location for the traveling users are scraped from their Twitter pages. The system then plots these voyages over time. Created by Jer Thorp for blprnt.

Straightforward GPS location of each passenger plane in the air over a 24 hour period. Notice how there are 3 centers or hubs of activity, which increase in density as the sun rises in their respective regions - US (East Coast), Europe and Asia (North East). ATC's dream or nightmare?

what do Luggage Monkeys  have to say?
PH •

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Jennifer Strunge was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where she still resides, creating these soft-sculptural Cotton Monsters from found blankets and bedding. She also works for the Black Cherry Puppet Theater, bringing art and puppetry to schools throughout the city.
(adapted from her bio)

Her collection, categorized into groups with names like Bottom Feeders, Watchful Eyes and Pentapods, can be viewed on her site here  (nice stop motion too). Or if you'd like to make a purchase, you can try her Etsy store.  Watchful Eye starts at $25 USD; Little Monsters at $58 USD.

We like Jennifer's Cotton Monsters because they're handmade from recycled clothing and linen, making them unique and one of a kind!

+  anyone hungry for Felt Food 
PH •

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Earlier this year, Fast Company listed the 10 most innovative Architectural firms. Here's the list and their current or completed projects:

The world’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai and dozens of other superlatives make SOM a massive - and dynamically creative - commercial force.

+  SOM website 
+  Slideshow of the construction of world's tallest building  - almost completed!

The Swiss team of Jacque Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, won accolades for the Beijing Olympic Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest.

The awe-inspiring work of visionary Zaha Hadid is legendary. Some current projects include the Guggenheim Hermitage  in Vilnius, Lithuania.

+  discover SOHO III 
+  I want to be an Architect like Zaha Hadid (links to her site)

Headquarters building for China’s CCTV, Prada store and the refurbishment of the LACMA.

+  see LACMA (from some guy's vid, ignore the commentary)
+  read about the CCTV building

His Linked Hybrid complex in Beijing, which opened last fall, shows genius and technological virtuosity.

+  learn more about the Linked Hybrid here 
+  website link 

A double-decker bus for London, an ethereal bridge in France , and the world’s most advanced airport terminal in Beijing show the range and global fluency of this British stalwart.

The firm’s plan for the California Academy of Sciences, with its undulating roof, is a triumph of green design. Another contribution: The New York Times’ new headquarters , which the paper is hoping to mortgage for a $400 million spring debt payment.

Little known in the U.S. outside architecture devotees, de Portzamparc is notable for the LVMH Tower  in New York and the breathtaking concert hall for the Luxembourg Philharmonic.

The firm’s Cellophane House  was the hit of MoMA’s prefab home show last summer. (Definitely one of my faves!)

This Seattle firm boasts a dossier of important public buildings, but what we love most: a skillful hand with -residences framing sub-lime natural vistas.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Original and inspiring. The work of Ted McGrath, an artist based in Brooklyn NY. Accolades include Print Magazine's "20 Under 30 New Visual Artists 2008 " plus a client list that includes MTV Networks and the New York Times. (We like)
Ted's site HERE  for everything you need to know plus he's featured HERE too.

+  explore more 'originality' with Christian
+  see Alyssa Monks  too
PH •

Thursday, October 1, 2009


As discovered on blog, pr*tty Sh*tty, here are 2 commercials from rivals Amex and Visa trying their hardest to get you to spend beyond your means, and feel oh-so-good a.k.a. deep, warm feeling, doing it. Like I've always said - when you got the moolah you can do/sell almost anything.

here's a print campaign from one of the above mentioned - VISA GO 
PH •


Goodbye 09/09. Hello October.

Here's a look back at the most popular posts this past month of September, on the Dirtyblog. Thanks for all your support and your contributions/comments. It means a lot to me. Enjoy!

1 :  READ ON
You loved the book reviews by Frances Schifrin. More on the way! (Yay caca)
Witness the brilliance of Web 2.0 as we find new ways to utilize Google API's to market and promote.

Viral experiment in stop-motion with a funny tale to tell.

4 : 5 FLY SMART's
Learn new ways to fly cheap and smart.

Admire the work of a one great illustrator.

DIsney influenced artist creates a whimsical typeface to teach his son the alphabet.

Yet another unique creation from the house of Uniqlo - a desktop calendar with time lapse macro view of human activity.

Read about the house that James built and its demise. Sad.

Etsy seller creates delicious food samples.

Feature on the artist who created the characters for Mad Men season 3 promotions.

And then some. Just bubbling under the top 10 is...

Read about how Ikea is more than a furniture store in Beijing China.

PH •

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Add GIF animations of Cardinal Tetras swimming in a loop, to your blog. The site is in Japanese. Unless you can read the language, scroll down for the HTML script. Just copy, paste and enjoy!

for more mindless downloads, check out the Uniqlo Calendar.
PH •


Transformer boxes are painted with silhouettes of Ultraman monsters, on the streets of Sukagawa (Fukushima prefecture) in Japan, the hometown of sci-fi special effects master Eiji Tsuburaya (who was the FX director for the Godzilla movies).

(as seen on PinkTentacle)
+  more 'intensity' with Tadanori Yokoo 

PH •


From the amazing Culver City based team of Capacity (who recently completed the very 'cable' network package for NBC), here's a look at their anime adventure. Enjoy.

MOVIE as seen on Boards
Capacity - Upgrade Mobilize

+  we also liked Kosai Sekine 
PH •

Monday, September 28, 2009


Last month, we featured a Lego House  being built in the UK. Sadly, the wonderful project has come to a crashing end. UK television personality James May who steered the project, saw to its completion but was unable to find a buyer. The main goal was to transfer the entire building to a legal site since there was no permission to build on the current site, in the first place. It seems Legoland showed some interest but the high cost of transportation diminished their interest in the project. The 3.3 million bricks will however, be donated to charity. Here is a gallery of the final product and its demolition.

+  read more about the house HERE
PH •


Created by Rymdreglage - Daniel Larsson and Tomas Redigh.
+  more lego adventures HERE

PH •


Designed by Romain Delambily with music by Paul Malburet, and powered by Allan Durand, Incredibox is an addictive and mindless site, featuring a series of looped audio samples you drag and drop onto sleepy eyed characters. Looking like a Beatles cartoon (remember that TV series?), each new character may be associated with loops which include an instrument, percussions, chorus and voices. There are even 2 bonus intermissions containing new characters plus a shuffle mode.

Ah, the things we do for repetition.
+ more 'mindless' entertainment. This time with some undead characters from Japan. 
PH •

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Swedish student designer Mae Yokoyama  invents a new way of harnessing the sun's power, and still look good doing it. Ultra thin solar panels cradle your neck and shoulders, harnessing energy during the day. Come nightfall (if you're still wearing them), your face gets an accent light via tiny LEDs disguised as pearls, everywhere you go in the dark of night. Lighting you up like a Christmas tree!

"Turning energy into beauty."
 We like eco-chic. Might come in handy at Halloween. (Photographer: 1 and 2 Andreas Nyquist, 3 Mae Yokoyama)
+  for a more subtle adornment, try jewelry that gets you where you want to go.
PH •


2008 ad campaign expounding the benefits of a Visa debit card. Brilliantly photographed by Dan Tobin Smith but I am unsure about the campaigns messaging and its success. Still, worth a look.

Photography : Dan Tobin Smith
Set Design : Rachel Thomas
Art Direction : TBWA Chiat Day
Retouching : Martin Pryor

get your 'head'-line analyzed HERE 
PH •

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Move over Segway (P.U.M.A.), here comes the next generation of compact personal movers, the U3-X from Honda. Looking like a very modern unicycle, you simply place your body weight in the direction you would like to go, even sideways. The single wheel on the U3-X is made up of many tiny motor-controlled wheels, packed inside the bigger wheel, allowing the device to swerve in any direction. Topping out at a top speed of 3.7 mph, Honda hopes one day, the small, safe and unobtrusive device will be zipping up and down streets and even indoors. The U3-X weighs in at under 22 lbs, runs on a fully charged lithium-ion battery for an hour, and requires a minimum height of 5 ft to operate. (Wait a minute, how about maximum weight or how wide someone's a**...oh never mind)

Video showing the workings of the uni-wheel plus a demo, below.

There are currently no plans for marketing the device but Honda plans to debut the U3-X at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2009. (BTW the man demonstrating the device in the pictures is the Honda President Takanobu).
PH •


(Hmmm I guess I'm on some eco-trip this weekend)
Here are 2 new cellular products geared towards the eco-chic, carbon footprint conscious, Hybrid driving 'Loca'-vores  out there.

Novothink's Surge  is a hybrid solar charger case you attach your iPhone and iPod Touch too. The integrated solar panel on the back of the case allows you to charge your device solely from sunpower without the need for any other energy source. However, for convenience, there is an additional USB cable that can help charge it should the sun suddenly disappear! Retails for $70 available from their site.  (There are similar products already in the market, like this charger available for $27  from Amazon)

sidebar : I am not an iPhone person. I just thought this would be a good eco alternative to providing 'joos' for your device. Maybe one day, I'll give in. Until then I am cell-free by default :)

Samsung/Sprint's Reclaim  is a new eco-conscious smart phone, primarily made of corn-based bio-plastics, 80% recyclable and apparently, is chock full of nifty features.

"Although there may be some criticism on the sustainability factor of the maize-made material, you can’t deny that Samsung has made giant efforts to produce a product that is not only green, but also services the needs of today’s consumer. Most of us rely on our cellular telephone as a way of staying connected to the different types of communication we have grown accustomed to, and thankfully the people at Samsung equipped the Reclaim with a QWERTY keyboard, 3G network, GPS and one-click access to social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube. They have also eliminated the paper manual and its recyclable packaging is printed with soy-based ink. In addition to the “green” materials used to produce this phone, Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse also announced that $2 of every Reclaim’s sale would go to the Nature Conservancy’s Adopt an Acre program." - Retails for $49.99.

sidebar : a step in the right direction for others to follow. Apple, your move?

+  if the sun starts to heat things up in the near future, we just might have to start burrowing. 
PH •


New word. New diet. New goal?
Coined by Jessica Prentice from the San Francisco Bay Area in 2005, Wikipedia defines Locavore as “someone who eats food grown or produced locally or within a certain radius such as 50, 100, or 150 miles.”

Why become a Locavore?

You help the environment. Decreasing the distance food travels releases less carbon emissions, and small farms often plant diverse crops which reduce soil degradation.

You help out farms. Over 90¢ of every dollar you spend at a farmers market goes directly to the farmer who produced the food. When you buy produce at a grocery store, vegetables farmers get only 21¢ of your dollar.

How to become one?
Join a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) group, eat in season, request it at grocery stores, start small and plan your meals. The USDA defines a CSA as “a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation…in return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season.”

A few tips:
Don’t be scared of a little dirt on your vegetables. Ask questions. You may be surprised to find that your organic apple from Whole Foods traveled three thousand miles to reach the store. Try new foods. Remember that even if something is in a package and looks clean, it might not be healthy. Trust your local farmer instead.

(the above was adapted from an article by Gina Marie Cheeseman for Jolly Green Girl)
+  and when you get some local bacon, here's a guilty pleasure.

PH •


"Ever wonder what happens when we toss old cell phones in the trash? Take the paper we read in the morning, and the jeans and t-shirts we wear. Have you ever considered what impacts these products have on the environment, from beginning to end? INFORM’s Secret Life Series is a collection of videos that highlight the environmental impacts of everyday products we all use."

The Secret Life of Cell Phones was created by Azimuth Media and Off Ramp Films.
see also the secret life of a volcano, Kilauea! 

PH •

Friday, September 25, 2009


Learn Something Every Day  is a self-initiated daily project created by a immensely talented design studio based in the UK, Young. Users are invited to submit lesser known facts, which are then interpreted into doodle-like illustrations, posted onto their site daily. "The best fact will be made into a super special poster at the beginning of each month, with the winner getting a free poster."

Do check out their design work and portfolio on their site.  Some excellent work.
+  explore the work of a hairdresser turned designer Dima Loginoff 
PH •


It seems British Airways truly dig Darth Vader's management skills and leadership qualities.
In a recent article published in their Business Life site , they go on to highlight his more positive attributes which make him an 'unlikely business guru'. Indeed. Here are some salient points:

His underlings were undoubtedly devoted to him, "excusing his occasional lapses of mood — a strategy that stood Apple boss Steve Jobs in good stead as he created an empire built on cutting edge, planet-changing technology."

Perhaps his sense of style and that mask enabled an air of mystery. "If people can’t read your face and don’t know what you’re thinking, they can experience an uncomfortable sensation that puts them on the back foot — perhaps US Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s famous bob and huge dark glasses were influenced by Darth back in the 1970s…"

Lord Vader, like any good leader, is "decisive, swift to act, has a variety of skills (he doesn’t just sit behind a desk, he gets out and flies a fighter ship alongside his junior pilots) and is driven by an insatiable desire to succeed."

Unfortunately, he's human too. Well, behind the mask at least. He allowed family issues to clooud his judgement and, "in the end, revealed himself as a sentimental pussycat and showed a modicum of remorse as the empire crumbled. Sometimes, you just can’t let the mask slip."

"HR would have a field day with the Star Wars villain, what with his bullying and torture of staff who displease him. Not to mention the corporate responsibility and PR problems that go along with building something called the Death Star."

more Lord Vader (vs Eddie Izzard/Lego) 
crazy Vader Robotic Arm for sale HERE 

PH •

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Here's a collection of images that don't need any introduction because they either say a lot or have nothing really to say. Actually they're the bottom of the barrel, the leftovers while cleaning up my folders, the Table Scraps. Enjoy the inspiration!

care for a swim in your dumpster ?
+  how about a 3-way, Eames style ?
• PH


Google API's are no longer just for encoders and programmers. With the advent of Web 2.0 and the availability of Google's 'on-board' tools, companies and individuals are conjuring up mashups of digital creativity. Whether it's marketing their online store through an adaptation of Google Maps or the use of YouTube Annotations to create their website, these experiments of customization and remixing are definitely the ones to watch, in the near future.

Here are 3 good examples:

Uniqlo 1000 makes use of the Google Maps API and Flash video to show people all across Tokyo trying on their clothing in a creative way.

North Carolina-based ad agency BooneOakley makes use of YouTube annotations to create their website entirely within YouTube videos.

I think this is a great alternative to 'About Us' pages on design house websites. Gives them something to do!

+  try out an online Typography tool, WORDLE .
• PH

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I miss Gil. 'He funny!' This one's dedicated to Frances Schifrin.

+  more animal hijinks

• PH

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


...or オオカミとブタ!
This is brilliant. A stop motion adventure by YouTuber "dokugyunyu". Check out his (or her) site too.
more stop motion, this time by Thiago Maia.



Yet another RAM intensive app you really don't need but WANT! This time it's the UNIQLO CALENDAR that's available for download (I think. The instructions are confusing) I love the way the time lapse is shot; the way everything looks minature and how humans appear 'avatar'-like.

+  just in case you missed it the first time, here's the Uniqlo Clock.
• PH


Thomas Boerboom is a designer from the Netherlands. As his site is still under construction, there wasn't much information I could gather about this very 'different' project. Nice photography. He did however blurb a little about his little feathered friend, the budgie.
"I've examined to what extent it is possible for humans and animals to come closer together, and how to realise that. As a result of my research I tried to become best friends with a budgie. In the end this resulted into an instruction guide as well as an instruction dvd in wich I demonstrate step by step how to become best friends with a budgie. The guide consist of three chapters; communication, body language and recreation. By means of observation and imitation I've implemented these three terms to create a band between me and my budgie."
more images of birds and other animals, see Charley Harper

• PH


Space Shower TV
is Japan’s largest cable/satellite music channel. Here are 2 spots/IDs; "We Love Music, We Love Peace" created by Kōki Tange (Yellow Brain) and "Guitar" directed by Koichiro Tsujikawa.
+  I love Hirst
• PH