Sunday, May 31, 2009

FYI : Virgin Atlantic profits

Is there light at the end of this dark tunnel? While almost every airline in the world has been posting nothing but a loss in profit takings and cutting back on routes from city to city, one airline is still keeping their fires Red Hot. Virgin Atlantic has reported a sharp rise in profits in the year to the end of February. Annual pre-tax profits stand at £68.4 mil (US$109 mil), which nearly doubled their £34.8 mil last year. Here's the full report from the BBC

POSTER SITE TOO : International Posters, me likey!

I know I know, yet another poster site?! I swear this is THE ONE. I'll admit, the price range is a wee bit 'museum' for me but the work of these artists is worth looking at, if not for pure inspiration. To be honest, if its poster art you are looking for, try eBay. I bought a Peter Saville original for New Order's Technique, for a steal!
Back to this post. 7 years ago, I discovered International Posters quite by chance while trying to find a method of filling my carefully painted walls at my Sweetzer home, with imagery and texture. I never did grace my walls with their fine art but ended up painting on 2 canvasses, myself. (That's another post!)
They do have quite a collection but I believe their numbers have dwindled over the years. For example, the "Swissair - Phillippines" poster you see above was part of a large series that was viewable on their site. Now it's just 3 'other cities' remaining. Here's a list of the types of posters they carry in their catalog.

They also have a gallery I believe, in Boston, MA. So check them out when you are in beantown and do drop us a post here at THE DIRTYBLOG to share with us your experience or your buys.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

SAY HELLO TO : Kenneth Pilo

On May 14, I mentioned I had discovered the origins of the mysterious font used in the "Attik" article in Creative Review. Well let me introduce its talented creator Kenneth Pilo! Kenneth hails from Sweden (I must be on some Swedish kick, first Wallander, then Pilo. What's next? ABBA?!) Please do check out his site, read about him, discover his process PLUS unearth another version of PILO! Woo hoo! Kenneth, PILO REGULAR is beautiful. Great proportion and it definitely has legs. Check it out...

Here's a preview

Thank you Kenneth!

POSTER SITE : Gigposters is a great find! I love poster art and admire the artists that continue to create such unique artwork especially the ones featured on this cool site. "This site is dedicated to the artists, designers and musicians who create amazing gig posters to advertise shows and events." According to site creator, Clay Hayes, it has the "world's largest historical gig poster archive". You can browse, comment, chat and make a purchase in their classified section. They even feature T-shirts for purchase. Merchandise can range from $15/poster to $9000 for a rare collector's "Obama X Lincoln 08 English - Diamond Dust" print by Ron English and Donald Sheridan! If you can't find what you want, you can even contact the designer via the info provided for each item.

Inspiring and truly a Dirtyboy Pick!

Friday, May 29, 2009

VISIT + DISCOVER : More stays with FLW

Thanks to my friend, Calvert Wright. I now have a list of Frank Lloyd Wright houses that are available for rent, a short stay or just to soak up legendary architecture. You might say I'm such an archi-geek but after reading this New York Times article, you just might make a stay at a FLW house part of your next vacation plan. I know I will.

A quote from the article describing The Duncan House in Pennsylvania (top picture),
"On one level, staying in the Duncan House was a trip back to the 50s. We tried out the period furniture — an Eames chair, a Formica kitchen set — and examined the Duncans’ original Osterizer blender and suitcase-sized Grundig radio, which must have been one of the first with push buttons. But what I found more striking, especially in contrast with memories of other houses from that era, was how much Wright’s designs seem not so much of their time as outside of time."

Here's the list which can also be found here
And here's a map of their locations to get an overall idea

And before I forget, if you have stayed at any of these FLW house or other historic architectural wonders, please drop me a line or two about your experience. I would love to hear about it! You can email me or post a comment if you prefer.

JSYK : Project Runway green lit for Aug 20 on the "Mommy may I sleep with danger" net

IF YOU'RE NOT A FASHIONISTA LIKE ME, READ ON. While most of you fashion types have already been clued in to WTH is going on with the Project Runway drama and its unknown return, here's some facts:

  • The show returns to TV on a different network and a different location. Debuts on Lifetime and the city is now Los Angeles.
  • Apparently all three entities (NBC Universal, The Weinstein Company and Lifetime Television) sued, countersued each other. Honestly who cares? Just get Heidi back on-air. What greed.
  • The show has a new production company, Bunim-Murray (the Real World team)
  • "Please don't forget to accessorize from the bluef...oops Macy's shelves" this time
  • No more Saturn Astras for the winners but a trip to Paris for 2.
  • Los Angeles is the new locale because of the celebrity quotient, something apparently NYC doesn't have. Hence, the themes of the beach and red carpet are highlighted. Although location will alternate between both cities for every season.
  • With Hollywood you get celebrity judges. Lindsay Lohan, Christina Aguilera and Rebecca Romijn guest.
  • 30-minute spinoff Models Of The Runway premieres.
Given its worldwide success, PR will prosper no matter where the drama plays out. Apparently it's what Lifetime needs to boost their under 38 viewership, instead of their slightly older 47 demographic. Mother May I Sleep with Heidi (or Tim)?

BIG SPOT : Larry gets the Royale treatment

Just in case you haven't seen it...

A Big Spot for a Big Guy! Jayson Whitmore and team concoct for Comedy Central's roasting of Larry the Cable Guy, a multi-layered, visually delicious spot with flaming hot-rod fire and dazzling LED graphics that invite you to the big event, wholeheartedly. Nice compositing of live action and 3D, plus a palatable palate (did that sound right?). Truly a Royale treat! Enjoy.

JSYK : Southwest welcomes your furry friend on board on June 17

Dog and cat owners rejoice! You can now travel with your furry friends in the cabin on flights with Southwest, come June 17. For a fee of only $75 you get to tuck them in a carrier under your seat. Now they get to see the sights and you won't have to fork out extra ducats for a sitter or a cat hotel! Here's a blog explaining everything and their Press Release too.

Buddy, my foster Frenchie! I call him B.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

JSYK : South Korea's 'ghost' airport

What strange times we live in. Too bad you can't physically transport this sparkling new airport to LAX or some other airport in need of a renovation, here in the US. The Tom Bradley Terminal could do with a makeover and some re-planning on how they move people around. When I arrived at TB to catch a flight to Singapore after 9/11, I swear the line at the security checkpoint snaked in and out of the terminal twice! I almost didn't make my flight. Just writing about it gives me anxiety. Just So You Know.

Anyway, this is a pretty interesting news report from the BBC and a link to their full report.

WATCH + DISCOVER : Nurse Jackie will give you a Colonoscopy now

Edie Falco plays Nurse Jackie in a hospital drama centered around a substance-snorting, feisty, not know it all, compassionate, doctor/patient helper, you wanna have by your bedside, nurse at the All Saints Hospital. It premieres June 8 on Showtime, where else. Here's a behind the scenes promo which really got me interested. Edie as nurse, OUCH! Sexual Tourette's too - imagine how that would go down with the HR department over at....! I can't if only I get cable.

SMELLY SPOT : History of Weeds

I LOVE THIS SPOT! Humorous, factual and...aromatic. Great production. Smoke it up!

SPOT ON : Virgin Atlantic Still Red Hot at 25

Virgin Atlantic are celebrating 25 Years this year. To kick off their Red Hot celebration, here's a commercial that is totally authentic, right down to the soundtrack! Then check out V Australia's Fly Girls commercial that has media whore, Branson providing us with what else, a dirty one-liner. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

REDESIGN : Spanair Livery

Spanair is a troubled low-cost carrier owned by S.A.S., Scandinavian Airlines System, who now have sold their 80% share of the fledgling airline. New management = new design (redesign). Unfortunately this update doesn't do anything to evolve their identity which seems a bit muddled. Frankly I think the old logo had a bit more spirit and liveliness compared to this new Boeing meets Expedia direction they've taken. (Design by Morillas Brand Design)

Apparently vote was given to the public to decide on 2 logo pitches from the Morillas team, before revealing the 80,000 voters' choice. Honestly, looking at the choices, I would have called for a re-redesign or even fire the design team for producing such lackluster and generic work. Blame the executives or the design direction? Who cares it's still a Yawn!

Monday, May 25, 2009

VACATION + EXPERIENCE : Usonian House at Two Rivers, Wisconsin

I learnt about this vacation option years ago, while watching a Troika produced travel show on HGTV, created by a friend of mine, Meredith Crandall. I thought it would make a very unique experience, recreating nearby a body of water in a house built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Not any house but a Usonian House!

The Bernard Schwartz House is located on the East Twin River, where the rivers slows to form a wide marsh. The address is 3425 Adams St Two Rivers, WI 54241.
View Larger Map

A quote from the website,
"The 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath Life Magazine Dream house is yours to live in as if it were your own. Whether it’s two days or two weeks, you will experience the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright in a way that a typical tour cannot provide. Imagine watching the sun rising over the marsh and ushering in the morning light show as the clerestory patterns are projected onto the interior brick and cypress walls. Experience Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision for how that average american family could live. Relax, slow down and let Wright’s genius unfold before you in a manner that is not possible on a typical house tour."
The house can be enjoyed at $295/night (Sun to Thurs) and $350/night (Fri/Sat), with a 2 night minimum. 8 persons max and there is a 11.5% Occupancy Tax. According to the site, these are 2009 listed. I'd say these rates are still cheaper than a night at The Hilton NYC in the summer (which goes for $395/night) plus you can invite your friends and family to stay and maybe even chip in! One more thing, make your reservations soon. They do fill up pretty fast.
Check out their site for more information, reservations and more pictures if you need more convincing. They have info about sightseeing and things to do when in Two Rivers, Wisconsin as well. I'd love to make it a week at The Bernard Schwartz House, one day! Definitely a Dirtyboy Pick.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

WATCH + DISCOVER : Singapore curbs traffic with Automatic Tolls

"Singapore was the first country in the world to implement Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), an electronic toll collection system which aims to reduce traffic and indeed, less than 30 percent of Singaporeans now own cars."
WATCH + DISCOVER the :06 min. video here

I experienced first-hand, the effectiveness of the ERP when I last visited my family in Singapore. Other than the ERP's smart road systems, there are also smart LED boards strategically placed throughout the city, providing information on travel time on many roads. This provides commuters with vital information like trip duration and delays if any. Thus resulting in convenient travel amenities like electronic boards at bus-stops which inform commuters of the ETA of each bus, at most bus-stops in the busy areas of the city. What this PBS report fails to highlight is the fact that the ERP is only one aspect of the ambitious plan for Singapore to ease urban congestion in the main business districts and to efficiently redirect human activity to other less congested areas. For example, one very important action the city took was to relocate the government agencies to vital subway (Mass Rapid Transit) junctions/stops. This created new areas of human activity and helped ease the burgeoning human traffic going into the city area. Furthermore, commuters are never exposed to the elements as transfer from subway stops to buildings of activity are always housed either underground or in airconditioned environments, away from the country's humid and tropical weather.

The ERP debit card used in each vehicle also allows drivers to enter parking facilities without having to worry about payment as there are gantries that will automatically deduct the fees from this card. Now if only this system could be modified and implemented for the overcrowded city of Los Angeles.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

FYI : American credit card users are cavemen in a chip-and-PIN world

From an article by Jason Cochran, on Wallet Pop,
"Everyone but us, it seems, is using them. They're "chip-and-PIN" cards, credit cards embedded with a smart chip that won't work for purchases unless the owner also punches in their private security code number, or PIN. Designed to thwart fraud, they're just one more example of something Europe is doing that makes us look like relative cavemen."