February 27th, 2007

Hilary Term Is Almost Over

A good indication of how busy it’s been is my timetable, which looks to be on its last legs.

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This is what it looked like at the start of term:

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February 27th, 2007

Steph en Janneke

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They are caricatures of Steph (classmate), Martine (lector) and I. It’s based on the dutch “Jip en Janneke” children’s books:

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February 22nd, 2007

Do not disturb…

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Seems like he’s already a bit disturbed! Understandable that he wouldn’t want to be any more disturbed.

Just a picture I snapped with my mobile phone’s camera, at college. It’s a lecturer’s office door.

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February 22nd, 2007

Terrorism hits Ghent

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Just kidding, Ghent’s awesome as usual. Check out this cool event:

In the last week of February 2007, a small town in Belgium called Ghent, will blow up. People from all over the world will take part in the process and the results should be, well, beautiful. Blow The City is calling anyone that can put pen to plastic to send balloons to Ghent, with a small note about who they are and where they are from. In an exercise of global togetherism the balloons will be release all at once, coating the wintered city of Ghent in colour. A gentle change from the now common instances of bombings and explosions Blow The City creates another kind of impact that is about community and communication rather than destruction.

from nownow.

I’d like to take part but it’s probably too late now.

February 22nd, 2007

Nuclear Slip-Ups

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Neatorama has a cool article about near fatal nuclear incidents…

I like this one:

On October 25, 1962, again during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a security guard at an air base in Duluth, Minnesota, saw a shadowy figure scaling one of the fences enclosing the base. He shot at the intruder and activated an intruder alarm, automatically setting off intruder alarms at neighboring bases.

However, at the Volk Field air base in Wisconsin, the Klaxon loudspeaker had been wired incorrectly, and instead sounded an alarm ordering F-106A interceptors armed with nuclear missiles to take off. The pilots assumed that a full-scale nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union had begun, and the planes were about to take off when a car from the air traffic control tower raced down the tarmac and signaled the planes to stop. The intruder in Duluth had finally been identified: it was a bear.

February 17th, 2007

TAF: Part Three

Today was another interesting day in terms of TAF and the photographs I was able to glean from it.

I went to an African Drum Workshop in the morning. It was really good fun! The effect of a whole room of drums is intense! Very powerful. I have an african drum at home (a djembe), but before now it’s been more of an ornament – despite being a good quality, fully functional instrument.

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In the afternoon I went to the Makeup for TV/Film Workshop, and we basically just played with facepaints and airbrushes for a few hours. I took loads of pictures. I gave myself a StrawberryClock “tattoo”.

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Click here to see the (now-complete) flickr photo-set.

A fun and productive week, I feel! If you completely ignore my appalling lack of actual academic work at college.

February 16th, 2007

TAF: Part Two (of THREE)

Today was very busy, by my standards.

At lunch time (after most of my day’s classes), I sauntered on down to the Trinity Arts Festival’s Balloon Workshop thing. I thought I’d just snap some photos of people making balloon animals, and then head back to college for the rest of my classes.

I ended up staying there for almost 3 hours (missing a dutch class). It was great… I took photos, and updated the TAF photo set I made on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/56723239@N00/show/

After that, I went back to college with an inflatable sword and Pluto the dog under my arms, and attended an impressively boring German History lecture.

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By the way, the guy who did the workshop has a website. Check out his impressive balloonery! Yes, he refers to himself as the Balloonatic.

Then I went and saw “For Your Consideration” on a whim, and fell asleep during it. I woke up as the credits began to roll. I have no idea what happens in the film after the main exposition.

Then, I went to the first TCD Filmmaker’s Society Screenwriting peer-review meeting (it’s not really called that – it’s not really called anything. That’s just the best description I can think of). There were five of us. We read eachothers screenplays and discussed them. It was very good. Now I really ought to finish my screenplay(s).

Tomorrow I’m going to try and attend more TAF things: An African Drumming Workshop and a Film Make-Up Workshop. And I’ll be taking pictures of course.

February 15th, 2007

Trinity Arts Festival…

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My favourite of the pictures I took today.

Some students were singing in Trinity’s front square today as part of the Trinity Arts Festival that’s on this week. Photographic Society members (hi) were called upon to document as much of the Arts Festival as possible, and this was the only event that I’ve been free to attend so far (since my timetable is chockablock).

I’ve uploaded a bunch of the pictures I took to Flickr. Click here!

I might update that photo set, if I attend any more of these events this week.

February 14th, 2007

Challenging Living…

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I love this…

An innovative new housing project in Tokyo aims to keep residents sharp by throwing them off balance. Duck!

Most people, in choosing a new home, look for comfort: a serene atmosphere, smooth walls and floors, a logical layout. Nonsense, says Shusaku Arakawa, a Japanese artist based in New York. He and his creative partner, poet Madeline Gins, recently unveiled a small apartment complex in the Tokyo suburb of Mitaka that is anything but comfortable and calming. “People, particularly old people, shouldn’t relax and sit back to help them decline,” he insists. “They should be in an environment that stimulates their senses and invigorates their lives.”

With that in mind, Arakawa and Gins designed a building of nine apartments known as Reversible Destiny Lofts. Painted in eye-catching blue, pink, red, yellow and other bright colors, the building resembles the indoor playgrounds that attract toddlers at fast-food restaurants. Inside, each apartment features a dining room with a grainy, surfaced floor that slopes erratically, a sunken kitchen and a study with a concave floor. Electric switches are located in unexpected places on the walls so you have to feel around for the right one. A glass door to the veranda is so small you have to bend to crawl out. You constantly lose balance and gather yourself up, grab onto a column and occasionally trip and fall.

Even worse, there’s no closet space; residents will have to find a way to live there, since the apartment offers only a few solutions. “You’ll learn to figure it out,” says Arakawa. Ten minutes of stumbling around is enough to send even the healthiest young person over the edge. Arakawa says that’s precisely the point. “[The apartment] makes you alert and awakens instincts, so you’ll live better, longer and even forever,” says the artist.

Completed in October, the apartments are now selling for $763,000 each — about twice as much as a normal apartment in that neighborhood. Arakawa and Gins have received dozens of inquiries and are now in the process of showing and interviewing potential buyers. They have a certain celebrity cachet: Jakucho Setouchi, an 83-year-old popular author and respected Buddhist nun, bought one on the top floor.

Built by Takenaka Corp., a leading Japanese contractor, the apartments actually meet every building-code requirement. The artists are not worried about possible injuries or lawsuits, but make sure each buyer understands “the concept” of the building before he or she signs the contract. This isn’t the first time Arakawa and Gins have created seemingly hazardous structures; 10 years ago the pair opened the Site of Reversible Destiny — Yoro Park, a theme park in Gifu, central Japan. The popular tourist spot consists of attractions designed to throw people off balance, made up of warped surfaces and confusing directions. Visitors often fall — but so far nobody has sued.

Arakawa and Gins hope the Reversible Destiny Lofts will catch on outside Japan as well. Each unit is made up of large concrete blocks that can be preassembled, making the Mitaka complex a prototype for mass production. In fact, Arakawa says, they are in talks with interested parties in Paris and New Jersey about building similar complexes. Their ultimate goal: to turn an entire community into a Reversible Destiny town, where people of all ages live, work, study and play in their unsettling buildings. “It will be a revolution,” says Arakawa. “This will change the way people live.” That is, assuming people don’t mind living with sloping floors and no closets.

From Newsweek in 2005 via Sushi & Sensibility

February 13th, 2007

Giant Steps… For Robotkind

John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, as played by a Japanese robot! Hahaha.

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February 11th, 2007

epainting

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Some sketches i whipped up at 20 minute intervals at the clock crew group-drawing session. The theme was natural disasters and the topics were Earthquake, Tsunami and Comet Hitting Earth, respectively.

February 7th, 2007

Auf der Strasse posieren!

I was using google image search to clarify that the german verb “posieren” meant to “pose”, in the same way as it did in English… And, via an intriguing image, I stumbled upon this website – a page of photos of naked people posing in public places for images of mass nudity.

There are some very cool images… This one is the best by far!

Washington 1995

I’m not really sure what the site’s about, since it’s in Italian. But I think it’s just some naturalist website, as opposed to being a website of the photographer/s (or tributing the photographer/s) who took the pictures.

Edit: Lifty tells me they are by the artist Spencer Tunick. And you can sign up on the website to be a part of one of his next works.

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