Design: Jonathan Sabine
Manufacture: Self manufacture
Whiteboards with dry-erase markers are rapidly replacing old fashioned chalkboards in schools. As chalkboards disappear from classrooms, the familiar felt eraser brush is disappearing with it. Jonathan Sabine (Vest Collective) gives these brushes a new life in the form of a very graphic door mat, chalk full of childhood memories.
I recently informed Nick Finck, Digital Web’s publisher, that I plan to move on in a couple of weeks. Working as editor in chief of Digital Web has been a great adventure, and I’m grateful for this incredible opportunity. Through my work here, I’ve met many of the brilliant people who are creating and envisioning the best of the web, and that includes not only the authors of our articles and people in the industry, but our very talented and hardworking staff. I’ll be around a bit more—answering emails, connecting authors (and potential authors) with other staff members, and cleaning out the (virtual) closets. Next? I’m going to devote more time to my own business, work a lot with Derek Featherstone’s company, Further Ahead, edit Mark Boulton’s upcoming book Five Simple Steps: Designing for the Web, and be involved with other juicy projects with some great people. My thanks to all of you—your passion for the work and the web has taught and inspired me. (via Tiffehr’s shared items in Google Reader)
It seems that you can now add eating curry and a drug that lowers blood pressure, called valsartan, to the limited potential arsenal against Alzheimer disease, that is at least in the laboratory.
It’s still unclear how exactly eating more curry (it’s actually a chemical found in tumeric called curcumin) or valsartan could work in humans but it just goes to show how desperate we’ve become when faced with the fear of Alzheimer disease.
The interesting thing about curry is that Indian cooking contains heaps of it. Could this be the reason that Alzheimer disease is so relatively scarce in that country? No one knows. My Grandmother is not one to wait. She’s been self-medicating with a teaspoon a day of tumeric for almost a decade now. No wonder her home always smells of an south Asian spice market.
There’s a lot of money to be made for any potential curatives just look at Exelon from Novartis (whose efficacy some neurologists question) that brought in a cool 461 million USD, (up 14%!) from last year’s third quarter. Having had the displeasure of a few family members suffer through this disease I’m still hopeful there will be a big breakthrough soon. In the meantime I better go, my sag paneer is getting cold.
So I’m reading The New York Post's “Page Six” gossip column this morning and I almost knocked over my coffee. Here's the item that did it:
“David Cronenberg, director of the smash Eastern Promises is still mad at writer-director Paul Haggis for naming his 2005 Oscar-winning racial drama “Crash” just nine years after Cronenberg had his own movie called “Crash” about wackos who get sexually excited by car crashes. ‘I’ve told [him] that he was a [bleep]hole basically for doing that. And so have many other people,’ Cronenberg tells Complex magazine. It’s very disrespectful not only to me, but to J.G. ballard who wrote the book…Haggis just co-opted the title…” Haggis had no comment.”
Shame on you for your sanctimonious tone, Cronenberg, you shameless hypocrite. Remember the film you made Dead Ringers, about the strange death of identical twin gynecologists? Your film was ostensibly based on a novelization of the real life case of the Marcus twins in New York City. A novel called Twins. But before the novel came I co-wrote (with Susan Edmiston) an extensively researched non-fiction account of the case called “Dead Ringers” that appeared in Esquire. (and is reprinted in The Secret Parts of Fortune)
Well as it turned out Universal Pictures approached Cronenberg’s production company and told them they had a Danny DeVito comedy called Twins coming out and asked Cronenberg to change his title, and reportedly gave him an expensive sportscar in return for changing it.
And what did he change it to? Our title, Dead Ringers! Without the courtesy of asking.
We spent nearly a year researching the facts of the case that he profited from. So whose the “[bleep]hole”, “disrespectful” phony who “just co-opted the title” in that case?
You owe me a sports car, Cronenberg.
But it’s not just me. Seriously, this is why nobody respects Hollywood types. They rip off writers who do the creative work and then get into a hissy fit if they feel it happens to them.
As a member of the Writer’s Guild I hope that a strike brings these hypocrites to their knees. I don’t think it’ll happen, but they deserve it.
The New York Times has an occasional magazine supplement about real estate called “Key”. On September 9th, 2007, the magazine featured a cover illustration by computer artist and MIT professor John Maeda. The most fascinating part of this illustration is its visual design process documentation available on NYT, where Maeda’s walks through the evolution of the piece. There we can get a better understanding of his thinking and creative process in action.
As Maeda explains: “I submitted 12 sketches of possible designs. The magazine’s art staff selected No.3 (Google Mappish Mondrian). It was a fairly vague idea, but it really was the one I felt the closest to. (…) I realized that I’m on a plane so often that I think of the world as sort of a map of cities. I figured I could make a simple diagram that would draw out all these cities and plot them out. And then I could draw some fluid curves to connect into the center of the keyhole. The inspiration was the ever-present Google Maps”.
“I’m pretty sure 10.6 Domestic Shorthair’s intro movie will be downloaded directly into your brain. I heard that’s a new feature they’re working on. That and a tabbed Finder.”—Garrett Murray, from Speaking of the Leopard intro…
Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials, will take part in the 18th Annual Chicago Humanities Festival. Pullman will discuss his novels and the issue of global environmental and ecological disruption.
In preparation for his visit, The Chicago Sun-Times interviews Pullman on the subject of anonymity and the film adaptation of the first novel in the His Dark Materials trilogy.
What of The Golden Compass:
“It looks fabulous,” Pullman says. “It was always going to be a very expensive and complicated movie to make because of all sorts of technical difficulties that had to be overcome. How do you make armored bears appear as if they’re real? But computer graphics have come a long way, and it looks absolutely wonderful; the sets, the designs, the costumes are beyond praise because of the richness of detail.”
The cast? “Just astounding. Nicole Kidman gives a magnificent performance, in that she’s able to embody the utter ruthlessness of the character as well as the slowly growing sense that actually she does love this child, something she never thought was possible.”
And as Lyra, there’s Dakota Blue Richards, who’d never acted before and was “plucked out of thousands” who auditioned for the role. “Lyra is at the very center of the story, so her performance was crucial. Fortunately, she’s wonderful.”
Nick Haley, an 18 year old from England loved the iPod Touch so much that he created his own commercial and put it up on YouYube. The people from Apple saw it and liked it so much that they contacted him and decided to “buy” the rights to it. You can see Nick’s version on top, and the actual produced spot on the bottom.
My pal Theo pointed me to this WSJ Law Blog piece on Sharon Nichols, founder of the “I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar" Facebook group. The group’s stated mission is to document bad grammar, and to date almost 5,000 photos have been uploaded for that purpose. One example: a rather large tattoo claiming "You Bleed Just To Know Your Alive."
Nichols, a student at Alabama Law, was also covered last week in The New York Times Fashion & Style section, which I found a bit odd—does good grammar ever go out of style?