29 January, 2013

restaurant Det Glade Van'vid in Denmark

Sofie Ladefoged was responsible for rebuilding and furnishing Det Glade Van'vid, a concept restaurant with seating for 90-100 guests, located the former fish auction on the old marina, overlooking the Aarhus harbour. Sofie Ladefoged transformed the restaurant into an elegant and complete concept restaurant.

Much attention has been given to detail, materials and consistency. The exterior of the building is a facade with black cladding and this motif has been continued into the interior, where narrower vertical black cladding defines the room and adjusts it to human scale. Wood is used throughout as a characteristic feature to give a tactile quality and an intimate atmosphere. From the solid oak cladding in the hallway, to the light and contemporary sturdy oak cloakroom, to the buffet and cafe tables, all also designed by Sofie Ladefoged.

Brass, concrete and leather have been also used. Brass is used in the 37 Tom Dixon lamps that hang in a grid from the ceiling, around the harbor facing window and in the Vola fixtures on the buffets and in the restrooms. The mirrors are bronze coloured with concealed lighting and all visible screws are brass or painted black.

Leather is a warm, soft and comfortable material that wears beautifully with age. The bench seat around the walls of the restaurant has leather padding and the cloakroom has hand-made leather coat hangers. The restaurant floor is made of concrete with a smooth gray-brown epoxy surface, it's appearance extends the ocean view just outside the windows. Conversion of the restaurant is a well-designed work that takes its expression from the 1960s and combines it with minimalism and a thorough knowledge of carefully chosen materials.

[Ref.] Original text from :

Naut furniture from Japan

Naut make universal pieces of furniture that can be used for many years to come. Archetypal furniture made of natural materials, that have been used since ancient times, to be loved for even more. In their own words : “We stick to the natural materials and to the handmade approach. Simple and highly adaptable. The resulting furniture can be used for many years in the rugged, without being affected by changing norms. An exploration in the timeless living space”.

The archetypal take on classic designs that cannot be taken out of fashion. Simple shapes and everlasting materials. Handmade, manufactured one-by-one by skilled craftsmen. “Fairwood” ash is predominately used. Linseed Oil is employed, without harming the original texture of the solid wood, to enjoy natural aging. Ultimately, furniture size is selected to suit your living environment.

Black + Bright house

The house is in a quiet cottage area on the island near the town of Møn, facing the Baltic sea expanse in Denmark.

One of the characteristic elements are the floor-to-ceiling sliding windows which open out onto the breathtaking natural surroundings. In summer the landscape becomes part of the house, and in winter you can enjoy the cosy warmth of the wood stove while looking out into the fields. The sloping roof makes room for another bedroom, while in areas it is left free, to realise a high and broad living space. At the heart of each house is a sauna, connected to the outside, in which you can enjoy the relaxing and therapeutic Nordic tradition.

Jan Henrik Jansen, a German architect living in Copenhagen, designed and built the house in his spare time (well, he actually built two houses, with different architectural form). Now both are offered as rented holiday accommodation. Find more info here and here.

Angry Alien productions : the famous 30-second bunnies

30-Second Bunnies Theatre is an original and Webby Award-winning Flash cartoon series featuring films re-enacted by anthropomorphic animated bunnies in 30 seconds. The series is produced by Angry Alien Productions. The series debuted in 2004, when website creator Jennifer Shiman was looking to create a funny web series. She created a version of The Exorcist, re-enacted by animated bunnies in only 30 seconds. It was a huge hit, prompting Shiman and company to create more "30 second bunny movies". The clips set here, are for sampling reasons. For the full gallery visit Angry Alien Productions.

Some words from Shiman’s bio : “I've been drawing since 1976 or thereabouts. I have an undergraduate degree in International Business and a graduate degree in Media Studies. After grad school, I took a sabbatical while working part-time to make my first animated short. I started my sole proprietorship Angry Alien Productions in 1998 in order to earn income through more creative projects”.

In 2005, the "bunny troupe" was commissioned by Starz! to make new shorts. Each Starz-commissioned re-enactment has premiered on Starz on Demand as well as Starz Ticket before moving online. The series take on Star Wars was also featured on CNN on April 16, 2006. 30-Second Bunnies Theatre has won in 2008 two Webby Awards for Online Film and Video/Animation, plus the People's Voice award in that category. For a full list of clips check out the Wikipedia entry here. For online viewing on Starz go here.

28 January, 2013

Holstee and their manifesto

Over a year ago, Ι came across what initially looked like a typography work. Alas, you only need to read, only to realise the impact that carefully arranged words can have. The Holstee Manifesto is a call to action to live a life full of intention, creativity, passion, and community. And that basically is an introduction. You can leave the rest to your mind, emotion and experiences. It helps though to watch the short movie offered further below.

In 2009 two brothers and a friend started a small company Holstee, with a view towards producing clothing and lifestyle products with a twist. Apart from upcycled, those were were to be full-lifecycle conscious or friendly products. They started with a tshirt , then their wallet came, etc. Our mention though here, is not for their products, but for their manifesto.

The LifeCycle Film came about as a desire to bring the energy and passion behind the Manifesto to life through biking that they love. This Film is a celebration. It is a celebration of gatherings, of diversity, of life, and of the beauty of shared experience. This message that has since been shared over 500,000 times and viewed over 60 million times online, in all its forms, as Holstee say "has confirmed for us that with genuine positive intentions, anything is possible". 

Mens style guides : visualizations from around the web

If you are into closely following directions then these visualisations may give you an idea of what to wear, and when, as well as what not to wear. Honestly however, personal style is … well personal, and thruthfully, apart from some general pointers that you could follow, there is no absolute in what you wear or how you mix and match. This is why it is called a "personal" style.

Hence, the visualizations offered below, are more for ENTERTAINMENT purposes, than actual "commandments". Look through them and have a smile. Some of what you will read you will find OK and applicable, others are just for laughs.

First is s "50 Mistakes Dudes Make While Getting Dressed", from Complex magazine. Their wording "It's not just clothes that make the man, it's knowing the rules well, and then choosing which ones you want to break. Not all of these tips will work across all body types, but we're sure you'll be a better-dressed guy after looking at this than if you had never come across it at all. It's a tough world out there, so we might as well look impeccable while surviving in it." Pretty long list, but nicely visualized.

Dead simple suit and shoes pairing guide. Does not say anything about the socks. Pair wisely.

Color match what you wear with your complexion

Primer’s Visual Guide to Understanding Common Suit Features, available here. Concise and precise.

Again from Complex magazine, we get this Infographic "Which Men's Style Blog Should You Be Reading?" And if you need the URL for your results. They offer also a handy link list, should you decide to browse more.

Ever wondered the difference between open and closed lacing? How about the etiquette when it comes to shoe embellishments? Or if you should really match your socks with your trousers? From boat shoes to bluchers and monk straps to moccasins, become fluent in the language of footwear with The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide to Shoes. Read more

TieDiy - every knot you need to know

25 January, 2013

Molleindustria games

Paolo Pedertsini was born in 1981 somewhere in Northern Italy, and now lives in Pittsburgh and has taught at Carnegie Mellon University. Somewhere during this simple biography, Paolo opened the La Molleindustria site, creating games on social and critical topics. Pretty rare you may think, but each time a game was released it stroke a perfect hit in various pain centers of this modern world. In his own words : "Since 2003 we produced homeopathic remedies to the idiocy of mainstream entertainment in the form of free, short-form, online games. Our products range from satirical business simulations (McDonald’s Video game, Oiligarchy) to meditations on labor and alienation (Every day the same dream, Tuboflex, Unmanned), from playable theories (the Free Culture Game, Leaky World) to politically incorrect pseudo-games (Orgasm Simulator, Operation: Pedopriest)."

In June 2007 the game Operazione: Pretofilia (Operation: Pedopriest), inspired by the controversial BBC documentary Sex Crimes and the Vatican, was removed from the site after a point of order in the Italian Parliament called "Countermeasures to the religions' offences". In April 2009, Molleindustria initially bowed to complaints from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference by removing Faith Fighter from their site, but later put up a new version that gives the player the choice between a full and a censored version. Molleindustria has later started producing a sequel that promotes religious pluralism and tolerance. Both games have since been put back on the website. In September 2011, Molleindustria released a game entitled Phone Story for smartphones that was promptly banned from the Apple iTunes Phone Story focused on what Molleindustira called the "dark side" of smartphone manufacturing. When Apple banned the game Molleindustria released the game for the Android market. All the funds raised from the game were donated. The game is now available for free online. [1]

List of games (not complete) :
Tamatipico-a game based on the life of a worker.
Tuboflex-a game based on the need of human resources.
Orgasm Simulator-a game based on how women sometimes fake orgasms.
Enduring Indymedia-a game based on the FBI seizing Indymedia web servers.
Queer Power-a game based on how homosexuals change gender roles.
Mcdonald's Videogame-a game based on how the fast food industry works.
Operation: Pedopriest-a game based on the sexual abuse cases of the Catholic Church.
Faith Fighter-a game based on religious intolerance.
The Free Culture Game-a game based on the struggle between free culture and copyright laws.
Oiligarchy-a game based on how the oil industry works.
Every Day the Same Dream-a game about short existence, alienation, and refusal of labor
Memory Reloaded-a game based on recent issues in the world.
Leaky World-a game based on the issues of Wikileaks.
Phone Story - a game that looks at the hidden world of smart-phone manufacturing.
Inside a Dead Skyscraper- a game about the September 11 World Trade Center attacks.
Unmanned - a game about the life of an unmanned drone pilot.

If dogs run free

If dogs run free is a bar on in Vienna's 6th district co-owned by an actress, a restaurateur, a graphic designer, and two architects. The bar was conceived as a neighborhood watering hole; a place where students, neighbors, and the after-work crowd get together to enjoy a good drink. The name, like the space itself, is meant to invite fantasy, although highly reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s song. The generously proportioned 80m2 space is modeled after a black box theater with the main focus on the ceiling plane rather than on an actual stage.

In addition to its function as a bar, the owners wanted to provide a space where people have access to new ideas in art and design outside the traditional context of a gallery or the academy. The ceiling plane is reserved for artists and designers to create site specific installations intended as annual fixtures revolving around the theme Mensch und Natur. Local architects Gregorio S. Lubroth and Chieh-shu Tzou took over the design work.

The first installation was designed and built by the owners. It describes an inverted mountain landscape through the manipulation of a single geometric tile. The patchwork of tiles shift in tone creating two interwoven color gradients. The landscape is multiplied by mirrors attached to the wall behind the bar counter. Below the ceiling, dark, unadorned surfaces are used to emphasize the presence of the ceiling installation. The walls are spackled with a blend of plaster and black house paint. The floor is poured asphalt. All furnishings are a mixture of steel, black MDF boards, and dark, stained oak. The lighting is a flexible system of stage spots and construction strobes.

Sel et Gras : the small french restaurant

Sel et Gras is French for Salt and Fat which is the first indication that this isn’t your typical French restaurant. Sel et Gras is here to buck the system, making you surrender all of your preconceived notions with stuffy French food, and roll up your sleeves for some bold and flavorful dishes.

This particular restaurant rightfully contests the title of the smallest fully equipped restaurant in Manhattan NY. Boasting 14 tables, it can accommodate roughly 32 people. The dining room is covered in graffiti and filled with aluminum chairs. The menu features mostly French cuisine dishes, with soups, tartes, oysters and croquettes, being some amongst them.

Read some reviews here, here and here.

24 January, 2013

a glimpse into Corporate America

Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, military control or corporate ties. Oligarchy should not be associated always as a rule by wealth (the appropriate term for that being plutocracy), although wealth is a common distinguishing factor. Oligarchs can simply be a privileged group, and do not have to be connected by bloodlines as in a monarchy [1]

Corporate oligarchy is a form of power, governmental or operational, where such power effectively rests with a small, elite group of inside individuals, sometimes from a small group of educational institutions, or influential economic entities or devices, such as banks, media producers and broadcasters, commercial entities, lobbyists that act in complicity with, or at the whim of the oligarchy, often with little or no regard for constitutionally protected prerogative. Monopolies are sometimes granted to state-controlled entities, such as the Royal Charter granted to the East India Company, or privileged bargaining rights to unions (labor monopolies) with very partisan political interests. Today's multinational corporations function as corporate oligarchies with influence over democratically elected officials. The severity of the effect increases as corporations transcend the national borders and become transnationals.

Corporatocracy is a term used to suggest an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests. The term was used by author John Perkins in his 2004 book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man", where he described corporatocracy as a collective composed of corporations, banks, and governments. This collective is known as what author C. Wright Mills would call the "Power Elite". The Power Elite are wealthy individuals who hold prominent positions in Corporatocracies. These individuals control the process of determining society's economic and political policies. [2]

Corporate America et al.
Interlocking directorates (defined as the linkages among corporations created by individuals who sit on two or more corporate boards) have been a source of research attention since the Progressive Era at the turn of the 20th century. Today corporate interlocks are analyzed with bigger databases and sophisticated network programs. And the idea that the few dominate the many will not come as news to those gathered either to "occupy wall street" or to "occupy everywhere". But up until these current days it has been more or less a "conspiracy theory" level event, that a few corporations could control the global market and essentially the world.

An organised study led by S. Vitali of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, showed that out of over 43,000 transnational corporations (TNCs), relatively few control almost 80% of the global economy. The team found a core of 1318 companies (mostly financial services companies) with an average of 20 control links each amongst themselves. These 1318 companies represent only 0.7% of the TNCs but 18.7% of the revenue of all TNCs. When one adds in the 59.8% of the revenues from companies on the wing of the bow-tie controlled by those in the knot, these companies control almost 80% of the global economy. And to top that, "4/10 of the control over the economic value of TNCs in the world is held, via a complicated web of ownership relations, by a group of 147 TNCs in the core, which has almost full control over itself." [3], [4]

An article back in 2005 by G.W. Domhoff concluded that : "… many corporate leaders don't just sit at their home corporation attending to their own business. Through meeting together on boards of directors, those who are interlocking directors develop social cohesion and shared perspectives to go with their economic power bases. This is why such people are the core of the leadership group for the upper class and the corporate community, which I call the power elite. However, we should not make too much out of the exact shape of the interlock network at any given moment because too much can change when the corporate network is no longer made up strictly of owners and financiers who are using their directorships to coordinate their economic interests." [5]

The truth is that by opting out the facts that individuals tend to band together and to the strongest leaders, and simply that oligarchy has been a most successful model in accumulating wealth and exerting power control all along since the Ancient days, which logically points us towards the reasons why we see such corporate concentration, we are in danger of literally masking a real stability risk for the global economy, with an illuminati-global-conspiracy-type-hollywood-drama-thriller, and end up with a mere witch hunt, which in turn will only be a very convenient down rating of the whole issue. 

"About 2400 years ago a Greek general named Pericles stood before an Athens audience and proclaimed, "We are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not the few, with equal justice to all alike in their private dispute." Let this current Greek crisis serve as a reminder to all of us that democracy is under attack today. It will only survive if you and I (the People) insist on governments that are "in the hands of the many and not the few." [7]

As corporations become increasingly interdependent, and their workings and influence globally coordinated, some do try to navigate the apparent endless maze. 

LittleSis is a project of Public Accountability Initiative, a 501(c)3 organization focused on corporate and government accountability that receives financial support from the Sunlight Foundation, Harnisch Foundation, and Elbaz Family Foundation, and benefit from free software written by the open source community. Their work focuses on bringing transparency to influential social networks by tracking the key relationships of politicians, business leaders, lobbyists, financiers, and their affiliated institutions.

LittleSis features interlinked profiles of powerful individuals and organizations in the public and private sectors. Profiles detail a wealth of information vital to any investigation of the ways power and money guide the formulation of public policy, from board memberships to campaign contributions, old school ties to government contracts. The site currently offers profiles of 79884 people and 27169 organizations in varying stages of completion. These include, but are not limited to:

Politicians: members of Congress since 1979, governors since 1974, Bush and Obama administration officials.
Business people: Fortune 1000 executives and directors, members of the Forbes 400.
Lobbyists who have lobbied on behalf of Fortune 1000 companies.
Government bodies: US House & Senate; agencies ranging from the Department of Defense to the IRS.
Businesses: Fortune 1000 companies, lobbying firms, top law firms, and other private companies.
Non-profits such as foundations, think tanks, and political organizations.

LittleSis offers some data about these people and organizations themselves, but it's focus is on the relationships between them. There are currently 475186 relationships linking entities profiled in the database.

They Rule aims to provide a glimpse of some of the relationships of the US ruling class. It takes as its focus the boards of some of the most powerful U.S. companies, which share many of the same directors. Some individuals sit on 5, 6 or 7 of the top 1000 companies. It allows users to browse through these interlocking directories and run searches on the boards and companies. A user can save a map of connections complete with their annotations and email links to these maps to others. They Rule is a starting point for research about these powerful individuals and corporations. They Rule is an online tool where you can map and visualize board interlocks. You can look up specific people or simply play around and click to see various interlocks. 

Some interesting information related to the subject herein, either directly or as a "spin-off", that I didn't want to include in the main body.

Time stamps for this interview :
0:00:10 Defining the Corporatocracy, the revolving door policy
0:04:00 Defining an Economic Hitman, creating a global empire
0:06:25 The assassination of Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán, President of Guatemala
0:07:50 The assassination of Jaime Roldós Aguilera, President of Ecuador
0:11:20 The assassination of Salvador Allende, President of Chile
0:13:20 The assassination of Omar Torrijos, President of Panama
0:16:00 Killing Manuel Noriega (Panama) together with 2000 civilians
0:20:35 Replacing Mohammad Mosaddegh (President of Iran) with a dictator
0:23:20 Hugo Chavez (President of Venezuela) as key figure for a democratic revolution
0:27:15 Saddam Hussein (President of Irak), Military as the last option
0:30:30 The "divide and conquer"-principle, chaos as a tool, Africa
0:34:25 Causality, Problems resulting from destoying the economies of poor countries
0:36:00 Top military people don't want war, corporations want war
0:37:25 Desperate people : "Guerillas", "communists", "terrorists"
0:43:50 Replacing the Gold Standard with the Oil Standard
0:48:00 Energy and consumption, oil as an instrument of control
0:51:40 Reflections, transforming the empire
0:54:20 Greed as a measure of "success", maximizing profit at any cost
0:58:25 Sustainability - Absurd question : Should we become sustainable ?
1:02:00 Fate of Coincidence, how to react to coincidence, future generations
1:04:45 Change - How to make the world a better place ?
1:08:15 End of interview

Oiligarchy is a playable commentary on the oil industry. The player takes the role of an “oiligarch” managing the extraction business in the homeland and overseas and lobbies the government to keep the carbon-fossil based economy as profitable as possible. Now you can be the protagonist of the petroleum era. Explore and drill around the world, corrupt politicians, stop alternative energies and increase the oil addiction. Be sure to have fun before the resources begin to deplete !

The average CEO pay of companies in the S&P 500 Index rose to $12.94 million in 2011. Overall, the average level of CEO pay in the S&P 500 Index increased 13.9 percent in 2011, following a 22.8 percent increase in CEO pay in 2010. CEOs supposedly deserve all this money for increasing shareholder value. Runaway CEO pay is one reason why income inequality is growing in the United States. A Congressional Budget Office report found that inequality has risen dramatically, with the top 1 percent receiving most of the income growth between 1979 and 2007. [6]

Resources, should you wish to expand more on the subjects :

The evolving spaces of Life Edited

Since 1950, the average American consumes 6 times more energy and carries 24 times more personal debt. He uses 3 times more living space, but still doesn’t have enough room to store his stuff, a fact made clear by a 22B USD personal storage industry. Despite this excess (or perhaps because of it), we find ourselves no happier than we were 60 years ago. Most of us realize it’s relationships and experiences–not possessions–that make us happy. Why don’t we design our homes, products and lifestyles accordingly? [1]

LifeEdited is answering those questions directly. It started in 2009 when Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger.com, launched a competition to design his compact New York City apartment. Living in New York City isn't all adventure and dynamism. Unless you are really wealthy, you would probably have to settle for a living space that ends up cramped and cluttered. The resulting work from Hill's competition was a constantly evolving space, making it into a living embodiment of the ‘edited’ lifestyle. Following Hill’s popular TED talk about the apartment, he realized he wasn’t the only one craving a better, simpler life.

When you walk in, you encounter what is, at first glance, a small studio apartment. Within that cube are actually 8 functional spaces. The living room and office become the bedroom with a tug of a bookshelf. Open one of the closets and you'll find 10 stackable chairs that go around a telescopic dining table for large dinner parties. An entire guest room with bunk-beds and a closet is revealed behind a wall that slides out on tracks. And of course, a well-equipped kitchen and bathroom await. For the full set of photos go here.

welcome dear reader.


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