Archive for March, 2010

My Ninja, Please! 3/15/10: New York’s Official Condom

"After tallying more than 15,000 online ballots," New York City’s Health Department reports, "the winning design for the special limited-edition NYC Condom wrapper … is the electronic power button submitted by Luis Acosta of Kew Gardens, Queens. With more than 23% of the votes, Acosta’s entry squeaked past four other finalists to claim first place." LINK


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Posted: March 15th, 2010
at 9:25am by Black Ock

Categories: too good to be true,fo' real?,health

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4N MVT01/D01/42

In almost a widescreen TV style case, the 4N watch will be available in 18k white gold, platinum, and likely two other materials. The movement is made up mostly of titanium, aluminum alloys, and carbon fiber. There is really no denying how cool it looks. The relatively simple shape of the case is augmented by the complex lug structures. A genius design move making the watch really feel special. It almost goes without saying that the watch is quite special.

Thanks to our ninja, JC, for this post. Quotes, pics, and originals are via

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Posted: March 15th, 2010
at 9:06am by Black Ock

Categories: gear

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MeetAmidori-san, the first blogging houseplant! Through sensors connected to the leaves of this Sweetheart Hoya, bioelectric currents are read through the plant, which gives information about the lighting condition, temperature and humidity; this then becomes Japanese sentences as created by the Keio University Hiroya Tanaka Laboratory.>

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Posted: March 14th, 2010
at 7:52pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: the column

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Check out the link below at the Art21 Blog in whether or not art has to be ethical.>

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Posted: March 14th, 2010
at 7:50pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: the column

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Muzak Video Sunday 3.14.10

Good looks to Charlie on help with today’s silly, bluesy and perhaps psychedelic playlist.

Deuce Poppi - My White Friends

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Method Man - The Riddler

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The Stanley Brothers - How Mountain Gals Can Love

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R.L. Burnside - Poor Black Mattie

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Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band - Live in Detroit

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Posted: March 14th, 2010
at 2:12pm by Black Ock

Categories: muzak video sundays

Comments: 1 comment

A Dozen : Kathleen Letts

This week for the A Dozen feature, we touch base with Kathleen Letts, Aa very talented artist from Chicago. Be on the lookout here on the internets for her art in the near future, as MNP is working with her on a new and amazing art project that should be ready around late April. The artist and outstanding community would be grateful if you left a comment, so please do so!

I Dream of Spring

How did you get your start in the visual arts?

It all started with mud pies…my earliest memories are of making little pots from the mud in a wooded clearing near our house in rural Kansas.A I must have been 4 or 5.A Later I branched out to figures that I made out of cloth and wood scraps from my mother’s sewing basket and my father’s wood shop, which I sold to family and friends.A I remember that my most expensive art work at the time was priced at $ .50.A Mom thought it was a little overpriced!

I think that artists are born, not made, and the most critical component of the artistic temperament is the patience -or the compulsion-to work a piece through to completion.

Where and from whom did you get your technical base?

I have an MFA from Yale Drama School in set and costume design, so my skill set is slightly different from what the graduate of a visual arts school would have. Ming Cho Lee, a reknowned set designerA who has designed numerous sets for the Metropolitan Opera and other internationally know theaters as well asA the Chinese Courtyard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was an important mentor of mine.A He is famous for his very beautiful drafting, and is responsible for my love of the pencil drawing.A I have worked as a set designer for the Juilliard School, Yale Repertory Theater and the Alaska Repertory Theater among others.A Over time, I found the intensively collaborative nature of working in the theater difficult and discovered more scope for personal expression in the solitary practice of fine art.


What styles do you incorporate into your art?

I consider myself an expressionist; I’m more concerned with conveying the feeling of being alive rather than with rendering a pictorial likeness of someone or something.A I want to convey something direct and visceral to the viewer that transcends cognitive thought.

Some people have described my style as "cubist" butA the resemblance is more apparent than real.A I am an interested student of art history and have been influenced by"outsider art", australian aboriginal art, the Chicago "who" and Brazilian street art among others—I am alwaysA looking!

When do you feel that a piece is finished?

I think it was Robert Louis Stevenson who said "editing is the only art."

Knowing when a piece is complete is at the foundation of every artist’s unique art practice and is different with each artist.A I usually find I am finished with an art work when I manage to surprise myself.

Great Lakes Cormorant

Who if anyone would you like to collaborate with?

If I wanted to collaborate regularly I would have stayed in theater.A Having said that, I have collaborated with other artists-and non-artists-on public art works and would consider doing it again, depending on the project.

How do you view technology being integrated with art?

I’m in favor of it, when it’s well done, which it often isn’t. A A couple of successful practitioners are William Kentridge (animation) and Bill Viola (video).A I sometimes think artists feel they "should" incorporate the latest technological bells and whistles in an effort to be "modern".A But, toA paraphrase Laurie Anderson (no slouch in the area of technological innovation herself) it’s possible to be very "modern" with a paper and pencil.

Great Lakes Cormorant

What makes visual art different from other forms of expression?

Great visual art has the capacity to contact the viewer on a level deeper than cognition and beyond speech.A It waits quietly for human attention, then rewards it over time by altering our experience of the real world.

If you were reviewing your work from afar, how would you critique it?

I critique my work every day in the studio in my effort to make the best work I can with the talent and materials I have.A I don’t think it’s possible for an artist to be completely objective about his/her work before a "cooling off" period after the work is completed.A Usually after that I am surprised at how much I like it.


How have you seen your work evolve over the years?

I find I’m able to get to the essence of the work more quickly and directly than when I first began to make art.

How would you position yourself in the art world if you had to do it again?

I would definitely choose to be a man.A And I’d marry an art critic.


Which audiences do you want to connect with?

I’m not picky.A Ideally I’d like to be universally loved and admired.

What is your opinion on the arts within the education system?

In the visual arts I think that on the elementary level schools do reasonably well, but the quality of instruction and the commitment of the students seems to fall steadily thereafter.A It would be great if schools could teach aesthetics- that is, visual literacy-not just how to make art, but how to look at it.

:: All images courtesy of the artist, Kathleen Letts ::

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Posted: March 12th, 2010
at 6:41pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: contemporary,a dozen

Comments: 16 comments

The History of the Honey Trap

Five lessons for would-be James Bonds and Bond girls — and the men and women who would resist them.>

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Posted: March 12th, 2010
at 1:49pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: security

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the Internet for Nobel Peace Prize 2010

(ANSA) - Rome, March 11 - House Speaker Gianfranco Fini on Thursday threw his weight behind an initiative launched by an Italian tech magazine to award the Internet with this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

"We’re finally realizing that the Internet is not just a computer network. It’s a web of human relationships - of men and women from every latitude - who connect across the greatest communications platform man has ever seen," he told parliament during an address on web freedom.

Fini was joined by some 160 MPS in signing Wired Italia’s appeal to nominate the Internet for the world’s most distinguished civic service accolade.

"Meeting with each other has always been the best antidote to violence and hate. It gives all of us the chance to plant the seeds for peace"."A Nobel peace prize for the Internet would be an award for everyone," he concluded.

Wired Italia launched its appeal last November in a video posted to its website ( entitled the Internet for Peace Manifesto.
Its nomination was officially accepted by the Norwegian Nobel Committee last month, according to Wired.

Early supporters for the drive included 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Iranian rights activist Shirin Ebadi, fashionAmogul Giorgio Armani and cancer research pioneer and former Italian health minister Umberto Veronesi.

Governments in Uganda, Mozambique and Paraguay have also backed the Web’s Nobel bid.

Wired Italia is one of two international editions of Wired Magazine, a San Francisco based monthly on trends in technology, politics and culture.>

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"Imperial Power" Auctions

HONG KONGaAmong Chinese collectors of antiquities, power and patriotism sell, or at least that is the assumption Sotheby’s is making as it prepares for the spring auction season next month.

A collection of rare objects owned by Qing dynasty emperors will fall under the hammer, including a white jade seal carved for Emperor Qianlong that is expected to fetch more than US$6.5 million. Other imperial memorabilia for sale will include an eighteenth-century ceremonial pearl necklace and a ruyi scepter carved of boxwood, both believed to have been owned by Emperor Yongzheng.

The theme of the promotional materials, "Imperial Power," is designed to appeal to collectors from China keen to buy artwork and antiquities from their own country, said Nicolas Chow, Sotheby’s senior director for China and Southeast Asia. Many are business people, often with "a clear sense they are buying their history back," he said.

For these buyers, an association with power and authority carries more clout than the usual approach taken with Western buyers of Asian collectibles. That approach is summed up by the title of a catalog for the same April 8 Hong Kong auction presented to Sotheby’s European and North American clients: "Objects of Contemplation.">

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Posted: March 11th, 2010
at 2:10pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: contemporary,auctions

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