Friday, February 18, 2011

recreating your own childhood

From Irina Werning's amazing Back to the Future photo series:

Yes, these are people recreating their own childhood portraits. Fascinating how the personalities didn't shift, but in fact deepened. I'd also love to know how Werning approached her lighting, camera package, and Photoshopping to match images from a few decades ago.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

images that stick

A historic vote in Sudan - the handiness of this ballot design blows me away. How best to convey to an illiterate voter the choice between a union and a secession? I find this solution very elegant.

World Press Photo winners - the blankness of his eyes frightens me, yet there's something I find compellingly timeless about this picture overall. Maybe it's the amusing juxtaposition of the Cyrillic alphabet and the Donald Duck outfit, but I also like the white-on-white glow of this image.

a Rube Goldberg-esque musical gutter system - cute in a Tim Burton sort of way, and it might also sound nifty in a storm. I feel like it's missing a pinwheel in there somewhere, though.

Half Pipe Threadless t-shirt - I'm a huge fan of Rene Magritte, and the quality (plus wit) of this image really impresses me. It almost seems too nice to stick on a t-shirt, or is that just me?

135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show - I think I've seen variants of this image over and over again in various cartoons from the past century or two. What is it about large, overdecorated ladies and their small, neurotic dogs that makes the concept so persistent in our culture?

Friday, February 11, 2011

I want to be Grace Jones and Tank Girl when I grow up

I find it interesting that they're both very feminine and very masculine, and they somehow manage to blend all that with a great sense of humor. I also love their whole desert-primal-meets-sci-fi thing, even though I personally favor a Cyndi-Lauper-meets-Kate-Spade thing, and I'd like to think that lurking not so deeply within me is an element of Jones's and Tank Girl's fearless, punk-rock power.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

wonderfully terrible brand extensions and beyond

I really, really do love terrible brand extensions, in much the same way that I love Family Feud, Charo, and Pringles Extreme Screamin' Dill Pickle. I am not ashamed to admit any of this.

Anyway, this was originally going to be a post that was strictly about my favorite terrible brand extensions, but then it somehow got away from me and turned into a post about various dumb products that I think are actually ingenious.

My Favorite Terrible Brand Extensions Which Are So Fabulously Horrible They Make Me Hurl

BIC Perfumes
According to this site, these are still available in Tehran.

Girls Gone Wild Apparel
What really clinches this for me as fantastically terrible is this quote from the creator, Joe Francis: "[T]here's a little Girls Gone Wild in every woman and our clothing line helps them to express that."

Play-Doh Perfume

Cheetos Lip Balm
For the oh-so-kissable gal.

Hello Kitty Beer
Hello Kitty Retainers
Helly Kitty Frozen Beef Patties
Hello Kitty Motor Oil
Hello Kitty Men's Briefs
Hello Kitty Vibrator
Hello Kitty Tooth Caps
Hello Kitty Burqa
I truly could not make any of this stuff up. I may be scarred for life.

From the Department of Surprisingly Useful Gag Gifts

White Castle Candles
This sounds truly delicious to me. If you've actually smelled this before, let me know how it compares to the real stuff.

Urine Sample Candy
A stupendous way to freak out people you don't want hanging around anyway.

Squeez Bacon
Now you can have the deliciousness of bacon without the smelliness of frying it up yourself. Anybody try this in a BBQ sauce recipe yet?

Baby Mops
If/when I have a child, I'm seriously putting them in this 24/7. Almost as brilliant as Swiffer Sleepers.

ESSLACK Spray-Can Metallic Food Coloring
The brilliance of this is self-evident. Bling up your salads, burritos, spaghetti, etc.

Emergency Yodel Button
I'm one of those non-Teutonic oddballs who genuinely enjoys yodeling. I'd actually use this rather often.

Freeloader Fork
There've been times I've been dining with folks who let me sample their food, but they were sitting rather far away and we all had to engage in some uncomfortable leaning, climbing on the table, passing a single fork along with a sample on it, and so forth. This device truly takes care of this issue once and for all.

Illuminated Jeweler's Loupe Eyeglasses
If I were a craftsperson who did detailed work, I'd probably use these every day.

Skin Art Bandages
For simultaneously protecting scrapes and trying out a tattoo you're too chicken to actually get.

U/V Spy Pen
It's an idea that's been around forever, and it's still brilliant.

Wall Street Guru Ball
I've taken an introductory finance course, and it turns out that finance is truly this arbitrary. The only thing better than this ball for deciding your stock portfolio is having a monkey throw darts at the Wall Street Journal every morning.

World's Largest Tweezers
For those who need idiot-proof chopsticks.

Rain Drum Umbrella
I'm truly curious to know what this sounds like, as well as how irritating it gets after a while. This could be amazing as portable performance art.