Moderns

typed for your pleasure on 29 January 2007, at 11.39 am

Sdtrk: ‘An American in Paris’ by Severed heads

When accumulating info/pics/facts/crap for my world-famous ‘This was the Future’ series, now and again, I’ll run across some neat bit of architectural or design anachronism, but it’s simply too modern to feature as a segment of that series. However, noteworthiness always deserves recognition, which is why they stuck stars to kids’ foreheads back in gradeschool. So here’s a couple of retro-future things that have a wee bit more emphasis on the future than the retro.

First off, the ‘“Oneself” Bathroom for Person who Lives Itself‘. I couldn’t have put it better myself, honestly.

Our world packed sewer, packed barriers. The Oneself project – a bathroom for person who lives itself. For it each wall spare and him necessary each square metre for selfrealization. There is no bathroom, there is simply wall.

And there is no Dana, only Zuul, for that matter. For those of you who don’t speak fractured English, basically it’s the component parts of a bathroom, secretly integrated into the wall of the bedroom. That bog in particular kinda reminds me of Mal Reynolds’ toilet onboard the Serenity. When your business is done, you just slide it back into the wall. Quite efficient!

Next up, the apartment building known as Suite Vollard, located in Curitiba, Brazil. Upon first glance, it seems like a regular, if somewhat chi-chi, resort hotel. But it has a secret feature — all of the 11 apartments of the building rotate. It’s as if someone saw Marina City, and decided to strap engines to its infrastructure.


Does whimsical pipe-organ music play when the flats are in
motion? It had better

From the interior of the Suite Vollard building, no landscape is fixed. With the mere pressing of a button, residents of each of the 11 apartments can have 360º panoramic view of the city.

Each apartment has its own independent engine system, which can be engaged with a remote control. A complete clockwise or counterclockwise 360º turn takes one hour and the system is equipped with a programming timer.

The apartments have 2885 ft and are surrounded by 323 ft of glass balconies that give access to all rooms through the doors, placed at every 90º. The central area of the apartment does not move in which the kitchen, bathrooms, maid bedroom, laundry area, and barbecue grill are located.
text taken from this site

All that, plus a bedroom for the maid, eh? Huh. Well, I suppose that if you’re living in a high-rise penthouse in Brazil that rotates, then having a maid is merely part and parcel.

When I was younger, I thought my ideal situation would be to buy an RV and live in it. I’d simply drive it to the lot of whatever workplace I was at and park it there for an extended period of time, and have a Vespa or a Lambretta to tool about the local roads on. As I grew older, a couple of realisations occured:
1) I began buying more and more space-consuming things
2) Having your home on the same lot as your workplace isn’t really conducive to skiving off work — not that I ever do that sort of thing, you understand
3) Riding a scooter during the Winter is probably not the best idea a person could have
Despite all of that, I might readopt my plan if I could afford one of these — a refitted London double decker bus that you can live in, courtesy of Double Decker Living. How fab is that?


Of course I’d paint a Union Jack on mine somewhere

On the outside it looks like an ordinary London double decker bus. But take a step inside and you will find a kitchen, shower, sitting room and five beds.

A fleet of Leyland Olympian buses that were retired from service two years ago have been given a new lease of life as the latest solution to the capital’s housing crisis.

A company called Double Decker Living has converted eight buses with private sleeping areas upstairs and living space downstairs.

[…] There are solar panels on the roof and recycling bins to make the buses as environmentally friendly as possible.

Kinda reminds me of one of comedian Steven Wright’s hoary Surrealist joke chestnuts: ‘I put my car key in my door lock by mistake, and when I turned it, the whole building started up.’ *pauses for added comic effect* ‘So I took it for a drive. A police officer stopped me and asked, “Where do you live?” I said, “Right here.”‘

And finally, two week-ends ago, Detroit was host once again to the North American International Auto Show; or as we just call it round here in the tri-county area, the Auto show. Every couple of years I try to catch it, as I like wandering round the Volkswagen and the MINI exhibits, even though the last couple of times, I haven’t been able to climb into a MINI, as there are too many damned people milling round. And it’s around that time that I remember why I hate crowds. Anyway, I missed the 2007 one, as I was skint — my paycheque was laughable, due to missing four out of five days because of the grippe — but I would’ve been there in a heartbeat had I known the Aero X by Saab was to be displayed there. Have you seen this thing? It… it is magnificent.


It also transforms into Flight Mode

Now I, much like any aesthete, love the concept of gull-wing car doors. But the Aero X features an entire canopy that lifts open to admit occupants. It also boasts an economically-friendly engine, the ability to go 0 – 60 mpg in 4.9 seconds, and some other bollocks, but I’m looking at those pics, and all I see is ‘sexatronic perspex green-illuminated dashboard’ and ‘opening fecking canopy that’s so awesome it’s awesomn‘. This is the result of European engineering that also develops aircraft in its spare time. Well done, Sweden!

Modern design: it’s not all rubbish!
Well, I think I’ve gotten that out of my system

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Brotherhood

typed for your pleasure on 25 January 2007, at 6.37 pm

Sdtrk: ‘As it is when it was’ by New order

On my way to work this morning, I had to make a stop at a service station — most people have coffee to get them going, whereas I’d much rather have a Dr pepper. I pulled in, left the warmth of my car for the 15ºF weather, and walked briskly inside. After paying for a 20oz bottle of said beverage, not five seconds after stepping back out, I heard ‘hey mon, you got any spare change on you?’ yelled in my direction. I glanced up, and spotted some individual standing at the bus stop gesturing at me lazily. As I was in a hurry to get going; plus human interaction in near-freezing conditions with some spurious person I didn’t know is fifty times worse than in any other situation, I shook my head and gave a cursory shrug in response, before I scrambled back into my car and locked the door.

As I was pulling off the premises, I had to peer left, in order to look for a break in the oncoming traffic, and the tosser was standing in my line of sight about ten feet away. He held his joint aloft — at least, I assumed it was a joint, by the way he was holding it — with a big smile, as if to say ‘hey mon, it’s all good,’ but all that really served to do was make me feel more alienated

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Videos, and how I can’t find them

typed for your pleasure on 23 January 2007, at 12.37 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Pan’s garden’ by Belbury Poly

FYI: three new video clips have been uploaded to Shi-chan’s Dailymotion page; some pervy, some not so much. But I regret not locating a really good karakuri video for her to post this month. As we start running out of Synthetiks clips, however, that might well change…

And I’m rather cranky that I still haven’t been able to procure a single video of the new and improved EveR-2 Muse. (This one doesn’t count, as that’s the old new and improved EveR-2 Muse.) *narrows eyes to flinty slits* Hangul, your angle-and-oval-based characters vex me.
In some aspects, life should be like a Flinstones cartoon; strike someone on the back of the head with a rolling pin, and suddenly, they know a foreign language, like Portuguese.

In the meantime, enjoy the videos! But I leave you with a sordid reminder of what we’re missing out on. Happy 23rd!


She still sings horrible pop shite, but she’s a Gynoid, so it’s more palatable

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Automata aren’t that recent, y’know

typed for your pleasure on 21 January 2007, at 2.28 am

Sdtrk: ‘Franz Ferdinand might be from Glasgow and that’s alright but their music is a pile of pussy fucking shite and then christ destroys us’ by Jansky noise

It’s entirely reassuring to know that there are still a number of people alive in Japan, that still know how to construct karakuri. Even more reassuring is the fact that they’ve made the knowledge available to others, ensuring it’ll never be lost to obscurity. So you’ll be pleased to learn that the company Karakuriya, who specialise in building karakuri dolls to the original Edo-era (1603 to 1867) specs, have a number of models on offer. Get those wallets ready though, as the average price runs about — brace yourself — $8000 USD.


Left: in work clothes. Right: off the clock

Karakuri dolls were the first automata in Japan.
Their movements are caused by the power of springs, mercury and sand. You can build them and take them apart easily without ever using metallic screws or nails. […] Karakuri dolls are a representative of the highest technology in the Edo period.
It was difficult to pass the tradition down from generation to generation, because their production required not only the knowledge, but also a high level of craftsmanship.
It is called as a treasure trove since few original designs from those days still exist, and complete ones are even more rare.

If I had a choice between purchasing one of these and, say, a MyPartyDoll, the answer’s embarrassingly clear-cut. But you definitely have to admire the dedication of the craftsmanship behind each karakuri ningyou. Two different types of wood, silk fabrics and gold brocade for the clothes, and special clay used to sculpt the hand-painted head. And each one is made-to-order, as they take 20 – 40 days to carve, paint, and assemble.
And remember, if you don’t exactly have the dosh on hand to splash out for the more ‘luxury’ version, there’s always the more reasonably-priced version; a snip at $170 USD. Hmmm. *stroking chin*

I’m sure you’ll be able to find out a shedload more information about karakuri at nippon-karakuri.com, but as of this writing, they’re still working on their English page. Nevertheless!
Also, I’ll have Sidore post a karakuri video or two to her Dailymotion.com page on the usual update date of the 23rd — if I can find the clip, that is. It’s around here somewhere

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Bellsbellsbellsbellsbells

typed for your pleasure on 20 January 2007, at 10.46 am

Sdtrk: ‘Follow me in suicide’ by Pankow

On rare occasions, I still purchase vinyl LPs and the like, in order to maintain my indie cred. *barely stifles giggling* I recall a day about five or so years ago, I had been wandering through a Salvation Army store in Royal oak, and I’d found a copy of ‘Whipped cream and Other Delights‘ by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, over in their desperate-looking record section. It was actually in rather good condition, which was made even more appealing by its seventy-five cent pricetag. Soon afterwards at another thrift store location, I had spotted three more copies of that same album. It seemed too weird of a coincidence, and consequently, that holiday season I half-jokingly told my mates that I was going to buy everyone a copy of ‘Whipped cream and Other Delights’. Now I regret not having done so, but I’m sure if I go looking again, I’m fairly certain I can scare up some copies.
On the other hand, this bloke’s kinda taken things to extremes.

One Hundred Copies of Tubular Bells

On the 8th of February 2003, I decided to collect 100 copies Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells on second hand vinyl. For the next three years, I bought every copy I could find. The collection was complete in March 2006. […] But of course, Tubular Bells is music. What would 100 copies sound like when played together? The music was once perfect, then fractured into a million reproductions, each now decaying. Can we put the pieces back together again?

Going by his detailed acquisition records, the most he paid for a copy was nine quid, or just over $17 USD. For ‘Tubular bells’??
Playing all of his copies simultaneously would be rather ace, though. Kinda reminds me of what someone had once said about the Hafler trio: the best way to hear their records is to play three different releases on three turntables simultaneously. I approve!

Y’know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard ‘Tubular bells’ in its entirety. I suppose that if this bloke ever gets his performance underway, I don’t think anyone will need to hear ‘Tubular bells’ ever again

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From a Diner, to a duck

typed for your pleasure on 17 January 2007, at 9.27 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Happy, that’s me’ by Little Frankie

ATTENTION HUMANS: MontiLee, known to the bloggerverse (I despise that word) as Penda, has shut down her long-running Diner after seven acerbic years. Now, she’s helming a new site, called ‘little black duck‘. Go check it out! Or I will cut you.

That is all

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Be a Good Consumer

typed for your pleasure on 14 January 2007, at 11.13 pm

Sdtrk: ‘memory one’ by The caretaker

The only fab thing about being employed again? The money. Or, as Winnie the Pooh might have it, the munny.

Over the course of the past three days, I’ve purchased
+ an airsoft MP40, courtesy of the Bay of e, so I can pretend I’m with the Wehrmacht. With the exception of the highly-coveted P90, my airsoft collection is complete

+ volume 2 of Ultraman, in conjunction with a $10 BestBuy giftcard that I received on Christmas. Initially my plan was to either buy the Prisoner thinpack, or the ‘Doctor Who: The beginning’ box set, but I forgot I was at BestBuy. ‘If it’s not brand new, or a hot item popular with the masses, we ain’t got it.’ Fuckers. O well, I wasn’t even really looking for Ultraman v2, so it all worked out

+ Borders had Emailed me, saying I had until 31 Jan to use up my Holiday rewards savings (a grand total of $7.63), so I hit the location near my work and grabbed volume 2 of Monster, and an Audrey Hepburn calendar for 2007. Not my ideal choice for a calendar, but 1) they were 50% off, and 2) that was the best they had left out of their remaining selection. Thankfully, I’ve always found Audrey hot, so it’s okay. But at the register, I was informed that I’d need a hardcopy of that Email I got, in order to use my savings, as they start tallying savings for 2007 after 01 Jan. Ergh. So I guess I’ll be using my $7.63 to buy Monster v3

+ Also within the same quarter mile as BestBuy and Borders was a GameStop, where I used some trade-in credit dating back to 2005 to get $20 off Samurai warriors 2 finally. The trade-in receipts were yellow and fading, much to the register biscuit’s astonishment. ‘Dude… were these printed on the Declaration of Independence?’ he’d asked. I chuckled

+ My hex key set that I’d ordered through the corporate gift catalogues issued to us at work arrived through the post! From now on, if I ever have a hex placed upon me, I can unlock it with no trouble whatsoever

+ Finally, be witness unto my New Cellphone.

No idea why the pic is blurry — more than likely, it’s due to Shi-chan’s complete inability to hold still — but yes, those are gaily-decorated human skulls as my wallpaper. (If you’re fully intrigued, you can download a copy for yourself from here.) But it’s a Treo Smartphone by Palm, which means that unlike my old Kyocera 7135, it’s smaller, lighter, has a faster processor, a built-in QWERTY keyboard, a 1.3 MP camera, a camcorder, and won’t crash like three times a week. Summation: it is a sexay machine.

So yeah! Stuff Week, or as the Germans might have it, Stüfwoch. O wait — now what the hell is this??

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