I guess today is the day of portraits. Fast on the heals of McBush comes junk food Rosie. Without digressing into any possible implications of the chosen medium on the subject, I'll just say it's brilliant and amazing. I love it. And I love Rosie. Artist Jason Mecier has also created similar portrait of other celebrities which can be seen HERE.
I love this piece of commentary on GWB. After the Bush Library reportedly backed out of a portrait they had commissioned from British artist Jonathan Yeo, the artist went ahead with it anyways. The portrait is a collage made from the fragments of a hundred porn magazines. I am not sure whether the Bushes backed out because of the pornography or because the painting is a metaphorical comment on what Dubya has done to our country. It's currently on display at London's Lazarides Gallery in Soho. via Towleroad.
A new law banning all billboards, posters, and advertisements took effect at the beginning of 2007 in Sao Paulo, Brazil in an effort to clean up the urban environment. It has, of course, made a drastic impact on the cityscape. Makes me wonder what some of America's large cities would look like without ads. Perhaps it may stimulate the creation of more public art. Check out the pictures by photographer Tony de Marcom who documented the tearing down process at Ping Mag and de Marco's Flikr site "Sao Paulo No Logo."
I came across this radio station a couple of days ago. Although projects like this that aim to encourage communication between the Jewish and Muslim communities are not novel ideas nowadays, they are definitely commendable for their efforts. I haven't caught many of the talk shows yet - mostly just music so far. I'm tuning in as I write this and they just played Talk Talk, The Verve, Garbage, and David Bowie. Last night they played some Jewish contemporary music. The station is based out of Bristol and aims to encourage dialogue and understanding between the Muslim and Jewish communities. Please check out their official site HERE.
On a related note, I've been avidly reading and watching Aljazeera lately. As of November, 2006 they now have an English news site complete with video broadcasts. Check it out HERE.
Who knew? Chinese officials are expressing great concerns over the growing number obese Chinese children - largely (no pun intended) due to inactivity. In a 2006 report, the time period between 1985 and 2000 showed a 28-fold increase in childhood obesity in China. Because of these concerns, the Ministry of Education has instituted a dance program beginning September 2007 which they hope will reduce the number of couch potatoes in the country. Maybe they could use some of Jackie Chan's XGT Energy. Full story via BBC.
In a city of 2 million where only 150,000 own bicycles, can Parisians be persuaded to give up their cars for free bicycles scattered throughout the city to use for short distance travel? The Paris municipality thinks their plan, called "Velib", may help to alleviate some part of the traffic congestion that Paris is known for. The city council has deposited 20,000 heavy-duty bikes around the city at 750 different locations which people can pick up and return to any other Velib location. Cost is free for the first 30 minutes then increases incrementally after that. Bikes are "checked out" using cards that double as Paris Metro cards. For more details check out BBC. or the Official Velib Site.
In case you missed it, here's the video of the fist fight that broke out in the Alabama Senate when Democratic Senator Lowell Barron called Republican Senator Charles Bishop a "son of a bitch". This is hardly shocking compared to what must be daily occurrences when the Taiwanese Congress is in session.
One of the prerequisites of being a geek is having the passion for something out-of-the-ordinary. I would think that making portraits out of toast would definitely qualify. Check out these pictures of a toast portrait of Murat Kurnaz made by someone in Berline out of toasts of varying degrees of "burntness." Amazing.
(Click to enlarge) Article courtesy of Philip Foeckler.
A recent UCLA study says that college kids today are more narcissistic than ever and current technology is facilitating the trend. Is anyone surprised by those conclusions? From a psychiatric standpoint narcissists tend to lack empathy, react aggressively to criticism and favor self-promotion over helping others. They exhibit attention-seeking behavior, be it filming themselves a la 'Jackass' or auditioning for American Idol. To this end, the mainstream culture's obsession with voyeurism fuels this, ie MySpace and YouTube (how many more John Stewart wannabes do we need to see on there?) Not to say this isn't acceptable behavior, per say, as narcissism is regarded as essential in social functioning and ego formation. However, the study asserts that narcissists "are more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived, at risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth, and to exhibit game-playing, dishonesty, and over-controlling and violent behaviors." Oh, and by the way, this blog is in no way a call out for attention. nah uh.