• Weekendermain

    Nice shoes

Miscellaneous

The Weekender – empty paintings, theatre reviews and Coolio comes clean

Posted by Rob Alderson,

With winter drawing in, The Weekender has decided it’s about time it got a mate, a fellow whimsical culture round-up with whom to share days out, nights in and sushi binges. To this end The Weekender has been to see a flirting expert and is going to try out some of its new tricks on our dear readers if that’s ok (which we’re sure it is!). So here goes – Hello. I’m The Weekender (points at your shoes with whole arm) I like your shoes. Do you like days out, nights in and sushi binges? (Points at your hair with both arms) I like your hair. Do you want to see my room? – and scene! Money well spent I’m sure you’d agree. Bring on the nonsense!

Best of the site

This week we marvelled at the power of removing all the people from famous paintings, we loved this prism cabinet from the irrepressible Studio Swine and we were over Keith Negley’s brilliant illustrations (brillustartions if you will?).

Best of Best of the Web

Top of the class this week for Nowness’ glorious interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist, for Buzzfeed and the best Amazon reviews of all time and for The Guardian’s super behind-the-scenes photos of President Obama’s four years in the White House hotseat.

Best of the Rest

Big fans this week of Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell’s guide to Japanese authors (among other things) for The New York Times, the Stratigraphic Manufactury showcased on Dezeen and these photos of the exact moments visitors to a haunted house were spooked good and proper

Tweet of the Week

“I was taken to Madame Tussauds when I was 4 but I didn’t recognise any of the celebrities so I just thought it was a clothes shop.”
There’s something oddly moving about this revelation from @adamhess1.

Making the impossible possible video of the week

Question: What’s the only earthly way the ubiquitous aural affliction Gangnam Style could be any more annoying?
Answer: If it was done as a parody by pupils at uber elite public school Eton

Cultural boundary-pushing of the week

I’m sure we all like the theatre but it’s fair to say that theatre criticism is seen (rightly or wrongly) as a bit of a bastion of conservative cultural values. So what’s the way to breathe new life into this form of journalism? Ladies and gentlemen, we give you, the stunning Bros on Broadway which this week includes the line: “The show is basically a crazy nightmare full of sex and puke, which is actually pretty great.”

Bridge of the week

Broadly speaking I’m a fan of bridges, providing as they do a faultless means of crossing rivers, roads and homes for trolls. But then this concept for the trampoline bridge over the Seine came along and rendered all other bridges immediately and spectacularly rubbish. I want to bounce across the Thames from now on, or I’m just staying on this side.

Wi-fi network name of the week

This BBC piece about the rise in passive-aggressive (and indeed aggressive-aggressive) wi-fi names is really good, but whoever came up with the name “Pretty fly for a Wi-Fi" deserves a ruddy medal.

Solved conundrum of the week

I know you’ve been itching to crack the fiendish riddle “What’s the only thing Coolio’s been doing longer than rapping?” for some time and I’ve decided to put an end to your misery. So here’s the answer – thank me later.

Call me maybe?

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Miscellaneous View Archive

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    Haven’t you always wished you were a flippy-flappy ol’ slice of bread, flopping all over a perilous kitchen and collecting grime whilst simultaneously completing complicated missions? I have, which is why this new game I Am Bread is so exciting. It was developed in London by Bossa Studios who create Bafta-winning games such as Monstermind, Surgeon Simulator 2013, and Deep Dungeons of Doom.

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    Over recent weeks we’ve made a few ch-ch-changes here at It’s Nice That HQ and seeing as they’ve now all taken effect, we thought it made sense to bring y’all up to speed too. Rob Alderson, James Cartwright and Maisie Skidmore stay in their current roles as Editor-in-Chief, Print Editor and Assistant Editor respectively but elsewhere we’ve mixed things up a bit.

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    I spent the day yesterday at the Canvas Conference in Birmingham where I was blown away by a series of excellent talks, but in terms of pure wow factor organisers very much saved the best for last. UrtheCast (see what they did?) is a Vancouver-based tech start-up that installed cameras on the International Space Station, sending high res images of the earth back to its dedicated website. Founder and CEO Scott Larson gave a compelling presentation about how the team made it happen, how it works and how the imagery can be used. Through the website you can find out when the ISS will pass over your house and so can arrange something to be captured on its cameras, but what was more fascinating is the way that companies and governments might use the data; by monitoring the amount of vehicles in Chinese factories’ car parks for example, economists can make predictions about the country’s output.

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    There is something incredibly pleasing about this odd collection of passenger-less log flumes. Without the crowds of families and awkward first dates there’s something a little bit sad, maybe even philosophical about them. The photos have been collected by Falmouth grad Zef Cherry-Kynaston whose website boasts one of the most brilliant CVs in existence. “A log flume winds its way around a watery course and slowly climbs the lift hill,” Zef says on his site. “Reaching the top, it then hurtles down the slope. A camera flashes moments before the flume plunges into the water below. Splash! The resulting image is a souvenir; a snapshot of joyous exhilaration.”

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    People try for decades to become “good” designers, but sometimes your mate’s Dad can pull something out of the bag that trumps your every effort. Frustrated at the time it takes to build and launch paper planes, this man used cutting-edge 3D-printing technology to create a machine that does the hard work for you. Just when you think the design of the plane-wielding machine doesn’t look too exciting, he turns it upside down to reveal the intricate workings inside. How fantastic to see someone put 3D-printing to a unique and very silly use, rather than making something we’ve all seen before.

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    Recording people when they are…ahem..not themselves, is not commendable. Footage of someone off their tits is enough to make them lose their jobs but who are we to judge? It’s nearly Friday and someone’s just released a whole blog of GIFs made from footage of people losing it to deep house at Boiler Room. I love how if you were sober you would never, ever dance near the camera at the front of this infamous travelling night – but as soon as some booze (and maybe other substances) is consumed, BAM! There you are stroking a speaker as if it’s a fluffy pillow and gyrating as if your life depended on it. Well done to whoever made this. A big well done.

  7. List

    Before stumbling across Burning Questions I have to admit I wasn’t that familiar with New York-based designer James Victore’s impressive repertoire. His talents and projects span the creative disciplines making him part designer, part activist, part curator, part motivational speaker and (in this case) part agony aunt.

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    The Google robot is an odd creature. We have Marion Balac to thank for the discovery that, in a bid to maintain the anonymity of the people caught in its shots for Google Street View, the search engine blurs out every single face it comes into contact with. This includes the likes of Las Vegas’ Sphinx monument and giant gold-covered Buddhas, resulting in a bunch of monuments who have been forced into anonymity by the tech giant’s stringent privacy measures.

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    Here’s one of those projects that turns out to be way more interesting than it originally sounds, and it comes courtesy of San Francisco studio T2D (Tomorrow Today). Metragramme takes 32 of your Instagram pictures and combines them into a single image created via pixel-comparisons across the set. The result is therefore a kind of average Instagram picture, and although on first glance many of them look similar; when you explore each a little further you tease out intriguing details, as well as drawing broader conclusions about form and colour palette. We’ve included a few examples below but this is probably one of those tools you;re going to want to try out for yourself – you can visit the site here.

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    Sometimes the sad story of Arthur Russell’s life mixed with the whimsical howling and rousing sounds he creates is altogether too much to even bear – but we still torment ourselves, tuning in even when going through a break up or driving alone in the rain. When surreal, sad music is accompanied by something as funny as, say, The Muppets – something peculiar and unexpected can happen. In this edit by John Michael Boling we see a perfectly (and I mean perfectly) cut mash-up of Arthur Russell’s haunting That’s Us / Wild Combination and scenes from The Muppets Movie. The reason people think art is hard to make is because they don’t understand how such a simple idea or a wild combination can work so incredibly well. Thank you John Michael Boling for reminding us of this fact. Thank you.

  11. House-announcement

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    A sincere, golden corner of the internet here: The Datamath Calculator Museum. The online museum is a historic, matter-of-fact and outrageously in-depth look at the history of calculators in the modern world. Remember the first time that a “scientific calculator” appeared on your back-to-school list? This trove will take you hurtling back to sitting in double maths using that very machine to write “boobless” (80087355) over and over again until the bell rang.

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    Over the course of seven years It’s Nice That has been providing creative inspiration on a daily basis through our website, our publications and our events programme. But never ones to rest on our laurels, we are always reviewing what we do and how we do it. This is where you (hopefully!) come in. As part of our ongoing development of the It’s Nice That platforms, we’re super-keen to find out a bit more about who you are and find out what you like about the website, what you don’t and what you might like to see in the future. This way we can move It’s Nice That forward with plans that put our readers front and centre.