• 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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    We recently came across Scottish artist Sam Lyon who resides in Dundee and makes these jiggling, nonsensical, fleshy GIFs. The creatures channel Flubber, sea cucumbers and those floppy little rubber sausages you used to get at school. The technical skill it must take to make them is beyond me I’m afraid, so I can’t shed any light on how this is done, but what I can say is that Sam’s style has the winning formula of hilarious, addictive and brand new. Every face-crease, every stomach bulge, every wobbly bit is so over-pronounced, and moves as if it’s full of goo. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before, have you? You can see the inspiration behind these little guys over on Sam’s entertaining and brilliant blog. It’s also worth saying that anyone who codes a fried egg GIF on to their cursor is post-worthy in my books.

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    Santa’s an old rogue isn’t he? What with his rosy cheeks and his big fat belly and his enslavement of innocent reindeers for commercial reasons. Still, he’s an enduring icon of Christmas whether we like it or not and as such he’s fair game when it comes to creative interpretations of the festive season. So the good people over at Joint London took old Saint Nick (the Coca-Cola version) and decided to doll him up in all manner of high fashion looks, from Alexander Wang and KENZO to Marni and Raf Simons. It’s a fun project, executed well and the site itself is lovely to scroll through. I also like that Rick Owens Santa looks like a good-time Brian Blessed…

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    Not to put too fine a point on it, but this time of year we get a fair bit of festive tat sent into the studio, which makes anything Christmas-related that is actually good stand out all the more. One of the things we actually always look forward to seeing is the Christmas card from London agency isobel, which we first feted on the site two years ago. In the past their offerings have included an homage to The Sound of Music (2007), a team of Glee-style cheerleaders (2010) and most memorably of all a tribute to the paintings of the Dutch Masters (2011), but this year they’ve plumped for something a little more monastic.

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    Stuff like this never gets boring. Remember that super-ancient computer program that allowed you to type something in and have the computer read it aloud? Perfect when you want a machine to tell your big brother that he smells of poop. This cool site by Thirty Labs is similar in that you get to pick what the computer says aloud to you, but different in that the words it compiles are made up of tiny snippets of films. So great to have rude, funny, or just plain boring messages read out by Darth Vader, Garth Elgar, Napoleon Dynamite and Hades from Hercules. Enjoy!

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    People seem to have a real problem with “life hacks” – and you can see why. Some nerd being overly smug about how he’s Sellotaped all his channel changers together isn’t exactly appealing. These guys have taken the whole “hack” craze and made a spoof website of hilarious, often disgusting hacks of their own. One entitled Raw Meat Circuitry sees a pack of mince get stuffed with LEDs and lit up, another entitled The Collaborative Fuck Bike is an easy way to exercise and pleasure your partner. As for the future, the guys behind Stupid Hackathon are plotting “3D printed masks of your own face, a Cute Poop app that makes pictures of your poop look cute and an Edible Unmanned Drone: an unmanned drone that you can eat.” Can’t wait.

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    I’ve never wanted to applaud anyone more than the guys behind this project. Tech-wizards Jankenpopp & Zombectro have created a very special website that transports you back to your childhood and the days when you were just about getting to grips with a computer. Entitled Windows 93 the simulator is actually inspired by Windows 95 with its trademark grey, moveable boxes and somewhat threatening pixelated icons. The duo have thought of everything and have left no stone unturned when it comes to recreating how computers used to look and feel, which subsequently makes it totally hilarious.

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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.

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    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.