January 2006


ted hipped me to two more sites in reference to that earlier post about camera shots that look like toys. first is this fantastic japanese photoblog the bittter*girls and second is this site that teaches you how to make a tilt-shift lense to take those sort of shots. i suspect this is just one of many ways to achieve this look, because i seem to recall seeing photos that have that look that didn’t require such effort or new fangled lenses to accomplish.

an interesting debate(or perhaps flame war) is going on about sharing music. i can understand both sides’ opinions. i tend to prefer things that are out of print to be shared in their entiriety, but i’m not sure how putting a complete cd of something on your blog that is in print is that much different from it being up on some p2p software, aside from the fact that it’s simpler for the riaa to find you. via pcl linkdump.

two excellent links my friend ted sent me. first is this article on olivo barbieri’s toylike photography:

It’s often hard to convince people that Olivo Barbieri’s aerial photographs are real. They look uncannily like hyperdetailed models, absent the imperfections of reality. Streets are strangely clean, trees look plastic, and odd distortions of scale create the opposite effect of what we expect from aerial photography..

he may be using a special camera and flying in a helicopter to get his toylike visions, but i’ve seen the same kind of effect with regular cameras firmly mounted on the ground.

the second link he sent me is to this fabulous plush robot toy with a girl inside! coolness.

a few months ago a publisher emailed me and asked if i’d be interested in a free copy of how to survive a robot uprising. of course it was the sort of thing that i can’t pass up on. free goodies and it’s about robots! what’s not to love?

the book is a funny take on what to do when robots decide to stop cleaning your carpet and instead suck you into oblivion. it’s full of nice shiny illustrations. i could actually see the book being used in science classrooms in junior highs or high schools but i somehow think it’d only appeal to nerdy boys and the fact that there is some swearing in the book would no doubt have the school board up in arms.

as i read the book i kept thinking it was crying out to be a book on tape read by some washed up or semi-washed up celebrity. intially i thought it might be perfect for william shatner or leonard nimoy but i think there may be someone else out there with a better voice for the book.

i could get used to people sending me free things like this. well, as long as they are as cool as this. oh, and the author has a blog where i learned that the movie rights to the book have been sold. considering hollywood’s track record with these sort of things i’m not sure that’s something to be celebrated.

i also just finished reading unknown legends of rock ‘n’ roll. this was a fascinating read, about bands most of the public has passed over for one reason or another. it seems most rock books end up annoying me for some sort of condescension on the part of the author, but this book didn’t really annoy me in that way. though i tend to have an aversion for the word rock(i tend to associate it with boring, and a lot of bands people consider rock i’d consider pop), but beyond that i dug the book quite a bit. especially the chapter on scott walker(which makes me want to re-listen to tilt) – who by the way will have a new album out on 4AD in may. the book comes with a cd and i found myself as i read the book continually turning to the cd to see if such and such a band were on the cd or not. the book would have been worth reading(for me) just to come upon the following sentence:

if you can wade your way through the repertoire of syd barrett, skip spence, the holy modal rounders, or the hampton grease band’s “maria” without breaking into smiles, you really have been holed up with those smiths records too long.

explore the nurse with wound list. a comprehensive site about the infamous list of records that was included with early nww releases for the more adventurous music fan to search out. the site has cover scans for most of the albums along with people’s comments about those releases. this is surely going to give me more to seek out – that i’d forgotten about. via the sound-scavengers list.

shortly after reading on my randomness about this taiwanese indie-pop band called natural q one of my students radomly reccomended them to me. i’ve since found this interview with them in english(!) and this site for agoodday – the label they are on. i have a feeling i need to explore this band some more as well as that label.

this week’s audioscrobbler chart. once again mainly made up of stuff i bought when i was stateside or things i bought after getting back(as if i hadn’t spent too much money on cds already). i have to say i’m really enjoying this 4 cd collection of rarities and b-sides by siouxsie and the banshees. and the new twink album is really really good. fans of tipsy, ursula 1000 or fantastic plastic machine take note. like a psychedelic childhood fantasy. pathetically it appears itunes finds the words pussy cat in need of censoring(link via yip yop).

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