February 2008

i posted before about the fact that polaroid will close all it’s factories for film production by the end of the year. cbs news recently did a story on polaroid. it’s a nice short look at the history of polaroid of course, and then they go and talk to that idiot that bought it – and why did he buy it? for the logo!

i know a lot of people may not realize how serious a loss this is. a lot of people’s impression of polaroids are cameras that take crappy pictures. of course there is a reason for this. it’s been decades since polaroid has produced a camera of quality or that even allows you to focus(the sx-70 does this quite well).

some people may have seen polaroid work and not even realized they were polaroids(ansel adams, robert mapplethorpe, etc).

this isn’t just the passing of a film company, it’s a passing of a one of a kind film. there are things you can do with polaroids that you can not do with any other type of film(ie photo manipulation, emulsion lifts, etc) it’d be like the only company in the world that manufactures oil paints deciding (after doing no promotion for their product in years) to stop manufacturing it and using photoshop as their excuse for it.

luckily, some people aren’t just taking this laying on their backs and are organizing to try to save it. the save polaroid movement. you can help by signing some of the petitions out there or writing fujifilm and ilford directly(apparently ilford are in talks with polaroid about producing the bw polaroid films, but there’s been no word on anyone willing to produce the common 600 film or other colour polaroid films).


a few weeks ago i went to the kaohsiung flea market. surpisingly, i found a seller selling a bunch of 7″ singles. singles are somewhat rare in taiwan. i know they used to have them, but for quite a long time they’ve not existed here except in rare occassions(i’m guessing the singles chart is probably largely a result of payola). this seller had a large selection of records released in japan. of course i was pretty clueless as to the japanese bands(i looked for things like pizzicato five and ymo but didn’t see anything). however, i still managed to find a few interesting things:

i was pretty happy to find this personal listening record. i was hoping for something really wacky, but a bit disppapointed to find it was just two sides of piano music, not bad, but still…

next up is this 7″ from some what looks to be some sort of italian spaghetti western. it’s not bad at all, and has a cool cover to boot.

of course i couldn’t pass on this gene loves jezebel single from the 80s. this is the only thing i bought that wasn’t a japanese issue. this being on the situation two label. i was never a huge gene loves jezebel fan back in the 80s, but i liked them well enough to pick up this single out of curiousity.

picked this monkees single up on a whim. i don’t know if it’s the condition of this record, or something to do with my turntable but valleri sounds a lot more noisy than i remember it sounding. a nice noise too.

and finally the find of the day. a cheryl ladd single(!). i suspect her singing career must have been very shortlived. the a-side where is someone to love me isn’t too bad. the b-side being less interesting.

this story my parents sent me reminds me that peter and i have been meaning to go to this restaurant:

Theme restaurants may have finally reached their pinnacle (or bottomed out) in the Toilet Restaurant, a chain of restaurants in Taiwan that features toilets for seating and serves noodle dishes in dog-dish sized ceramic toilet bowls.

Small entrees are served in urinal shaped dishes, while larger dishes are served in the toilet-shaped bowls. Noodles come in small bathtub-like containers.

Among the most popular entrees are those that resemble material that one commonly associates with the commode, including curry noodles or chocolate ice cream.

i guess i shouldn’t be surprised that alot of the comments left on the story have been of the most prudish variety. and of course some people seem to have mixed up taiwan with china.

this look promising:

It’s a hot evening – the air hardly moves – you feel as if you are having trouble breathing … A thin sheen of sweat covers your body, but an even heavier weight presses down on you – a heavy urge that seems to come from the deepest recesses of your brain. A small, white hot light inside of you that grows brighter and brighter until it seems to take over your every thought. You slowly walk over the cabinet/drawer/closet/box and reach inside, grasping for that object which drives you. Removing an item, you slowly walk over to the ‘machine’ and insert the item into it. Flicking a small switch, images slowly flicker to life on the machine’s screen and you are transfixed – the object of your desires springs to life and you are drawn in to the depths of your fantasies. A pulsing, driving sort of music orchestrates the intense acrobatics on screen. You are drawn in not only by the images, but also by the drive of the music, it’s siren song luring you closer and closer to the completion of your journey. You have just entered ‘The Porn Zone’…

yeup, a compilation of fake porn music. i’m not exactly sure what the difference between real and fake porn music is as far as the music is concerned, but i’m curious. via pcl linkdump.

not long ago i bought a japanese diy kit for a stereo pinhole camera, well now i’ve discovered the same people have put out a kit to make a mini theremin! the next time i can get myself over to eslite i’m going to have them order it for me. very cool.

a few days ago i discovered this tainan tourism site is using some of my pictures on their site(on the screenshot above it’s the shot on the left). there are links back to flickr, but it seems like too much of a commercial site for this to be ok. yesterday i had some local taiwanese friends over(i was teaching them how to develop black and white film) and when i showed them the site one of them noticed that next to my picture was their picture. they said they’d write them and find out why they are using our pictures without even asking first. i suspect they are just using some sort of flickr widget and it may be one of those stupid yahoo things where the photographers get sort of screwed. but we’ll see. i’m not sure how i feel about it. should i be flattered or angry?

in other news, i discovered that the wall street journal has linked to me in relation to their story on the closure of polaroid factories. it’s just a “related articles and blogs” link, but still i find it, well, amusing.

speaking of mapplethorpe, here’s an interesting interview with chris walls who apparently was mapplethorpe’s boyfriend up until mapplethorpe’s death. he looks really familiar to me, but i’m not sure why. via cool hunting.

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