Silversun Pickups – Lazy Eye

I the other morning before I left the apartment for work I had MTV on the television, and amazingly, I actually saw a video. Yes, a whole video. Last time I saw a video on MTV was high school.
Anyway, this is the video I saw, and I really dig the song and the video:

On Creativity

Meetings make us dumber, study shows (via
from the article:

The researchers speculate that when a group of people receives information, the inclination is to discuss it. The more times one option is said aloud, the harder it is for individuals to recall other options, explained Krishnan, associate professor of marketing at Indiana University.

This is interesting because it confirms something a creative director I know recently told me regarding brainstorming sessions she holds for project kick-offs. She said 2 things normally happen in every brainstorm:
a) A few solid ideas come from the same few people every time
b) She goes into the meeting knowing what ideas she wants to use already
This is an unfortunate situation. The MSNBC article suggests , “Alone, they came up with significantly more products than when they were grouped with two others.” This reminds me of Google’s famous “twenty percent” policy (via Google Jobs):

Google engineers all have “20 percent time” in which they’re free to pursue projects they’re passionate about. This freedom has already produced Google News, Google Suggest, AdSense for Content, and Orkut – products which might otherwise have taken an entire start-up to launch.

I still think it’s important to involve a variety of people on projects because great ideas can truly come from anywhere and anyone – maybe the key is not putting everyone in a room together.

Oscar Nominees Montage

I watch the Oscars last night and I was mildly amused by the the opening montage of nominee snippets. I can’t objectively say that my amusement wasn’t caused by the realization that it was very similar to the “Get a Mac” ads from a few years ago.
As I said, it’s an observation, not a complaint. As my last entry on The Art of the Mashup explains, no one exists in a vacuum – everyone is influenced by someone.
I’m sure the Get a Mac ads were inspired by something else as well.
screenshot from the Oscars Nominee Montage:
Oscars Nominee Montage
View clip on YouTube
…and an Apple “Get a Mac” ad cerca 2005 (featuring the the cult favorite Ellen Feiss):
Get a Mac - Ellen Feiss
View clip on YouTube

The Art of the Mashup

Bryan just shot me this link over IM earlier today and it’s friggin’ great. It’s a typographic translation of the “What does Marsellus Wallace look like?!” scene from Pulp Fiction created by Jarratt Moody.I think it’s example of the form of art for the 21st century – the mashup. It’s not merely a copy of a scene from a movie – it’s an interpretation Mr. Moody has done of that clip to make it his own, something completely new.
Another great mashup from the last few years was the mashup ‘trailer’ for Shining – using footage from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining coupled with Peter Gabriel’s song Solsbury Hill to produce something that feels totally different than the actual movie:

When I see mashups on the Internet or listen to mashup albums (like DJ Danger Mouse’s Grey Album), I think of the long tradition of copying and mixing that art has in its history. Although you can find examples that go much further back, a good modern starting point would be Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain:
Fountain - Marcel Duchamp

Why is this art? Because Duchamp said it is.

I also think of of Andy Warhol and his Campbell’s Soup Cans:

Soup Cans - Andy Warhol

Amazing what’s possible with silk screening.

and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon:
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon - Picasso

Pablo mashed up his art with African masks. Just like Paul Simon did on his album Graceland.

Obsolescence is in the Mind

The Onion recently published an article titled, Apple Hard At Work Making iPhone Obsolete (via Daring Fireball). It’s dead-on and reflects something I hear a lot regarding Apple products. When people talk about their new iPod or computer, “I know Apple is going to release a new version next week…” seems to be the first thing they mention and then they’ll say “I knew it! I knew I should have waited…” again in 3 months when Apple dropped the new version of their device.
All I have to say to these people is WAHHHHH. We live in a disposable society and capitalism (consumerism) relies on selling more stuff, new stuff. People need to check themselves more often and ask themselves, “I like this new product, but do I need it? Is the product I’m using doing the job fine already?
Apple is not the source of the problem with technology, their priorities as a company are different than those of a consumer, at least a smart consumer. Just because they release a new product does not mean you need to buy it.
Case in point:
I have the same dual processor G4 with 768MB of RAM since 2002. I’ve used it consistently for the last 4 years and it’s loaded with the standard creative programs which all run perfectly – Adobe CS2, Flash 8, etc. Whenever a new version of OS X comes out, I back up my computer, wipe the hard drive and install a new system. I find this fresh install gives the sytem a performance boost, almost like getting a new machine again.
Now I’ve definitely wanted to get a new machine over the years, but I’ve never needed to. The same reasoning held true for my Palm Treo 600 – new models have come out since I bought it, but it’s always had and done exactly what I needed – QWERTY keyboard for texting, Palm OS to sync with contacts (since my Palm V days), speakerphone, and mobile internet & email (I actually grew tired of email & internet).
I will be there to get one of the first iPhones in June with the other iPhone fans, but when October rolls around and these iPhone users around me get angry because the 20 gig iPhone launches, remember, these people are making themselves obsolete, not Steve Jobs.
Take some responsibility for yourselves people and stop pointing the Finger of Obsolescence at others.
note – I checked and “obsoleteness” is the correct usage. 🙂
update – someone with solid lexicon pointed me in the direction of the word obsolescence instead of obsoleteness, even though both are correct obsolescence rolls off the tongue better I think.

Google Apps – Now It’s On

Well, it looks like things are going get interesting in 2007. Sure Google Docs has been up for a while, but they’re putting the operation into second gear and I’m interested to see how Microsoft responds. Check out Google Apps comparison chart.
Despite being excited about Google Apps, I’ve also heard great things about Microsoft 2007. Having options is always good.
*side note: I appreciate the clarity and simplicity in much of what Google does, all the way down to their URLs –, just an ‘a’, heh… i love it. It’s the little things that amuse me.


I’ve just implemented sIFR on this site, which should be replacing the HTML text headers for each entry with custom Flash fonts (Futura Bold). If you view my source code, you’ll see that all the h3 tags are still in place – sIFR is working some Javascript trickery to dynamically replace them all on-the-fly.
The fact that the source code has not been altered means that this site will degrade nicely for people who either don’t have Flash (I don’t who these people are) or don’t have the Flash Player version 6 (I don’t know who these people are either). Seriously, it means that my site is more accessable, readable by search engines while still getting the benefits of slick text.
You can find out more about sIFR at the site of it’s co-creators, Mike Davidson (creator of my favorite news site, Newsvine).

Agency Blogs

Blogs, online journals, whatever you’d like to call them – they all have the same obvious goal of communicating. Blog software now comes installed on most hosting provider servers and can also be used free (like on MySpace) or for a minimal subscription fee (Typepad, Movable Type).
Blogging is as much of fad as a cell phones are. Sure, there are many people that jumped on the blogging bandwagon when articles started getting published in TIME and BusinessWeek, but bloggers were around loooong before it got popular and will be around long after the hype has died down.
I’m excited to see blogs coming out of creative agencies and studios (and other companies that don’t fit easily into a particular category) – excited not for their existence but for the quality of their content and design. They provide a much better home for inspiration, links, videos and photos than a couple dozen emails passed around the company group list.
Below are some of the better ones I’ve come across:
Company: Big Spaceship
Company: Organic
Company: Web Agent 007
Company: Analogue
Company: Coudal Partners (their site has almost always been synonymous with their blog)
Company: Hi-ReS!
Company: Adaptive Path
Company: 37Signals


Starting March 5th, 2007 I will be an art director at the New York office of Schematic.
I’ll miss the crew at Deep Focus and wish them luck with the move to the new office space in Manhattan. I expect to see much more great rich media and microsites from them!

AJAX to the rescue

Most customer support websites tell you to search through their knowledge base before submitting a trouble ticket and I admit that sometimes I get lazy and just want an email response from a support representative with bothering myself by searching around. Well MIVA Small Business Customer Support didn’t let me do that.
After I clicked on Submit a Ticket, I was brought to a form to type in my issue. As I began to type, a textbox below the form began to dynamically populate a list of links relevant to the text I was typing in, titled Knowledgebase Suggestions, like this:
Sure enough, the first link took me to a page that had the answer I was looking for.