August 31, 2009
...more than 4,000 of the 5,000 respondents claimed to prefer a slightly scruffy fellow, with messy hair and even a beer belly, to the toned, groomed, David Beckham type, although I imagine they wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating a Lion Bar. The media spin on it is that: "Women have turned against the metrosexual look", presumably because there's something very unattractive about a chap running after a tube train with a hard-on.
"Fantastic!" the male readership may now be burping from their sofas. "I'll have another couple of pork pies and a Guinness. I knew I was over-washing!" And, indeed, these 5,000 women do seem very obliging: a fifth of them don't mind "a bit of body odour", 10% have no objection to man boobs and another 10% like their men to smell of beer. They like their men to smell of beer? That's an evolutionary cul-de-sac if ever I heard one: "Oh yeah, pick the paunchy, pissed one – he'll be there for you in a crisis." It's almost impossible to evade the conclusion that most of these women were on the pull.
August 30, 2009
There should be no problem coping with pubs. After all, it's a simple idea: they're where we go to make life slow down, to get our daily hit of some chemicals that may very well eventually make it stop. "Life's too short," people often say. I'm sure it feels like it, when you're staring death in the face in heart disease-ridden late middle age; when you're regretting all the pints and bacon sandwiches that have clogged your system and made irreplaceable parts of your innards founder. But, even if it is, the evenings, almost anyone must surely admit, are too long. Pubs solve that. They make time go away, without having to watch EastEnders.
This is nothing to be proud of, but it is necessary. That's why pubs were built in such a functional way: counters to buy the booze over and floors that you can easily clean sick off. It was never a trendy thing: there's no reason to be smug that you're there. You're not "hanging out" or "being seen". You get in, nail a pint every half an hour and leave when they chuck you out. Lovely. This is a place that helps you cope, not one you have to cope with.
August 29, 2009
August 28, 2009
The New York Daily News has an interesting profile of a Brooklyn woman who was stripped of her first place medal in judo after judges realized she was a woman competing against men. (And beating them - which I suspect was the real issue.)
[Kanokogi] vividly recalls the moment she took on her opponent in the New York State YMCA judo championships.
She was an alternate, and had to step in when a male team member was injured.
Although women were not explicity barred from the YMCA contests, no female had ever tried to take part. Because her hair was as short as a boy's and she had an athletic build and tape around her breasts, Kanokogi's gender wasn't questioned until she won her fight - and her team won the contest.
She was pulled aside and forced to admit she was a woman or else her teammates would have been stripped of the title.
"It was very demeaning, painful," she said.
Now, fifty years later, the medal that was taken from her in 1959 has been restored. The New York State YMCA gave her the medal last week to make amends, and to honor a lifetime of work on behalf of women and sports: After losing the medal Kanokogi went on to fund the first female judo world championships and worked to get women's judo into the 1988 Olympics.
August 27, 2009
The RoyalTea Tea bags designed by German design company Donkey Products. You can have a “TeaParty” with you favorite characters or strippers with the RoyalTea, DemocraTea and StripTea sets. Each one has five tea bag sachets.
August 24, 2009
August 22, 2009
From Charlie Todd's Urban Prankster blog tips us to Total Crisis Panic Button, a terrific culture jam created in Los Angeles by Jason Eppink. The project inspired the photo below, put up by Ryan in New Haven, CT.
Via Wooster Collective
New York designer Deger Cengiz's elegant standard chair features an extra pair of hinged legs that swing into place when the user tilts backward. While he's not the first to come up with the idea (see Homer Simpson's similar version in "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace"), the finished chair bears the quality of timelessness rarely found in such gimmicky conceits.
Apparently inspired by ill-tempered teens, the Attitude Chair seems appropriate for anyone who still likes to kick back while at the table. Fashioned from wood and MDF, it's limited to an edition of 13. You can have your very own Attitude for $500 from Voos Furniture, the Brooklyn outpost for New York design.
Via Cool Hunting
August 19, 2009
1. Make a statement.
Painting an entire room can be daunting, but creating one statement wall will liven up your room—with less work. “Paint makes the biggest difference,” Michael says. “It’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s inexpensive.” Yellow is a great color to welcome your guests or opt for a red if you want to add some passion. Make the commitment, and if you don’t like it, Michael suggests just painting it back. “It only takes fifteen minutes!”
2. Create your own artwork.
Try this tip: Paint a plain canvas a deep hue, like a rich blue or burgundy and let dry. Then, rim the bottom of empty cans and bottles with vibrant hues, and firmly press them on the canvas, making your own unique pattern. Don’t worry if the paint splatters, it will add to the effect!
3. Put together an original flower arrangement.
Michael says flowers are one of the easiest ways to freshen up the place. Try this arrangement: Buy a large glass vase and pour a little bit of water at the bottom. Then, cut the stems off a generic bouquet of flowers (or faux flowers), and fill the vase with just the tops.
4. Turn new furniture into antiques.
Grab some sand paper and have at it. Round the corners and edges of your furniture with a higher grade sand paper, and then create signs of wear along the top with a lesser grade. To clean up, use a tack cloth to wipe off any dust.
5. Funk-up your lampshade.
Get crafty with your lampshades. Hot glue some feathers to the top and bottom rims, or if feathers aren’t your thing, buy a brightly patterned shade that ties in with the rest of your apartment. Michael recommends checking out Target or Home Goods to find good deals on fun lampshades.
6. Refurbish your frames.
Frames don’t have to be just for photos. Go to your local fabric store and buy an exciting print. Then, place your fabric into your frame of choice, (it can be big or small), just like you would with a picture. Hang it and voila, instant decoration.
Add some style to a boring bookcase or cabinet by tacking fabric between shelves. Use small tacks or a staple gun and stick the tacks (or staples) right up in the corners. To make your bookcase even more original, raise or lower the shelves so that some shelves only have narrow spaces between them, and others have larger gaps. This allows you to put all different size objects in your bookcase, and creates a unique asymmetry.
August 18, 2009
The Birth of Television
Television was reaching the masses of America during the 1950s (the first color sets hit the market in 1951) and it allowed the hard-sell to be thrust right into the country’s living rooms. Suddenly there was a fascinating array of must-have products that people had never realized before they needed. Whole programs were devised not for any artistic reasons but simply as a vehicle for selling. One of the best examples was the ’soap opera’. These were ongoing, episodic works of dramatic fiction presented in serial format, originally on radio but transferred during the 1950s with great effect to television. The name “soap opera” stems from the original serials sponsored by soap manufacturers like Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. They were aimed at, and consumed by, a predominantly female audience and typically had weekday daytime slots when mostly housewives would be available to listen.
Speaking of cars, there is possibly nothing that symbolizes America in the 1950s as perfectly as its cars. It was a time long before the global dominance of foreign car-makers and bland corporate design, when you would buy a car made in the USA and choose from a huge range of genuinely different models. American cars of the 1950s dripped with chrome and had swooping tail-fins. They were extravagent, futuristic, and glowed in the bright pastels and primary colors of an optimistic age. Car advertizing in the 1950s was as unrestrained as the product itself, stressing the car as an essential part of the ‘American Dream’.
Clothes Maketh the Man
There was no point in having all of the brand new shiny gadgets and the dream car and a super-size fridge full of food if you dressed like one of the Beverley Hillbillies so clothes figured large in advertizing. As with so much else the ad-men were selling a dream, that all it would take is a new Arrow sport-shirt or a new Dacron suit and you would get that promotion, you would be popular, you would be a hit with the ladies. For generations people had got by with only their work clothes and a ’sunday-go-to-meeting’ suit that lasted for years but now they were introduced to the concept of ‘leisure-wear’ for the new-found leisure they had so little of because they were working so hard to buy all the new ’stuff’ they were told they needed.
Selling Family Values
One of the most interesting things about advertising from the 1950s, or any other time for that matter, is what it tells us about the society it was aimed at. Old ads often provide unwitting social commentary. In the case of this ad (for shirts) you can see that the basic premise is the nuclear family. Dad, Mom and the two kids all live happily together in the suburbs. Dad goes out to work and Mom stays at home to look after the children. That was the publically accepted norm in the 1950s and you wouldn’t find any ads pitched at single mothers or divorced dads. It was a different world then and the ads reflect that very clearly.
August 15, 2009
August 14, 2009
$100, available in September at Thomas Pink stores or at thomaspink.com
Via Fashion Week Daily
August 11, 2009
August 10, 2009
2. Aerobic workout.
3. Horse might not be really dead. (Isn't it better to be safe than sorry?)
4. Tenderizes the meat.
5. Horse is unable to fight back.
6. Provides a welcome relief for tension or anxiety. (Makes you feel good.)
Via Errol Morris