Five things on Friday #18

Five things of note for the week ending Friday May 4th, 2012

1. Jack White
First, this fairly-lengthy [but totally worth reading] profile piece from The New York Times ‘Jack outside of the box‘ was a great read at the start of the week. They really do mean it when they say ‘Jack White is the coolest, weirdest, savviest rock star of our time’.

If anything, just read it purely for the comedy Tom Jones anecdote midway through…

Second, White’s first solo album, Blunderbuss, launched this week and debuted at number one on the Billboard 100. Nicely done. The album is pretty damn good – listen to the album [Spotify link] now, or just give the first track, Missing Pieces, a go below –

2. Marvel Movie Universe Infographic
It struck me last weekend, after seeing the quite frankly awesome Avengers Assemble, that what the world really needed was some kind of visual timeline of how all the movies overlaid on each other and affected each others’ respective stories.
After all, it was revealed a couple of years ago that Iron Man 2 would set before the events of The Incredible Hulk (what, you didn’t know?).

Back to the point – my brain figured that someone had probably made this thing already and hey, a quick Google later, it turned out they had!

Huzzah! The image above clicks through to the monster version but Slash Film has a clearer, listed description, for the more discerning viewer.

3. Switch Off
No, not another attempt from me to tell you all how important it is to unplug from time to time. Instead, a huge mural reminding us (well, me at least) to do the same.

Part of the Polish Katowice Street Art Festival, I think this is quite magnificent. There’s a whole other set of photos to be viewed over on My Modern Met. Great stuff.

4. Olympics-based Tweeting for brands (or lack thereof)
I read a blog post from Rax Lakhani recently, entitled ‘Will your brand be tweeting about the London 2012 Olympic Games this Summer? Think again.‘ It’s an interesting post as it talks about what will and will not be allowed in the realms of social media throughout this summer’s Olympics and, vitally, has the documentation to back it up.

Key quote?

Companies that are not Olympic sponsors cannot link themselves with the Olympics. For example, Company X cannot tweet: “Good luck to Jane and John at the Olympic Games!”, because it links their brand with the Olympics and Olympic athletes.

Alright, this is only slightly difficult to monitor BUT, am I the only one who smells snake oil around the potential / opportunistic Lawyer + Social Listening partnership? It will be an interesting few months over the Olympic period, especially when it comes to social.

5. Today
Is a big day for someone very dear to me. It’s not been an easy road but, at last, we’re at a turning point. As we head into the weekend, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Not far now.

 

Bonuses – this week has been a week of long form reading. First with the Jack White piece I mentioned above; then ‘Mysteries of the Connected Age‘ via The Wilson Quarterly; and finally ‘The Deceptive Nature of Bipolar: a First Hand Account‘ from the inspiring, moving and yet ever-insightful CALM Zone. 

 

Five things on Friday #17

Five things of note for the week ending Friday April 27th.

1. Iron Man

Iron Man Wallpaper Mondo

This art work (from Mondo) is superb. I like, a lot. Speaking of which…

2. Avengers Assemble!
It’s out this week. I’ve seen it. It’s awesome. You should see it too.
(and yes, of course I’m going to review it – at some point)

3. New Music
Two tracks of note (from the week before in fact, that I didn’t get time to blog this week) are X-Factor reject, Aiden Grimshaw’s first single – ‘Is this love?

And this awesome Gonzo 70’s-style remix of Adele vs Liquid Gold – ‘Rollin’ in the Deep

4. Prometheus
Pretty much a weekly feature at the moment…

…but tickets have just gone on sale here in the UK (if you know where to look) and I’ve got mine booked in — Bring it on.

5. John Cleese on Creativity
30mins of brilliance. Watch it.

Bonuses: Stunning dear-shaped electrical pylons – no, seriously; a couple of trailers for Cronenberg’s latest – Cosmopolis; and some breath-taking images of android-augmented women – which have to be seen to be believed.

Florence / John / Janelle

aka – Three Track Thursday #2

Florence + The Machine covering Otis Redding – ‘Try a little Tenderness’

Gorgeous..

Next, John Mayer covering Lana Del Ray – Video Games (Instrumental)

Hauntingly soothing.

Finally, Janelle Monae covering The Jackson 5 – I Want You Back

Not as good as I’d hoped, but still good nonetheless.

Until next time…

 

Five things on Friday #14

Five things of note for the week ending Friday, April 6th 2012

1. Paper by Fifty Three
I’ve already blogged about discovering this app, but if you haven’t taken a look yet (it’s for the iPad) then I recommend you do. I love it and have been sketching away like there’s no tomorrow since installing… Unsurprisingly, there’s a theme.

Heroes!

2. Awesome New Music

New Childish Gambino
New Nicki Minaj
New Kanye West
And this full album stream from Alabama Shakes is worth a lisen too.
Enjoy 

3. Comic book stuff
I’ve been reading Project Rooftop for some time now, and it is an ace source of fantastic artwork on some my favourite characters. Their remit is to highlight and drive the craft of redesigning comic book characters that you know and love and generally showcase some gorgeous work.

This past week has been no different, but these two redesigns, Ninja Turtles and X-Men respectively, stood out particularly.

Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo all getting the redesign treatment. Given the myriad of interpretations the Turtles have been through over the years, giving them a fresh take is no easy task. But this effort is actually brilliant. I want to see more… And guess what, you can! Full set available here

This one stands out for two reasons. First, it’s the original X-Men (who are still one of the best teams to date) and two, the version of Ice-Man is sweet. I’ve not seen an ice-as-armour version before and well, no pun intended, it’s just too damn cool for words. You can check out the full set over on P:R. It’s worth a look, definitely.

What do you think?

4. The Lumia 900
The Nokia Lumia 900 launches this week and, while it is only really a bigger version of the Lumia 800 (which I’ve been rocking and enjoying since late last year), it’s intriguing to me as it’s the big N’s first serious play in the USA since, well – since forever really. To say it’s make or break time might be an understatement, but I think they might actually have winner on their hands. Only time will time.

This Read Write Web piece made me grin mind –

“There have been rumors that Nokia is paying AT&T to make sure that every rep uses the Lumia 900 as a personal device. The idea is that consumers trust sales reps to steer them in the right direction. Even as an advanced early adopter and mobile technology reporter, I often trust sales reps to tell me what the best device is and what is coming out (sometimes I quiz them to see how much they actually know about the ecosystem because I am that type of jerk).”

Heh, you’re not on your own there chap… 

I’d like to have a play with the Lumia 900 at some point (honestly, I haven’t played with one yet!) and I’m sure it’d be great, but what interests me more is what’s coming next. We all know the Lumia range is merely a proof-of-concept device (and a very nice range it is too) but I want to see what the tech-heads in Finland are going to do next. Now they’ve proven they can design gorgeous Windows phones, let’s see some of that innovation that they’re also famous for. Exciting times ahead, both for Nokia itself as well as the industry as a whole.

5. I made the Slovenian FT

Amazing

Bonuses: Dan Goodall got his blog back online, go read it; Fish: a tap essay is one of the best things I’ve come across for a long time and finally, I’ve been looking at the image below nearly every day – it’s just beautiful. 

Until next time –

Kanye / Nicki / Kanye

aka – Three Track Thursday*

It’s nearly Easter and nothing says FOUR DAY WEEKEND more than three awesome tracks from two epic artists. Get your ears on –

 

Kanye West & DJ Khaled – “Theraflu

Nicki Minaj – “Beez In The Trap” (feat. 2 Chainz)

Kanye West – “MERCY

COMING SOON

 

 

 

 

*This could be a recurring theme.

 

 

5 things on Friday #10

Five things of note from the seven days preceding March 9th, 2012

1. Baked Sprouts
I love brussell sprouts. Always have, always will. But I have never, ever had them baked. Until now –

Baked sprouts? Lovely stuff.

The girl served these up last weekend and well.. all I can say is: wowsers!
Give them a go, definitely (and some other things too).

2. The Seven Patterns of Innovation
I’m reading ‘Where Good Ideas Come From‘ at the moment [it’s great, you should read it], and this passage

– speaks to me on a number of levels.

First and foremost, when you think about the semantic web, the intelligent web, the personal web, web 3.0 if you will, one is tempted to consider how ‘intelligent search’ (results served up to you based upon previous searches, conversations and location) could well be an adversary to information serendipity.

Google is probably the most guilty of all parties in this particular area [how often have you clicked past page one of the search results – really?] and this ‘feature’ will only improve with the arrival of Google+ (constantly tracking our every move across Google-related services). Of course, there are services that can aid the accidental discovery; StumbleUpon springs to mind, although even that requires a certain amount of input around your interests…

My issue is, as William McKeen, whose quote sits above this text, quite rightly points out – sometimes the joy is in the looking, the surprising finding, the enrichment of serendipity. And it is escaping us all. How does one fight to retain this disappearing pleasure? Read more books, more magazines… seek out the unknown and be endlessly curious.

At least, that’s what I’m going to do.

3. Is Google+ a ghost town?
Speaking of the big G, a huge conversation kicked off about numbers and usage last week when I asked my friends if they had an opinion on the above question. Even if you have only a passing interest in all things Google+, its users and/or its potential usage – I would recommend you take a look. You might be surprised at what you find.

4. Adele vs Daft Punk
Nuff said.

5. Snickers
Back in January the above chocolate bar ran a ‘campaign’ on Twitter that involved celebrities such as Katie Price and Rio Ferdinand tweeting about said snack [but without really letting people know they were being paid for it until the very last minute]. Five tweets were sent by each, but only on the fifth tweet did the celebs let their followers know that they were sponsored – via the esoteric hashtag ‘#spon’.

People complained.

You can read more about the complaint itself when it happened, however the key parts are as follows:

“Since they got paid for sending these tweets, the ASA is investigating whether the celebrities’ first ‘teaser’ tweets should have indicated that they were part of an advert, and if the ‘#spon’ in the last tweet made it clear enough that it was advertising”
The Drum

With me so far? Good. Well, there are (new) regulations to help monitor this sort of thing but, it turns out that post-investigation, the ASA found Mars not in breach of the code. Make of that what you will, but if you do any kind of brand work on or via social media, then the whole case is worth reading up on. The media are watching.

Bonuses: CDs, yes or no? Free coffee for being the Mayor on Foursquare at Taylor St Baristas; an amazing hidden track from M83 aaaaand a cupcake vending machine.