Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Logos with Hidden Messages

I did a random search for company logos that have hidden meanings in their designs.

Many of the major brand logos I was already aware of, but some of them are new to me. They are all very creative solutions.


The Roxor
The FedEx logo (w/ it's hidden arrow) is probably the one I see the most often, on packages at work.This logo "analysis" is a great example in seeing things that probably weren't intended:


There's plenty of chaos going on around the world. Between upheaval across the Middle East and the disaster in Japan, it can seem like world's going nuts.

One crazy story that intrigues me is the whole Wikileaks situation & the development of a group of faceless activists, collectively called "Anonymous".

I don't know how the hell you'd join such a group, but they are obviously a force to be reckoned with. They are taking on governments, central banks, corporations, and the traditional power structures in society that are usually beyond the reproach of common citizens.

To me, the revolutions going on among minds throughout the world are amazing. I personally have no desire to be part of any group, especially something as crazy as Anonymous... but it's interesting to observe.

It's easy to see how this kind of chaotic activity would be a nightmare for people in charge of national security or large corporate entities.
However, it seems relatively simple to stay out of their crosshairs... don't do shady things!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Free Energy

Recently I was thinking about the problems with energy we have- the costs of oil, the deadly potential of nuclear power, the price of heating and cooling homes, etc.

In the sky there is this huge ball of practically limitless energy, constantly streaming around us. The Sun produces more energy than we could ever use, if it could be more effectively collected.

Amount of Energy
Earth Gets from the Sun

Anyway, observing the Sun in the sky while thinking about this stuff compelled me to quickly put this simple graphic together:

Originally, the graphic had the question, "Why can't energy be free?"
I understand why energy transmission might cost money, but it's important to ask the question & think about the process.

Eventually, I decided to use "Free Energy" because it was more direct.

It also gave me the slightly humorous impression of "Energy" being a political prisoner who needed to be freed.

In actuality, there is limitless energy everywhere around us.
Until we figure out how to tap the quantum field or whatever energy matrix we are moving around in, we'll have to focus on more obvious sources of renewable energy.

Victoria Jackson: There's a Communist in the White House

I liked Victoria Jackson more when she was supposedly just playing a loony bimbo on Saturday Night Live.

Acting like that in real life is a little more unsettling:

The idea that Obama is a communist, or even a liberal, is pretty far-fetched at this point. He's as moderate as any American politician could possibly be.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trump 2012

Last night on the Daily Show, Lewis Black went bonkers for the possibility of a 2012 presidential run by Donald Trump.

What a total pompous d-bag.

His celebrity roast was just on Comedy Central. He's almost like a chartoon character.

I would say Trump & the Alaskan Banshee should absolutely run together on a Hindenburg-like GOP ticket. I'd rather let Obama keep doing his thing than see more electable right-wingers like Gingrich or Romney get anywhere close. Unfortunately, Trump & Palin's egos are too big for either to run as a sidekick to the other. Who knows? Maybe Batboy look-alike Michelle Bachman will run with him, & we'll see how damn crazy things can get.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rogues Gallery of Republican Governors

I feel vindicated on this post- since the night after I wrote it, The Daily Show had a segment about these freshman GOP governors:

The Daily Show:
Gov Hurts

Because American media loves covering things getting blown up & conflict in general, the military engagement in Libya is now the current focus of the major news outlets.

Here in our country, though, there's a war of ideas going on- that has serious consequences for many Americans.

Because of general dissatisfaction with government & the inability of the Democrats to make acceptable progress out of the Bush/Cheney wreckage, Republicans got some gains in the last election cycle from the amnesiac American voters.

The right-wing GOP governors have since come out in a united, open effort- to destroy public education, bust labor unions, defund mass transit, and basically make poor & disadvantaged people's lives even more of a struggle.

The obsession with endless tax cuts & financial deregulation at the expense of social programs & public works will continue to drain our society.

This was a very good rundown on ThinkProgress outlining the questionable priorities of these new governors:

ThinkProgress REPORT:
In 12 States, GOP Plans To Slash Corporate Taxes
While Increasing Burden on Working Families

In my oft-misaligned state of New Jersey, I didn't even vote in the last governor's election because Jon Corzine (D) was a Goldman Sachs guy that was unpopular & not going to win. I sure as hell wasn't going to vote for Dubya's US attorney, Chris Christie... so I said 'screw it'.

We'll see how this state is doing at the end of his term, but at the very least he'll have a lot of pissed off teachers fighting to get rid of him by then. The sad thing is that Christie doesn't even seem to be the most obnoxious or irresponsible of the bunch. The former Fox News fill-in host, John Kasich of Ohio, might be in the running for that honor.

At least some people are trying to fight back against the relentless madness present in the federal & state governments:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Howard Stern Rolling Stone Interview

Continuing on the lighter note of my last post's theme, I recently saw some excerpts from the recent Rolling Stone interview w/ one of my lifelong idols- champion of free-expression, Howard Stern.

Rolling Stone:
"Howard Stern on Sex, Therapy and Charlie Sheen"

In this piece & his TV interviews, Howard comes off as hopelessly neurotic. You would think with all those years of TM, transcendental meditation, he'd figure out how to address his anxieties and fears.

I've been listening to the Stern show since I was a teenager. I'd listen on the schoolbus w/ my FM Walkman- while doing my homework on the ride, at the last minute. My senior year, my guidance counselor would let me go down to his office & hang out so I could hear the show, instead of sitting in English class.

When 'The Howard Stern Show' flipped to Sirius, I signed right up. Sirius is an amazing service, though & I'd keep it for the music even if Howard left. As for the show itself, having the hysterical Artie Lange out of commission without putting anyone in his place has been a detriment, in my opinion. I don't understand how they haven't given one of the many funny people out there a shot on the show. However, it's still fun to listen to & Howard's definitely got a few years of entertainment left in him.

Multi-dimensional Boobs

There is so much craziness in the world to contemplate, it's hard to figure out what to take my precious time to comment on.

Then, I come across something so brilliant... that it makes my decision simple!

This work of genius immaturity evokes Einstein's Relativity Theory, the art of Picasso, Edwin Abbot's classic book Flatland, and the very essence of human life...

seen on The Chive

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Art & Copy: Inside Advertising's Creative Revolution

This week, I was watching an excellent PBS Independent Lens documentary about the history of advertising.

I'm not in the advertising industry, per se. However, being a graphic designer makes it easy to relate to all the commercial creative processes that are discussed in the film.

Like any professional field (creative or not) there are all kinds of pros & cons to the business that are unavoidable if you're in it long enough. It is interesting to hear the challenges and triumphs some of these giants of the ad industry went through. In many cases, their most successful results speak for themselves.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Disaster in Japan

Humanity has been violently humbled once again by the limitless, unstoppable power of nature.

Like everyone else in the world, I've been looking at the mind-numbingly horrific pictures and video coming out of Japan. What a nightmare.

Due to the ubiquitous nature of the ever-growing Internet, the earthquakes, tsunami, and nuclear explosions are unfolding before our eyes in near real time. People all over the world are captivated because we are all subconsciously observing our own fragile mortality, as individuals & as a collective human race.

Massive catastrophes like this completely defy our sense of reason. The core of a human being is survival of the self and the community, so the completely indifferent chaos of planetary forces can shake apart the illusory sense of 'Meaning' that people create to define their own existence.

Hopefully, this situation stabilizes at some point & the Japanese people can begin to rebuild their country. I'd like to think that out of this unbelievable tragedy, some lessons are learned to improve the human condition. Some issues that have to be addressed by the world are; developing new sources of energy, forward-looking methods of building towns in danger zones, and most of all- what the hell will we all do if an even bigger threat, like a cosmic event, threatens or actually decimates humanity around the globe?!?!?!?!? We are an undetected meteor away from reverting to cavemen.

Of course, some buffoons will always say idiotic things despite the gravity of any situation & this is no different. I hate to even bring that doofus Glenn Beck up, but so much of what he says is demonstrably wrong...
Concerning the crisis in Japan, The Pasty Purveyor of Paranoia claimed not to know "God's business"- but then predictably speculates on God's reasons for angrily kicking the tectonic plates near Japan, like a big omnipotent jerk.

What a goddamn fool. There is no 'message from God'.
Any perceived 'meaning' is the human brain applying connective significance to events. Does he really think God uses natural disasters like angry text messages that we're somehow supposed to decipher?

We are all at the mercy of an amazing, crazy, tumultuous world- and that's all there is to it.

On a different note, I saw on The Secret Sun this interesting look at this coastal disaster in Japan and the coinciding recent announcement of a tidal wave-stricken site in Spain that is being called proof of Atlantis.

Whether or not the myth of Atlantis is true, the devastation in Japan shows how these kind of cataclysmic events could have easily wiped out thriving ancient cities & perhaps even civilizations. In fact, the sea around Japan itself may hold remnants of a lost culture from the past in the so-called Yonaguni pyramids. We have only begun to shed light on the darkness enveloping our view of human history.

Colbert PAC

In the face of worldwide chaos, sometimes humor can ease the minds of those not directly affected by disaster.

Having said that,
Why would anyone ever bother to make another political commercial after Stephen Colbert's outstanding ColbertPAC ad from last week?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tobacco Soup & Chicken Cigarettes?

Over the years I've designed projects for alot of different licenses & brands. A unique look and identity is essential to catching the eye of a customer.

The "look" of a product is sometimes given much more precedence over the actual function of the item.

This is an interesting visual play on two similar branding approaches, but for two very different products:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lo-Res Reality

I love the outdoors & spending time in nature.

This cartoon is pretty funny though:

Maybe one day, the brain will be able to experience visual input at a greater resolution than the natural biology of the eye is capable of delivering.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Michael Moore "America is Not Broke"

The Teabaggers & the more conservative voters had their chance to get all pissed off last year, when they protested the health care bill being written under Democratic government.

I didn't think I'd so soon see the progressive equivalent, on an even greater scale.

Americans, ever the masochists, were swayed in the last elections by crafty conservative messaging into electing more Republicans. The GOP has since been forcefully pursuing their openly corporatist agendas on the state & federal levels. The party is now pursuing its standard course toward neo-feudalism, but with a vengeance in a number of states.

The people are realizing the consequences of the elections, as they see the common good abandoned for the advantage of influential donors. Many probably thought it couldn't get any worse by voting for the other party, but they were predictably wrong. Now, it seems like the progressive & moderate working people of the country are lashing out at the extreme push to the right that these politicians are trying to implement.

In Wisconsin, the weeks-long standoff between workers' unions & corporatist politicians took a turn in recent days. The Republicans made a surprise move to pass their union-busting bill through shady maneuvers that have since raised hell there.


Anyway, a couple days ago, unabashed progressive film-maker Michael Moore went to Wisconsin to give a speech for the workers protesting there. I've been a fan of Moore's & he was one of the few loud voices of reason during the political hellscape of the Bush-Cheney years.

Yeah he's a frumpy looking guy & can be overly-melodramatic, but he's fighting the right fight. The ideologues & haters who think he's a 'socialist' or 'anti-American' don't realize he's fighting for their sorry ass, too. He got deservedly rich by trying to expose corruption & help the citizenry, not trying to screw them over.

Moore was also on Rachel Maddow last night, trying to inject some common sense into the conversation surrounding the political battles taking place across the country.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

R.I.P. B.I.G

Notorious BIG was killed on March 9th, back when I was in college. Like all definitive music, listening to his songs still brings back memories & sensations from that time in my life.

I was out last weekend & the DJ played 2 Biggie songs in a row & had everyone dancing.

I like all kinds of music, & Biggie is definitely at the top of my rap/hip-hop list. It's a shame he had such a tragically short career when he had so much potential.

Here's a playlist with dozens of Biggie videos:

A young Biggie annihilating some other poor kid in Brooklyn:

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Adam Crossley on the NBC 10! Show

Recently I posted about seeing my friend from grade school Adam Crossley at the Tin Angel in Philly.

Yesterday he performed 2 songs on the NBC 10! morning show. Another one of my friends gave me the heads-up the day before, so I got to see it live while I was at work.

View more videos at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com.

View more videos at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Religion: A Study in Contrasts

A comparison of interactions, between religious groups:

Religious Diversity: Walking to End Hunger from America.gov on Vimeo.

This proves that religious expression is not inherently divisive. People should be able to follow whatever cosmological mythology they think is true for them.

Good people of all faiths can find ways to co-exist and work together- to solve more problems than they create.

The conflicts always arise from the minority of frightened, stupid, and hateful people in any given religious group. If it weren't in the name of their particular religion, the ignorant would find other excuses for projecting their paranoid emotional dysfunction onto others.

Maybe one day we'll be able to grow out of this kind of tribal madness... but probably not until telepathic communications are developed. Only then, will people be guaranteed a sense of empathy and regard for the conscious state of other beings.

Living the Sheen Dream

This week America was unwittingly exposed to the addictive substance known as Charlie Sheen.

From his weekend drug & hooker binge, to supposedly coming clean, flying to the Bahamas with his 'goddesses', to his round of outspoken interviews... the guy's been on a media rampage.

If he didn't have kids, I would say his antics were awesome. I don't think he's even being all that "crazy"... just really entertaining. Does that make me crazy? As long as he's not doing drugs or acting out violently, I don't think there's a problem. Even though his test are coming up clean, it's hard to believe he's not amped up on some kind of chemicals. Regardless, he has proven to be a one-man meme generator.

He's probably just trying to be 'edgy', but the talk of "violence" is the one other thing I do find disturbing, and it doesn't help his cause. Who knows where this crazy train is heading?....

People are continually fascinated by someone who breaks the mold & expresses themself in a unique way. Personality and personal drama trumps everything in the news. Charlie's right to wonder about society's priorities:

Yes Charlie, shame on us all...


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Sinéad & Irish Music

I'm watching this documentary on PBS about the history of Irish music, for like the 3rd time.

Despite my Italian last name, 3 of my grandparents were from Irish backgrounds. The country & culture have always interested me:

My sister's been there, & I would like to go there one day. I think I'd like to go to Italy first, though.

Anyway, I saw this song on the show. People were talking over it, so I looked it up online. Sinéad O'Connor is singing the classic Irish ballad Foggy Dew. The music is by the legendary band The Chieftains.

This song is as Irish as it gets...

Sinéad made a big stink when she tore up the picture of the pope on SNL.
The outrage from that protest act shows how easily excitable people are. The Pope is just an old guy who loves to wear fabulous outfits. The idea that any person possesses divine authority is silly. He's just the President of the Catholics (or is that Bill Donahue?). He doesn't have any more of a direct line to God than I do... but every institution, religious or otherwise, tends to create a figurehead of some sort.

Try telling all that to Ol' Blue Eyes, though (played Phil Hartman)


I just saw this video on Cynical-C that's simply people's behavior in an elevator. It's a brief look at our strange human nature, stripped away of all exterior distractions. People of all types, alone or together, stuck inside a box...waiting......