Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sirena Huang - Virtuoso at 11 years old

I don't generally even like violin music, but Sirena brought tears to my eyes with her incredible musical skill.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Ecko sponsors graffiti art contest in Saudi Arabia

Wow, what a surprising development. Not only will one of the most uptight societies in the world have a public graffiti event, but girls will be allowed to participate. Girls are not even allowed to go to school with boys there. Outside the home they must cover themselves completely except for their eyes.

"So far nearly 80 young men and women have registered to compete. 'Most likely we will let girls participate, since half of the applicants are females,' said Kareem Al-Haratani, marketing manager of Ecko brand."

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Devious Doze

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Vaughn Bode - at Toronto Comic Con 1974

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Flickr Graffiti Geotagging

As promised.

From the article:

"For example, fans of graffiti can search the word, "graffiti," and "New York City" at, and pull up photos of freshly painted tags, all plotted with pushpins on a clickable Yahoo map. A search for "Dumbo Brooklyn graffiti," for example, finds some 99 photos, including the infamous "Neck Face" tag, spray-painted on a brick warehouse at Jay and Front Streets in Brooklyn. Try finding that in a guidebook."

It's a bit fiddly so far. Search at the bottom, then click on the dots on the map to zoom in until they are at a meaninful level of detail. Or you can watch the slide show anytime.

Some cameras do the GPS/geotagging automatically (it's embedded in the information in the image files), so if you upload your photos to flickr, you might blow up your spot, or someone else's.

Be very careful what you upload anywhere if your camera has GPS.

I'm hoping Graphic Converter (Macintosh only) will have editing access to the GPS stuff as it already does to the camera info, however. If you have a clue about a Windows tool for removing image metadata, please send it to and I'll add that here too.

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Trompe L'oeil Murals

trompe l'oeil |?trômp ?loi| noun ( pl. trompe l'oeils pronunc. same)
visual illusion in art, esp. as used to trick the eye into perceiving a painted detail as a three-dimensional object.

? a painting or design intended to create such an illusion.

ORIGIN French, literally ?deceives the eye.?

Thanks to Harold Naideau for the tip!

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Be Like Mike DREAM - NUMP featuring Reena Lynn

Musical tribute to Bay Area King Mike Dream TDK from Oakland California, RIP

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Saturday, June 09, 2007


Graffiti Research Lab takes Barcelona by storm. It's hard to know what to make of the laser-maddened crowd. Is it just that everyone wants to get away with drawing genitals and dirty words on buildings? While everyone watches? Really big ones?

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Friday, June 08, 2007

7th Day, with Pose

Another time-lapse from Seventh Letter.

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DAVe Warnke's Street Styles Class in San Francisco

The students trade stickers by mail. Contact DAVe for more info.

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House Candy

Digital Gravel serves up the hot furniture and cool accessories. Saber, Herbert, Vitche ... yes please.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

US Passport Office is Seriously in the Weeds

In another show of planning brilliance, the US gov started requiring its citizens to have passports for travel to and from Canada and Mexico on air, land and sea. But they forgot to staff up the office ... and didn't broadcast the new requirement on American Idol, apparently.

So bad news if you don't have a passport already and suddenly need one. Might want to apply now if you need one next year though. And get a receipt, because you might need to use that instead.

It's a good idea to have a passport anyway, and they last for 10 years. They can come in very handy if you lose your driver's license or need another form of picture ID in order to get a job, etc.

Just be sure to keep it in a very safe place (ID theft) and wrap it in tinfoil when carrying it in public (RFID sniffing).

Oh yeah.

But crossing borders is our human right -- so let's not quit, even though it's rather annoying these days.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Smash137 from Switzerland has shared his sketch pile with the world on his website.

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Iranian Typography

Another great PingMag feature of interest.


A1one interview on PingMag - Graffiti in Iran

A hardcore scene in a whole different way. PingMag did a great job with the interview too. Best of luck to A1one!

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Frontline "Homefront" - Surveillance program podcasts

Unofficial podcasts (Quicktime) of the actual broadcast from the recent Frontline program. Downloadable, scary, in RSS (if your browser does not do RSS, copy the link to your newsreader).

Official site for the Frontline program, which has other forms of video that you might be able to watch online.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Damien Hirst - Diamond Dead Head

It will be interesting to see who buys this. Seems unfair that the original skull owner can't get partial credit though.

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Problem: Dangerous Chinese Food - Solution: Stop Buying It

From dead pets to poisonous toothpaste, the horror stories of deadly Chinese imports continue to pile up. People are furious, business looks the other way, Congress wrings its hands, FDA says it's not really their job, and Wal-Mart plays into Chinese corruption by working against inspections.

The only really effective thing we can do is to buy something else until China -- and Wal-Mart -- care about the problem. China has unhelpfully decided to kill the guy at the head of their food inspection and quality organization for taking bribes, but that's just barbaric political scapegoating. It will take an army of inspectors who care on both sides of the ocean to stop this blatant profiteering from unsafe foodstuffs. Meanwhile Wal-Mart tries to diguise its products' origins.

"As the world?s largest retailer, it distributes massive quantities of imported goods. Wal-Mart should use its significant clout with China and other importers to demand higher quality standards and more product testing. On the home front, Wal-Mart should stop fighting additional inspections and country-of-origin labeling, which would allow customers to know whether they are buying beef from Iowa or China. Wal-Mart should also consider returning to its abandoned 'Buy American' campaign and support U.S. manufacturers and local farmers rather than shifting jobs and purchases overseas."

"... American consumers we can use our purchasing power to influence how business responds to the challenge. Without assurances that imported goods are subject to rigorous inspections to ensure their safety, we can opt to buy locally grown and American-made products when we shop for groceries and other items each week. We can also decide that if we don?t know where a product comes from, maybe we don?t need it. Purchasing in such a manner not only supports local farmers and U.S. manufacturers, it protects consumers. It also provides the opportunity to strengthen our farm economy while protecting our food supply."

Someone should clue the Department of Homeland Security that weapons of mass destruction could be in those containers they don't inspect from China: E. coli, botulism, and lysteria, for starters. Instead, we have phone taps and shampoo confiscation, go figure. Let's bring the National Guard home from Iraq and put them back on the job, hmm? We could pay for it with the money that's now going to Blackwater and black-hole budgets.

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Graffiti Murals by Kamal Dollah for Telok Ayer Performing Arts Centre, Singapore

These guys got some great walls in Singapore and made wonderful murals on them.

Full article with in-progress shots.

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GPS, Graffiti, and Self-Incrimination

The article above describes a system of graffiti surveillance involving police using Global Positioning System (GPS) tagging of photos, etc. We could worry about that, but consider this bigger picture:

GPS is a system that involves a satellite and a ground receiver. The satellite tells the receiver on the ground where the receiver is located, to within a few feet. This system is very handy indeed when, for example, you happen to be lost.

Problem is when your devices report your location without telling you. Your phone might already be GPS-enabled. If not, your next one likely will be. It's not something you can turn off in most cases, because it's used by the emergency services, for example when you dial 911 for an ambulance, in the USA. You have to be tracked for your own good, see?

Your car might already be GPS-enabled. Maybe it has a map or direction finder, very handy. Or maybe it has an antitheft system like OnStar that keeps track of where your car is without telling you. Or maybe your rental car, company car or truck tells the company where you are all the time and your route, again without your knowledge or permission.

Your camera is next, and of course your phone camera. They will have GPS and it will be a "feature." Your photos will automatically contain where and when you took them and with what device, and when you upload to Flickr or whatever, the websites could display that info on a map. Cute, right? Except when the buffers come to the wall hours later or your secret bridge turns into a tourist area, or when the cops need a quick list of every place you hit this year.

GPS is only one of these passive-surveillance technologies of concern. There is also RFID, unencrypted wireless (email, texting, web browsing, pagers, keyboards, cordless phones, most cell phones), surveillance cameras, outdoor listening devices, and cell-phone triangulation, just to hit the high spots.

Clearly, humans need to be more in control of the kind of info their devices are sharing without their permsission. Nothing else will do. Try to buy stuff that has controls that put you in charge and features that are not hidden or automatic. Be aware that your devices can create big security problems for you.

And let's not forget the most dangerous form of self-incrimination: running your mouth. What you say in chatrooms, on phones, on Myspace, in email, to reporters, and to the nice policeman who promised to let you off easy if you just showed him every piece of graffiti you ever painted -- are the most dangerous kinds of self-incrimination available.

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