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University building sure looks a lot like a toilet
07.06.2016
02:41 pm

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Amusing
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In February the State Council of the Chinese central government released an “urban blueprint” calling for buildings that are “suitable, economic, green and pleasing to the eye,” and putting the kibosh on those that are “oversized, xenocentric, weird.”

One wonders how the officials behind that directive reacted when they saw the building recently unveiled by an educational facility in Hainan, China. It bears a striking resemblance to a certain plumbing object that most of us use every day.
 

 
Here’s the kicker: the school in question is actually the North China University of Water Conservancy and Electric Power, leading some to suppose that the commode-ish design of the structure is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the purpose of the university. That it was deliberate!

This new toilet-building arrives in a year when many people are saying that Zaha Hadid’s design for the airport in Beijing, scheduled to be completed in 2019, looks suspiciously like a vagina.
 

 
via Mashable

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Here’s Johnny!’: ‘The Shining’ cuckoo clock
07.05.2016
10:09 am

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Art
Design
Movies

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Here’s a neato cuckoo clock that reenacts the famous ax scene from The Shining on the hour. Apparently every hour Jack Torrance breaks through the door—something that seems pretty cuckoo, I think we can all agree—with his axe yelling “Here’s Johnny!” accompanied by the screams from Shelley Duvall’s character. The clock, made by Chris Dimino, is sadly just a one-off. Boo!

Perhaps if there’s some Internet interest, Chris Dimino will make more?

I tried to find some video footage of the clock in action, but unfortunately turned up empty handed.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Giant Raven Costume
07.05.2016
09:14 am

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Design
Games

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Wow! I really like this giant raven costume by illustrator and video game artist, Rah-Bop. It’s incredibly well-made and the details are impeccable. The costume was designed after Rah-Bop’s D&D character, Rue.

There’s really no additional information about this costume to report that I was able to find. But it’s amazing isn’t it? I wonder how long it took to make?

Hollywood needs to hire this Rah-Bop stat!


 
via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
i-Monster: Horribly gruesome cases for your smart phone
07.05.2016
09:14 am

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Art
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Morgan Loebel is an artist and dental technician who makes creepy, monstrous and downright scary phone covers out of polymer clay.

Loebel calls his gruesome designs Morgan’s Mutations. Each hand-sculpted phone cover is features a twisted, tongue-lolling, toothsome, fleshy aberration. Mostly monophthalmic, these creatures look set to lick and bite the hapless phone user. 

The quality of the flesh-shredding teeth on display are evidence of Loebel’s twenty years’ work as a dental technician crafting realistic detailed crowns, bridges and other dental prosthesis. This experience was fundamental in Loebel creating his life-like mutated creatures.

I love creating beings that have realistic features, from the eyes, teeth and the wrinkles in its flesh.

If you want to scare the bejesus out of friends and colleagues then check out the full range of Morgan’s Mutations here or on Facebook.
 
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More of Morgan’s Mutations, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Remember those too-good-to-be-true vinyl toys of your favorite pop culture icons?
06.30.2016
01:14 pm

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Design
Pop Culture

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Jeff Spicoli. Get him here.

A few years ago I blogged about these really cool 3D models of pop culture icons that I mistakenly thought were actual vinyl toys. A lot of people’s hopes of owning those fantastic vinyl toys went down the drain. Well lo and behold, someone actually has turned a few of the 3D models into the real McCoy and now you can own them!

Not all of my favorites were made, but a lot of cool ones do exist. The only thing I found a bit disappointing is the lack of vinyls of female characters. C’mon! There are a few!

I’ve linked to where to buy each vinyl toy under its image.


‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ Brad Hamilton vinyl. Get him here.
 

The Dude. Get him here.
 

Dr. Frankenstein. Get him here.
 

Igor. Get him here.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Eurotrash: Tasteless 80s VHS cover art from Germany
06.22.2016
10:39 am

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Design
Movies

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At its best the VHS cassette cover was a mini work of art telling you everything that’s good about the movie inside the box. At worst, well it’s just video clickbait offering up spurious imagery of sex and violence created by (it would seem) drug-addled monkeys left in a room way too long with typewriters and a whole set of day-glo paints to play with.

I could be wrong but it would seem that the VHS cover art genre has consistently offered up the very worst promotional art imaginable. I know there are plenty of self-published e-books out there with ghastly homemade photoshop covers that a five-year-old could do better with their eyes shut—but VHS tape covers were created by the paid talents of an artist—who painted the picture, a graphic designer—who produced the typographer and a sales guy—who obviously had no talent whatsoever, certainly no taste, but apparently the largest say on what went on the label. Rummage through any VHS bin in your local thrift store and you’ll find plenty of these crimes against culture

It should also be noted for the edification of future generations that these lurid retina-burning creations were not just the preserve of the USA—every country in the world had their own taste bypass when it came to the packaging for movies on VHS. This little gallery offers a stocktake of VHS covers from Germany during the 1980s.
 
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No, not a tale of dark and depraved demonic sex but ‘The Howling.’
 
More tasteless VHS covers, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Vintage flashback-inducing psychedelic ads from the 60s and 70s that will give you a contact high
06.22.2016
09:28 am

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Art
Design
Drugs
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Who knew that wearing Wrangler Jeans could be this much fun? Vintage ad from the 1970s.
 
Every product under the the sun in the 60s and 70s seemed to be coated with LSD. Even mundane items like Wrangler Jeans, acne medication and Plymouths caught the psychedelic buzz. If you weren’t taking drugs at the time, all you really had to do was pick up a magazine and check out some of the colorful (and confusing) ads and get experienced.
 

Vintage psychedelic ad for the Yellow Pages.
 
I was very lucky to have a wonderful art teacher in the sixth-grade who at the end of the year gifted me with a Peter Max poster book as we both shared a love for that type of counter culture artistic expression which I still have to this day (thanks, Mrs. B!). Max’s widespread notoriety began in the 60s and continues to this day (The 78-year-old artist was commissioned in 2012 to paint the hull of a Norwegian Cruise Line ship). It wasn’t surprising to see his recognizable artwork show up in a 1971 ad for the Chelsea National Bank which I have of course included in this post. I’ve also got a soft spot for the kaleidoscopic ads for the vintage cosmetics line sold at Woolworth’s (the land of neverending bins and shelves full of everything including from 45’s to underpants) called Baby Doll. Grab some sunglasses and enjoy!
 

Peter Max’s illustration for the Chelsea National Bank, 1971.
 

An ad for Baby Doll cosmetics sold at Woolworth’s during the 60s and early 70s.
 

Trippy vintage ad for the ‘New-Hope Soap’ Clearasil.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Bob Hope’s breathtaking midcentury modern estate—now half price!
06.14.2016
10:55 am

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Design
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The legendary comedian Bob Hope probably did as much as anyone to define the image of the California community of Palm Springs. Among other things, the comedian founded the Palm Springs Bob Hope Golf Classic in 1964 and relentlessly promoted the desert hideaway in the Coachella Valley located a two-hour drive east of Los Angeles.
 

 
In The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America, Lawrence Culver explains that Hope’s wife Dolores had become enamored of a house that the great midcentury modern architect John Lautner designed for a Palm Springs interior designer named Arthur Elrod in 1968—you can see it in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever:
 

If Elrod wanted a party house, Bob and Dolores Hope asked for an entertainment complex. Dolores Hope had been enchanted by the Elrod House, and the Hope House revisited the domed Elrod design, with a much larger dome intended to evoke the forms of the mountains nearby. Now, however, the dome was open to the sky and served to enclose a large courtyard. The space devoted to the couple’s personal residence was relatively small, as most of the behemoth structure was intended to be used to entertain, feed, and potentially house hundreds of guests. When Dolores Hope’s husband saw Lautner’s design, he reportedly quipped that “at least when they come down from Mars they’ll know where to go.” Though Bob Hope consented to the project, Lautner and Dolores Hope had a difficult relationship. She repeatedly asked for changes that required redesigns. A devastating fire during construction also slowed building and resulted in a less ambitious design than Lautner’s initial plan. He subsequently looked back on the project with regret, but the Hope residence nevertheless became a Palm Springs landmark.

 
The property is located at 2466 Southridge Drive. The house is 23,366 square feet and contains 10 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms. The lot is roughly six acres in size. As recently as a year ago was on the market for $50 million. Right now, however, the same property is available on Estately for approximately half of that—the current listing price is $24,999,000.

Here’s the description:
 

Mere words cannot describe this majestic and historical piece of architecture which was the largest private residence designed by John Lautner and commissioned by legendary Bob & Dolores Hope. The property has entertained dignitaries from all over the world and is viewed by many as one of the most iconic pieces of architecture in the world.

 
Some affluent DM reader should buy the thing and invite us all over for a party.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Stark images of the decaying & (maybe) haunted ‘UFO’ resort in Taiwan that never was
06.08.2016
09:15 am

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Design
History

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Clusters of the pod-shaped ‘Sanzhi UFO Houses’ in New Taipei City in Taiwan.
 
There are lots of mythical, Scooby-Doo style storylines associated with the construction of what was to be a posh, futuristic resort destination that became known as the Sanzhi UFO Houses (also known as the “Sanzhi Pod Houses” or “Sanzhi Pod City”). Located in the Sanzhi District of New Taipei City in Taiwan and reminiscent of the short-lived Disneyland attraction the Monsanto House of the Future , one of the rumors conjured up about Sanzhi was that it was built on the same site as a burial ground for Dutch soldiers back in the early 1600s. There was also some talk that the construction site was cursed due to the removal and subsequent disassembly of a Chinese dragon sculpture from the property. Where are those meddling kids when you need them?
 

A water slide to nowhere.
 
All stoner-jokes aside, there were actually numerous fatal accidents (and a suicide) that occurred while the UFO-style resort was being built. Ultimately, anyone involved with construction and development of the Sanzhi UFO Houses called it a day and work on what was to become a large-scale vacation destination, ceased. Despite the fact that it never took off the Sanzhi UFO Houses became a very desirable tourist destination just based on their unusual architecture and folklore. Sadly, if you were just about to book a couple of tickets to Taiwan to see them, don’t, as the strange futuristic village of pods were reduced to rubble sometime in 2008 despite an attempt to preserve a few and convert them into a musuem.

Shots of the Sanzhi UFO Houses that are no more, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Groove-tastic French playing cards from the 1960s
06.07.2016
01:51 pm

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Design
Games

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I love everything about this great deck of incredible playing cards that I found at Flickr, they were put up by a user named taffeta whose real name is apparently Patricia M.

They were made by a company called Stemm in France, or maybe S.L.C. Atlanta was the company and Stemm was the product line? I don’t know. The deck seems heavily influenced by Peter Max and the geniuses responsible for the movie Yellow Submarine but it’s impossible to know.
 

 
In France the terms club, heart, spade, and diamond translate to trèfle, coeur, pique, and carreau. Meanwhile King, Queen, and Jack are represented as Roi, Dame, et Valet.

The faces are on the cards are French pop stars including Françoise Hardy, France Gall, Johnny Hallyday, Eddy Mitchell, Sylvie Vartan, Sheila, and so on. I’m pretty hopeless at matching the Google pics of those folks with these pics, so I’ll take their word for it. (Feel free to solve the puzzle in comments.)

In my opinion it’s more fun not knowing who the people are—it turns the deck into a gallery of random 60s swingers…...

For a nearly full deck, check out taffeta’s page.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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