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Kooky Kindle cover disasters
02.24.2015
10:09 am

Topics:
Amusing
Books
Design

Tags:

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You certainly can’t judge a Kindle by its cover as some of these badly illustrated titles are certified Amazon bestsellers—which either means they’re good reads or the author comes from a very large family.

The best thing about Kindle is the opportunity it gives wannabe writers to publish their work, but conversely, the worst thing about Kindle is the opportunity it gives to wannabe writers who want to publish their work… because some of them will.

Then of course there are the Kindle covers which vary from the tacky to the plain bizarre to the truly fucking ugly. So popular are these bad covers there is even a Tumblr site celebrating their awfulness, from which this small selection of abominations is culled.
 
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More kooky Kindle covers after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sexy pony girls, for all your BDSM rocking horse needs
02.23.2015
11:14 am

Topics:
Design
Sex

Tags:


 
In one of the more disturbing yet hilarious feats of crafty design I’ve seen, Peter Jakubik has redefined the term “pony play” with these bondage-inspired rocking horses. You have the option of making your own by downloading a DIY template from Etsy ($22.09), or purchasing one of many completed and painted models($1699.37), each with their own names, unique accessories and backstories. Yes, whether you prefer lace and ruffles, elaborate rope-play or a vinyl facemask, there is a pony girl for you.

Take for example the lovely Gisele, above:

The flexible body of Gisele the Balerina [sic] is firmly tied by a rope maze forming an improvised body harness. She combines her delight in rope tying with a passion for scenic dance. You can transform a classic performance by your bizarre game to a “bondage” Swan Lake.

I’m actually a bit partial to the unfinished wood grain, below. It has a certain… rustic ambiguity.

See more below for an idea of the “variety” that’s offered. Obviously this is all well and good, but I think he’s really limiting himself by sticking to the female form—a pony boy would sell much better, in my opinion. Maybe the purchaser is attracted to men or perhaps they like the idea of sadomasochistic kitsch, but don’t want the antifeminist stigma that might be associated with such a surreal knick-knack?

I say get on it, Jakubik! You’ll have them chomping at the bit!
 

 

“Fille de joie Jacqueline has penchant for burlesque. Her panties, stockings, long gloves and a corset must miss ruffles in any event. At first glance she coquettishly invites you to sit in the saddle and be gently lulled.”
 

“Despite the donkey ears on the harness, Vanda is not as adamant as you would expect from the way she looks. In its wavy-trimmed negligee and eared harness she keeps standing in her place, obediently waiting for the regular evening ride.”
 

“Xenia illustrates real girl next door without any sexual inhibitions. She hides her innocent little face under the hood joining her hair into a thick tail. Cuffs on hands and feet bond up her momentary daftness. It’s just up to you to unleash, and turn a canter to a rodeo.”
 

“Helga gives a clear indication that her haggard appearance of a little beast is really not for a romantic nature. Her semi-transparent lingerie and latex stockings are held in place by a similarly toned garter belt and tightly tied by a body harness. She will definitely stand out from your collection of toys.”

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
John Waters favorite website critiques gay ‘interior design’ as seen on Grindr
02.20.2015
10:40 am

Topics:
Amusing
Design
Queer
Sex

Tags:


Oh come on dude! At least tidy up a little bit first!
 
John Waters calls it “hilarious.” David Sedaris says it’s “just perfect.” Lurid Digs is quite possibly the greatest design resource on the entire Internet. This brilliant blog doesn’t deconstruct posh flats or stately mansions—my guess is that they dig through Grindr looking for the worst interiors of the erotic selfie genre. You would be shocked at the settings some of these men find appropriate for their boudoir photography, but Lurid Digs is on a mission to educate the masses—you know, in the name of good taste. Queer eye for the gay guy. Somebody had to do it.

From the website:

Interior design began with the first cave dwellers. Most likely it was a gay caveman who decided to paint pictures of running bison and other frolicking animals on the rough walls and low ceilings of his abode. Not only were these flourishes artistic and decorative, they also served as a way to feel more comfortable while living in a hole in the earth.

But, my how times have changed. Gone is the stereotypical association of gay men with good interior design. The Internet has shattered the gay style myth forever with its slew of nude amateur self-portraits that clog bandwidth from New York to Sydney and back again. These Feng Shui-challenged souls have proven over and over again that male homosexuals can be just as color uncoordinated, sloppy and nasty as their straight brethren. Yes, the gap between what defines gay and straight is slowly beginning to zipper shut.

Below I have carefully curated a few safe-for-work excerpts, cropping or censoring the associated photos for modesty, but whatever you do,do not visit the actual site if you aren’t in a gay-sex-friendly and penis-positive employment environment!
 

 

Do you know what drives me crazy about rooms like this? (Warning: this will reveal just how anal I am.)

It’s not the artwork. I mean, yes, the juxtaposition of the vaguely primitivist nude on the right with the large, Thomas Kinkade-y woodland scene (probably entitled “King of the Valley” or “The Forest’s Royal Family” or “Prince Staggerton and His Freaky, Funky Fawns”) is jarring. But at least there’s a theme going on, which is mostly “nature”. Or “naturism”.

It’s not the wallpaper, which is so aggressively neutral, it’s like being mugged in a wheat field by a Sandy Duncan impersonator, wielding a fistful of Triscuits. Plus, my mother had this exact same wallpaper put up in the house that we lived in between my 4th and 9th grade years, so, you know: memories, like the unnecessarily moulded corners of my hallway.

No, it’s the fact that in hanging said artwork upon said papered walls, the decorator didn’t use picture moulding and wire. Instead, s/he punched right through the wallpaper with a couple of lousy nails — possibly several, if there wasn’t a studfinder handy — meaning that s/he is now stuck with this particular arrangement until s/he decides to repaper the place, because patching holes in wallpaper is not for the faint of heart.

And goddess forbid s/he should move out before selling the place. Take down these paintings, and the house will look like the set of The Golden Girls: Sarajevo, 1993. Don’t people think of resale value anymore?

 
PHOTO REMOVED FROM WEBSITE
 

I like lesbianish minimalism. In theory. I like neutral backgrounds. In theory. I like semi-Spartan spaces. In theory.

Then I look at this room. Are they freakin’ kidding me?
This isn’t understated. It’s unfinished.

Do something, already! Hang a painting. Wainscott the tub surround. Put a Scarlett O’Hara toiletpaper cozy on top of the toilet. Optimally place a themed wastebasket. Pick a color, any color, and disperse it anywhere, anywhere.
For the love of Christopher Lowell, just start. And then continue. And then continue some more.

I don’t care how butch you (think you) are, a trashbag is not a design statement. And your panties are not accessories.

And as for those who have the ego to paper the interwebs with naked self-portraits but not the pride to clean the mirror or tidy up the two things in the reflected room?

 

 

The Shining ruined a lot of things.

It ruined the idea of winter retreats, proving that anyone dumb enough to lock himself away at a snowbound lodge will eventually start talking to ghost bartenders, taking blood elevators, and slaughtering everyone in sight. It ruined the archetype of the heroic “scream queen”, because for the first time in cinematic history, audiences rooted for the axe-wielding maniac, praying that he would slit Shelley Duvall’s throat so she would JUST CALM THE FUCK DOWN. And The Shining ruined Danny Lloyd’s career. Or rather, it prevented Danny Lloyd’s career from ever happening.

The Shining also ruined hallways. Before the movie came out in 1980, many of us had never given hallways much thought. In our 1960s and 1970s ranch homes, hallways were functional, forgettable architectural elements that connected our sunken dens to our rumpus rooms. But The Shining made them something sinister and deadly and full of twins.

So, if you must take a sexpic for Grindr or Growlr or some other app that holds a deep-seated grudge against the letter “e”, please (a) don’t take the photo in a hallway, and (b) if you must do it in a hallway because every other corner of your house is filled with bloodstained corpses, make sure that the hall is wide and attractive and finished and uncluttered. Because seeing vile-colored walls (that merge abruptly into differently hued vile-colored walls), unfinished doorjambs, unpainted plaster, naked lightbulbs, and piles of junk on the floor of a hallway makes viewers feel claustrophobic. Which is fine if you’re looking to pick up spelunkers or Harry Houdini, but otherwise, your axe-wielding right hand may have to do.

The whole site is ridiculously funny, and I strongly suggest you check it out, lest you commit a sexy snapshot Cardinal sin yourself. If you’re already featured on Lurid Digs, you have my deepest sympathy, but maybe consider sending them a revision shot showing what you’ve learned? I’m sure they’d love to know they’re making a difference in the world, one amateur at a time.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
For your feminine anatomical jewelry fix, order the Clitoring now!
02.03.2015
06:10 pm

Topics:
Design
Fashion

Tags:


 
Ever have one of those days where you wake up and think, “Sure, I’d like to embody female sexuality with my ensemble today, but that big business meeting I have at noon might not be the most appropriate setting for my full-body vulva costume. How can I go subtle?” Well, now the discerning gynocentric fashionista has an option for the office—the Clitoring, presumably by artist Penelopi Jones (though one could never know because “she” spells it “PenelopiJones,” and does not refer to herself in the first person, so “PenelopiJones” could very well be the name of an LLC belonging to some 75-year-old male jeweler obsessed with female anatomy).

From “her” website:

This provocative little anatomical form, mysterious yet oddly familiar, is a subtly stylized representation of a thing we all know, yet may know surprisingly little about. Until very recently both science and culture have misunderstood and often ignored all but the very tip of it. Our ring, like the anatomical renderings in the header, illustrate the newly rediscovered internal structure of the clitoris. The sensitive little button at the top of a woman’s vagina is apparently just the tip of the iceberg. What lies beneath the surface is vastly more complex and fascinating. It contains eight thousand nerve endings at the tip that permeate through this greater internal structure, then connect to an even greater network of fifteen thousand more that map the entire pelvic region, suggesting that even vaginal orgasms are technically “clitoral.” Over a lifetime the clitoris will increase in sensitivity and in size by seven times. The “wings” that hug the vaginal opening are called the bulbs of the vestibule and are composed of erectile tissue that become swollen during arousal.  The “arms” are the two crura that form a wishbone-like shape. We like to think of them as a sort of tuning fork, a device for sending and receiving vibrational energy, possibly for exploring the resonant structure of the universe.

If you’re sensing a little New Age woo in that description, just know that it’s nothing compared to affiliated project, The PenelopiJones Experiment, which purports to be, “a record of our pursuit of a greater understanding of the resonant structure of the universe through orgasm.”

Look, it’s kind of pretty, and it comes in both a ring and a pendant for a necklace (the sterling silver for $122 to 14 karat gold for $535), but I make it a point to steer clear of any jewelry that might accidentally misidentify me as the member of a cult. So on the off-chance The PenelopiJones Experiment is some sort of clitoral Scientology, I’ll be sticking with the classic vulva-suit.
 
Via Bustle

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp’: Kings and queens of hip-hop
12.15.2014
01:24 pm

Topics:
Art
Design
Music

Tags:

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Artist and designer Mark “Madina” Culmer produces lyrically inspired work from “The Golden Era Hip-Hop 1980s-1990s.” Taking The Public Enemy album/track “Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp” as his cue, Mark has created a print consisting of 42 postage stamps honoring the kings and queens of hip hop who:

...propelled the genre from humble beginnings in the block parties in New York to the global phenomenon we see today. So if you thought ‘most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps’ a few words of advice ‘Don’t believe the hype’.

Based in Brighton, England, Madina’s designs are also available as T-shirts and hoodies, and the whole range of his work can be found here.
 
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Chuck D.
 
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J Dilla.
 

The Notorious B.I.G.
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Flower power: Guns replaced with flowers in vintage war photos
12.15.2014
07:48 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Design

Tags:

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It was poet Allen Ginsberg who came up with the term “Flower Power” in his essay “How to Make a March/Spectacle” when he suggested anti-Vietnam war protesters should hand out thousands of flowers to policemen, soldiers and politicians as a symbol of their passive resistance to conflict.

French artist and designer Mister Blick makes a similar anti-war statement with his collages of historic war photographs in which weapons are replaced with giant flowers, and bullets with colorful petals.
 
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H/T Vintage Everyday.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Real estate cosplay: NYC developers trying to make ‘Steampunk Luxury Condos’ happen
12.11.2014
02:49 pm

Topics:
Class War
Design

Tags:


 
They say that “money don’t buy taste,” but if you can afford to live at N°15 RENWICK, one would assume you’ve at least got the cash for a “style consultant” to tell you how fucking corny you are. The luxury development (whose logo is an obvious homage to CHANEL N°5) is trying what may be the lamest of all marketing angles to attract a wealthy and “creative” clientele—they’re making it steampunk. Their advertising is an utterly confusing photo-spread of classically influenced modern architecture inhabited by Victorian-ish “characters”—it can only be described as real estate cosplay…

From the website:

The Characters of 15 Renwick pay homage to the Victorian era in which the street’s namesake, James Renwick and his son, lived (1790-1895). Renwick was a pioneering author, engineer and professor at Columbia University while his son, James Jr., was one of the most celebrated architects of his generation. The Characters also embody the creative persona of today’s Hudson Square resident and the insider nature of the single-block Renwick Street.

Look, pining for “Olde New York” is a rite of passage no matter what year you moved here, but these people are paying an insane amount of money for a New York that never even existed! One of the developers, Eldad Blaustein joked that the ideal tenant might be a “Wall Street trader, but he’s writing songs, he’s writing poems at night.”

Sounds about right. Who else would be so dead inside that they’d want to come home to LARP?
 

 

 

 

 
More real estate steampunk cosplay after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Idiotic hipsters complain about the font of ‘I Can’t Breathe’ protest shirts
12.10.2014
11:04 am

Topics:
Activism
Design
Fashion
Sports

Tags:


 
A new entry of the annals of monumentally missing the point…

“I Can’t Breathe” may be the sentence of 2014. They are, of course, the last words, uttered many times, of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old NYC Department of Parks horticulturist and occasional loose cigarette salesman whose inexplicable death by police chokehold in the Tompkinsville neighborhood (where I lived until quite recently) last July has led to a great deal of outcry.

The sentence has achieved the ultimate that can happen in our society—it has become a free-floating signifier in social media, just like Paula Deen’s supposedly homophobic fried chicken recipes or something. This past week several prominent athletes in the predominantly African-American NBA, including the Bulls’ Derrick Rose, the Cavaliers’ LeBron James, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, and the Nets’ Deron Williams, have warmed up wearing T-shirts heartbreakingly emblazoned with that simple message of solidarity with a blameless victim of police brutality: “I CAN’T BREATHE.”

All across America, a small minority of observers reacted in the expected way: they tut-tutted the shirts’ choice of font. The shirts, while admittedly embodying a courageous stand against the combined forces of intolerance, had committed the unpardonable sin of violating a bit of design etiquette.

Among people who take design very seriously, the Comic Sans typeface has been a bête noire for at least a decade, because it is often used by “design-blind” “normals” outside of its optimal range of uses, frequently lending an unserious air to messages of stern import. Designed by Vincent Connare, Comic Sans was released by Microsoft in 1994, which surely contributed to its popularity.

For instance, Tony Seddon named a book after it (Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans: 365 Graphic Design Sins and Virtues: A Designer’s Almanac of Dos and Don’ts) in which he calls it “arguably the most inappropriately used typeface in history” (although a page later he sort of takes it back).

Eventually, on the McSweeney’s website, Mike Lacher defended the honor of the typeface with “I’m Comic Sans, Asshole,” which contained the immortal line “I’m the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes fucking Gutenberg.” The piece simultaneously seemed to agree with the design critics’ peeve while putting them in their place.

On the T-shirts, for instance, Caroline Fredericks, of “California/Alabama,” tweeted, “how many people will be able to look past the choice of comic sans?” Ryan Hubbard, of Kansas City, tweeted, “Who’s giving all of these NBA players “I can’t breathe” shirts set in Comic Sans? I love that they’re wearing them, but come on, man.”

The New York Times report on the shirts emphasizes the outsize efforts of Jay-Z and others to replicate the gesture made by Derrick Rose of the Bulls and makes no mention of Comic Sans or any other aspect of the shirts’ design, except to note that “Rameen Aminzadeh, a member of Justice League NYC, drafted a simple design for the text of the T-shirt, which other members of the group approved sometime after 1 a.m. [referring to late Sunday night/early Monday morning].”

Here are a few of the tweets—there’s plenty more where these came from.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
via Vocativ

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Turntablism: So there’s a Spirograph record player hack
12.06.2014
09:54 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Design
Music
Science/Tech

Tags:


 
As if having a turntable didn’t already cause me and my savings account enough trouble, after seeing these videos, now I really want another one. There are some crafty people out there who’ve figured out how to make record players function as visual art tools. Specifically, drawing roulette curves, not entirely unlike Christian Marclay weilding a Spirograph. (If someone with better math-fu wants to correct me on what kind of curves these are exactly, PLEASE go for it, I’m all ears.)
 

 
I’d love to do something like this, but actually play the records, credit each drawing to the two musical artists whose albums “made” the art, and show them in such a way as to allow the viewer to hear the mashed-up musical works. Maybe go ultra-meta and use concrète artists? Spyro Gyra vs ... well, any musician named “Graff?” It could get quite ridiculous!
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Let’s play Revolution: Gorgeous but violent Soviet board games, 1920-1938
11.11.2014
11:50 am

Topics:
Art
Design
Games
History

Tags:


“Chemical War,” 1925
 
The phrase “war toys” usually evokes images of little plastic guns, gritty action figures with kung-fu grips and more recently the first-person shooter video game. In Soviet Russia however, bloodthirsty board games were incredibly popular. I’d imagine this was partially due to a national penchant for games of strategy (like chess), but also probably owing (at least somewhat, if not to a great extent) to manufacturing considerations. Russia was still attempting a massive industrialization project throughout the 1930s, and board games were pretty quick and easy to produce without much in the way of materials or tools.

Obviously not every Russian board game had the hawkish tenor of most of the games below (“Electrification”), but there’s certainly enough of them to see palpable themes of nationalism and war. You’ll notice the game “Battle” looks pretty wholesome at first glance… until you realize that the players are engaging in a leisurely game on a battlefield, seemingly unaware of the carnage taking place directly behind them. Despite the intriguing cover art, I can’t find much on the rules or premises of these games, except they they were educational tools and often contained a military trivia component. Still, as far as insidiously nationalist, war-mongering propaganda goes, don’t they look kind of… fun?
 

“Revolution,” 1925
 

“Air War,” 1925
 

“Battle,” 1938
 
More Soviet games after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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