Archive for October, 2008

My horse could paint that picture!

October 22, 2008
Cholla in action

Cholla in action

Abstract art has always been a touch controversial.  For every recognized genius like Jackson Pollock or Wassily Kandinsky, there’s a critic who claims he could do just as well by dipping his dog in acrylics and letting it walk on the canvas.

And it turns out the critics might have been right.  The artist Cholla recently caused a stir at an international art exhibition in Italy, not only because of the quality of his work, but because he was ruled ineligible to win any prizes.  At first there was outrage.  And then there was surprise.  And then maybe a little embarrassment when it was revealed that Cholla is a. . .horse!

It seems Cholla has been painting for several years now, and many of his paintings are available for purchase from his website.  Purchasing certain paintings will even provide a donation to charities presumably picked by the horse himself, like the Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association, which helps wild mustangs in Nevada.

Check out this story for more about Cholla’s international exhibit or his website to see a video of the artist in action!

That really is a horse of a different color.

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Got Milk?

October 13, 2008

Do you hate political ads?  CNN and Time.com recently ran a feature of their picks for the “Top 10 Campaign Ads,” and I had to check it out.  “There’s a top 10?” I thought.  “That has got to be really scraping the barrel.”  But in fact, it turns out there have been some real masters of propaganda in this country and these ads are more than compelling.  And surprisingly, only one is overtly negative.  Turns out that some really effective ads can be made that actually make one candidate look good rather than simply trying to get a leg up by cutting down someone else.  In particular, the “It’s Morning in America” ad run by Reagan in 1984 is one of the finest pieces of propaganda I have seen.  Had I been able to vote in 1984, this probably would have done it.

Of course, the Kennedy and Ike ads might be a little too positive.  Forget the fact that they are cartoons.  The catchy jingle offers scant concrete reasons to vote for either candidate.  How did this work?  As if the American public would ever be fooled into voting for vague ideals in the guise of catchphrases and rhetoric!  Oh.  Right.  Maybe Obama should hire Pixar to come up with something for the last few weeks of the campaign.

See all the ads here.

The real debate.

October 5, 2008

Tina Fey returns for Sarah Palin part III and is as brilliant as ever in a longer sketch than the first two.  Maybe because Fey’s performance isn’t a surprise anymore, we don’t focus as much on her spot on mannerisms and verbal tics and inflections.  The real highlight here is Queen Latifah as moderator Gwen Ifill.  Latifah steals every moment with knowing glances and eye rolls, and she doesn’t try too hard to be funny in her supporting role.  Exactly what you expect from an Oscar nominee for best supporting actress.

Watch the video here.

Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

October 3, 2008

Here’s an innovative idea with a potential for real social impact!

This seems to me to be a great idea: there are no losers.  I have been to Juarez/El Paso, and a house made out of a shipping container would definitely be an upgrade for many people, on both sides of the Rio Grande.  The shipping containers are cheaply obtained, and it appears these guys have mastered how to inexpensively convert them.  In a day when real estate is as uncertain an investment as anything else, and even a manufactured home can run you $100,000, $8000 seems like a bargain for an actual address.  That’s less than a brand new Kia!

Is it the home of the future?  Somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing these in EPCOT any time soon, but I do think it has potential.  The applications are endless, and goodness knows there are countries all over the globe that have “slum problems.”  What do you think?  Would you buy one?

Here is a link to some other possibilities for shipping containers. . .