I walked into the Cafe at Berkeley’s International House tonight before going to hear Robert F. Kennedy Jr. talk about the environment. I’m used to sports on the flat screens at most places, so was startled to notice that the ones here were showing newspaper front pages from around the world.
This was the first time I’d seen other people using portrait displays to project interesting vertical content (see my post on trying this at home).
Continue reading Today’s Front Pages: Flat Screen Edition
Among all the random stuff I’ve collected over the years, this 1881 Boston phone book is one of the standouts. Published only five years after the telephone was patented (in 1876), there are a mere few hundred listings, including one for Alexander Graham Bell himself:
This is undoubtedly one of the earliest phone books, and as far as I know the only early one you can view on the web. The first book, issued in 1878 in New Haven, was auctioned by Christies in 2008.
Continue reading Early Boston Telephone Book
I was at the Cal library today reading David Lance Goines’ book about the Free Speech Movement, of which he was one of the organizers. I’d been meaning to start the book, and saw him crossing the street this morning so decided today was the day (now in his 70’s, he’s a well known Berkeley personality, graphic artist and writer).
I stopped reading just as he describes how the Free Speech Movement erupted in 1964, culminating in the mass arrests which were the opening shot of student campus protests nationwide. The trigger was the contested strip of land between Sather Gate and Bancroft Ave, where students thought they could protest but the University cracked down anyway.
I walked by this area on my way home, which was a good call because I got to see this awesome drum corps.
If you want to start a trend that goes from obscure to ubiquitous seemingly overnight, open it up wide. Case in point: Pilates.
I started doing Pilates this year, so I’m what you’d call an ‘early majority adopter.’ While not quite mainstream, Pilates has become a huge fitness trend with millions of participants, seemingly out of nowhere, in a short time. I’d heard of it in the 1990’s… my sister was doing it as part of a rehab program. But I had no idea that a small group of people, mostly elite dancers, had been doing it since the ’60s and 70s.
Pilates percolated for a few decades, and then went viral around 2000-2005. Why? Because it essentially became open source on October 20, 2000.
Continue reading How Pilates Got Huge: It Went Open Source
Bill Gates once spent millions of dollars to build virtual art displays into his new house. Well, now the cost is a couple hundred bucks, plus a little legwork. And the result looks great. (Note that the examples shown here are purposely set to run too fast, for demo purposes in a short video. Slower is better.)
Continue reading Virtual Poster Display
Over the past few years I’ve been noticing public art more. Because it’s gotten way better and more interesting – we’re finally getting away from the formulaic people-on-park-benches public art of the 1980s, and back to the attitude and adventurousness of the 1930s. I don’t know if this is somehow related to the Internet, or because people like Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and Christo inspired a generation of more adventurous artists. But I’ll take it.
(Above: I really liked this mural on Alabama Street in the Mission. It just appeared one day in late 2015)
Continue reading Tracking Public Art
Since moving to Berkeley, where I have more space, I’d been thinking I really needed a trophy wall of some kind. But not wanting to kill any large animals, I put the idea on hold. Until I saw this:
Continue reading Cast Iron Georgia O’Keefe