16 December, 2010

Dogs in Cars

I recommend you check out Martin Usborne's photos MUTE: the Silence of Dogs in Cars. They are lovely.

...The images in this series explore that feeling, both in relation to myself and to animals in general. The camera is the perfect tool for capturing a sense of silence and longing: the shutter freezes the subject for ever and two layers of glass are placed between the viewer and the viewed: the glass of the lens, the glass of the picture frame and, in this instance, the glass of the car window further isolates the animal. The dog is truly trapped.

When I started this project I knew the photos would be dark. What I didn’t expect was to see so many subtle reactions by the dogs: some sad, some expectant, some angry, some dejected. It was as if upon opening up a box of grey-coloured pencils I was surprised to see so many shades inside.

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13 December, 2010


Photographic documentation of a Space Shuttle launch plays a critical role in the engineering analysis and evaluation of each mission. Motion and Still images enable Shuttle engineers to visually identify unusual events and conditions requiring corrective action to ensure mission safety and success.

This compilation of film and video was shot mostly on 16mm film at extremely high-speed to give a super slow motion effect when replayed at 24 frames per second. It is also hypnotically beautiful. Strap in.

The video was produced by Matt Melis at the Glenn Research Centre.

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07 December, 2010

Wallpaper 11

I've been trying out the new perspective grid tools in Illustrator CS5, have some death defying wallpaper...



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04 December, 2010


My local Italian bike specialist have taken delivery this week of a V7 Cafe Racer. To say it polarised opinions when pictures were released would not be an understatement, plenty of enthusiasts but for others a 'factory custom' is a contradiction in terms that lacks authenticity.

The finish is generally high quality - according to Andy the mechanic it's certainly better than the bike that did the rounds at shows which was let down by some rough details. Another difference is this production model doesn't wear the exhaust wrap that the show bike had. To my mind an improvement, the bandage smacks a little of 'this year's hip look' if you know what I mean and inspired some of the haters... without it the styling is calmer and more refined.

I'm disappointed by the tailpiece, just like a Triumph Thruxton it is a cafe racer style plastic moulding sat atop the large frumpy regular mudguard except on the Guzzi the moulding incorporates number boards (hope you like the number seven). It's a shame that Moto Guzzi couldn't design an all new back end for this single seater with a trim elegant look, but my guess is that the extra expense involved in going down that route would mean a sticker price too salty to make sense - so perhaps better this compromise than nothing at all.

Speaking of plastic, the fuel tank isn't actually metal, it's a plastic tank with a chrome finish. Very nicely done for sure whatever you think of the leather strap adorning the tank, but I wonder how this tank will age... what kind of patina does a plastichrome tank attain after a decade or two of belt buckles and low speed drops? Or should that be dropped MacBooks and spilt Mochafrappucinos...? A genuine alloy item would of course age beautifully but again Moto Guzzi need to build this to a cost.

Doubtless for some this is an excercise in style over substance, replies along the lines of 'buy a £2-3k bike off ebay, sort it out, make it your own' abound whenever a manufacturer makes a modern retro but plenty of people lack the time, ability or fortitude for such a task. They do have the green though... and an open faced lid and fashionable jacket to go lane-swinging... and who am I to judge them. The Cafe Racer is a handsome bike and looks like a slice of fun.

The dealer was unwilling to let even a long time customer, and I'd like to think trusted friend go for a spin through the snow and slush to find out how it rides, that pleasure can wait awhile. Besides do you know what road salt does to plastichrome?

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