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March 31, 2011

Was The Shining made to be watched backwards?

images from The Shining played backwards and forwards

It's beyond question that Stanley Kubrick was a great film-maker. And you can make a very strong argument that he was one of the great artists of the 20th century. But some take it further, claiming that Kubrick was nothing short of a bona fide genius.

I just came across an argument in support of that last point, courtesy of Joanne McNeil's Tomorrow Museum. An article there delves into the uncanny symmetries that are revealed when you watch Kubrick's 1980 horror film The Shining forwards and backwards, at the same time.

According to the article, scenes match up too often to be just coincidence, and suspiciously often characters and objects are in what appear to be carefully designed juxtaposition. If this is true...that Kubrick thought this all out and pulled it off during the shooting and editing of the film...well then words just fail me.

If you want to take the forward and backwards plunge into The Shining (or for that matter any film) yourself, David Wolf has created a Mac App that will play any video file backwards and forwards at the same time.



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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2011

New logo for the MIT Media Lab

business cards with the MIT Media Lab logo

If you're going to do a new logo for a place as cutting-edge and futuristically groovy as the MIT Media Lab, you better bring your A game.

The German/New York design firm TheGreenEyl landed that gig and they came up with a solution that is simultaneously unique, identifiable, and infinitely variable.

The logo consists of three black squares, each one projecting a kind of square beam of color. But here's the clever bit -- each person at the Media Lab -- professor, staffer, or student -- can claim their own personalized version of the logo, via a web based logo creation interface. They can also generate one-of-a-kind logo animations. (You can see examples in TheGreenEyl's demo video).

UPDATE: A friend who attended the Media Lab says that customizable business cards are nothing new there. He says back in 2000 he was able to pick the stripe colors on his cards.

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

Bole hardwood floors

photo of Bole floor

One of the hallmarks of great architecture is the way it combines the man-made with the natural world it replaces. Think of Fallingwater, or Fay Jones' chapel, or Japanese shoji.

The Dutch company Bolefloor has come up with a method to give any hardwood floor a more natural feel. Their floor-boards are not cut into straight strips like traditional hardwood floors. Rather, they are cut into long sinuous curves that follow the natural grain of the wood. This makes each of their floors unique creation that reflects the way trees actually grow.

The floors are made of oak, and can be stained in a variety of shades. The company is currently looking for dealers and hope to have their floors available in April. Full details at bolefloor.com

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

What's inside an ant hill?

ant hill

You ever wonder what's inside an ant hill? Me too. This amazing video shows what happens when you take a massive African anthill, pump it full of concrete, let it dry, and then carefully cut away all of the dirt to reveal the hidden underground structure. The narrator has it right when he calls it "a wonder of the world".

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 07:02 AM | Comments (0)