Cora “Name Your Poison” Bar Glasses from Neiman Marcus
12 November, 2009, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Culture, Graphic Design, Products


My family had a set of these “Name Your Poison” glasses growing up. They were large heavy bottomed drinking glasses individually titled: Cyanide, Currare, Hemlock, Strychnine, Belladonna and Arsenic. They came with little glass stirrers and did a very good job of looking kind of ominous.

I’m not sure where or when (1970s I suppose) my mother originally got them, but they functioned as one of our sets of drinking glasses(non-alcoholic). But as a child I refused to use them, or at least did so with a sense of dread. It’s not that I though my mom was trying to poison me, but I was certain they were at one time filled with whatever was written on them. By drinking out of them I was sure to die from whatever trace amounts might be left. Obviously I was a bit literal, gullible, yet selectivly suspicious of dishwashers.

Continue reading


Apple pie recipe.
12 November, 2009, 3:09 pm
Filed under: Philosophy, Quotation, Science, Space Exploration


I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudoscience and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us-then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls.

The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.

[Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark]

Owning Color: Malignant trade marking and corporate greed run amuck.
12 November, 2009, 12:08 pm
Filed under: 1


Can you trademark all the colors of the wind? In his article Color: The Next Limited Resource?, author Francisco Inchauste, poses two important questions: Is Pantone a monopoly, and is color proprietary? The former really is more relevant to designers, but the latter is symptomatic of a more far reaching debate. In either case, the answer to both, whether we like it or not, is yes.

Continue reading

Culture fail: Little girls are disgusting.
12 November, 2009, 10:12 am
Filed under: 1


Worm Miller at MADATOMS gives us a janitor’s insight into the gender divided sanitation rituals of middle schoolers, and it is disgusting. But is it really surprising? Did a broken system corrupt girls, or did girls corrupt a broken system?

Read the rest here: ‘Little Girls: More Disgusting than you know.’

Anyone could be a Cyl– I mean Visitor.
11 November, 2009, 11:34 pm
Filed under: 1
VSG_HeaderHaven’t we met before?

From 2004 to 2009, through a miniseries and four seasons of prime time cable television, Batttlestar Galatica won a hard earned critical praise and fan adoration (minus that ending… but let’s not talk about that). When it concluded in March, there was a sci-fi (Syfy?) void. ABC decided that it would put the V in that void, and, for the moment, this new series is the would-be inheritor to Galactica’s fan base, and I’m sure aspires to its acclaim. But is it anything we haven’t already seen? As much as I want to like the new V, I feel like its Battlestar Galactica all over again.

Continue reading

New at Pentagram: ‘Metalsmith’
11 November, 2009, 11:19 pm
Filed under: 1


Metalsmith, the publication of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), has in recent years expanded its focus beyond art jewelry to become a showcase for art and craft design. Published five times a year, the magazine presents profiles and portfolios of artists and designers, news and articles about materials and processes, and reviews of exhibitions and books. To accommodate its growing vision, editor Suzanne Ramljak commissioned Luke Hayman to redesign the publication. Ramljak had previously worked with Pentagram on editorial redesigns of both Glass and Sculpture magazines. Hayman’s new design for Metalsmith emphasizes the art’s creative impulse and reshapes the magazine into an object as crafted as its subject.

Read more after the jump.

Can Faction: Can Sci-fi fans stop waiting for Obama and start writing their own future?
11 November, 2009, 11:16 pm
Filed under: 1

Last Thursday, Bill Maher offered up another of his “New Rules,” New Rule: If America Can’t Get it Together, We Lose the Bald Eagle. It’s a surprisingly powerful commentary on the ever-growing inertia of America. For a science fiction fan like me, the biggest slap in the face came in Maher’s juxtaposing of the Apollo program with the World Trade Center reconstruction. In one eight year period, America pierced the heavens, but in another, we are left staring down the abyss. In this first decade of a new millennium, what was supposed to be the birth of the future, it seems that every proposal for something new, or something better, is met with terminal hesitation or loud reactionary opposition. The age of “Yes We Can,” is starting to feel a bit more like the age of “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today.” How did the world of tomorrow become so wimpy?

Continue reading