The Meaning of Life is 42

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Skate and Destroy.....your house..

Been awhile since a post, and I've been around. Not much time to sit down and type up a post, not that there are many people who actually read this, more for my own entertainment I suppose.

Anyway, I came across this post on the blog Environmental Grafitti. I want this house. Period. I don't skate much anymore, but I'm sure that changes when your entire house is a skatepark. Aside from the obvious problems of launching wooden projectiles into your dishes, walls, windows, etc whenever you mess up a trick, the house is genius. Find the full post below:

The Ramp House: A Skatable Home By Archivirus

Thu, Apr 9, 2009

All images via Archivirus

Skateboarders are a fanatical bunch, warriors on wheels who’ll ollie and grind whenever and wherever they can. Any urban space will do, but if it’s raining or there isn’t a skate park nearby, what’s a skater to do? Answer: live in the Ramp House, newly completed by Acrhivirus Architecture and Design. The Ramp House is exactly what it says it is: less a residence with a ramp than a seamless integration of half-pipe and homestead.


Given the brief of creating a “skatable habitat”, architect Athanasia Psaraki launched into creating “a curved form interior which set the whole house as well as the inhabitant’s life into motion.” She tells Environmental Graffiti: “It was more a project of passion and creativity than functionality.”


This was an undertaking that could genuinely claim to redefine a living space – actually a roof addition to a three-storey building – given that homes are not designed for skating, just as skate parks tend not to be the homeliest places.


Psaraki strove to achieve a harmonious balance between the old and the new. A wooden pergola and wooden horizontal louvers envelop the entire structure, connecting the building as it was with the way it is now – while also offering an airy spot from which to watch the action.


Far from simply having a mini-ramp installed in a living room, the skateboarding factor was incorporated into the very design details, making a home fully capable of being skated – frontside, backside, anyside. Says the architect:

“For me, the challenge of this project was to make a living space where the ramp, the bowl and all the interpretations of those terms would actually become the building elements for this space.”


Thus, by way of the architect’s imagination, straight lines became curved, and flat surfaces found new meaning as part of a ramp or a bowl. Psaraki says:

“Playing with these forms and with the variable transitions which they offer, my main goal was to create a functional open space where aspects of daily life would adopt ‘the feeling of acceleration.’”


With this in mind, Psaraki designed a home where the living room is no longer just a living room but a mini-ramp that turns into a bowl – which in turn creates a partition with the bedroom and bathroom. Meanwhile, elements like the fireplace and storage units are hidden within the ramp structures.


Through a merging of styles, concrete supplies the street skate aesthetic while wood provides a warm ambiance. Concrete walls mould into the floor, which then becomes wood, forming a ramp separating the kitchen. In this last space, at least, surely the crockery makes kick-flips a faux pas? But no.


Psaraki also reveals that experts were very much – sorry – on board: “The ramp transitions were made on site by skater friends who had experience skating mini ramps while construction details were drawn after extensive research via the internet and people who might know!”


The final effect? A skater’s dream that wouldn’t alienate those who just want an environment to chill in; a smooth environment where you “can flow from one space to the other, skating or walking”.


Turning a home into a play park for your pastime of choice is probably not a luxury everyone can aspire to, but for those who can it’s a pretty rad idea. It more than set Psaraki’s creativity in motion, with the architect concluding: “At the end of this project I definitely adopted ‘the feeling of acceleration.’”


With special thanks to Athanasia Psaraki for her insightful comments and kind permission for use of the images.

via Environmental Grafitti

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Ok, so I have been back in the US for about 2 weeks now, and have been a bit lax in posting stuff (not that it matters, since not to many people really look at this :) I have a few impressions about being there then coming back here, but I'll get into those in a later post.

While I was in the UK, I found this great prank call show called Fonejacker. One guy does all the voices, and has a bunch of different characters; from a Nigerian bank account scammer to an Indian telemarketer who tries to sell everything from internet service "providings" to online "datings." Really funny.

The show comes on Channel 4 in the UK, and you can watch full episodes on the Channel 4 website, except that you have to be in the UK to do so; or make the website THINK you are in the UK. You can go to a site like DaveProxy, and enter the URL at the bottom of the page, close the ads, and volia! the site now thinks your computer is located in the UK. can just got to YouTube and watch clips from the show there. Just do a search for Fonejacker, or Click Here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Memorial email??? re-word first please....

I received this chain email from a friend today; needless to say, I had some problems with the author's note at the end of the cartoon. My response is listed at the end...

Begin original message------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

May we not forget… It won’t be long and they will all be dead. Let’s not learn the lesson again the hard way.


Please read the little cartoon carefully, it's powerful. Then read the comments at the end.?
I'm doing my small part by forwarding this message. I hope you'll consider doing the same.

In Memoriam?


It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russian Peoples looking the other way!
Now, more than ever, with Iraq, Iran , and others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it's imperative to make sure the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again.

This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!
Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.

Please send this e-mail to 10 people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain.

Please don't just delete it.
It will only take you a minute to pass this along -Thanks!

"A wise man asks questions, a fool is afraid of knowledge"

End original message--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My response:

I'd forward this, but I don't agree with the wording at the end of the cartoon. I feel like I'd be forwarding the same kind of ignorance that, in part, led to the Holocaust. The writer is making some awfully big generalizations, which should not be done when dealing with a subject like the Holocaust. "While the Russian and German peoples looked the other way???" They didn't all look look the other way, and at the writers own admission, 20 million Russian died; were they looking the other way? I think not....Not all Germans agreed with Hitler, nor did they sit idly by while he committed the atrocity that was the Holocaust; many died fighting against Nazi policies. Saying "while the German and Russian peoples looked the other way," dishonors the memory of those who were brave enough to stand up, be they Russian, German, or otherwise, many of whom were killed as a result.

Then, the author makes another mistake of over generalization by saying that "now, more than ever, with Iraq, Iran, and others, claiming the Holocaust to be a 'myth'." There is a minority of people in those countries who may beleive this, and get attention for saying it, but the author seems to beleive that the entire populace of each of the named countries holds this beleif, which is simply NOT TRUE. Thats like saying that all Muslims are terrorists, when it is only a small percentage of Muslims who take to extremist ideals. The cartoon is nice, but the following commentary comes off as a bit ignorant. Here is a generalization that was made during WWII:

All the Jews are responsible for the world's problems, and therefore should be exterminated.

See where generalizations about an entire group of people can lead??
It's good to remember the Holocaust, but a little critical thinking would seem to be in order when sending out an email like this, especially if you intend it to be forwarded to 40 million people.....

A wise man also knows that you cannot judge an entire people by the actions of a select few.....
None of us can honestly say what we would have done in such a situation, there is no way to know, we weren't there; and let us hope that the world never has to go through something like that again.
Think about it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Where are you wearing?

Most of us never give a thought to where our clothes come from. Fact is, the majority of the clothes we in the US wear, come from factories in third world countries. Kelsey Timmerman explores this in his book "Where am I Wearing." Picking out his favorite wardrobe items, Timmerman travels to various countries where each of these items were produced, meeting the people, and the families who make the clothes we wear. Most of them work for less per month than that new pair of jeans cost you.

Thanks Jus
From MentalFloss

Sunday, December 7, 2008

"Spruce" up your apartment

Kill some time.

The folks over at Apartment Therapy are always coming up with ways to improve the space in which you live. I found this one particularly appealing and plan on adding it to my list of planned weekend projects (housewarming gift Ashley! ;)

For more ways to fill up your weekend doing something more productive than playing videogames or nursing a hangover, shoot over to Lifehacker's Weekend Projects section.

From Apartment Therapy:

Here is how Kevin describes the process:

- Chose the branches I liked

- Cleaned them up by removing all the little twigs that werent attractive
pulled of any loose bark

- Placed the branches on my dining table so that when I stacked them I could do it to match the table, and the bottom was "flat" when it was hung

- Screwed the branches together - first drilled a pilot hole - and used small "bullet" head wood screws

- Bought some lamp cord, small candelabra sockets, some 1/4 IP nipple, and a light canopy at Cliff's Variety hardware store here in SF (any good hardware store would have the parts)

- Drilled a shallow hole a little smaller than the 1/4 IP nipple and twisted them in to the hole

- Wired the all the candelbra sockets together ("daisy chained") and screwed them onto the nipples

- Covered the sockets with plastic candelabra "candle" covers

- Suspended the whole thing using thin plastic-coated cable....the hanging wires were passed through 2 small pulleys and attached to the light in four places so I could balance it back and forth to get it level.

- Ran the electrical to a canopy I bought...connected to the "daisy chain" on the lamp with small wire nuts, and hung it up

The whole thing cost me $35 in lamp parts from my local hardware store and about a couple of hours to make!

We think it looks amazing - nice job, Kevin and congrats on the new chandelier!

Thanks to Apartment Therapy & Craft Magazine

Yet another use for your iPod.....

My brother sent me this story and picture that he found on Flickr. Apparently this soldier was on patrol when he rounded a corner only to come face to face with a man holding an AK-47. He was shot at close range in the chest before killing the man with the AK. His iPod prevented the bullet from completely penetrating his body armor, which would have happened otherwise at such close range. He was not injured at all, can't say the same of the iPod.

How's that for a marketing pitch: "Buy and iPod, it could save your life....."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gonzo is Back!

A new documentary by Alex Gibney entitled Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson chronicles the fantastic and fanatic career and work of Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson always had an affinity for sex, drugs and alcohol, and the documentary consists of a series of rare home movies, audiotapes and other unreleased works to take a closer look at the man, the legend. Set to release on Dec. 19th in the UK, the documentary is already available in the US.

You might also be interested in Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride, another Thompson documentary by Dir. Tom Thurman. It features a series of interviews with and story tellings by people who where close to Thompson.

Karaoke gone wrong......

In Malayasia a man was stabbed to death after hogging the mic for just a little too long. Abdul Sani Doli would not give up his 5 minutes of fame at a coffee shop/karaoke bar in the town of Sandkan, Borneo. Two men have been arrested in relation to the stabbing.

The local police cheif said that--according to witnesses--Sani sang several songs and refused to yeild the stage to anyone else, causing people to become increasingly irritated. He was confronted by three men at a nearby table outside the venue, where witnesses reported seeing a heated arguement develop. Soon after, Sani was stabbed in the chest with a knife and died.

Was he that bad???

Apparently, "karaoke rage" is not all that uncommon, particularly in Asia. There have been several reports of singers being shot, stabbed or otherwise assaulted mid-verse, usually because someone else thinks they are butchering a perfectly good song.

Frank Sinatra's My Way has caused so many problems in the Philippines that some bars don't offer it on the karaoke menu anymore.

In Thailand, a gunman shot down eight people after getting sick of hearing endless renditions of a John Denver tune.

I'm wearing my bulletproof vest next time I go to a karaoke bar........

From The Guardian

City of the future?

Dutch design firm MVRDV won a competition to design the city center for a new town in Korea. This really takes "green building" to a whole new level. The intention is to have a self sufficient city capable of housing 77,000 inhabitants. Pretty cool.

From Dezeen

Friday, December 5, 2008

Paint me invisible

The series “Camouflage” and “Surveillance Camera Project” by Dutch artist Desiree Palmen give you a small glimpse at what life would be like were you to own your very own invisibility cloak. The result are some slightly ghostly looking photographs......

Head over to Environmental Graffiti for more cool stuff....

Updated whenever Max Cannon feels like it, usually every couple weeks.

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