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Jan Chipchase Blogs On

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If you’re not reading my friend Jan Chipchase’s blog Future Perfect you’re missing out. His travel schedule rivals my own as he bounces around the globe. Most recently between Shanghai, Libya, Cairo in only a few days on research and field missions.

His observations and findings continue to impress and amuse me. From Afghanistan’s Porn Consumption Norms to Monoply in Beirut. All i can say is: Go Jan go! A must read.

SparkLife: Blogging New Moon

We’re neck-deep in a vampire renaissance. First, there’s True Blood, the Alan Ball created series that imagines Bon Temps, Louisiana as a place where strange and supernatural creatures aren’t just a result of second cousins marrying. And then there’s Twilight — the impossibly popular teen fiction books that make being really pale and aloof look cool. Who will make sense of this creepy pop culture movement? Dan Bergstein from SparkNotes has created a chapter-by-chapter blog that’s distills Twilight (and now the sequel New Moon) down to its ridiculous essence. Vamp fans love it because Bergs eviscerates their stories with a loving hand. I love it because it’s just damn funny. If you’re in either camp you should be following this. If you have no idea what I’m talking about you’re probably a man over 40.

Oh Joy!

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A longtime source of design whim and wonder, Oh Joy! has frequently supplied us with delightful morsels of innovation and adorableness that are simply to die for. With the dawn of a new season, comes the dawn of a new day for this top notch site and home base for Joy Deeangdeelert Cho. The mastermind behind the Oh Joy! (formerly Nantaka Joy) line of stationery and driving force behind her widely read design blog of the same name, has a newly relaunched site encompassing all that you know and love from before, placed inside a bright and shiny new package. Check it out for yourself.  Congrats Joy!

TED 2009: Day 2

The morning got off on an artistic note and included Ed Ulbrich who showed some dazzling film special effects from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love wooed the audience with an “a cappella” (read: no slide support) walk-through of her creative process while Margaret Wertheim amazed people with her crocheted great barrier reef art installation, which strangely and coincidentally unlocked mathematical secrets. Later Daniel Libeskind took us through a juxtaposed architectural vision and thoughts behind the new Freedom Tower. Shai Agassi who abruptly left SAP to follow a vision on shifting the world to non-petroleum transportation showcased his recent partnerships with both Renault-Nissan and various governments. Sarah Jones brought her multiple personalities to the stage and entertained everyone while poking a little fun at highbrow TEDsters.

Later in the day, TED 2009 Prize Winner Jill Tarter, introduced remotely by Sir Richard Branson and Al Gore, asked everyone to collaboratively find extraterrestrials which was actually rather well received. Sylvia Earle who is collaborating with Google Earth to map the world’s oceans gave everyone a good scare showing that fish populations have been depleted by 90% because of pollution and commercial fishing since 1900. Between Jeremy Piven’s mercury poisoning and this revelation I am going to reduce my sushi intake starting today. Accordingly she asked all of us to ignite public support for a global network of protected marine areas. The response was overwhelming. Jose Antonio Abreu in Caracas who created El Sistema and helped musically inspire impoverished children and bring them out of poverty also received acknowledgment today.

So while the elbow rubbing and hob-knobbing continues, there is clearly an underlying level of tension on the many global crises that exist right now. The good news is that the TED community is pretty powerful and may just figure out how to crack the code on some of these enormous issues

Bit Museum

There are plenty games from the 70s and 80s that we all remember: Pac-Man, Galaga, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros… But there are also plenty you don’t. And for good reason. If you want to take a trip down reject lane, cruise on over to indie game designer Jason Cirillo’s blog and check out Bit Museum, an online show where this resident dork shares his knowledge on forgotten game systems, games, and other useless trivia. If the 70s feel like they were yesterday you’ll get a kick out of remembering these relics. If they don’t, you’ll wonder why the graphics were so awful and go back to playing Call of Duty.

Blog Action Day

You might see quite a few of your favorite blogs playing this video today. That’s because today is Blog Action Day. Thousands of bloggers are taking time out to focus on the issue of poverty and what the online community is saying about it. We’ve taken our own spin on some creative activist products and issues over the years:

TOMS Shoes, Kiva.org, A Mighty Heart, World Food Programme, Project 7, Apollo Activism, T. Magic

Feel free to provide your own relevant links in the comments section.

beejay x Letter Cult

One of JS’s favorite design masters Brian Jaramillo (beejay) finally has a site up that showcases his work for various brands, as well as some killer personal work in design, typography and lettering. Another new collab featuring beejay is Letter Cult, his blog with Ray Frenden. The new site dedicated to the custom letter holds it down, featuring great modern innovators that push the boundaries of the field.

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