My first exposer to ambigrams was a 1977 album by a band called Angel. (They opened up for Ted Nugent at the Convention Center Arena in San Antonio back in 1978, but that's another story for another blog...)
Ambigrams. Logos. Words as art.
As both an artist and a graphic designer, John Langdo specializes in the visual presentation of words.
Language, philosophy, and science are interwoven into the design of words, which are manipulated to create surprising illusions. This unique approach culminates in a wide variety of corporate logos, and in ambigrams– words that can be read equally well from more than one point of view.
Most of John's ambigrams read the same when turned "upside down," or rotated 180 degrees.
Check out Ambigrams
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Seems 3 truly is the Magic Number for the U.S.A. Tiger Repeats as British Open Champion, his third British Open Victory and Floyd Landis became the 3rd American to win the Tour de France.
Tiger Woods made three straight birdies to turn away a spirited challenge by Chris DiMarco and win golf's oldest championship for the second straight year.
Landis becomes third American to win Tour de France
PARIS (AP) -- The highs and lows of Floyd Landis' nail-biter of a bike race ended without a hitch Sunday as he won the Tour de France and kept cycling's most prestigious title in American hands for the eighth straight year.
The 30-year-old Landis, pedaling with an injured hip, cruised to victory on the cobblestones of the Champs-ElysÄees, a day after regaining the leader's yellow jersey and building an insurmountable lead in the final time trial. "I kept fighting, never stopped believing," Landis said, shortly after he received the winner's yellow jersey on the podium, joined by his daughter, Ryan.
Landis picked up where another American left off last year, when Lance Armstrong completed his seventh and final Tour triumph. With the victory, Landis becomes the third American -- joining Armstrong and three-time winner Greg LeMond -- to win the Tour. "I'm proud and happy for Floyd," said Armstrong, who watched the finish on TV from a luxurious hotel room near the Champs-ElysÄees. "He proved he was the strongest, everybody wrote him off."
"I'm very proud that an American has won again," he added.
As the "The Star-Spangled Banner" played, Landis, cap in hand, stared solemnly at the crowd. But when the anthem ended, he broke into a smile and waved to the fans. Landis, who plans to undergo surgery this fall on an arthritic right hip injured in a 2003 crash, said he hoped he would be able to return next year. "Right now, that's the plan," Landis said. He dedicated the win to Andy Rihs, owner of his Phonak team.
Sunday's champagne and Landis' fifth yellow jersey of the Tour were possible thanks to a once-in-a-lifetime ride Thursday in the Alps that put the Phonak team leader back in contention, one day after a disastrous ride dropped him from first to 11th, more than eight minutes back.
Oscar Pereiro of Spain finished second overall at 57 seconds back, and Germany's Andreas Kloeden was third, 1:29 behind Landis. With Armstrong retired, the Tour was blown even more wide open on the eve of the July 1 start when prerace favorites Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich, plus seven other riders, were sent home after they were implicated in a Spanish doping investigation.
Norway's Thor Hushovd won the final stage Sunday of the three-week race. He had also won the Tour prologue on July 1.
Assured of victory, Landis hoisted a champagne glass handed to him from his Phonak team car early in the 154.5-kilometer (96-mile) route from Sceaux-Antony to the capital.
A day earlier, Landis placed third in the Tour's last time trial, taking the yellow jersey from former teammate Pereiro and securing a 59-second lead over the Spaniard. The deficit was virtually impossible to overcome for Pereiro in the flat, short final stage because Landis and his team eyed the Spaniard closely to make sure he didn't try to break away.
Landis, a former mountain biker who toiled for three years as a U.S. Postal Service team support rider for Armstrong, had sought to apply the Texan's meticulous strategy for winning -- until what Landis called "disaster" struck on Stage 16 in the Alps on Wednesday.
His plan to allow Pereiro to take the yellow jersey temporarily as the race left the Pyrenees at the end of week two appeared to backfire after Landis lost the jersey in a second Alpine stage at La Toussuire.
With a stunning stage win in the last Alpine stage on Thursday, Landis erased more than 71⁄2 minutes of his 8:08 deficit to Pereiro -- putting him in a prime position to win by outpacing the Spanish rider in the final time trial Saturday.
For the finish Sunday, Russia's Viatceslav Ekimov, 40, led the peloton -- or rider pack -- as it arrived for the first of eight laps on the famed Paris avenue to honor him as the Tour's oldest rider. It was his 15th Tour -- one shy of Dutch cyclist Joop Zoetemelk's record.
Australia's Robbie McEwen won the green jersey given to the best sprinter for a third time, and Denmark's Mickael Rasmussen earned the polka-dot jersey awarded to the best climber for a second year. Italy's Damiano Cunego, 25, won the white jersey as the best young rider.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has had a love-hate relationship with the people of France recently, and his recent comments about the French soccer team probably won't help.
Serving as host for the ESPY Awards last week, Armstrong took a jab at the World Cup runners-up, saying "all their players tested positive ... for being assholes."
The Los Angeles Daily News first reported the comments; Armstrong later told the newspaper he didn't think the joke was that bad.
"Well, if they'd live with me and heard me at home, they'd know that was a step down," Armstrong said, the Daily News reported.
Armstrong has consistently said in the past that he enjoys living in France and has no problem with the French public, just the newspapers and doping officials who accuse him of wrongdoing.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Step One: Get A Life.
Step Two: Post It!
Every one you knew, every place you've been to, everything you've done.
All in one place!
I'm gonna start mine out using my concert tickets as a springboard.
Once you really start to think about it, this is really a simple linear and visual approach to blogging.
I can see this used in multiple ways: A family tree, keeping track of family and friends birthdays, a house diary, or simply a linear blog or life of any person, object, movement or idea. It truly does, like life itself, go on and on.
Check out dandelife and have the timeline of your life!
Monday, July 17, 2006
An open microphone caught President Bush in an unguarded moment Monday as the escalating crisis in the Middle East prompted him to use an expletive in a conversation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Apparently not expecting an open mic to pick up his remarks, Bush told Blair: "See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over."
The president was expressing frustration at the United Nations' stance on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in Lebanon.
Bush and Blair were aware that an event at the Group of Eight summit was a photo opportunity, with media representatives present. Blair later turned off the microphone.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
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Saturday, July 08, 2006
The NBA is introducing a new Official Game Ball for play beginning in the 2006-07 season. The new ball, manufactured by Spalding, features a new design and a new material that together offer better grip, feel, and consistency than the current leather ball. This marks the first change to the ball in over 35 years and only the second in 60 seasons. In 1970, the ball was transitioned from a four panel to an eight panel ball. NBA Commissioner David Stern, Spalding Group Vice President Dan Touhey, NBA Sr. Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson, Boston Celtics’ Forward Paul Pierce, and NBA on TNT analyst and two-time NBA champion Kenny Smith unveiled the new Game Ball today at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue prior to the 2006 NBA Draft.
The new ball features Spalding’s Cross Traxxion™ technology, a union of revolutionary design and breakthrough material. The design is comprised of two interlocking, cross-shaped panels rather than the eight oblong panels found on traditional basketballs. As a result, there is more material coverage. The material is a microfiber composite with moisture management that provides superior grip and feel throughout the course of a game. Additionally, the new composite material eliminates the need for a break-in period, which is necessary for the current leather ball, and achieves consistency from ball to ball.
The interlocking cross-panel design has one-third the channel area of the previous official ball to provide more material coverage and better grip.
The NBA and Spalding subjected the ball to a rigorous evaluation process that included laboratory and on-court testing. Every NBA team received the new ball and had the opportunity to use it in practice. The ball also was tested in the NBA Development League and was used in activities during NBA All-Star 2006 in Houston. NBA retired players Steve Kerr and Mark Jackson participated in testing the new ball as well.
“Spalding’s continual efforts to advance basketball technology have yielded the optimal ball, one that is worthy of the new Official NBA Game Ball designation,” said Spalding Group President and CEO Scott Creelman. “We are honored that the NBA collaborated with us to make this change.”
The ball will be used in all NBA events leading up to next season including summer leagues, preseason and training camps, and NBA Europe Live presented by EA Sports. All active players will receive a personalized ball, as will each player selected in the 2006 NBA Draft.
Fans will have an opportunity to see the new ball tonight during the 2006 NBA Draft televised live on ESPN at 7 p.m. EST. The ball will hit store shelves at major sporting goods outlets on October 31 coinciding with the tip-off of the 2006-07 season. A limited number of new balls will be available today at the world’s only NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Fans can also pre-order their new ball online at NBAStore.com for delivery at the start of the 2006-07 season.
As the Official Game Ball supplier of the NBA since 1983, Spalding will continue to produce the only basketball used during all NBA practices, exhibitions, games and international competitions. Spalding maintains the exclusive rights to produce and sell a complete line of NBA and team-identified basketballs in all sizes including full, junior, youth and mini.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
iLuv has just announced a sweet little dock that allows users to record videos directly to a fifth-generation iPod from from any video source (TV, DVD player, camcorder, etc.). The iLuv i180 iPod dock's got four recording time settings—30 min, 60 min, 120 min, 180 min—and basic record/stop and timer buttons.
According to the site, once a video is recorded, it can be found and played on the iPod under Videos > Video Podcasts > iLuv. The i180 also charges a docked iPod and has composite AV (RCA) and S-Video connections. Availability is set for mid-August and estimated damage is $200.
Sounds cool: iLuv.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
My buddy Jackie was kind enough to let me flop at his place on West 57th while he was working in New York last September. I took this from the living room on the 23rd floor overlooking Central Park. Yeah, it was pretty sweet.
The following is by Suzanne Slesin from yesterdays NY Times
An expansive, gorgeous view of Central Park. A lifelong dream for me.
Many years ago, while living in a 20th-floor apartment on East 79th Street, I would go out on our small terrace, look left and get a glimpse of a sliver of treetops. So the idea that I could have a magic-carpet view of The Park as I drank my coffee every morning was reason enough to propel me to 110 Central Park South, the new co-op (with condo bylaws) that's smack across from the southern tip of the park.
(I had also experienced the park from a similar vantage point when I went to a dentist years ago whose office was just down the street on a stretch of Central Park South known then as Valley of the Drills.)
Situated between the Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue, 110 Central Park South is a 1920's building with a neo-Renaissance palazzo exterior, designed by James Edwin Ruthwin Carpenter, an architect known for such luxury residential projects as 810, 907 and 1115 Fifth Avenue.
Turned into the 25-story, 118-unit apartment hotel known as the Navarro in 1927, it subsequently was the site of the Ritz-Carlton and InterContinental Hotels. Now, Anbau Enterprises — run by the husband-and-wife team of Stephen Glascock and Barbara van Beuren — is converting it to co-ops.
There was no way the views could disappoint.
And Stacey Greenfield, the director of sales for the Sunshine Group Ltd. who met me in the small yet elegant sycamore-lined lobby, was the first to assure me of that.
Anbau and Sunshine each plan to give 0.5 percent from the sale of every apartment to the Central Park Conservancy. "I don't know how many sponsors do that," Ms. Greenfield said. "Giving back to the city is part of this project."
"I'm all for that," I say to myself, as I am swiftly led to the elevator, also lined in sycamore. (There's no attendant, but the building has 24-hour doormen.) We zip up to the sixth floor where the model apartments are on display.
While the prewar facade was retained, the interior of the building has been gutted and divided into 61 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Costas Kondylis & Partners was the architecture firm, and Gustavo Martinez Design was responsible for the interiors.
"Because people are combining units," Ms. Greenfield said, "the total number of individual units will probably drop down to 50."
Three new floors were also added, and there are now full-floor apartments on the 22nd to 29th floors. "These were the first to be sold and range from $13 million to $15 million," said Ms. Greenfield, who added that her clients were "a lot of empty-nesters who are either buying large apartments, or scaling down, or people who did not have a park view."
We start by looking at 6B, a furnished three-bedroom with three full bathrooms, a powder room and about 2,400 square feet. Only two B-line apartments are still available: 9B ( $5,038,800, with a monthly maintenance of $6,778) and 5B ($4,467,600, with a monthly maintenance of $6,564).
"We sold as fast on the lower floors as the high ones," Ms. Greenfield said.
I take in what she is saying while feeling drawn like a magnet to the windows. The view of the treetops is as lovely as expected: an expanse of green shapes, framed by the towers on Fifth Avenue and Central Park West. I feel as if I'm in a scene right out of Ludwig Bemelmans or Raoul Dufy. I half expect to see children in sailor suits chasing after hoops.
Ms. Greenfield interrupts my little reverie. "You are in contact with the street," she said. "You have the lake — it's all very picturesque." I agree.
The combination living and dining room overlooks Central Park, of course. "We kept it all open," Ms. Greenfield said, "because that's the way people live today."
I'm already backing into the sleek kitchen, keeping my eyes on the view while admiring the Poggenpohl cabinets, the Miele oven and cooktop, the Viking wine cooler and the smooth quartz countertops. I like the idea of the breakfast niche that seats up to six people, but wonder why it's so close to the dining area.
We move to the private areas, slipping out the kitchen door and going down hallways and galleries to experience what Ms. Greenfield calls "the flow." No wide-open spaces here. Rather, I am noticing the nooks and antechambers that are meant to reflect the graciousness and formality of Old World residences.
Ms. Greenfield points out the nine-foot coffered ceilings, the Art Deco-inspired marble bathrooms, the dressing rooms, the solid doors, the chrome hardware, the sconces and the chandelier-ready ceilings.
"Even though everything is new, it has a solid feel to it as if you were in a real prewar apartment," she said. "You never walk directly into your bedroom. Every room has an entryway; every bedroom has its own bathroom. The apartment feels like a home — you're always walking, walking, walking."
But on the sixth floor, the quite spacious master bedroom at the back of the apartment faces a brick wall. The magical feeling of the front rooms is dimmed.
We move next door to visit the A apartment, with two bedrooms, two baths and a powder room and a total of about 1,850 square feet. It is smaller, yet somehow more appealing. The master bedroom is on the park, and although the kitchen lacks the dinette, it has a free-standing work counter that allows for an unobstructed view of the park. Not surprisingly, only two such units are still available: 4A ($3,857,700, with a monthly maintenance of $5,059) and 21A ($6,601,218, with a monthly maintenance of $5,924).
"Many people are combining the A and B units," Ms. Greenfield said.
Only one of the seven full-floor units is still available, Penthouse 23, on the 23rd floor. The apartment, with 4,184 square feet but no terraces, is priced at $14.35 million and has a monthly maintenance of $12,383.
The view is jaw-dropping — a lush green carpet unfurled as far as the eye can see, bordered with a procession of New York City buildings that look just out of a movie set.
So far, the space has been left open, interrupted only by a set of structural columns ("they could be made into great bookcases," Ms. Greenfield offered) and a maze of other rooms — bedrooms, dressing rooms, closets and bathrooms.
On the high floor, you pick up a western exposure with its view of the Time Warner Center, and to the south, a peek at the Empire State Building. Ms. Greenfield points out rooms that can be sealed off for privacy, bathrooms that can be enlarged, bedrooms that can be turned into studies. And of course, prewired corridors that cry out for sconces. Just bring on the decorator, I want to shout.
On the way down, I stop to take another look at my favorite A-line unit, in which one could wake up and see the park without getting out of bed. That would be nice, very nice.
And probably fabulous enough.
That's Right and thanks again Jackie!,
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Karla is a new beer for women, marketed as improving health and well-being.
German brewer Karlsberg (not to be confused with Danish Carlsberg), is convinced that it can get more women to drink beer. In countries such as the UK and Spain, roughly equal percentages of men and women drink beer (around 40%). Surprisingly, this isn't the case in Germany, where women view beer as unhealthy, fattening, or unsophisticated.
So Karlsberg is taking a different angle with its introduction of Karla. Stressing that beer is a natural product, Karla is being promoted as a healthy drink for women. The mixed drink is attractively packaged, and comes in two varieties. Both are low in alcohol content (1%) and a blend of beer and fruit juices. Karla Balance claims to provide 'peace and balance' by mixing hops with lemon balm, an herb well-known for its sedative properties.
The other variety, Karla Well-Be, is also an offspring of the functional foods / nutraceuticals trend. Ingredients include soy-derived lecithin (which may positively affect cholesterol levels), folic acid (recommended for women considering pregnancy), and other vitamins.
Emphasis on health prompted an unusual distribution channel: Karla is sold through pharmacists. After a soft launch in 2005, Karlsberg recently teamed up with neutraceutical manufacturer Amapharm to distribute Karla to pharmacists across Germany. International expansion is in the works.
With health and wellness driving many consumers' food and drink choices, this could be a (niche) hit with health-concious consumers across the world, not to mention with women who actually enjoy watching soccer while knocking back a cold one.