Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cartoon Chatter | The Wild Thornberrys

Although it was not as popular as Rugrats, Klasky Csupo's The Wild Thornberrys was a great cartoon that ran for a good six years (and reran until a few years back). It follows the titular Thornberrys as they travel the world filming wild animals. The protagonist of the show, Eliza, is a nerdy yet very brave girl with the ability to speak to animals. Perhaps I liked this because I always wished that I could speak to animals, but it provided some pretty interesting episodes and taught some good lessons.

Like other Nickelodeon cartoons, it wasn't always what you would expect kids to be watching (feral son, parents that let their children climb mountains unattended, lots of conflicts with poachers), but it was a thoughtful and interesting series. The animation was what you expected from Klasky Csupo and the stylized look was one familiar to kids at the time. Give a few episodes a try and you might become a fan. There is even a movie!

Image via

Monday, March 28, 2011

On games and graphics

Todd McLellan's works are like real life Dismantlement games except there isn't a bomb to worry about. Instead, your eyes can feast on a creative, motion-filled photograph of a disassembled mundane object from a clock to a typewriter. For more on Todd, check out his site. If you are intrigued by my vague mention of Dismantlement, check out the addictive, short point-and-click flash games.

Apart Wind Up Clock by Todd McLellan; via UPPERCASE

Just the right amount of whimsy

Some long-awaited eye candy for you. 

Image via yours truly

Film Review | Rango

It's been a while since I've been to the movies and I was very excited to see Rango—we're talking Johnny Depp and cartoons? Well, my excitement was short-lived, but let's just get right into the skinny, shall we?

Grade: C-

Image via

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Periodic Table of Meat

Notice that bacon is not only a noble meat, but also the "meat of life." Enjoy this illustrative periodic table of meat. 

(via A Girl and Her Fork)

Artist Spotlight | Robert Longo

Though I learned all about classic artists and painters while I was in college, I did not learn much about artists in these days. It is a sad truth, but one that I am glad to change whenever I stumble across a talented artist. Robert Longo is an amazing illustrator with a photographic approach to detail. He makes charcoal, graphite and ink into something that I never could—but now want to. 

His work is presently being exhibited in Spain and Germany. If you have some time, look through all of his works on his site. Otherwise, just enjoy some works that I selected from his site.
Men in the Cities (Untitled)

Untitled (Hector)

Untitled (The Face)

All images are the work of Robert Longo; Image at top: Untitled (Homage to Robert Bresson's au hasard balthazar)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Artist Spotlight | Dana Tanamachi

In my opinion, typography is one of the most important parts of graphic design. You can have as many illustrations and photographs as you'd like, but nothing can quite be as effective as the proper usage of typography. For some, it comes almost naturally while for others it is a constant struggle. Dana Tanamachi has a hands-on approach to typography that I think would make my design professors proud. Her work shows careful thought in terms of stretching, skewing, and readability. I'm not a huge fan of her posters, but the hand-drawn type is great! For more about Dana, visit her site

All images via Dana Tanamachi's site

Thursday, March 17, 2011

BOM: Cupcake Challenge 6/175

Top o' the mornin' to ya, readers. I promise that is the only cliché phrase I will use this St. Patrick's Day. To celebrate, not only did I don a bright, lime green wig to work, I also whipped up another batch of cupcakes from my Martha Stewart Cupcakes cookbook. Unsurprisingly, I opted for the St. Patrick's Day cupcakes. These use the Brown Sugar Pound Cake recipe from earlier in the book (for that recipe, these are topped with Brown-Butter Icing—same as the Pumpking Brown-Butter Cupcakes I've already made) and are liberally covered with Bailey's frosting!

My cupcakes actually were not going to look like the book. I did not want to put an inedible item on the top of the cupcake, so I chose to use green sprinkles instead of a clover. 

Of course, I had to begin by prepping my ingredients (a short one this time).

After combining my materials for my batter, I spooned it into the festive muffin liners. It baked for 25 minutes.

While my cupcakes were in the oven, I started working on measuring and sifting my ingredients for the Bailey's frosting.

Here are the cupcakes coming out of the oven and my work on the creamy Bailey's frosting.

Then came the fun part. Nothing like icing a cupcake and covering it with (a conservative amount of) sprinkles. A paper towel beneath the cupcakes makes cleanup easy.

And here are the some of the finished products getting ready to go to work with me. By far, this has to be my best work on a frosting. It was smooth and creamy and sweet. The cupcake was not overpoweringly sweet, so you can really enjoy it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The patience of a five-year old

As children, we knew these two words would come up sooner or later. "Be patient," your guardian would say with obvious disgust. How could a child with no worries or responsibilities be impatient? they thought to themselves. The very idea! However, despite the idea that one should learn to be patient, hardly anyone is patient. 

City folk already have a reputation for being notoriously impatient, toe-tapping, gum-chewing, watch-checking, heavy-sighing, hands-on-hips, no-nonsense people. Yet despite the stigma, I know many patient city dwellers (including myself). Surprisingly, the people that I have noticed with the least patience are those that have been here on earth longer than many others—that's right, I'm referring to our senior citizens.

Perhaps a lifetime of waiting has just worn out the elderly community. They have waited for so many things and people already (and seemingly only have death to wait for). Yet the elderly have an even worse situation to deal with—very rapid change. With all of the new, automated gadgets and programs, our grandparents have to learn things that are completely new to them. 

Just tonight I went shopping for some baking supplies at my local Giant. It was actually quite busy within the store, but nothing extensive. Since I had checked out my items as I shopped, I opted for the self-checkout kiosks. Several other customers were already in line, and I queued up in the second lane. The people before me were having some issues, so I was just waiting and flipping through a Life magazine. Lo and behold, the elderly gentleman at the lane beside mine was having hard time checking out. He handled the situation completely wrong and I probably should have helped him (another blog post on that, I promise), but I thought it best to leave it up to the professionals. He wisely selected the help option on the screen and became upset when the associate did not come immediately (he was already pre-occupied with another customer). After huffing and puffing for about thirty seconds, he went and got the associate himself. Apparently, he was not happy with what the man told him, and he flung an innocent head of lettuce down the conveyor belt. 

It was then that I thought to myself, "Good gosh, this man has the patience of a five-year old." Then, I immediately took that thought back. You see, we are always quick to say when a person is impatient. You know what I mean—the idiot that cut you off, the jerk that let the elevator doors close during peak hours although you were obviously indicating that you needed to board, the loser that jumps in front of you in line. However, when the shoe is suddenly on your foot, we have excuses for our behaviour. 

As we hit hump day this week, try to consciously be patient. Breathe deeply, count to 100, do what it takes to stay calm. Patience may be a virtue, but it can be achieved with much practice.