Entries Tagged 'Design' ↓

How the West Will Be Won: Red Dead Redemption Brings Amazing, Bloody Play to the Gaming Frontier.

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I’m in awe of this Red Dead Redemption gameplay introduction trailer, above, and so hot to play this game I’m melting rivets on my jeans. The usual disclaimer applies.

Jigg A Sketch.


That’s a Limited Edition Jay Z Etch A Sketch Artwork, above, as rendered by George Vlosich III, of GV Art and Design. (You may recall seeing him on Oprah, earlier this week.)

The giclee print is 1 of 20. Says Vlosich, in his somewhat emphatic style,

A giclee is the highest quality print available. Printed on textured paper, it shows the detail of each line. (16″x 20″) Signed by artist. Only 20 of these have been created. A must have for any collector. No matter what you have in your collection, George’s work will be the most talked about piece.

There’s also “a limited number (1 of 50) digital prints (12″×16″),” but that’s strictly for non-ballers. Jay-Z  Etch A Sketch Giclée Print, $325. Digital Print, $85.

Take a Look at the Real Set of Avatar.


At this point, millions have visited the glowing world of Pandora, in director James Cameron’s Avatar. The highest grossing film in history, with nearly $2.5 billion earned worldwide, it is, as of this past weekend, still the third-most popular film in the U.S., and has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

avatarWhat fewer have seen, however, is the real glimmering world of Avatar, namely, the humming, 10,000 square-foot server farm at WETA Digital, in Miramar, New Zealand, above, where the film’s photo-realistic images, above right, were wholly generated. The system literally “occupies spots 193 through 197 on the Top 500 list of the most powerful supercomputers.

As reported on datacenterknowledge.com,

Thirty four racks comprise the computing core, made of 32 machines each with 40,000 processors and 104 terabytes of memory. Weta systems administrator Paul Gunn said that heat exchange for their servers had to be enclosed. The “industry standard of raised floors and forced-air cooling could not keep up with the constant heat coming off the machines,” said Gunn. “We need to stack the gear closely to get the bandwidth we need and, because the data flows are so great, the storage has to be local.”

By the time the production was in its

last month or more of production those 40,000 processors were handling 7 or 8 gigabytes of data per second, running 24 hours a day. A final copy of Avatar equated to 17.28 gigabytes per minute of storage.

That’s. A. Big. File. Imagine if someone accidentally deleted it.

The “I”s Have It: What Tiger Woods Really Said At His Press Conference.


You don’t have to go very far into reading the text of Tiger Woods’ apologetic press conference statement, made earlier today, to realize that either he, his handlers, or both, knew the word the disgraced athlete needed to say most, in order to win back public trust, was “I.”

However, it’s only with a textual analyisis of the statement, such as the one I put together, above, courtesy of IBM’s Many Eyes software, that it becomes clear how much Woods was relying on conveying a repentant, personal account.

He used the pronoun “I” 105 times in the short, 13 1/2-minute statement, or an average of about once ever eight seconds. Looking at his most common subjective couplet, “I have,” below—said 16 times—it appears that Woods was attempting to forge an empathetic bond with those listening to his statement by affirming the words they had probably said about him in his absence: You bitterly disappointed us…you brought this on yourself.


Or check out Woods second-most frequently-used couplet, “I am,” below, where he talks about his present state.


Finally, study Tiger’s mentions of his wife’s name, Elin, and the complimentary contexts within which Woods praised her.


Verbally, at least, it seems like Woods knew what he had to say about what he did, how he feels about it, and how he feels about his wife. These were the most important statements for him to make, it can be argued. (He certainly seemed to think so: He only mentioned “golf” twice.)

Though you heard it, and read it in the statement, the Many Eyes software, with this straightforward formatting, creates a slightly better sense of how Woods’ words were organized, and to what end. Indeed, IBM calls Many Eyes “a bet on the power of human visual intelligence to find patterns.”

Funny: That’s what Woods has got to apply, now, towards his own transgressive behavior and missteps.

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You Go, Girl.


If you’ve read previous MEDIA ASSASSIN write-ups on the upcoming Kick-Ass, including a look at one of its R-rated trailers, featuring Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz), above, you know I can’t even wait for this movie to be out.

[via IMP Awards]

Next & Last Stop: Omicron Centauri.


Though I’ve never ridden the London Tube, I ride the New York City subway system all the time. So, this graphic by Samuel Arbesman, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard studying computational sociology, hit me like a little blitz of genius.

It’s a map of our Milky Way galaxy, done in the style of those in the UK underground trains system, published by Arbesman’s imaginary “Milky Way Transit Authority.” He says his map is

an attempt to approach our galaxy with a bit more familiarity than usual and get people thinking about long-term possibilities in outer space. Hopefully it can provide as a useful shorthand for our place in the Milky Way, the ‘important’ sights, and make inconceivable distances a bit less daunting. And while convenient interstellar travel is nothing more than a murky dream, and might always be that way, there is power in creating tools for beginning to wrap our minds around the interconnections of our galactic neighborhood.

Since you’re looking, the red arm, in the Orion belt, pictures Sol, the scientific name of our own star, the Sun. Heading left, the Orion Nebula is the next stop, 1,344 light years away. In other words, traveling 186,282 miles a second, it would take you over 1300 years to get there. Better pack a lunch.

[via collisiondetection.net]

Alexander McQueen, 1969-2010


I got the news, oddly enough, from Janet Jackson.

screen7Odder still was that her words had been the very ones with which others had eulogized Michael, her brother, merely eight months earlier. I’m guessing that memory was heavy in her heart Thursday afternoon.

“Today we lost a True Genius, Alexander McQueen,” Janet, shown right at the opening of MCQueen’s L.A. store in 2008, posted on Twitter. “He possessed a unique creativity that will never b recaptured.”

captphoto_1265910648513-15-0Lee Alexander McQueen was allegedly found Thursday morning in his $1M apartment by workers, hanged by his own hand at the age of 40. Police carried his body from the home, right, before it was taken away by private ambulance, according to The Daily Mail.

Reportedly, McQueen had been despondent over the recent death of his mother, Joyce, and, reading from the bottom, up, had apparently posted these tweets a mere eight days before his death:

screen3Four days later, McQueen posted these messages, where he spoke of needing to “some how pull myself together,” in order to finish the NY Fashion Week show scheduled for Thursday afternoon:

last-tweetsFour days after that, McQueen was dead.

captphoto_1265910833618-13-0Widely credited with kicking British fashion into the 21st century a decade early—McQueen sold his company in 1991; 51% of it was folded into Gucci for £13.6 million in 2000—he remained the very Oxford definition of l’enfant terrible. He had a startling, savage talent and his couture, right, always teetered daringly on knife edges of chaos and assault. As he, himself, once said in an interview,

When you see a woman wearing McQueen, there’s a certain hardness to the clothes that makes her look powerful. It kind of fends people off. You have to have a lot of balls to talk to a woman wearing my clothes.

Yet, as an immensely skilled tailor in the tradition of Savile Row, where he’d once worked, he could also fashion stunningly classic, rich lines, as demonstrated in this crimson dress, worn by singer Mary J. Blige, below.

screen41Though not a household name, on the level of Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren, McQueen’s talent was so big that his every show was an event. His death has devastated the fashion world, and close friends. Model Kate Moss—McQueen stands between her and model Naomi Campbell, atop this post—whom McQueen publicly supported during her drug problems, is said to be inconsolable.

Finally, so brightly did McQueen’s light burn in his life that, with his tragic death, lovers of his clothing are buying everything in sight, even as analysts report that, the brand “is likely to be abandoned by Gucci Group.” The king is dead. Long live the king.

The 2012 Delta Wing Concept: Out To Destroy Known Automotive Notions, Checkered Flags, and Human Sanity.


The first time you see it, especially from this angle, above, your impulsive, random thought is, “That can’t be real.”

2012-delta-wing-indycar-race-car-concept_100306147_lWell, it’s about to be real, baby. The 2012 Delta Wing Concept car, shown, right, from a high angle, and designed by DeltaWing CTO Ben Bowlby

for a consortium of team owners and investors including Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi, is supposed to answer all the faults of the existing car, while improving safety and efficiency.

“Today marks a fundamental shift in how race fans and the general public will view all racing cars in the future; this is a game changer” DeltaWing CEO Dan Partel said on the IndyCar Web site. “This radical prototype takes open-wheel racing to a new level from both an engineering standpoint and the overall spectator experience.”

350010167772150storieslarge20100210dranfix96554809The car is startlingly composed of “a rocket-like fuselage, a narrow front track, a very wide rear end, and no wings, front or rear,” say press reports. Debuting this week at the Chicago Auto Show the car caught the eyes of not only the media, but of a number of Indy drivers at the show, including former champ Scott Dixon and current champ Dario Franchitti, above

Bowlby, also a chief engineer for Chip Ganassi Racing, and once a Lola chief designer, said

the car’s reduced aerodynamic drag and lighter weight would offer high performance on the racetrack with only half the engine power of its recent predecessors, and thus increased fuel efficiency.

He expects that the finished car, including engine, will hit 235 mph and cost about $600,000. That’s fast money.

Going Beyond the Body Beautiful.


I so utterly dig this gorgeous one-sheet, above, that director David Lam fashioned, in lush black-and-white, for his 2009 documentary, Athlete. The film tells the stories of four ordinary folk, including 35-year-old twin sisters Carrie and Kellie, above. All are locked into mind-breaking tests of physical endurance, each for their own personal reasons, each redefining the idea of limits. That’s the trailer, below, but, in a way, you can say that the poster tells the whole story. Out on DVD March 9.

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Vanity Fair: White Power Pictures.


The world gets smaller and smaller, and Vanity Fair‘s gets even tinier, still: Their new, March 2010 Hollywood cover, above, shot by Annie Leibovitz, features a bevy of SPF50-dependent, semi-translucent beauties.

They are, l-r, Abbie Cornish, Kristen Stewart, Carey Mulligan, Amanda Seyfried, Rebecca Hall, Mia Wasikowska, Emma Stone, Evan Rachel Wood, and Anna Kendrick.

While this isn’t unexpected—I’ve written, here, on Media Assassin, before, about VF‘s glaringly white Tinseltown special issues—it is, again, a tad doddering, and way out-of-touch.

cover-girls-bts-1003-we06It’s almost, like, given the kind of talent available and doing amazing work today, if you do a magazine cover of nine young women in film, right, and they’re all white, it’s just because you want it white. You’re making, intentionally or not, a racial power statement.

I wonder: While discussing Haiti over lunch, did any of these actors say, “Wow: This sure is one Caucazoid photo shoot”? Better yet, did anyone refuse to be part of something which so genteely hangs out the NO COLOREDS sign?

I don’t know if these women have thought about this, but, just like global warming, every bit of race adds up, and if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. At least, consider that the next time you’re cast in a project—like this one—that sends relations back sixty years.