Monday, December 29, 2008

Feline Farewell

Whether you knew her from stage, as a campy Catwoman or the sultry voice behind "Santa Baby," Eartha Kitt, who died Christmas Day at the age of 81, is a diva not soon to be forgotten.

Tactile Treasures

Henry Alford recently wrote an interesting essay for the New York Times titled "You Never Know What You'll Find in a Book." The brief essay isn't so much a commentary on the current state of printed matter as it is a discussion on the many surprises (and uses) that books hold for the reader. He speaks of the many mysterious objects recorded to have been found in books over the years, randing from fried bacon to 40 $1,000 bills. At one point Alford goes on to ask,"Who knows what puzzling items lurk, or soon will, on the bookshelves of the world?" Such a question immediately reminded of my first trip to San Francisco and a rather interesting adventure that led me to Green Apple Books and the purchase of Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot" (I was actually looking for "Crime and Punishment"). As I flipped through the cracked and stained pages I stumbled across a typed note from an unknown party explaining the purchase and gifting of the book to a young man on his 21st birthday.

Beyond the content and surprises, there is the actual book design, which gives many as much pleasure as the actual wordage - if not more. Most importantly, books contain a story that goes far beyond (or will go far beyond) the actual pages, and this makes print an experience not soon to be replicated by the internet or any hideous plastic reading devices.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Poladriod is the New Polaroid

In the world of photography, little can compare to the classically-familiar Polaroid image. Unfortunately, their untimely abandonement of instant film has left most of us scrounging for the last batches of white-framed nostalgia. Enter Poladroid. This great little (free) program allows users to take their favorite hi-res digital images and Polaroid-ize them with all the dreamy details that make Polaroid so well recognized the world over (it even allows you to digitally shake your images to speed up processing...and your carpel tunnel). The current BETA version is only available for MAC, with a PC version nearing completion. Check out some of the the possibilities here...then download here.