The Random

Random Thoughts For Keeping Calm & Carrying On Friday March 16, 2012

As a half-brit, there is always an odd source of pride revolving around the Keep Calm and Carry On Posters. Growing up and hearing stories from my dad about the great war and the incredible prevalent British attitude towards the constant bombings of London has always been an intriguing and fascinating sense of cultural pride. So whenever I come across the Keep Calm posters (and it’s subsequent meme), it always produces an odd smile on my face.

Anywho, here’s a short but fantastic little doc on The Origins of the Keep Calm and Carry On Posters and how they popped back in to the modern consciousness.

(via. Devour.com & NewsBoyCallen)

First – More nostalgia for all you nerds out there, Boing Boing has an insiders look at fan letters from Huxley (A Brave New World) to Orwell.

Second – With Euro 2012 just around the corner, it’s time for the big players of Europe to start releasing their new kits. The Port-e-guizzers, aka my third favorite team behind England & Ireland, have just released their new Nike away jerseys.

Gotta say, they look sharp. I especially love the recycled material aspect.

Third – Looking to invest in a new KickStarter project? Want to invest in an intriguing documentary on Thorium as an alternative to Uranium based nuclear energy? Or do you just want to help a strong Calgary based filmmaker? Well … make sure you check out Gordon McDowell’s new film project on Kickstarter

Yes, the project has already surpassed it’s intended goal donations, but this is an intriguing project from a fantastic local Calgary talent. If you’re interested in this topic of discussion or just want to help out, definitely donate.

Fourth – If you’re in Calgary and at all interested in being in business, Mount Royal University is holding a talking featuring Julien Smith and Chris Broggan on personal and social connection.

Now, if you are in Calgary… You have to be there. Clear the calendars and be there. Or else.

Fifth – I’m sure everyone has heard of the homeless hotspots at SXSW Interactive this year. Most people probably saw a two second blurb on the news or even a little article on twitter. But Wired.com has a full in depth look at the whole controversy – who was behind and the rationale.

Not sure why I posted that, but… well the more you know.

Sixth – This is all sorts of awesome… It’s a collection of polaroid photos from the set of the 1982 dystopian epic Blade Runner.

Seventh – This could be my favourite meme at the moment. (It also happens to be one of my favourite movies of all time) It’s Gene Wilder’s infamous You Get Nothing (Remixed) from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Eighth – I know this Random Thoughts is pretty video heavy, but if you have 30-40 minutes do check out this great documentary on local DC salad franchiseSweetgreen’s Sweetlife Festival from last year.

Caitlin and I had the pleasure to attend last year’s festival and we’re super excited to be heading out again. But the interesting element about the documentary is to the window into not only the festival itself but how it came together and three entrepreneurs behind Sweetgreen.

Categories: , , The ArtWorld, The Blogosphere, The Music, The Pop-Culture, The Social Media

Random Thoughts For Abraham Lincoln ... Vampire Hunter Thursday March 1, 2012

Alright, well I’m sure most of you have seen or at least heard of the trend of classical literature mash-ups.

Where someone takes a classic, like Pride & Prejudice and then mixes it with elements of horror, monsters, zombies and ninjas… Which of course gives us books like Pride and Predjudice and Zombies (Which I am still only 60% finished) and the sequel Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

And with all literary success stories comes the inevitable big screen adaptation. The first of which is coming in the form of Abraham Lincolin: Vampire Hunter. Which to be honest looks a solid mindless popcorn flick.

First – I think I posted this on pretty much ever social network I know last week, but it’s worth a read (or a second read) nonetheless. It’s from the Walrus and it’s a short essay called That Time We Beat The Americans.

Of course, living withing a few miles of the centre of the United States of America, I can’t help but find this essay fascinating. But I also appreciated it because of the two sided approach. Yes on the outset, it makes fun of past Colonial-America battle choices, but it also hints at underlying element of Canadian culture which I have always found frustrating. The fact that we as a country are far too afraid and humble to celebrate our own history.

Anyways, It’s always been one of the things I’ve always admired about the US. For as much as there is atypical stereotype that they don’t know enough about the outside world, they sure do know their own past. (Well except for Presidents 11-15… because really nobody knows who those guys were).

Second – It’s the Cosby Sweater Project (via. camhoff & @brennancreative)

Third – The Gorillaz, Andre 3000 and the guy from LCD Soundsystem on a track for Converse? Oh of course I’m going to download this one.

Fourth – I know, I know, I’m late to the whole Kenny Powers thing. I know, it’s been all the rage for a while. That being said, who ever decide that Kenny Powers would be the perfect spokes men for K-Swiss is a freaking genius.

Seriously though, I’m really not a K-Swiss fan. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a position where I’ve even considered buying the shoes before, but after these Kenny Powers ads, just call me a brand advocate. (BTW, this video is NSFW)

Fifth – With so much debate on C-30 and of course SOPA, TheOatmeal.com has in one single comic done a better job of explaining why were in this situation than other article released

Sixth – A great read on the crazy perception of President Barrack Obama as an alien… of sorts

Seventh – Do you use Rdio? Fo you have an iPhone? Well if you only answered yes to one of those, then either sign up of Rdio or buy an iphone.

Then once you’ve done that, download the Anthm app. Not only is it a Canadian (and Calgary developed app), but it a fantastic idea. Basically it works as a jukebox, which allows friends with the app to vote on songs. It’s absolutely genius.

P.S. They also have a killer music blog going too

Eighth – I’m sure you’ve heard of Pinterest. If not, I’m sorry for you, but check out your Facebook wall and you’ll see what it’s all about. (You can also follow me as I appear to be the only guy I know on it.)

Anywho, you know who’s really making a killing from Pinterest? That’s right, Women’s Magazines. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

And on a sidenote, that right there. That’s your revenue model.

The more you know.

Categories: , , The Blogosphere, The Books, The Canada Vibe, The Humourous, The Music, The Political World, The Southern Neighbours

Random Thoughts For Lana Del Rey's Flop Saturday February 11, 2012

So, it would appear much has been made of Lana Del Rey’s epic flop of sorts on SNL last week.

I had heard of the track Video Games over the summer, but didn’t take much stalk in it. It felt like a one off listen and I guess I wasn’t in the mood for it. But over the past few weeks, after seeing her name pop up all over the netz, I’ve spent some more time listening to the entire album and it’s really growing on me. Sure it’s a Starbucks staple at the moment, but it’s actual a fantastic record. So to combat some of the negative comments and epic floppiness of the SNL performance, here’s Lana Del Rey on Later with Jools. (Which as my cousin would say, is absolutely brilliant for live performances.)

(P.S. She also apparently redeemed herself on David Letterman this week)

First – The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a short film from a team of ex-Pixar creative members. It’s also the first release from Moonbot Studios and also happens to be nominated for an Oscar. So, if you want to remember why we love animation, then have a look at this beautiful featurette.

Second – With the New York Giants newly minted as Super Bowl Champions, the big question on everyone’s mind is… where do they send all the loser t-shirts and hats?. Well, in case you’re wondering, they get sent to disaster areas across the world. Places like Africa, Haiti and of course Edmonton.

Which of course is great, because I’m sure there is a new batch of Patriots fans in Africa at the moment, living life up in all of Tom Brady’s UGG boots glory.

Third – I’m not sure whether to thank or curse Mr. English for this heads up, but in addition to whatever DubStep is, there is a new dance genre gaining momentum called bruvstep… It’s leader is a 23 year old DJ called Skrillex. So for your entertainment, here’s Skrillex at his best?

BTW, if you decided to watch the video, make it to the 0:58 mark… That’s when it gets realz.

Fourth – This goes out to all my Gluten-Free readers… or better yet the people who follow my wife, but are still polite enough to drop by the old ctoverdrive. Anyways, DogFish Brewery out of Delaware (of all places) has released an epic Gluten Free beer called Tweason’ale. If you are curious to what it tastes like, let’s just say that at ChurchKeyDC last weekend, my wife described it as a religious experience.

Fifth – DC Comics, the legendary company responsible for subjecting the world to the disaster of a superhero that is Superman, has undergone a massive redesign of it’s corporate branding.

And while, I’m clearly not a fan of the DC Comicbook universe, I’ve gotta say I really, really dig the new branding and concept. It’s a drastic step to take a cherished brand and modernize it, but this is very well done.

Sixth – This may be my new favorite T-Shirt company and T-shirt. It’s a company called Edward Tea Belly.

Seventh – It would appear that The University of Western Ontario has made a massive, massive branding error. So much so, that most students and alumni are raising absolute hell. You know it’s bad when even the Alumni are pissed.

Eighth – Remeber when Andrew W.K., Matt & Kim and Soulja Boy teamed up for a music video? No?… Well it’s loaded below.

Anywho, it looks like The Gorillaz, James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem) and Andrew 3000 will be continuing this tradition later this year. Of course it’s all for Converse All-Stars… which actually makes the entire project that much cooler.

Ninth – How about some Mayer Hawthorne x M83 love to finish up these Random Thoughts? (courtesy of The Hood Internet of course)

The Hood Internet – One Midnight With You (Mayer Hawthorne x M83) by hoodinternet

Categories: , , The Football, The Pop-Culture, The T-Shirts, The World

Random Thoughts For Sh*t Someone Says Wednesday February 1, 2012

Alright, I’m sure everyone has seen the Shit Someone Says meme. If you haven’t well, I’m just sorry for you. It’s been all over the internet.

But unlike many people, who are completely burning out on the meme, I personally love it. And the main reason I enjoy it is, that unlike other image based meme where all you need is MS Paint or Photoshop. To create a really good SPS video, you’ve got to put some real time and energy into it. Film it yourself and then edit it perfectly.

Sorta like my favourite example, the Sh!t DC People Say video below.

BTW, have you heard? That place has got an amazing brunch.

First – Hey! Speaking of memes, how about a little Silicon Valley Ryan Gosling. Girl, I know you want to.

Second – Prometheus essentially looks like Ridley Scott’s Alien 2.0… but it still looks freaking stunning.

Three – One of our favourite spots in DC/VA is Northside Social Coffee House. It’s a quaint little coffeeshop that we frequent quite regularly. One of the things they do is promote local artists, by adorning their walls with art. Over the past few months, they’ve had the paintings of local Arlington artist, Chris Bishop all over their walls.

There’s something about his work that I just adore. The combination of the aesthetic and bright colours, catches my eyes everytime we walk. Anyways, it’s one of my favourite local artists and I’m hoping to pick up a print before we leave the district.

Fourth – If you haven’t heard, Twitter is now going to work with governments to block and censor some select tweets and accounts. While on the face value it’s a some what daunting development, here’s an interesting read on why it’s not that bad of a policy.

Fifth – I’ve been holding on to this for quite sometime, but this article from Eric Francis is just another example of why he’s a hack writer. I understand the hatred for this kid, but it’s clear that Francis knows nothing about Ovi… nothing… nothing.

Sixth – A couple of weeks ago, Kanye West crawled out of his online fortress of solitude to embark on one of the most talked about Twitter rants in recent history. Luckily for everyone, the sports blog Grantland has transcribed the entire rants.

Seventh – Did you know that Dungeons and Dragons is being redone? No, not the horrible Jeremy Irons movie. I mean the actual ten-side dice, playing with little figurines board game. Yeah and it’s being built through crowdsourcing. Please insert ten sided dice joke … here

Eighth – Awesome overload, AT-AT Dog eating a birthday Treat.

Ninth – A full retro-redesign of all 32 NFL logos. (via @Brennancreative)

(Even though I still despise Teebow, I’ve got to say Denver has the best redesign.)

Tenth – An interesting essay on how PRINT design, yes I just said print design, is going to be the future of the internet.

I feel dirty just agreeing with that statement.

Eleventh – Remember my little post on the Calgary food scene? No! Well then, scroll down a bit.

Anyways, it turns out that it got featured in Calgary Open file last month.

Twelfth – Reason #224 why Obama is going to win re-election in 2012, he looks far cooler as the incredible Hulk than Mitt or Newt.

Thirteenth – I’ll say this once and I’ll say this again, Detroit is easily one of the most facinating places on earth at the moment. Delapitated, desolate and depressed… Hell and that’s only the Pistons current record.

Okay, okay. Here is what looks to be a fascinating documentary on the dystopia that is Detroit

Categories: , , The ArtWorld, The Calgary Vibe, The D.C. vibe, The Football, The Humourous, The Inane, The Pop-Culture, The Ravens, The Redskins, The Social Media, The Southern Neighbours

Random Thoughts For The Mother of All Random Thoughts Monday December 19, 2011

See, here’s the thing, as a freelancer/business owner December and late November are the worst times of the year. Sorry, scratch that August and July are the worst times of the year. December and late November are the busiest times of the year.

Hence, the lack of Random Thought updates… or for that matter any sort of update on c.t.overdrive.

But that changes today… So for your Christmas week enjoyment, here is the Mother of all Random Thoughts.

First – Music-critic.ca, the site that Armadillo has maintained for a few years now, has launched it’s Annual Top 5 Records of 2011 feature. (And of course, one day later this month I’ll talk about my picks for 2011… I promise)

Second – Um… A Steampunk Cobra Commander T-Shirt. I must have it. This I command.

Third – The Baltimore Orioles have redesigned their branding with the retro comicbook bird symbol. Thus reestablishing him as the coolest corporate branding bird over that annoying thing they call the Fruit Loops parrot. (Thanks to Cam Hoff for the link)

Fourth – Have a web designer on your Christmas gift giving list? No? Well, good lord, what is wrong with you.

For those of you that do have a Web Designer on your list, here is the definitive list of 25 books for Web Designers and Developers. It’s okay, you can thank me later.

Fifth – In Calgary in January? Want to join in on a killer party in the middle of a snowstorm? Then High Performance Rodeo’s Snowblower Festival is where you need to be.

And don’t give me that, but c.t.o, I hate dance music. Yes, you don’t have to be a base head to enjoy a sprawling three block dance party in the middle of the Canadian Winter.

Sixth – A creepy compilation of some classic death scenes in a wide variety of video games from the 80s and 90s… all set to a digitized version of Mad, Mad World.

Seventh – It wouldn’t be a Random Thoughts without an infographic, so check out this massive depiction of our overlord Walmart’s ever growing power from Fast Company.

Eighth – The intriguing story of one of my favourite sites on the web, Vimeo, and how it forged it’s own niche within the clustered online video market.

Ninth – Speaking of Vimeo, Sleigh Bells has released a preview clip for their upcoming album. That new record is going to be called Reign of Terror , or as I will refer to it finally a new record that doesn’t sound like the soundtrack to a damn Wes Anderson movie! (Thanks to Jim Bones for the link)

Tenth – Have a kindle? Or better yet have the Kindle app on your iPhone or iPad? Then go and down load Julien Smith’s new e-book Flinch. Long time readers, will know how much admire Julien Smith and his brand of in your face motivation, so do yourself a favor and download this fantastic book.

Eleventh – The Conference board of Canada just released an interesting report detailing the potential for 11 CFL teams. To all my American friends, the CFL stands for the Canadian Football League it really does exist.

To all my Canadian readers, the only disappointing information in this report, is that it doesn’t delve into the details of how many of those franchises will be named the Roughriders.

Twelfth – The geniuses behind Obama’s 2012 re-election team are already understanding how important visual design is to the motivation of the youth vote in America. In prep for the next election cycle in November, team Barrack is already crafting contests to get print designers and graphic designers involved in getting the ball rolling.

Thirteenth – Indie game developers, Super Giant Games have released Bastion for the Chrome Web Browser. If you’ve followed the site for a while, you’ll understand my love for this game, so it goes without saying that having this game playable through your browser is an absolutely incredible feat.

Don’t believe me. Check out the trailer.

Yes, you can now play this game … in … your … browser.

Fourteenth – Speaking of indie game developers, if you think it’s easy to launch and create a simple iPhone game and become the next Angry Birds… well think again. Local calgarian game developer, Bulletproof Outlaws, has an incredible run down of what it takes to market and launch an iPhone app.

Yeah, not as easy as you think.

Fifteenth – Chris Brett is a fantastic up and coming artist from Vancouver. And earlier this month he released a little time-lapsed video of the creative process for one of his pieces of work. If you’ve got some time, definitely check it out.

Sixteenth – Thanks to Mr. Rennie for this one.

Seventeenth – A small Canadian (actually Albertan) board game developer has broken records on KickStarter for funding of their new cooperative board game D-Day.

A couple things which makes this such incredible news. For one thing, any small Canadian company to break records on Kickstarter is a pretty incredible feat, but to do it for a dice board game in this techno-centric society… That right there, is a feat to be proud of.

Very well done guys.

Eighteenth – I was going to post the trailer for The Expendables Two, as I thought that would be the most 80s inspired sequel of all time… but then I saw the sequel for the 2nd G.I.Joe movie.

Alright, it’s rare that a movie that was such an epic (and by proxy hilarious) disaster turns into a sequel in which I can’t wait to see. I know, the director’s pedigree is Step Up 3D and The Justin Beiber Doc, but come on, it has Bruce Willis. Everyone knows that Bruce Willis is pure gold..

Well except for that whole Hudson Hawk thing in the late 90s.

Nineteenth – Speaking of Obama and print design, Shepard Fairey, the genius behind the Hope poster and one of my personal graphic design idols, was commissioned to do the TIME 2011 person of the year cover.

Twentieth – By the way, do you want to know the track in that G.I.Joe trailer? It’s Glitch Mob’s Seven Nation Army Remix.

The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army (The Glitch Mob Remix) by The Glitch Mob

Categories: , , The ArtWorld, The Blogosphere, The Books, The Calgary Vibe, The Canada Vibe, The Comrades, The Craziness, The Humourous, The Inane, The Music, The Nationals, The Political World, The Pop-Culture, The Soapbox, The Southern Neighbours, The T-Shirts, The VideoGames, The World, Want To Be A Web Designer

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