Saturday, December 20, 2008

The year that was..

It's the time of the year when everyone is posting their 'best and worst' lists for 2008. I'm mildly addicted to this kind of thing, but rather than posting my own list (which I'll do later), for the time being I thought I might just grab some other lists, and link to them (for your convenience, dear reader). First off, if you're not reading the Big Picture blog, you're really missing out. Here's part 1, part 2, and part 3 of their amazing retrospective of the best photojournalism of 2008, which includes amazing shots like these:

On the music front, Pitchfork have released both their top 50 albums list, and their top 100 tracks list. Here's Rolling Stone's picks for top 100 singles, and what they thought the best 50 albums were.

Over at AdFreak, they've rounded up their best and worst advertisements of 2008.

Time Magazine named their Person of the Year. Drum roll please..

Creativity Online asked some high-profile designers what their highlights of 2008 were.

Here are the funniest and best media errors and corrections of the year. This one, from the UK's Press and Journal, is great:

We have been asked to point out that Stuart Kennedy, of Flat E, 38 Don Street, Aberdeen, who appeared at Peterhead Sheriff Court on Monday, had 316 pink, frilly garters confiscated not 316 pink, frilly knickers.

The New York Times has put together a list of the best ideas from 2008. I have to say, they got it right with this one. It was definitely one of my highlights:

And finally, The Smoking Gun collected the 20 best police mugshots of the year (possibly NSFW).

Enjoy the lists, and I'll be back a bit later to my own version of the year-end roundup.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Speaking in tongues

Saw this nice piece of work by Peter Fuss, over on the Wooster Collective's site:

It got me thinking about
an article I read in the paper on the weekend, which said that expats in Dubai are less likely to learn Arabic while they're living here than expats in Beijing are likely to learn Mandarin. I know so many expats whose grasp of Arabic starts and finishes with "Habibi". Call me naive, but I think this whole Dubai thing would work a lot better if some of the expats gave Arabic classes a shot.

Speaking of nice pieces of work, this little sign that David Shrigley gets two thumbs up:

Remember yesterday when I said that Ryan North was a genius? Well Dave Shrigley fits squarely into that category as well. In fact, maybe I'll start a list on the side of this site that lists all the people I think are geniuses (genii?) Check out his site, I got stuck on there for like 2 hours once.

Lastly, here are two little character studies, the first from the guys (and girls, I'm sure) at The Royal Art Lodge, and the second from this site, which I found through FFFFound. Enjoy:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Of meat and men

So I've got a few friends that are vegetarians. And the thing is, I used to be kinda anti-vegetarians. Like, I thought a lot of vegetarians were just posers, or people who liked to be overly picky about their food. My attitude was something along the lines of: "Hey, we're at the top of the food chain, the least you can do is eat a steak to keep us there.". As Troy McClure said "Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!" My fears were based on something similar to what is shown in this diagram:

But I guess I'm softening in my old age. I have something of a begrudging respect for vegetarians these days. I mean, I can understand if you don't like meat. If you don't like the flavour of something, by all means, don't eat it. And people do treat most animals pretty poorly, so I guess it's understandable for someone to be a vegetarian on compassionate grounds. Although I still think people who eat fish but not meat for this reason is slightly hypocritical.

I eat meat because it tastes good, but if I ever needed another reason, T-Rex has given me one:

city folk: sheep are awesome because when they say "baaa" it honestly sounds like someone doing a bad sheep impression. when you walk up on a herd of sheep you will think "wow, there are a lot of people making fun of sheep just over the next hill." it's insane!

Ryan North is a genius.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Life goes 8-bit - part 2

I always find it funny (well, not 'ha-ha' funny, but strange) when you learn the definition of a word, and you start seeing that word everywhere. For example, a few years ago I was listening to a track by At The Drive-in, and heard the word 'suture' in the lyrics. I had checked the dictionary, and found out that a suture was like a surgical stitch to heal a wound. In the week following, I must have heard or read that word like 6 times.

So in a similar vein (har har) is the fact that after having posted some real-life examples of video game design, I've started seeing these things everywhere. Here are some more game-inspired designs:

People really love Tetris right?

Ok I know the last one isn't technically from a video game, but technically it looks cool, and technically this is my blog and I can post whatever I want..

Monday, December 15, 2008

Howling at the moon

I was at a friend's BBQ on Friday night, and noticed that everyone seemed to be acting slightly strangely. Not in any particularly weird way, but people seemed more animated than usual.

So then I woke up the next day, and see this, that Friday night's moon was the brightest in 15 years. This got me thinking about something my old boss told me, that the reason why we're so affected by the moon, is that our bodies are 80% water. The moon affects our bodies in the same way it affects the tides on earth.

Which is all just a reason for me to post this:

(Click on the image, or here, to see the trailer)

I love how when Michael J. Fox turns into a werewolf, everyone is totally cool with it, and all the cheerleaders want to hang out with him. Also, being a werewolf automatically turns you into an awesome breakdancer apparently. I think I speak for everyone when I say that there is a giant Michael J. Fox hole in modern cinema.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Life goes 8-bit

I saw these pictures on Kanye West's always awesome blog the other day:

These Tetris blocks are in Sydney (more pics here), and the Pac Man Christmas tree is actually a playable LED game (video here).

The shots reminded me of the time that I was in Barcelona for the Gracia Festival back in 2006. This area in Barcelona gets together, and all the individual streets choose themes for their street parties. One of the streets chose video games, and the results were pretty spectacular:

There are very few things as cool as seeing a 15-foot tall Pac Man screen in real life.

Where the mild things are...

Ok, so I'm new to this blogging caper, so I thought I'd just get the awkward first date questions out of the way first:

Age? 24.
Born? Dubai.
Schooled? Melbourne, Australia, until 4 months ago.
Likes? Back To The Future movies, Banksy art, and The Phantom comics.
Dislikes? Avocado, Zombies, and Barbara Streisand movies.

So why am I starting up this site? Well, I just moved home to Dubai after a long stint overseas, and wanted a way to keep track of my life as I settle back into a town that seems to change every time I wake up.

I also wanted a place to show people stuff that I think is cool from all over the internet. I'm always sending my mates links to stuff that I find interesting, so I thought why not just bring it all together in the one spot. So The Sandman Files is just going to be a bit about myself, and a bit about Dubai, and a bit about cool stuff that people are doing all over the world.

So I hope you all like it. Feel free to send me emails, and leave comments, and I'll promise to write back (it makes me feel popular). I'll be posting quite regularly, so subscribe to the RSS feed if you know how, and ask a friendly nerd to help you if you don't.

Ok, so let's get started...