Canadian makes very cool map of United States

This map uses dirt from every state, and it’s made by an 85-year-old retired ad agency art director. His favorite soils came from Colorado (“quite reddish”), Maine (“pale and sandy”), and Mississippi and Alabama (“deeply colored with iron oxide”). The soils have varying degrees of acidity, and each is a slightly different color.

Read more about the map and Les Gregor’s process. If you like it, you can purchase one! Personally, I love how gritty and ‘American’ it feels (yes, including the irony of the artist’s home country) and would LOVE to own one…

Blake Fall-Conroy, “Minimum Wage Machine,” 2008-2010

This machine allows anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they like.  Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour.  This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York.  

This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary.  Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank.  A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder jobs than turning a crank.  This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage. 

Really great piece. Though, I wonder, what amount would be the tipping point that makes cranking the minimum wage machine worth it? Does minimum wage ever feel worth it? And, is there a way to re-frame / enhance / change the piece to change how people perceive minimum wage jobs?

I am SO EXCITED by my new custom-made kicks courtesy of guicemann (aka Charlie)! When I was recording Flee The Scene, Kasey and Dave told me about their own spiffy sneakers, and I loved the idea. I asked Charlie if he could possibly do a pair with all of my favorite Brooklyn things, and he surpassed my expectations. I love how unique they are and how perfectly suited they are for me. I highly recommend getting a pair of your own perfectly-you shoes; I’m happy to connect you! Such a great small business.

(Fun Fact: You might notice the black bike on the sneakers. I’ll never forget you, bike!)

Check out Arts for Transit (the app or the website) to learn more about the incredible artwork in the NYC subways. There are a lot of gems and significance; read up on your favorite stations to appreciate them even more. As an example, here’s what I see as I arrive at work every day:

and here’s what they have to say:

57th Street – 7th Avenue


Carnegie Hall Montage, 1994

Ceramic tiles on north and south mezzanine walls; porcelain enamel on north mezzanine wall

Carnegie Hall Montage is a colorful arrangement of images in porcelain on steel that shows the range of artists who have performed on the world-renowned stage. Some depict Carnegie Hall’s classical pedigree, such as Leonard Bernstein and Marian Anderson, for example, while others portray the Beatles, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Eleanor Roosevelt, as testament to the importance of the stage. Nearby, hundreds of white tiles with text commemorate the names, professions, and appearance date of notables who graced Carnegie’s stage. In the words of Carnegie Hall activist Gino Francesconi: “I have always felt that the subway station directly below Carnegie Hall should reflect the history of the building just as the subways of Moscow and Paris do their own cultural institutions … It reminds one of the connection between the city and its art.”

He puts up a Christmas tree once a week and decorates it, then takes it down the next morning.

A voracious reader of history, he’s been known to clip favorite words from books and eat them. Sometimes he’ll eat whole paragraphs. His New York Public Library card has been permanently revoked.

He doesn’t observe Tuesdays. He wears a watch that he smashed on purpose at exactly twelve o’clock. As a result, scheduling is not his strong suit. He famously missed his own birthday by three months.

Awesome character sketch via Bob Odenkirk

Typographer’s Glossary by Playtype: Click through to view letterform anatomy, type classification, information on kerning, and other vital facts for typographers.

This is a lot of information that I’ve always been curious about packaged neatly and comprehensively.