Archive for February, 2011

It’s All Their Fault!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 24, 2011 by braincoffey


A colleague of The IP clued him in to this great photo of a railroad line in New Zealand that straddled their big quake; it’s a prize winner:


Not only is it a great low F-stop composition, it actually captures more than just a local scene.

If you look carefully, that section of rail includes a bridge; the gap the bridge crosses is where that double section of supporting rail is between the main tracks. Only the near side of the tracks are warped, meaning that whatever gap the bridge spans (stream, road, ditch) is the actual fault line. The IP knows this sounds obvious, but he was captivated by the explanatory nature of the shot; this would be a great photo for an earth science book. Imagine; a huge, ginormous mass of land just wrenching apart at a seam; like a giant pair of landscape pants. The IP has gotta locate this location. A prize to the first pithecanthrope to find out where, exactly, in New Zealand, this photo is located at; know what he’s sayin’? 


(He’s also betting that Kenneth Buttercup is going to come up with the answer whilst travelling).


Wagon Train

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2011 by braincoffey


The IP noticed a blog post from Atlanta’s own CNN that noted how Volvo will no longer sell wagon versions of its cars in the United States. There are many of you pithecanthropes out there who either grew up with a Volvo wagon or at least knew someone that had one. They made great hand-me-down cars for teenagers because their parents could pretty much rest assured that, even if their kids went to a keg party and later got in an accident, the vault-like build of the Volvo would keep them alive (too bad for that other guy in the Yugo).

Though the hook for the blog post was the demise of the Volvo wagon, it went on to discuss the “wagon” style in general, getting all misty for those once-common behemoths of the suburbs. The IP can do that too. Let him briefly chronicle the station wagons in his life (photos are representative):


Shortly after the IP was borned, his father purchased a 1963 Rambler station wagon similar to the one above. The IP remembers riding in the back with the brown paper bags of groceries. No seatbelt required. Good times.

Wagon # 2 was a fairly obscure Ford Cortina wagon, an import from Great Britain. The one The IP’s mom drove around in was navy blue. It was a piece of shite regardless.
Above is a Volvo wagon similar to the one with which The IP’s mom finished her driving career. The one she had was a copper color.
Finally, one of the best/worst wagons The IP actually owned. A 1979 Plymouth Volare (his was dark brown).
OK. To end this post is one of many Volvo “kill” YouTubes where people film their intentional destruction of old, economically unviable Volvos.  The IP was, at first, surprised at how many of these videos were out there, but then it kinda made sense; Volvos are hard to die, and wicked expensive to maintain; and adolescent (and sometimes “adult”) males are full of creative, destructive energy 
This Tube is fairly typical of the genre, but is notable in that it has some good choreography, is set in an interesting venue, and allows the Volvo to make its own noise.  The intentional engine meltdown at the end is a common conclusion to these stupid-but-entertaining Tubes. 
RIP Volvo Wagon


A Font of Information (on fonts)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 6, 2011 by braincoffey

The IP recently heard a BBC interview of Paola Antonelli, a curator at MOMA and a well-spoken expert on the history of design. She was addressing a new collection of fonts that MOMA had “acquired.” That’s right. Fonts. WTF? They are also called digital typefaces. You know, like the Times New Roman that most people use on Microsoft Word. You can read about MOMA’s new font of fonts here.

While listening to Antonelli discuss the cultural importance and emotional power of certain typefaces, The IP got to thinking about one of his all-time favorites, the one that’s been used by the Boston Police Department for decades now:
There is a reason why this typeface works just as well today as it did in…try 1926! That’s right. It’s called Futura Black, and it came straight out of the Bauhaus. It was originally designed by none other than Josef Albers, and made into an actual typeface by Paul Renner and the Bauer typeface foundry. It’s based on the concept of using only portions of circles, squares, and triangles in various combinations to create the letters.
The story of how Futura Black came to America and was used by the Boston Police is one that is beyond the scope of this blog, but it’s a story worthy of a book; that latter document would be better off using Times New Roman, however.


John Barry RIP

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2011 by braincoffey

He was so much more than “that James Bond music guy.” Here’s some John Barry music from the rather queer little movie, The Knack…and how to get it (1965).

And who could forget his theme for Midnight Cowboy?

John Barry Dies at 77; Composed for Bond Films



Films scores

Bond Films

Barry worked on the soundtracks for the following Bond films:


 Television themes

 Other works

  • Stringbeat (1961)
  • The Americans (1975)
  • The Beyondness of Things (1999)
  • Eternal Echoes (2001)
  • The Seasons – no release date set

 Hit singles

(Excludes co-composed hits, e.g. Duran Duran‘s A View to a Kill)

  • “Hit And Miss” as The John Barry Seven plus Four, UK#10 (first charted 1960)
  • “Beat For Beatniks” as The John Barry Orchestra, UK#40 (1960)
  • “Never Let Go” as The John Barry Orchestra, UK#49 (1960)
  • “Blueberry Hill” as The John Barry Orchestra, UK#34 (1960)
  • “Walk Don’t Run” as The John Barry Seven, UK#11 (1960)
  • “Black Stockings” as The John Barry Seven, UK#27 (1960)
  • The Magnificent Seven” as The John Barry Seven, UK#45 (1961)
  • “Cutty Sark” as The John Barry Seven, UK#35 (1962)
  • “The James Bond Theme” as The John Barry Orchestra, UK#13 (1962)
  • “From Russia With Love” as The John Barry Orchestra, UK#39 (1963)
  • “Theme From ‘The Persuaders'” as John Barry, UK#13 (1971)

The 4 highest-charting hits all spent more than 10 weeks in the UK top 50