- Inside Minority Report’s ‘Idea Summit’, Visionaries Saw the Future
When Steven Spielberg started working on Minority Report, he called together a group of thinkers to help him envision what the future would look like. Here’s a discussion from a couple of people who were there 10 years ago.
- Cheap, Chic, and Made For All
A look at the success of Uniqlo, who is, surprisingly, the fourth largest clothing retailer behind Zara, H&M, and Gap. Although I’ve been to a couple of Uniqlo and prefer their style over H&M, Gap, etc; reading this article didn’t make me feel excited about the company.
- From Beach to Bunker
Although this article leads with a neat story of combining brain waves and image recognition to look for terrorist hideouts, the underlying theme seems to be that the US government should fund more scientific research, even though the results may not be readily apparent, because they may cause long term breakthroughs.
With the introduction of computers, however, researchers could look not just at the continuous EEG over long periods of time but also at the changes that occurred around specific events by averaging the data from a large number of painstakingly timed trials. Most researchers began using this newfound capability to study sensory responses—placing electrodes over the visual cortex at the back of the head, for example, and analyzing how the EEG signal changed when flashes of light of different durations were presented to subjects. Chapman was one of the first to apply that approach to cognitive tasks.
What Chapman found in his study immediately excited him: When subjects viewed any stimulus, there was a quick change in brain activity, the size of which depended on how bright the stimulus was. But when subjects were shown a number, crucial to performing the task before them, the EEG registered a huge spike in brain activity about 300 milliseconds after the stimulus appeared.
- Beat Boutique
A look at the world of library music, which is easily-licensed music that you might find in commercials or TV shows (although TV shows seem to want to feature up-and-coming artists now).
“I felt like I did have a lot of carte blanche with what I was doing,” Stanton says of her subsequent library work. “But the deadlines were very tight so I’d work in ‘crank it out’ mode. It wasn’t [always] heartfelt.” What most turned Stanton off from writing production-library music, though, was when she felt pressure from her director to compose blatant imitations of other popular artists. “In that era, everyone just wanted you to sound like the Chemical Brothers,” she recalls.
Tim Lee, who currently works with KPM and is also the founder of the Brooklyn-based Tummy Touch Records, expresses similar disdain for “soundalikes”; he also thinks their proliferation has been the biggest change between (what he does not object to me calling) the Golden Age of Library Music and what is produced now. “If Katy Perry is popular, people will knock out a Katy Perry soundalike CD,” he observes. “There didn’t seem to be so much of that back in the ’60s and ’70s.”
The guy behind the visual design of the SpongeBob SquarePants character has apparently made it big as a (conventional) artist. But here’s a weird tale about how he had to become a ninja to control counterfeits of his work.
Convinced Howell was faking his works, White hired a private investigator, Dave Hance, to try to buy a bogus print. Wearing a wire, Hance showed up at Gallery HB and recorded himself buying a print of Playing Around for $2,000. Howell told Hance she’d send it to White for embellishment, and call him when it returned. Two weeks later, the private eye received a voice mail from Howell telling him his giclée was ready. “I look forward to seeing you and the expression on your face,” Howell trilled, “when you see your new embellished Todd White, Playing Around.”
When Hance told White about his purchase from Howell, the artist was crushed. He says he hadn’t heard from Howell about the giclée at all and hadn’t signed a thing. “I felt stabbed in the heart,” he recalls. But he says he worried that if he reported the fraud to the police, the legal maneuvering could give Howell time to unload his works on the Internet. White says he also worried that making Howell’s malfeasance a matter of public record could contaminate his hard-earned market and depreciate the value of his work. Instead, he’d settle the matter on his own.