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The Push Blog is on the Move!

June 5, 2009

Hey, we got new digs! We’re super excited to show you.

You can now visit us at http://blog.pushthefuture.org

See you there!

Rayogram: Your Online Newstand

June 3, 2009

For those of you who are still worrying over the potential loss of your early morning newspaper, www.rayogram.com/news provides the perfect compromise between your nostalgia and your desire to meet the future. A friend of mine recently turned me on to this website and I am finding it far more engaging to read than my normal diet of www.worldnews.com. Both websites act as aggregates for news from around the world, but Rayogram provides the extra perk of displaying an actual color scan of the front page of the newspaper. This gives you a better visual of what is making the front page and where – two factors that are important for critically analyzing the media.

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Blogrock creates new up-and-coming Cameron Crowes

June 1, 2009

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Max Timander and Spencer Tweedy,

apparently the mop-top is an industry standard for music critics ;)

Since it’s release in the year 2000, I have remained impossibly enamored with the movie, Almost Famous.  William Miller ({atrick Fugit) is a 15-year-old wonderkid who pitches to the Rolling Stone a cover story of the rising-star band, Stillwater, and the Rolling Stone accepts. It is a story based on the early years of Cameron Crowe. Crowe met the editor of the Rolling Stone when he was 16, on a trip to Los Angeles, and was then hired to tour with the Allman Brothers.

As both a writer and a music lover, I am obssessed with this fairytale, especially because Crowe managed to achieve success in such youth. Growing up, I told myself the golden age of rock n’ roll journalism and those once-in-a-lifetime-chances were over. Lester Bangs was dead. I wouldn’t be exposed to Chuck Klosterman until 2005 and besides,  they just don’t make bands like they used to anymore. Everything is about self-promotion as well – even Brendan Kelly of Lawrence Arms has his own blog, the Bad Sandwich Chronicles. (Though addicting and wholly inappropriate,  I can’t decide whether his random tangets help or hurt the band,  but a voice straight from the source is far more interesting than anything a rock critic has to say.)

However, I am happy to say today that for all you Cameron Crowe wannabes – don’t lose hope! The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently ran a front page story on a 12 year old rock blogger, Max Timander. Mx2007, as Timander refers to himself online, has been churning out music reviews on his site, areyourockin.com for over year. What’s so cool about it -(aside from the fact that he’s only freakin’ 12 years old!) – is that along with reviewing big names, he also keeps on a pulse on the local Twin Cities music scene – an appeal that a major music magazine can’t achieve. Timander’s blogroll will lead you to another young arts and entertainment reviewer, Spencer Tweedy, who is also just 14 years old. Tweedy is equally full of insightful and honest rock n’ roll opinions, but to be fair, he may have had a little help from his dad, Jeff Tweedy of the indie-folk band, Wilco. Regardless, I am so impressed by these young  up and coming entrepreneurial Cameron Crowes and so should you! :) Keep on rockin’ in the free world!

2009 CLIO Winners We Love

May 30, 2009

Everyone appreciates a good commercial, but this year’s 2009 CLIO Design and Moving Images Award Winners for print leaves us in love with still image advertisement. Here are a few of our faves…

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Gold Winner, Guinness‘ Stop Public Service Campaign
Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, Petaling Jaya


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Gold Winner, Volkswagen Customized Trucks Campaign
AlmapBBDO, São Paulo


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Gold Winner, Hospital Alemán – Kinder Plan Health Care Services
Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, Martinez

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Gold Winner, Mir Laine Campaign
Henkel, TBWA\PARIS, Boulogne-Billancourt

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Take note of the side-caption on this one…Ha, ha!
Bronze Winner , Havaianas Campaign, Havaianas Paint – São Paulo Alpargatas
AlmapBBDO, São Paulo

Cell phones can create hope or cause conflict

May 28, 2009

Your cell phone keeps you more connected than you think – and not always in a good way. Recently, the Enough Project and You Tube teamed up to launch their “Come Clean 4 Congo” video campaign to raise awareness on how your small electronics purchase could be fueling one of the deadliest wars in the Congo. The current death toll reaches 5.6 million (with 2,000 more dying per day) and 70% of the world’s rape is reported from the Congo.  In order to fund their armies, the three warring militias take control of the lucrative mines and extract bribes from transporters, local and international buyers, and border control.

According to the Enough Project’s report “Can You Hear Congo Now?” The four principal conflict minerals are:

•Tin (produced from cassiterite)—used inside your cell phone and all electronic products as a
solder on circuit boards.
• Tantalum (produced from “coltan”, 80% of the world’s supply is located in the Congo)—used to store electricity in capacitors in iPods, digital cameras,
and cell phones.
• Tungsten —used to make your cell phone or Blackberry vibrate.
• Gold—used in jewelry and as a component in electronics.

The Enough Project and YouTube’s call for filmmakers to produce a short, 1-minute documentary on how cell phone purchases are linked to the war in Congo is the first step is raising awareness on this issue. Most people have no idea where their cell phone materials come from and there is no legislation currently in place to reveal the origin of these supply chains.

Even though most of us already own a cell phone that was more than likely produced with some of these conflict minerals, there is hope. As soon as conflict-free phones are introduced to the market, we can switch to one of those, and then we can donate our old phone to Hope Phones. Hope Phones is an organization that works in collaboration with kiwanja.net, the Hewlett Foundation, and FrontlineSMS: Medic, to provide phones to health care workers in developing countries. For every cell phone donated, the money from trading in the old phone goes towards purchasing new phones for health care providers. By giving remote communities a cell phone, they can stay in closer contact with their doctors, receive better care, and cut down on the response time when a medical emergency arises. A $10 cell phone will give 50 families access to emergency health care. Cell phones, like everything, can produce both bad and good, but as long as we’re aware of both sides of the conversation, we can make it work things work the right way.

Give me your chocolate, your plants, and your Prius

May 23, 2009

If we erected a Statue of Sustainability today, her placard would undoubtedly read: give me your chocolate, your plant-based products, and your people-powered Priuses; at least, that’s what the latest innovations from Toyota, Coca-Cola, and the NASCAR racing industry would imply…

* Toyota released a behind-the-scenes preview of their 2010 Prius commercial that is choreographed and constructed entirely out of people. It looks like a scene straight out of a Dr. Suess book made for TV! Love it. Have a look at the video below where the production team describes the innovation and logistical challenges behind its debut.

* Despite Coca-Cola‘s tarnished human rights image abroad, they are making important strides in sustainability at home with their partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. The Atlanta Coca-Cola headquarters has put out a fully-recyclable bottle prototype that is made entirely out of plant-based plastic. Traditional PET bottles are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, but the new plant bottle is made with  up to 30 percent plant-based materials.

“The Coca-Cola Company is a company with the power to transform the marketplace, and the introduction of the PlantBottle(TM) is yet another great example of their leadership on environmental issues,” said Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund, U.S. “We are pleased to be working with Coke to tackle sustainability issues and drive innovations like this through their supply chain, the broader industry and the world.”

*Last, but obviously never least – race cars are always in the lead – is the introduction of a plant-powered Formula 1 race car from the Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre as a part of their WorldFirst project. The Vegetable Car boasts a carrot-based polymer steering wheel, wing mirrors made of potatoes, and a bio diesel engine that – I kid you not – runs on “waste chocolate.” And the sustainability measures do nothing to compromise speed, the Vegetable Car can still hit upwards of 125 miles on hour!

“Following the recent turmoil in Formula 1 arising from the high costs of running competitive motor racing teams, and doubts in sponsors’ minds over the commercial value of their involvement, the viability of motor racing is being critically questioned,” the WorldFirst website explains. ” We are seeking to prove to  the motor industry that it is possible to build a competitive racing car using environmentally sustainable components.”

Move over Mother Liberty, the call for sustainability is getting louder and more creative every day.

Under Stars and Gutters Debuts in Rotoscope

May 20, 2009

Here is a sweet, new rotoscope animation for the latest Under Stars and Gutters video, 3,167. These guys are all my friends from Northern Ireland: an art student and three musicians collaborating in the mediums that they love. The animation was created by Brendan McCarey, a Design and Communications student at the University of Ulster-Magee in Derry, Northern Ireland. McCarey printed out all 1,831 frames and proceeded to hand-draw them, adding additional effects in pencil as he felt inspired.

“I used this style because it is simple,” McCarey explains. “It goes back to the basics and I think that represents the band and the music best: punk music is a return to the basics…I’m not trying to make them look like Hollywood stars because I want to show that the band doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Like the drummer, I just drew his arms and his head so you could just focus on his energy.”  McCarey took about a full semester of study to complete the animation, but the drawings themselves took just over two and a half weeks. Below, I have posted the original video so that you can see what elements of the original McCarey chose to keep.

Under Stars and Gutters is a three-piece punk band from the northern coast of Ireland, comprised of Adam Carroll, Johnny Lowe, and Mark Easton. All three of them have been involved in many musical endeavors over the years and their popularity continues to grow. Like McCarey’s art, the music of Under Stars and Gutters is honest and energetic. However, bias be known: aside from their awesome creativity, the main reason why I like these videos so much is that it’s proof my boys have come a long way from the Irish drinking fiends I knew over two years ago! Cheers to that!

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