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Apps: Evernote for Chrome, best bookmarking tool

 

evernote

Currently my bookmarking tool of choice is Evernote, especially through Google Chrome.  Evernote has provided an amazing web interface for organizing your found links/information and they have a very intelligent chrome extension that always you to clip content as easy as selecting and right clicking your selection.

Chrome App: Evernote WebChrome Extension: Clip to Evernote

I use Evernote for bookmarking future blog posts

In the past I have heard many people praise Evernote like crazy and it encouraged me try many times hopelessly to use it as one of my tools. As a notetaking or daily task tool it always and still sort of fails in comparison to my main tool of choice Microsoft Onenote. Lately I have been feeling the weight of all the blogs I visit, plus all the tabs I keep opened across several browser windows and all the links I have saved on my desktop in many folders on my computer (chrome app shortcuts.) So I needed a new way to sort through the mess when it came to the important time to post some new up on one of my blogs.

Features I needed, which Evernote has:

  • -Article Title
  • -Timestamp (to sort by date)
  • -URL Source
  • -Thumbnail of the content, not of the webpage (very key)

The thumbnail feature was the most important requirement I had, after collecting a huge number of links in various location and fashions, the biggest issues was finding that one post, when I needed it. Sorting by date is great, but I needed something more visual, and thumbnails of webpages or of website logos wasn’t going to help, it was very important for my to have a thumbnail that correctlated directly to the content I was search for. I wanted to experiment with some other bookmarking options, such as tumblr or posterous which has photo bookmarking features, but I have to say Evernote has to be the best tool.

 
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Site Design: DRIVEN

 

Fast Times

I just happened to visit this Automotive blog by the UrbanDaddy Network called DRIVEN, just a few hours ago.  This layout is completely tablet-focused and tries hard to mimic a magazine (converted for the web), with huge stretching images and strong font headlines.  One of the things I like about this design is the navigation bar on the right side, it gives the user basic access to the archive, home, search buttons and buttons for next & previous posts, additionally it has a large advertisement fixed on the right (which is a great place to display an ad but sort of weak uses of all that screen real estate.)  I believe there are some issues I don’t like with the site, it doesn’t work well as a true publication and they try to pass off quick updates with that contain a few pics and text as a complete article. 

Conclusion: The basic layout is amazing for anyone that wants to make a magazine like online publication which works well on a tablet.  Plus you can utilize the right panel better than DRIVEN did by integrating a table of contents or related content list, and you still can have the occasional ad popping up in the side panel too.

 
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Site Design: Life + Times

 

Life   Times

In the future weeks you will notice this becoming a consistence column on my site.  I have a fascination with well design sites.  I am not to crazy on graphics, I tend to veer closer to minimal designs that are using the manipulation of coding and the basics of design and function to do amazing things.  Plus a lot of these sites I will post up will tend to be direct inspiration for some of the updates and features I want to do to my own sites I run, mainly Iconolo.gy and CertifiedRandom.com.

Life and Times:

This is the new blog from Sean Carter himself, yep Jay-Z has a blog.  I am not sure if it is written by him, but there are many Q+A’s on the site with some very interesting influencers. The blog reads very nicely, it not crazily updated, which I like a lot, makes it very easy to follow week to week and all the posts are very well selected and all very unique.  In addition to original written interviews, there are some original video content, again with some very well picked people, including one with one of my favorite artists, Toro y Moi.

Design:

The main overarching design feature is the “Post Mosaic.”  It’s the grid of images posted above, it fills up the screen and has arrows on each side to navigate to more posts.  I really love this type of navigation and I easy see this as a update to Iconolo.gy’s Archive or a special way to navigate through Icon’s archive on a tablet.  I have seen a few wordpress blog that try this same format but I felt they failed in there execution, works better for small portfolios not consistently updated blogs.  The strengths in Life and times’s execution versus others, is 1. the squares are nice and small and have a margin in between to allow each square to breath 2. it a hybrid of the Mosaic grid and a footer navigation below the visible threshold and 3. the coolest thing I love with the “Post Mosaic” is that it is on top of every page of the blog, put instead of directly showing it, your browser jumps down to the blog post and only when you scroll up, the “Post Mosaic” is revealed (I got to dig in the code to figure out how to implement this technique.)

Straight Outta Compton- - Life   Times

 
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Neon Indian – “Heart: Attack”

 


Another artist on my radar. I am still catching up on blog posts, but for the past month, while I haven been finishing up my 1st year of Graduate school, I haven been listening to a lot of “Chillwave.”  Mainly it has been form the discography of  Toro y Moi, but Neon Indian has set his staple as one of the notable artists of this new genre.  This track is for his upcoming LP and this the video was filmed in Helsinki.

via GorillaVsBear

 
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Purity Ring - “Lofticries”

 

One of the hottest tracks out right now, while I was working on my final projects I had this on repeat for a day.

This is the unofficial video for “Lofticries” and it features footage from a 1974 Swedish film called Thriller: A Cruel Picture, which was the direct inspiration of Uma Turman's character is Kill Bill.

via Gorilla Vs Bear

 
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Sufjan Steven’s BQE, 2009

 

BQEalbum This is my favorite album of Sufjan’s, honestly I am not very well versed in his repertoire, but this album at less solidifies him as a true artist in my mind.  When I listen to it, I can already see the budding of a future film composer that can easily go down in history with the greats such as Bernstein, Williams and Glass.

From people that I know that love Sufjan’s work this album tends to be a missed bleep in his discography, thats very unfortunate.  This fully orchestrated soundtrack throws you into a whimsical world, which you wish you knew what visual theses chords are illustrating in such vivid emotions.

This is a definite must in your collection, especially if you are in the need for creative thinking music aka the” perfect mood setter.”

Amazon, The BQE: The Motion Picture Soundtrack

Wikipedia


After the JUMP are two videos with music straight from this album, take a peek

 
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Brubeck Plays Bernstein Plays Brubeck, 1961

 

41j79usJaRL._SS500_ A Good Morning always needs a soundtrack, today marks the 1st day of my 2nd semester of Grad school.  I am not completely sure what to expect, but its a new year and today kind of makes it official because it will be my 1st day of active productivity, I am ready for a good year.

The Album, released 1961:

So I found out about this amazing album about a month ago on Jaime Cullum’s BBC Radio Podcast where he interviewed Dave Brubeck and he had this playing in the background for a moment and I knew I had to hunt down a copy of this record.  The whole album is amazing, it clocks in at less than 40mins, but every time I love how it has the ability to give me a smile.  It must be the mixed of Cinematic and Jazz music, the same combination that made me go crazy over Michel LeGrand’s score for Umbrellas of Cherbourg (plus some other Jacques Demy directed/LeGrand scored films).

Amazon: Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein - Wikipedia

 
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Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009)

 

wakingsleeping

Director  Don Hahn

This is one documentary I was waiting to see forever and I waited almost a year until I was able to find a copy and it definitely fulfilled my expectations.  This documentary is for people like anything about the creative arts, business, power and Hollywood.  I have enjoyed books such as David Rensin’s The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up and other documentaries such as The Last Mogul, and there are a lot of aligning stories within that scope of 80-90s Hollywood, but I really believe this documentary is more accessible to a larger crowd, because it speaks on familiar topics that molded my childhood imagination.  I believe anyone in their twenties that was raised on Disney animations would really appreciate the behind the scenes look into what made those films that iconized the image we have of Disney.

The film doesn’t go to crazy with give us too much context, but is very laser focus on capturing the state of Disney, films in the 80s and 90s and the importance of animation as the foundation of Dinsey’s present and future.  There are many insights into films you loved as a kid such as the Lion King, the Beauty and the Beast and the Little Mermaid.  And it was great to see that one guy walked into their studios and said  I like the idea of the little mermaid but why don’t we add a crab and make him Jamaican, its this type of crazy geniuses that makes me want to stand up and clap my hands.  Despite some of the artistic angles of the film, this documentary shows you the collision of egos and power at Disney around that era, especially how Disney as a business was falling apart and it was the first time they had to rely on hiring outsiders, such as Frank Wells, Michael Eisiner and Jeffery Katzenberg, restore and renew their vision.

Plus I can’t forget, everyone of importance was interviewed and talk about their opinions throughout the film.  So you do get a large scope of what was in the minds of all these powerful egos.

IMDBAmazon: Waking Sleeping Beauty

 
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Knot by Apollo Architects

 

knot02

Another exposed concrete structure, there is nothing new about this, but I am just loving this aesthetic. The Knot seems like a great metaphor to explain the intertwining of spaces in this building, it actually took me a few double takes to figure out what is going on inside (the glass on the exterior is for the patio near the stairs).  Unfortunately looking at the section drawings all the bedrooms are isolated below the living room areas (which are overly photographed) so the the bedrooms lack that intertwined knot metaphor that drives the rest of the project.  But it can be very beneficial because the set is small and nice as a bachelor pad and the other rooms that are isolated from the ‘knot’ could be rented out, score….

APOLLO Architects and Associates

via Designboom

 
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House H by Sou Fujimoto

 

Sou-Fujimoto-House-H-01

I got a thing for exposed concrete architecture at the moment.  I really love how the exterior is left unpainted but this interior is completely flat white.  The Structure of this house if just so amazing in its simplicity, it acts as a skeleton frame where rooms happen to fit in.  Even though those wooden stairs can be somewhat intimidating at moments, I like how it gently connects spaces and seems to be independent of internal straightforward logic.

via Today+Tomorrow & Photos by Iwan Baan

 
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