Long relegated as the dessert of cafeterias, Jello is turning up in the work of established design studio. Artists are using the gelatinous form to create sculptures of everything fomr Barack Obama to entire cities. The inspiration is most likely from the British chefs whose projects include a Jello version of Buckingham Palace for the royal wedding.
The big appeal of gelatin art is nostalgia. It’s the familiar dessert that everyone loved when they were young. But artists like the way it bends the light giving the layers a rainbow effect. But a big issue is deterioration. Some say it adds drama to the sculpture. Over the life of the sculpture – some parts are new, other parts decaying just like life. Wall Street Journal
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In the David-and-Goliath fight for the summer dominance, 2-D, hand-drawn,
Pooh is decidedly retro. Its the first hand-drawn movie since The Princess and the Frog. That movie received good reviews but did not do great at the box office. This new Pooh movie is a return to that strategy in a time when all the animated films are dominated by computer-generation like the “Shrek” and”Toy Story” .
Disney had to decide what kind of movie it wanted to do. They could have used new 3D technologies, but these characters belong in the world of simple pen and ink. They live in the world of hand-drawn animation. Pooh does have an advantage over Potter. Its budget of $31 million. LA Times
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A third of adults in the US own a smartphone. Mobile devices are replacing computers for Internet access. It seems to be the device of choice for many minority and low income users. The findings reveal the breakneck speed consumers are adopting smartphones — faster than just about tech product in history.
A quarter of the smartphone user consider it the main way to get onto the Internet. Ninety percent of the owners access the Web and check their e-mail each day through their device. Smartphone users are diverse. Most are well-off and educated. And, adoption by blacks and Hispanics is particularly high at 45%. Washington Post
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Google’s latest social platform is growing so fast that it will rival Facebook. The 2 week old social network is in field test and has already grown to 7.3 million users. Google+ looks to be gaining ten million by Today and twenty million by the weekend. In 2009 Facebook was gaining nearly a million new users a day – that was the height of their growth. PC World
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Twitter is getting some of the blame for star-driven movies to do poor. Once, the lofty reputation of stars would carry a sub-standard movie through its opening weekend and possibly. The bad reviews would take a while to trickle out to the public. It would definitely be harder to degrade fan loyalty. But movie goers today will tweet witty negative criticisms from the theater. A Twitter assault can crush a movie in a matter of minutes. A star’s track record has no bearing in the Twitterverse.
Many recent big-name movies can’t get out of the red. Larry Crowne – the Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts would be Hollywood gold in the old days but is failing to set box offices And How Do You Know?, a comedy with Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon looks unlikely to survive the Twitter assault and earn its $80m cost.Guardian
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Those LED screens can break the spell in a darkened theater. Even if you don’t make a sound the light is intrusive. Using a phone in a darkened movie theater is like lighting a road flare. But people can’t stop the compulsion. Why are people reaching for their smartphones without giving it a second thought — especially when it irritates everyone around them.
Theaters should kick out offenders. That’s what the Alamo Drafthouse did. They implemented a strict policy and will kick out any offenders. Perhaps more theaters should do the same. LA Times
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As CD sales continue to plummet, Hollywood is searching for new business models and revenues. The latest seems to be a bust. Not only does the public have no appetite for the premium video-on-demand, the studios were successful angering the theater owners who felt the service would jeopardize their business.
Initial response has so far been weak. 4 studios have signed up with DirecTV to offer movie rentals at home for $30. The consumers get films that are less than 2 months. The premium service included Hall Pass and action films including Battle: Los Angeles and dramas Water for Elephants. Executives at studios declined to specify how many viewers used the package – but it wasn’t good. They were satisfied to blame the marketing effort made by DirectTV. LA Times
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The economic downturn has hit women particularly hard. Men are getting jobs women continue to lose them. In the last 2 years men in the U.S. have gained over 750,000 jobs and women have lost over 200,000 jobs; the overall rate of unemployment for men fell from 10.7% to 9.6% between 2009 and 2011. Women on the other hand saw unemployment rise from 8.3% to 8.6%. The labor force participation rate, the portion of the population who is working or wants to work, may be the reason. Atlantic
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As paperback book sales continue to drop, several publishing companies are launching mystery imprints in hopes of gaining a footprint in the hot crime-fiction market. Newcomers range from small independent publishers to big established players. Little, Brown has started a suspense imprint Mulholland. Amazon and digital media company Open Road have also started new digital crime imprints.
Mulholland has been looking outside the normal literary channels. They are working with Hollywood producers, movie and tv writers, graphic novelists and even videogame creators. They published a digital collection of short stories based on c the videogame L.A. Noire. Wall Street Journal
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Animal-like robots are taking over the labs. It is not just dogs that engineers are copying now, but shrews complete with whiskers, swimming lampreys, grasping octopuses, climbing lizards and burrowing clams. They are even trying to mimic insects, by making robots that take off when they flap their wings.
One group of scientists is building a robotic octopus. To recreate this creature, they started with its arms. In a vertebrate’s arms, muscles do the moving and bones carry the weight. An octopus arm, though, has no bones, so its muscles must do both jobs. Its advantage is that, besides grasping things tightly, it can also squeeze into nooks and crannies that are inaccessible to vertebrate arms of similar dimensions. This is the killer app that the scientists want to capture. Economist
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