Friday, May 29, 2009

Art Beats War! Online Stats

According to the blogosphere, the word "art" is posted close to 9,500 times a week! We used Technorati, an online app that lets you build your own chart by listing common words or phrases in the blogosphere and then comparing their usage by date. Our word choices: Art, war, technology, economy, and Twitter. Chart your own. Technology was a close second, followed by Twitter, war and last, the economy. You may also enjoy Technorati's "State of the Blogosphere" which has charts on the demographics of bloggers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Eat Green Because the Bible Bar Tells You So

According to Treehugger, in addition to the 4 disputed food groups (we discovered oil and butters are now considered a group), there are 8 major green food trends, a few of which we found particularly interesting. Religious diets include savory snacks like the Bible Bar made from barley, wheat, raisins, pomegranates, figs and olive oil. It also claims to be a mixture straight from Deuteronomy 8:8. (And could it possibly sustain you should you find yourself lost in a deserted location?) As one would expect, these organic bars originate from the House of David.
Another choice trend would be Jainism. These vegetarians of vegetarians even exclude eating potatoes, garlic and onions because their root systems sustain the plants themselves. Milk, however is not off limits, because it regenerates. We've learned that even Vegans move aside when a Jainist shows up at their dinner table. Other people follow the "slow food" movement. Its practitioners are "vegetarian inclined." Meat eaters who shop at Whole Foods probably fall in this category and basically, it's all about staying healthy. A recent study done by Vegetarian America says that 22 million of us have changed our eating habits to reflect a more earth and animal-friendly diet. The Jewish practice of keeping "kosher" and the Islamic practice of "Halal" are the two most popular movements generating between 142 to 632 billion dollars a year, according to Time Magazine. For more green food trends click here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nature's Light and Shadow Inspire New Video Game...Plus Call for Video Game Designers!

Annually at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, experimental game play workshops are held where video designers from all over the country convene to showcase their new games or works in progress. Here, we highlight the work of collaborators Scott Anderson and Steve Swink who have created Shadow Physics. This video game"puzzle" features a main character, a shadow, who crawls on walls and ceilings and leaps, reacting to other shadows in order to make images in the "real" world take action. You can even manipulate the light in order to create alternative shadows, changing your strategy to win. It's deceptively simple; like Spiderman meets Einstein. A transcript of the entire YouTube interview can be found at Indie Game Pod with space for comments.

If you or anyone you know is a video game designer, we suggest you look into the Game Play Workshops Call for Participation for 2009. They're looking for a variety of innovative game ideas. While they caution there are some models they "don't deal with," they also allow that: "The above guidelines are vague and incomplete, as new and experimental things will by definition fall outside existing preconceptions."

In the meantime, we look forward to the launch of Anderson and Swink's game, and we will be happy to hire a 10 year old to explain it to us!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Keep up with the White House Buzz w/o Killing Any Trees

Click here >The White House has a My Space Page. No one should be surprised. In a campaign that favored blackberries over bombs and YouTube over "You Evildoers", it's no wonder that we can now let our fingers do the walking and the videos do the talking. The pics of the grounds are lovely and it's all certainly "Camelot revisited." One caveat though, you won't be able to see some of the beautiful photos or leave messages for Obama and Biden, unless you have a My Space account. We suspect that if someone gets an actual answer from one of these guys, some one else will criticize them for the use of their time. The important thing to bear in mind is that the response, should it occur, will be paperless. Enjoy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Let me tell you all a story 'bout a man named, Jeb...

Jeb Feldman, that is, a true urban pioneer!
The back story:
Michelle Gregio and Christine Bethea, galpals and salvage artists were making a fast trek towards the Rankin Bridge, when they came up on the back of Jeb's trunk and next thing they were on a convoy, by invitation, to Jeb's place, dust, dirt and rocks flying, a true prequel to adventure!

Gregio, a friend of Feldman's and a regular visitor had great expectations, but Bethea, a newbe, thought she'd landed in Oz. " Jeb had these lush little gardenettes everywhere and tall wind turbine-looking things with glass finials, and this fantastic mini mural of kids playing behind a raised flower bed; Adirondack chairs of recycled brick." And the green spaces proved even a rugged guy like Jeb likes yarrow!
Feldman, along with Braddock's Mayor John Fetterman and other stakeholders are on a mission to "green" out the historic community from the drought of deterioration it has suffered over several long decades. Fortunately, it seems to be working. All over Braddock there are signs of new life, including young budding peach and apple trees, fresh tractor marks in the soil and migrates from Brooklyn, New York. Standing proudly at the forefront of all this is one of the Three River's last remaining USX steel mills --USS on its tower--still filling the air with the sounds of productivity.

"It certainly wasn't my intention to start taking pictures, but It was all so wonderful, I couldn't help it!" explained Bethea, "The one pic I didn't get was of Jebediah, himself (a handsome fellow), who must be shy of the paparazzi, even if its for a blog." Thanks for the tour, Jeb! We just couldn't let your cool brand of greeness go unsung!
For more information on Braddock click here or here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eco Clothing: The Good, the Bad, the Expensive

A "dowdy to Divine" 1960's retro Dress, restyled by Meritt Elliot for
"Out of the Ordinary," a recent green fashion auction in Los Angeles.

Best Bet:
Jonano Clothing...affordable and local!

I was reminded of the TV series "Fame," in which a sexy choreographer, pounding her cane on the dance floor, reminds her students that "fame costs," when I saw the collection (and prices) for Ferragamo’s “Eco bag” Collection. The 86-year-old Italian brand uses a metal- and pollutant-free tanning process to treat the skins used for a five-piece collection of totes and handbags. Dying is done using tannins from tree bark. "But there’s a drawback" says the Los Angeles Times: "Sometimes it costs to be eco-chic. $1,190 to $1,890 at Salvatore Ferragamo boutique, Beverly Hills." Then there's the Banana Republics "Heritage" Collection. The 45 pieces in this eco line look as good or better than the usual recycled, stencil-front T-shirts and they're made from 90% sustainable fabrics and trims. You get your khaki button-down safari-style jackets, leopard-print tank tops and shimmery, champagne-colored cropped cargo pants — all mixed and matched. The eco styles have a little green elephant on the tag. Not bad for $19 to $150. Then consider the green fashion savvy of Doris Raymond, owner of the trendy California boutique--The Way We Wore. Raymond had designers from both coasts restyle clothing for the inaugural event of Earth Pledge's Future Fashion, a nonprofit initiative promoting sustainable practices in the apparel industry. Raymond told the LA Times:"We all have pieces in our closet that we're not wearing, and it's a pity. There's still integrity and a usefulness to them, but how do you tweak it to a point where you want to wear it?" A legion of famous designer names took the challenge and took scissors to everything vintage from Blass to Yves Saint Laurent to create truly unique uberfashion.

Locally, were lucky to have Bonnie Siefers whose company--Janono--headquartered in Pittsburgh, designs, manufactures and sells an organic clothing line. A visit to her website or blog (listed above w/pic), gets you in touch with your eco side, plus a wonderful range of clothing that includes dresses, scrubs and baby apparel. We were particularly impressed with the ecoKashmere T which is made of a bamboo fiber blend "known for it's buttery soft feel without the cost,"...only $20, and the Jonano blog echos that sentiment "Why should sustainability be stuffy, unaffordable, and over complicated?" It shouldn't. We'd bet that on a brand new pair of beautiful bamboo underwear!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Meet the Gribbles! Eco-Friendly Bugs

Remember when you really LIKED bugs?

Share this with your kids!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Watch removing the graffiti.. It could be a Basquiat... or even a Banksky!

Our great city of Pittsburgh, who is constantly at war with her graffiti artists, might need to take another look before removing something that may have considerable value in the not too distant future. We've missed making much more egregious errors than wiping away annoying doodles, like nearly obliterating a painted tile mural in our T-station created by Romare Bearden. Then someone had the brilliance to have it appraised. Its estimated worth? 15 million dollars! Some city officials need to understand: Just because "it ain't art" today, doesn't mean it won't be considered something rather astonishing down the pike. The problem is then, what graffiti is worth saving?

Consider the plight of our confused friends in Glastonbury, England, who covered over the work of a local rebel artist named Banksy, as part of their city's anti-graffiti campaign only to learn Banksy's art is worth thousands and has attracted the eye of collectors like Brad Pitt! Click Here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Life Pittsburgh "Greens" Their Dining Room

LIFE (Living Independence For the Elderly) Pittsburgh, a non-profit organization that helps seniors remain in their own homes, eliminating the need for nursing home care, was proud to announce the unveiling of a new art project just in time for Earth Day.

Co-founders of The Art Diversity Project, Christine Bethea and Brenda Brown, were thrilled to work with the senior citizens from LIFE Pittsburgh. “The goal of this project was to take existing papers and salvaged materials to create something new," said Ms. Brown. The seniors created a colorful set of seven culinary themed panels that add a cheerful atmosphere to their dining room. The Greentree location of LIFE Pittsburgh was the site for the first of a series of senior art collaborations by Passports and Life Pittsburgh with other locations participating throughout the year. The art unveiling took place during the lunch hour with numerous staff, family, friends and corporate dignitaries present to witness the special occasion.
Founded in 1998, LIFE Pittsburgh has served over 600 seniors in Allegheny County and has assisted the vast majority of them with staying in the home they love while getting the care they need. For further information on Life Pittsburgh and its programs, contact Keri Harmicar, Manager of Marketing & Outreach, 412-325-4222 or visit

Run your Car on Vegtable Oil? It Could Happen!

Braddock-based Fossil Free Fuel makes and sells kits in the U.S. and around the world to convert cars and trucks to run on environmentally friendly vegetable oil. Steel City Bio Fuels.
Click and read more! Source: Global Pittsburgh