Wonder Wednesday

Oh. Wow.  Check out these very fun photomontages of wonderful locations… and GIANT CATS!

Chilling in NYC…

Or, even better, in Toronto!

Something a bit more secluded (and surprising!)

No one seems all that concerned, fortunately.

Which is good, as kitties can be quite serene, blessing those at Lake Louise.

Of course, they love modern architecture too, and visit Calatrava’s WTC Transportation Hub.

Before ascending to the stars above.

All so much fun!

By MrMattMcCarthy

Philosophy Tuesday

So, there’s this story about Van Halen and brown M&Ms.  Perhaps you’ve heard about it before.  If not, the gist of it is that tucked away in the 53 pages of the band’s rider (a contract that lists out their requirements for the venue) for their 1982 show was a little gem:  There was to be provided a bowl of M&Ms – which seems normal enough.  However!  There was a caveat: Absolutely no brown ones.

Which, on the one hand, seems like some weird arrogant stuck up super band celebrity weirdness and excess.

But, it wasn’t.  There was method to their seeming madness.

The 1982 VH tour was a large and intricate affair, requiring equally extensive and complex setup.  It was perhaps one of the largest rock concerts of the time.  It required serious prep work by the venue to ensure that the show went off without a hitch (or without anyone being injured).

The brown M&Ms, then, were an integrity check.

If the band went into the dressing room and found brown M&Ms, they were tipped off that either the promoter hadn’t read the rider carefully – which is bad enough – or that the promoter’s integrity was lacking and that if this thing was missed then more important aspects of the setup might well have been botched.  (Which meant the band would then spend the time to double and triple check everything.)

Integrity isn’t about morality; it’s about honouring your word as yourself.  It’s also, more importantly in this case, about doing complete and proper work.  And like on a racecar, even something a little bit loose, or missing, is not just a small ‘out of integrity’ – it will almost certainly cost you the race (and might lead to a crash).

Thus, the M&M rider.  A small detail whose legend is as big as the band’s, and a great little story to latch on to as we ponder the meaning of integrity and our relationship to it.

Wonder Wednesday

There’s something about these AI-generated pieces of art that are quite neat…. certainly not photorealistic by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly images that do indeed stretch the imagination.  They’re very much like abstract concept art, which I think is perfect to use for tabletop RPG games to set a mood, feel, tone, or theme.  They’re evocative and let the player’s imaginations run free, which can be even stronger than a full polished piece.  Plus, they don’t tie you or the players to something so specific it creates an inadvertent straight jacket.

Check out more examples at this forum thread here, or try it out yourself!  (Click on “Start Creating” at the upper right to do it on the website.)  wombo.art

Architecture Monday

What I love most about this new theatre building is its continuous use of a particular material, but in two forms.  Ok, that’s a bit of a word play, for a good chunk of the building is made from board formed concrete.  As the name implies, this is where planks of wood are used as the formwork for concrete, and the resulting surface of the concrete inherits the rich impression of these planks of wood.  In other words, it looks like wood planks, only in concrete.

And this building uses it everywhere.  The walls, the floors, the angular bits of the stairs, the rough and irregular texture permeates throughout.  Sometimes it’s left as is, while sometimes it’s been stained slightly black to bring out further richness. Something about this really works for me in the theatre context.

Even better is when they pair it with actual wood planks (the second form I was alluding to above), giving this wonderful play between them where there is a continuation of texture yet still a difference in colour and feel.

A couple of simple materials deployed in multiple ways, I dig it!

Theatre Squared by Marvel (who also did the St. Ann’s Warehouse Theatre that I blogged about about here!)