Thursday, June 26, 2008

Greenpeace Eco Ranking

Interesting look at the environmental aspect of tech companies: Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics. Strange that such a 'cool' and 'hip' company such as Apple is in the middle of the pack. However, I guess it is better than the second to last place Microsoft lands. I am glad my Acer laptop and Sony Ericsson cell are so much greener than most other companies. And since Nokia is my other fave, I am well on my way to green tech heaven! Although my other habits might negate all of that...

Soooo, who's getting an iphone?? I'm not sure I can afford it :) but thats usually the case with any Apple product. Isn't it so green to get a new phone just because the newer one is cool, not because the old one broke?? :P yeah that's right trendy urban tree-huggers...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Political Ethics and Architecture

The NYTimes has an article about the ethics of architects who work for countries where democracy or people's rights are repressed. Daniel Libeskind (he designed the horrendous Crystal at the ROM in Toronto) says he 'won't work for totalitarian regimes' at an event in Northern Ireland. which apparently led the debate into whether it is ethically or politically correct to work for countries like Dubai, Abu Dhabi or China etc.

Basically the two sides are:
A. It is wrong to work with countries that are not nice to their own people defined by westerners. On the micro scale, the local people who actually construct the buildings are treated inhumanely. On the macro-scale some liken it to building for Hitler or things like Versailles.
B. The flip side is that the architects who work in these countries say that the buildings may inspire hope, change, new ideas etc. Also, the more pragmatic thinking is that if the regime/government/leaders like your design, it won't be changed by neighbours or rival politicians or funding cuts. Basically, the purity and true design exists as is which obviously makes the architect happy.

My view: Aren't almost all great architecture built by totalitarian regimes? Don't Kings and Queens and wealthy families build shrines, monuments, homes to impress and suppress everyone else? If you look back in history, most things that amaze or impress us were created by self-centered people who wanted the world to know how great they are, particularly buildings. It all about ego. And who has more ego than people who have control of the lives of millions of people?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Things that Perplex Me

I haven't been writing because I haven't felt inspired by anything I have read or seen lately. However somethings really annoy me...

1. Blog commenters who have no sense of humor are horrible. For example, Fashionista is a site that has lots of interesting posts such as rumours or trivia or links to better stuff but can be a little snotty about their opinions. I like it because I can get a good laugh. However, some people who comment on the site take it way too seriously. Many posts about a quote or copyright infringement lead to arguments and insults. No need to say someone is a bitch or stupid just because they disagree with you right?
A more serious site where I get annoyed is the Economist! People who comment are crazy and go off topic. Especially about sensitive current affairs. People can use the most obscure and useless facts to support their point. Basically I always considered myself very smart for reading the I realize the other readers aren't so impressive so maybe I wasn't in the greatest company. lol

2. People think they are great about organics, healthiness, environment etc but are clueless. Like the socialite and her VC husband who bought a healthy cleaning products company and started selling it to her socialite friends. People! If you or your friends put botox or restylane in your faces or whatever and you spout about healthy living then I have to laugh. As socialites who are middle-aged and stunning, I assume they have tried it at least. mind you, I like using Method brand which espouses health, environment and blah blah blah but I just like the packaging and the scents. Another example: the beauty editor of Lucky Magazine states there is a debate on deodorants among the employees at the magazine. Apparently they all agree that organic deodorants are not up to par. And since she is a "hippie" at heart (while working at a glossy paper magazine in a mega corporation), she will use a perfume by bobbi brown that is suppose to smell like a bath. LOL I guess she thinks a designer perfume "isn't" full of chemicals which makes it sooo different from any deodorant. And I love Lucky Mag so I'm not picking on them.

3. New Vogue Italia with all the black models. Beautiful models that should be used more but I am disappointed Cathy Horyn (NYT) didn't ask the EIC if the next issue has black models in it and how many. And she didn't mention if there are ads in the black issue and if those ads have black models. Or does Italian Vogue not have ads? LOL I really doubt that.