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When Chess Meet Art

Chess has gotten a bad rep over the years as being a game for the geeks, but not anymore. A group of artists have found a way to make the game of chess more interesting, visually appealing and even fun for the general public.

Photo from projectb.eu

“The Art of Chess” is an exhibition that will be taking place at the Project B Gallery in Milan from April 14th-May14th 2010.  The gallery will be filled with ornate and eccentric concepts surrounding the classic chess board through the eyes of artists around the world. Some sneak peaks have ranged from miniature house appliance pieces to naked barbies.

Photo from projectb.eu

How can one go wrong with a game where loss still results in artistic enjoyment? We suggest you check it out, mate.

– Talia Ricci

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This year we learned that clogs are more than Crocs

Perhaps an ostrich that has kept his head buried in the sand for the past few months hasn’t heard the news.

Clogs, originally restricted to soccer moms, chefs, and inhabitants of Holland, have somehow sauntered their way onto the runway.

In fact, they’ve become one of the hottest items this spring. We saw them on the runways this fall, and if they’re good enough for Karl Lagerfeld, they’re good enough for us. Indeed the Chanel Spring/Summer 2010 show featured models clonking out in the coveted shoe. It confirmed the fashion world’s confused questioning at the matter; summer 2010 is the summer of clogs.

image from focusonstyle.com

The most ubiquitous type of this species is the slip-on with a chunky wooden heel. But why not try one of Vera Wang’s biker chick inspired clog for Lavender Label.

image from style.com, clog by Vera Wang

Or perhaps the high topped combat boot clog of Top Shop? Or perhaps one by the likes of Jeffery Campbell (sold out on the internet), Miu Miu, Stuart Weitzman or Opening Ceremony?

The choices are infinite; but the supply isn’t. And with that, we’d like to welcome the clog to our radar.

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And now, for something completely different..

Planet Earth was the most expensive documentary ever commissioned by the BBC and now there’s an even pricier follow up.

Life the new documentary by the BBC picks up where Planet Earth left off, and will be airing on the Discovery Channel at 8 p.m. on Sunday March 21, 2010. The documentary is 10 hours long and will air in two-hour episodes. It was not cheap to film.

image from wikepedia.com

This may have something to do with the super fancy high-definition cameras used to capture the various life forms of our little planet. For instance, capturing the smallest creepy crawlies required an Ionix camera the size of a tube of lipstick. Gyroscopic stabilization allowed the crew to keep cameras steady in vehicles, even on bumpiest terrain, to keep up with traveling herds of animals.

It also took extreme perseverance on the crew’s behalf, after living in snake and rat infested huts in Madagascar. Not to mention the hours of tracking animals.

The effect of this toil? Letting the viewer get up close and personal as a frog the size of a thumbnail takes care of her young, or a glimpse of Komodo dragons (a terrifying bunch) take down and devour a buffalo.

After Life, Human Planet and Frozen Planet will be released in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Human Planet is about indigenous cultures and their relationship to the environment, while Frozen Planet focuses on the north and south poles. It’s still unclear whether Discover Channel will pick these up.

The BBC already started airing Life late last year; it was in their agreement that they would air the documentary first. The Discovery Channels airing will be the North American premiere. The only difference between two channels is the narration; David Attenborough on the BBC and Oprah Winfrey on Discovery.

After the influx of otherworldly CGI content, it’s refreshing to see something a little more, well, lifelike.

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W’s Editor Resigns

A drastic change has shaken up the world that is W Magazine and Condé Nast. Patrick McCarthy, the man who worked his way up from reporter to one of the most established editors of our time, has recently announced his resignation. McCarthy was the chairman of Condé Nast’s Fairchild Fashion Group and the editor of W magazine. His departure come as a huge shock, as McCarthy spent 30 years at Fairchild.

Photo from nypost.com

The reasons behind this news are unknown as of yet, McCarthy has refused to comment to the media and Condé Nast has not yet released a statement. It’s all still a big mystery!

Perhaps W Magazine will start going in a new direction, or maybe they will attempt to find a McCarthy replica? Doubtful. W magazine has only been with Fairchild for a few short months and the sudden change will now bring them back to the offices of Condé Nast, the first change of potentially many with the resignation of McCarthy.

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Typographic Photobooth

Image from rhymeandreasoncreative.com

If your face was a font, what would it look like?

No we’re not kidding.

Do you think you’d have more of the clean curves of a Helvetica or do you think you’d be more of a classically balanced Georgia?

For those of you who don’t know what you’d be (or are still confused) may we present, TYPEFACE.

TYPEFACE is a custom software that analyzes your facial dimensions and then translates them into a type design. Each individual typeface can also be tweaked slightly by simply changing your facial expression. To make things even easier, individual fonts can be saved and exported by pdf.

The program is still a work-in-progress, but a downloadable version will be available soon. Keep checking this website for details.

While I’ll embarrassingly admit we did enjoy that whole change-your-face-into-a-50s-grad-photo thing, this is so much cooler.

– Alexa P Gray

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YouTube Takes On Myspace

Image from hkham.wordpress.com

MySpace hasn’t been doing too well lately, which might be why News Corp chairman Ruper Murdoch has reportedly put it up for sale for $700 million, but it can still claim itself to be the leading social networking site for music. We’ll see how long that lasts.

YouTube is expected to announce on Wednesday March 17, 2010 that it will be diving head first into the music game with a new program dubbed Musicians Wanted.

The Google-owned video site currently has an ad revenue-sharing program, but up until now it has only been with artists who are already signed to a major label. With the introduction of this new program, Youtube will offer revenue-sharing to any and all independent artists.

For an already struggling Myspace, this is not good news.

For any of the many struggling musicians, this is great.

– Alexa P Gray

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Elizabeth Arden Limited Edition Anniversary Lipstick

Image from elizabetharden.com

Elizabeth Arden may now be known mostly for it’s great skin care, but back in day, Arden herself was known as not only one of the most financially successful women of her day, but also a strong and avid feminist. She, and fellow suffragettes, were notorious for wearing bright red lipstick specifically as a symbol of feminine strength.

On the 100th anniversary of the opening of its first salon and in honour of its founder, and her commitment to women everywhere, the company has released a sparkly red, limited-edition lip color, in a vintage-inspired gold tube. And with all proceeds going to Look Good … Feel Better, a program that seeks to improve the self-image and quality of life of cancer patients, there’s never been a better reason to wear red.

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Born Ruffians, meet me by the ocean?

In an attempt to salvage my Canadian Music Week experience, I decided to venture out on a Sunday night to see the Born Ruffians play at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto. I crossed my fingers that this time the rain would hold off and there wouldn’t be a line. Eager to end the five-day festival off in a good mood, I was off.

Luckily, the Phoenix is a cavernous space, able to hold a much larger crowd then the previous venues I’d been to. The front half was crammed with the all-ages kids who were evidently much more familiar with the Born Ruffians than I. As soon as the second opening band, the Young Rival, had finished their set, they started chanting, “Ruffians, Ruffians, Ruffians!”

Image from MySpace.com

What’s so great about these guys, anyway? I’d only just tuned into their MySpace page earlier that day and they seemed like your typical indie band. Then the lead singer stepped out into the spotlight. Oh, okay, I get it. So Luke LaLonde is good looking (and one of the first clean-shaven musicians I’d seen all festival). He can make his voice do a lot of fun, tricky little things reminding me of a mix between Vampire Weekend and Bedouin Soundclash. A good thing, in my books, but as a friend pointed out, it’s not new.

Image from Born Ruffians fan page, Facebook

Sure, the Born Ruffians might not be breaking new sound, but they definitely got the Sunday night crowd rocking; the kids at the front jumping and clapping in unison, the older folk in the back nodding appreciatively while sipping beer.

Their music does start to get repetitive, however. After awhile it all seemed to blend into one long continuous song rather than many separate ones. But once I closed my eyes, all I could think was, the Born Ruffians are made to be on a summer playlist.

I look forward to meeting them again somewhere, hopefully next time, it’ll be near the ocean.

-Otiena Ellwand

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New LCD Soundsystem song

Image from pitchfork.com

Impatiently waiting for the new LCD Soundsystem album to come out? Then we have some temporary relief. The group released a new song in partnership with YSL used during the debut of the YSL Fall/Winter 2010 collection. A weird mix? Surely. A good song? You decide.The song, “Beginning of the Heartbreak,” is a re-incarnation and LCD interpretation of a ‘70s track by Peter Gordon & Love of Life Orchestra.

The track fits undeniably well the sway of the models hips as they trot down the runway in their motif–a modern take on ’50s women’s fashion.

Take a listen a few times, get excited, the full album will be released May 18, 2010.

– Tim Morse

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