July 2007 archives

Entry no.: 193

30 Jul 2007, 12:13 PM

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Comments: 6

Photography Get wallpaperized

Speaking of graffiti and walls, I have some crazy-textured wallpapers for you: two from Moscow with love and one from Bucharest with murmured anger. Handmade.

Peace Wall

Graffiti on Peace Wall, Cristian Kit Paul, Arbat Street, Moscow, 2007

Graffiti over Peace Wall's thousands of tiles painted by schoolchildren on Arbat pedestrian street in Moscow. Corny cold-war name — Peace Wall — but cool texture.

The Wall of Tsoi

Graffiti on The Wall of Tsoi, Cristian Kit Paul, Arbat Street, Moscow, 2007

The Wall of Tsoi on Arbat St. in Moscow is covered with graffiti dedicated to Russian rock musician Viktor Tsoi (Russian: Виктор Робертович Цой), leader of the rock group Kino, who died in a car accident in 1990. Rough and sincere like spilled guts.

Scratches

Scratched wall in Bucharest, Cristian Kit Paul, Bucharest, 2005

Scratched inscriptions on a house wall in Bucharest. A blind, distressed murmur relentlessly corroding the street.

Pro versions

Russian and Romanian graffiti wallpapers pro thumbs, Cristian Kit Paul, 2007

For the graphic professionals that cannot afford saturated colors on their desktop, low contrast grayscale versions are available:

Send 'em in

If you decide to use one of these wallpapers and you don't mind sending a screenshot of your desktop (e-mail to kit at kitblog followed by dot com) along with your name and/or web site address, your precious captures will be appended to this post, after the jump. Now is a good time to acknowledge your obsessive-compulsive need for maniacally ordered rows of icons, or to admit your lazy-ass style of obliviously piling random yet completely useless stuff.

Be brave — if you’ve got it, why not flaunt it? Send 'em in!

Continue reading "Get wallpaperized" »

Entry no.: 191

26 Jul 2007, 10:22 AM

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Comments: 5

Romania Cultural statements

Mona Lisa stencil graffiti, Cristian Kit Paul, Oxford 2004

Mona Lisa stencil graffiti, Oxford 2004.

Mona Lisa stencil graffiti, Cristian Kit Paul, Bucharest 2007

Mona Lisa-Woody Woodpecker stencil graffiti in Roman Square, Bucharest 2007.

Oxford's stencil statement renders a scholarly tongue-in-cheek play on representation medium — art paint in spray-pait, 4 years in 4 minutes etc. Street-level postmodernism.

Bucharest street artist chooses to morph renaissance magnum opus into screwball comedy (Woody Woodpecker plays Mona Lisa or vice-versa) with a deeper layers of meaning: during communism (our childhood) among the few American1 cartoon shows allowed on Romanian Public Television2 were Woody Woodpecker episodes.

I see classroom pundit witticism vs. street retro-anarchy. What do you see?

1 Read "capitalist imperialism," as the communist propaganda machinery dubbed Western countries in general and America in special.

2 State-owned and then tightly controlled Romanian Public Television was the only television station in existence. Commercial TV station were unimaginable at the time.

Entry no.: 188

23 Jul 2007, 4:27 PM

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Comments: 3

Photography Saint Peter's

Saint Peter's, Cristian Kit Paul, Bucharest, 2007

Entry no.: 185

20 Jul 2007, 11:23 AM

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Comments: 8

Apple iPhone

Live in Bucharest

After The Rolling Stones, I got to see the iPhone live in Bucharest and it was no less amazement — "the largest commercial product launch in the history of electronics" after "the world’s greatest rock & roll band". Not a bad week.

Kit·Blog on iPhone, Cristian Kit Paul, Bucharest, July 2007

During my one-hour geeky romp (thank you Richard, you lucky dog! I envy your guts sincerely) I made some quick notes:

The indescribably good

• I thought it's larger but it's exactly the right size • I thought scrolling it's going to have a lag, it doesn't — the interface is extremely responsive • The 160 pixels-per-inch display beats the PSP and it's the most gorgeous screen I've seen • Typing takes a while to get, but it rapidly improves • Photo gallery "flicking" is as natural a GUI (graphical user interface) can get • Pinch resizing just works both in photos and web pages • The web browser (MobileSafari) is in a class of its own • I verified and it's true, the autocorrection engine knows the word “fucking” • Screen rotation is smartly integrated right into the GUI paradigm and after a while I just used it naturally, without thinking about it.

I thought I will be able to describe it, I'm not. That's how amazing it is.

• A special note deserves iPhone's camera. I'm a heavy user of phone camera and I know how noisy such a small and cheap CCD can get in less then perfect lighting. I must say I was impressed with the picture quality iPhone's camera delivers in very difficult situations like contre-jour shots in low-light conditions.

The faintly but predictably bad

• Yes, EDGE is slow • Using it for CPU-intensive tasks makes it get hot • Come on Apple, send that copy-paste feature via software update, please!

Quick conclusion

• The GUI is as polished as the Macintosh GUI and it makes a world of difference • The attention to the details is staggering (and there are lots of little gems hidden in there, for instance deleting a note employs a minimizing effect animation, graphically throwing the page into the trash can) • Manufacturing quality is at or above the "iPod industry standard" • I'd pay double triple the price for one.

The name is misleading, it's not a phone — do not compare the iPhone with any other phone(s) you have used or seen. It's the first of a new breed.

Entry no.: 184

19 Jul 2007, 12:29 PM

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Comments: 0

Music Nice dress

Mick Jagger Joke In Romanian

“Ce rochie draguta, pacat ca pantofii sunt ieftini” (What a nice dress, too bad the shoes are cheap), Mick Jagger wisecracked in Romanian toward Lisa Fischer (oh Lisa, Lisa — your voice is astonishing) during A Bigger Bang Tour concert in Bucharest, to the public’s amusement and delight. Click to play the video.

Keith Richards "You Got The Silver" live in Bucharest, 2007

Keith Richards played "You Got The Silver", a solid case of blues and the first piece in The Stones' history where Keith sings the entire lead vocal (Let It Bleed, 1969). For movie aficionados: "You Got The Silver" was used in Michaelangelo Antonioni's film Zabriskie Point. Click to play the video.

The quality is, well, let's call it MMS-quality, ok?

Entry no.: 182

18 Jul 2007, 2:10 PM

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Comments: 3

Music It was only rock and roll

But we — 60 000 of us — liked it

I've never thought I'll see The Rolling Stones — World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band — in Bucharest, but it happened last night at long last and it was every bit as amazing as I've always thought it will. And more.

Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang Tour, Bucharest, 2007

Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang Tour, Bucharest, 2007

Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang Tour, Bucharest, 2007

Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang Tour, Bucharest, 2007

Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang Tour, Bucharest, 2007

In and incredible show, Mick Jagger wisecracked in Romanian, jumped and ran across the enormous stage for two hours and I confess that when he waved the Romanian flag above a praiseworthy public of 60 000, I felt like living a unique moment.

Entry no.: 178

14 Jul 2007, 4:30 AM

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Photography The day under

The day under, Cristian Kit Paul, Bucharest, 2007

I picked the blue channel, muddy and stained as it was — I liked it — here it is.

Entry no.: 177

10 Jul 2007, 9:25 AM

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Comments: 9

Photography Saab

Take it as a Saab print ad, Cristian Kit Paul, 2007

Looking back, Cristian Kit Paul, 2007

Loving Scandinavian design means buying Scandinavian design.

Entry no.: 175

9 Jul 2007, 12:28 AM

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Travel On the road again

Dreaming speed, Cristian Kit Paul, 2007

Silhouettes and details, Cristian Kit Paul, 2007

There are ordinary sunsets and then there are exceptional ones, when the cruising speed makes rays of fading sunlight escape through ragged hilltops in perfect sync with the playlists' moods cascading through the car speakers.