Friday, April 16, 2010

Square Coke? I am all for it!

I love, love, love this design. And if that is not enough to win you over, just read about how wildly eco-friendly these stackable quadrate receptacles are. Thank you Packaging World.

"Designed by Andrew Kim, the Eco Coke Concept is made of 100% organic material (sugar cane byproducts to be more specific). One big feature about this design is that it is much more collapsible, making it more conducive to carrying to a recycling bin. Hopefully we’ll see this in the market sooner than later."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

KFC Doubles Down to Dispel Any Rumors That Their Food is Good for You

Bringing it back to the States and giving a nod to randomness, I present to you the latest creation from KFC's brain trust: The Double Down. For those Americans out there who are eating away their worries in these troubled times, KFC is here to help. And, of course, if you are watching your pseudo-depression era waistline, there is a grilled version. My love for bacon is no secret, but I must confess that I do hope one day soon The Double Down will make this illustrious list of genius fast food creations. Thanks to The Consumerist for keeping us informed of the marvels of modern American fast cuisine.

Notes from an Ancient Land: Philae & the Armed Guards

The Ancient Temple of Philae, dedicated to Isis and still attracting worshipers today, sits on a small island in the water between the two dams just south of Aswan. It was not built here originally by the ancient Egyptians, but rather on a small island slightly further south by the Ptolemies and dedicated by Cleopatra herself. That island is now completely under water, drowned by the rising waters after the construction of the Aswan High Dam. The temple was dismantled and reassembled on its new home island. It is not easy to photograph the temple from afar as much of the surrounding land is secured and inaccessible, part of the very tough security that guards the entire High Dam area. With special permissions and clearance, access to the high rocks of Bega Island was granted and so the stake out for sunset and rising temple lights began.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Notes from a Strange Land: Building for the Future

In a land that is so focused on their monumental past, I find myself fascinated by the way in which they build for the future. As seen in a view from the pavilion surrounding the Colossus of Ramses II at Memphis, easily 95% of all new construction residential buildings are brick and cement and only completed as space is needed. The buildings, from Alexandria to Luxor, all share this unfinished top floor from which protrude concrete pillars encasing steel rebar. As the family grows, or the owner determines there is a need for more space, they add a floor, just as the one before it, with the same pillars and exposed rebar. This lack of commitment to the future, and the heavy involvement of the government in most construction, is a striking example of the seeming reluctance to plan communities, make organized neighborhoods and create a reliable, shared infrastructure. Fascinating.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Notes from a Strange Land: El Wililiy & the Great Pyramid

Cairo is a strange and interesting place, where many of the rules by which we live in the States are mere suggestions - among other things, lines on the road and any other traffic etiquette seem to have been lost completely, buried in the sands like so many of their treasures. The city sprawls on for miles and miles, with derelict suburbs meeting each other in a chaos of unplanned development. When they determined, in the late 1970's, that the city was "not developing well", they simply started building new cities further out. Here above is a view from the roof terrace of my driver's house in a village in Giza, just outside Cairo. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is illuminated by the sound and light show and seen above the satellite and goat covered roofs of the village. More observations and images to come...