McDonald’s Project

Click on the “+” one screen above the treeline- The McDonald’s Project.

It’s a art exhibit of McDonald’s-inspired pieces, ostensibly product ideas. Some are constructive, others make a statement.

I saw these guys in Super Size Me. Interviewed:

  • Stefane Barbeau
  • Ryan McManus
  • Charlotte McManus
  • Duane Smith
  • Stephanie Durrell

I wish they made a non-flash site!

Pieces in the exhibit and my summary:

  • Napkin Bags – Cory Constantino – bags usable as napkins
  • Burgerette – Wai-Loong Lim – like Nicorette for fast food
  • Reward Badges – Kirsten White and Mark Sullivan – badges to wear to identify self as a Good Patron outside the restaurant
  • Neighborhoods – Richard Hanks and Eric M Johnson – McDonald’s-branded condoms
  • Recycled Wrapper Blanket – Ali Maiorano – a blanket for the homeless made from cheeseburger wrappers (with the labels still visible), for social programs and advertising
  • Quick’n’EZ Mealmaker – Ryan McManus – like a vending machine or an ATM in your home… for McD’s
  • Romantic Dinner – Jarrod Beglinger and Ziv Marmur – a meal that comes with disposable paper flowers, candles, and cardboard stands
  • Voting Frybox – Stefane Barbeau and Duane Smith – national ballot is printed on fry’s box- you want fries with that?
  • Collectible Trading Cards – Wai-Loong Lim – cute little cards with names of cows on it. They are characters, but I would like to point out actually tracking the real cows your meat is from is impossible, since a single burger patty contains the meat from over a thousand cows.
  • Portrait – Rachel Welch – a bunch of images of the consumer waste from McD’s. This is sort of a cop-out I have to say.
  • Gateway Arches – Eric M Johnson – make another Gateway Arch (in St Louis) so it makes a giant McD’s M
  • Complete Meat – Parul Vora and Jeff Weber – the opposite of textured soy protein – it’s vegetable product that is actually made from meat. They made a burger from this, with meat-based fries, bun, pickles, tomato…
  • “M” – Ryan McManus and Charlotte McManus – a reinvention of the McD’s brand into the higher-end “M.” Sort of like McCafe already is, or how Taco Bell’s “Border Bell” was intended. The kitchen (by Jessica Halgren) is open like at Krispy Kreme.
  • United Friendly Meal – Eric M Johnson – like an MRE made by McD’s, for consumption by troops as well as “liberated” populations
  • american folk: fast food – Stephanie Durrell and Matthew Christensen – a montage of a series or interviews with people describing fast food
  • NutriPatty – Wai-Loong Lim – it’s a gelatine sheet impregnated with nutrients. You insert it in your burger to boost its nutrition. I would totally buy this.
  • Memento – Jarrod Beglinger and Ziv Marmur – I’m not quite sure what this is. It looks like a mass-produced travel journal with the entries pre-printed. Maybe it’s kind of like a magazine?
  • Road Dog – Daniel Reilly – a bowl of food for your dog so he can eat with you in the restaurant
  • Missing – Janet Villano – it might more properly be titled “McEcoMeal”- it’s a Happy Meal with information about deforestation on it
  • Remixipies – Beth Mosher – I think these are beginning-cooking kits for kids, sort of “Lunchables” taken to the next level.
  • Empire – Kevin Askling – an (animated?) map which only shows countries if they have a McD’s in them, as the world evolves over time
  • Green – Stephanie Howard and Ben Beck – a McD’s location serving organic food, grown in the attached greenhouse dome.
  • My First Drive-Thru – Tracy Fleming-Swyst and Thomas Swyst – one of those talking toys with the spinning arrow in the center, except this one makes noises like the person taking your order at the Drive-Thru
  • Bib of Liability – Garth Roberts – a giant body suit with removable portions, each portion covered in legal documents. The patron would be required to initially don the entire suit and remove whichever portions they wanted, but by doing so signalling they agree to that part of the contract.
  • Hands-Free To Go – Daniel Reilly – like a cardboard feed-bag for carrying your McD’s so you can drive while you eat.
  • Trail Markers – Geroge Schnakenberg – little tiny direction pointers to the nearest McD’s which could be placed in every visible location
  • The Nappy Meal – Ron Ruiz – bright golden hair on all the food packaging for a unique brand identity
  • Udder Ketchup Dispenser – Robin Chalfin – a leather udder worn on the cashier’s chest- it squirts ketchup when “milked”
  • Ready To Go – Joanne Byrne and Jonathan de Swaaf – a prefab disposable coffin

Web link of note: McDonald’s Project

America Beyond Capitalism

In America Beyond Capitalism, noted political-economist and historian Gar Alperovitz argues that the first decade of the 21st Century is producing conditions that will force the United States to undergo historic changes. The subversion of America’s democracy is clearly visible in rampant inequities in the distribution of wealth and the immense power corporations and special interests wield in Washington.  Neither Democrats nor Republicans have coherent responses to these challenges.  What is ultimately needed and possible, according to Alperovitz, amounts to a radically different economic and political system.

Web link of note: America Beyond Capitalism


genmai tea ( 玄米茶 ) is a green tea with puffed rice in it. It has a mild, toasted flavor, and I believe it was originally intended to stretch the tea a little.

My grandmother would refuse to drink genmai because “it’s for poor people.”

genmai also occasionally has little popped rice in it… like miniature popcorn, in addition to the puffed rice.

That is, it does unless you live with Diane. It turns out she’s been eating the puffed rice out of the tea, converting it into the more common sencha ( 煎茶 ) by weeding out the non-tea elements of the tea.

Don’t eat the tea! This is why we can’t have nice things!”

On-Demand DVD

I want to set up a on-demand DVD printing solution for my collection of film shorts, like a CafePress store does for T-shirts. CafePeess has a service that does CDs, which is great for indie musicians, but nothing yet for DVDs.

On-Demand Publishing from CustomFlix has such a service. They print the DVD, package it in a case with an insert, and laminate the disk. You pay a setup fee ($50) which is good for one year, and a low per-disk fee ($7). An additional fee (one-time $10) has them host a streaming trailer.

I’m not sure how much better than my hand-assembled DVD-Rs these disks will be… I think they are still DVD-R disks, but then again, even the disk lamination vs my ink-jet stickers will be a big improvement. The stickers I use now have a practical cost of over a dollar, and I haven’t even been buying nice DVD jackets, so $6 per disk may be well worth it.

Oops- look again. It’s only $7 per disk if you sell 50+ a month. For 1-15 it’s a $10 cut.

Maybe I’ll do it anyway.

Delta Printing also has an on-demand offering, but they don’t list any prices.


A cell phone for your pet! Seriously!

The patent pending PetsMobilityâ„¢ PetsCell TM will be compatible with existing cellular and satellite GPS technology. The PetsCellâ„¢ will allow pet owners to talk to their pets as well as allowing owners to request assistance should they become incapacitated and require help. In addition, and perhaps more valuable, pet owners will have a piece of mind that if their pet is lost and someone finds their pet wandering the streets, with a simple press of a button on the PetsCellâ„¢, the auto dial function will dial the owners home alerting the owner to retrieve their pet.

Web link of note: PetsMobility


This application is worth it for the name alone.

Audioscrobbler builds a profile of your musical taste using a plugin for your media player (Winamp, iTunes, XMMS etc..). Plugins send the name of every song you play to the Audioscrobbler server, which updates your musical profile with the new song. Every person with a plugin has their own page on this site which shows their listening statistics. The system automatically matches you to people with a similar music taste, and generates personalised recommendations.

Web link of note: Audioscrobbler

Blue Coconut

For moving shared iTunes tracks on your local network to your local copy of iTunes. This has saved me a huge amount of time!

Simply click one button while you’re listening to a favourite shared track and it’s copied to your machine, and added to the iTunes Music Library (and a playlist, so you can keep track of your downloads).

Web link of note: Blue Coconut

Bay Area Free Fi

A map and directory of free WiFi, for when you are wandering the streets with your laptop, looking for a connection.

Of course you will probably need a friend / netrunner / Controller to help you over the phone to use the site in the first place!

Pretty cool though.
Web link of note: Bay Area Free Fi