10 May 2019
Just came across this site that I think you would really like.It is not some new site selling something, but rather it is part of the "Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative" – the European Commission’s new flagship programme working on building a more democratic, inclusive and resilient internet. The NGI “hopes to empower everyone to take active control in shaping the future: the internet does not just belong to those who hold power today, but to all of us.”It's a beautiful site. An interactive timeline charts the past (eg: "Wikipedia founded in 2001") and the future (eg: "2039 we run out of lithium and can’t make new smartphones.")It also has lots of interesting articles including an interview with Oobah Butler, who famously got a completely fake restaurant to the top spot on TripAdvisor, who shows the flaws in the systems that influence us.It got me thinking about such things as "what happens when your language isn’t supported by apps, websites, and keyboards?"
SuzanPosted in: web
18 April 2019
Those vast complexes built under Stalin and subsequent leaders... I've had my eye on these for a few years, ever since various photographers have been using them as subject matter for books and galleries.In Russia, Ukraine, and other former Soviet Union republics, the term 'sanatorium' is generally used for a combination resort/recreational facility and a medical facility to provide short-term complex rest and medical services. Unlike western holidays, which the Soviets perceived as lavish and idle, holidays in the USSR were entirely purposeful: their function was to provide rest and recuperation so that workers could remain efficient and productive.Eligible individuals received vouchers to stay at particular sanatoriums for a specified period of time, either at subsidised rates or for free. In principle, industrial workers and those with medical conditions were to be given priority, but in practice those with money and connections were prioritised instead. Today, guests consist of a large number of second world war veterans and pensioners who are treated free of charge for stays of up to a number of weeks.In the early days, every aspect of sanatorium life was controlled and monitored by staff in accordance with a strict schedule. Guests would start with a visit to the resident doctor, who would draw up a tailor-made programme of mandatory callisthenics, dietary recommendations and treatments. Gradually, a more relaxed sanatorium culture developed over the course of a century, and today guests can even undertake whatever treatment they like and come and go as they please.What I find really amazing is the treatments, that are still available today. Please see the images above, from top to bottom (yes these photos were taken just a couple years ago):Crude oil bath for 10 minutesMagnetic therapyMineral water bathOxygen bathParafin wax treatmentSalt air treatmentUltraviolet light nose and throat disinfectantThere were 1,829 new sanatoriums built across the USSR by 1939, and they continued to be built right up to the 80s. In their peak, these sanatoriums were visited by millions of citizens across the USSR each year. Dozens are still open for business.But those open for business are hard to find... However, after a search I have discovered Hotel Aurora Issyk-Kul, in Kyrgyzstan. This might be an option. It was built in 1979, not as old as I would like, but it does offer most of the therapies above. I would love to go:Suzan
12 April 2019
Hello the MLE,
Came across this site where Ilya Kalimulin recreates 30 popular logos for the Russian market and provides insight into what makes them work/not work or easy to translate or not. (Browser translation required.)
Got me thinking, many non-English speakers are familiar with so many English logos. But how many English-speakers are familiar with non-English logos, especially if they are not in the Latin alphabet?
5 April 2019
Hello MLE,Saw this on Brand New a few weeks ago and love it and thought I'd share as I know you will love it too - as this was exactly our idea we created for our grad school project (which was a a long time ago now)!Ural Music Night is a music festival in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Different posters are pasted overtop of each other: first tear shows the festival branding, second tear shows genre logo and artist name or venue, and the last tear has show information. Perhaps it’s not the most easily accessible information but this isn’t airport signage, and conceptually, I love how it works.Our grad project was called 'MOTHandRUST,' a fictional clothing brand that allowed us to really explore graphic design in some interesting ways (and yes that is how we got the name of our studio).For the MOTHandRUST posters, we wanted to show how our sweaters changed and morphed over time. Different posters were pasted overtop of each other: the brand new sweater at the top, first tear shows what the sweater looks like older, last tear, what the sweater looks like after it has been worn a lot (very different as it was designed to change with use and washes). So as the posters get torn and age, you can see how the product featured in the posters ages as well.I looked all over for the photos, which would have been great to see again, but they are stored away on CDs, and I have no way to play a CD!SuzanPosted in: posters
14 March 2019Hi MLE,I saw Mike Leigh's "The Pirates of Penzance" for the first time at the English National Opera almost two years ago and quite liked it. So, when I heard that Sasha Regan's version was coming to Wilton's Music Hall, I thought I'd go see how it compares. And I'm so happy I did. I loved it!The female characters are played by men, and this is largely what makes this version so memorable. It just works perfectly to emphasise Gilbert and Sullivan’s already funny libretto and overly feminine females and masculine males.The entire all-male cast is brilliant. To me, it was Alan Richardson as Ruth who stood out most. Her mouth says some things, while her face and body say something totally different. She is sensitive, ruthless and hilarious.The audience followed along with ease and enthusiasm, captivated from beginning to the standing ovation at the end. By comparison, I felt that Mike Leigh’s more traditional version was harder for the modern audience to properly appreciate, as it should.After the show, the energy of the happy crowd leaving the 160-year-old Wilton’s Music Hall made me wonder if this was what the original performances felt like, 140 years ago in New York.Yes, The Pirates of Penzance premiered in New York rather than London, which is odd, as Gilbert and Sullivan were Londoners and the script is very much British. There was quite a good reason for this. At the time, American law offered absolutely no copyright protection to foreigners. This lead to hundreds of American companies mounting unauthorised British productions that often took considerable liberties with the text and paid no royalties to the creators. Gilbert and Sullivan decided to open the production themselves on Broadway, and delay the publication of the score and libretto, so that others could not copy it. This was successful for about ten years, when they inevitably lost control of the copyrights again.SuzanPosted in: theatre