Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Beck's Paris Métro Map - icons of graphic design

Beck's Tube map was voted the second-most iconic example of British design in 2006. Introduced in 1931, Beck's Tube map of London revolutionised the design of urban transport mapping by sacrificing geographic accuracy for diagrammatical simplicity. His colour-coded Paris Tube map, all straight lines and fixed distances between stops, owed more to electric circuit boards than to the London street map.

View the series of five Historic New York City Subway Maps (and subway tokens) from 1925 to the present day. Learn about current travel information about subway fare "Metrocards" and destinations traveling to Manhattan.   

Friday, April 26, 2013

Atlas of True place Names in Britain, Europe and the United States

Atlas of True Names uses etymology to give us an unusual insight into familiar geographical names.


Atlas of True Names - British Isles Map

There are plenty of competing theories, such as Bishop Diego de Landa's story that it's a Hispanicized version of Ci uthan, meaning "they say it." Or perhaps it's from Nahuatl Yokatlan "place of riches" (disputed here), or from a word meaning "massacre" (from yuka "to kill" and yeta "many" — so says Adrian Room's Place Names of the World). Even Hormes and Peust give another possibility: Nahuatl yuhcatlan "abandoned place".

The Atlas of True Names replaces the traditional names of the world's cities, countries, rivers and mountains with new ones to reflect their origins and literal meaning. 

The Great Land of the Tattooed (Great Britain), now features such cities as Hillfort (London), Bear Guard Home (Birmingham), Choked Pool (Liverpool) and Slopecastle (Edinburgh).

Related story:

Oswald's Stone, the Lost Palladium of Middlesex

Millions live in or near Ossulstone, but only a handful have ever heard of it. Why and how has this place disappeared from common memory? Perhaps the when is easier to trace - to 1869, the year in which the mysterious object that lent its name to the area was stolen. 

Andy Warhol / silver screen. Can't tell 'em apart at all => Unseen Andy

Unseen Andy - Interview Magazine:
... now the 37-unit building at 345 West 14th Street is dedicating half of its ground floor to a temporary exhibition of never-before-seen portraits of Andy Warhol, photographed by Steve Wood.

Exhibit at 345 Meatpacking (nyc), May 3-12
Andy, lost at the Deauville American Film Festival

Wood spent a free afternoon photographing the then-53-year-old—and notoriously guarded—Warhol, capturing an openness and vulnerability the artist rarely exhibited. "He seemed to be quite pleased with the way I looked at the light," Wood recalls. "I suppose I photograph people the way he himself would like to be photographed: clear and crisp with no veil.

Interview Magazine page on Facebook

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Largest private Coca-Cola memorabilia collection in the world

My favorite part about collecting is the stories about how people started their collection. Bill Bateman and Randy Schaeffer have this to say about the origin of their world-class collection of Coca-cola memorabilia: A thirst for collecting:

According to Bill, a retired Kutztown professor, their mega collection can be traced back to modest beginnings - to a beer tray on the wall of a bar.
"It was about 1970," he recalled. "I bought an interest in a bar over near Lehigh University, and we thought if we put beer trays up, other people in the area would bring beer trays up and give them to us to put on the walls." 
It didn't work. 

On their own, Bill and Randy were able to collect a few hundred beer trays. But they become disillusioned with the idea after seeing some of the Coca-Cola advertising around at auctions.
"The Coca-Cola stuff was better done and usually showed a woman," Bill said. "The beer stuff showed a glass or beer, a bottle of beer, an old monk with a beer. Occasionally a woman, but not very attractive stuff."

They began trading their beer trays for Coca-Cola trays, purchasing their first - a 1953 tray - for $13 in Kempton.
"It took a long time before it was worth $13, but it did change our direction," Bill said. "We started collecting Coke stuff."Decades later, a Coca-Cola lamp hangs on the landing to their stairwell. The lamp dates back to 1911, when it hung in a drugstore in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
It's Bill's favorite piece in the house.

"There was a man who from the time he was a teenager until he had retired, had been a soda jerk there," Randy said. "He had been the guy serving sodas to people from the soda fountain, and when they were getting ready to tear down the building, they asked if he wanted any mementos of the place. This happened in the '50s or '60s, our guess was. And he said, 'You know, I've stood my entire life under that light, so I'd like it.' "

When the man died about 25-years-ago, Bill and Randy traveled to Ohio to purchase it during the nationally-advertised auction.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

collection of ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs | Washington Post

Knock, knock. Who’s there? A collector of ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs. - The Washington Post:
Edoardo Flores is an expert in the art of DND designs. The 71-year-old Italian, who lives outside Turin, has collected thousands of examples both on his own travels and from friends’ trips. He displays the souvenirs at his e-museum, www.freewebs.com/dndcollector
Welcome to the first website devoted to the collection of
"Do Not Disturb" signs from hotels around the world
The DND collection is arranged by continent with at least 170 countries represented and countless number of signs. An avid collector, Edoardo has a marketplace page for trading or exchange for other collectibles including "Air sickness bags, Airline spoons, Tea bags, Transportation tickets, Banknotes and coins, Swizzle sticks, Advertising ballpoint pens, Luggage labels, Coasters, Toilet seat bands, Seat occupied signs, and lots more". That sounds like great collection of paper and memorabilia.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tennis star Ivan Lendl’s unique Alfons Mucha collection in Prague

Lendl’s unique Mucha collection goes on show in Prague:

New Mucha exhibit appearing in the Prague Municipal Building (Obecní dům), where Mucha has several works permanently built-in to the surfaces. Tennis star Ivan Lendl was born in the Czech Republic and with the help of Alfons Mucha expert Jack Rennert, the pair has gathered all but three of the original 119 posters created by the master of Art Nouveau.

On vacation in Prague, called the "City of 100 Towers", I was stunned with the amount of Art Nouveau (Jugenstil) buildings. The Mayor's Office in Obecní dům is enough to bring a tear to your eyes, it's that gorgeous. The central train station, Novak Departement store (U Novaku) and Villa Henlenka are more of the completely awe-inspiring Art Nouveau building in town. 

Kutna Hora is a small gold mining town near the capital city with a fair share of Art Nouveau style architecture and surface design. St. Vitus cathedral on the outskirts of town has stained glass windows by Mucha.


G.I. Joe Collecting: More collector's origin stories and the Joeverse

Greg and Gavin are brothers. Greg is a DJ and promoter for Tune in Tokyo in Los Angeles. Gavin is a writer. He just released the novel, The Freak Table. They’re also lifelong G.I. Joe collectors.

Gavin, who was credited as a consultant on the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero DVD collector’s set, can pinpoint the moment that he started collecting the toys. It was 1982, the year Hasbro began releasing 3 3/4″ figures. The brothers, who grew up in Denver, were in Texas visiting their grandparents. They went shopping at Target and Gavin picked up Stalker and Snake Eyes on sale. Like Greg, Gavin hasn’t parted with those figures. "

G.I. Joe Collecting: Inside Greg and Gavin Hignight's Joeverse: "

Monday, April 15, 2013

Napoleon's General Dejean - one of the greatest beetle collectors

Reviewing the work of one of the greatest beetle collectors: Napoleon's General Dejean

Napoleon was a big collector, mounting The Egyptian Campaign in 1799 to take Cairo and have a look at the Great Pyramids. He carried a force of 160 artists and scholars with him in the desert to complete the master work entitled Description de l'Égypte (Description of Egypt) in 37 volumes, filled with the most beautiful drawings of everything in the Great Pyramid complex - hieroglyphs, the sphinx – drawn with the greatest detail.

                Napoleon in Cairo

General Dejean was also on the Egyptian Expedition with Napoleon, and he too was a collector – amassing more than 118,000 bugs in 30,000 species over his lifetime. He was known to interrupt his soldiering duties to pick up an interesting bug.

Scientists are currently editing Dejean's books to include the complete genus and species description for the specimens in his collection, which appears in three separate volumes.

Friday, March 15, 2013

New toys for Cut the Rope game app | Toy Fair 2013 #TF13

Cut the Rope was everywhere at Toy Fair this year. A new line of soft and squishy "Nommies" are available in blind bag sets of 3 and the carded 12 pack collector's kit.

These plushies have posable lips to make any grimace you can imagine. Another set of these plushies is reversible - the figure folds up into the center to create a plushy cube shape.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dexter exclusives - blood splatter bobble heads HMV exclusive 2013

New Dexter figures, and some are going to be released as exclusives this year for fans of the Blood Splatter Analyst. The show gets more and more popular every year. On the subway, I just overheard someone saying how much they love the show.  

Posters and DEXTER memorabilia Season 1 - 7 on ShowtimePosters and DEXTER memorabilia Season 1 - 7 on Showtime
Do you have a taste for the macabre? Intrigued by the sight of blood? These original silk-screen posters and action figure toys were created especially for f...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

LaQ - Snap-together construction toy kits

Very cool modular block construction toys from LaQ with sets for girls and boys. Unique square and triangular puzzle pieces snap together easily and the instructions are easy to follow with exploded-view diagrams. The Q is for "kyuu" which means sphere in Japanese because these pieces can make all the platonic solids and more, even the dodecahedron. The freeform kits are my favorite. 

Children's Picture Books with HolesChildren's Picture Books with Holes
Spend time with your family reading a whole genre of children's picture "Books With Holes". The holes or windows are there to let you peek through ...

Play-Deco paper and wood crafting construction kits

This was my favorite group of products at the Toy Fair for 2013, 
other than my first love for all things Funko

Play-Deco by magnote.com

With a combination of light-weight bass wood and printed paper templates, these kits are reat gifts for office workers and I really want to get one of everything, so cool! Play-Deco kits come in 5 different single sets (Catherine, Tamaro, Break, Robosuke, Devio) and 5 combo sets (Postman and Wagon, Kenji & Airplane, Junko & Supercar, Nancy & Sexyshark, Owlman & Owlmobile).

Break and Robosuki

Brownie and Citron are fine-tuned robots that perform tasks at your desk

Hold 250 paper clips, 83 jelly beans, 92 M&M's ®, sticky notes, and even hold notes and pens in the grips of their little robot hands. Combine stickers, bass wood and paper craft in one piece.

Catherine - loves music, nature and animals.
Her monkey and parrot always fight over the best spot (on top of her head)

Piperoids unique paper craft robot toys - Original paper toy kits for the office

PIPEROID paper craft robots

The whole lineup of recently released Piperoid robot toys from magnote.com 

First time I've seen these toys and I can't think of anything cooler to give my niece and nephew the next time they need something to do for an hour when they come to visit (their Dad needs some down-time while the kids play games) Octo (mischievous octopus) and Deca (mischievous  crab) (not pictured) were released in time for Toy Fair. The rival chefs Salt & Pepper are great for any would-be connoisseur. "All you need is a pair of sissors." Check Magnote on facebook.


The webpage has full support for end-users with Instructions, Assembly Tips and an FAQ. In this case FAQ stands for Freekin' Awesome Quality toys - see the videos. All you get is several tubes of paper and pictographic instructions without many words. Yet, all these complicated toys with movable limbs and multi-points of articulation. These are so simple and cool as to be elegant.

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