Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Science and Technology in Television Cartoons

Saturday morning cartoons were some of the earliest exposures I had to science and technology. How do you remember them?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The American Public's Fascination With the Undead

Zombies aren’t pretty creatures. Popular media depicts them in assorted states of decay. They shamble. They’re insatiable cannibals. And, well, they’re dead. So why can’t we get enough of them?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Unraveling The Fear o' the Jolly Roger

The NYTimes recently explored the "pirate brand" by tracing the emergence of the skull and crossbones—the Jolly Roger—as a symbol of terror on the high seas. The Times hails the ominous design as a magnificent exercise in collective hybrid branding, noting that economics drove pirates to adopt a version of this particular symbol to facilitate their intent to plunder. It's a fascinating discussion on the efficiency and power that good branding can deliver, but it overlooks the ways in which the power of the symbol as we recognize it draws in part in the acceptance and manipulation of the image by others.

Friday, May 6, 2011

As Above So Below—Investigating "Life Underground"

New York City has a reputation for being a dangerous place. You never know what may lurk beneath the streets—alligators, giant rats, even turtles and fish. The 14th Street and 8th Avenue subway station is home to one of my favorite public art installations: Tom Otterness' Life Underground at 14th Street and 8th Avenue places miniature characters in precarious situations—such as being eaten by an alligator.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011