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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

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Running the Numbers - An American Self-Portrait

By: Dahlia Rideout (Little_personView Profile)

Artist and activist, Chris Jordan creates amazing images that portray America’s consumption. Chris’ hope is that his images will have a different effect than raw numbers alone. Since simple numbers no matter how large can be rather abstract it can be difficult to connect with ones impact. Whereas a visual representation of vast quantities can help make meaning of 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds or two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.

This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. The underlying desire is to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.

As with any large works they must be seen in person to participate in the full experience. We hope the images here and on Chris' web site arouse your curiosity and desire to do so when possible.

Images courtesy of Chris Jordan

Plastic Bottles, 2007
Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.

Partial zoom:

Detail at actual size:

Barbie Dolls, 2008
Depicts 32,000 Barbies, equal to the number of elective breast augmentation surgeries performed monthly in the US in 2006.

Partial zoom:

Detail at actual print size:

Skull With Cigarette, 2007 [based on a painting by Van Gogh]
Depicts 200,000 packs of cigarettes, equal to the number of Americans who die from cigarrette smoking every six months.

Partial zoom:

Detail at actual print size:

Prison Uniforms, 2007
10x23 feet in six vertical panels
Depicts 2.3 million folded prison uniforms, equal to the number of Americans incarcerated in 2005.

Partial zoom:

Detail at actual size:

Installed at the Von Lintel Gallery, NY, June 2007

Please see the complete series and show locations at

Images courtesy of Chris Jordan

Save $25 to $75 annually per computer with power management features

ENERGY STAR Power Management features — standard in Windows and Macintosh operating systems — place monitors and computers (CPU, hard drive, etc.) into a low-power “sleep mode” after a period of inactivity. Simply touching the mouse or keyboard “wakes” the computer and monitor in seconds. Activating sleep features saves energy, money, and helps protect the environment.

There are many ways to activate sleep features across entire networks of computers, including free solutions that utilize open source software and/or tools that you may already have at your disposal. Alternatively, a number of commercial software packages offer more feature-rich solutions for a fee, and may deliver more energy savings. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can help you determine the best way to activate power management features in your IT environment.

To maximize power savings, EPA recommends setting computers to enter system standby or hibernate after 30 to 60 minutes of inactivity. To save even more, set monitors to enter sleep mode after 5 to 20 minutes of inactivity. The lower the setting, the more energy you save.

On laptops, be sure to activate these settings in the AC power profile — not just the DC (battery power) profile.

Hundreds of leading organizations have activated system standby and hibernate settings. Read how GE, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, North Thurston Public Schools and others are saving as much as $75 per computer annually.

For more information, including detailed savings estimates, activation instructions, and software tools, chose a link:

Purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified computers and monitors can save even more energy and money. New efficiency specifications mean that qualified computers and monitors save power while they are in use - not just while they are in “sleep” mode.

Top 10 Celluloid Hotties

From Biel to Bellucci, we nominate ten candidates for best movie bod.

February 4, 2008 - Lately, Hollywood movies are full of some of the sexiest eye-candy ever made. From Alba to Jolie, with some McGowan and Bellucci thrown in for good measure, the last decade on Planet Film has been ruled by the Babe. With that said, Stars has taken the "dirty job, but someone has to do it" attitude toward culling through the last ten years worth of babes to find ten nominees for Best Bod – Movies.

The criteria we submitted our candidates to revolves around pop-culture impact, appearance, fanboy street cred (if any) and editors' preference. We supply ten of the greatest, sexiest celluloid hotties ever built, and you, the reader, determine which one rules all of filmdom. And helping us judge these potential Bods is previous Hall of Famer, Ms. Jessica Alba. The MILF and star of The Eye, ironically, has a good eye for what's hot and what's not, so she kindly stepped out of the running to give the bold, the beautiful and the busty a shot at the winner's circle. Thanks, Jess.

And the nominees are:

Kate Mara

Body of Work: Wearing nothing but a 12-gauge and underwear in 2007's Shooter; tight Wrangler's and tighter plaid farmer's daughter attire in Brokeback Mountain.

Ms. Mara recently reigned supreme as Babe of the Week and her rising status as hottie newcomer makes the actress definitely one to be forever filed under "easy on the eyes".

Angelina Jolie

Body of Work: Recently, Jolie sported a tail and strategically-placed, gold CG in Beowulf, all the more to accentuate her curves. The lovely Angelina is no stranger when it comes to working her body: see the leather dominatrix outfit in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the tight bikini and even tighter combat spandex from Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life and her full-frontal work in Gia, Taking Lives, Original Sin and the unsung classic, Cyborg 2.

Scarlett Johansson

Body of Work: Ms. Scarlett became an official member of the Hand-Bra hottie club with her turn in The Love Song for Bobby Long. And while she hasn't gone officially full-frontal, she has no problem teasing us with her curves in such movies as Lost in Translation and Match Point. We here at Stars look forward to the day where she pulls a Jolie and shares the rest of her talent whenever the script calls for it – or doesn't.

Halle Berry

Body of Work: Who can forget the best thing about her turn in 007's Die Another Day: Berry's orange-bikini call back to Honey Rider's entrance in Dr. No? And let's not forget the movie frame-by-frame playback was invented for, Monster's Ball. And while the movie may have redefined "this sucks" for a generation, she looked a tad on the sex-tastic side in Catwoman's ridiculous skin-tight leather outfit. Berry has the goods, but are they good enough for the title of Champion Bod?

Monica Bellucci

Body of Work: From the first time she sported a seemingly vinyl dress in Matrix Reloaded to her campaign for gratuitous cleavage in the ballistic Shoot 'Em Up, this sexy Italian import has been synonymous with the phrase "gots the goods" for quite some time. She couldn't show up at a mall opening without sporting her claims to fame, and we dig that about her. As eye-candy goes, she never disappoints. But does she have it what it takes to take home the gold?

Eva Green

Body of Work: She bares all in The Dreamers and became one of the sexiest ladies James Bond ever met, in Casino Royale. This pretty face can act, kick ass, and look good while doing it all. That's a hell of an accomplishment for one of the youngest and most beautiful babes on this list. We expect good things from her in the future…clothing optional.

Jessica Biel

Body of Work: Seven words: I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. During her drunken undressing scene, she made guys every where, for the first time, realize how much good the bra can do on the right bod. Biel is always ranked highly on many a top-10 babe list, and her rising sex appeal never ceases to earn the rubber-necking it deserves. We like Biel. We like her, a lot.

Rose McGowan

Body of Work: Few can look good in the middle of exploding zombies while brandishing a machine-gun leg, but McGowan pulls both off perfectly in 2007's Planet Terror. Since becoming a blimp on our Babe-dar with turns in Scream and the WB's Charmed, Rose has earned some serious pin-up status lately. If the rumors of her playing Barbarella prove true, then fans everywhere can look forward to Rose sporting zero-gravity, go-go boots and little else.

Salma Hayek

Body of Work: Another babe from the films of Robert Rodriguez, Salma Hayek's unique brand of exotic beauty continues to make jaws drop. It all started with her from-the-waist-up performances as a vampire stripper in From Dusk Till Dawn and Antonio Banderas' best accessory in Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. And even though she is a recent mommy, the Hayek still looks good and deserves a shot at the coveted crown.

Anne Hathaway

Body of Work: We wish we could quit you, but you made that very difficult after putting your Princess Diaries out there on the big screen in Brokeback Mountain. Anne can't not look good, and we can't imagine ever getting tired of her smiling face and perfect curves. Her upcoming turn in Get Smart guarantees us Babe fans another chance to ogle at her on the big screen.

The Evolution of TV

I've been trying to buy a new TV for the past year, but every time I decide on something, it seems a newer model comes out. By the time I re-think my decision and decide on the newer model, and even newer one comes out. Bloody hell. Plasma, LCD, 720p, 1080p, HDTV, etc... Was it always this tough to keep up with the TV trend?

Well, besides Facebook, TV's are probably the number one time-waster in today's world, and probably the reason you don't have any friends (or need any friends, actually). The TV companies are also trying to make TV's cooler day by day to make sure all you all want one; after all, they weren't always cool. Take a look:

Early 1900's:

TV's weren't totally electric back in the day. They were semi-mechanical, had huge bodies, but the screens were tiny:

1928 G.E. Octagon

You see that little round piece of glass all the way at the top of the TV? Yup. That was the screen. Ah yes; i'm sure the full theatre experience was overwhelming.

1928 Baird Model C

Anyway, moving on - as the years passed, the screen stayed small, but at least the size of the whole TV was more compact, so now you can put it on a table. Or on your lap. Or take it with you to the bathroom if you really didn't want to miss Desperate Housewives.

1930 Baird Televisor

Pre World-War II:

In the few years before WW2, the fully electric TV was perfected, and with this, many countries started broadcasting. Although still expensive, TV's relatively became a lot cheaper, and because no one had internet yet, they became more wide-spread. It was a great time to be anti-social.

Electric TV's didn't need all the space that the mechanical ones did, so the units were smaller and much more manageable:

1939 Andrea 1F5

1937 Cossor 437T

And then came the second world war and all TV production stopped, and many channels stopped broadcasting too. It was a time for people to go out and make real friends again, as the war went on.

Post World-War II:

During the war, families couldn't buy much, and therefore managed to save up quite a bit of money. As soon as the war was over in 1945, people went out to buy things, and TV's were placed on the "gotta have it" list. The real boom in TV's happened in the next few years.

TV's now were more portable than ever, and most looked like little radios:

1948 Admiral 19A111

1948 Philco 48-700


The fifities signalled some very interesting developments for the TV; design-wise, they started looking more like TV's we would recognize today, and started reaching sizes where you don't have to squint your eyes to see the image. Also, some color TV's finally started to creep in with the rest of the bunch (yep, all the TV's above were, infact, black and white):

1953 Philips ATX100

1957 RCA 21 inch

But of course, most TV's were American or European built, (some made in Russia and Brazil). But after the destruction WWII caused in Japan, an empire based on technology was rebuilt in the far east, and hence came the first real Japanese made TV:

1953 Sharp TV3-14T

Visual radio, they called it.

Anyhow, with the whole boom in television making, the number of households with TV's just in the US increased by almost 1200%. By the beginning of the 1950's, only 8% of US households had TV's, but by the end of the decade, this number shot up to 87%.

The remote control was also finally created, turning an already lazy device into a total couch potato maker. This magnificent invention was hailed with words like "MAGIC" and "SPACE COMMAND" and so on :) The first design looked more like a gun, click below for some really funny ad's:

Remote Control AD 1

Remote Control AD 2


Lots happened in this era; color TV's became more and more popular (expensive color TV's were actually introduced in the fifties, but most people stuck to their cheaper black and whites then), more countries started broadcasting, and home video recorders were also created. TV's were now a regular part of the home; take a look, some of you might remember some of the models below, or something close at least:

1960 Sony Portable

1970 Keracolor - You might remember this (supposedly) futuristic design if you've ever lived in the UK in the 70's

1973 Philco 13inch - Look at those dials!

1974 Sony Color 19inch - Love the rabbit antenna!

1974 Zenith - This wooden look was actually considered fashionable back in the day

1975 Sony Betamax - The first home video recorder

Remember these betamax video tiny tapes?

1979 Portland 19inch


Yup, the TV was finally starting to look like the design we are familiar with today. Remote control slowly started becoming less expensive (it used to be an extra $400 or so just to have a remote control) and became really popular by the end of the 80's/early 90's. TV's also had this wooden look which was supposed to be classy, but that was soon replaced with the wood/silver (well, grey) look, and later in the 90's again replaced with the plain black plastic look.

1980 Magnavox 19inch - clicking those buttons; CHAK, CHAK, CHAK!

1984 Zenith

1991 Sony Trinitron

1995 Elite Projection

Projector TV's also started appearing as consumer demanded bigger screens and the full theatre experience. They were actually introduced to the market in the middle of the 80's, but only really took off by the mid-90's as their prices came down to reasonable levels. They still weren't very clear to watch though in bright rooms. Anyhow, the TV had reached a milestone in 1996, as by that time there were a total of 1 billion TV's world-wide. Whew.

In 1997, Pioneer introduced the first Plasma TV to the market, and suddenly having a TV wasn't just a necessity, it was actually 'cool'. Plasma technology was around for quite a while, but only in this year was it actually sold to the public.

1997 Pioneer 50" Plasma

2000-Modern Day:

Having a TV was now cool. Plasma TV's, then LCD screens, then HDTV's and so on, slim enough to put in your room and make all that old furniture you have look stylish. Yup, TV's were the one thing you needed to make any home look modern - see the difference:

boring home...

Extra Cool Modern Villa!

And so it goes. Personally, I can't tell the difference between your average plasma, LCD and HDTV. Maybe it's just a conspiracy to get us to pay more for the same stuff. Nevertheless, LCD TV's have now become the mainstream, and cover 50% of all the TV's to be shipped globally in 2008, and they come in all shapes and sizes:

42 inch LCD

12 inch LCD

Sizes? They also keep getting bigger; so far the largest LCD screen has recently been unveiled by Sharp at a whopping 108":

Dude, that's a big TV.

And I guess the coming years will be even more exciting! That's all for now; we've pretty much covered the past 80 years of TV, so hopefully i'll be doing the next of these reviews in 2088. Stay tuned!