Flavor of the Week: Springy

Before he made Labyrinth: Easily the most incredible thing I saw all week, possibly all year. Jim Henson’s Commercials & Experiments was screened as part of Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater. Thanks to YouTube you can organize a mini-screening at home. Start with these Wilkins Coffee commercials (part 2, 3) featuring an early version of Kermit, some the first commercials to use humor (and rampant puppet violence) to sell products. Also behold the brilliance of the La Choy Dragon and the stunning short film Time Piece which was nominated for an Academy Award. We miss you, Jim!Good looking: The American Society of Magazine Editors announced the National Magazine Awards nominees this week and a bunch of the mags I contribute to are in there. It’s always good to see Print and Metropolis representing the design mags in General Excellence Under 100,000 Circulation. Wired is also a regular in several categories. But check out newcomer Good making a well-deserved splash in two big categories: Magazine Section (for their Transparency column) and Design! Huge congrats to everyone at the magazine for sticking to their guns. And of course, to Scott Stowell and the magicians at Open.

Saint Andrew: Metropolis’ Andrew Blum and I both wrote about Make It Right, the program that enlisted 13 architecture firms to design houses for Katrina victims in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. But Andrew nabbed the interview I couldn’t—he got to spend quality time with Brad Pitt, who’s personally heading up the project. Brad even opened a beer for him! In his piece “Saint Brad,” Andrew even manages to look beyond those smiling deep blue eyes and talk about the architecture. You can read my lowly un-Brad-ified piece in the Architect’s Newspaper.

Do as I do: If you’ve been reading this blog for a few weeks now and wondering how you can go from a blogging job that pays you cash to blogging for yourself for free, boy, do I have the class for you! I’ll be teaching Blogging Basics at mediabistro.com’s LA office on Saturday March 29. After five hours, you’ll walk out with a solid concept for your blog and how to get started. Details and registration are here.

Hallelujah!: Spring began this week, which means only one thing: Peeps® are in the air! Peeps® have a special place in my heart, and on my Easter table. Stay tuned Monday for more marshmallowy creations.

Thanks to all my Peeps®, Max, Andrew and UnBeige.

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  • http://www.portigal.com/blog Steve Portigal

    Holy crap…those Henson commercials are really disturbing. Spawned a weekend of non sequitur simulated violence around the house along with smug justifications to punctuate.

    I couldn’t help but think of Don Hertzfeldt’s amazing Rejected – a series of commercials that were commissioned by the Family Learning Channel (uhh, right) but never aired.

  • Alissa

    The scary thing is those commercials are every bit as violent as early Sesame Street episodes! That Rejected series, now that’s disturbing.

  • http://www.portigal.com/blog Steve Portigal

    Perhaps you have a different memory (or YouTube link) to early Sesame Street. I don’t remember them ever jamming a gun in someone’s face and pulling the trigger?

    Although I would believe it if you told that Herry bitch-slapped Prairie Dawn.

  • Alissa

    It’s entirely possible. After the screening, we remembered this Virginia Heffernan NYT article that said the DVDs of Sesame Street now carry a disclaimer that the content is not appropriate for preschoolers!