Snow Day

I wish I was a crow, so I could see the the sky disappear onto rooftops, where I’d alight, not knowing whether I perched upon a weather mane or a stove pipe.

It’s the kind of day where, walking, you suddenly find your feet straddling the curb of a street where the sidewalk once was. Everything buried in a 12-inch quilt of white.

Looking down, eyes sparkle with rainbow-strewn dots flitting in and out of comprehension’s way. What is color?

The few people out and about are sweating in their winter fluff, rediscovering the true shape of their girlfriends’ cars while the women stand there, dutifully watching.

It’s hard to breathe. The air 50/50 mixed with engines giggling methane, left idling by whilst masters keep toasty inside. The biting cold freezing dripping snot runs that you can’t feel until lungs feel fit to combust.

No one should be working today. Why try and drive someplace? This winter Sunday is best enjoyed with screwdriver in hand, staring out the window at the splendor of nature’s destruction.

It knows not what it does. It just is.

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Introducing the most comfortable and secure cell phone stand

Knuckies has launched their full line of cell phone stands, including nine (9) different models, available in nine bright colors.

Where other cell phone stands fall short, Knuckies fill the niche for any application. Whether you need to prop up your iPad to watch Netflix in bed or you want to safely and securely adhere your phone to your dashboard to make sure you don’t miss your next turn while following GPS, these phone stands are the only tool you need to keep your phone on hand, wherever you go.

The Facts

knuckies

Knuckies are unlike any other phone stands you see on the market. They’re not some phone case with ugly grooves cutting through them, doubling as a kick stand. They’re not stiff, stuck at an awkward angle to the point where you can’t extend them as far as you like.

“No other stand does that.”

“I can prop my phone at 45 degrees in portrait mode,” said Knuckies inventor and founder Michael Diaz. “No other stand does that. It also has a larger point of contact with your table for wobble-free stability.”

Knuckies are made of a highly durable 3D-molded plastic polymer that allows them to contour to your hand–or any surface you desire–so you can be confident in where you place your phone when you’re busy doing the dishes or even trying to pick up a beer, chips, a napkin, and a coaster all at once, for instance. This phone stand will grip to your hand, making it impossible for you to drop it, no matter what.

knuckies

These innovative little guys even spin 360 degrees, so you can practice your mad quick-draw skills and impress your friends.

See something super cool off in the distance that you need to take a photo of? With Knuckies, you don’t have to worry about digging in your purse to find your phone, or wresting it from your pocket in a moment when time is fleeting and you need that phone now.

Just spin your phone and blam! Photo taken. Proof that Sasquatch exists.

Background

Michael Diaz has been all over the place, picking up inspiration, here, and education, there. He was born in New Jersey into a 100% Cuban family who were mostly raised in New York.

Aside from a four-month excursion in San Francisco, he’s been living in Florida for the last 20 years, where he earned his Bachelor’s in Business Marketing from the University of Central Florida (where I graduated, too!)

Now, he’s been bitten by the creativity bug and he can’t stop inventing things, which is why he designed nine different models of Knuckies, right out of the gate.

“I absolutely love inventing and creating things,” Diaz said. “I am sure my future holds many magical gizmos/ projects aimed at making the world a better place.”

The Process

“I had just received an important phone call and my friend was continually interrupting me,” Diaz said. “Afterward, I thought it would be hilarious to see a cartoon of someone with a brass knuckle phone case punching their friend who was interrupting them. I would call it ‘Not Now Knuckles!’ ”
knuckies

Then he Photoshopped a sample image and posted it to Facebook. It wasn’t until he woke up one morning in San Francisco that he decided to buy the website notnowknuckles.com. Being consistently exposed to this ambitious culture, he felt inspired to pursue one of his ideas.

“I later went on to change the project name to Knuckies and drastically adapt the model to be a more ergonomic and incapable of being used as a weapon,” he said. “San Francisco exposed me to a community of people who were expressing and embracing themselves for who they were. By embracing myself more fully and learning to follow my intuition (like the people I met in CA) I was able to overcome obstacles and launch this product.”

Diaz chose Shapeways, a 3D printing company in New York, to produce his Knuckies.

“The process is absolutely magical.”

“They are individually 3D printed with a $100,000+ machine (Formiga P110)  through the process of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS),” Diaz said. “Layer after layer of fine plastic sand is shot and fused together with a laser until the entire model is completed. This process allows for super small gaps (.5mm) between moving/spinning/articulating parts with absolutely no assembly required. It is truly fascinating to me and one of the things I find most beautiful about Knuckies.”

There you have it. Knuckies are the future of phone stands. Get this gift for your favorite runner in the family, or someone who is simply very clumsy.

“Over the past few years I have seen Knuckies absolutely transform the way people use their phones for the better. It gives me hope for a breed of products that bring us back into the moment with tactile interaction,” said Knuckies founder, Michael Diaz.

Find Knuckies on Facebook, or visit the official website, for more information.

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Tragi-comedy ‘Wilson’ slated for release next year

Some of the scenes for the upcoming movie, “Wilson” (2017), starring Woody Harrelson, were shot in the Twin Cities. According to the Pioneer Press, producer Mary Jane Skalski says they are shooting over 50 different locations in Minnesota, including Mancini’s and the Farmer’s Market–both located in St. Paul, Minnesota. The news …

Want to hear an album written from the perspective of space?

Vangelis just released his new album, Rosetta, last month and this is what space would sound like if somebody wrote a soundtrack to the intrepid beauty of it all.

The album is reminiscent of 80s synth, a la Contact, with plenty of little chimes and echoey alien noises. This is one album you need to listen to all the way through to fully grasp the thrall of the emotional roller coaster that would ensue if one were to decide to actually accept the one-way ticket to Mars.

My guess is, the journey would be scary, dreadfully exciting, and leave you in awe when you first set foot upon the soil of another planet.

Of course, there is no sound in space, due to the lack of molecules for sound vibrations to hinge upon and bounce back to our ears, but let’s just forget about the logic of science for an hour and close our eyes to imagine an infinite amount of possibilities afforded by the great dark blue abyss.

The new Vangelis album, Rosetta, is an achingly beautiful yet terrifying space journey for your ear holes. Listen to the entire album on YouTube or purchase it on iTunes.

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‘A Little Book of Abundance’ poetry release party

SubText bookstore, in downtown St. Paul, is hosting a release party, on Oct. 17, for local Minnesota writers and their A Little Book of Abundance chapbook.

At the release party, you’ll hear excerpts from the eight authors who contributed to A Little Book of Abundance.

This special book holds fast to the theme of self-effacing positivity, in contrast to at least three of the authors featured in the chapbook: see “December” by Joan Johnson,  “Death” by Barbara Jones, and this untitled piece by Sharon Hilberer, for example.

A Little Book of Abundance will available for purchase during the release party.

Visit the SubText Facebook page for more information.

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The new tune from Animals As Leaders is pretty sweet

Animals As Leaders debuted their new song, “The Brain Dance”, Sept. 30, preceding their upcoming album The Madness of Many.

With drums that just won’t quit, a Spanish samba version of a metal melody, and some whale song riffs, the new Animals as Leaders tune is math rock at its loveliest.

I can’t wait to hear what the three-man band has in store for us, when The Madness of Many comes out on Nov. 11, this year.

 

Featured image via Bottom Lounge

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Listen to Beethoven’s symphonies for the first time at the new Masonic Heritage Center

beethoven
A portrait of the 13-year-old Beethoven by an unknown Bonn master (c. 1783) via Wikipedia

Ludwig van Beethoven was a mason… and now his symphonies will be played during the grand opening of the brand new auditorium, Sunday, at the Masonic Heritage Center in Bloomington, Minn.

This YouTube video provides a virtual tour of the concert hall, for those who can’t make it to the unveiling:

$20 million dollars went into the construction of the Masonic Heritage Center; $80,000 of which devoted to the sound system alone to make you feel as if you’re surrounded on all sides by the musicians while they play.

There are 450 seats in the auditorium, giving the setting an intimate quality.

Beethoven was the impetus for a movement of beautiful classical music to set in motion a standard that is still in place today.

While most of his symphonies are hours long, you can listen to pieces of each of them, courtesy of the fine musicians who carry his spirit passed the realms of the unthinkable into fruition today.

Business Wire:

The Beethoven concert will feature musicians and ensembles from around the Twin Cities, including MacPhail Center for Music’s premier adult choral ensemble, SONOMENTO, the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, pianists Roderick Phipps-Kettlewell and Bryon Wilson, and variety of guest artists.

Now, here’s a video of a man playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” using Glocks.

You can hear an arrangement of Beethoven’s symphonies, live this Sunday, for the unveiling of the new Ives Auditorium at the Masonic Heritage Center.

 

 

Beethoven’s original sheet music via Reddit

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‘Versus’ by pg.lost is now available on Spotify

You don’t have to hold your ear to the radio to hear a new song, anymore.

The days of pay-per-play and “hit new single” are over. Now, artists are pushing their new songs out to the public, hitting them in their own homes, via Spotify.

Pg.lost

pg.lostWho is a perfect example of a band who is disseminating their music humbly through the net? Pg.lost.

You won’t see ads extolling the new album. There are no bells and whistles. Their label, Pelagic Records, is even selling the album for 7€ ($7.81) which is unheardof. These guys aren’t looking for celebrity, and yet they consistently make an impact on the lives of their devout fans.

Teasers

They released Ikaros on Aug. 30, then Off the Beaten Path on Sept. 7. These little teasers gave us insight into the new album, showing fans that pg.lost still has their fingers in developing hour-long story arcs of auditory construction that send us on imaginary adventures.

Is there a better band to listen to when you’re playing that one RPG that you revisit every year, ritualisitcally?

Versus

Pg.lost just released their new album, Versus and you can listen to it on Spotify. Of course, no local radio station is going to play lyric-less prog rock, so you’d be hard-pressed to find this tune anywhere, but online.

Listen to Versus, by pg.lost, on Spotify and add a little whimsy to your workday.

Featured image via TEDxTelAviv

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