Alto’s Adventure ///
I love video games, and I’ve played them for decades on a variety of consoles and screen sizes. I’ve been a WWII saboteur, an NBA all-star, and a crime-solving journalist, but I’ve never had the opportunity to become a snowboarding llama-herder – until Alto’s Adventure came along. An impeccably art-directed iOS runner, it seamlessly integrates a dynamically-generating landscape and challenge-based leveling to keep the experience constantly engaging. At less than $2, it’s a great way to pass a few minutes in line, or a few chilled-out hours in the evening, catching llamas instead of counting sheep.
illy X1 ///
I’ve always wanted one of those beautiful illy espresso machines; so when we moved a few years ago, I decided to get an X1 for the new kitchen. Then it sat there for months and beautifully collected dust (because I had no clue what I was doing) until a friend of ours, who owns a local roastery, was kind enough to walk me through the relatively easy steps. I’m still far from expert level, and when I need a quick coffee in the morning, I tend to opt for the press. On lazy weekend afternoons, or when we have friends over, though, I roll up my sleeves, fire up the illy like a true barista, and intentionally misspell our houseguests’ names on the sides of their cups.
I’m probably in the minority on this, but I love trailers – especially the extended-cut, cinematic ones. I always make sure I’m at the movies well before the previews start, and one of my favourite ways to waste an hour is catching up on the latest iTunes Trailers entries. I’m not an undiscerning fan, though – there are plenty of lazy, linear, abridged versions of their respective films. What I’m after is the pinnacle of this medium, where trailers are compelling enough to stand on their own as works of art. Here are three of my favourite examples in which the perfect combinations of visuals and music result in trailers that are often as good (or maybe even better) than the movies or games they were meant to promote.
Nike ZVEZDOCHKA ///
A shoe named after an astronaut dog? Why not. Just over a decade ago, Nike released the ZVEZDOCHKA, a collaboration with industrial designer, Marc Newson, based on his experience with the Russian Space Agency. One of the first shoes to be entirely computer-modeled, this revolutionary concept combined four interlocking modules that delivered versatility and increased sustainability (as it relied less on harsh adhesives). To mark its tenth anniversary, the ZVEZDOCHKA has been re-released in its original five colorways – ready to be your go-to whether you’re heading into orbit or just to the park with your dog.
Shinola x Warstic Bat Co. ///
It’s a given that every home needs a baseball bat. Whether you’re going out to shank some pop-flies at the company picnic, scaring raccoons off the back porch, or convincing your significant other that you got this when it sounds like someone’s breaking in, you’ll definitely need some proper lumber. Shinola recently collaborated with Warstic on a series of hand-shaped, laser-engraved, maple wood sluggers that give you serious swinging cred, and look good enough to display when they’re off-duty.
Amy Bennett ///
All this talk of lazy days by the lake is an excellent excuse to admire the work of Amy Bennett and wish it was summer already. What’s amazing about these oil paintings is that they’re based on huge dioramas of teeny-tiny locales which Amy builds herself, and then recreates on canvas in brilliant detail. I’d love to set up an appropriately-sized lounger on that beach, with a crisp issue of GQ and an ice-cold bottle of cola. (via The Jealous Curator)
The only thing better than the morning’s first cup of coffee, is if it’s accompanied by a roaring campfire and a shimmering lake stretched out before you. A beautiful picture, all rustic and serene, but as Nicolas Cage’s Little Junior Brown said in 1995’s Kiss of Death remake, I don’t like the taste of metal in my mouth. And so, I was happy to come across these great Tinware mugs, which look like the old-school ones you’d take camping, but are handcrafted ceramic instead. Dishwasher and microwave safe, they’re excellent for that all-important shot of caffeine as I head into morning meetings … and plan my next trip to the lake.
Jacknife Design Skates ///
Speaking of eye-catching prototypes, Toronto-based Jacknife Design has developed a brilliant skate concept based on archives of vintage Canadian models. A blend of titanium, stainless steel, and full-grain leather on the outside, and heat-formed memory foam on the inside, the goal was modern-day comfort and performance with a streamlined, classic aesthetic. If I happened to live in a city like Ottawa where the downtown canal freezes over during the winter, these would definitely become a part of my daily commute. (via Sharp)
Arc’teryx Sebring ///
The Arc’teryx Sebring was designed as a 25L hiking & climbing pack that becomes a versatile commuter once you’re back in the city. The hydration-bladder sleeve easily accommodates a laptop or tablet, with plenty of extra room for your lunch and workout gear. My favourite use for the Sebring, though, is as a carryon – drawbridge opening, contoured shoulder straps, water-bottle sleeves, internal security pocket, and sturdy suitcase-style grab-handles are travel essentials; and once you reach your destination, it’s an ideal day-trip carryall.
Michael Kors : Fall 2015 ///
Impeccable double-breasted, a perfectly-proportioned tweed/camo insulated field jacket, and a cardigan crisp enough to look great with a tie – here are a few of my favourites from the Michael Kors Fall 2015 collection. (via Style.com)