Monday, May 31, 2010

OBMag #1 update: Feral Technology An excerpt from the Feral Technology column in issue #1:

The Dymo Label Maker
If you over 25 years old and live in a country that uses the English alphabet, you probably have used a Dymo label maker at some point in your life. The hard plastic embossed labels have adorned everything from file cabinets to sports equipment, lockers to utility panels, notebooks to foreheads, from their invention in 1958 until the advent of digital labelers in the mid 80's. The daisy-wheeled pistol-shaped labelers and their shiny, brightly colored strips with raised white capital letters may not be as popular now as in their heyday, but they are still available, in new, ergonomic designs. The classic models can still be found on ebay, at yard sales and flea markets everywhere.

The peel-and-stick plastic labels still have many advantages over their modern counterparts- they require no electricity to produce, the plastic labels don't fade when exposed to the elements, in fact,  they are virtually indestructible. Not to mention that they just look so damned cool. So cool, in fact,  that the look of the Dymo embossed label has been duplicated in several font designs, like “Punch-label” and “Plastique.” The font suggests a low-tech, retro, DIY attitude-  and we here at OBSOLETE are down with that.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Clothing Company Trademarks Phrases "Locavore" & "Locally Grown". Really?

"Locally Grown Clothing Co LLC" was featured in last weeks Des Moines Business Record. Two friendly- looking guys quit there jobs at Polo-Ralph Lauren and Hubbell Real Estate and started an apparel company featuring organic cotton tees and bags featuring slogans like "Urban Farmer" and  "Locavore". They are selling through farmers markets and hip, environmentally oriented retail outlets. Nice, right? Local guys start a business promoting the local food movement.

What the article also mentions is that the organic cotton tees (their website states "we place a high priority on sourcing and manufacturing our products in the USA") are printed in Oregon (not Des Moines) and that the owners have trademarked the phrases "Locally Grown" and "Locavore".  In the article they refer to it as their "intellectual property."  Really?  Did you guys come up with those phrases on your own?

As far as I can see, there is nothing locally grown about "Locally Grown Clothing Company LLC" - it appears to be two guys trying to cash in on a movement that was built by farmers and foodies while they were busy selling real estate and flogging Polo corporate sweatshop apparel.

Hey little local t-shirt printers making shirts for your local farmers market- your cease and desist letter is in the mail.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

History of Post-Apocalyptic Films Entry #5: The Omega Man

 Before there was "I an Legend",  before there was Will Smith, before there was CGI,  there was Charlton Heston......

Monday, May 17, 2010


The Hypothetical Library  is a wonderful site dedicated to the design of jackets for books that will never be written-  the current installment is by Neil Gaiman, and, as you would expect, he has fun with the idea....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

OBMag #1 update: Feral Technology

An excerpt from the Feral Technology column in issue #1:

"The futurist Ray Kurzweil once commented that; “I'm an inventor. I became interested in long-term trends because an invention has to make sense in the world in which it is finished, not the world in which it is started.” Throughout history, there have been examples of inventions whose usefulness has long out-lived it's inventor. Here are a few examples of 20th Century designs of the highest order..... In this new era, when the “Amerikan Empire” is sliding into decline and the only thing we seem to be able to manufacture are high fructose corn syrup, “financial instruments” and porn, it might be helpful to look more closely at gadgets that really work- and work, and work.....

The 3-speed Bicycle
Before the 1970s explosion of japanese road bikes with derailleur gears, the English-style 3-speed ruled the roads. In fact, the 3 speed roadster accounts for more than ½ of the bicycles ever built. The Raleigh DL-1, with it's fully enclosed chain-case, rod and roller brakes and giant 28 inch wheels made it the perfect all-terrain bike of it's time. Designed in 1913 for the British military, it eventually served across the empire as the bike of choice of police, mailmen, couriers and commuters from Kingston to Shanghai. The first manufacturing facility built in post-imperial India was a bicycle factory, which still produces an exact replica of the DL-1. Across Asia, the English-style roadster is the platform of choice for cargo bikes and pedi-cabs.

At the heart of every English-style 3 speed is the Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub. The fully enclosed hub is nearly impervious to the elements, and extremely rugged. To disassemble and reassemble the planetary gears of a 3 speed hub is a lesson in physics, and some might say a peek into the clockwork of the universe (okay, mostly old hippie bike mechanics say that...). Many variations have been built with up to 7 speeds, and the “DynoHub” includes an AC generator for powering lights. In America, 3-speed bikes built in the UK with Sturmey-Archer hubs were sold up until the late 1970s, labeled as Robin Hood, Sears brand, and even K-Mart. Easily found at second hand stores for $50 or less, these workhorses will still out-ride and out-last any cheap bike bought from Walmart....."

Read more in OBSOLETE Magazine #1 - out July 1st.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Featured Contributor: Mick Farren

Mick Farren is a legendary poet, musician, author, critic, activist, countercultural icon, and one of the last true gonzo journalists. As lead singer and chief anarchist of the legendary Social Deviants, Farren helped blaze the trail for the advent of punk rock. He has co-written songs for the Pink Fairies, Motorhead and Hawkwind, as well as writing over 40 books, including science fiction novels and non-fiction. Farren served as writer and editor of IT, the International Times, one of the UK’s premiere underground newspapers.

His original story "Hard Times at the Ace High" will appear in OBMag #1-  Due out in July. In the mean time, visit Micks amazing Blog, DOC40.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

OBMag #1 update: Medical Marijuana in Denver

OBMag #1 will feature a photo-essay on the Medical Marijuana Clinics of Denver by Alissa Bader. Alissa has documented the growth of the “grass-roots” industry in the city that many call “the Medical Marijuana capitol of America”. Colorado legislators are attempting to clamp down on the growth of the storefront clinics, which now outnumber Starbuck's franchises in Denver by nearly 2-1. For now, local entrepreneurs are showing conservative right-wing policy makers a thing or two about the power of the “Free Market”.

Look for OBMag #1 to hit the streets July 1.