Rolling Eyes

Size inflation

Why a size 10 is really a size 14

FEELING smug, because you still buy the same size clothes as 20 or more years ago? The truth may be rather uglier, thanks to “size inflation”: clothes with the same size label have become steadily larger over time. Measurements vary a bit by brand, but research by The Economist finds that the average British size-14 pair of women’s trousers is today more than four inches wider at the waist than a size 14 in the 1970s, and over three inches wider at the hips. This means that today’s size 14 fits like a former size 18; a size 10 fits like an old size 14. The same “downsizing” has also happened in America where, to confuse matters further, a size 10 is equivalent to a British size 12 or 14, depending on the brand. As the average person’s weight has risen over the years, fashion firms have increased the measurements of their garments, partly in the belief that women feel better (and so are more likely to buy) if they can squeeze into their old size.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Photography

In 2006, Charles H. Traub, chair of the graduate MFA program in photography at the School of Visual Arts and former director of New York’s renowned Light Gallery, collected some of the most compelling writing on photography in The Education of a Photographer — a fantastic anthology, co-authored by living legend Steven Heller, exploring what it means to become a contemporary photographer through remarkable essays from leading designers, editors, and gallery owners.

One of my favorite parts of the book is a list of maxims, The Do’s and Don’ts of Graduate Studies: Maxims from the Chair, outlining the art and science of photography with prescriptive pragmatism, conceptual insight and a healthy dose of stern humor.

The Do’s

    • Do something old in a new way
    • Do something new in an old way
    • Do something new in a new way, Whatever works… works
    • Do it sharp, if you can’t, call it art
    • Do it in the computer — if it can be done there
    • Do fifty of them — you will definitely get a show
    • Do it big, if you cant do it big, do it red
    • If all else fails turn it upside down, if it looks good it might work
    • Do Bend your knees
    • If you don’t know what to do, look up or down — but continue looking
    • Do celebrities — if you do a lot of them, you’ll get a book
    • Connect with others — network
    • Edit it yourself
    • Design it yourself
    • Publish it yourself
    • Edit, When in doubt shoot more
    • Edit again

Read Darwin, Marx, Joyce, Freud, Einstein, Benjamin, McLuhan, and Barth

  • See Citizen Kane ten times
  • Look at everything — stare
  • Construct your images from the edge inward
  • If it’s the “real world,” do it in color
  • If it can be done digitally — do it
  • Be self centered, self involved, and generally entitled and always pushing — and damned to hell for doing it
  • Break all rules, except the chairman’s

The Don’ts

  • Don’t do it about yourself — or your friend — or your family
  • Don’t dare photograph yourself nude
  • Don’t look at old family albums
  • Don’t hand color it
  • Don’t write on it
  • Don’t use alternative process — if it ain’t straight do it in the computer
  • Don’t gild the lily — AKA less is more
  • Don’t go to video when you don’t know what else to do
  • Don’t photograph indigent, people, particularly in foreign lands
  • Don’t whine, just produce

My favorite has to be “Read Darwin, Marx, Joyce, Freud, Einstein, Benjamin, McLuhan, and Barth,” affirming my belief in the importance of cross-disciplinary curiosity in informing, inspiring and enriching the creative process.

The entire book is an absolute treasure and I couldn’t recommend it more.

(by Maria Popova)

Wish My iPhone Did All The Things My Android Does

Wozniak says the iPhone is for people who like simple, pretty things while the Android-based smartphones offer greater capabilities

Hardcore Apple fans are notorious for discarding anything without a shiny Apple logo, even if it sometimes means the competitor’s product is better. One would expect Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak, to be at the top of that list of Apple loyalists, but it seems his love for Android-based smartphones tops that of the iPhone.

Wozniak, who co-founded Apple in 1976 with the late Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne, of course loves Apple products — including the iPhone. In fact, he owns an iPhone, and says it’s a pretty, easy-to-use device. However, he also owns an Android-based smartphone, and had even better things to say about that particular gadget.

“My primary phone is the iPhone,” said Wozniak. “I love the beauty of it. But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do.”

Wozniak was recently spotted at the Google campus’ Android development building to scoop up a pre-release of the company’s Galaxy Nexus, causing quite a stir amongst Google fans outside. As it turns out, Wozniak is good friends with Andy Rubin, the head of Android, and regularly uses a Motorola Droid Razr.

According to Wozniak, Android has a list of advantages over iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system. For instance, Android’s voice recognition software is superior to the iPhone 4S’ assistant Siri. Wozniak said Siri worked well as an independent app for the iPhone, but since being built in to the iPhone 4S, it just doesn’t perform as well as it once did.

“I have a lower success rate with Siri than I do with the voice built into the Android, and that bothers me. I’ll be saying, over and over again in my car, ‘Call the Lark Creek Steak House,’ and I can’t get it done. Then I pick up my Android, say the same thing, and it’s done. Plus I get navigation. Android is way ahead on that.”

Along with voice recognition and navigation, Wozniak also recognizes Android’s superior app development process after speaking with a Foursquare developer who said Apple’s approval process slows developers down while Android’s allows programs to be released and improved faster.

Wozniak even mentioned that Android’s software is as aesthetically pleasing as Apple’s iOS, not to mention the battery life on an Android smartphone is better than the iPhone’s.

“The people I recommend the iPhone 4S for are the ones who are already in the Mac world, because it’s so compatible, and people who are just scared of computers altogether and don’t want to use them,” said Wozniak. “The iPhone is the least frightening thing. For that kind of person who is scared of complexity, well, here’s a phone that is simple to use and does what you need it to do.”

Wozniak noted that Android has more advantages if “you’re willing to do the work to understand it a little bit.”

While Wozniak sees Android as a true Apple competitor, he still insists that Windows was never a great program to begin with and could never come close to Apple the way Android is.

“There’s not as big a difference [between iOS and Android] as there was between Mac and Windows,” said Wozniak.

Good Bye Small Car, Hello SUV! 

I aint no car connoisseur but I am amazed with the slew of car launches in India. Good bye small car, hello SUV is the new theme of the Auto Expo and that’s surely going to be trending in 2012. From a fully loaded four wheel drive to a small 1000 cc engine in a boxy high car, there are sport utility cars for everyone this year. So what if your car engine is smaller than the Swift’s, as long as it is an SUV! High interest rates and the gloomy business environment have cut back small car purchases by the common man. With over 40 small car options by different players, not only is the market over-crowded but facing a serious slowdown. Growth forecast in auto sector is almost negative, a picture very difference from auto body SIAM’s expectations of near 10% growth in mid 2010.

But bucking the downtrend are the giant SUVs proving that bigger is better. Sport utility vehicles (SUVs), Multi purpose vehicles (MPV) are suddenly in big demand. In 2011, SUV sales were up 11% during Apr-Nov according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) while passenger car sales actually slipped. And petrol and diesel prices are up 10 rupees over last year but India is still hooked to the SUV revolution. Someone once told me, SUVs sales surge during elections so I expect UP’s landlords and the lady may be among the markets these car makers are betting on.  So this explains the rise of the multi-seaters.

But what all is going to burn the rubber? Maruti Suzuki unveiled the XA Alpha, a four-meter long concept for a compact sport-utility vehicle. M&M’s XUV500 was the first mover in the Rs 10 lakh category but global car makers have been quick to recognize that India has the ability to produce local-SUVs. A made-in-India car with a compelling price tag is a good purchase proposition for Indians looking to upgrade. Ford’s EcoSport is all set for the road and will be manufactured in its Chennai plant in South India.  M&M though went macho this Expo by launching it’s Ssangyong stars. Rexton, which will hit showrooms in six months with a 2.7-litre CRDe engine. Czech car-maker Skoda will launch it’s SUV in India by 2013 from its parent Volkswagen Group’s stable. It could well be produced here given that VW is expanding its capacity by pumping $500 mn. Toyota introduced new versions of its Fortuner SUV. Audi will introduce the Q3 SUV to add to models such as the Q5 and the Q7. Daimler introduced the new M-Class SUV. And there are still many more.

It doesn’t matter that roads will grow narrower and the cars will grow bigger. The logic is clear – as the middle class grows there is hope that aspirational values will force people to think about luxury. This segment is also known to be less volatile in terms of demand.  Plus once we look at discretionary spending, it’s likely anyone entering a SUV store really would be there because of a desire factor, not just a drive factor.

(Source : Shaili Chopra)

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