Monthly Archives: August 2010

Cool Geek

Is the Future of Public Transit a Giant Straddling Bus?

China seems to be kicking everyone’s ass these days.  On the same day it’s being reported that the People’s Republic has taken over Japan as the world’s second-largest economy, a Chinese company has revealed a vehicle that promises to revolutionize public transit: a giant bus that straddles traffic!  Called a “three-dimensional fast bus”, the outlandish vehicle is being described as a “mobile tunnel.”  According to UTNE:

Commuters board from a station one story above the ground, and when the straddling bus parks to pick up riders—as many as 1200 per vehicle—it doesn’t disrupt the flow of traffic. …

The innovating company, Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment, claims that building the infrastructure for straddling buses is three times faster and much cheaper than a comparable distance of new subways. The wheel-rail-hybrid buses are powered by municipal electricity and solar energy, thus reducing the cost of their operation as well as fuel consumption. They will purportedly reduce traffic jams by 25 percent. There’s even motion-sensing alarm system built into the bus to prevent oversize vehicles from passing through the bus and to warn cars if they swerve too close to the bus’ wheels.

And this ain’t no pipe dream/TED talk fantasy: construction on a 115-mile long line in Beijing’s Mentougou District is scheduled to begin by the end of the year.

Assuming the company’s impressive claims are true, consider me a fan.  Innovations that use existing infrastructure (i.e. roads) seem to have the best shot at succeeding, and of course any new technology that reduces traffic and fuel consumption is cool beans.  Hopefully they’ll introduce this on the West Coast before long (this would be perfect for the 99 B-Line).

via Andrew Sullivan

Album Reviews Featured

Download This Mixtape: Mac Miller – K.I.D.S.

Mac Miller’s Kickin’ Incredibly Dope Shit (K.I.D.S.) may be the best mixtape I’ve heard all year, fo reals.  Miller, an 18-year old Pittsburgh native who just signed with Rostrum Records, home of fellow up-and-comer Wiz Khalifa and the 1988 Top Shelf catalogue, has a seriously proficient flow and a knack for complex wordplay.  On “Knock Knock,” for example, Miller raps “I feel like a million bucks/but my money don’t really feel like I do”, and later, “In deeper than the water Michael Phelps was in.”  The beats are hot, too, spanning a range of styles from pulsing Drake-ish synths to jazzy boom-bap drums and xylophone samples.  Download K.I.D.S. and say you heard of this kid before he blew up!

Download: Mac Miller – K.I.D.S.

Via illroots

Album Reviews Featured

Bun B Picks Up First 5-Mic Album Since 2005


In a rambling speech yesterday, Bun B, formerly one half of UGK, accepted the 5 Mic award from The Source for his new album, Trill OG.  While dude seems like a nice guy – his speech is a humble tribute to other emcees – is his new disc really in the same league as other five mic recipients like Illmatic, Life After Death, and The Low End Theory?  I haven’t listened to the whole thing, so I can’t say for certain.  To give you a taste so you can judge for yourself, here’s “Right Now” featuring Trey Songz, Pimp C (!), and 2Pac (!!):

Via The Rap Up

Photo by NRK P3 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nrk-p3/)

Music

Two French Dudes Make Social Media Music Video

If you can get past the gratuitous and ultimately tiresome sexism, this video ain’t that bad.  I’d give it low marks for creativity (social media in ‘real life’? – it’s been done) but high marks for execution (the Tom Cruise poster alone scores it several points, plus the Dance Roulette bit at the end is dope).  The music itself is pretty standard electro-rap, or whatever it’s called, but I can’t speak to the lyrics since I don’t understand French.

Via The Rap Up

Cool Music

Kanye Joins Twitter, Releases Decent Single

Yesterday, Kanye released his newest single, “See Me Now” featuring Mrs. Jay-Z and Charlie Wilson, the man who provided cash and Stinger missiles to the Afghan Mujahideen founded the Gap Band.  Kanye’s raps cover the usual ground: equating himself to the font of Western philosophy (“I’m Socrates/But my skin more chocolate-y”) and Jesus (“This the Christ year/Last year was magic, 32” … “Imagine the direction of this immaculate conception”).  The beat is a buoyant vocal sample that keeps things moving along, and Beyonce does a decent job on the hook.  Charlie Wilson, meanwhile, spends the song’s last minute and a half wailing his ass off and sprinting up and down scales like this is 1998 and his name is Babyface.  Anyway, if you want to give the track a shot, visit Kanye’s blog: http://www.kanyeuniversecity.com/blog/2010/08/see-me-now-feat-beyonce-charlie-wilson/.

Kanye also made news recently by joining the Twitter and his tweets must surely rank among the funnest ever*.  Seriously, dude is a comedic genius.

Here are some gems:

“Is it to early for a bellini??? Too late, already ordered”

“It is Monday right???”

And the best one:

“Tell everyone at the label only use Gothic or Helvetic fonts for email blast unless I otherwise approve”

Of course, it would have been criminal to let Kanye’s hilarity disappear beneath Twitter’s daily avalanche of mundanity, so someone equally as funny preserved his tweets, and generated an awesome if short-lived meme, by turning them into New Yorker cartoon captions.  Here’s the best one.

*I found the grammar and spelling errors in this sentence improved it dramatically, so I left them in.

Photo by Troy Holden (http://www.flickr.com/photos/troyholden/4839081050/)