Music Library: “Best” of 2014

Jan 6, 2015

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PLAYLIST 01.06.2015

 

This playlist features a song from each of my personal favourite albums released in 2014. This list is purely based on my personal taste in music and what albums I enjoyed most from this past year. Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know how your list would differ or what you think I may have forgotten, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Looking forward to sharing more music with you in the new year.

 

01. Red Eyes – The War on Drugs Lost in the Dream

02. Do You – Spoon They Want My Soul

03. Prince Johnny – St. Vincent St. Vincent

04. Delorean Dynamite – Todd Terje It’s Album Time

05. Two Weeks – FKA Twigs LP1 (E)

06. Way to be Loved – TOPS Picture You Staring

07. Silver – Caribou Our Love

08. Forerunner Foray – Shabazz Palaces Lese Majesty (E)

09. Shame (feat. BJ the Chicago Kid) – Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Piñata (E)

10. Passing Out Pieces – Mac Demarco Salad Days

11. Dead Man’s Tetris (feat. Captain Murphy & Snoop Dogg) – Flying Lotus You’re Dead! 

12. Doves – Future Islands Singles

13. The Riverbed – Owen Pallett In Conflict

14. Talking Backwards – Real Estate Atlas

15. Put Your Number In My Phone – Ariel Pink Pom Pom

16. The Lord’s Favorite – Iceage Plowing Into the Field of Love

17. Early (feat. Boots) – Run The Jewels Run the Jewels 2 (E)

18. Triangle – BADBADNOTGOOD III

19. Springful – Adult Jazz Gist Is

20. My Blue Supreme – Interpol El Pintor

21. Walk Away – Tony Molina Dissed and Dismissed

22. Big Stars – Perfect Pussy Say Yes To Love

23. So Sick Stories (feat. King Krule) – RATKING So It Goes (E)

Freebie: Desktop Wallpaper – January

Jan 2, 2015

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We’ve changed things up for 2015. This year, our monthly freebie blog post will feature 12 unique desktop wallpapers for you to use on your computer, phone, or tablet. The wallpapers will vary from month to month whether it’s illustration, photography, or whatever else we come up with. Click the download link for your preferred size or format and enjoy!

 

This month features a play on the classic houndstooth pattern, but with cats instead of hounds.

 

Keep your eyes peeled at the start of each month for a new downloadable desktop wallpaper.

 

3840 × 2400  |  2560 × 1440  |  1920 × 1200  |  1680 × 1050  |  1440 × 900  |  1280 × 800

iPhone 5  | iPhone 6  | iPhone 6 plus | iPad

 

Note: This wallpaper is intended for personal use only. Download it, enjoy it and share it with your friends! However, commercial use and distribution of this wallpaper for profit is strictly prohibited. Thanks for your cooperation.

Winter Sauna

Dec 30, 2014

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While I grew up on the Canadian prairie, my family always celebrated the Scandinavian connection we had through my grandfather. His parents were immigrants from Scandinavia, and as their great-grandson I can’t speak any Scandinavian languages, but more and more I identify with their culture.  I feel as if my Scandinavian heritage has predisposed me towards saunas. I have always liked them. Whenever I am breathing in the hot fragrant air of a sauna, the combination of wood, fire, smoke and steam elicits a cerebral response in me and I can tell that this experience is imprinted somewhere way back in my psyche.

 

Residing in Winnipeg, a city which reaches winter temperatures that easily classify it as one of the coldest urban centres in the world, I’m a little envious of other Nordic countries like Finland where saunas are part of the everyday culture. What a powerful way to nullify the cold and embrace winter’s elements. As a designer, I’m attracted to the structures and spaces that make up the Finnish sauna experience too. Rough-hewn timber architecture, wood burning stoves, red hot stones, and rustic wooden furniture all create a primal yet sophisticated atmosphere. A cosmic, centuries-old spa treatment that always feels fresh and invigorating.

 

Winter sauna

 

Lately I’ve fantasized about the saunas my ancestors may have used. I imagine walking out through the snow towards my own savusauna early one frigid winter morning. The icy wind howls through my bathrobe, but I don’t mind because I know it’s only a few more steps away to the warmth of the sauna. Hot air welcomes me as soon as I step inside the timber cabin where the temperature is almost ninety degrees Celsius.  A large stack of rocks held above the woodstove is heated to glowing hot and a ladle of water from the bucket instantly sends a plume of steam rising from the rocks towards the ceiling. A few more ladles and the room is completely filled and cloudy. Sitting back on the wooden bench I inhale hot humid air and bathe in the steam.

 

Savusauna

 

After resting a while, I gently swat my back and legs using boughs of birch, a strange seeming gesture but I can feel built up tension in my muscles easing. The birch vahti also gives off a refreshing woody fragrance that adds another dimension to the bouquet of natural aromas in the cabin. The heat is almost overwhelming.  Moisture covers me, and my head and lungs seem steam saturated. I rise off the bench, and feeling slightly light headed, I steady myself for the bracing cold of the lake water dip that comes next.

 

Vihta

 

Uimareita varten tehty avanto jäällä.

Avanto

 

I hastily exit the savusauna and make a direct path towards the dark mouth of the avanto, a hole cut through the ice. Without hesitating, I plunge feet first into the super-chilled lake water and a collision of burning and tingling sensations electrify my body. I wait, bobbing in the dark water for a few moments to savour the dual sensations of warm inner core and icy skin surface. Bursting back up through the water’s surface I waste little time in grabbing my robe and towel while scrambling through the blowing snow back to my family’s farmhouse.

 

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Piirakka

 

Sitting by the crackling fireplace, I sip on chilled low-proof kalja and savour pork sausages and piirakk with crispy rye crusts. Through design and architecture systems which humans perfected centuries ago, the sauna’s confluence of fire, steam, heat and ice somehow transports me to a different mind space. Winter is lovely.

Best of ‘Best-of 2014′ List 

Dec 29, 2014

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I’m a fan of year-end ‘Best of’ lists. Not so much for the subjective one through ten rating systems, but rather for the nice overview it lends to a year’s worth of media. Below are the Best of: Best of 2014 Lists for hours of click throughs and wasted time. Enjoy.

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Best book covers 2014

 

Best Longreads of 2014

 

Best Tracks of 2014

 

Dissolve Best movies of 2014

 

Physics Breakthroughs of 2014

 

Tumblr 2014 Year in Review:

 

Top Temporary Structures of 2014

 

Top New Museums of 2014

 

50 Best Albums of 2014

 

Booooooom’s 75 Favourite Images Found in 2014:

 

Nowness Most Loved of 2014:
(“The Chief” is a favourite of mine…)

 

Best podcast Episodes of All time (as of 2014):

 

New Years Eve Bubbly Beverages

Dec 27, 2014

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champagne_bottles

Don’t bring in the New Year with an ill informed beverage choice. You can get an enjoyable bottle of sparkling wine or Champagne no matter what you budget is! Here are my six choices for New Years Eve bubbly beverages based on price point, from entry-level up.

 

Bottega Il Vino de Poeti Gold Brut Prosecco – Italy, $24.99

If you’re unsure that you will appreciate a more expensive bottle, go for the Italian classic, Prosecco. At $24.99 the gold bottle edition feels a little bit more celebratory than it actually is!

 

Cave Spring NV Blanc de Blancs Brut Niagra Escarpment VQA – Canada, $35.99

My Canadian sparkling wine pick is a dry, medium bodied, Niagra brut-style sparking wine with hint of sweetness.

 

Lallier Grand Reserve Champagne GC Brut – France, $54.54

At under $55 dollars you can celebrate New Years Eve with this entry-level priced French Champagne instead of the less impressive sounding sparkling wines.

 

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Champagne 2002 – France, $83.19

If you genuinely enjoy sparling wines and Champagne, but have never gotten past the entry-level priced bottles, then this is great Champagne to start with. You’ll get a long, rich finish with subtle, refreshing notes at an exceptional value.

 

Bollinger La Grande Année Champagne Brut – France, $157.02

This Champagne is fermented in oak barrels with exotic spices and has silky smooth bubbles.

 

Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon Champagne Brut – France, $235.99

If you’ve had a particularly exceptional year and want your choice of champagne to reflect that, my favourite is the vibrant and classic Dom Pérignon.

 

Availability ​and prices may vary depending on your city/province.

 
Happy New Year!

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