Tuesday, July 26, 2016


New Spring-Summer 2016 Collection Depicts Original “Skyfall” Artwork On Reflective Canvas 

First there was weatherized printed rubber; now there are new reflective street-ready graphics. Elevating the collaboration to the next level, Converse debuts its second Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II with American artist Futura. Featuring original artwork by the legendary Brooklyn-based artist, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Futura “Skyfall” inspired collection takes the technological construction and comfort benefits of Chuck II even further with the addition of reflective materials, creating a sneaker that gets you seen. Designed for both function and fashion, the collection combines Futura’s iconic abstract art style with a weather- ready sneaker collection that’s built for the next generation of self-expression.

A pioneer in graffiti art, Futura’s work is synonymous with ingenuity, originality and the NYC downtown art scene of the early 80's. His work over the last 30 years has transitioned from the street, to the subway, and today into galleries all around the world. This new pack includes artwork that is original to Futura, entitled “Skyfall,” a unique technique that creates two optical illusions: one, that the onlooker is viewing an expanse of tree or mountain tops, and the other, that looks as if the sky is falling. The new collection features all-over reflective body with the original Futura “Skyfall” artwork and Futura branded box packaging and shoe bag. Available in both hi-top and ox, the Chuck II Futura “Skyfall” inspired sneaker also has varnished midsoles and two-toned reflective laces.

The Spring-Summer 2016 Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Futura “Skyfall” inspired collection is now already available in Converse stores for Php 5,990 (hi-cut ash grey) and Php 5, 510 (low- cut white reflective). Visit and for more designs and styles.

About Futura

A pioneer when graffiti met contemporary art, Futura (American, b. 1955), alias of Leonard McGurr was known as early as the seventies for his radical approach in the street, introducing abstraction to an entirely letter-based discipline.  His work caught the attention in the 1980s, and Futura (then Futura 2000) found himself part of a wider art movement that included the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Julian Schnabel. Entirely self-taught in what he calls “the subway school”, Futura has been compared to Kandinsky and Klee for his mastery of color, movement and line; and friends Basquiat, Kenny Scharf and Rammellzee for his progressiveness and of-the- moment relevance. Radical then, his methodology can now be viewed over a span of decades as something consummately pure. When compared to the many street artists who have come along since, Futura’s work still stands apart for its subtlety, use of white space, and elemental quality. The artist knows all that is needed - as it was at the beginning – are clouds of primary color, arresting movement, and skillful tricks with a spray can. Insight and proficiency have kept him relevant for 40+ years with no signs of slowing down, and successors have yet to match Futura’s impossibly thin aerosol lines. Futura can followed on instagram at @futuradosmil, or through I/AM: Iconoclast / Art and Artist Management (


Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands has long cemented the popular image of freshness due to its canals, trees, and the propensity of its residents to get around by bicycle. So it was quite surprising to learn that as early as last year, the city has gotten warning scores in European studies of air quality, the telltale signs of an air pollution problem. As Amsterdam has not been able to enact having low emission zones in its city limits for all private vehicles, things have gotten so bad that last May, according to The Guardian, pollution readings have fully broken the EU standard.

Now, as CNN reports, local digital media designer Joris Lam has effected a brainstorm of an idea that could encourage Amsterdammers to keep the smoke levels down by giving them an indispensable modern convenience in return. It goes by the name “Tree Wifi”.

The project involves setting up wireless broadband routers in birdhouse-shaped units all over the city to provide free Wifi to passing motorists and even homes and businesses. But there is a catch: a Popular Science article reveals the Tree Wifi birdhouses also contain pollution sensors capable of measuring emission levels from vehicle fumes, and electronically transmitting air quality readings to a central server. Only when the air pollution in an area covered by a birdhouse goes down an acceptable level, that the free Wifi is enabled for everyone.

Lam explains the system further; at the start of a new day, “When the central air quality server notices a decrease in pollution level at a particular birdhouse compared to the day before, it opens up the internet connection. The Wi-Fi network itself is always available for people to connect with, regardless of the air quality, but if the air quality is poor, instead of free internet it gives information and tips on how to improve air quality.”

People observing the Wifi birdhouses also get a quick visual indicator of when the air quality is improving – and when free internet can be had. The cleaner the air reading is, the more of the birdhouse’s LED’s light up. For Lam, it’s all the better to inspire Amsterdammers to clean up their act for free Wifi, by driving private cars less and taking public transport, or simply biking instead.

At present the Tree Wifi project is still testing prototypes, but Amsterdam city officials have stood up and taken notice. Furthermore, Lam says that parties from other countries have expressed interest in the system. And having received enough funding to hire enough engineers and scientists to fine-tune the technology and reward method, Lam sees these additional deals as fitting Tree Wifi’s aspirations to go international.

Photo Credit to


On the ninety-sixth time that the Miss America beauty pageant will be held, history will be made and a milestone set. One of the contestants up for the running is changing the pageant with her very presence, and shall have a chance at a shot to advocate her wishes to America.

When she was crowned Miss Missouri last June 23, thus making her the state’s representative to become Miss America 2017, Erin O’Flaherty caused a great stir throughout the media with the fact that she is the first Miss Missouri to be openly lesbian, and therefore the first ever lesbian candidate for Miss America. This could not be emphasized more than a few days later, at a July 1 annual gay pride parade in St. Louis where she was guest of honor enthroned on a parade float.

Needless to say, O’Flaherty sees great significance in her victory at the state level and participation in the national pageant this coming September. As she tells CNN, her experience on the road to Miss America, “Has been an atmosphere that is nothing short of inclusive. The Miss America organization has done a great job of wrapping their arms around me. Everyone who I've come into contact with has been nothing but supportive."

She especially loved the lack of problems between her and fellow contestants and how bonding together has already made them lifelong friends.

According to an interview for Cosmopolitan, former South Carolinian Erin broke into the beauty pageant scene during college while still keeping her sexuality under wraps, not at all helped by her confusion over her knowing herself to be gay despite being a “feminine” girl. In her own words she claims, "It took many years of struggle to figure out who I was."

Quite surprisingly, Miss Missouri’s platform on her Miss America campaign is not the subject of sexuality itself, but one of its negative consequences or rather, the awareness of it. To be precise, O’Flaherty will focus on spreading her interest towards suicide prevention both within her community and out of it. This advocacy is spurred by her memories of losing a loved one to suicide during the age of 13, and hopes that sharing her story would inspire others to overcome the informal taboo of discussing suicide and thus get their problems out.

Erin O’Flaherty came out as a lesbian when she was 18 years old, and presently she owns and runs a clothing shop in St. Louis. While she was not the first lesbian woman to try to win the crown of Miss America, she is the first to actually win competition at the state level. On the world level, Miss Spain 2008 and 2013 as well as runner-up for Miss Universe 2013 Patricia Yurena Rodríguez only came out as gay after the facts, in 2014.

The Miss America 2017 beauty pageant will be held at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Sunday September 11, to be broadcast by ABC.

Photo Credit to


When Research in Motion Limited first introduced their BlackBerry “smart phone” with a physical QWERTY keyboard that was a godsend for text messaging, they became a new technological sensation. So ubiquitous was their brainchild and its succeeding versions that their company eventually adopted the product name for themselves. Millions worldwide bought it as a status symbol, despite the fact that its internet browsing capabilities back in the day left much to be desired. President Obama counted himself among the BlackBerry series’ high-profile users. But now, as Tech Crunch reports it, that time of domination, long dwindled to a shadow of its former self, now comes to a complete stop.

BlackBerry Limited has announced in their blog last Tuesday July 5 that they are soon to cease production of the BlackBerry Q20, better known as the BlackBerry Classic – the last in their series of smartphones sporting the tactile QWERTY keyboard and running the proprietary BlackBerry Mobile Operating System, that were once the face of bleeding edge mobile devices in the years before the advent of fully touchscreen smartphones.

BlackBerry COO and Devices GM Ralph Pini, who wrote the blog post announcement, said that the Q20 Classic and its predecessors – most notably the 2013 BlackBerry Q10 and the 2011 Bold 9900 – surpassed everyone’s expectations when it became their users’ trusted workhorse gadget of choice. But, as he went on, “The Classic has long surpassed the average lifespan for a smartphone in today's market. We are ready for this change so we can give our customers something better.”

The post, entitled Change is Only Natural: A Classic Model Makes Way", could now be considered an official epitaph, in a way, of the stalwart BlackBerry QWERTY devices, out of the manufacturer’s own mouth. As of last week, Politico had broken the news that the US Senate will phase out BlackBerries as the device of issue for its staffers.

According to an article by CNN regarding the announcement, BlackBerry Limited has long been beset on all sides by a veritable rising tide of competing brands and devices, namely Apple and its various iGadgets as well as Samsung and a gamut of other firms all running on the Android MOS by Google.

With no more new Q20 Classics rolling off the production line, BlackBerry intends to intensify its marketing focus on the Android-running BlackBerry Priv and its Leap smartphones using the latest iteration of the BB10 MOS. Thankfully, for the Classic smartphones still in stock to be sold, and the millions already in use out in the world, Pini promises that BlackBerry will continue to support these with timely software updates as needed, like the OS version 10.3.3.

Photo Credit to

Monday, July 25, 2016

MARVEL And FOX Collaborate On “X-MEN” Style TV Series

To those not in the know, Marvel and 20 th Century Fox have been at loggerheads for some time now. Having been granted cinema rights to the X-Men comic franchise, Fox had been resistant to giving it up back to Marvel to use in their now formidable in-house Marvel Studios. The rights entanglement has had some negative effects on the X-Men’s presence in the larger Marvel brand, downplaying and even excising their presence from merchandising and videogames, while the portrayal of the mutant heroes on the comic themselves have been…meh. It was feared that this impasse will have continued ad infinitum if Fox and Marvel’s current owner Disney had their way or something. Recent developments however may be pointing to a possible step at reconciliation.

Variety reports that just this Tuesday July 12, Marvel and Fox announced a collaboration to create a new TV series based on the “X-Men”. This is such a sure thing that Fox went so far as to put in a show pilot commitment to be written by “Burn Notice” creator Matt Nix. What this means is that Fox is obligated to show the show pilot on their FOX network to gauge audience interest in turning it into a full series; failure to do so would mean Fox is paying the production expenses out of its pocket.

The series, which has yet to be given a title, tells the story of two normal human parents who make a shocking discovery: their children are mutants with superhuman powers, and now their entire family is in the crosshairs of an anti-mutant government and its shadowy mutant-hunting agency. Forced to go on the run to survive, their only hope may lie with a secret network of mutants who are actually fighting back against the oppression.

Both Marvel Television (separate from the cinema-focused Marvel Studios) and 20 th Century Fox Television are involved in the production of the pilot, according to Comic Book Resources. Joining the project as executive producers are Lauren Schuler Donner, Simon Kinberg, Jim Chory, comics writer and Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb, and longtime “X-Men” film director Bryan Singer.

Sadly this new attempt at cooperation had certain repercussions. For instance, the other planned “X-Men” TV series on FOX about the super-villainous secret society “Hellfire” has been canned. Fortunately, a third “X-Men” related TV production on FX, “Legion” is still going strong in development, with show-runners and executive producers Evan Katz and Manny Coto, and writers John D. Payne and Patrick McKay.

While no release has been given for the pilot, this bodes quite well for a possible reunion between the embattled X-Men and the rest of the Marvel Universe. They certainly need it, if rumors regarding the “Death of X” comic book event ending all “X-Men” titles on print has some kernel of truth.

Photo Credit to