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November 7, 2012 - Comments Off on Hurricane Sandy Incident / Relief Map

Hurricane Sandy Incident / Relief Map

As you may know, the east coast was hit very hard last week by hurricane Sandy. Most of us here lost power at our homes for part of the storm, but were otherwise unharmed. Many people all throughout the tri-state region were less fortunate and suffered greatly. Now, a week after the storm, much of New Jersey, Staten Island and Long Island are still reeling. Power has not been restored to many PSEG, ConEd and LIPA customers. Gas shortages in all areas persist, with people waiting hours in line to fill up. In an effort to help our neighbors and make the spread of information easier, we have set up a crowdsourced mapping site to share local knowledge about resources such as; shelters, emergency services, and fuel.

From the website:

This site was launched by The Mechanism, a digital agency in New York City for anyone who was affected by the recent hurricane that ravaged the Northeast. We hope that by using crowdsourcing, we'll be able give back to the city and surrounding areas that have helped us for the past 11 years.

WHAT ELSE TO THINK ABOUT
We'll be updating this list.

Remember that while giving is good, beware of those out there who are not good and are trying to trick you by taking your money. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene last year, the Federal Trade Commission's caution still holds true: "Scammers may try to take advantage of a disaster, and so consumers should be wary of urgent appeals for charitable donations, and watch out for fraudulent home repair schemes after a storm."

You can read more about avoiding home repair rip-offs and charity fraud from the FTC.

Also, the FBI has counselled on its Facebook page "to beware of fraudulent emails and websites claiming to conduct charitable relief efforts. Disasters prompt individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization or a good cause," and suggests reading "Tips on Avoiding Fraudulent Charitable Contribution Schemes" to learn more about avoiding online fraud.

As a crowdsourced map, the information comes directly from those on the ground and communication with those in the area. The information is curated as best as possible to ensure that the information is accurate and of use to those looking for information. If you would like to participate and share information about resources in your area the map can be found here: http://maps.themechanism.com

Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by the storm.

October 29, 2012 - Comments Off on Mischief Masquerade

Mischief Masquerade

Welcome ghouls and goblins to my crypt...or should I say apartment. Sandy, now dubbed the Frankenstorm (I see what you did there), has brought much of New York City to a screeching halt. Yet Halloween cannot be stopped. It allows us to dress up and let out part of us we otherwise cover up. I ended up doing a thrift store Halloween for less than $10. Green tshirt, brown pants, goatee and a box of Scooby Snacks made me Shaggy for a night.  The quest for a good costume idea is an exercise in creativity itself, not to mention the challenge of then realizing it. What do you want your costume to say about you? How much time and money are you willing to put into it? From childhood to adulthood, Halloween is frighteningly inspiring!

Decided to make a full comic feature Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series. In these stealth games you can sneak around in boxes. Here Snake uses one as a fill in costume.

Halloween isn't all candy and costumes though. We mustn't forget the whole idea behind it: horror. I've never been a huge fan of scary films but I enjoy one every now and then. However I'm willing to bet Zdzislaw Beksinski doesn't mind so much based on his frightening works. Bones and teeth overflow past each piece's sepia tinged borders. They are immensely stark works that fit the holiday perfectly.

 Say hello to Staggering Beauty. This strange interactive worm-like creature is quite scary. Shake around your mouse and you'll see what I mean (or maybe we're just scaring him?).

Dark worlds have always shined on screen. Film is not only immersive but also begs to be watched in the dark. Both contribute to our sens of fear. There's an undeniable feel to a good horror piece. The unshakable feeling that something lurks around every corner, blotted out by shadow. The recent game Dishonored, highlighted in an illustration a few weeks past, exudes a darkness from every pore with its haunting steampunk dystopian setting. This series of short animations are part of a prequel that sets the scene for the game. Their beauty and noir style makes them worth a watch regardless of your level of interest in the game proper.

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin from our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

Published by: benchirlin in The Sketching Mechanism
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August 26, 2011 - Comments Off on The P is for Paul

The P is for Paul

This week we saw an earthquake hit New York, a hurricane shutting down the city's massive subway system, Google forfeiting $500 Million generated by online ads for Canadian pharmacies and the aftermath of HP's decision to flat out get out of the PC business, but the biggest news of the week was the resignation of Steven P. Jobs as CEO of Apple.

Though it did not come as a surprise, what with the medical leave and the move of the publication of his biography from next year to this November, it did shock. We knew it was coming, and yet it startled us.

Many stories have been published in response to his resignation, and about the future of Apple, including many profiles of Tim Cook who was immediately named CEO in perfect succession.

[ Shame on all those who have only focused on the sexuality of the man whose operational genius allowed Apple to produce the Macs, iMacs, Macbooks, Airs, iPods, iPhones and iPads the way they wanted while simultaneously maintaining an envied inventory chain worldwide, leading Apple to profits so large they recently had more money in the bank than the US government and surpassed Exxon Mobile (for a brief period of time) as the world's most valuable company. So if you want to talk about who the man sleeps with go ahead, you are an idiot. ]

Jobs reinvented many industries and forced all of us to reconsider what we thought was the norm. There is a reason we always hear the question "how would Apple do it?"

I was tempted to include lists to my favorite articles concerning the resignation, a quick search would yield many of those. Instead I'll share this: I wrote my university application essays on a Mac. All my college papers, dissertations, assignments, all done on Macs. I made a website to sell the arts, in 1993, on a Mac. All the career-elevating work I've ever done in my life, happened on a Mac (and now on an iPhone and an iPad as well). All the work we are doing here for our clients, happens mostly on Macs (and every time we have to test a website on a PC I am reminded why). Many call such loyalty fanboy-ism, and yes, there is a touch of that, but the truth is simpler. At every step of our lives when we wanted to challenge ourselves, when we had to challenge ourselves creatively, when we've pursued something so large we weren't sure how we could do it, or whether we could do it at all, an Apple product helped us forge ahead. It really is that simple.

Oh alright, one link, the commencement speech is really a must see.

And in the spirit of all those amazing keynotes that I will surely miss:

One More Thing.

Pixar.

Because of Pixar we know that Apple will have a bright future without Steve Jobs as CEO. Jobs has been an integral part of the growth of Pixar and yet we seldom think of him when talking about the unprecedented string of multi-billion-dollar-earning movies created by the studio. Because Jobs' biggest contribution at Pixar is the company's team and culture, the way they work and create, in essence the company itself. Likewise, Jobs' greatest accomplishment at Apple is not any of the many products they've created but a team, a work ethic, a company capable of producing them.

The Thinking Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Fridays, covering the ideas The Mechanism is thinking and talking about with our peers and clients.

Published by: antonioortiz in Pharmaceuticals, The Thinking Mechanism
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