Thursday, 22 December 2011

2011 in review: the 30 most important cats

Don't get me wrong, I like dogs. Dogs are nice and warm and friendly and just want you to love them and play with them for ever and ever. Cats, on the other hand are selfish and manipulative and don't give a damn what you think. Which is what makes them so much more interesting and funny. The internet is awash with examples of just how much funnier cats are than dogs. With the exception of this video.

So here, courtesy of my friend Rach, are the 30 most important cats of 2011. So very funny, I might have started crying after watching number 5: video-ruining cat.

I want a cat.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

2011 In Review: most powerful photos of 2011, version 1

I call this version one because I anticipate many photo retrospectives over the coming weeks. However, this Buzzfeed one has really been doing the rounds so I thought it was worth a mention. In has some genuinely amazing photos but also a strong American-bias.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

2011 In Review: the best protest signs

You have to scroll down past George Clooney but there is a slideshow of the best protest signs of 2011 – many from Occupy Wall Street, others from Egypt or on the subject of gay marriage. Many of them are quite brilliant – definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

I’m SIRI-proof

According to Wikipedia, Siri is an intelligent software assistant. Originally intended for all Blackberry and Android-powered phones, Apple purchased the software and so that was it for all other users. Non-Apple phones / computers / devices have their own equivalent but I’m going to call them all Siri today, for the purposes of simplification.

My Boss has Siri on her beautiful new phone and she loves it. It works so well and it’s fun and it’s just better. Right up until the time she asked it to call me.

My full name is Birgit. You might have met a Birgit before but that’s pretty unlikely. We’re a very rare breed of people, and the oh-so-advanced software that is Siri can’t cope with my name. The closest it could get to the request ‘Call Birgit’ was ‘Call teargard’. Not useful or even logical. It could cope with more common names, just nothing out of the ordinary.

Techies have been working on this software for years, it is presumably available to Apple customers in Scandinavia where the name Birgit originates. Do they have the same problem?

How hard can it be?

So if you want to call Jane, you can use your Siri. If you want to call me I’m afraid you’re just going to have to scroll through your electronic contacts list like ordinary people.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

2011 In Review: Fashion by numbers have done a delightful slideshow of the fashionable year 2011, by the numbers.

Or those of you who are a little fashion nerdy like me, this is totally something to perk up the start of your day or that felafel wrap you're eating at your desk at lunch.

The Art of Dancing by Luke and Lewis

Luke and Lewis bad dance through the advent calendar. Best thing ever this December.

December 1st - 'Woman' by Wolfmother from lewisnluke on Vimeo.

Watch them do a new dance every day for your dose of cheer.

Monday, 12 December 2011

2011 In Review

The end of the year is looming fast. Less than 2 weeks until christmas, less than 3 weeks until new years, less than 3 weeks to get my life in order before 2012.

Along with the stress of trying to find the perfect christmas gift for your cousins you never see, the pressure to make the right new years celebratory decision and desperately attempting to finish your work load before every but you goes on holiday, December is also about end-of-year round ups; the 'Best ofs' 'Worst ofs', 'big stories', so on and so forth.

Here on Style from the Suburban Intellectual we're feeling lazy about our blogging so in coming weeks there will be a bit of relaying of these best and worst of's. Also, I'm reading Pillars of the Earth (1088 pages) so it's going to be a while before I post a book review.

I'm going to start the new theme off with the 20 best free fonts from 2011. Really.

Random fashionable collaboration news

Marni is doing another collaboration with H&M and I want it!

This is a crappy blog post but I'm drinking red wine and full of purple-spotted-coat-lust so I don't care.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

So, I'm a Twitter fan. Not an obsessive fan, just a fan. I got into it for work and then socially,now I tweet most days ... this is starting to sound like an addication but really, it's not. As a social platform Twitter is fun and useful and revolutionising communication while being the new ultimate time-waster. It can be an interesting place to 'hang out' and a lot of the cool things I talk about on this blog I find directly or indirectly through Twitter. I have even posted an info-graphic on Twitter [I love info-graphics].

What I am posting about today is the yearly round-up of Twitter. The twitter-powers-that-be are slowly releasing their year in review, with lists of the most trending topics, which note-able people joined and also interesting news stories that have a basis or tie with Twitter. My favourite was this story of a guy in Portland, Oregon who saved his Mum's bookstore with one tweet. It's kind of amazing story and you can either watch it just below or read about it and other Twitterworld stories online. There are also cool facts like the most tweets sent in one second - which wasn't for the moment Brasil were eliminated from the Copa America, though at 7,166 tweets it came close - or that #Eygpt was the most used hastag all year, and that Charlie Sheen, who only joined Twitter in March 2011 was the most talked about actor. Twitter - it's not just about meaningless drivel.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The multi-purpose shoe

Daniela Bekerman is an industrial designer who has a bit of a mixed portfolio. What I like on her website are these shoes with removable heals:

I think they're a fantastically cool idea. Plus, I would wear all of the versions all of the time!

Super adorable, I believe is the expression.

Photographs from Daniela Bekerman's website.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

When bad movies get good reviews

I would like to start this blog entry with a sweeping statement:

I have never read any of the Twilight series but I think they’re crap.

Said it.

In order to not be completely out of the loop on this butt-of-pop-culture-mockery, I have instead read Mark Reads’ excellent assessment of each book, and have enjoyed his passionate abuse as much as I have been horrified by the occasional passages he cites from the books themselves.

I therefore very much enjoyed this review of the just released / upcoming / I don’t care, whatever installment of the Twilight movie saga. I particularly liked:

“Thus begins a montage of Bella trying to seduce Edward, which is problematic because (Kristen) Stewart has all the sex appeal of a damp carrot.” - Paul Verhoeven


"Would it help if I got a spray tan?"

Have you made your will yet?

I was asked at lunch today if I would be doing anything interesting this evening. No, just staying and doing jobs such as finishing off my will. My statement prompted a lot of questions from the girls I was lunching with: Why was I writing a will? Was it legal? How was I doing it? Could you include last requests? We talked about it for a while and when we all got up to go back to work, two of them told me that I’d inspired them to write theirs.

Writing a will is incredibly important task. It's about you taking responsibility for your assets, your debts, your loved ones and your dependents. We’re told that you should write or make a new will at key junctions in your life – when you get married, when you have children, if you get divorced. Really, you can write a will at any time of your life and I think you should do it as soon as you have some savings or superannuation or even when you’re in a committed relationship.

Writing a will is simple, straightforward and thought-provoking. All you have to do is buy a $22 Will Kit from Australia Post and fill in the blanks. The form doesn't leave a lot of room for specifics or special requests but it covers all the basics such as power of attorney, place of burial or cremation and most importantly, it’s legal. As you get older and especially when you have dependents, you’ll need something only a lawyer can draw up for you, but this ‘beginners’ version is the best place to start.

It looks like this.

Sitting at the kitchen table last night, I got to thinking about bequests. Looking around my apartment I really thought ‘whoever wants it can have it’, but that’s not very helpful and perhaps legally not a good move. So I had to think – what do I leave my brother, what do I leave my parents? Friends, boyfriend…what possessions do I have that will really mean something and act as a post-mortem reminder of the life I lived with them? This fill-in-the-blanks will doesn’t have any room for personal messages, so one of my ‘jobs’ to do over the coming weeks is to write last letters to those people I loved most, to be sealed up and hopefully not opened for decades to come.

This might sound a bit maudlin but it isn’t at all; it’s just sensible. I may be young and have family-longevity on my side but life has no guarantees. Having a will means that should the unexpected happen, the people I love most in the world will have fewer issues to deal with and will be looked after. Ont he topic of being looked after, I learnt something at lunchtime today: I had always presumed that if you died intestate then your assets would automatically go to your next of kin. One of the girls told me this isn’t so. In the case of joint ownership of assets then the surviving owner usually takes full possession but other assets such as savings, your car, or anything you own as an individual pass to the Government to be dealt with. She’s marrying a lawyer and they own property together, I trust her statements on this.

So seriously, if you own ‘stuff’, have a nice bank account and particularly if you have a partner, write a will. You can get your basic kit for $22 from your local Post Office. It’s the best $22 insurance policy you can buy.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Horrible Histories

So this is not particularly stylish but it is a bit intellectual.

'Horrible Histories' is an educational (shudder) kids' series on the ABC, based on the best-selling books. The show has awesome segment titles like 'Slimy Stuarts' and 'Rotten Romans', musical numbers and lots of really bad jokes. It makes history fun and entertaining. The show can also be down-right clever and for a Monday morning I thought I would share this segment with those of you who have not yet discovered just how good this show is:

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Guess who I went to see last night?

Well, not in Vegas, obviously. But yeah. Be jealous, because it was awesome.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

QUT Fashion 2011 Graduate Show

Last night was the opening night of the QUT Fashion 2011 Graduate Show and Kiki and I were lucky enough to be in the audience. The evening showcased 24 of 26 graduates' collections, usually of 6 pieces, produced with love sweat and doubtless a few tears. This show is the culmination of 4 years hard work as a QUT fashion student and is a student's launchpad into the great wide commercial world of fashion.

I arrived at The Block early and luckily got to have a quick chat with Adele Turner, one this years' graduates and the only one to produce an accessories collection. Hers was not just a fashion project but an international community cooperation one as well. She designs and produces samples of her work here and the bags are then handmade by craftsmen in India, who learn valuable skills, earn a proper wage and are even supported to start their own business. As Adele said – sustainable at both ends. I was lusting after one of her beautiful creations but didn't have the cash on me, so I'm hoping to get an invite to her launch next year and nab one then...

The beautiful Adele Turner with her creations.

Milling outside waiting for the show to start, it was clear most of the audience were friends, family and supporters of the graduates, as well as a few sponsor reps such as a delegation from Westfield Chermside who awarded prizes for the most commercially viable collection at the end of the night.

Kiki and I had an absolute blast. Sparkling to kick the night off and a goodie bag on our seats might have helped. Our seats in the second row turned out to be a first-timers mistake – if you can't first row, go third or last, they're elevated. Still, we were in a good enough position for me to try my hand at fashion photography for the first time.

Helena Chung

Ali Kornhauser

Of the 302 photos I took, I could delete about 80 for being out of focus and another 80 for being either of models' backs or first-row hair. Still, what I couldn't photograph I could see and I loved it. It was so exciting to sit there and watch so much local talent parade past you. Some of the collections – Franchesca Blardony and Jacqueline Curren to name a couple - I positively swooned over.

Franchesca Blardony

Jacqueline Curren

Emily McGuire

Katrina Gaskin - the only lingerie collection, and genuinely lust-worthy.

The more outlandish collections were wonderful to look at, if slightly less street-ready.

Allanah Sarafian - theatre costumes

Angela Jhang

It was a night of amazing talent that we as a stylish cultured city can be proud of. When in a few years' time I'm wearing my Phoebe Younger for CUE, Chelsea Whitbread or Meredith Hewitt I will a delightful sense of pride; and smugness, that I saw their first ever collections.

Chelsea Whitbread

If you're at all interested in fashion buy your ticket now to this fun and fabulous show. It runs November 29 – December 2 but Friday night is sold out.

Emily McGuire and an enraptured audience.

Fiona Lai

Kirsty Glynn's stunning high-romance/colonial inspired collection.

Photos are the author's own, of original work by QUT fashion students. No offence or infringment is intended in the publication of these photos. Any issues or requests for withdrawal will be attended to immediately. Please contact me if there are for problem resolution.
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