economy

Green jobs: not just some commie plot

Green jobs: not just some commie plot

Want to summarize the case for green jobs in one word? How about “Solyndra?” The fledgling solar company took $535 million of government loan guarantees (read “taxpayers’ money”) down with it when it went bankrupt last year. Even if the government thinks green jobs are a nifty idea, the market doesn’t… right?

Cards of Change: inspiring business cards

Cards of Change: inspiring business cards

In these tough economic times with depressingly high unrelenting unemployment, Cards of Change is a website that attempts to empower the unemployed and the laid-off and inspire them to engage their circumstances as an opportunity. This website, started by Tom Van Daele, a former creative director at TBWA/Chiat/Day before he was laid-off, attempts to do…

A sad day for the gays

A sad day for the gays

If you look at my Facebook account you’d think that the recession never hit us gays. One glimpse at my newsfeed and you’ll find many a fairy gallivanting around the globe like peacocks with charge cards and speedos. One good thing about being gay: no children to feed during harsh economic times. But then, this…

Street art of the times

Street art of the times

This street art spotted in Toronto offers some cheeky advice with a sense of humor for these difficult economic times, although I’m not sure if laughter is the best medicine for people whose savings are running on fumes and rent is due. At least in Canada the unemployed don’t have to worry about health insurance.

Trend-spotting at Sundance Film Festival 2010

Trend-spotting at Sundance Film Festival 2010

Image from HOWL

Journalists at film festivals invariably find themselves with the task of connecting the dots among dozens of disparate movies — looking for the big picture, whether in the form of a new fad or a larger cultural moment (e.g., last year’s elusive search, during a Sundance that coincided with a historic inauguration, for the quintessential Obama movie). Expect lots of trend-spotting once Sundance 2010 kicks off on Thursday night, and expect these three topics to get plenty of play:

Ghost malls

Ghost malls

Living in New York City we’re slightly cocooned visually from the negative impact the economy has had specifically on commercial centers such as strip malls, big-box retail shops, and shopping malls, that are typically ubiquitous to many cities and towns. Chicago photographer Brian Ulrich traveled the country over the past couple years documenting these vacant…

Green jobs: What if you don't want to weatherize houses?

Green jobs: What if you don't want to weatherize houses?

Most of the discussions you’ve heard about green jobs likely focus on blue-collar positions: just think about how many times the phrase “green collar jobs” is followed by “installing solar panels” and “weatherizing houses.” These are important discussions, no doubt, and organizations like the Apollo Alliance and Green for All deserve credit for bringing these opportunities into the debate over economic recovery.
But what if you’re an engineer, a marketing manager, or an administrative assistant?

Michael Moore's CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY

Michael Moore's CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY

Populist director Michael Moore takes a stab at the fat cats of Wall Street in his latest film CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY, a documentary about the financial crisis of 2007-2009 and the subsequent stimulus and bailout packages. CAPITALISM echoes similar themes from a 2003 Canadian documentary THE CORPORATION, a critical examination of the modern-day corporation and its behavior towards society.

Window dressing storefronts for the times

Window dressing storefronts for the times

As the economy is forcing many businesses to close leaving storefronts shuttered, artist James Reynolds came upon this genius solution that addresses the unsightliness of the boarded up and empty stores.

Post your rent window display

Post your rent window display

Candy Chang’s slightly voyeuristic interactive installation “I’ve Lived: Post-it Notes for Neighbors” featured fill-in-the-blank Post-It notes which covered the storefront window of Brooklyn vintage furniture shop,Yesterday’s News, and focused on one of the most obsessed topics in New York City: How much are my neighbors paying for their apartments? Locals were encouraged to participate by sharing this information and at the end of the project, she compiled the results into neat graphs and charts.

Burgernomics: The Big Mac index

Burgernomics: The Big Mac index

The Economist recently published their popular “Big Mac Index,” a semi-annual “lighthearted guide to valuing currencies” that “is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), which says that exchange rates should equalise the price of a basket of goods in each country.” The single baseline product for comparison is McDonald’s Big Mac which can…

Bag for the zeitgeist

Bag for the zeitgeist

This is an addendum to a luxury bag round up from back in April which included a Chanel bag designed to look like their shopping bag. Well here’s a do-it-yourself version that’s even more downtown and definitely more affordable that was spotted in the wild: As photographer Jerome succinctly summarized, “fake it till you make…

New York City transit authority's new slogan?

New York City transit authority's new slogan?

A hot button topic that every New Yorker has an opinion on, or rather complaint about, is the budget problem facing the city’s MTA and the uniformly hated solution to raise the fare across the board for public transportation. Cutbacks to public transportation and possible fare hikes aren’t unique to New York City in this…

100 abandoned houses

100 abandoned houses

Kevin Bauman photographed 100 abandoned houses in Detroit, creating a somewhat spooky tableau of the current recession. He writes: 100 seemed like a lot, although the number of abandoned houses in Detroit is more like 12,000. Encompassing an area of over 138 square miles, Detroit has enough room to hold the land mass of San…

Festival Kickoff: Movies to Watch Out For

Festival Kickoff: Movies to Watch Out For

Each January, as the Sundance Film Festival approaches, there’s a mad scramble among journalists and critics to pinpoint something, anything new to differentiate their articles from the ones they wrote last year—and usually they turn to the documentaries for their hook. One year it’s LGBT issues, another year it’s Iraq. This year, the festival’s 25th anniversary (well, since the Sundance Institute took over its management anyway), the popular “news hook” is the environment. By way of evidence, writers point to the number of environmental docs in competition this year: 5 out of 32 total. But I just looked at last year’s film guide and counted three environmental docs. From 3 to 5—not such a dramatic increase, is it?