Thursday, March 06

The Trivial Eye: Foreign Posters for Hollywood Movies

by Jason Toon

These days, the posters for Hollywood movies usually look pretty much the same everywhere, except for the language. But there was a time when it was more common for local distributors and exhibitors put together their own posters to appeal to local audiences. And their re-imaginings can be more interesting than the movies themselves. Sometimes they'd interpret the movie's theme symbolically. Sometimes they'd latch on to some detail that the American producers considered secondary. Sometimes they'd take a completely different tone or visual style. And sometimes they'd make some crap up and hope it got people in the door. Can you recognize any of these well-known Hollywood flicks from their foreign posters?

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Tuesday, September 24

Watch This First: Walter White on Chemistry

by Jason Toon

As Breaking Bad money-barrels toward its heartbreakingly good conclusion, a lot of us are reflecting on Walter White's long, sad descent. This kinetic typography video (remember those?) does so through Walt's brief monologue about chemistry from the show's very first episode. Change indeed.
 


Watch Watch This First first, every weekday morning. Because the best way to start the day is to start it a few minutes later.

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Thursday, September 05

 

Wednesday, May 08

The Trivial Eye: Chairs of the 20th Century

by Jason Toon

If you wanted to be a truly legendary designer during the 20th century, you had to make at least one great chair. The world we live in - offices, especially - is adorned with countless knockoffs of the innovative chair designs of the masters. You'll doubtless recognize the shapes and angles of these chairs - but can you name them and their designers?

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Wednesday, December 05

The Trivial Eye: Beer Labels

by Jason Toon

Breweries have traditionally spent a lot of time designing distinctive, elaborate labels, which is weird because it's not like people need a lot of encouragement to drink beer. Just look at that plain can Archie Bunker drank: he knew it's what's on the inside that matters, not the outside. Anyway, if you've spent a lot of time locked in a lonely stare with a vessel of suds, you'll have no trouble identifying the beers and brewers associated with these visual chasers. Congratulations?

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Wednesday, August 15

The Trivial Eye: School Movie Posters

by Jason Toon

School: crucible of learning, forge of character, backdrop to films both sublime and substandard. As us Woot bloggers think about school all week for our Dealgebra 101 event, we'd be remiss not to reflect on some of our most powerful formative experiences: the ones we watched other people having. Can you name these eight filmic adaptations of the educational experience, as depicted by their posters?

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Wednesday, August 08

The Trivial Eye: Olympic Pictograms

by Jason Toon

The organizers of London 2012 mangled the logo. They fumbled the mascot. But they did get one other piece of Olympic design right: the pictograms. No cheesy attempt to be contemporary. No contrived translation of ancient visual styles. Just a clean, sharp set of universal-symbol athletes with just enough visual dash to keep it interesting. But are they accurate enough to bring to mind the sports they represent? You tell us... what sports are we looking at here?

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Wednesday, August 01

The Trivial Eye: Olympic Mascots

by Jason Toon

Amid all the ridicule for the London 2012 Olympic logo, it's easy to overlook the equally bizarre Wenlock and Mandeville, the official mascots for this year's games. Some say they're a bold departure, others say they're softening up the youth of Earth for the imminent metal-cyclops takeover. But one thing's for sure: most of us will forget about them before the last empty can of lager has been cleared from the Olympic village. Take these eight mascots of Olympiads past: do you remember their names and the games they represented?

Answers are here. Please post your guesses, speculations, or arguments below! But know this: the Trivial Eye is presented for public amusement and no prizes are offered other than that familiar feeling of aggravation that so much of your mind is occupied by useless trivia.

You want more Trivial Eye, don't you? Yeah, you do.

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Wednesday, July 11

The Trivial Eye: CD Covers of the '90s

by Jason Toon

If the '70s was the last great age of vinyl (and record covers) and the '80s squirmed beneath the cruel plastic jackboot of the cassette, the '90s unquestionably belonged to the compact disc. The major labels thought they'd found the goose that laid the shiny silver egg. By the end of the decade, they were selling over 900 million CDs a year in the U.S. alone.

But like a disillusioned sophomore who has just blown five hours of her Hardee's wages on a disc with one-and-a-half good songs, music consumers soon found the "skip" button. CD sales are now a quarter what they were at the end of Clinton administration. This year, revenue from digital music sales will probably surpass physical sales for the first time. And it seems that every few months, there's another report about the major labels perhaps killing CDs altogether. After all the claims that CDs attained eternal perfection in music formats, it didn't take long for them to become as dated as 8-tracks or 78s.

Let us remember the CD era by remembering the 90s albums represented in the cover snippets below...

Answers are here. Please post your guesses, speculations, or arguments below! But know this: the Trivial Eye is presented for public amusement and no prizes are offered other than that familiar feeling of aggravation that so much of your mind is occupied by useless trivia.

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Wednesday, June 27

The Trivial Eye: World Soccer Jerseys

by Jason Toon

The Euro 2012 soccer championships are coming to a close, and World Cup 2014 in Brazil doesn't seem that far away. Major tournaments like these are more than just a showcase for great soccer: they're also the way millions of Americans learn what a nil-nil draw is, or what people from Slovenia and Cote d'Ivoire look like. Here are eight shirts worn in either the Euro 2012 or World Cup 2010 tournaments - can you identify the countries whose players wore them?

Answers are here. Please post your guesses, speculations, or arguments below! But know this: the Trivial Eye is presented for public amusement and no prizes are offered other than that familiar feeling of aggravation that so much of your mind is occupied by useless trivia.

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