Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Lives of the iPhone Workers

I think it’s easy for us, as privileged Americans, to believe that our gadgets appear from God. iPhone broken? Well, I needed to upgrade to a G4 anyway. Plop down the credit card; like magic, the new technology appears.

Joel Johnson provides a more sobering view of where our technology comes from. In Shenzhen, China, more than 420,000 (nearly half a million!) workers manufacture the parts that power our iPhones, laptops, and a whole slew of gadgets. One of the more particularly sobering facts is the knowledge that 11 suicides took place at the factory earlier this year. Nets surrounding the dormitory buildings have curbed the suicides.

The facilities seem run-down but clean. Conditions for the workers in the factory aren’t visible–I guess we’ll have to wait for Johnson’s article in Wired later this month.

Filed under: china, consumerism, technology, work, , , , , , , ,

Father and Son Launch Homemade Camera into Space

Vodpod videos no longer available.

God, I love (and am addicted to) the Internet. Found this cool video made by a father-and-son team of their home science project: a weather balloon-powered spacecraft capturing spectacular images of the earth at 100,000 feet.

An ordinary weather balloon, foam insulation, an iPhone and HD video camera. Luke Geissbühler, the father, said that the project did not require FAA approval. Pretty darn cool.

Filed under: media, science, technology, , , ,

A New York Streetscape via iPhone

I’ve blogged about artist Jorge Colombo in the past. He’s got a wonderful eye for the dynamism that is New York and uses his iPhone to sketch fast, evocative images of the city.

In this new video entitled “Traffic Light,” check out Colombo’s process as he sketches a typical streetscape at night. Small things–like the choice of painting in purple and blue hues first–intrigue the non-visual artist in me.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Filed under: art, technology, , , , , , , ,

Jane Lynch Spoofs the iPhone 4

It’s hard not to love Jane Lynch.

Her perfect timing, hard-edged exterior, and outrageous, foul-mouthed utterances–all delivered with an impish smile. This spoof of the new iPhone is hilarious. Happy Tuesday.

Filed under: comedy, consumerism, technology, , , ,

Finger-painting New York on iPhones

Jorge Colombo, a regular artist for The New Yorker, has been sketching glimpses of New York City since May. Not so unusual, save for the fact that he makes these images on his iPhone: dead-end streets beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, sunsets over the East River, families watching that iconic train schedule board at Penn Station.

091102_colombo_p154

He uses an application called Brushes on his iPhone. What was his inspiration?

“I got a phone in the beginning of February, and I immediately got the program so I could entertain myself,” says Colombo, who first published his drawings in The New Yorker in 1994. Colombo has been drawing since he was seven, but he discovered an advantage of digital drawing on a nighttime drive to Vermont. “Before, unless I had a flashlight or a miner’s hat, I could not draw in the dark.” (When the sun is up, it’s a bit harder, “because of the glare on the phone,” he says.) It also allows him to draw without being noticed; most pedestrians assume he’s checking his e-mail.

The artist at work is a joy to watch: Colombo begins in broad strokes of color, then adds layers that might contain skylines and geometric shapes, finally ending with specific details. There’s a neon-like quality to the Brushes application that also intrigued me. Read more about Colombo and his New Yorker covers.

Filed under: art, , , , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
July 2020
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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