October 25, 2019
Why We Sleep
As a years-long fan of Joe Rogan’s interview vehicle, The Joe Rogan Experience, I (Nat) tend not to miss any episodes. I even sit through the MMA pods even though my interest in the sport doesn’t dive much below the what floats on the surface. Recently though, on a road trip to Texas, our friend, client, and colleague Carl Merrill of Kingspoke Custom let me know I missed a big one. April 25, 2018 Rogan hosted Neuroscientist and Psychologist Dr. Mathew Walker. At the time of the taping, he’d recently come out with a book titled, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. To use a turn of phrase antithetical to this subject, the show, and now the book, have been really eye opening.
Sleep deprivation is a major tether that connects so many of the woes our modern lives are forced to endure. There are the more obvious and mistake-based downsides to not getting enough sleep like fatal car accidents and medical missteps. Then, there are some effects you might not expect. Sleep deprivation, like that seen in night-shift workers, is such a strong predictor of mortality in the form of prostate, breast and bowel cancer, that the WHO has classified it as a probable carcinogen. In the Spring, when we lose an hour of sleep due to Daylight Savings Time, heart attacks in the country increase 24%. Woah.
It’s spooky season. I mean, it’s always kinda spooky season for us, but in October we really get to engage with that which goes bump in the night. Our most recent purchase was Leanne Shapton’s March 2019 release called Guest Book: Ghost Stories. It’s a weird and wonderful take on the classic ghost story anthologies with which we grew up, combining words and strange imagery that tingle the spine from unexpected directions. There is the story of tennis great Billy Byron, tortured by the success demanded of him by his not-so-imaginary friend. There is the collection of bed photographs, contextless and austere, that when seen one after the other give passage to dark conclusions.
Funnily enough, the reviews of the Swimming Studies author’s latest release were mixed and drew criticism for not being scary enough. “I liked nothing about this book, very disappointing I will never rely on a recommendation from Martha Stewart magazine,” says one particularly miffed (and unintentionally hilarious) Amazon reviewer named Victoria. Our review? Guest Book is spooky in new and intriguing ways, with modern creepypasta-esque tones throughout. We highly recommend.
Spring Hofeldt’s work is playful, technically sound and just so so so pleasing to look at. We both have our favourites, Martha’s being a piece called Stay Sharp in which a shark fin protrudes from the mouth of a gravy boat. Most, if not all, of what she has for sale are prints of original acrylic paintings; works that are just photorealistic enough to trick you eye for a moment before they say, “ah, you got me. I’m not a real picture of a robin fishing for goldfish.”
Cheap Old Houses
This will be new to no one, but Cheap Old Houses is awesome. A completely unoriginal take, but one worth constantly repeating. Here, a house in need of saving in Rockport, Maine.
(heart eyes emoji, heart eyes emoji, heart eyes emoji)
Here’s the truth of it. Mainland Studio, is staffed and operated by two humans (that’d be me and Martha). Like other humans, the studio follows individuals and other companies it admires. We follow a ton of other creative studios and for the most part we enjoy the majority of the work they send out into the world. Few companies, though, blow us away as consistently as LAND. This week, they showed us what they’d been working on for skincare company Haoma. That sharp crack you just heard? That was LAND hitting another home run.
I won’t go into too much detail here as you really just need to check out the work for yourself. What I will say is that the branding they build is truly unlike anything else out there currently. They seem to quietly set trends for those in the know, leaving other studios to chase concepts they developed. Bravo, ya freaks.