180° South

180° South - Conquerors of the Useless

A commenter put me onto this new movie 180° South, specifically it’s a film about surfing, sailing and climbing, but generally it’s a remake of a legendary trip and film from 1968. Interesting slide show of the trip here too (narration over photos, so simple, so good, can’t believe I haven’t seen this sort of thing before?)


It’s this original trip that has really caught my imagination – Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia & Black Diamond) and Doug Tompkins (founder of The North Face), plus three other chums set off in an old camper van to surf, ski and climb their way through South America, on their way to be the 3rd team to climb Mt. Fritzroy (Cerro Fitz Roy) in Patagonia (it’s that iconic granite slab used on the Patagonia logo).

Unfortunately I can’t find the original film (Mountain of Storms) online other than this short clip (voice over is hilarious), but just ordered the dvd from the Patagonia store.

But the fascinating story continues today as Doug Tompkins (with a bit of help from Yvon) is buying up huge chunks of wilderness in Chile and Argentina and creating his own national park which on completion will be given back to the government. Apparently he’s now one of the top land owners in the world, with an estimated 2 million odd acres!

Side note: The first person to climb Mt. Fritzroy was legendary French climber Lionel Terray (with Guido Magnone in 1952) and interestingly the title ‘Conquerors of the Useless’ references the title of his autobiography.

More awesome wedding invites

More awesome wedding invites

Stumbled onto Studio On Fire’s blog Beast Pieces. Plenty of gorgeous letterpress work, but particularly taken by the collection of wedding invites they’ve printed. Loving the ligatures on the invite above by (the groom) Jefferson Perky.

It’s interesting that they print a whole set of cards, invites, RSVP’s, thankyou cards etc all in one go – “One of the things that we do to make printing them affordable is run all of the pieces on the same press sheet. Our presses are big enough to run several different cards on the same press sheet, then trim them down to size. This represents a huge cost savings over printing individual cards, setting up the press for each form on each card”.

Lovemix Boombox:

Lovemix Boombox

Great old school boombox with the love dial set to max, designed by Adam Ramerth. This design is even available for customisation if you’re interested.

Lovely set:

Wedding invite

Loving all the colour combos and mix of paper stock & printing techniques. Great all together set with nice envelope labels, perforated RSVP’s and even tiny little envelope to send it back in. Designed by Erin Jang.

I love New Zealand

Mt. Cook Map

Haven’t actually been there, but I am planning to go next year, only fair since they’ve named a mountain after me ;). Linz (Land Information New Zealand) just released a new series of 1:50k today, so I headed over expecting it part with a fair amount of cash to buy all the maps I needed to walk the 1800 mile Te Araroa. Much to my delight you can download them all for free!

Good work New Zealand, I only wish more countries would make their maps available for free :)

Your name & the internet


Up until today I wished I made a more unique name than Simon Cook, there’s shit loads of them out there! I could never get near the top of the google rankings, although I’m now slowly making my way up there, currently 5th :)

But I’ve seen 2 things today that made me happy that I’ve got loads of other namesakes. First up is this Personas site by Aaron Zinman from MIT it searches the internets for you and your namesakes and creates a visual aggregation of their online identities. I think the final result is a bit of a let down (I’m sure Jonathan Harris could do some much more interesting with the data). But watching the other Simon Cook’s and things they are up to flashing across the screen was quite fascinating.

Craig Robinson

Then I randomly went to see what Craig Robinson (Flip Flop Flyin’) was up to. He’s snapped up CraigRobinson.com when it became available, and rather than use it himself, he’s made a site linking up all the Craig Robinsons out there!

I love the idea, I think there should be a law that ‘name URLs’ should link up everyone that shares the name. I would definitely do the same if SimonCook.com ever became available.

Channel 4 now on a Mac

No idea when this actually happened, but finally they’ve sorted out whatever DRM issues were forcing them to make 4oD PC only and it’s now viewable on a Mac :)

I don’t watch broadcast TV anymore, why would you when you have on demand? Even though the BBC iPlayer is so amazing, it’s good to have the option of another channel.

Right I’m off to get my fix of Channel 4 On Demnd right now.

Update: Blimey it’s a bit of a nightmare trying to find programmes on there, the navigation is garbage… Stick all the shows in massive drop down box? Wtf is that all about?