Archive for 2009

Scott Pilgrim, God Lives Underwater, tech news

I actually haven’t been wasting much time on YouTube, webcomics and lolcats this year (yet), but I will share these few items collected since the New Year.
Scott Pilgrim
I’ve read the first four Scott Pilgrim graphic novels and eagerly await the fifth volume, due out on February 4, 2009.
Now, is there going to be a [...]

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Digital TV delayed? (and sleepy cats, PS2)

At midnight on February 17, 2009, all television broadcasts are supposed to switch from analog to 100% digital. Though now there may be a delay because the federal government has run out of funds for digital converter box coupons. In any case, this video is amusing: Cable PSA.
It’s the future! The New York Times [...]

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Barack Obama’s inauguration, Dear Sister revisited

Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States this morning. It’s exciting. It’s official. His speech was moving and hopeful. A new era of responsibility?

Obama said: “This is the price and the promise of citizenship. This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us [...]

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Havidol, Dr. Horrible, funny cats and GigaPan

A friend sent this article to me: “Art Tackles Big Pharma.” I think it’s more than a year old, but I don’t remember seeing it before. It’s a fake ad campaign for Havidol, a drug treating Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder. DSACDAD is an illness characterized by a sense of lingering unhappiness. [...]

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Super Bowl, CrackBerry, network neutrality, resveratrol

On the edge of a weekend that includes the Super Bowl, the finals of the Australian Open and the men’s basketball Civil War (starring Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson, who is Barack Obama’s brother-in-law), I have a bunch of random things to share.
It’s interesting how Obama ultimately got to keep his CrackBerry, I [...]

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Pharm animals, The Prisoner and Caduceus Cellars

Today we’ve got science, art and technology . . . to the seventh degree.
1. Pharm animals
Would you like some therapeutic drug milk? Here’s an interesting story about another controversial FDA approval: “F.D.A. Approves Drug From Gene-Altered Goats.” They are producing drugs in the milk of genetically engineered goats, rabbits, hamsters and more. The world [...]

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Back from Arizona, with links

Here is some stuff I have read and watched recently, mostly while in Arizona last week.
Google PowerMeter
Google recently released prototype software that allows users to receive real-time home energy usage data from compatible “smart meters” and use that information to optimize their energy use. Read the article: “Google PowerMeter: For A Planet In Peril.” [...]

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WordPress 2.7.1 upgrade (and cool art)

Today I got around to upgrading spiral::notepad to WordPress 2.7.1, which is the first maintenance release for 2.7. It’s a bug-fix version that was two months in the making. Keeps getting better.
Now, to help fill out this post, I will share some cool art and technology, with assistance from Gizmodo.
With the Academy Awards happening [...]

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Satellites and space debris (plus Achievement Unlocked)

Before I get into music and entertainment links, I will start with a depressing space-related science article chain.
Satellites

Uh-oh (Feb. 11): “Debris Spews Into Space After Satellites Collide.” Did this collision between a U.S. communications satellite and a defunct Russian satellite just create a new atmospheric minefield for future space launches?
Very cool (Feb. 23): “Satellite [...]

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Narwhal, Leeroy Jenkins and music videos

I’m going to start today’s post with some animals and Muppets, then move on to cartoons and video game characters and ultimately end up with singing, dancing, basketball-playing human beings. Go!
Narwhal
Narwhal are interesting, with their helical tusks. Compare and contrast Weebl’s Stuff’s silly looping Narwhals animation to this report about the real-life sea creatures: [...]

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Pink dolphin, asteroid flyby and Watchmen

See the world’s only pink bottlenose dolphin, found in Lake Calcasieu in Louisiana: “Pink dolphin appears in US lake.” They’ve dubbed this rare albino dolphin Pinky.
A large asteroid just missed hitting the Earth last week. Watch video: Huge Meteor “Just Misses” Earth. We almost had another Tunguska.
Littlewood’s law is fascinating. It states that “one [...]

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Stanley Donwood, microscopic Alice, SXSW, Twitter

I enjoy the insights and random tidbits found in artist Stanley Donwood’s Slowly Downward Taglibro. See last week’s issue, Taglibro 14, and subscribe to Donwood’s irregular ‘news’paper.
(For the uninitiated: Stanley Donwood is perhaps most famous for producing a lot of Radiohead’s album and promotional art over the years. I love the guy. I received [...]

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Typefaces, geeks, Syfy and March Madness

As a graphic designer, I love this: Periodic Table of Typefaces. Design firm Squidspot created it.
This is another amusing chart, illustrating a range of geekiness that includes published science fiction/fantasy authors, Renaissance fair folk, Trekkies and even erotic furries: The Geek Hierarchy.
So, what’s the difference between a geek and a nerd? Ah: Geeks and [...]

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Free SXSW music, NIN|JA EP and garden yeti

Missed out on SXSW ‘09? Do not despair. Over 1,000 free MP3s by SXSW artists have been reviewed and can be downloaded here: “Six-Word Reviews of 1,302 SXSW Mp3s.” Also, here is a live performance MP3 by The Decemberists (and many others) from this year’s SXSW.
I’ve been listening to the free NIN|JA EP (made [...]

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Batman logo evolution, art, brackets, narcissism

Art and design

Check out this cool animation of how the iconic Batman logo has been refreshed or re-branded over time: Batman Logo Evolution.
I enjoyed the variety of cool illustrations (and Mario wallpaper) by smashmethod on deviantART.
Take a look at these awesome Ghost in the Machine cassette tape portraits from iri5 on Flickr. There are also [...]

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DLF.TV, Jason Lytle, BigDog robot, Hotelicopter

David Lynch Foundation Television (DLF.TV) was officially launched this week. It’s an online TV channel that features events and exclusive video content from David Lynch. This production wing of the non-profit David Lynch Foundation shares its mission to provide at-risk students with the opportunity to learn how to meditate. Lynch is a famous advocate [...]

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Alice in Wonderland, Spike Jonze, DOOM, Kafka

I’m very curious about Tim Burton’s plans for his live-action 3D version of Alice in Wonderland, especially how much animation/CGI he’ll use. The cast includes Johnny Depp and Crispin Glover, plus Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter as the queens. Read more: “Tim Burton Talks Alice In Wonderland.” The film isn’t scheduled to be [...]

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April Fools’ Day, self-publishing, World Expo 2010

Today is not a very good day to try to read the news, because there’s always doubt. Is it real or is it an Internet annoyance?
April Fools’ Day
Google did its usual array of hoaxes for 2009, this time featuring a panda named CADIE (the world’s first Cognitive Auto-Heuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity) who showed up everywhere! [...]

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FriendFeed beta, Twitter and Facebook

A new FriendFeed beta interface was released today. Launched in late 2007, FriendFeed is a social aggregator or lifestreaming service for sharing information with your friends. After fooling around with it last May following WebVisions 2008, I was inspired to start using FriendFeed today because the redesigned beta release looks really nice (even Twitteresque).
FriendFeed [...]

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Tweeting cat door, social apps, college basketball

I thought this was very cool: “Twitter-Enabled Cat Door Tweets a Kitty’s Comings and Goings.” The cats have RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags on their collars. A connected laptop automatically tweets each time the RFID door is activated. You can follow Gus and Penny (the cats) on Twitter. Coincidentally, the clever guy who set [...]

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Gus Van Sant, Corewar, shell pasta, science

Today Portland-based director Gus Van Sant supposedly announced his next project via Twitter: “My next film is Dustin Lance Black’s adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’. It’s going to be really funny.” I am very excited to see what Van Sant does with Wolfe’s excellent book on Ken Kesey and his [...]

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Gardening, Disney, Michael Bay, powerful brands

Below are some links I found interesting over the past 10 days.
I’ve spent a lot of my free time gardening lately. I guess it’s mostly garden preparation (read: shovel rage and weeder fury) at this point. Maybe next weekend I will plant some everbearing strawberries, probably Hecker (read about strawberry varieties). (I also plan to [...]

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Swine flu apocalypse, WTF and sparkly unicorns

As we all ponder the swine flu apocalypse, here are two Google Maps of international swine flu cases that I found helpful: NPR’s Confirmed Cases Of Swine Flu Across The Globe and H1N1 Swine Flu. There hasn’t been a case confirmed in Oregon, yet.
Now, to counter the influenza epidemic/pandemic panic, below are eight days worth [...]

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Map projection, technology, street art, Auto-Tune

As has become the norm with this blog, here are about nine days worth of links I’ve stored up.
Cartography and fonts
These are very cool maps: Here & There: a horizonless projection in Manhattan. Also see the following blog post for some map inspiration: Here & There influences.
Font Fight is all-out typeface-off. It’s CollegeHumor’s sequel [...]

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Short films, Star Trek, gardening, Memorial Day

Looks like I’ve forgotten to post in a couple of weeks (not counting my daily nonsense at Twitter). Below are some amusements I’ve stumbled upon since last time.
Short film series
On June 1, David Lynch will launch Interview Project, a 121-part documentary series featuring portraits of Americans from all over the country. Check out a [...]

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WebVisions 2009 in review: Part one

On Thursday and Friday, May 21-22, I am attending the WebVisions 2009 conference at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Below is a quick overview of all five sessions I attended on Thursday, with links. Many of the slides from these sessions and others are available at SlideShare. See Twitter updates using #wv09.
(Also see [...]

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WebVisions 2009 in review: Part two

This is a continuation of WebVisions 2009 in review: Part one.
On Thursday and Friday, May 21-22, I attended the WebVisions 2009 conference at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Below is a quick overview of all five sessions I attended on Friday, with links. Many of the slides from these sessions and others are [...]

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Sasquatch! Music Festival, logos and photography

After the WebVisions conference last week, I headed north into Washington for the Sasquatch! Music Festival.
Here are the bands I saw at Sasquatch! on Saturday, May 23: Blind Pilot, Doves, M. Ward, DeVotchKa, Animal Collective, The Decemberists, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Crystal Castles. I also caught the last couple of songs from the sets [...]

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Google Wave, Microsoft Bing and Big Brother

It seems like the more I use Twitter, the less I feel like actually bothering to write blog posts. Is this blog dying? I don’t know, but this post is about a few new web services and technologies. Many articles are about a week old at this point, because I didn’t get around to posting [...]

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Jason Lytle, zombie ponies and social networks

The Jason Lytle show I attended at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland on Saturday evening was awesome. I couldn’t have been happier that he played my very favorite Grandaddy song. “Jed’s Other Poem” transports me to 2001. I definitely got my Grandaddy fix. If you haven’t heard “Jed’s Other Poem” before, there is [...]

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YouTube, Transformers 2, Ctrl-Alt-BOOM, Iran

This blog has become an embarrassment when compared to the real-time engagement with pop culture and world news that happens daily on Twitter. Not sure why I continue to (barely) maintain it.
First, I really liked the YouTube DTV logo from June 12, 2009. Goodbye, analog television.
Second, below is some old crap that might still [...]

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Addictive YouTube videos, LEGO Arcade, Wimbledon

In light of some recent YouTube video addictions, I have made a quick list of a few videos from the past year or two that I’ve watched dozens of times (literally). The list mainly includes silly mashups, remixes and parodies of pop culture (featuring Auto-Tune, Lil Jon, etc.).
Most addictive YouTube videos of all time
(that [...]

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365 Days photo project on Flickr

Last week I started a “365 Days” photo project on Flickr. It’s a personal experiment that will span July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. My rule is that I must take at least one photo every day and post it to Flickr. Stockpiling photos to post on uninspiring days is not allowed.
Here is a [...]

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WordPress 2.8.1 (and Flickr, fonts, AJAX, Eudora)

Today I updated spiral::notepad to WordPress 2.8.1, which is the first maintenance release for 2.8.
Flickr and Creative Commons images
Earlier today on Twitter I also noted that I am trying to deal with social media overload. I should probably evaluate how I use Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube, FriendFeed, etc. What I really want is [...]

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Movies, Microsoft, music videos, Nietzsche, art

It is time, once again, for another blog post where I loosely sort two weeks worth of random pop culture links.
Movies
I still want to see Moon. The Daybreakers trailer looks interesting too (it’s good to see Ethan Hawke in a sci-fi film again). I wonder when The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus will be released [...]

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Cats, technology, webcomics and art

Instead of writing about this weekend’s da Vinci Days, here are a bunch of categorized links.
Cats and bats
I, for one, welcome our feline overlords: “Cats ‘exploit’ humans by purring” and “Cats Do Control Humans, Study Finds.”
So, I guess we should work harder to exploit cats for our amusement (catsploitation?), like the Moscow Cat Theater [...]

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Da Vinci Days, movies and ice cream

I attended da Vinci Days in Corvallis on Saturday, which was the second day of the annual festival celebrating art, science, and technology. It was pretty fun. I posted some photos to Flickr and tweeted a bit.
We spent most of Saturday afternoon in Darkside Cinema at the da Vinci Film Festival encore.
I loved the [...]

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Web development, technology and the End Times

Web development
Here are some useful articles and handy resources for web developers:

“Create your own private Twitter site using WordPress“
“Automate Your Home Using ioBridge and Twitter“
jQuery Week Calendar, inspired by Google Calendar
“List of Really Useful Tools for CSS Developers“
“HTML 4 Considered Harmful“
URI/URL escaping chart

Social media
This is interesting: “Social Media’s Effect on Learning.”
Maybe we shouldn’t quite [...]

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Photography, fruits and vegetables, technology

Photography
I’ve browsed through a number of non-Flickr sites lately that have provided excellent inspiration for my own photography projects. Here are some:

Scott Wade’s Dirty Car Art Gallery
“Rubik’s Cube Sandwich,” which I plan to make someday (but with different, more colorful fruit and vegetable ingredients)
James D. Griffioen’s photo sets, including Feral Houses
“Gallery: Inside Alaska’s [...]

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Worms and insects, science, music, technology

Looks like I forgot to publish a post for a few weeks again. Oh well. It’s not like I haven’t been wasting time reading random crap online since my last post. Below are some things I’ve enjoyed.
Worms, insects and gardening
Here are three cool articles on worms and insects:

“Journalist hunts for acid-spitting Mongolian death worm“
“Zombie [...]

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Dogs and cats, movies, photography, Comixed

Time to continue my giant post from two days ago with more slightly sorted randomness.
Dogs and cats
This video is kind of awesome: Bizkit the Sleep Walking Dog. Poor dog.
At last. My life is now complete: When poodles turn into peacocks (12 pictures). Sigh.
Oh no: How to properly massage a cat.
This is a cute kitten [...]

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JavaScript, LOLCODE and Bumbershoot

The other day I was playing around with JavaScript options for searching a page via a floating DIV and also for drop-down panel buttons/toggles. These were my five favorite examples, mainly thanks to the Dynamic Drive DHTML scripts repository:

Using JavaScript to Search For and Highlight Text on a Web Page
Find In Page Script
Drop down/ Overlapping [...]

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Secret Sauce, Tarantino and disappointed animals

Well, it’s almost been another three weeks since I posted anything, so here’s some stuff. In Internet time, a few of these items might be decades old now. Follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates of random, useless information.
Bumbershoot was really fun this year, except for the rain.
You might want to check out [...]

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Nemesis vs. archenemy, music videos, iPhone, Corvallis

A friend told me about this article (from April 1, 2004) the other day. I like it: “The Importance of Being Hated” by Chuck Klosterman. “In this golden age of enmity, friends are for suckers. What you need are a pair of well-chosen foes.”
Now I can tell my nemesis from my archenemy. Excellent. Also: [...]

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Cullman Liquidation, video games and design

Let’s start with this hilarious, awesome local commercial:

Cullman Liquidation is the 5th local commercial of the I Love Local Commercials series. And it is epic.

Music torture
In music torture news: “Musicians blast using tunes to torment.” Here’s a quote from the article: “a spokeswoman with the National Security Archives says acts whose music is known [...]

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PlayersFrom.com beta launch

Today I am pleased to announce the beta launch of Players From, a database project I have been working on in my spare time for the past few weeks.
PlayersFrom.com
Ever wanted to know what players from your favorite college, home state or country are currently active on professional sports teams in the United States?
At Players [...]

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Raygun t-shirt illustration and design work

This GEEK t-shirt by Lawrence Villanueva at Threadless is nice: “This T-Shirt Basically Sums Up Gizmodo.” Its actual title is “I Be Au Sm.” Seems like the art must have taken a long time to draw. It reminds me of a couple of my own projects, though definitely exceeds them.
Of the few dozen technology [...]

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Thanksgiving journey complete (with links)

My posting frequency continues to degrade here. I appear to be struggling to post once a month these days. But I do tweet something to Twitter on a daily basis. Probably best to follow me there.
This weekend I returned to Oregon from my cross-country, family-visiting Thanksgiving journey. I had a great time catching up with [...]

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Chiquita bananas, Star Wars on Facebook, graphic design

I must admit that my normal weekend grocery shopping routine was particularly influenced by a marketing campaign recently.
Chiquita bananas
Every weekend I buy a bunch of bananas. I usually choose organic, and normally select them based on ripeness level and the presence of bruises. But sometimes these criteria can (apparently) be expanded to include marketing stickers. [...]

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Graphic design, photography and Krampus

There are some good ideas here (whether you’re into “resolutions” or not): “51 New Year resolutions for graphic and web designers.”
More ideas and inspiration to be creative: “Design Something Every Day!”
Interesting: “Eight cool social media infographics.”
These sites are fascinating: FFFFOUND! (image bookmarking), grain edit (modern graphic design inspiration blog) and Black and WTF (seriously, [...]

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