I just visited the marvelous Surreal Calder show at the MIA today and was entranced by a video that played midway through this exhibit. In Cirque de Calder you can see a vast number of toys, automata, and playful creations dance around in a fantastical circus. You can watch it online (in parts, Cirque de Calder- Clip 1, Cirque de Calder- Clip 2, Cirque de Calder- Clip 3, Cirque de Calder- Clip 4).
Now I just need to find some place like this for all my LPs, 45s, and CDs. If only music had a system like ISBN.
So I am taking a giant leap into real programing, not just scripting by trying to learn objective-C and Cocoa for OSX development. I found this rather useful tutorial but had to mention this little funny bit. It starts off showing you a fairly basic PHP script...and then tells you:
If all of this makes sense to you, congratulations. You know more about how software works than most people on the planet. Also, it means you have a strong enough grasp on the basics to use this tutorial.
Ha, I love it. Its nice to put things in perspective sometimes.
My life is a little consumed with nanotechnology lately. We've been blogging about it a bunch over on Science Buzz (see our nanotechnology feed). I am also working on exhibit prototypes on the subject. What's iteresting is trying to suss out what people know about this subject.
At a BBQ this weekend it was clear that most of my friends had heard of it but thought it was pretty dorky. No one thought it was evil, but no one thought it was the "next industrial revolution" either. I am still curious about how we can make this subject as appealing as posed human cadavers or brightly colored lizards and snakes.
I've been working on learning how to do some origami tessellation. The stuff over on the flickr tessellation group and folding freaks is pretty inspiring. But man I spent three freaking un-zenfull hours the other night simply trying to make this simple ziggurat fold. I finally got it to work but sheerly by accident. Practice practice practice, I guess.
Yesterday I rode all over the cities with my pals Bill and Moira to check out some of the cool abodes on the Minneapolis Saint Paul Home Tour. I was delighted to find so many great homes that were making great strides to include solar power and other energy efficient practices to reduce their footprint while still living in quite remarkable homes.
Here were a couple that were most notable:
I have to start with my favorite and our last stop on the tour. David Boyce and Lee Olson had essentially built their entire home living lifestyle around efficiency. They made sure to point out every unique choice they had made to reduce their energy needs. They had simple solutions like power strips to prevent phantom charges (the electricity drawn from appliances even when they are "off"), super efficient kitchen appliances (their SunFrost refrigerator was most interesting to me.), a slick black biodiesel mercedes (run on http://www.tcbiodiesel.com/">Twin Cities Biodiesel Consortium fuel), and a solar system that was regularly feeding energy back to Xcel Energy while we were there. Very nice family to...including their super cute kid Maya.
del.icio.us is a social bookmarking tool where users can save their internet bookmarks online while sharing them and their classification with others. I love my del.icio.us account. Recently I have been enticed to try out some of the other tools that do this possibly better but another site linked to del.icio.us is keeping me from making the switch, TopTaggers (formerly Collaborative Rank).
Essentially TopTaggers uses the del.icio.us API to track what you are doing on del.icio.us. One of the most interesting (read: addictive) aspects of this is watching your del.icio.us ranking.
Check out this wonderful photo gallery of guitar faces. Somewhere in between the sublime and the ridiculous. My favs are black flag, big black, and this super weird kid with strange goings on in the background.
I run a dynamic website at work called Science Buzz all about breaking science news featuring a science blog among other things. Well, we wanted to show off the site at an upcoming conference but didn't want to have to pay the extortion level fees for a rather slow internet connection. Creating a static version of this large dynamic site on a kiosk proved to be rather difficult until I realized I didn't need to make it static just run it natively on the iMac as a local service.
Serious Game Source has a great article on the need for a centralized agency for creating education focused yet still entertaining "serious" games. I love this idea simply because it builds on a model that works fabulously, PBS (and within CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting). This article does a good and quick job of covering some of the common misconceptions about games made by the outside world:
- boys only (actually 40% girls)
- niche market (actually bigger than movies)
- platform stereotypes (actually games are everywhere and you don't need a alien-ware PC or a xbox360 to play 'em)
- nobody's making serious games (actually still woefully underfunded but tons of amazing stuff: GlucoBoy: glucose monitor in a gameboy, balance the Massachusetts state budget with MassBalence, help the UN fight hunger with Food Force)
I was quite surprised to find out today that the London bus tours are actually quite cool.
Okay, so the bus puts the big ol' TOURIST stamp right in the middle of your forehead, but hell there ain't no reason to pretend otherwise. I mean c'mon we all want the same great picture of Big Ben and lots of crazy London facts. Did you know that you can hold a party inside a horse?
These tours also give you a great topside view of the close calls, squeezing cyclists, and other insanely remarkable London driving moves. You haven't lived till you've been in a two story bus squeezing down a tight alley with only inches between you and the adjoining 500 year old walls.
Walking along the Millennium Bridge after a wonderful visit at the Tate Modern yesterday I saw a weird site. This guy was bent over a bunch of electrical equipment with wires attached to the bridge's guy wires and headphones on. Dressed in all black and a fashionable coat, I didn't think he was an engineer or someone working on the bridge.
He handed me the headphones and I heard a wonderful jangly harp like sound. The man was Bill Fontana and he had come out from San Francisco to work on an installation sound sculpture for the Tate Modern.
Flying over seas is never super fun, but this time I got particularly packed into my seat between two other large fellows (being polite here). It was like an 8 hour passive aggressive arm rest fight.
Despite being squeezed on both sides by my husky row mates I was excited to find the video game movie palooza they had installed in the head rest in front of me. You could watch all kinds of movies on demand (Aeon Flux, Butch Casidy and the Sundance Kid for me) and play a fun batch of games. You could even play trivia with the whole plane. I didn't fare so well.
Well, all went smoothly with the more important aspects of the trip (landing, takeoff, not falling out of the sky), and my sister, brother in-law, and Mom met me at the airport for a quick train ride into the heart of London.
Well, after a long break from posting to this site, I am going to try and kick start things again by blogging about my trip to London. I got inspired by Eric's great notes from the Museums and the Web conference posted on the Walker Art Center new media blog (those walker new media dudes are so supa cool).
I leave this evening and will be meeting up with my Mom who is flying in from Texas and my sister who lives over there with her husband.