Thursday, July 27, 2006

Boing Boing Thursday

This isn't (likely) going to be a weekly feature or anything. It's just something that I thought I would mess around with. Basically, I'm going to offer an observation or three about recent posts at boingboing.net since they are good at digging up the "news" and I'm not. Also I'm going to base my comments entirely on what they've presented without following any links because it's Thursday and I don't want to. I'll also provide quotes as well as links so you don't have to follow them either. If I'm not going to link hop, I'm not going to make you do it either. Unless you want to.

Starting with this: Corn plastic may not be as green as you might think

Quote: Wal-Mart’s (VP of private brands and product development Matt) Kistler says the company isn’t about to take back used PLA for composting. “We’re not in the business of collecting garbage,” he says. “How do we get states and municipalities to set up composting systems? That is the million-dollar question. It’s not our role to tell government what to do. There is money to be made in the recycling business. As we develop packaging that can be recycled and composted, the industry will be developed.”

That Wal-Mart. I love the Veeps reaction: “We’re not in the business of collecting garbage,” I can almost picture a sneer crossing his face at the mere thought of it. "GARBAGE?! FUCK YOU! We're WAL-MART, nut-tapper!"

Then he goes on to say "There is money to be made in the recycling business." Wow! Wal-Mart turning down an opportunity to make money? Can it be true? It's almost like he's borrowing a move from Tom Sawyer: "Garbage recycling can sure be profitable. Why I reckon a man with gumption and foresight could really rake in the dough. Heck, if we weren't tied up selling all of these products we'd be all over it! Oh well. SOMEONE'S sure going to make a fortune."

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Next: Soy sauce made from human hair

Quote: The 'secret ingrediant' is amino acid syryp, a concoction consisting of 'human hair ... gathered from salon, barbershop and hospitals around the country' which is then filtered to remove unhygenic matarials such as '... condom, used hospital cottons, used menstrual cycle pad, used syringe ...'

Gah. GAH! So there you go kids. The next time you are in China, sitting down to nosh on some noodly nummies, give the sauce some thought.

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Next: Trove of Bob Ross videos on YouTube

Quote: Sweet Fancy Moses, what a 'fro. It's something to which all great artists should aspire, I think.

Nothing bad to say about this. I never watched his show much but I do respect his work and style. While I don't think I could ever get a 'fro like Bob had, my hair does some amazing things when I leave it alone for awhile. I know that Heather and Derek's dad is getting into painting now and I think he might find the YouTube videos interesting.

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Next: Dabbler - rate/recco/discuss videos, no matter where they're hosted

Quote: Dabble, a site that makes it possible to search, recommend, rate, discuss and be sociable about video hosted anywhere on the the net, has come out of private beta and launched for public use.

This sounds quite awesome to me although I can imagine that it's going to give members of the MPAA strokes. Unless they use it themselves to find new people to sue.

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Next: Bandwidth of the eye

Quote: The researchers at the University of Pennsylvania came to that number by measuring spikes of electrical impulses from a (disembodied) guinea pig retina "looking" at movies of biological motion, like a salamander swimming.

And the opening credits of "Baywatch". Meanwhile, somewhere there's a one-eyed guinea pig bumping into stuff that has NO idea what he's missing.

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Next: Better illegal foods

Quote: ... men 70-80 years old, on death’s doorstep anyway, would cease to eat food, instead partaking solely of honey. Pretty soon, they would be mellified, that is, “he excretes honey (the urine and feces are entirely honey).” Soon he dies and is placed in a honey-filled coffin which is then sealed for 100 years. At the end of the 100 years, the goop is eaten up.

Needs soy sauce.

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Next: Tampon gun

Quote: Inspired by marshmallow shooters, this air-powered tampon gun turns your feminine hygiene products into high-flying projectiles.

I believe that we have now come full circle since, I'm reasonably sure, the first tampons were marshmallows.

Continued: The tampon shooter has a range of 10 to 20 feet depending on your ammo and lung capacity.

That's all well and good, but what about accuracy at those distances? And lung capacity? I don't know. This is sounding way more complicated than just letting her handle it herself.

Continued: The matching bandolier lets you carry a full “clip” (i.e., box) of 20 tampons...

I will give real, folding cash money to the tune of at least two American dollars for a photo of Derek wearing crossing tampon bandoliers and chomping on a cigar. I'll toss in an extra buck if it's taken in a little Cuban village.

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Next: Boston installs solar compacting public trash-cans

Quote: They need emptying only once or twice a day, not the 15 or more sanitation worker visits required by some downtown trash cans. They don't spill. They smell less. And, they hold some 150 gallons of trash, about five times more than a standard city receptacle.

Any bets on when they'll first be used to dispose of a body?

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Last: Monopoly replaces play-money with fake credit-cards

Quote: Players will instead use a Visa mock debit card to keep track of how much they win or lose. It is inserted into an electronic machine where the banker taps in cardholders' earnings and payments. Parker said replacing of cash with plastic showed the game was moving with the times.

Some of my fondest childhood Monopoly memories were of skimming money from the bank. I even remember us changing one of the cards to read "Rob the Bank! Quickly grab as much cash as you can and run for the front door! If you make it without being tackled you keep it! If not, go to jail!" Where's the fun in a card reader?

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Well, wasn't that something? Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I've got mail!

Subject: Your future, nut-tapper

And the rest of the email consisted of the average spam about penis pills and how they are oh-so-useful to have at hand during your next 36 hour sex-a-thon.

Still, the subject line was worth it. I think I'm going to start calling people I'm not fond of "nut-tappers".

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

IF: "Opposites"

I'm still suffering from a bit of creative block. But I managed to get something done for "Opposites".

Illustration Friday:

What's more, I took extensive screenshots of the process. The downside is I tracked so many stage that I don't have the energy to write out what I did during each one. Especially after setting up all of the images and putting together the code for the page.

It has so far taken me at least twice as long, if not longer, to just get the breakdown to the state it is now than it did to actually make the completed image. Ugh.

And to top it off, around stage 26 I noticed something that I'd never noticed on the Flickr image page before. Apparently, it's in the "Flickr Terms of Service that if you post a Flickr photo on an external website, the photo must link back to its photo page. (So, use Option 1.)"

I never use Option 1. Mainly because when I link a photo that is smaller than the original size, I want it to link to the original size when it's clicked on. That seems to be frowned on now.

By that point in the breakdown there was no way I was going to go back and change every one of the photos for all those stages, so for now I'll let it be. I have a feeling that I'll be migrating my site's image hosting back to SmugMug if Flickr tries to enforce this. For most stuff it won't matter too much if I use Option 1, however some things, like my header, would look stupid as hell linking back to Flickr.

Also, using Option 1 would keep me from doing nifty things like:

Click on the sketch to go to the breakdown for "Opposites".



At some point this week I'll try to add in some text that explains just what you are looking at in the breakdown. Those of you familiar with Photoshop can probably figure it out.

Have a great week everyone! Comments are always welcome.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Random thought...

... while driving home last Thursday: "Is my car on fire?"

Thursday, July 20, 2006

IF: "Sacrifice"

Yeesh. I started off the week without an ounce of creativity in my body and ended it too busy or tired to finish anything. I did have an idea at the beginning of the week, but I was totally unable to capture on paper/computer screen. Not even a sketch. So I tried out a few other ideas as the week went on that I could sketch, but I didn't take any of them further. Rather than have nothing to show this week, I'll display the sketches in all their sketchy glory.



I made this sketch while trying to snap out of my creativity funk. It didn't quite snap.



This one was done a little further along. I liked the idea, but when it came time to start adding color and fixing it up I either lost interest or got distracted. Not sure which.



This final one I wasn't able to capture the feel I was going for. If I'd taken the time to finish it, it might have worked better. But then again, it might not.

That's it for this week. Everyone have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Funniest thing this week:

This video.

It also reminded me of a Darth Vader electronic talking bank that Heather and I saw at the now defunct Media Play months and months ago. The one thing it didn't say that I felt it should have was:

"I find your lack of savings disturbing."

Thank you, thank you. I should be here all week.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Illustration Friday: "Skyline"

As often happens, the day after I finished this one I thought of a better way of doing it. Oh well. That's the problem with being on a deadline coupled with a slow brain. Here's my contribution to this week's topic:



Click the pic to make it even bigger and more horrific. Ooooo.

Also, you can see a nine step breakdown at this link.

Comments are appreciated.

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Once again it's Wednesday. That means yet another podcast over at Derek's site featuring the two of us and his dad. You can get to it here.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Post-Apocalypse Shopping Tip #1

If you happen to find yourself, sometime in the future, surrounded by the undead, all slavering for a taste of your juicy, juicy headmeats, the Xtrema2 is without a doubt THE shotgun with which to thin their numbers.

Illustration Friday - "Sticky"

Once again I decided to try my hand at ArtRage 2 and see what I could come up with. I have also included some of the stages* that it passed through. Click the pic to see a bigger versions.



Once again I stuck with the pencil tool for the most part. The only exception is the background that I made with the roller. I tried to work with the oils first, but – much like real life – paint just isn't my friend. I'll try working at it as a side project and see if I can make something decent out of it however for something on a deadline like IF I think it would be wise to stick with what I'm "good" at. One thing I can't remember about oils though: do you work from light to dark, or dark to light?

*I've decided to start up a new "blog" where I will be posting the steps of the drawings that I do, starting with this one. It's called Visual Breakdown and it can be found near the top of my sidebar. Here's the direct link to some of the steps that went into "Sticky".

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Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention it again this week. Our weekly podcast is up and you can get to it from Derek's site: Son of Cheese. I haven't listened to it yet, but I have been assured that it isn't one of our best. So there you go.
"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."