24 December 2009

05 December 2009

The Best Toys

Wait, since when do environmental activists get to have the best toys?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

28 November 2009

Symphony of Science

Science is often a beautiful thing, and sometimes art its own right, but usually not like this ... The Symphony of Science.

17 November 2009

Cheese or Font?

Too much time on your hands? Cringe at the sight of Papyrus? Then here is just the thing for you: cheese or font? Perhaps you will then forgive the occasional Papyrus.

15 November 2009

Unreal

Some awesome artwork from the Netherlands. Yes, that really is all just tricks of the light.

via Good Magazine.

Afganisu-tan

War made cute. And oddly enough, it still contains more meaningful information than the evening news on the topic.

15 September 2009

Why Insurance Companies are Just Plain Dumb

$300 for a portable device that people might find alternate uses for versus $8000 for a stripped-down, custom-built, big-box PC with all the software removed ... you do the math. Now guess which one is the one the insurance companies are willing to provide to those who need them.

Insurers Fight Speech-Impairment Remedy

Apparently people with serious speech impairments only need to communicate when at home, because, you know, they might get discriminated against if they set foot outside the house or something.

13 August 2009

Fritz Linden's Metropolis

I think Fritz Lang's Metropolis is an interesting landmark of sorts. I mean beyond the normal reason. I am more interested the remakes, interpretations and allusions to it.

Here is one done entirely in Second Life, broken down into bite size chapters for your convenience.

10 August 2009

Big Moon

Was playing with the environment settings in an alternate Second Life client when I happened to look up.

Looks close enough to visit.

21 July 2009

Unrefutable Proof

Yes folks, the moon landing was ... faked! And here's an author who explains how.

Very, very clever, these Hollywood types.

What? How dare you doubt the veracity of the internet!

16 July 2009

23 June 2009

NYS Government Adopts Internet Memes

New York State Government adopts Internet memes as the politics of the future. If only they hadn't started with goatse.

Though it would probably help too if they used something other than their own heads to stretch it like that.

I want to know is what are they on, so I can avoid ever trying any of it.

No, really.

They could be doing good, but it is far more important that they argue like spoiled brats whose turn it is to serve the ball. Perhaps it is time they all went back to kindergarten and learned how to share.

21 May 2009

Want!

Okay, I so totally want my own galactic shuttle. Wonder if it would make a good house?

Via Wallpaper*.

15 May 2009

The Hexagon House

Slowly accumulating a store front inside the hexagon house in Tipsico.

At some point the furniture will be replaced by things I've made that are for sale. But for now I don't have much that goes with the theme except the modernist kotatsu.

14 May 2009

The Hexagon House

The hexagon house was specifically designed to sit on a slope or a ridge line, meaning it is perfectly suited to the terrain of Tipsico.

I also bought up a good chunk of the ridge line in an attempt to de-flatten the sim, lots of which got leveled into 512 flat plot. Leads to a very strange geography along the ridge, where the old slope was close to 45 degrees.

No, the big thing next to it is not on my property. It is a house belonging to an old timer that was very well done for its time. Though there is a little pixel panic.

13 May 2009

Tipsico Garden

First big fix was to change the architecture in place there.

Settled on my hexagonal platform house, which is bigger than it looks. An uncommon event in SL.

12 May 2009

The garden is getting a makeover

The Tipsico garden is getting a makeover.

Tipsico was an Asian-themed sim for a while, mostly out of people just following the trend. We are trying to steer it that way again.

11 May 2009

11 May 2009

Just deleted the last of of World of Warcraft characters today. A level 80 pally I have had for years.

Yep, those who know their gear, know this is an old shot of her, but still my favorite.

The game was just too easy an escape from doing all the things I could be doing with my life. I don't really need to be living in other people's fantasy worlds when I have so many of my own. This way there is no going back.

It still hurts though.

Amazing the emotional attachments we can develop to such ephemeral things.

I'm going to crawl under the covers and cry some more.

New addition to the fleet

I am working on a new addition to the fleet.

Okay, so the big airship is still not and done probably never will be, but the smaller ones are easier to work with (and complete).

More pics another time.

10 May 2009

Oobiki (大引)

No, it is not really worth asking why I was looking for a definition of that word, but here is a neat site on Japanese architecture, with just such a definition.

08 May 2009

The Oil Industry

One of the biggest challenges for those of us in the oil and coal industry is preventing strong action on climate change.

07 May 2009

And a House to Live In

The Shelf Pod. Finally a place for my books. Found in Moriguchi, Osaka via What We Do is Secret

Am I allowed to confess the extent to which this house fills me with desire?

06 May 2009

An Office to Work In

Selgas Cano Architecture Office by Iwan Baan via ArchDaily

And yes, I so would want an office like that.

04 May 2009

The Blind Leading the Blind

Sometimes the blind leading the blind is a good thing, after all, who better to have a handle on the obstacles that need to be dealt with.

Designing for a space people won't ever see ... via Archinect.

03 May 2009

Pliex Films

Because I might as well go with the theme ...

Some interesting video works by Pliex Films.

02 May 2009

28 April 2009

Play with your food?

Oooh, a theme ... although this one is less "wrong", and more good old fashioned wrong.

Hello Kitty Beer via Tokyo Mango.

27 April 2009

Play with your food!

Unlike the last one, this one is wrong on so many levels ... the Candy Pistol.

There are some toys that just shouldn't be made.

via Strange Harvest

26 April 2009

Play with your food!

The somen slide from Bandai.

Interesting part is that it is based on a real way of eating somen. It involves a party, flowing water, and someone feeding the somen in at one end and collecting it at the other to feed it in again. The challenge is to catch is as it goes shooting by in the noodle flume.

24 April 2009

Ampersand Carrying Case

The ampersand carrying case ... because you know you really need one. Says so right on the label.

via swissmiss via the ampersand.

23 April 2009

Art

If you haven't heard Susan Boyle yet, it is time you did.

It is nice when beauty can be so in your face. In the sense of: take your prejudices and shove hem someplace dark and uncomfortable.

An audio only version of another piece.

via swissmiss

20 April 2009

On avatar rights and virtual property

An interesting article on why current gaming EULAs are a dead end for virtual worlds and what needs to be done to make virtual world a place where real work can be done.

From

massively.com

18 April 2009

17 April 2009

Beauty in Economy

Some commentary on excesses of architecture from Canada's Globe and Mail.

I think it could do a better job clarifying the difference between iconic and moronic, but that is probably just me. Which is to say, there are well designed architectures of ego as well as poorly designed ones. It is just the poorly designed ones seem to be the ones more commonly built. Mostly because they are the flaming, spinning logos of the architecture world. Look great, but inefficient and not really designed for actual use.

15 April 2009

Reality TV

Note that they don't appear to be installing them in inner cities. At least not for the same reason.

Suburban reality TV.

14 April 2009

Little Sydney

Some more tilt-shift time-lapse photography. The real made virtual.

I just think it is a really neat effect.

12 April 2009

Panoramas

First the train inspired the panorama. Then the camera inspired making it in the round. And now we have tweaked it for that 3-D effect.

A cool site of nothing but 360 degree panorama shots at panoramas.dk.

05 April 2009

Still AFK

Soon! Soon I shall have time to think again! MwahaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

206

23 March 2009

BFF AFK OMG WTF RGB CMYK

So let’s review: The Internet is not your BFF.

Beyond that, still pretty much AFK until I catch up with the world.

16 March 2009

Busy Week

Busy week.

AFK for a bit.

14 March 2009

Virtual Made Real

Project Dragonfly by Autodesk

Now anyone can lay out their own home in a virtual setting. Given the title of the headline at Archinect, it seems that at least some architects are a little concerned about their profession. Though the comments that follow also indicate that they are few in number. Still, if they really are concerned, perhaps they should spend some time in Second Life. It will quickly allay their fears.

On the other hand, it is an interior design tool available for free online, making it accessible to even those who may lack construction paper, scissors, rulers, pencils, tape, and markers or crayons (or even just pencils and paper). If architecture is about controlling the tools and not about the inspiration and talent of the creator in addressing the needs of their clients in an aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly, socially responsive, and innovative way, then perhaps there might be a problem. Otherwise we are still good to go.

via the New York Times

As a follow up. I did try it. Pencil and paper is still faster and more flexible. And Second Life wins hands down on pan and zoom and environmental effects.

13 March 2009

Mainland Home 5

Last one in this set, and interior shot of the house.

Second Life has problems with rendering intersecting objects with alpha, so these pictures were a challenge to take with clouds making objects (like the leaves on the trees) fade in and out of existence.

Together Forever

It sort of makes you wish it was a Rickroll. No such luck.

via boingboing

12 March 2009

Mainland Home 4

You can see the water from my home, with the camera cranked way out. There is an entire sim between my land and the big lake in the middle of the region. However, they next sim over is so far down it is easy to look right over it. The property is at the top of a very tall ridge.

Mental_floss' step-by-step guide to destroying civilization with nanotechnology

Mental_floss' step-by-step guide to destroying civilization with nanotechnology

via boingboing

This step-by-step guide overlooks the most important part, which is, of course, to make sure you destroy the world in a way you can survive (ideally, with a horde of adoring worshipers, or at least really good looking, intelligent, and inventive sex slav- ermmm, minions). Otherwise you don't get to gloat. And really, where's the fun in not getting to gloat?

11 March 2009

Mainland Home 3

Why fences make good neighbors.

Portrait of an Artist as an Avatar

A interesting story about the intersection of the art world and Second Life, from the New York Times Magazine.

And a little AM Radio for good measure.

10 March 2009

Mainland Home 2

Some more shots of my mainland home under different cloud conditions. One is clear and mid-day, and the other is clouds at sunset.

Here you can see some of the surrounding houses. It used to be an almost entirely asian-themed sim, but it slipped a little since then.

World Builder

An wonderful, short piece called World Builder.

I wish Second Life tools worked like this.

It would definitely be cool if we could build things sketchup style.

09 March 2009

Mainland Home

As well as having a home on a private sim in Second Life, I also have a mainland home. It is in Tipsico, which is an interesting sim because pretty much the entire sim is at cloud level. It is, by nature, a wonderfully, foggy swirly place.

So here are some pics of it.

The house is by the ineffable Effulgent Brown, though I intend to replace it with one of my own at some point.

New Careers

After the gold digger, comes the gold farmer. A new career for the 21st century.

One thing the article does fail to address is that the companies that manage these MMORPGs consider gold farming to be a criminal (or at least less than honorable) act, because a. ) it may cause them to be liable for taxes on in-game monetary transactions under various national tax laws, and b.) most probably because they don't get a cut.

Though certainly there are many people trying to make a go of making a living off of Second Life.

I confess to being torn between condemning those who obsessively turn something meant for pleasure into a tool for profiting from others and applauding their initiative and pluck.

Although, in World of Warcraft, the problem is lazy players who want the fastest route to power and thus will pay others to play for them, so they can just run-around with a powerful character and whomp things. I have at least one friend who sold their account for about as much as I make in a month to someone who couldn't be bothered to level up their own characters. If this is the attitude they take with them to the workplace, they are in for disappointment. Or perhaps I am just jealous because I refuse to stoop to that kind of laziness. Easier to just write "I pwned this game!" on the cover and never even bother to install it. Cheaper too.

While in Second Life the problem is those who go beyond industriousness to plain greed. For instance, thinking they can sell small plots of land for more than it costs to by an entire in-game region directly form linden Labs. It is one thing to make something wonderful (or even something mediocre) and sell it, it is another to think you can corner the real estate market in hypothetically infinitely expandable game world. (By the way, for those who haven't figured this out yet, when real estate prices go to high from speculators trying to corner the market, Linden Labs builds more land, until the speculators go broke paying rent on the land they are trying to hoard and sell for prices nobody is willing to pay.)

So I suppose the two really are worlds apart in terms of their relations to people trying to profit of them in real life. Though in both cases, I guess I laud those who earn money or succeed through effort and don't have much respect for those who think they can get money or power easily with some seed capital and no real effort on their part.

08 March 2009

Pirate v. Ninja

Okay, so maybe "versus" is the wrong word.

What can I say? I can't make up my mind.

Word of the Day: Lawfare

Lawfare: The use of law as a weapon of war.

from subtopia

07 March 2009

Lamp

Linux, Apache, no wait- ... Just a plain old lamp.

Well, a pretty awesome lamp I found while poking around foreign sims in Second Life this week.

That is me floating next to it for scale.

The Boy Cow

From the people who brought you "duude" for girls ...

The boy cow.

To their credit, I have never seen trying not to crack up laughing used so effectively to lend energy to the scene. At least, I hope that is what that was.

06 March 2009

Japan Inducts Ambassadors of Cute

The Japanese government has decided to take a more active role in exporting cuteness to the rest of the world ... it was only a matter of time.

From CScout Japan

Two Takes on Religion

For those who think the obvious is really surprising, just because it goes against common prejudice, two bits on religion and human nature:

05 March 2009

Mark Fiore

I'm gonna put this here so I never have to dig through my bookmarks (scattered across six or so browsers) to accidentally and serendipitously find it again ...

The animated political cartoons of Mark Fiore ... he's awesome.

04 March 2009

Life Imitates Art

All is good with the world.

Okay, so it is sort of a dystopian story, but they fact that they actually built one ...

Now we just have to avoid the giant killer robots and we're good to go.

We Are Fractal Sheep

Some interesting commentary on the nature of human behavior from boingboing.

03 March 2009

Rental Estates 6

The last of this set for now. I have some more buildings to build (and some old ones to complete).

Some Interesting Architectures

It's a golf course! No, it's a waste treatment plant! Creative responses to the knee-jerk NIMBY.

The social bracket just isn't what it was ...

02 March 2009

Rental Estates 5

Retro Spies

Spy Vibe, a site devoted to 1960s spy style.

And some analysis of The Prisoner's opening credits, just for good measure.

01 March 2009

Rental Estates 4

Two shots of the waterfalls behind the rental estates.

Moo is actually the one building the falls, I just roughed out the terrain and added some trees.

Learning

This one made the rounds while I was teaching English in Japan ...

Nice to ... ummm ... see it's still around.

Funny and totally not safe for work.

28 February 2009

Speaking of Airships

Me on the command deck of my airship, or as much of the command deck as actually exists so far.

By the way, beta versions of my airship are now available for purchase. They come as is, but with free installation and free updates. Just no promises the updates will ever happen. Purchasers are allowed to contribute updates. Though I am not paying anyone for them unless they are substantial. After all, I'm giving people an opportunity to buy in at 80% off. Anyway, it's my baby. I'll fuss over it as I please.

Franz Kafka Realized

The Nature Theater of Oklahoma

Oh, just go look at it if you want to understand the title.

Or, if you're not into Franz Kafka, have some Dusty Springfield.

via Filled with Chocolate Pudding

27 February 2009

Rental Estates 3

The rental estates are currently in the shadow of my airship. They juxtapose very nicely in this shot.

The Political Arcology

The Continuous Enclave: Strategies in Bypass Urbanism

An interesting, if impractical, idea to use arcologies to redefine and unify fractured political geographies.

From BLDGBLOG

26 February 2009

Rental Estates 2

Two different shots from the front of yesterday's hexagonal pedestal house. The large structure in the center of the picture will probably have become something else in the next few weeks. Though we are actively trying to maintain an Asian theme on the ground level.

Butt

Strangely enough, this is a very good idea.

Unfortunately, the name is already taken, but that should be easy enough to fix. Can't be that hard to come up with a new name. How about GeoScat? Or Crapiss? They could have a contest for names. That would be fun.

Via Pruned.

25 February 2009

Rental Estates

On our new sim we are looking to rent smaller properties with houses pre-built on them. Each will be on its own parcel to isolate sound. Prim counts won't be all that high, but they well be cheaper than renting full plots of land from us.

So what follows (here and for the next couple of days) is a series of shots from the rental estates, which are still very much a work in progress, though people are welcome to inquire about renting (or buying copies of) the buildings that already exist.

First is my hexagonal pedestal house. It is not that big, but it is on top of the rise and will have some awesome views of the sim. One nice thing about renting smaller plots like this is we get to control and unify the landscaping.

For instance, this is the view of the waterfall off the back porch. The falls are still in progress too.

I now have my client set for foggy mornings. All of the shots were taken during the a.m. hours as the fog burned off.

The Crisis of Credit

An excellent video putting the current credit crisis into plain English.

The Crisis of Credit via Baekdal

24 February 2009

Builds: Asian Modern 3

Some more shots of the Asian modern, which is going to be part of a rental complex in the islands as well as be available for sale.

Although not immediately evident from these shots, it is meant to sit on a hillside, with a rooftop entrance and a discrete back door on the first floor. Ideal for those steep waterside plots.

Interpretive Dance

The 2009 AAAS/Science Dance Contest

I think it speaks for itself.

Oh why, oh why did I not go into the sciences?

via boingboing

23 February 2009

Builds: Asian Modern 2

An attempt at a low prim Asian-themed modernist structure. It ended up not looking too bad for a box. And I just realized one of the images is a repost. Oh well, they are beginning a long set, so I'll let it stay.

Theme Song

From boingboing, some fan-tastic techno-kitsch at its best.

And right after having caught up on Girl Genius, who could ask for more?

22 February 2009

Memes

from kottke.org

Real Made Virtual

Interesting music video on boingboing.

It takes a second to realize that it is real and not a model. And still your eyes want to tell you otherwise.

21 February 2009

And about time too

Recovery.org

Accountability.

Be happy.

No really. I personally think this calls for a party.

A Solution

How to get your cat to agree to EULAs for you.

My favorite EULA was still a CD case with a sticker holding it closed saying that breaking this seal meant you agreed to all that fun EULA stuff, which usually says, in effect, that any attempt to use the product voids all warranties on said product. I popped the hinges. Don't remember how many times I installed that particular piece of software, but I never broke that seal.

20 February 2009

Builds: Asian Modern

Just some shots of an Asian modern block of a house I am putting the finishing touches on.

It is meant to sit in a reasonably steep slope. The building has a discrete door hidden away on the first floor as well as a rooftop entrance from the cliff behind it. There is also a small indoor koi pond at the base of the spiral staircase.

Scopitones

Wait!

There were music videos before MTV?

Yep, there were ...

via boingboing

And a modern day fromage ... ermmm ... homage.

19 February 2009

Builds: A-Frame

Currently working on an A-Frame that is a larger, nicer version of my house. The texturing is not done, but here is a view outside the upstairs window.

Women Know Your Limits

A wonderful video from the old Harry Enfield and Chums show and via boingboing.

18 February 2009

17 February 2009

Builds: The Airship

Playing with camera angles for some drama.

I've been Flickr'd!

Have started loading pictures of my builds to Flickr, where they are all organized and stuff.

And setting up my profile meant I had to find information on one of my favorite artists to ensure I spelled her name right, so here is the official Website for 大正九年, just in case you were interested.

16 February 2009

Builds: The Airship

Amazing what some environmental effects can do.

Hyperbolic

Running around screaming "Aaaah!!! Some of us may be mildly inconvenienced!" does not make good copy and doesn't sway all that many interested parties.

'Nuff said.

Would be funny though.

15 February 2009

Best Practices

Some tips on best practices in architecture from the BUILD Blog.

They're just shy is all

Some awesome artwork of aliens among us by Dmitry Maximov and via Baekdal.com

For the record, browse the artist's site at your own risk, the ad server that was feeding ads to his pages kept seizing up my browser.