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.

14 February 2009

Geek Glamour!

Now we can finally go to the gala formal at the end of all those cons in style!

Okay, I'd own a pair, and find excuses to wear them, I really would. If for no other reason than they clearly would have enough space for human-sized toes. Unless for some stupid reason they actually put tapering wedges in the front to maintain the proper levels of pain and discomfort.

Student Works

From the comments in a post on Deezen regarding the posting of a student project.

eeeh..Why are third year students around the world doing the exact same thing? No context, no meaning, no function, scaleless…. it could be anything, it could be a toy or a villa or a museum. No thought of the art. No, it has to be enough now!

There there are many things in the long litany of complaints that I must agree with:

  • Student works should be shared and commented on in public forums like this.
  • Students should be allowed to experiment.
  • It is easy to claim something is derivative because it looks sort of like it falls into one camp or another that critics have typed famous architects into or that architects have claimed as their own. Also note that such claims of derivation seem to be a name dropping game. How many times can we drop the name Zaha Hadid? Perhaps the student was actually inspired by some lesser known work of Jungermann. Or perhaps Hadid is as influenced by her tools as these students are.
  • However, the point of such encouragement is to allow for a broader base of critique.

So ...

  • Buildings have context. Most student projects that get shown off like this are entirely lacking in context. For instance, in the article linked to above, where in Queens could you even put such a thing, and what sort of dialog would it establish with the surrounding architecture? Would it become nothing but a larger version of the Golden Turd?
  • Buildings have function. Judging from the interior shots of this structure, the only function the building serves is to create space. As someone asked already, where would you hang the art?
  • Buildings, certainly public buildings, need to relate to people.
  • Overlooking these factors is not intellectual experimentation, it is intellectual laziness. On the other hand, learning where your weaknesses are and overcoming them is a critical part of learning.

13 February 2009

There are times ...

There are times when the New York Times makes me wonder ... especially when there seems to be no hint of satire.

Of course, there is a solution!

In related news, the Onion is less safe for work than ever.

The Economy in One Easy Lesson

Lesson One: Negative Chicago from Pruned.

All in all we seem to be having an inauspicious start to what the Chinese have decided is an inauspicious alignment of the zodiac sign of the year.

12 February 2009

Education is Dead

At least higher education is.

At least higher education in America is.

Just don't tell the marketing department, they'll see it as some new sort of gimmick.

The names have been changed, well, obliterated, to protect the guilty.

Hi,

I'm the editor for __________'s text, and __________ has been forwarding your emails to me. Thanks for contacting him with your question about references in __________'s book. The answer is that we do not include a bibliography with __________'s text, either in the printed or online versions. We only include citations where necessary, which includes the __________ boxes and other examples. We consciously decided against including citations from research as this is an introductory book for undergraduate, non-majors, and we wanted the material to be as immediate and appealing to them as possible.

One of our other introductory texts, __________, has an extensive bibliography for every chapter. This book is designed for a more advanced student, and we thought it appropriate to include references. We can send you a copy of the latest edition of __________ if you'd like to consider using it.

If I'm missing something or did not answer your question fully, I'd like to continue the conversation. Don't hesitate to contact me directly with any additional questions or concerns.

If you don't understand why I'm appalled, you probably don't want to be anywhere near me right now.

Since they have stopped talking to me, I am not sure if they have gotten sick of me, or just figured out it wasn't a research bibliography I was complaining about the absence of.

Word of the Day: Frakative

Frakative

A grammatical form used exclusively with pop-cultural euphemistic neologisms. It should not be confused with the frelling tense.

Words that can be found taking the frakative include frak, felgercarb, frell, dren, flarn, fard, fark, joojooflop, turlingdrome, swut, *beep*, shazbat, and Margaret Thatcher.

11 February 2009

Even Have the Peeps

Okay, would definitely need this handy little item from Foolish Gadgets to go with this morning's commodity.

Attack of the 50 ft ...

Okay, I so want one of these ... in adult size.

GRAAAAHHHHH!!!!

(via boingboing)

10 February 2009

Become a Web Comic Artist

Another one from ExtraLife. Tips on being a Web Comic artist.

Kahn: The Opera

For those with too much time on their hands from those with too much time on their hands.

Kahn: The Opera

09 February 2009

Inauspicous Signs

Rem Koolhaas Burns to the Ground!

Or

Architecture Critics Celebrate Chinese New Year

Or

No, There's Nothing Going On

The Singularity University

There can be only one!

No wait, that's something else.

Ray Kurzweil has teamed up with Google and NASA to create a school, well, a training program really, dedicated to thinking about the future. With a price range and a low enrollment that guarantees to limit to executives and academics whose companies and institutions by some miracle still have deep pockets.

Singularity University

Although is sort of begs the question: Is the economic exclusion it creates in the way it has structured it's reported mission to prepare humanity for accelerated technological change a model for how the conceived future will unfold, who will be allowed to participate in it, and who will be left by the wayside because they couldn't afford an E ticket?

Measuring Ourselves

They lost me at “Unless something can be measured, it cannot be improved.”

Good Magazine on Jerry Davidson's quantified self.

08 February 2009

Guantanamallow

Ben and Jerry's is trying to come up with an ice cream flavor in honor of G.W.

Good Magazine presents us with a list of some the the responses they have gotten so far.

As well as the Obama flavor, Yes Pecan!

OMG! This girl is sooo hot!

Well, you'll just have to click it and see for yourself.

Helicopter Parents

A wonderful quote from the New York Times that wonderfully grasps the essence of the confusion between effective parenting and ego gratification.

In this era when children symbolize emotional fulfillment rather than free household labor, we cling to the belief that if we just do everything right — starting with what a woman eats before she’s even pregnant — we can protect them from pain or failure or sadness. We can make them perfect and, in the process, prove ourselves beyond reproach.

The article itself is good for other reasons too.

07 February 2009

News of the Weird

Everyone now and then you find an obit for someone you really wish you could have known. If for no other reason, because they were truly alive while they lived.

Choose Your Illusion

An interesting article from the New York Times on the constructed nature of reality television, and what it says about how we define the real.

The most interesting bit being the very redefinition of the word real to fit the needs of the medium.

06 February 2009

Principles of the American Cargo Cult

The Principles of the American Cargo Cult via boingboing.

My favorite is:

All interconnection is apparent. Otherwise, complicated explanations would be necessary.

05 February 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

From Neatorama and available at Amazon, no really.

Echoes of the Past

Interesting to compare this:
Ningbo Urban Snapshots from movingcities.org
to this:
Hakka architecture, which, though I also first saw in a blog, I don't remember which one, so ... Wikipedia it is.

I wonder how many other echoes of the past there are in those snapshots that aren't immediately apparent to the Western eye without side-by-side comparison.

04 February 2009

Words Without Borders

For every book or literary work that is translated from English into other languages, something like 0.01 are translated from other languages into English.

Moreover, things translated from English tend to sell better than things translated into English, because ... well, would you rather read Harry Potter or The Tin Drum? This is not because other cultures don't write good world class mass market entertainment, as well as world class literature. Instead, it is because publishing houses translate English-language books into other languages to increase sales. But, by and large, it is academics that translate books from other cultures into English. They too would like to sell their books, but they are not giant publishing houses, and are going to key in on what they think are critical works of literature, not what they think will sell really, really well.

No wonder the rest of the world knows us so well and we know absolutely nothing about the rest of the world.

Words without Borders is an online 'zine seeking to fix that.

How the City Hurts Your Brain

How the City Hurts Your Brain from the Boston Globe.

Now, personally, I find cities exhilarating, at least dense metropolitan ones that still have pre-automobile sensibilities about them. I start moving at their pace. Put me in the countryside and I quickly start to find the lack of distractions to be most ... distracting. I guess I'm just weird that way. After all, most of the most creative and intelligent people in the world live off in the middle of nowhere and always have, right?

But the comments in the article about the importance of green space and nature is interesting. Because it is not just some nature that is really important. It is the diversity of that nature that makes a difference. So perhaps the problem is that our brain reads urban settings as a sort of monoculture, like an empty field. This doesn't refute the argument in the article, it just changes it a little. It also allows us to ask how we create urban forms that aren't monocultures.

The other reason I find the need for complexity interesting is the difference between Frederick Law Olmstead and a typical Japanese formal garden. A Japanese formal garden is so complex, so carefully laid out, that it compels your attention at every moment. Suddenly, every little detail becomes cogent and tangible and needing your attention. On the other hand, I have an Olmstead park a few blocks from where I currently live. I cut through it alot, but it doesn't compel me to attend to it. If anything, I am too busy watching for creeps lurking behind trees as I wend through the interesting bits and avoid the intimidating wide open spaces. But the article is right on the point that such natural complexity does help to clear the senses.

Perhaps for truly high level functioning, we need the energy, dynamism, and synergy of the city, of the properly people-oriented city, combined with the ability to step away into the cleansing realm of nature to bring those energy levels back down. So how do we do a better job of building spaces like that?

03 February 2009

Architecture Wiki

Just found a link to a fledging architecture Wiki.

It looks to be just starting and very much focused on current buildings, but it is worth a look, and maybe even worth some participation. Personally, I'm more a theory person, but don't let that stop you.

Wiki Arquitectura

Builds: Sky Fortress 5

Probably the last shots of the sky fortress right now. We had to take it down to reapportion the sims. At some point I will put it back up and finish it.

I really like how the underside turned out though. Will definitely look better with some environmental detailing.

02 February 2009

Builds: Sky Fortress 4

Some more images of the skybox from before. Of the underside, which has ramps and engines and places for personal craft to land ... though it still needs plenty of detailing work.

Prior Art?

The iSteamPhone via boingboing.

01 February 2009