Monday, October 18, 2010

Are You Prepared to Fight the Robot Overlords?

I'm seriously disturbed by this video. Why? Why do we need it? Why do we need to make robots in our image?

And I'm a guy who likes robots!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Benoit Mandelbrot, 1924-2010

I just read that mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot passed away yesterday. Mandelbrot is the father of Fractal Geometry, and his work is most popularly displayed in these "mandelbrot sets" that you see all over the internet. What seems like random shapes on the edges of these beautiful forms are actually just smaller, identical mandelbrot sets. You can infinitely zoom into an image like this and see the same pattern over and over again. From Wikipedia, "Fractal geometry is useful to accurately describe the development and resulting shape of many growth processes evident in nature, both organic and inorganic. Mandelbrot's work has changed the way researchers in many fields both perceive and characterize the phenomenon of natural growth."

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that math is not my forte - but I've always loved these images because they show that math can be artistic and beautiful. I think that showing stuff like this to young students sparks more curiousity in math. Benoit Mandelbrot applied his vast knowledge to nature, financial markets, and even cosmology. I appreciate the fact that he tried to apply math to solve real problems and to describe the inner-workings of complex phenomena.

Ok, tripsters... prepare to go whoa when you look at this video and remember that Benoit is the architect behind this awesome experience.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Justin Bieber's 4AD Roots

"The Bieb" has arrived in high school. Last year I barely heard a mention of the small moppet teen idol. This year I've got freshman girls adoringly including him in all of their digital media projects. He's a catchy little dude.

So I know this is old blog news, but i haven't been posting in a awhile, remember!?! Some hipsters took the Bieb's U-Smile and slowed it down to epic proportions. The result is straight out of This Mortal Coil! It sounds like something from the Cocteau Twins Elizabeth Fraser. Glorious, slow, moody, and ethereal. Maybe the Bieb is on to something here.

The original U-Smile....

The same song slowed down by 800%...
J. BIEBZ - U SMILE 800% SLOWER by Shamantis

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cut the Rope is all that and a bag of chips...

As I get older, casual games (yes it's a video gaming category) become much more appealing to me - particularly as there is a no console rule in my living room. The iPhone is a fantastic platform for this category of gaming. If you enjoyed Angry Birds you should definitely spend the measly .99 cents and buy Cut the Rope. The concept is simple, feed an insatiable little monster candy buy cutting the rope on various Rube Goldberg-like devices. The genius is in the variety and complexity of game play. Very addicting, and a very creative experience. Congrats to Zeptolab for getting it right...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10 Blogtastic Time Machine

Hey hipsters! It's 10-10-10 which means 42 in binary. Besides being a squarely middle aged reference, apparently this number is also special. Not bored enough with your life? Then join all of the discussions on teh intewebs about Douglas Adams mention of 42 in Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy... I took a break from blogging and digital media this summer. First time in a long time that I didn't touch any Adobe products or blogger for several months. Time to get going again. I had a great summer, so let's try to recap a few highlights on this epic Blogtastic Time Machine post:

My Wife's Book Signings! - Throughout the summer we attended several events to promote my wife's latest book, "Prophecy of Days". This included stints in Seattle, Portland, Ashland, and San Francisco. I'm soooo proud of Christy, in addition to her talents as a writer she's an all around awesome mom, wife, and purveyor of all things sweet and miniaturized. Ahem... if you'd like to support her work, hop on over to to grab a copy of the book (it's also available on the Kindle). It's very reasonably priced. Here's a pic of the book and Christy doing a reading at Kepler's in Palo Alto.

SkillsUSA Nationals in Kansas City - My main man Marshall put in another awesome showing in the Advertising Design competition at SkillsUSA Nationals this year. He's a senior now, so I'm really excited to see a threepeat at state. I chaperoned four young men during the week and they were very well behaved. We had a great time. During a break, Marshall and I toured through the Deco-styled Kansas City Memorial Hall. If you were ever a fan of the videogame Bioshock - this building is right down your alley. Memorial hall is an amazing architectural example of Deco style. Every nook and cranny has a cool little feature. One sad part of its history is the fact that Patsy Cline performed her last concert in this building before her tragic plane crash.

Maker's Faire - I was lucky enough to be in the San Fran area on the same weekend as Make Magazine's, Maker's Faire. A strange techno carnival, part burning man, part geek fest. I had to really sit on my hands not to buy every Arduino-related kit that they had on sale. We also had a bird's eye view of Waterboy, and the Mentos & Diet Coke dudes - who are now sponsored by Coke. Overall, a very odd but inspiring experience.

Backpacking in the Trinity Alps - I rediscovered backpacking with my kids this summer via a nice trip to the Trinity Alps National Wilderness Area. Located outside Scott's Valley in Northern California, this beautiful and rugged mountain range is one of the many stops along the Pacific Crest Trail. The kids were awesome hikers (even when Dad missed the trailhead and made them walk an extra 2 vertical miles on day one). We made camp next to a beautiful alpine lake, cooked all of our meals on a tiny SnowPeak stove, filtered all of our water, and left everything as we found it. A great time, although I think the kids are still scarred from going #2 in the woods.

New Family Member: H.R. Flufnstuf - Over a year ago our beloved 17 year old Stimpy passed away, so we vowed to get a new kitty at the beginning of the summer. Hence, H.R. Flufnstuf, dead ringer for Stimpy but with a very different personality. Loves to take baths! Let's the kids carry her around like a baby. Likes to sleep on my face at night! Not so excited about that last part... She's a great cat.

Many other wonderful moments these past three months. I'll try to be a better blogger, now that the weather is turning.

Yours in tech,