Saturday, January 24, 2009

Your mind's eye?

Update, let me try to be clearer:
Close your eyes. Recall a building you looked at recently. Is the picture as detailed as reality? If not, how much less?


Here's a survey I've been meaning to do:

What do you see when you remember or imagine things? How detailed are the pictures? Is there color? Is it three-dimensional?

Not long ago I had a "lucid dream", meaning I knew I was dreaming. But unlike usual, I didn't wake up soon, I kept dreaming. And more so, the dream was fantastically detailed and real-appearing visually. In fact I particularly noticed that everything I was seeing was at least as detailed and three-dimensional as what I see with my eyes when I'm "awake". It was amazing. (It was one of those things that proved to me that I can't prove the World is not a dream. But that's another story.)

The point is, though, that while I remember the experience, when I remember the dream, I don't see it very detailed. And it's the same for anything I remember, or for anything I imagine: even though I'm very visual, whatever I see in my mind is sketchy. In fact it's so sketchy that "conceptual" is probably a more precise word. Not clear at all.

So I am wondering what other people's experience is? Yours?


How do I make a link to let people get RSS feed for this blog?

Update: thanks to my alert readers. I've selected to add the link manually to the right side now, it says "RSS feed". 

Zeitgeist - The Movie: Federal Reserve

Zeitgeist - The Movie: Federal Reserve (Part 1 of 5)
This is surely relevant to almost any country on the planet.
There's apparently expanded versions.
... These days I am not sure what to think of conspiracy theories. I think it's healthy to face the evil in the world, but I also think it's faulty to see evil "out there". Everything comes from "in here".

Objectified movie

Objectified is a documentary about design, which will have premiere in March. I'll watch it as soon as it comes on disk. (Hopefully blu-ray.)

BTW, a blog (like the site for this movie) is an easy site to set up, but for many projects it may not be the best one, since new articles will push down articles which may be essential for new readers.

Funny, by the way, re the quote below, I was just talking to a friend about how people are sooooo conservative in the designs they will accept. Just take car colors. There are maybe five colors which make up 99% of all used on cars.

"Probably the thing that irks me the most [in car design] is when I see this repetition of the known, because it shows people have comfort zones that are too tight to themselves and they’re really afraid to walk out of those. And then somebody comes up with a new idea, and then everybody follows that because their comfort zone has been expanded. The work that we’ve done in the last ten years has been about expanding those comfort zones."
– Chris Bangle, BMW

Or a different example: I have a uniquely-designed drawing table I got made by a furniture maker. I has curved end-edges and many inlaid kinds of wood. The same guy made an early design with inlaid wood, a coffee table which look like it had a big zipper in it, partly open. He told me that everybody loved that table, but it took four years before anybody actually ordered one!

Laurie Anderson - O Superman/Here With You

And here is another one of those I got besmitten with and I had to make myself: Here With You.

Daily Routines

How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days. Article.

TTL said:
Actually it's not an article but a whole website (blog) about the daily routines of interesting people. You can subscribe to the RSS feed to get updates.

Another interesting one is How we work by rodcorp. This one is more like an article (with subpages) but it too receives updates.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A cliche blonde

This one has been popular for a while, but I don't think I blogged it before.
I like:
"I listen to what you're saying, but I only hear what I want."

(Oh, isn't she lovely though.)

"Women don't really want to hear a man's opinion, they just want to hear their opinion in a deeper voice."

He's a dope guy


Ballad by DeadMouse. Slow story, but visually outstanding.

Hits and near misses

Holy mama.

Quotes from comedians

"A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: Duh."
--Conan O'Brien

"I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else."
--Lily Tomlin

More. (Not all of them are winners.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009


NakedKnitting, a project to make a nude goodwill calendar for an under-funded hospital. 100% of sales profits will go to that charity. (There's scant information there yet. Maybe it's a bit premature to link to it, but it's a project by my friends Vicky and Laurie Jeffery.)

Anatomy of a bubble

Anatomy of a bubble.

Economic investment bubbles have been a scurge of mankind since at least the 1600s. We would do well to understand them better.

I think the real estate bubble has at least a couple years to fall yet, in most of the world.

Understanding god

How do you define God? Like this. A God I could understand, at least potentially, was infinitely more interesting and relevant than one that defied comprehension.
-- Robert J. Sawyer, "Calculating God", 2000

I can understand that sentiment, but is it really the function of god to be "interesting" to humans? Also, does one really expect god to fit, even conceptually, into the puny human mind?
Sure, one should try, absolutely. But lord, even just astronomical numbers boggles our tiny minds, and god must be almost infinitely bigger than those.

Sorry for not capitalizing "god". It's a feeble attempt to use it in a more abstract way than the personal, Christian, God.

Don't get me wrong, I don't consider god to be forever beyond our reach. I just don't think we'll stay human, really.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Andrew Sinclair-Day glass art

Andrew Sinclair-Day glass art.

I can't believe these are made of glass.
And how do you ship them??

The blue dragonfly I had to send notice of to my friend lysa of DragonflyBlue.

Why Work site

Why Work site.
I am not sure exactly what they are advocating in practical terms, and it seems neither are they. But it's a subject which bears thinking about, rather than just reacting to. For example I remember this excellent old anecdote:

A rich man walked in a little fishing village and saw a fisherman sitting with his feet up, deeply relaxed, in the middle of the day and week, and the rich man was offended. So he went up to the guy and said: "Why aren't you out fishing?"

The fisherman said: "I got enough fish for the week."

"But you should get more."


"So you could earn more money to get a bigger boat and hire men."


"To earn more money yet."


"So you can sit back and relax."

The fisherman just looked at him under one raised eyebrow.

Jens points to the original story.

Transparent designs

Transparent designs. Kewl. makes the shortest short-urls ever by virtue of the short address, and also the widget is amazingly useful. You don't even have to copy the URL and paste it in, it gets it automatically from whatever web page you're looking at! Kool.

And you don't have to select and copy it either. Just one click. I like that. I'd like more engineers to think like that. Save clicks. It's only recently that youtube has the cursor already in the searchfield when I arrive. And Amazon still doesn't.

Fantastic Machine

I bought this on DVD a couple years ago after David Pogue recommended it. Now I see it's on u-toob:

Brian's Brain

Brian's Brain comic.

Rancher's wife

[Thanks to signalroom.]

A successful rancher died and left everything to his devoted wife. She was a very good-looking woman and determined to keep the ranch, but knew very little about ranching, so she decided to place an ad in the newspaper for a ranch hand.

Two cowboys applied for the job. One was gay and the other a drunk. She thought long and hard about it, and when no one else applied she decided to hire the gay guy, figuring it would be safer to have him around the house than the drunk.. He proved to be a hard worker who put In long hours every day and knew a lot about ranching.

For weeks, the two of them worked, and the ranch was doing very well. Then one day, the rancher's widow said to the hired hand, 'You have done a really good job, and the ranch looks great. You should go into town and kick up your heels.'

The hired hand readily agreed and went into town one Saturday night. One o'clock came, however, and he didn't return. Two o'clock and no hired hand. Finally he returned around two-thirty, and upon entering the room, he found the rancher's widow sitting by the fireplace with a glass of wine, waiting for him.

She quietly called him over to her. 'Unbutton my blouse and take it off,' she said. Trembling, he did as she directed. 'Now take off my boots.' He did as she asked, ever so slowly.. 'Now take off my socks.'

He removed each gently and placed them neatly by her boots. 'Now take off my skirt.' He slowly unbuttoned it, constantly watching her eyes in the fire light. 'Now take off my bra.' Again, with trembling hands, he did as he was told and dropped it to the floor.

Then she looked at him and said, 'If you ever wear my clothes into town again, you're fired!'

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

David Bowie: Beat Of Your Drum

Fan video.
A song from the underrated Never Let Me Down album.

Fun and profit

Dave pointed out:
For you, the last line should read, "but I collect and post pictures of nude women for work."

Yeah, it's funny what the world will pay for. Some of the richest people play sports with other people watching them!

Disturbed - Liberate (your mind)

Find a color

Pretty cool, and must have a use: find photos of a certain color.
If you click on more colors, it combines them.
Using the same colour more than once increases its prominence in your search results.
(Click a picture to see it in Flickr.)

... Hey, I just thought of a use: to find ideas for paintings! I often start with colors I want to use. So in the example below, I felt like making a painting using brown, red, and beige. So I can find a composition to be inspired by. (Obviously not plagiarizing a photo.)

Oooh, another use: a designer wants a picture to match the colors in a web page or magazine page. He can find one here, and then offer to buy use of it.

I, a luddite

(No, not me.) A luddite cries out, article.

A Scam?

My phone rang, and a polite woman asked to speak to "the owner". I said that was me. She said she called from some company name I don't recall. And then she said she was calling "regarding the bill I'd received in April, from the council". I said "I'm not sure what you're talking about". And she hung up, not a word of explanation or even goodbye.
That has to have been some kind of scam.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Nikon D90 with kit zoom lens, 1/15 second (the lens has Vibration Reduction), ISO 1250.
Surprisingly to me, virtually no image processing in computer.

Your force field

The whole progress of an artist, I guess, is to learn what your gravity is, what your language is, what your force field is, how you can draw others in to see as you see, rather than giving in and seeing as others see.
- Melinda Gebbie, colaborator with Alan Moore on Lost Girls

That's very smart. It is so tricky to learn to "draw good" that in the process one can easily lose sight of the fact that there are other ways to see things than the Great Average.


How come comics are selling only a tiny percentage of what pure text is? They should be much more popular, given that you have the communication power of text, plus the communication power of images.

I speculate that the issue is that you don't get that power without a proportional increase in complexity, and very few creators (if any) can really harness that. I've been studying comics all my life, thinking about how to make them, and sometimes making them, and I think I've barely scratched the surface. And that's just understanding the principles, not even acquiring the skills necessary to make them!

The F16

A C-130 was lumbering along when a cocky F-16 flashed by. The F-16 jockey decided to show off.

The fighter jock told the C-130 pilot, 'watch this!' and promptly Went into a barrel roll followed by a steep climb. He then finished With a sonic boom as he broke the sound barrier. The F-16 pilot Asked the C-130 pilot what he thought of that?

The C-130 pilot said, 'That was impressive, but watch this!' The C-130 droned along for about 5 minutes and then the C-130 Pilot came back on and said: 'What did you think of that?' Puzzled, the F-16 pilot asked, 'What the heck did you do?' The C-130 pilot chuckled. 'I stood up, stretched my legs, walked To the back, went to the bathroom, then got a cup of coffee and a Cinnamon bun.'

When you are young & foolish - speed & flash may seem a good thing.
When you get older & smarter - comfort & dull is not such a bad thing.


It speaks to youth because they can laugh at how lame old folks are. And to seniors because they can laugh at how wise they are.
For me, I'm barely middle-aged, but I've been on the Comfort side of things since I was about 10.

fuel expenses

I just found out I have significantly reduces my electricity/heating bill since last year. I did it by changing to a better provider, and keeing an eye on where I wasted.

It was not an expense which threatened my budget, but the savings still make me happy, since they were accomplished without any compromise to my comfort. So that's "free money" which can go to some fun or towards a rainy day, or for a gift to family.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Starry Night

Starry Night made from photo mosaic.


Blondie: Slow Motion

I remember seeing Debbie Harrie on TV for the first time (1977 maybe). I was thunderstruck. My older brother and mom half-teased me: "I'd like to know what you're type of girl is." I said, "well, her! Duh."
I think the song we saw was Heart of Glass:

... It would fit, she is frigging gorgeous in this one.

I always saw Blondie as the closest thing to the model band for the band Frozen Gold in Iain Banks' woderful novel Espedair Street.

Blondie was disbanded between 1982 and 1997. They came together because interest had grown. Their albums since then, No Exit and The Curse Of Blondie, are surprisingly nice. (Funny enough, both titles can be interpreted as meaning the band members had tried to get rid of/out of Blondie, but just can't. I wonder.)