Thursday, June 20, 2013

Andrew Loomis in print again!

Finally! The books from one of the best art/illustration/drawing teachers of the 20th century, Andrew Loomis, are back in print again! Huzzah!

Creative Illustration

Drawing the Head and Hands

Figure Drawing for all it's Worth

Fun With A Pencil

Successful Drawing (aka 3-Dimensional Drawing)

It seems that so far, The Eye of the Painter is left out, only available used at very high prices (like I bought them all).

We are the *good* ones!

It can’t be wrong if *we* are doing it... we are the *good* ones. 
— Magrat Garlic, Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett

I was always puzzled by people seemingly infinite capacity to justify what they do (like invade a country and kill civilians) and at the same time intensely vilify anybody *else* who would do such a thing. I talked to one of my old friends about it, a very bright guy (hi Carsten), and he said: "That's because we don't understand that *they* are the *good ones*."

Wow, what an epiphany. I had completely suppressed the awareness that many, probably most, people in the world are on a mental state where they actually divide people up into "good people" and "bad people". You see it expressed in movies all the time. (Though to be fair, movies also do their fair sharing of breaking up this odd prejudice, by revealing more about the characters so our view on them must shift.)

Actually you even see capable and intelligent people with this mental attitude. For example a modern religion I know and its followers are deeply the theory of the world that 20% of people are more destructive than constructive, and that 2.5% (what an amazingly specific number) are *very* destructive, meaning actually evil and dangerous.

And this is despite the fact that the same man and philosophy *also* has the awesome philosophy that *we* create our surroundings, and they respond exactly to our minds. It is how *you* think which causes what happens to you. But he never seemed to be able to apply this fully to bad/good people idea on the bigger level. Right until his death, he blamed everything bad in the world on those evil beings.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

John MCafee is coming, and he's p****d off!

Judging from photos, this really is John MCafee. Holy cow, I've never seen anything like this. I'm guessing the current owners of the software don't like it!

(Note: contains swearing and skin.)

NSA disagreements

I was browsing a bit about this big NSA spying program leak, and I noticed to my amusement that Pres Obama defends it and calls it "totally transparent"... all the while NSA brass is saying that it is top-secret and they want to try the whistle-blower for treason...
So which is it? Transparent, or top-secret?!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bring ghosts with you on photo walks

[Thanks to Angelo]

This is a really awesome idea!
I didn't know you could get enough bandwidth yet over 3G to get a good Google+ video chat connection, but it seems like it works.
(Tell me if I've overlooked anything. One of them is on the Savannah, it has to be a 3G connection, not 4G or wifi.)

(Where did the usual YouTube logo go, which you could click on to go and get a bigger picture? Anyway, this vid is here in more sizes.)

I wonder what equipment and apps he uses.

A prosperous lifestyle

This may be an extreme example, but it's cool to read about somebody who got out of what many consider "lifetime debts"... in a couple of years... on unskilled labor income... while getting a degree.

It's interesting that for many, many people, a $32,000 debt would be mostly still in place 20 years later, having earned the credit company probably $90,000 and still going strong.

In Unanimous Vote, Russia Passes Bill Making It Illegal To Tell Kids Gay People Exist

In Unanimous Vote, Russia Passes Bill Making It Illegal To Tell Kids Gay People Exist, article.

I will definitely file this under "how crazy do groups get".

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Eric Schmidt: The Next 5 Billion - Life in Our New Connected Age

Five billion are still unconnected to the Net?! Shock and aw.

This talk is full of astounding details. For example is mentioned a museum exhibit in Saudi Arabia which was closed down, partly because a female was in an area alone without proper male guardian. This was a female... dinosaur... skeleton...! How far does insanity go in groups?
By the way, I may be underrating Twitter badly, because Twitter is very often one of the forces where such crazy (or worse) situations get known about to the broader world.

Schmidt makes the amazing claim that the last 5 Billion people, roughly, will be connected in 5-7 years. That sounds... very optimistic. But even if it's 15 years, that will still be a grand change. A bit scary.
Here is a good article about one of the ways we can connect the vast masses: High-flying balloons. Verra kool. Should be much more cost-effective than satellites or drones, I guess. (I'm still waiting for two cheap planet-covering satellite broadband services which they promised us in 2000 would come around 2004.)

B/W subject

Photo by Mark W.