Archive for year: 2009


08 Dec
December 8, 2009

These were both taken with my camera phone, hence the less-than-stellar quality. One is from my window looking out onto the driveway, one is the street I live on at 7 AM this morning.

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You’re on candid camera

07 Dec
December 7, 2009

Design Milk featured these today – Photography Spy Lens, to be attached to the end of your SLR, so you can take photos of people without them realizing you’re taking their photo. It works much as a submarine periscope does – it has a mirror angled to reflect at a 90 degree angle from the direction in which your lens is actually pointing. And just like a periscope, it can rotate 360 degrees so you can capture people to your left, right, and even above and below you!

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Don’t Break The Chain!

01 Dec
December 1, 2009

There’s some really interesting discussion going on in this AskMe thread about, once again, weight loss. The OP is rather self-recriminating about lacking self-control and rationalizing bad behaviour when they fall off the wagon in terms of exercising or eating well – after all, weight loss is such a simple thing! Consume less than you burn and you’ve got it made!

User Orchestra made the point that everyone sort of intuitively knows, but that still seems groundbreaking and paradigm shifting when it’s properly articulated. “Just because something is simple, that doesn’t mean it’s supposed to be easy. The reason that it’s so easy for so many of us to give up on our strict daily regimen of exercise and healthy eating when the going gets tough is because the human capacity for self-regulation is apparently limited (though renewable). If I forced myself to stay awake to finish writing that painful research paper, I will have that much less self control when it comes time to decide between making a sandwich for lunch or grabbing a burger. There’s even a Wikipedia article about this and everything!

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Your deviantART education…

30 Nov
November 30, 2009

I really love deviantART – internal politics aside, it’s really a pretty fantastic medium for bringing artists together. Yeah, there’s a premium version, but most of the essential functions are free, and with Ad Block and NoScript installed on my Firefox, I don’t even see the ads anymore.

I used to be a lot more active in the community, and had a lot more artsy friends to geek out with. Unfortunately, as my frequency of updating decreased drastically, so did the network I had ready access to. I still check my inbox¬† and look at a dozen or so pieces every day, which is wonderful for keeping me somewhat in touch with the subculture, but it’s a very one-sided and passive relationship.

Which is why I was so excited when one of my best friends recently went on a deviantART bender after following a link I’d sent along and spent an entire evening browsing through the site. “Excellent,” I thought. “I shall compile a list of awesome deviations they could look at, which will then pull them deep into the culture and give me an art companion into the bargain.”

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In defense of Wave

14 Oct
October 14, 2009

There was a Slate post yesterday accusing Google Wave of being bloated and not very user-friendly. “It’s too complicated for its own good,” the author said. “It’s just fancy talk.”

I don’t have a Wave invite, so my knowledge of Wave stems more or less exclusively from this demo video (80 minutes long). It looks insaney powerful. It also looks, I agree, complicated, and a little bit cluttered, as anything with avatars and icons tends to once enough people are added.

But I feel like saying “Google Wave is counterintuitive, wah!” kind of misses the whole point of Google Wave. Read more →

The art of art

11 Oct
October 11, 2009

I find this picture kind of heartbreakingly pretty. I’m not saying it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen or anything: the composition is pretty simple, it’s a piece of fanart of a fairly mainstream series, but there’s something about the expression on the blond’s face (his name is Fai) that makes me stop and stare.


I used to be totally into anime and manga, but I say that somewhat self-consciously. I followed some of the mainstream series for a while (Naruto, Bleach), and though I was always vaguely aware of the classics and the cult favourites, I think I was more enamoured with the fandom than the canon. I read and wrote fanfiction, kept up with licensing news, got appropriately angry at 4Kids, and went to exactly one anime convention. I loved it there, and always intended to go to more (as soon as I completed my ridiculously elaborate cosplay costume…!)

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Kurt Halsey is love

19 Sep
September 19, 2009

I remember about five years ago, my friends and I were absolutely crazy about Kurt Halsey. Absolutely crazy. Some of my friends bought pillow cases and buttons and messenger bags and prints, and others (like me) tried in vain to imitate his unique style. We used his art for avatars, we quoted the pithy sayings scrawled across his drawings to each other, and in general acted like ridiculous fangirls.

As his website underwent continuous construction, as his frequency of updating dropped, and as I lost touch with those friends, I stopped really paying attention to Kurt Halsey. I also developed a bit of self-conscious aversion for the emotive, yearning quality of his art – nothing against him, really, I just didn’t really want to indulge that side of me. Be rational or perish, and all that.

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Open source community, how I adore thee.

19 Sep
September 19, 2009
So because I was taking a break (read: because I was procrastinating) I looked up Launchy to see if it’s something I wanted to run on my computer to optimize my keystrokes (read: to spend another three hours playing with the settings of a funky program). I have NoScript installed, and on the side of the page, I see:
“This is where Ads would go, but you’ve got Javascript turned off – how sneaky of you. Very, very sneaky!”
Totally made my day. Especially considering most websites just break in a really ungraceful way when their javascript is borked.
Go Launchy.