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November 2006 Archives

November 1, 2006

New York City does Halloween well (Part I)...

The famous Trinity Church in the financial district had put these pumpkins on their grave site. Famous people buried here are Alexander Hamilton (on your $20 bill) and Robert Fulton, who designed the "first commercial steamboat (there's a street named after him)."

Anyway, this got me thinking... of combining Knott's Scary Farm with cemetaries. What if the Arlington National Cemetary had a haunted tour? I would be the first to admit my fear, but I would still participate for the experience.

Here's that cheesy laugh in text:
BWaHa-HA-Ha-hA

I stand corrected with the Alexander Hamilton fact. My friend, Ben Wilkes, emailed me the corrected information: "Hamilton was never President. Delegate to the Constitutional Convention, Secretary of the Treasury (I knew those). Wikipedia remind us he was lead author of the Federalist Papers, too.

Thanks, Ben.

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New York City does Halloween well (Part II)...

Okay, went to a real parade with floats... On the way there, I saw some costumes that didn't make it to my list, but I'm going to give them some credit. Here goes:

The one in Los Angeles is equally fun, but this one has parades. Los Angeles' Halloween parade is structured more like a 2-mile street fair.parade.jpg

How many Freddy type monster masks have I seen? At least his eyes light up.
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I'm not quite sure what these costumes are suppose to be, but I give them credit for having the courage to wear them.
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At first, I wanted to take this photo because of the absurdity of a cow drinking Jamaican beer, but then his "udder" friend stepped in.
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New York City does Halloween well (Part III)...

Popular themes this year include Ghostbusters, characters from the movie Vendetta, and the prom-queen from Stephen King's novel Carrie. The costume that I literally felt a physiological rise was from was a guy wearing a S.W.A.T. team uniform. Anyway, the costumes in Manhattan were pretty creative.

These costumes were the most original, home-spun, and creative costumes. They are in chron order, and I think all of these relate to objects:

Mike Buhkin is the Metro signage, which has a slight variation in destination -- The R train goes to hell.
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This costume is a New York crime scene right before the cops get there.
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While I saw several people wearing trash can outfits and ghostbuster outfits, this table at a restaurant was pretty unusual.
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Maybe I've seen a toy robot costume in the past, but the design and details here are polished.
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This guy was an enema machine, and was trying to offer free enemas. Bizarre.
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These costumes must be relevant to their favorite drink, Jack and Coke. The Coke is wearing a Jack Daniel's tiara.
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"Butta Face" is a Howard Stern term. Funny, if you listen to Howard Stern.
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Ceci n'est pas un costume de nuit des sorcières...

This is not a Halloween costume...


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He is the "moustache man" that works at the Java Lava Cafe. If you're tired of Starbucks, mosey to Waverly and Mercer Streets (293 Mercer), which is behind the Tisch building. Cheap coffee with NYU discounts.


Important Update for OJ lovers:

A small carton of Tropicana orange juice costs $2.00 at All About Food, but it costs only $1.25...go figure

November 3, 2006

Abstract Cardboard Art

This is for anyone who had to create, design or produce a cardboard chair (usually an industrial design/architecture assignment), this is for you...
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November 4, 2006

Clifford Ross, a Photographer and Inventor

He was a guest speaker in Red Burn's class, and his presentation resonated with me. I saw him last year, when he showed his then-current work of large-scale photographs produced by a camera he designed and paid someone to make (click here to see the camera "R1"). In his quest, to bring the mountain to you, he believes scale and detail is important, which is why the negatives are 9 inches by 18 inches, and can capture in focus anything within 4,000 ft in range. I believe the resolution is in the 5,000-6,000 dpi, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, in person, you can see the shingles of that barn.

In the past, he was collaborating with scientists to make a high-def movie camera that captures 360º so it's kind of like everything you see when you make 1 turn, all at once, which might be projected on his i3 Cyclorama, which is described like a spiralled IMAX screen. I would definitely like to interact with this immersive experience. The above image is a screenshot of one frame projected on a flat screen of what this camera shoots.

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Also, here is a list of what he believes are "necessary ingredients for invention and art:"

1. curiosity
2. persistence

3. be ready to embrace the unexpected

4. collaborate/collaborate with the past

5. pay close attention to accidents

For more info, please visit his site: www.cliffordross.com

November 5, 2006

East Village Thai

I really like this Thai place because the curry chicken with coconut milk is sweet, but not too sweet. Also they add basil which counters the tumeric in the curry, and when you order the chicken version, they use chicken breast pieces. A deal during lunch, only $5.50. My friend Cliff and I wonder why more of these places don't exist in Midtown...rent is not that much cheaper, is it?
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Cranberries at Rockefeller Center

This must be for the Today Show, I'm guessing. Anyway, that person is not a real cranberry farmer, she's just an ad person telling you how great that brand is. Thanksgiving is around the corner. It's funny to see the stores (especially drugstores) get ready and rid holiday products. First Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanukah/Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, all back-to-back. At least there's a month before Easter/Passover, Memorial Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Fourth of July. That's at least $10, if you pay $1 for each holiday, and $1000 is you pay $100 for each holiday.

Anyway, I was going to pick out one of those cranberries to try, but my friend stopped me.

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Tower Records R.I.P.

This is pretty sad. I remember buying a lot of cd's from the Tower Records on Sunset Strip. Two weeks before taking this photo, I saw Chris Anderson speak, author of The Long Tail, and he played a funny clip about the death of Tower Records. That's how I found out that Tower Records was closing down.

I went to the sale, and the first floor that displays all the popular music was still there, but as you make way to the second and third floors that display jazz, classical, bluegrass music, the selection vastly diminishes.

I haven't bought one song from iTunes and I have an iPod. I still by cd's because I like the cover art, and still read the lyrics to the songs. Btw, there was an obscure record store that sells "other music" right across from Tower Records. I'm curious what "other music" is.

I bought 6 classical music cd's for approximately $18.00, for a total of 6.5 hours of music. That's cheaper than iTunes selling 1 song for 99 cents or $10.00 for 1 hour of music. Now that's a steal.

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Come Out and Play Festival 2006, Part I

We participated in the Story Mashup game that had over 100 participants covering Midtown Manhattan. Nokia sponsored this game, and we used their new N80. A random word would appear on your phone, and you would take a photo about it. You gain more points if someone guesses it. These random words were pulled from a blog, and these photos would create a string of images that would visually tell a story. Great concept, but there were some problems with the server and cell reception that kind of slowed the game down.
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Come Out and Play Festival 2006, Part II

This is probably the best videogame I have ever experienced. The controllers are two accelerometers, one strapped close to your knee/thigh, and the other one on your arm. The accelerometer on your knee controls the direction and the one on your arm controls the speed (by tucking the arm in, you move faster, but lose control). It was pretty engaging physically and physiologically. I was perspiring a bit. This game was projected on a wall, so I'm not sure how immersive the game would be if you played this on a smaller screen (PSP, t.v., computer). Anyway, it was fun.
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November 6, 2006

Keith Herried

I met my friend Keith Herried, when I decided to take some life drawing art and acrylic painting classes at a local college. We used to eat at this El Salvadorian restaurant during breaks, pupusas, huevos ranchero and horchata. It became a weekly habit, and then after classes, we went to an exhibition or we used to draw people at a cafe. Our group of two grew to four (Brenda and Eduardo). I think they ended up going to art schools professionally, one on full scholarship.
I've kept in touch with Keith. He just had his first art show. I knew he would make it. I'm so proud of him. He just sold a piece too. One of the things I really appreciate about his work is that he's not afraid of being experimental. He has numerous works using collage, oil and watercolor. This is his self-portrait and the invitation.
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Btw, this was in Los Angeles.

November 7, 2006

Today is Election Day...

so go out and vote.

Also, Clay Shirky recommended this article re "Social Capital," which talks about the differenced between bonded versus bridged capital and what happens when civic responsibility declines.

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What dictates our political involvement?

November 8, 2006

Grimaldi's Pizza

It was formerly known as Patsy's back in the 60's and Frank Sinatra ate here all the time. The pizza here is pretty awesome. We always order the olives because it's definitely NOT the canned kind. What I like is the crispy, thin crust and doughy middle. I'm going to DiFara's this weekend to compare.
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Storage Signage

I really didn't notice this building (it's across the street from Grimaldi's) because I usually come here for dinner. I believe they are apartment buildings, and I think some of the units have high ceilings. They get a nice view of Manhattan.
I can't even imagine this building in 1893.
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Wired Nextfest 2006, Part I

FogScreen

Screen made up of fog. Any media projected on it looks ephemeral.
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3D Display Cube
Former ITP alum, James Clar

Each cube is made up of 1000 led lights.
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Vein Viewer
Luminetx

This is fabulous if you have small veins. Normally, a nurse pokes around looking for a vein in my arm for about five minutes.
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Flexible Screen

This is a thin flexible screen attached to the arm of a soldier in combat. The army plans to print buttons on the other sleeve using a technology called e-ink. These buttons would be used to navigate through this interface. It looks like it comes out of a Harry Potter novel.

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November 9, 2006

Wired Nextfest 2006, Part II

Bots were big.

Need a dance partner? No need to be a wall flower. I think they waltz, but not sure if they tango.

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Bot arm has approximately 33 air pumps that act like your muscle and tendons. They hope amputees can use this botic arm. I like the detail of the fingernail etched into the model hand.
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This bot can pick itself off the floor, and make unique human natural gesture. It's tiny.
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Seal Bot Clever way to hide the power source. These bots react to your gestures. If you squeeze it, I think it makes a sound. I think they are being used for therapy.
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Wired Nextfest 2006, Part III

Power Aware Cord

A power strip that indicates how much energy you use.

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Element

Heat from light bulbs are not wasted energy here. It doubles as a heater also.


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Water Garden

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November 11, 2006

Blue Pig

I just discovered this ice cream place in Brooklyn, very close by Grimaldi's. I had a scoop of pumpkin, and one of "pig slop," which is oatmeal. I thought these ice cream cakes were amusing, especially the gummy snakes and bears (I never understood bubblegum ice cream).
The girl standing in front of the door just spent $600.00 on a pair of eyeglasses. Wow!
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November 12, 2006

Dell Pattern - Product Placement

In August, Dell Computers hit the cover of Businessweek with the title "Dark Days at Dell," and judging by the comments below the article, most of them expressed Dell's incompetence.

This past Wednesday, President George W. Bush made a reference to Dell Computers in his press conference (click here to see this video). I don't know if you see a pattern or formula here, Dell + Bush = Incompetence.

I felt bad for my co-worker when he was on the phone for a very long time with Dell's Customer Support after just recently purchasing a Dell monitor, and judging by his conversation, this was not his first time calling Dell regarding this same matter.

This is what really bothered me about X-Men: The Last Stand. The movie had a great story, but I was extremely disappointed that the producers and directors of this movie chose Dell computers to represent "high-tech progression" and "competence." The idea of Professor Charles Xavier using Dell computers to revive Jean Grey/Phoenix, is not credible. I don't think I was actively looking a product placement, but it stuck out like a sore thumb. In this scene, Jean-Grey was in a sterile white room, and had tiny electrodes stuck to her forehead that measured her neural behavior, which was displayed on a Dell monitor.

Anyway, this is a pattern that I keep seeing in both movies and television. Although, in movies, I believe it's more effective in brainwashing, since the product placement is more subversive. Recently, I was watching Google's interactive cable channel, which is suppose to be "VCC" (Viewer Created Content), and I was really disappointed in their direction of using product placement in their banner ad (or is it called "anchor?"). Last May, I was able to watch an engaging story about poetry. Last month, I saw a "Pop Secret popcorn ad" endorsing The Grudge 2 movie. It was really obvious and cheesy (animated popcorn coming out of movie bucket). I guess that's what really bothers me about Google's purchase of YouTube (sorry, the pres. video above was the only one I could find).

Anyway, if you're really tired of product placement, get up, and walk to your local park, meditate, try a new restaurant (not a chain one), or read a book. Free your mind.

November 13, 2006

Analog Texture

I like the simplicity of this film. It simultaneously feels binary and archival.

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Chris Anderson and Lawrence Lessig

Last month, I signed up to see Lawrence Lessig and Chris Anderson talk about his new book The Long Tail. I haven't read the book yet, but "the long tail" represents the "power law distribution," a different way of reading statistical data. In Chris Anderson's book, it is used to analyze content on the web. In a class taught by Clay Shirky, he frequently uses this law to analyze social interactions and groups.
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"RO" is defined as "Read Only" and "RW" is defined as "Read-Write." They also briefly covered their views about Net Neutrality.

November 14, 2006

Pollie Barden Networked Journal Project

When Pollie first pitched her idea, I remembered thinking "Wow! That's pretty ambitious." Anyway, two weeks later, she's already making her prototype and hooking her sensor to the book (which I believe is an fsr). So imagine that black electrical tape around the book's border is a force field. As you write in the book, it triggers the LED light. Then replace that LED light signal with a cell phone message, email, audio, or any kind of response. Keeping this in mind for when my group designs an antenna for our bookshelf. Kudos, Pollie!

Addendum:
I was wrong about the sensor. It is an analog QPROX (proximity sensor) that is constantly on using PWM (pulse width modulator: technique for controlling analog circuits with a processor's digital outputs). I think she's going to ground the cover of her book with some conductive fabric. I really can't wait to see this at ITP show.

For more information about Pollie's work, click here. She also designed and produced this cool laptop tray for one of the kids in her assistive tech class. I think he was very happy with it.

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November 15, 2006

The New York Times Building

I was passing by the Center for Architecture when I decided to pop in. There were three exhibits: New York Times building, WTC, and student's work, which I will cover in later blog posts. I really appreciate the process of designing a building, especially when it's a collaborative effort. I think about the chief architect's role and also all of the team members regard to discipline, and attention to detail.

Here's one page of hundreds in a book the size of half a coffee table:
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This series of photos are of four models. I am not sure what the scale for this model is, but keep in mind, all of these were constructed in scale (e.g. ¼ = 1 foot).
The building with the city: nyt0.jpg

Just the building:
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The entrance:
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Close up of the same entrance:
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Floor view:
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November 20, 2006

Lucky Sketches

One day, when I was reading an article about social networking in primates, Lucky, came up to me. I quickly sketched him out. I really like drawing with a pen because it makes me sketch with quick deliberation, whereas with a pencil, I constantly erase and redraw.
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World Trade Center

Question: How would I get 5,000 people to meet for dinner and vote for a design for the new World Trade Center?

Answer: I would probably ask the 5,000 people beforehand to bring in an artifact about the issue they want to discuss, and bring it to that event. Then when people discuss their issue at the table, and vote, everyone is on the same page.

Then I would probably collect their artifacts, and display them on a wall or inspiration board, whether part of an exhibition or not. That way, people can assume that their time and thoughts were considered.

I was impressed with this exhibition at the Center For Architecture. These two walls display numerous articles about the design and construction of what the new Freedom Tower.

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For the People who are taking Physical Computing Without Computers

These two images are for the people who are taking Physical Computing Without Computers, a course that explores mechanical engineering and other solutions that do not use microcontrollers. Most of them are doing projects with gears. These photos were taken in Ron Sear's studio. It utilizes power, but no "brain." Anyway, its functionality is cleaning metal using sand as an abrasive.
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Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part I

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. Unfortunately, I can't remember which school these set of illustrations belong to, I like layers of information displayed graphically here. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.
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Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part II

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. I took these images for someone who really liked metal work and textures. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.
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Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part III

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. I believe these sketches came from the architecture department at Cooper Union. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.
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Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part IV

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. I believe these sketches with regard to structure came from the architecture or interior design departments at Pratt. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.
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November 23, 2006

Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part V

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students at Princeton. I really appreciate all the decorative details in these models that I would normally overlook in buildings, in general. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.
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Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part VI

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. These images show the importance of information design. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.
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Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part VII

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. These images show multiple ways of layering experimental textures to build structure. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.
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November 25, 2006

New Yorkers weep no more! I found the Best Athentic Mexican here in NYC

El Maguey y La Tuna
321 E Houston St
New York, NY

So far, I've been on the search to match a Mexican restaurant to the ones I've been to in Los Angeles, and couldn't find anything until now. I saw a chicken mole, but I was hesitant to try it because of an inauthentic mole experience elsewhere.

This place is cozy, and I like that they play tunes from a Spanish radio station (although I heard an American ad for some clap-on type gadget). The brunch is awesome. You get their cafe infused with milk and an entree. I chose the strip steak with chilaques with green sauce (a tortilla type casserole - I first had one in Puerto Vallarta), and Nick had the Mexican pork chorizos sausage omelet (i.e. usually restaurants use regular sausage, but they use the real deal). It was really delicious. Then I got this dessert, which when I read on the menu, I thought it was going to be something else, but it was heavenly. Not to sweet, but sweet enough. Those chips remind me of Taco Bell's cinnamon chips, but El Maguey's taste a lot better (because the whole chip is coated on both sides with cinnamon), and honey with Neapolitan ice cream (ours didn't have chocolate, but I'm not sure if that was intentional or not)...magnificent!

Anyway, if you see me around, I can give you a 15% off coupon. They also handmake their tamales, which is a traditional all-day holiday experience. I think the lady mentioned that they had a dessert version of it. It's a little out of the way, but the walk is definitely worth it.

I forgot to mention prices. Brunch is only $9.95, which includes coffee and entrée, and the dessert was $4 or $5, but it was definitely worth it.

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Dish Names:
Chilaquiles, Huevos Con Chorizo, and the dessert is called Sopapilla.

November 27, 2006

A Second Read

This is for my friend Ronald Valenzuela, who I have known since the early part of this decade. He wrote one of my letters of recommendations and is a mentor of mine. Anyway, I sent him a card with a drawing, which is suppose to match this photograph, a cross the street from Grimaldi's in Brooklyn, facing Manhattan. I was eating a "pie" for him. Anyway, Happy Birthday, Ronald! Maybe I'll publish the drawing later.
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November 29, 2006

Neat Window Displaying Bed For Bot

This store is next to the Great Jones Cafe. The mannequin looks like one of those seatbelt dummies.
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Coffee Ground Recycled

I thought this was an innovative way to recycle coffee grounds. In this image, it is used as soil, and the plant structure is a pineapple top. I heard from the "Moustache Man," Austin (Java Lava) that the reason why it could be used is because of the acidity. Very interesting...
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Great Breakfast Brunches at Great Jones Cafe

I get the Crescent City and Nick gets the Andouille Omelet. Mine are two biscuits with ham, eggs, sausage and gravy. Really good. Nick gets this omelet which comes with a lot of Andouille sausage. They offer grits or cornbread with jalapeño and maple syrup.
The lemonade vodka and spicy rum ginger ale are really good cocktails. These photographs get the point across.
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Preview Winter ITP 2006, Part I

David Bamford's Remote Emote is pretty cool. He is in my Networked Objects class. The concept of this piece is kind of a physical mirror installation. There are two of these in two different locations. When one square rod is pushed in one location, the corresponding rod in a different location protrudes. It kind of reminds me of Andrew Shoben's work. Immaculate detailed construction and engineering.
To learn more about his process, check out his link.
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Preview Winter ITP 2006, Part II

Another amazing project created by Rocio Barcia and Karl Channell. They produced these controllers that allow you to change the space and scale of the scene that is projected on the screen. I believe this project has a lot of potential in providing an immersive experience in a non-linear narrative. I can picture the user toggling between two or three scenes from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, or even a moving sequence that would allow a user to experience time travel.
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About November 2006

This page contains all entries posted to keeyool.com in November 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2006 is the previous archive.

December 2006 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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