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August 2008 Archives

August 5, 2008

Can Wordscraper Successfully Replace Scrabulous?

So after the Scrabulous app was taken down. I tried the Scrabble app from EA on Facebook, and found that it crashed within the first page. I waited 5 minutes, then refreshed, and still nothing, which is shocking, since it was designed by EA (the makers of Playstation games. Their graphics are amazing, yet they weren't able to successfully create a working game on Facebook.

I couldn't get past this page:
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So then I tried downloading the app again. This time, I paid attention to the 1.2 star rating out of 5. Still nothing. I am skeptical of the ~88,000 active users.
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So then I received an invitation to play Word Scraper, which appears to have the same interactions/experience as Scrabble, but the players can customize their boards, so it doesn't look like a Scrabble board. However, it takes some time to getting used to playing with circular tiles, and now the double and triple-point tiles have to be learned again. Perhaps the two brothers from India can beat Hasbro. ;D

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Whole Foods in Tribeca, NYC

The Whole Foods on Greenwich just opened, and it's bigger than the Whole Foods on 14th Street. They sell oysters, all types of rare eggs (e.g. ostrich eggs are $39.99), and even salts (e.g. Hiwa Kai - Hawaiian Black Sea Salt and Lavendar Salt). If you can't use it on your food, you can probably use it in your bath.

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There is a sushi bar as well.

New Tagging Feature on Amazon...

A couple of ITPers showed me this new tagging feature on Amazon (I'm not sure if it's new or if I'm just late), but I will probably investigate a little further for Hypershelf and Smart Shelf (thesis and collaborative projects), which use tagging. I just bought this book about Processing (Casey Reas and Ben Fry) authored by Dan Shiffman, a professor at ITP.

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This book is suppose to be for beginners. Link to Amazon.

August 6, 2008

"Be Kanye" Ads

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I thought this ad was funny. It's on the 4/5 train. I did do a double-take to read this ad. Anyway it's sponsored by Absolut, which is surprising because usually there ads are very elegant and sleek (e.g. artist reappropriates the Absolut Vodka bottle).

This is pretty risky, and you wouldn't know who sponsored it unless you were reading it up close (i.e. versus a crowded subway).

I'm not sure if I want to be Kanye.

Learning Processing By Daniel Shiffman

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I just bought this book so I can refresh my skills at coding. The trick with Processing is to find the right instructor, and to practice, practice, practice! Daniel Shiffman was one of the most sought-after Computational Media professors at ITP. He teaches ICM (intro class), Nature of Code, and Programming from A to Z, and the Friday Review Sessions for ICM. So he has a lot of experience teaching non-tech people programming. All of those classes were full, and some had waiting lists of 35 people.

He has just written this book, and Amazon is selling it for only $45 or $50. I think if you pre-order it costs slightly less. I say "just only $45 or $50" because a typical class at ITP is or was approximately $4000.00. Now that's a steal.

Signage and Typography...

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This treatment is not new, but I'm just noting it on my blog. Experiment with repetition. Play with just one letter.

Street Art...

Not quite graffiti. These works remind me of Nagel, very 80's.

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Ruffles: Interesting Technique

Found this in the store window of Hugo Boss. I also like the play in patterns: the soft ruffles of the dress with the sharp asymmetrical pattern of the purse.

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Lighting and Color Design

What an interesting way to introduce bright colors to a monochromatic palette. The display looks dynamic because the silhouettes and light give a scaled-up version of a lenticular pattern.This is the storefront of Louis Vuitton on 5th Avenues. I swear I saw this artists work at LACMA last year.

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Top of the Rock Swarovski Crystal Installation

This is probably one of my favorite installations. I walk by it and never get tired of it. It mimics and inverted Rockefeller Center. It is relevant to the subject, timeless, beautiful, and doesn't require technology/computer/power to run it. My photos don't do it justice.

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Dedicated Director

I took a photo of this aspiring director. Could that be a Super 8 or 16 mm? What was he shooting? Legs? Shoes? Walking? Documentary? Live-Action?

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August 8, 2008

Radiohead

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Finally... I get to see Radiohead at All Points West, which is a music festival on the East Coast, comparable to Coachella in California. I had an opportunity to go to a Radiohead concert at the Hollywood Bowl 5 years ago (box/front row), but because I had AT&T (and the service was spotty) that I never received the calls (4x) from my friend (it was a last minute thing). Hence, I don't have an iPhone or use AT&T.

Anyway, this should be good because this May at Coachella, Prince reappropriated Radiohead's song "Creep," and some listeners took video of him, and uploaded it on YouTube. And then Prince told them to take the video down. Then Radiohead got involved, and said it was there song, and to leave it up. Well they're playing tonight and tomorrow night. Also Ben Harper is playing there as well.

August 22, 2008

Game Designer Goes to Space

I just read about a game designer, Richard Garriott who will fly to the space station in October as a private tourist via NASA. While there, he will be conducting protein-crystallization experiments for some pharmaceutical companies. It will cost $350,000 to send emails from space to Earth.

Recently, my sister just got me a subscription to The Economist. I've grown to really like their Science section, which is almost like science journals except, not as technical. Some of the more interesting articles that I've read about and bookmarked in Delicious are about science research and citations, salmon farms, neuroeconomics, etc. There are broad subjects ranging from nutrition to different alternatives to designing photovoltaic cells.

August 23, 2008

Switching back to the old Facebook design...

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After stumbling through the new design interface for two weeks, I finally lost patience, and switched back to the old design (maybe it was too much for me to adopt new designs of both Facebook and Delicious at the same time). Over the two-and-a-half-weeks, I noticed that my visits to Facebook were diminishing, but maybe that's a good thing. Actually, if it weren't for Facebook, I wouldn't have planned to meet my friend for a reunion. The last time we saw each other was May 2007, so Facebook does have some utility in my life.

It is different because the new design has a wider palette, however I couldn't find my favorite new apps, or figure out how to post on someone's wall. When you change your template, it automatically changes the template for all your friends' pages that you visit. But recently, I was trying to figure out how to write on someone's wall, and wasn't even sure if the message was posted. And they've managed to stick one more ad on the right side (2 ads total).

When I reverted back to the old design, there was a warning that I would probably loose all my new friends that were added to my network while using the new design, but I don't think I lost them because their messages on my wall were still posted.

It may look better, but I liked the old interface better because I could navigate through my ritual of checking messages, keeping up with games, poking and posting messages. Maybe this new design is suited to new users. The new one sort of reminds me of FriendFeed and a little bit of Twitter sans the neat boxes.

August 27, 2008

Dahon Folding Bike...

For the past week, I've been contemplating buying a bike, but I didn't because of space (my building charges for bike storage—$25/month). I found this bike that folds up to the size of a small carry-on. The seat and handle bar are adjustable to fit people with bigger and/or smaller frames. The design of this bike really impressed me. I really couldn't believe that folding bikes have been around since 1982 because they seem so innovative now (back then, space wasn't an issue because I lived in LA).

When I went to the bike shop, I wanted to approximately spend $100 on a used bike, but they laughed at me. They told me that the cost of bikes have gone up, since gas prices have gone up. Bikes are in demand. My friend told me that he sees a lot of people with folding bikes riding the LIRR. Anyway, I justified this purchase by subtracting the cost of storage for one year ($300) from the cost of the bike ($430), which came close to my budget.

On the first day, I took it out for a ride, and noticed fellow folding-bike riders on the path. One fellow-rider rang his bell, and rhetorically shouted "Look, another folding bike!"

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(This image shows the scale of bike in comparison to the helmets)

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(I find the rack with bungee cord extremely useful)

Bag lady

In an effort to be more environmentally conscious, I've been a bag lady at work for the past five months, collecting recyclables, and bringing them home to recycle in my building. I'm skeptical that my office recycles paper and plastic bottles because a couple of times, I saw the custodial people dump the plastic bottles and recycled paper into the trash cart. So far, I've collected several plastic and glass bottles, paper bags, magazines, boxes, documents, brochures, and plastic containers.

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(This week's trash)


Jewelry Design, Week 1

I've been working on a project, and came to a plateau in my design process. I just recently enrolled in a jewelry design class to help me solve some of those problems. Anyway, in the first week, we learned about the properties of gold, and made an ingot. The first day was like a high school chemistry class: measuring metal components on a scale, lighting up a Bunsen-Burner-like-torch, learning what alloys are about. Depending on the properties of metals, some are softer, and some are more brittle, but one thing the professors reiterated was to be mindful of purity (we use a charcoal brick to hold the molten metal while it cools). Some jewelry designs require the brittle properties of copper, while some designs prioritize color, which also affect alloys. Some metal properties facilitate conductivity better than others. It's all terribly fascinating.


Here is the ingot I made.

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The flux used is Borax, but it looks like silicone at high temperatures, and glass after it cools.

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August 30, 2008

Jewelry Design, Week 2

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Photograph taken by Raphael Martin


I learned about the process of rolling and annealing (def: reducing stress within metal by heating to a prescribed temperature).

Whenever you want to melt scraps, you use a higher temperature. However in annealing, you want to use a "feather flame" (please see diagram below), and when the medal reaches a certain glow, you cool it and pickle it. After the pickling process, the metal has to be completely dry and free from oxidation, you roll it.

Most designs either require a flat shape or cylindrical shape in order to form wire. Always roll in one direction, and about five times. If you're working with purer or softer metals, you can stretch it a little. Find the "dead pass" (just a little resistance), and adjust metal through teeth of the rolling machine. In keeping the electrons even within the metal, you have to be mindful of rolling in one direction. Watch out for cracks, but don't confuse them with air bubbles.

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About August 2008

This page contains all entries posted to keeyool.com in August 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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