BLOG ENTRIES - 2007
Don't sit at a computer unless there is a specific task to be completed.
"Anything worth having is hard to keep" -Ghostface Killah
"Like people for their qualities, love them for their defects." -Hellboy (the movie)
Brent and I had our first Science Club meeting tonight. We did an experiment with milk, food coloring, and detergent soap. Having not really read the proper way of executing the experiment, our first attempt failed. But we tried it a few more times and got good results. I was thinking that each week we'll invite a new person, and that person will have to invite someone the following week. We'll see though...
Brent and I had had our second Science Club meeting last night. Needless to say, it was awesome. We combined variations of vinegar, baking soda, water, and food color. Pretty much a 3rd grade volcano expirement with extra element of food color.
The plan to invite outsiders has yet to be fulfilled. Most likely for the best.
I was listening to an old playlist that I made for my friend Max's birthday. It was played during the party, specifically while we were playing a game sort of similar to hide and seek all throughout Max's big museum like house. As I listened to the playlist tonight, I got a really vivid memory of being at the party and how fun it was.
Number 1: Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez are releasing a double feature extravaganza called Grindhouse and the trailer makes it look insane. Prognosis: pure entertainment.
Number 2: My love of Christina Ricci, trashy southern girls, bondage, irony, the director of Hustle & Flow and SNAKES makes Black Snake Moan a must see.
I had a dream last night about a world ruled by two different groups. An evil group, which I can't really remember what they were represented by. And a good group, which were represented by Komodo dragons.
I was an omnipotent figure just sort of observing everything. The first Komodo dragon I saw was in a woman's room while she was asleep in bed. The room was really dim with eerie music in the background. The Komodo dragon was kind of creeping up on her, so I was sure he was evil.
And right until the moment she noticed him he seemed bad in my mind. Then when she realized he was in the room, the lights changed, the evil music stopped, and he started talking to her, and then I realized he was a good guy.
I really wish I remembered what the bad guys were, but I don't.
For a while I used to listen to one of the Harry Potter books on my ipod every night when I would go to bed. I'd usually only get through small sections every night and then I'd fall asleep. One day I was driving from Providence, RI from Rochester, NY, so I figured I'd put on Harry Potter to pass the time. The trouble is after about 10 minutes or so, I started feeling really tired. My theory is that my brain related Harry Potter, or at least the sound of the guy who reads it, with sleep.
To see if I can reproduce this, I'm gonna try and listen to one particular CD whenever I want to focus on a particular project. I'm using an ambient CD to also see if that has any effect on my focus level. Hopefully my mind will form a link between working hard and this album. Eventually I'll be able to control my entire body strictly by sound.
Billy Brown suggested this related Wikipedia entry: Ivan Pavlov
Another dream about teeth. This time it was like they were transparent containers that had white liquid in them. And the liquid was running out so I just had the clear teeth. Very bizarre.
Despite having a kinda lame website, this game Limbo looks like it's going to have really great aesthetic quality. Also, the gameplay seems rad. Can't wait.
This week Brent and I made homopolar motors that were actually pretty neat.
Last week Brent rigged up a homemade etching machine. You basically get something metal, sand it a bit, then cover up the parts you don't want etched with tape. Then you put it in a basin of salt water with some electrode stuff going into it and then the magic takes over. We got kinda mixed results. It didn't work that well, but it was definitely the most extensive / suspenseful experiment yet.
What about next week?!? I think we're going to try and make hydrogen and fill a baloon or something? We'll see though.
They should make a beer called "The Mondays", so having a case of The Mondays wouldn't be a bad thing.
Yesterday I went and saw this guy Jay Ryan talk about screen printing. He mostly prints posters for bands, but has ventured out to other stuff, like book covers and album covers, etc. Compared to the prints he brought in, the images on his website look like crap, but it's a good taste. Check it out!
Uh oh! I think I lost my phone. BUT two and a half years seems like a good run.
Driving in the snow is like playing video games with a broken controller only the stakes are much higher.
Peel is a really slick program that hunts down mp3s from mp3 blogs and allows you to easily add them to iTunes. Great way to find new music. Mac only.
I think it'd be neat to be able to point to and comment on a specific part of a video. Kind of like Flickr's notes idea.
I was also thinking it'd be nice to show little notifications if there were comments on part as you were watching it. This has a lot of potential to be really annoying if not designed properly. But, I think if it's done right it could be neat.
It kind of seems like this idea is good on paper, but wouldn't add very much when actually applied. I think it'd be hard to judge unless it was prototyped and tested a little. Good mini project to work on.
The interface of Flight404 is really nice. If they added scroll wheel functionality it'd be even better.
Once we start traversing the universe, and inhabiting different planets in other galaxies, it's going to be neat to stumble upon ancient planetary civilizations.
"The WET Lamp is an elegant and playful series of glass lamps with an alluring water-submerged light bulb at its center. Putting an exposed light bulb in water certainly raises some eyebrows, but it also creates an intriguingly simple dimmer switch. When a thin silver rod is slid into the water, the WET Lamp turns on and becomes progressively brighter as the rod is submerged." link
I've been working and listening to this song by Dntel on repeat, and I thought I'd share it.
Bonus points for it repeating almost seamlessly.
When I was in high school I used to do a lot of research on random topics. I'm home in Nashville this weekend, and found this page of notes on (I assume) animal communication:
They will force their ears to go down when they are in fear. This will reveal a white spot on the back of the ear. When they are threatened or wish to threaten others they draw their lips back.
Most of the legless lizards have feeble voices. On the whole we know very little of how lizards communicate with each other.
The dolphins have been the most rewarding animals used so far in these studies. They show all the emotions of excitement: fear, pleasure, inquisitiveness, welcome, teasing, concern, and distress. When they hear this distress signal, all dolphins within hearing range become silent and search for the animal sending it.
Now there is wikipedia.
In the late 1970's David Berkowitz, the self-proclaimed "Son of Sam" serial killer shot 6 people in less than a year. Almost all of his victims had long brown hair which led to a surge in women dying their hair blond, or buying a wig.
I'm wondering if this would apply to other things. If there was a sniper targeting morbidly obese people, would we see a rise in gym memberships?
Once, in second or third grade, I was drawing a guy in a basketball jersey, and I made the number 69 (naturally, right?). Well when I took it home in my bright yellow "Drawings" folder and my mom found it, she sat me down and said that I shouldn't have made the number 69 because it was a sexual term. I was well aware of this, but played dumb and told her I'd change it. That's it.
Finally got around to trying out mtasc, an Actionscript compiler. It was very easy to set up and get a "hello world" type swf compiled, which rocks. I'm pumped about it. More soon?
Back in November of last year I had pneumonia but didn't see the doctor for a few days during which I had these bizarre fever dreams and fits where I'd basically lie in bed convinced that I was dying. At the absolute lowest point I decided I should write something to anyone who found me dead. Here it is!
If I die and you've found this know the following things: I loved my family and my friends. Please look through my journals, but ignore the bad things, they were said irrationally. Find my crude movie ideas and if possible make them happen. I love you. Don't be lazy, always be creative and imaginative. I died happy, alone, and shaking. Haha. I was ready. I think ill be missed, but don't think about it too much, we'll all be together in the end. Live life. Don't listen to anyone but yourself. Except dead people, listen to them, because they know what they're talking about.
Kinda bizarre, yet truthful.
From a New York Times article
"It was the worst shooting ever, but it was also yet another tragedy in which television turned first to amateur reporters on the scene. 'Stay out of harmís way,' the CNN anchor Don Lemon said, addressing students at Virginia Tech. 'But send us your pictures and video.'"
Here's a couple of mp3's I've found in the past few days.
Hosted by the artists:
Odin's Raven Magic (Part 3) - Sigur Ros
I Love A Computer - Y.A.C.H.T.
Breakfast In Bed (Track 8) - Dntel (man I hate myspace...)
Mean Mr. Mustard
Can you think of any more?
Before advertising executives can sign off on any commercials that roll before internet videos, I think they should be forced by law to sit down and watch them 200 times in a row.
I'd never really used Flickr's slideshow feature until today. I always dismissed it, assuming I knew what it was all about. But after actually using it, I had a broader thought about websites.
The slideshow incorporates arrow key functionality, so you can just flip through a person's collection of photos really quickly without having to focus on where you need to click to see the next photo. More websites should work like this. The paginated model currently in place is old and needs to be improved.
My friend Billy Brown started quite a little trend on Vimeo with his clip "me right now".
As I'm posting this there have been 41 other clips tagged with "me right now" in the past 5 days.
Here's my first: click
My friend Eric Lodwick is touring with the band Four Fifty One, and invited me to the show in Nashville tonight. I'm really glad I went because it was a great time.
Here's a video clip: link
Here's an MP3: link
The opening band, Those Lavender Whales, were great.
Here's a video: link
Here's an MP3: link
Dir. Michel Gondry
Apple announced a bunch of new stuff today. It was the first announcement that I hadn't heard about in advance, anticipated it by seeking out rumors on what they'd announce, and then count the minutes before the announcement.
I just sort of stumbled across it accidentally. I was surprised by how different the experience was. I was still really impressed by everything Apple is doing, but the severity of it all wasn't there. It was a relief.
This past week, whenever someone asked me if I was ready to move, I told them it hadn't really hit me. But I just woke up, and realizing that this time tomorrow I'll be in a whole new place did the trick.
Today was my second day of work at Connected Ventures. It feels a lot like last summer when I was up here, except the work is much more mentally draining. That's not necessarily a bad thing though.
I still feel a little mentally tied down with a lot of projects that I need to finish. Finding an apartment and finish the projects are my top priorities right now.
A few guys I work with started Roboboring.com, an aptly titled blog for drawings of robots doing mundane tasks. The one above made me laugh a lot for some reason. The idea of a robot going on a date is funny enough, but giving a calculator as a gift?? Icing on the cake.
I wish I could look at the photos of a specific user that I had marked as a favorite.
I watched Monsters, Inc. and all the DVD extras tonight. Pixar looks like a super rad place. The people seem like giant nerds, but also really smart and good at their jobs. It's also incredible how long the movies take to produce, but it all pays off.
I've received three friend requests from robots on Facebook this week. While this happened a lot on myspace, it was a non-occurrence on Facebook until now.
ALSO, I've had two calls on my cellphone from recorded messages telling me to vote for random people in upcoming elections.
Interesting way to sell a condo here. Basically mirrors a Flickr page, shows a few pictures of the place, and lists a price.
Concert videos are pretty bad, but you can get a taste. The range of visuals, and how well they went with the set was really amazing.
They also toyed with the audience by lowering the intensity and then bringing it back up.
It was phenomenal.
I haven't watched any TV in over a month, and I can safely say that I don't miss it at all.
I have watched a few shows on iTunes, but the absence of ads and anything else that I don't want to see is what makes the difference.
A while ago I had an idea for a music project. Including the web domain I wanted for it. After two years of periodically checking to see if it's available, I finally snagged it! I'm pumped.
delivery.com is an excellent website for finding restaurants that deliver food.
Why it rocks
- They know what days and times restaurants deliver, and filter results accordingly.
- They have online menus, and tell you the delivery minimum
- Convenient online ordering system if you don't feel like calling
It's still an unnatural feeling putting something into a computer and then having someone show up at your door 20 minutes later. For some reason I never expect it to work, but it always does.
One of the summer Vimeo interns, Julia, just started school at University of Miami, and posted a photo of a website that tracks your laundry.
From this article:
Interviewer: Is there anything else you wanted to mention before we finish?
Dan Deacon: Well I'm working on the next album, it should be done pretty soon. It won't come out until next year because the entire album will come with handwritten notations for each song so that people can learn all the parts, and on the next tour, we'll meet up with a new musician in each city and play it exactly how it is on the notation.
There is a portable web cam backpack / hat suit at work that Jakob is wearing this weekend as a test for a CollegeHumor thing. Watching it reminds of me of this comic I read called "The Surrogates" where humans control robots to live their lives for them.
I had a dream where I was playing a piano, but after I moved my finger off a key, it would fly off and disappear. I woke up after all but two of the keys were gone. I'm almost sure they were B and C sharp.
Went to this exhibit "Reel to Reel" by Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher this weekend. At first it was overwhelming and confusing, but the longer I was there the more I grasped what was going on.
The set up is a lot of wall mounted instillations that either produce a video feed or an audio feed. The various feeds are combined to create what is projected on a screen in the center of the space.
I'm going to try and upload one pattern and one illustration every week.
I've found that I prefer band's MySpace pages to a real website for only one thing. Immediate access to a sample of their music.
The MySpace music player is almost always in the same place on the page, which helps when you want to hear a band quickly. Sometimes hunting around a band's website for songs can be annoying.
Beyond that, MySpace's only value (to me) is for wasting time, which I try to avoid.
For the past two months I've been "borrowing" wireless internet from my neighbors.
Alas, this weekend, it vanished. So, I've been going to Starbuck's and paying for it.
Although convenient, the service is way over priced, and you have to wait around for a table near a wall outlet.
So, I guess I'm going to man up and get internet for my apartment.
I also might get an Apple TV. If you have one and would recommend it, please send me a note.
An anechoic chamber is a room designed to produce no echoes.
Here is a story about the world's largest anechoic chamber, used for RF signal testing as it relates to military purposes.
Back when I posted this I didn't have a way for people to give feedback. Now I do, and someone anonymously suggested two more Beatles' names that have alliteration. Here's the list with their additions:
Henry The Horse
Mean Mr. Mustard
Thanks person from New Zeland who wrote in, and to everyone who has written me notes.
Also, has anyone seen Across the Universe? What'd you think?
Great comment from Stereogum's In Rainbows wrap up.
Is it just me, does anyone really like the fact that this way of releasing an album makes the whole listening experience much more communal and egalitarian?
We've got no reviews from elite publications to go on, and at this point early in the game everyone's take on the album matters and is interesting to read. I don't know if releasing it the traditional method would've garnered such a lively discussion.
Anyway, today is a great day for music lovers and people who like talking about music.
Posted by: Chris D. at October 10, 2007 10:22 AM
Music critics are worthless.
The following are albums that the first time I heard them, in one way or another, blew my mind. No particular order.
Built to Spill - Keep it Like a Secret
The Streets - Original Pirate Material
Postal Service - Give Up
Propellerheads - Decksandrumsandrockandroll
Kanye West - The College Dropout
What are yours?
Sigur Ros is putting out a rarities / best of album called Hvarf/Heim. All the 'best of' tracks are acoustic.
Here is Staralfur
I've got a few ideas for this website. Should be up shortly.
Hi. Sorry that not much is happening here lately. There is a big update on the way, very soon, I promise.
The phenomenal illustrator and typography master Mike Perry sent me some stuff as a thank you for helping with his girlfriend's photography portfolio.
From a project still in progress.