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September 30, 2004

Science in Politics?

This could be an interesting read.

Science Presidential Forum: Bush and Kerry Offer Their Views on Science

Continuing a presidential election tradition, Science has asked each candidate to lay out his views on more than a dozen science-related issues facing the nation.

Flash Happy Hour Today

It's been about seven months since our last GalaxyGoo Flash Happy Hour. I've been a little busy lately ;-)

Join us for a GalaxyGoo Flash Happy Hour.

September 30, 2004 (Thursday)

  • Bliss Bar (on 24th street, between Noe and Castro streets in San Francisco)
  • 7:00pm

Note: I imagine many of you will be watching the debate tonight (6pm). Better late than never--we'll be happy to see you when you get there. I'd change the time of our gathering, but invitations went out before we realized when the debate was scheduled for.

September 29, 2004

Thank You!

It takes a lot to make a great event come together. Our recent book signing and benefit event is no exception, and a lot of people have my gratitude.

First I'd like to send out a great big "Thank You!" to Steve Rycroft, for asking me to write a chapter for New Masters of Flash. I am deeply honored to be included in this unique book.

The folks at friends of Ed generously donated books as door prizes...so many that we will also have some prizes for future competitions here at GalaxyGoo (hint, hint...stay tuned for upcoming GalaxyGoo challenges).

Cover to Cover Booksellers--not only did they host the event, but they made everything run smoothly. Paula, Tracy, and Mark...Thank you!

Drew (at Plumpjack on 24th street ) helped us out with the wine and donated a whole case for door prizes.

It's a good thing this isn't an awards show, or they'd be dragging me off the stage now. But there are still more people to thank. Even more food and door prizes were donated by Trader Joe's, PlumpJack, The Ark, Chocolate Covered, Bay Area Discovery Museum, and Acme Bakery.

John Ricker loaned us wine glasses for the tasting. John runs a non-profit that melts down guns and makes art from the metal.

Saving the best for last...special thanks go to Vera Fleischer for donating a copy of Studio MX 2004 as a door prize. Becky Allen is an artist with food, she did an amazing job with the platters. Frances Segal was an incredible help in all things, from planning to finish. And we couldn't have done it without Jono Marcus, who coordinated the entire event.


At the event, we gave out a short list of links about current state of Science education:

September 27, 2004

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2004

Vera sent me an email about this conference. It's a bit late to arrange travel now, but maybe next year. Some of the sessions look really interesting, and the possibilities for networking with other women in the IT industry are great. Hmm...maybe this would be a great place for all the FlashGoddesses out there to gather next year?

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2004

GalaxyGoo Happy Hour

Want to know more about GalaxyGoo? Itching to geek-speak with fellow Flash developers and designers? Are you a science or math teacher?

Our next GalaxyGoo Flash Happy Hour is scheduled for this Thursday!

If you're in the San Francisco bay area, come join us.

September 30, 2004 (Thursday)

  • Bliss Bar (on 24th street, between Noe and Castro streets in San Francisco)
  • 7:00pm

If you'd like an email reminder, send a note to blogging at galaxygoo dot org

September 25, 2004

Drawing in Flash for Beginners

A resource I thought might come in handy for Flash beginners:

Macromedia - Developer Center : Drawing in Flash: A Beginner's Introduction to the Flash MX 2004 Drawing Tools

September 22, 2004

Understanding of the Cell and a brief history of microscopy

This quote, made a real impact on my mind's vision of the cell. I can just imagine little monks scurrying from cell to cell. The rest of the article is also very good--a nice combination of biology, science history, and art history:

The word "cell" literally means "room". The term was first used in biology by the 17th-century British physicist Robert Hooke after he looked through a microscope at a slice of cork (which is composed of dead, dried-out plant cells) and saw rows of square holes lined up like monks' rooms--cells--in a monastery. ~Science -- Gamwell 299 (5603): 49

September 21, 2004

Photos from book signing event

The book signing and benefit was a success! It was a lot of fun, and I got to meet some really cool people, like the folks from the Math/Science Network. Two of the most influential people in my education also came to the event. I had several courses with each of them, including Electron Microscopy, Assembly Language and Systems Programming.

Here are a few photos from the event.

crowd.jpg


jono_kristin_vera.jpg

paula_frances_jeff.jpg

September 20, 2004

New OpenCourseWare at MIT

MIT continues to grow its seed garden of Open Courseware. There are so many courses that I would work my way through, if I just had the time.

I may have to make time for this one: Foundations of Computational and Systems Biology.

By the way, the readings listed for each course are great. Sometimes I really miss the guidance of a prepared reading list, when diving into a new subject.

September 16, 2004

Today's the day

Well, today's the big day. After much planning, the book signing/benefit is tonight! We picked up the food yesterday, and people are coming to help put it together today after we pick up the wine.

Flyers are up on telephone polls, and the display window of the book store has a bunch of copies of the book.

I just hope somebody shows up :-)

September 13, 2004

Flash8 wishes? Abolish post-colon syntax!

Matt Voerman has posted his wish-list for Flash8: RocketBoots.

This has inspired me to write a quick note about something that has bothered me since the release of Flash MX 2004.

I'd like to see post-colon type syntax abolished from AS.

In my opinion, this statement

var type varName;

is a much better way to write a statement than the post-colon syntax way of

var varName:type;


To me going from most general to most specific is the more logical syntax, and less mentally jarring to read.

Imagine if we mixed up how addresses are written on postal mail.

Somebody Smith
123 Some St.
someTown, someState

might be rewritten something like

Somebody Smith
someState, Some St (123)
someTown

Yuck! Mixing up the order of specificity makes the brain sort through the convoluted structure for information, instead of making it easier to quickly find.

September 10, 2004

GalaxyGoo In The Local News

If you happen to be in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, pick up a copy of the Noe Valley Voice (September, 2004). On the bottom of page 27, you'll find a short article about GalaxyGoo, Flash, New Masters of Flash, and the September 16th event. It's a rather flattering article.

Update (Sept 13,04):
The article is now online--about half way down the page. --thanks Elliot for posting about it in the comments.

It's Mathematical Break-Through Season!

I'm not sure if it's 'that time of the year' or something, but this past week has been very exciting for mathematicians with 2 age-old problems possibly being solved once and for all.

First off there was the news that a Russian had apparently solved the Poincaré Conjecture, one of the 7 Millennium Problems, each worth $1 million. He already shared this with the world a while ago, but it seems fellow mathematicians have recently confirmed the results.

Then yesterday a Dutch college issued a press release (in Dutch), that one of its students had constructed a method to find the roots of polynomials of random degree which always converges. The publication itself, in English, can be read here with a PDF describing the actual method (it seems to be a really slow server tho, try the Google cache version of the publication and the PDF (in HTML form)).

I guess I can start looking for new challenges now :)

September 09, 2004

Book signing and Benefit for GalaxyGoo

Are you in the bay area? Time to celebrate the release of New Masters of Flash--GalaxyGoo style.

Please join us for a book signing and benefit for GalaxyGoo, with wine tasting and door prizes.

7pm Thursday, September 16
Cover to Cover Booksellers
1307 Castro St. (at 24th St)
San Francisco, CA

For more information: http://www.galaxygoo.org/whoarewe/newmasters3_book_signing.htm

Keyframes

The next task I face is using the Keyframes to animate Mickey’s mouth to say, “Hello! I’m Mickey Mouse.” The course tutorial was vague and so I have asked Kristin to breakdown what a Keyframe is and what is its function in Flash. My understanding is that Keyframes are sections in the Timeline where specific actions occur. However, I must admit that despite Kristin’s brief explanation I am still unclear on how to use and manipulate them for the purposes at hand, getting Mickey to speak. Hopefully by next week Mickey will be chattering away.

Keyframes, Keyframes
Okay, after a few diagrams and lengthier explanations I think I more fully understand Keyframes. Keyframes are the sections in the Timeline where the user can dictate the action of the object, like Mickey Mouse, on the stage.

It's on the wrong layer!

Mistakes in Layers
One of the tasks was to draw Mickey in very specific layers. I made a mistake and placed one of Mickey’s pupils into the ‘Eyes’ layers. I learned of my error by checking the outlines of my Flash drawing and matching the color code to each layer. One pupil was color coded with the eyes and in the wrong layer. Kristin demonstrated how to simply click on the pupil to highlight it, select cut and then select the appropriate layer, and then select paste in place. Like magic the pupil appears in the area of the drawing it belongs, and better yet the pupil is in the “Pupil” layer!

Paste in Place

A handy tool I learned to use is Paste in Place! I spent many minutes trying to create Mickey’s eyes individually…very time consuming process, but I did succeed. Kristin showed me the short cut function of Paste in Place. It took her minutes to duplicate the eyes! Kristin explained that Paste in Place is a helpful tool when working with objects that have symmetry. For an example, she re-created Mickey Mouse with little effort and time and used Paste in Place for the eyes, pupils, ears, and the skin tones!

First assignment for class

Working on my first Flash assignment for class, a Flash drawing of Mickey Mouse, for four hours and jumping back and forth from the tutorial to my own work in progress was a lesson in patience and my willingness to make a ton of mistakes. I learned though.

September 07, 2004

Google Grants

Google Grants

Learning Flash--New Category

When you've been working with a medium for a long time, it's easy to forget that what you do automatically may not occur to a person just learning it for the first time. As part of her internship, Frances will be posting about what she's learning in Flash--under a new category (Learning Flash). I'm hoping that members of the Flash community will take this opportunity to share their knowledge in the comments of her posts, and that the archives will serve as a resource for all those learning flash.