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June 30, 2005

I'm a cryolophosaurus, what dinosaur are you?

I spent the day at Natural History Museum of London today, both in person and on their website. On the website I found this cute little app. It's not your run of the mill personality test: what dinosaur are you Apparently, I'm a Cryolophosaurus.

I met up with Edwin, Aral, and Mischa for lunch and a walk about the museum. We wandered through the mammal section, and ended up in a cafe, where we stopped for coffee and talked Flash under the gaze of Darwin.

Well, that's it for my time in London. I'm off to Oxford in the moring.

June 29, 2005

GalaxyGoo in London --pix added

I made it! At last, I'm in London. It seems like ages have passed since this trip first became a possibility.

Tomorrow, I plan to spend most of the day at the Natural History Museum. On Friday, I head out to Oxford for the conference.

Update: pix from lunch (and coffee) in London

June 25, 2005

Microsoft IE Redundancy

I can understand why Microsoft may want to set up some default links and folders in Internet Explorer--just basic default settings for a new installation. But doesn't a folder called "links" in the bookmarks menu seem overly redundant?

June 21, 2005

How to Prepare a Poster

Well, I was searching around for some tips on preparing a poster presentation. I'm finishing up my poster for the conference, and I'm always looking for ways to improve my presentations :-)

Here are some of my own tips for preparing and presenting a poster:

  1. Keep the presentation well organized and uncluttered.
  2. Use plenty of white space
  3. Use effective graphics as much as possible
  4. Use large font for all text. Should be clearly readable from a few feet away.
  5. Use very large font for heading (Title and Author)-should be readable from many feet away
  6. Stand to side of your poster, so that you're not blocking it.
  7. Be prepared to answer questions, but don't interrupt when someone is reading your poster.

Some good resources on preparing a poster presentation:

June 20, 2005

Interview with Bob Crimi: Introduction

Some time ago, I was leafing through Nature (a scientific journal) and noticed a small but striking illustration. I was drawn to the colors, and received a basic understanding of a complex concept.

bobcrimi1_sm.jpg

To say the least, I was impressed. The illustrators name was listed, and I immediately looked for his contact information. Well, for some reason, the publisher "didn't have his contact information". So, I started a google search. There was a painter with the same name, but his website didn't mention science illustrations (at the time).

At the same time, I was frustrated with spammers trying to take advantage of my site's google rank. Then it occurred to me...what if I use my own google rank, and for good instead of evil ;-)

I posted about my search for Bob Crimi, and sure enough I heard from him. We've since spoken on the phone and exchanged many emails. He has an approach to science illustration and visualization that I share. Basically, what it boils down to is make the viewer comfortable, and they will stay long enough to learn something. We also agree that science visualization can be beautiful, and that aesthetics is important to visual communication.

We're both very busy, but we hope that this is an introduction to a long series of interview questions.

Call for Artists

Celebrate math and science with your art!

GalaxyGoo, a non-profit dedicated to increasing science literacy among students and the general public, is holding a benefit art auction in November 2005. GalaxyGoo is currently seeking donations of art inspired by math and science. Works will be auctioned at a benefit event and celebration of art, math and science.

Please contact us, before sending original artwork.

Online: http://www.galaxygoo.org/whoarewe/contact.html

Postal Mail:

Art Auction 2005
GalaxyGoo
4104 24th Street, #349
San Francisco, CA 94114

June 18, 2005

Review: 3-D glow-in-the-dark solar system mobile kit

It's summer, and school's out...so, last week, my family and I had a lot of fun with a 3-D Glow-in-the-Dark Solar System Mobile Kit.

To get the paint to stick nicely to the plastic forms, we had to first prime them with a thin layer of paint and let it dry. Then we could get some nice color effects, adding new layers and colors. The coolest effects came from mixing the glow paint with the pigment paints. We got a really nice tinted glow that way.

If you try this kit, make sure you paint the halves before joining the two hemispheres into a planet. That way, the model won't roll around and smear the paint before it dries.

All in all, it was a lot of fun and we now have this great mobile of the planets.

3-D planet mobile

June 17, 2005

Bit-101 on Dental Tools and Interface Design

Keith Peters posted a great ariticle today, on the user interface of a dental tool. Fantastic observations on how they've made use of limited space to quickly communicate scale.

Math Forum's Virtual Tool Fest

Today, I participated in a Feature Event at the Math Forum @ Drexel: Virtual Tool Fest '05. It was a very interesting experience, and I got some great feedback about the All About Ratios and Sine Curve Visualization learning tools from the perspective of teachers in a classroom setting. One point is very clear to me, that we need to develop more thorough documentation on our projects. Activities like this are fantastic, and I want to do them much more often. If we can get sponsorship, I'd like to start hosting breeze sessions.

The transcript of the session is pretty interesting, I think. However, at one point I got distracted and thought Cynthia was asking me about "shockwave flash" instead of "shockwave" and "flash". So, my answer in the transcript is incorrect. Here's an interesting thread on webmasterworld.com on the confusing naming habits.

June 16, 2005

Too Many Cookies!

OK, what's with websites downloading a cookie for every navigation graphic on the page?!! Are they really using a different cookie to keep track of what nav button I'm clicking on?

Aritfacts and artifacts

I've been doing a little research on the word "artifact", mainly from the perspective of microscopy (photographs through a microscope). On a google search, I came up with mostly what I expected...except for one result. It took me back to my days as an anthropology student. When an artifact was a tangible thing to me, instead of an accidental miscommunication.

The SAA provides an interesting list of terms and definitions relevant to archeology, including "artifact: any object made, modified, or used by people". I can see how this definition may have influenced the use of the term artifact to refer to an accident in image preparation. It makes sense...an artifact is the result of human activity and not a naturally occurring phenomenon. So, when you're successful in your visualizations, they seem natural. An awkward visualization will have artifacts--traces of the attempt to communicate instead of the communication itself.

June 11, 2005

Natural History Website Rocks!

In preparation for my upcoming trip to the UK, I've been surfing the Natural History Museum of London's website. I just love the animal graphics they use on the right side of the nav-bar! Very nicely done! It's cute, it's relevant, and it doesn't get in the way. Great use of graphics to give a "feel" to a site.

As an example, check out the Biodiversity research at the Museum - Natural History Museum.

June 08, 2005

STRP art & technology festival : Call for Projects

Deadline 1 JULY

The first edition of the STRP festival will take place in Eindhoven(Netherlands) between the 18th and 20th of November 2005. Its focus is on the commonalities between art, popular culture and technology. As part of the festival there will be performances, exhibits and presentations in a historical space. STRP will take place on the 'holy' ground of the forbidden city of Philips, where in the 20th century numerous technological innovations were made. A place where Einstein worked at one point and where one of the most ambitious amalgamations of the arts and technology took place: "Poeme Electronique," a collaboration between the architect LeCorbusier with architect/composer Iannis Xenakis, artist Jean Petit, composer Edgard Varese and filmmaker Phillipe Agostini. Coincidence or not, Dick Raaijmakers also was closely involved in this project. STRP gets its inspiration from this amalgamation of technology and art.

PROJECT CALL

STRP is looking for art project/installation submissions that fit under one of the following themes:

Press "Start" : gaming, interactive installations and playful art works, in which the public can take an active role in the experience and realization of the work.

WE ARE THE ROBOTS : robots, robort art, installations.


HOW TO ENTER

To find out more about the festival : http://www.strp.nl
STRP Entry form html version: http://www.strp.nl/strp-entry-form.html
STRP Entry form pdf version: http://www.strp.nl/strp-entry-form.pdf
Photographs and video of the space : http://www.strp.nl/space.html
Photographs and video of the space zipped (8.5MB) : http://www.strp.nl/space.zip

Deadline 1 July 2005

If you have further questions please feel free to contact STRP at projectsATstrp.nl

Feel free to forward this call!

June 05, 2005

elearnspace blog

Just discovered this blog, though it's been around for a long time: elearnspace

The post on blended learning is what got my attention. With the cell project, we've been working toward a blended learning toolkit.

June 03, 2005

Possible revolution in transistor technology

Just saw this newsarticle posted on Slashdot and thought it was worthy of sharing here...

From the article: "A team from the University of Alberta has proven for the first time that a single molecule can switch electrical currents off and on, a puzzle that scientists worldwide have been trying to crack for decades.

The finding could revolutionize the field of electronics, providing a leap ahead for everything from computers to batteries to medical equipment."

Sounds very exciting, doesn't it?

Dorkbot Eindhoven #2

After a successful first Dorkbot, Dorkbot Eindhoven is back for the second Dorkbot Eindhoven night on Wednesday, June 8th, 20.00 at the Gaslab TU/eindhoven, the Netherlands.

http://dorkbot.org/dorkboteindhoven / dorkboteindhoven@dorkbot.org
our mailing list: http://music.columbia.edu/mailman/listinfo/dorkboteindhoven-announce

Around the globe there is a movement of small, autonomous functioning groups with a similar goal: offering artists/programmers/engineers/geeks an opportunity for informal peer review; establish a forum for the presentation of new art works/technology/software/hardware; help establish relationships and foster collaboration between people with various backgrounds and interests. This movement is called Dorkbot and on April 6th it started up in Eindhoven and on June 8th it continues.

For more information on Dorkbots that might be happening near you visit the Dorkbot site, http://dorkbot.org/.

PRESENTATIONS/PERFORMANCES (in dutch)

*** Michiel van Overbeek
Michiel van Overbeek is a trained scientist, having studied at the TU/delft. He has always been interested in the relationship between art, science and technology, and since 2004 he has been working at his own studio in Dordrecht on a project about time movement. The project is based on the Paso’s of Spain and South America during the week before Easter, the Semana Santa. This is the walk in which several men carry a big statue of the Virgin Mary through the streets of the city. Michiel will be presentings his own project studying the ‘Paso carriers’ with the goal of building a (real-size) Paso that can be carried through the streets independently by 4 robots (Xavier, Pepe, Juan and Carlos) that have adopted the same motion as the human Paso-carriers.

*** Egbert Teeselink / http://www.demoscene.info/ / http://www.mattcurrent.org
Egbert Teeselink was born in 1983. He is currently studying computer science at the TU/e and has been involved in the Dutch as well as international demo scene since the ‘90s. He will be presenting an overview of the international as well as Dutch demo scenes and showing some of his own works as well as those of others.

*** MAD / http://mad.dse.nl/
MAD emergent art center is a laboratory, platform and provider at the intersection of art, science and technology interested in issues of transparency of technology and an active collaboration between the art and technology fields. Rene Pare of MAD will be giving an overview of the center, which will be followed by the presentations of two collaborative netart projects. Lutsen Stellingwerff is an Eindhoven based web and graphic designer with his own one-man design agency Biep en Lu and will be presenting ColorStalker. Peter Heijens, also based in Eindhoven, is an interdisciplinary artist focusing on visual as well as audio work and will be presenting the piece BabylonMachine.

*** Roel Vliegen / MagnaView
Roel Vliegen is a computer science student at the TU/e. He is finishing his master degree in the Visualization section of Jack van Wijk. Together with the TU/e and Erik-Jan van der Linden he started MagnaView. Their mission: visualize anything. Databases, hard-disks, even phone calls in a student house.... and: who calls who??

*Dorkbot Eindhoven is an initiative of Art & Technology Festival STRP in collaboration with Studium Generale (TU/e). Dorkbot Eindhoven is supported by Stichting City Dynamiek Eindhoven & Gemeente Eindhoven.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
DORKBOTeindhoven #2: Michiel van Overbeek, Egbert Teeselink, MAD / Rene Pare / Lutsen Stellingwerf f/ Peter Heijens & Roel Vliegen
WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE @ 20:00 (doors open)/20:30 (presentations begin)
GASLAB, TU/eindhoven, Netherlands (for map: http://www.tue.nl/tue-algemeen/index_route.htm or email dorkboteindhoven@dorkbot.org for directions)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Feel Free to spread this announcement on other mailing lists and to anyone else you think might be interested!

June 02, 2005

Don't Force Patterns

Joe Rinehart has posted a great commentary on Patterns and how to approach them. It's always refreshing to see someone cut through the dogma and hype. Thank you Joe!

clearsoftware.net - joe rinehart on CF and more

Art+Math=X conference

Just came across a beautiful gallery for a conference that's happening right now, the 'Art+Math=X' conference. Participants include Bogdan Soban, Robert Krawczyk, Anne Burns and LunYi Tsai. I believe the piece by Lim Jung Hoon in particular will make Kristin's mouth water :)

From the conference site:
The conference "Art and Math= X," June 2-5, 2005, at the University of Colorado in Boulder encompasses a broad range of fields as they relate to art, mathematics and/or computer technology, including the exploration of the following themes: visualization and computer generated art, pattern and symmetry, geometry in quilting and artistic handicrafts, mathematics of knots and other 3-D objects. Conference participants will share information and discuss common interests, allowing new ideas and partnerships to emerge that can enrich interdisciplinary research and education.

Creative spelling?

Do you ever make yourself laugh with spelling errors? When I'm tired, I tend to make some very silly spelling errors....like "numberically."

June 01, 2005

Pi Delivery

Mike Farruggia dropped off the Pi Table today. It's a rare thing in life to have your expectations exceeded, and this table does just that. The idea of a table decorated with Pi appealed to my geeky side, but I didn't expect the quietly satisfying subtlety.

Photos really don't do it justice, but I'll try to post some as soon as possible.

Among other works of art, the table will be auctioned off at an upcoming benefit event. The date hasn't been set yet, but we're looking at November. If you'd like to get involved with the event, or would like to donate artwork, please contact me.