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August 29, 2005

The Event formerly known as "The Art of Science"

The working name for the upcoming GalaxyGoo event has been "The Art of Science". While this was great as a working name, we've decided to go with a different name for the event: Art Intersect Science. Kudos go to Phyllis Pugh, who came up with the idea.

August 28, 2005

Ask Permision!

Now, I like to share resources. In fact, I give away much of my work, as part of GalaxyGoo. It's part of our mission as a non-profit organization.

However, I do expect folks to ask permission before republishing our material. Especially if it's material that we asked the original author for permission to publish on our website.

Was it really necessary for these folks to copy and past our content into their webpage? Couldn't they just write a little blurb, and link to the full content on our site? They did, at least, have the courtesy to credit us as the source, and to include our copyright statement ;-)

August 26, 2005

FlashForward moves to Seattle

Lots of changes going on with Flashforward, including moving the west coast venue from San Francisco to Seattle. I'm not sure what this means for me. A lot will depend on if I have time to put together a proposal to speak, and if they accept it...and if they promise to have an adequate screen in the room I speak in.

August 25, 2005

Jon Stewart, Interviewed by Wired

"What's nice about the Internet is it's egalitarian. It is democratic in the way that it parcels interest." ~ Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, Wired 13.09: Reinventing Television, an Interview with Jon Stewart

My favorite part of the interview is Mr Stewart's answer to the last question, when he says "....At what point do we get saturated enough to say, 'OK, I get it! We can get anything we want at any time! Let's go sit around a large table and eat a meal in silence'..."

Dynamically Load GIF's in Flash8

With Flash 8, you can now dynamically load Progressive JPEG's, non-animated GIFs, and PNG files. This is great news, since the appropriate file type can be used for each image in a dynamic image gallery--such as GIF for images with large patches of color (ie logos, etc).

August 24, 2005

Do you use Flash's Built-in Learning Interactions

Flash comes with some built-in learning interactions, such as interactive quiz questions. I've never used them myself, and I'm wondering how other Flash developers integrate them into projects.

August 23, 2005

Interview with Bob Crimi: Part One

This is the first part of an ongoing interview with Bob Crimi, Science Illustrator and Artist. Don't miss the introduction to the interview.

KH: Do you have a background in science?

BC: My initial training was in fine art. I came from a family of fine artists with my father and uncle both being muralists and easel painters. In the 1930’s they were employed by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to do murals in post offices and hospitals.

I grew up around brushes and oil paints and imagined that everyone else did. When I was a teenager, I began to study with my uncle, Alfred Crimi, in his studio in Greenwich Village in Manhattan.

It was an ‘atelier’ style of education. I learning the craft of art; drawing from the antique, painting, framing, gilding, and grinding pigments to make oil and fresco paints.

At the same time I trained as an illustrator for a technical publishing house that produced repair and maintenance manuals for the U.S. government. There, I learned to create drawings of mechanical equipment from orthographic blueprints that showed the different sides of the equipment—a conceptual exercise; the parts were drawn exploded out as though they were floating in space.

KH: Can you tell us a bit more about technical drawings? How did you mentally assemble the blueprints into an object and then draw it?

BC: The blueprints depicted three or four flat views of mechanical equipment. From the information conveyed by these views, I was able to visualize a three-dimensional object.

Using proportional dividers, triangles and ellipse guides I created an exploded view in isometric drawing, a drawing done on 30º angle. The pencil drawing was then traced onto blue “vellum”; not vellum at all but very finely woven bleached linen that was coated with blue sizing.

This made an extremely smooth surface. I’d spread ‘pounce’, a fine powder, onto the surface of the linen in order to smooth out the ‘tooth’. When wiped away, it allowed the ink to flow smoothly.

The ink mixed somewhat with the sizing but could be erased with the integrity of the linen maintained. The tracing of the image was done with a Wrico Pen (brand name) and India ink.


August 22, 2005

5 More artists join the Art of Science

Over the weekend, five more artists confirmed their participation in GalaxyGoo's Art of Science.

August 18, 2005

How to make a Pop-up...a Paper Pop-up !

Have you ever wondered how artists engineer the paper in pop-up books? On his web site, best selling children's illustrator, Robert Sabuda, gives step-by-step photo-illustrated instructions on how to create 18 simple pop-ups.

Mr Sabuda is also co-author of one of the coolest dinosaur books I've ever seen. Released this month, Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up, is indeed definitive. Every page has little pockets of additional pop-ups...like a treasure chest full of little bags of gems.

GalaxyGoo in National Science Digital Library

GalaxyGoo's been added to the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) .

Bit-101 Flash 8 Experiments

Have you been by BIT-101 lately? Keith Peters has been a busy boy! Inspiring as usual.

August 16, 2005

Glass Artists Join GalaxyGoo's Art of Science Event

Another two artists have confirmed their participation in GalaxyGoo's Art of Science event. Akiko Isono and Jenny Newtson are remarkably talented artists, and are both featured in the book 1000 Glass Beads: Innovation & Imagination in Contemporary Glass Beadmaking.

Here is the current list of confirmed artists:

How to Read Mathematics

Just came across this nice article called "How to Read Mathematics"...

From the article:
'A reading protocol is a set of strategies that a reader must use in order to benefit fully from reading the text. Poetry calls for a different set of strategies than fiction, and fiction a different set than non-fiction. It would be ridiculous to read fiction and ask oneself what is the author's source for the assertion that the hero is blond and tanned; it would be wrong to read non-fiction and not ask such a question. This reading protocol extends to a viewing or listening protocol in art and music. Indeed, much of the introductory course material in literature, music and art is spent teaching these protocols.

Mathematics has a reading protocol all its own, and just as we teach students to read literature, we should teach them to read mathematics.This article categorizes some of the strategies for a mathematics reading protocol.'

August 15, 2005

GalaxyGoo's Art of Science Event Page

We've launched a simple event page for The Art of Science: Art Auction Benefit Event 2005. As more details are set, in the months leading up to the November event, we'll update and expand the page.

Slow down

When does being connected make you disconnected? There's a lot of talk about people being too connected or having too many choices.. I'd say it's not that we're too connected, but that we're not making careful choices about what we're connected to. Case in point, the driver who almost runs over a small child because they're paying more attention to their cell phone than to their driving. Or the dinner companion who constantly interrupts you to answer their cell phone instead. Or the person next to you on the subway, with their ipod cranked up so loud that everyone can hear it? These are anti-social behaviors. These people are choosing to disconnect from the people around them.

Do we have too many choices? While some may say so, I'd disagree. The problem isn't that we have too many choices, it's that we have too few meaningful choices and that we don't have enough trustworthy filters for all these choices. For example, some people are vegetarians and some are not. Life is made much easier for the vegetarian if there is a store with only vegetarian food in it. She can make the choice at the filter lever (a particular health food store) rather than at the individual food item level (checking all labels for ingredients).

While it may seem that I am just rambling here...well, maybe I am...this all relates to interface development as well as it does to quality of life and social issues. Are we building tools that disconnect people from their immediate surroundings and community, or that facilitate their participation in their community? Are we creating interfaces that distract the user from a goal, or that make the process easy? What about your work flow? Are you so busy attending to distractions, regardless of how important they are, to stop and really think about a project? Are you disconnected from inspiration, because you're connected to a cell phone or ipod?

In the words of Harry Nilsson (The Point), "a point in every direction is the same as no point at all."

August 13, 2005

Flash8 player public beta

Macromedia Flash Player Public Beta - Flash Player Installation

August 12, 2005

Earth's City Night Lights

At the GRC conference on Visualization in Science and Education, I learned a great deal, and met an awful lot of amazing people. NASA also had several people there, and I had the pleasure of getting to know some of them.

For this post, I'm going to focus on Robert Simmon. He's responsible for an image that caused a bit of a buzz a while back: the Earth's City Lights.


I've been asking him how he created the image, and I hope to have some answers to post soon.

August 11, 2005

Peter Sis Website

Peter Sis, author and artist, has a very nicely designed website. I'd guess that his publisher is responsible for it. I like the drifting book covers, on the main page. Fun.

His illustrated books are remarkable. Two of my favorite's are The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin and Starry Messenger.

August 08, 2005

Zinnias in Flash 8

Inspired by Grant, I've updated my old Zinnias experiment. This is what it looked like originally (click on the stage to generate new flowers):

...and this is what an update to Flash 8 looks like (click on the stage to generate new flowers). You'll need the Flash 8 player for this.

The Flash 8 version makes use of ActionScript's access to one of the new filters. In this case, I used DropShadowFilter.

A PHP-based Operating System?

How does that sound? Crazy, huh... Well, ofcourse it's crazy... But that doesn't mean you can't try to mimic an OS! And that's exactly what EyeOS does... It's 'a free, cross-platform Personal Content Manager System based upon the style of a Desktop Operating System.' Written in PHP, it is quite a nice little project and it is quite fun to play around with the demo, also cuz it has a few 'application's that you'd also find in yer standard OS. Unfortunately, or is that fortunately?, it doesn't seem to run too well on IE cuz of CSS-related issues, but you can't have it all, can you?

August 04, 2005

A challenge for math-geeks

I just came across this site today called MathsChallenge, 'A website dedicated to the puzzling world of mathematics'. I got hooked instantly... The site has a lot of math-oriented puzzles which range from quite easy to quite challenging... Very fun stuff.

But the real fun lies in the section called Project Euler. Here a number of problems are posed that, in general, require the use of a computer to solve. You can register and keep track of the problems you solved and how you rank against others and all... I decided to join and get my hands dirty by using Python for the problems. Sofar, after one day, I've managed to solve 14 problems. I am sure some of the other problems will take me much longer to solve, if at all... But if yer up to challenge both yer math and yer programming skills, have fun!

August 02, 2005

Cheap Skilled Labor?

I came across this post on Craig's list...wow, I didn't realize private ActionScripting instruction was so cheap ;-) Who can teach me Flash related Action Script?...for $10 per hour