Saturday, July 31, 2010

Drawing on the Messy Side of the Brain

Dateline: Dr. Sketchy's

Bored of ho-hum life-drawing courses? Here's the obvious intermeshing of neo-burlesque and art instruction, though I wasn't clear about the instruction part. Still, if you follow the link to the site, it begins to become clear, though doing this in Second Life, particularly when the grid seems to be falling to pieces does make me wonder why I'm not taking a train into the City a little bit more. Maybe it's that intensive shyness?

How would my life have been different if I had taken my 8th Grade Art teacher's advice and gone into commercial art as an artist and not as a writer? The following are pieces done in moments... trust me, I can do a lot better when I'm taking my time.

Pirate Mermaid Booty (Mixed Media 4)

Pirate Mermaid Booty (Mixed Media)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sometimes the nightmares just have to come out

Dateline: BioShocksville

Thinking about expanding into the land of nightmares. Here's something that might be a source of inspiration, or at least a cause of disturbing dreams. Things are moving more and more retro every day.

And then there are the MadMen Barbies, also available from the same site.

Not really disturbing in quite the same way, but you may get an idea where my brain is going, if you can call it a brain.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Storm brewing: Wikileaks and the Afghan War Diary

This will be the story to watch in the coming days and weeks. Of course, the fact that the US is quickly going broke over the costs of its adventures could well be the deciding factor that finally brings this particular disaster to a close, or at least to the beginning of the end.

in reference to:

"Already being compared to the Pentagon Papers, which blew the lid off the conspiracy of secrecy and misinformation surrounding the Vietnam war, the Afghan War Diary — as Wikileaks has titled the collection of reports — could well be a game-changer in the long and frustrating Afghan experiment."
- Afghanistan War | Wikileaks (view on Google Sidewiki)

Virginia, There IS a Fair Use Doctrine After All

Who'da thunk, but the Library of Congress, in its oversight of the Copyright Office, has concluded that Steve Jobs can't be your nanny after all, though apparently he can still be a total jerk -- it's one of those things guaranteed in the Constitution.

In other news, documentary filmmakers and teachers (and presumably others protected by "fair use" doctrine) can legally break DVD copy-protection schemes in order to excerpt permissible snippets of video as long as they fall under "fair use" exceptions. (The article in question, though, focuses entirely on the smack-down against Apple's inane opposition to "jailbreaking" the iPhone.

I have a better idea. Just say no to iPhones until they're open sourced. Or only buy the used and jail-broken.

in reference to:

"The decision to allow the practice commonly known as "jailbreaking" is one of a handful of new exemptions from a 1998 federal law that prohibits people from bypassing technical measures that companies put on their products to prevent unauthorized use of copyright-protected material."
- iPhone 'Jailbreaking' Legal Under New Government Rules (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Minty nostalgia

Dateline: Huineng, SecondLife -- New items arriving; part of the "Plaidness Collection." Now available via SecondLife Marketplace and XStreet, as well as in-world from dropdeadcute.

dropdeadcute ~ Plaidness "Minty Nostalgia"

A flirty summer dress in a classic, breezy style. Introducing the Plaidness Collection, this particular item appears in a color palette reminiscent of those hard chalky mints that grandmother kept in the candy dish.

Check out our vendors in world to explore the newest additions to our collections. Bodice and glitch bloomers are available to wear at several layers, to allow for maximum coordination and additions of accessories or custom modifications. Also in this collection (not shown): a pair of modifiable plaid dungarees, a sweet addition for the 60's style gardener, casual homemaker or retro fan. Also in this set, two choices of tattoo layer renditions of the bodice, and the bodice + dungarees.

Your imagination is the only limit.

Available via XStreet, the Beta Marketplace and in-world at dropdeadcute's main store.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Plaidness parfait [new]

Dateline: Huineng, SecondLife

dropdeadcute ~ Plaidness Parfait (dress)

Getting back into it... hopefully, there will be even more new items coming in the near future.

Now available via Marketplace, from dropdeadcute.

Flirty summer dress in a classic, breezy style. Introducing, the Plaidness Collection, this item carries the happy color combinations of a favorite multi-layered dessert, the creamy parfait.

Check out our vendors in world to explore the newest additions to our collections. Bodice and glitch bloomers are available to wear at several layers, to allow for maximum coordination and additions of accessories or custom modifications. Also in this collection (not shown): a pair of modifiable plaid dungarees, a sweet addition for the 60's style gardener, casual homemaker or retro fan.

Your imagination is the limit.

Available via XStreet, the Beta Marketplace and in-world at dropdeadcute's main store.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Folk Process is Messy....

... but then so is the Gulf. Songs (and recordings) about oil, dinosaurs and how we got from Earth Day to Dearth Day. Some of it may be funny, but I could also be losing perspective.

As always, things you've probably heard and others I'm almost sure you haven't.

Aza - 6 to 8 SLT (That's 9pm-11pm Eastern time).

Available in SecondLife at The Velvet or by Shoutcast.

The Well Might Be Capped But the Damage Goes On

Here's a music video that follows in the best folk tradition. I'm thinking tonight's show at the Velvet will be a collection of songs and folk responses to the disaster in the Gulf.

in reference to:

"The disaster in the gulf is destroying the oceans, killing off the ecosystem and threatens humans as well. In this song, a just response to the disaster results in people tossing the big oil puppet government aside, because . . . all the fish are dead."
- YouTube - Fishermens Revolt (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Woodhenge Found

Maybe there was also a Icehenge and an Airhenge? I think we've found M. Night Shaymalan's next script or at least its inspiration.

in reference to:

"Like Stonehenge itself, the structure's precise purpose remains a mystery. But it's one of an expanding number of discoveries being made around the site – something experts say is helping to show that Stonehenge was once much more than just a cluster of sandstone blocks standing in an empty field."
- Stonehenge Discovery: Wooden Monument Found Near Stone Ciricle (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Intriguing Musings on the Nature of Second Life

Is it navel gazing or is it crucial to understanding how some people become addicted to the platform known as Second Life.

More comment when I've had time to read this in a more rested state.
in reference to:
"Second Life is a world Second Life is a platform.The first embraces the complexities of human behavior and experience - including culture - implicitly; the second focuses on human considerations only as prescribed by law or business/technical advantage."
- Phasing Grace | Social Architecture and Virtual Worlds: The Virtual Wave Particle Duality of Second Life (view on Google Sidewiki)

YouTube "clarifies" something about Music Publishing Rights, Right?

Sadly, it's still not all that clear. And it seems to reinforce a sense that (generic) music publishing rights collecting societies will try to collect a pound of flesh wherever they can find one undefended.

Then again, we live in a really imperfect world, and the alternative might be worse. Keep telling yourself that and maybe your grandchildren will be the ones who finally have to take the action needed to make copyright law remotely address the realities of current technologies.

in reference to:

"We apologize for the confusion regarding recent claims labeled as "CS." We have now changed "CS" to "Music Publishing Rights Collecting Society" to better describe the nature of the claim. These are claims to musical compositions made on behalf of  Collecting Societies which represent music publishers in certain territories."
- Content owner, who is CS??? - YouTube Help (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Report Playback Issues on YouTube

For a long time, and with good cause, people have been complaining there's no way to contact YouTube about issues with video playback.

It's a bit too early to say just how well this one will work, but in recent weeks they did add several items, from diagnostic tools to a link for reporting playback issue to the 'face' of videos themselves. I know I'm hoping these will work, or at least work a bit better than what has been in place so far.

Gradually, Google is coming to realize that they are not operating in a vacuum, so hopefully this is just one sign of additional options to come? Don't expect miracles, though.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A test of a funny video, with no video

This is the part with the funny embedded video, that should have no embedded video.

Please don't judge too harshly. Publishing this for a friend. The audio is sort of creepy, and you can probably figure this trick out if you just look at the page source code. The key seems to be the width and height.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

As if you didn't have enough to worry about

Yesterday we discussed AI at Socrates' Cafe. It did not go well with accusations back and forth about our robot kinsmen. But at least now you can get insurance for that.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Can anyone force a meme?

I know you really can't expect to, and definitely not from a blog that almost nobody reads, but I so want to see this one become more popular than lolcats, at least at the moment. Maybe the "feral shoes" tag will catch on, though?

Original photo by Björn Lindström aka bkhl on Flickr.

Don't tread on me!

I don't think there's really much more I can say about this, other than go out there and shoot some "feral shoes" or "feral boots."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Late Bloomers in Hard Times

This is my bit of camera prOn, for the day. I really should be blogging these a lot more if I had much sense. At this point it seems like my Flickr descriptions are becoming my blog. In the interest of efficiency, I'll adapt today's blather from what I've already said today over there.

Dressing it up

@dailyshoot #ds228. Construction seems to be perpetual: streets, sidewalks, buildings. Make a photo of something under construction today.

@dailyshoot is a Twitter-based project for sharing photos done to match a daily assignment, as a way to kick free the mental cobwebs, and push photographers, some serious, some fascinated newcomers, to explore ways of shooting, and aspects of photography that they might not come to on their own.  And especially on Flickr it seems to be turning into a community of similarly obsessive photo nuts of all kinds.  Usually one is more or less expected to shoot and process images on the day of the project.  But some projects don't really seem well suited to that, and not every day can be dedicated to a project that, so far, has not generated any income to compensate for the costs involved in photography (something I really need to be keeping in mind, at least for myself at this point).  I probably  need desperately to be doing a lot more self-promotion at this point, here and with some of the writing projects that I've been working on in some cases for years.  With many of the major studios in financial free-fall, though, it is hard to generate enthusiasm.  Perhaps I just need to be on drugs so that tilting at windmills will seem more like a rational plan of action?
Anyway, here's what I said about this image on Flickr, and it's still true almost 45 minutes later:

In the interest of the environment (and the fact that I'll be driving for at least 5 hours tomorrow) I've taken the liberty of adapting a RAW image from January that I'm pretty sure I've never made public, rather than spend what may be hours scouting for an interesting construction job, or risking shooting while driving, if I were to find some surprise road construction (which is almost a certainty if I drive long enough).

This is the faux HDR version. Photomatix was used for tonemapping from a RAW image.

I might find an actual today shot if plans work out, but that depends on a lot of random.

Sidenote to camera nuts, this was taken the first day I had this lens (a Canon EF 28-300mm 1:3.5-5.6 L IS USM). And after looking at this image and processing it a few different ways, I found a new source of extreme camera pr0n from the wonderful people at Creative Cow.  Go there only if you, like me, wish you'd figured out much earlier in life how to get trained and hired as a cinematographer/director of photography for major motion pictures or indie masterpieces.

Source file: IMG_6405_tmFhdr.jpg 
There's really not that much more to say. Some days I wish I'd saved myself from installing this particular bit of code, since most of the time I don't really need to generate a "next page", do I?