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Weblog | Archives for February 2005
Past posts.
Mr. Sketch

Work in progress: using genetic algorithms to evolve compositions (right) that match a target picture (left). I've yet to put real competition into the system, and it needs more than just line segments.

Hipster Crafts

THRIFTDELUXE — "THRIFTDELUXE is a non-commercial contemporary DIY zine which provides easy, inexpensive yet damn cool projects that anyone can make by following our simple instructions." The Coca Cola vase is cool, and ridiculously simple.

See also ReadyMade Magazine and Craftster, and Make Magazine for DIY technology.

Hipster crafting is huge with the kids. In 2050, our grandkids will see record bowls the way we see cross-stitched tissue box covers.

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is a collection of great essays by Chuck Klosterman. Each article mixes sociology and media criticism with heavy doses of pop culture and observational humor, a style the will likely come to define Generation X writers (see Douglas Coupland).

Not every essay is a gem (skip "George Will vs. Nick Hornby"), but there's some genius in this book. "All I Know is What I Read in the Papers", for instance, beautifully dispels several misconceptions about media bias.

All in all, a fun read. Recommended.

Heavy Metal Numbers

Wolfram's MathWorld has an entry on the Beast Number, 666. I was expecting numerology, but the beast number actually has some very clear relationships.

The beast number is the sum of the first 7 primes squared:
    666 = 2² + 3² + 5² + 7² + 11² + 13² + 17²

The golden ratio can come from 666:
    θ = -2sin(666°) = -2cos(6 × 6 × 6°)

It may originate from summing each of the Roman numerals:
    DCLXVI = 666

City != Tree

Reading a wonderful essay, Christopher Alexander's A city is not a tree. Alexander illustrates how natural (developed over time) and artificial (developed according to a plan) cities are organized as networks and trees, respectively. Further, he shows how the human tendency to classify things into trees takes the soul out of planned cities:

Another favourite concept of the CIAM theorists and others is the separation of recreation from everything else. This has crystallized in our real cities in the form of playgrounds. The playground, asphalted and fenced in, is nothing but a pictorial acknowledgment of the fact that 'play' exists as an isolated concept in our minds. It has nothing to do with the life of play itself. Few self-respecting children will even play in a playground.

(via Tom Cardin's post on Flickr Network Visualization)

Valentine

New applet: Valentine2005

Written to make images for my Valentine's Day card this year. Words circle my heart, and then unfold to reveal our song: the wonderfully sugary "Such Great Heights" by the Postal Service (Iron and Wine cover).

Happy Valentine's Day, Beth!

Glitch Art Book

Tony Scott (Beflix) and Iman Moradi (Organised) have partnered to write a book on glitch art: Glitch Art and Design Aesthetics.

They'll be taking submissions until March 20.