August 2008 Archives

Taft on a Horse

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For your enjoyment, a picture I found while hunting through the Wikimedia Commons. It's Taft on a horse. For some reason, it strikes me as an intensely funny picture.

Barrel of hair clips

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Quick idea, as found in my sketch book this morning (I don't remember writing it down, but I'm clearly the one who wrote it): Barrel of hair clips. i want to make hair clips with Barrel of Monkeys monkeys on them. Now I just need to get my hands on a Barrel of Monkeys. Pictures when the clips are ready.

An idea for a glossy zine

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous doesn't entirely appeal to me. It just frustrates me to see people who already have everything. It frustrates me because they have it and I don't. It frustrates me because I think it's pretty boring to look at what people do with their vast riches. These people have no reason to innovate or stretch. I have a better idea.

I've dreamed up yet another darn idea for a (maga)zine. I want to do something called Lifestyles of the Poor but Hopeful. I want to look at what people can do with less. How awesome can you make a cheap apartment on a low wage budget? If I'm to judge by some of the places I've seen, people can still do some amazing things with nothing. It strikes me as far more fascinating to see what clever people with less can do than what boring people can do with more.

I think I want to make a marginally glossy zine on this subject. We'll see how it goes. Maybe look for the first installment at Expozine this year. Maybe.

The week-old pizza flowchart

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I humbly present to the reading few a handy tool for deciding whether or not to eat the pizza that's been sitting out for a week. I take no responsibility for any un-tastiness or food poisoning that might result from consulting this chart.

Bank Machines in a cashless world

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I think that a cashless world is far more likely to happen than a paperless office. What, then, happens to all the poor bank machines when we finally give cash the boot? They'll be sad, obsolete, unemployed, junked. We'll have a glut of clever computers in great big boxes.

Then again, who am I to say that we'll ever have a cashless world? We've been promised that world for years, and it keeps not happening. Who wants to buy a pack of gum on debit? It's a clunky and inefficient thing to do. Loads of cash replacement schemes have failed over the years, and so many people argue that cash is a better way of regulating spending. But, in the event that it does ever happen, I can't help but wonder what will become of the thousands upon thousands of unemployed bank machines.

An Easier Website

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I was in a design meeting at work today. The complaint: Clients ask for "cleaner" or "more professional" websites. So, the boss muses out loud that we can't just adjust and make a website sixty percent cleaner. It struck me at that point that there should be a way.

Solution: Take a representative sample of people. Give them a word (professional, clean, edgy, etc.). Give them a pile of design elements (colours, layout pieces, whole layouts, typography, all that good stuff). Get them to rate each element on how much it matches their perception of the given word. Look for patterns in the responses. Sort by demographics, psychographics, industries. Take the data. make a website generator with a very simple interface: a white screen with a number of slider bars, where each bar represents a scale of zero to one hundred for a given trait (edgy, contemporary, clean, professional...). Any person who wants a website need only key in a little pertinent information about themself, and then move the sliders to get what they want. Press the button. Don't like the output? Move the sliders some more.

So, I'm sensing another thesis. Doctorate, maybe? The research should be fun and doable. It's just the actual programming that I'm a little scared of. But it could make a good collaboration with a computer science person.

If it actually worked, I'd put myself out of the web design business. On the upside, I'd secure my place in other circles.

Super heroes must be exhausted

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Having just lived the equivalent of two lives for the last month and a half, I'm left with one burning question: How do super heroes do it? It's hard enough trying to live two normal lives (for example: a full time job and another business on the side), how can anyone possibly be expected to live one normal life and one crime fighting super life?

Other people might argue the plausibility of different elements of super hero stories. Let me be the one to find it implausible that super heroes don't routinely fall over from exhaustion.