July 2011 Archives


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Blast from the past: Clout

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Just about five years ago, I made some real purdy cover art for Noah 23's Clout. At the time, he sat me down and had me listen to the album, to get an idea of what it was about. I was taken by a funny, off-colour lyric from Livestock on one of the tracks (Nazca Plateau, in fact) and decided to base the cover on that.


The other day, for some reason, I ran across the Wikipedia page for Clout. I saw the cover art and was reminded of the basic gist of the reasoning behind it. Here's the embarrassing bit, though: in the intervening years, I've not only lost my copy of the album, but I'm also two computers down the road and not sure if I even still have the process files from the cover, never mind a digitized version of the album. Which means that, while anyone who owns the album knows the joke, short of shelling out the dollar it would take to buy the song, I'm left in the dark.

Grace Hopper deserves a poster

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Back in May, I did this illustration (based on this photo) of Grace Hopper (you can get the SVG). Today, I figured that, as one of the pioneering computer scientists (never mind one of the most important female computer scientists of all time), she deserved to be on a cool poster. So I made one. Two versions, orange and blue, of the <3 Grace Hopper poster. Click on the images to get print resolution, suitable for 11x17 paper.


Two excellent bits from Lave and Wenger

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Specifically, from their essay in Daniels's An Introduction to Vygotsky. (If you care: Lave, Jean and Etienne Wenger. "Practice, person, social world." An Introduction to Vygotsky. Ed. Harry Daniels. New York: Routledge, 2005. 149-156. Print.)

Importantly, Lave and Wenger are the big guns when it comes to talking about communities of practice. Below, two brilliant, poignant little bits from the above-mentioned essay.

"the centripetal development of full participants, and with it the successful production of a community of practice, also implies the replacement of old-timers" (155)

"communities of practice are engaged in the generative process of producing their own future" (155)

I drew you a pretentious doucherocket

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The daily illustration this afternoon is one near and dear to my heart. Yesterday, something cool happened. The interview that TheSilentNumber did with the Libre Graphics magazine editorial team (including me) got a mention on Slashdot. Which is super cool, because it did great things for our download numbers. I did a little skim of the comments on the Slashdot post and found something incredibly amusing. One commenter described me as a "pretentious doucherocket." Clearly, this is the best insult ever. I'm in love. So I've decided to own it. Last night, I issued a challenge to draw a pretentious doucherocket. My incredibly awesome friend and colleague M-E came through beautifully (this one and this one are the best). Now, my last act of silliness before actually getting down to some serious work is the below drawing of a pretentious doucherocket. As ever, the drawing is available on OCAL.

Pretentious doucherocket can get away with mustard yellow because it has confidence that a resurgence in the popularity of colour palettes from the early '60s will probably take a few years to trickle down.


A pipe

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Yesterday, I drew this pipe. As always, you can download the SVG if you want to.


  • A pile of books, slightly diminished because I just took some back to the library
  • Half of a grande soy earl grey tea latte
  • The usual chemistry experiments
  • My headphones, presumably sitting on my chair, since they'd fall upon my dematerialization
  • My bag, under the desk, with not much in it
  • My computer, with:
    • A text editor with ranty a treatise on the way the world sees me
    • Inkscape, with a carrot I drew a month or two ago
    • An open file manager, with the source images for the carrot
    • Firefox, with the Rural Alberta Advantage playing on R3, my own blog, my personal email, a bunch of tabs with secondary sources for papers and articles I want to write and one tab with the contact information for a prof I want to talk to about finding an intern for the magazine
    • A PDF form from the government of Ontario, detailing the procedure for a legal name change
    • Another text editor, with hours for my current freelancing project and a list of things I need to send emails about 
    • VLC, with a rendering of the first 43 seconds of an animation I'm working on
    • Another window manager, open to all the renderings I have so far of the animation
    • Blender, with the animation open
    • GIMP and Inkscape (again) with assets for the animation

I drew you a carrot (a month ago)

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Why is this sewing needle so popular?

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needle.pngI drew this sewing needle a year and a bit ago, last March. I also uploaded it to the Open Clip Art Library a little later (here). Okay, big deal, right? It's a simple little drawing of a sewing needle, meant to go with a logo that eventually got scrapped. But there's something strange about it. Since then, for the last year, the original blog post it was in has been one of the most consistently popular pages on my entire site. Last month, it was the second most visited, accounting for a whopping 10% of all pageviews. In that time, it's also managed to surpass everything else I've ever uploaded to Open Clip Art Library, even the ever-popular baby giraffe. I'm a little bit at a loss. Why is it that a simple sewing needle should be so popular?