||the Twenty-Eighth of September, 2002|
"Design #261809735 - It's a pair of roller-skates
that moves from side to side and tracks its position with GPS.
I've been thinking about this for a while. If I write a script that generates billions of random product ideas
from a few hundred components and abilities, how much does that count
as valid prior
art, if someone later invents an object that the script was able to generate? Would
it still be laughable if I got it to flip through four billion in front of
signed witnesses? Discuss.
is a device that increases the distance between your eyes - no
surgery, just couple of periscopes going in different directions.
Apparently your brain still thinks that your eyes are only a
couple of inches apart, and scales its mental model of the world
down appropriately. Glorious idea.|
The designer of the model above, Cassidy Curtis, is synaesthesic; his
site includes a page of letters
and words in the colours that he perceives them. "I confuse similarly-colored
names easily." A glimpse of another perspective. My black-on-white text
suddenly looks horribly dull and lifeless.
|This is good - oldversion.com
archives past incarnations of various
software applications, for people or computers who can't cope with the
current level of bloat.
The Information Activism
monkeys are doubtless furious.
|Mysteriously intentional that Jarvis Cocker seems to be
dressed up as his 1995 self, in the
BT broadband advert. And nagging to think how much actual exchange-upgrade
work could have been done for the price of Jarvis and a horde of CGI monsters.
|Smaller Picture update: Tom Rankin has written some scripts to generate
differently rendered views
of the Typophile hive-mind font -
a smooth greyscale of averaged-out clicks, a sharp sketch of the majority vote for each
pixel, and a plot of the points of contention (the much-disputed serifs on the "I"
being particularly striking). Superb work.|
And all made possible because the original history animation happens to include
the data-doors wide open, for things like this. Someone else might find a better
view of your notes, or implement a filter that you hadn't gotten around to.
A bit disparate, but no reason why it can't be tied together afterwards. Must
bear this in mind more.
|A nice little gravitational
simulation applet; try to get asteroids going in a stable orbit around
Earth, or - after a few minutes of frustration - opt to play a vengeful
god and just bombard the planet. [via Néa@MCiOS]
"If you've got a strong imagination it's there all the time, it's working
away. You're kind of remaking the world as you walk down a street, sort
of reinventing it. I have a walk every day and a good think about
things. I sometimes think maybe this town is a complete conspiracy, or
maybe it's a very advanced kind of psychological experiment - all these
ideas occur to me and every now and again I think: 'Hey, that's not bad.
That's worth pursuing.'"
Very good stuff from J G Ballard in an
Observer feature on creativity (next to some fairly weak
Remaking the world. A good phrase. It's what I try to do whenever I'm stuck
waiting for a train, or walking somewhere uninteresting, or have run out of books;
it's always possible to find a new way to look at the world, whatever it is you've
got in front of you. Infinite filters and angles and perspectives, on the subjective
side of life. Worth exercising. It's good to have a name for it. [via Black Belt Jones]
|This I like. Urban Letterboxing
is a built-up-area variant of the Dartmoor original -
people hide little boxes in interesting places and, after publishing clues to the
interested (or the Internet), invite people to track the things down and leave
their rubber-stamped mark on a notebook inside.|
with minimal technology and a lot more dramatic intrigue; "Find the old Tou brewery on the
outskirts of town. From the carpark head down to the left. Find a ladder
built into the wall, enter the first door and jump over the oil & grease..." - I shall
be keeping an eye open for potential drop-spots.
gimmicky competition on the cover-flap of New Scientist;
the winner chooses between a holiday to some observatory in Hawaii,
and getting their corpse put into cryogenic storage with the
Institute. How am I expected to get my corpse to
a freezer in Michigan before it goes off, though?
|Wasn't sure whether to mention this, but it seems to have exploded
publicly anyway - Jared Benson of Typophile approached me
after seeing the
Smaller Picture, to see what I thought of using the system to create
an alphanumeric font. Fantastic idea, obviously - I handed him a souped-up
version of the script that he painted with a far-shinier design, and it's
been chugging through people's pixels for a couple of weeks now.|
Anyone can browse and contribute to the Typophile Smaller Picture font - that link is to a
framed version of it from Jeff
Howard, who's written a script to generate striking GIF thumbnails of the
entire font. Startlingly coherent stuff, particularly the numbers and
upper-case letters - whether we're glimpsing some pure Platonic font, the
averaged shared-consciousness visualisation of our alphabet, or just Eurostile Bold, I'm not sure...