Saturday  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.

Gimmickry: Jump to a Random Archive Link

 Thursday  the Twenty-Sixth

A telestereoscope 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 - 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. [via Nocto]
Mysteriously intentional that Jarvis Cocker seems to be dressed up as his 1995 self, in the new 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 a load of easily-parsable Javascript data - a compelling argument for leaving 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.

 Wednesday  the Twenty-Fifth

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]

 Tuesday  the Twenty-Fourth

"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 Izzard).

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.

It's Geocaching 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. [via Matt]

 Monday  the Twenty-Third

An excellently 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 Cryonics 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...

As Above

Brain children. Recent or noteworthy Web offspring.

Online cliques. Trespassers may be welcome.

In the bookpile. Powered by

Incidental music. Ohrwurmen or otherwise.

Other weblogs. The ones I make a point of returning to a lot.

Supporting cast. That have Web pages. In alphabetical order.

Weeks beginning. All having ended.
2002: 23.09 16.09 09.09 02.09 26.08 19.08 12.08 05.08 29.07 22.07 15.07 08.07 01.07 24.06 17.06 10.06 03.06 27.05 20.05 13.05 06.05 29.04 22.04 15.04 08.04 01.04 25.03 18.03 11.03 04.03 25.02 18.02 11.02 04.02 28.01 21.01 14.01 07.01

2001: 31.12 24.12 17.12 10.12 03.12 26.11 19.11 12.11 05.11 29.10 22.10 15.10 08.10 01.10 24.09 17.09 10.09 03.09 27.08 20.08 13.08 06.08 30.07 23.07 16.07 09.07 02.07 25.06 18.06 11.06 04.06 28.05 21.05 14.05 07.05 30.04 23.04 16.04 09.04 02.04 26.03 19.03 12.03 05.03 26.02 19.02 12.02 05.02 29.01 22.01 15.01 08.01 01.01

2000: 25.12 18.12 11.12 04.12 27.11 20.11

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