August 2011 Archives

In my dream last night, Google Maps had a new layer - when you were zoomed in, you would see tiny fluttering icons for Twitter, Facebook, and other social software sites, moving in a cloud just above the 2D map surface.  Each icon represented a real-time public post to those networks.  If you clicked on one, you coud read it.  If you didn't want to read any of them, you could brush them away like fruit flies - and they'd scatter for a few moments, and then like fruit flies they'd return.

If I knew more about working with APIs, I could probably build something like this. Not sure it would be useful, but in the dream it was pretty to play with.
Wacom has announced the Inkling pen system - you can write on regular paper or on a screen, and your drawing or sketch is captured...




I got to see some of Arthur Ganson's work at the MIT Museum this summer, but I didn't look at his TED Talk until tonight...
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A working breadboard; a working pincushion. (via CRAFT)

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"Studies have shown that if you include numbers in an article, Americans are more inclined to believe the results. If you include a chart or table, confidence goes even higher.  And if you include numbers, a chart, and an illustration of a brain - even if the article isn't really about the parts of the brain - the credibility is through the roof."

- from Now You See It, by Cathy Davidson, p. 109


Watch "So What."
(via Laughing Squid)
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These and other wonderful home made toys on curious kangaroos.  I'm reminded of Arvind Gupta's Toys from Trash, too.  (via Craft)
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Rachel Walsh explains a Kindle to Charles Dickens. Beautiful.  More via Laughing Squid.


Mathematician and musician Vi Hart explains sound, in "What is up with noises?"
Not quite to "Inbox: 0" today, but got lots of small prep tasks done for the coming school year.
Heading back into the school year's first week of meetings with a mind full of new ideas from my summer work.  Looking forward to testing all that in a new context.
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Details here.  Kickstarter campaign here.

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Pittsburgh will host its own Mini Maker Faire on October 23rd, at the Children's Museum.  Makers have until 5:00 on September 20 to submit ideas and projects to share.
Muphry's Law - one section of which states: "if you write anything criticising editing or proofreading, there will be a fault in what you have written."
So pleased to hear that App Inventor will move to a new home at MIT. Google will open source the code, and MIT will develop and extend it.  Sounds like a perfect partnership. I'm especially excited because I saw students blossom with confidence and new skill when they used App Inventor to explore programming Android mobile phones this summer.  I'm looking forward to sharing it with more students in the coming year.
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Panorama shot with my phone, after we came out of Big Jim's in The Run, in lower Greenfield, just beneath the Parkway.
One more week of summer vacation, and at least a weeks worth of ideas for what to do... I'm looking forward to the new school year, but I'm also reveling in the unscheduled time.
Got my laptop home again, with a new logic board covered by Apple Care. 

Backed everything up with Time Machine. Decided to get rid of Windows XP, since I rarely use it and it takes up >35 gigabytes of space. Found I could do that without uninstalling VMWare Fusion, which seemed handy in case I ever want to test some other operating system. Backed up again. Re-installed system software, since that had been suggested by the Apple repair team. Ran many updates. Backed up again. Also backed up with Super Duper. 

So... 

My laptop is now backed up to two different external drives, running an up-to-date version of Snow Leopard, with 41 gigabytes of free space. Boring but necessary maintenance. And I'm so glad that everything is now fixed and working properly. 
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The ingredients for beautiful experiments are never far away. Start with a shallow dish. Pour in a very thin layer of milk. Add drops of food coloring. Add a drop of dish soap. Watch what happens... add  another drop of soap? ...or color?

See more of what evie s. made with her toddler's help, and then go play!  Curious about the science? Household Hacker explains.

(via curbly)
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Just the web site for this show of interactive art and wearable technology makes me want to figure out how to get to New York City this month.
Oooh. Lots of potential in this concept - and very clear tutorial from Becky Stern.


LED Shoe Clips from MAKE magazine on Vimeo.

Still settling in at home.  Half unpacked.  Did take my non-starting laptop to the Apple Store - still one month left on the extended warranty. Their verdict: dead logic board. They'll replace it. Free. So glad that it decided to go now, rather then later... (And glad that I still have my lovely loaner MacBook Air from teaching this summer. It doesn't need to be returned until later this month.)


Terry Gilliam gives advice on how to create cut paper animation.
A round-up post on Fashioning Technology about different kinds of interactive electronic books: one where the pages turn automatically, one where thermochromic ink blocks out the writing over time, and so on, with links to more...
Conductivity and pop-up paper folding.

Pop-up+ from The Tinkering Studio on Vimeo.

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Just a detail to tempt you to explore this article on the Fashioning Technology blog.

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Was reading in the archives of xkcd, and doing it by way of the xkcd iPhone app, and it crashed.  Reopened it and it crashed again. And reopened it again. Crashed again. Huh?  Oh. I had reached comic number 404. (Well, it made me laugh out loud. And at least it only took three crashes for me to get the joke, which is more obvious on the xkcd website.)
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After seeing some of Arthur Ganson's machines at the MIT Museum, I bought a DVD of his work. Highly recommended.
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Arrived at work this morning to find that the Pittsburgh Signs Project book (I'm one of the four editors/authors) was featured in a great article on BoingBoing.net. The book is now ridiculously expensive on Amazon, but if you are interested, the Carnegie Mellon bookstore still has a few copies in stock at the original list price.  And Lindsay at I Heart PGH is giving a copy away.


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Fashioning Technology posts about contemporary tribal motifs - QR codes created in beading. 

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