Digital puppets for halloween high jinx

As Halloween approaches and people look fun ways to entertain trick-or-treat visitors, or something clever for Halloween parties, one cool idea is to use this bit of technology my friend Tim Mallos made – http://www.pixpuppets.com/
It allows you to use your voice and the keyboard to animate a digital pumpkin puppet.  Pretty neat

Inspiring talk on designing for dying

Beautiful inspiring TED talk by BJ Miller

What we’ve done with the necessary things of life:
Need for food, we made Cuisine
Need for shelter, we made Architecture
Need for cover, we made Fashion
Strapped to time, we made Music
So, if we also must die, we make …. something new with healthcare that brings increased wonder and love to life.

“Let death be what takes us, not lack of imagination.”

Fixing the dreaded Omnigraffle “move, undo, line disconnection” madness

This has happened to me many times in Omnigraffle.  It doesn’t always happen, so I’m not exactly sure what the cause is.

Scenario:  I have a big diagram (e.g. a sitemap or a flowchart), and I select a bunch of boxes and move them. All is well; the boxes move with the lines. But then I wish to undo this move, so I “Undo”. All the boxes move, but unfortunately the lines do not move! Horrors! I don’t want to manually reposition the lines back to where they should be attached! That could take huge amount of time! (There were well over 300 lines screwed up last time this happened to me.)

Here’s how you easily get the lines to go back to where you originally had them connected.

  • Select All (press apple symbol + “A”, or choose select all from the Edit menu),
  • Click an arrow button on your keyboard, and all the lines will snap back to their objects.
  • Click the opposite arrow on your keyboard to move everything back to the original position.

There, your diagram is back to whatever shape you originally had.

Playing on Codecademy

My son & I recently got rolling on Codecademy, him learning (and me revisiting) HTML & CSS, then we’ll move into JavaScript.  It’s fun to learn this with him!

I recommend this to you if you’ve been wanting to learn programming basics, or how to make a webpage, but I also strongly recommend it for your children, if you have any.  The courses progress really quickly, so there is a great sense of movement & learning.

Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 10.19.40 AM

 

fragmented online info

When I was younger I played D&D.  I think 1st edition AD&D is officially what it was, when everything came out in hardcover in 1976 (though I think I started playing in 1978).  TSR had some excellent character sheets, each for a different role, which helped keep everything in order.

I’m thinking something like these character sheets would be helpful for keeping our online worlds in order…a place to store our personal information

https://i1.wp.com/melkot.com/mechanics/char-sheet.gif?resize=375%2C502

Neighborhood Nooks

I like hearing about the lending libraries people are putting up around town.   I need fruit standto learn more about them.

I keep thinking there are all kinds of things that we could put next to sidewalks that would enrich our neighborhoods.  I’ve been drawing bits of things to make & put along the side walk, as places….

  • to stop and rest at
  • that hold things for sale
  • that surface local information (local events, ripe fruit, animal counts, etc.)

I keep calling these Neighborhood Nooks for some reason, and have been thinking about how they could surface the character of a neighborhood. branches for woven roofbench jointsbenchPost

 

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Owlpad

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Reaching into the discards

When I was but a wee lad – I think 4th or 5th grade… probably 4th, I read this book: Trillions, by Nicholas Fisk.

Trillions

Years later I would think about this book as the first science fiction I’d read with a sense of wonder and I recall that I was impressed with myself for having read it.

CheckoutSlip
A couple months ago I got the idea to find the book and read it to my kids who were finishing 1st and 4th grades at the time.  I found it used – on Amazon, I think it was – an old library discard that had the ever classic checkout slip in a pocket in back that each person would sign when checking out of the library.

The book was still exciting for a kid to hear, but I found it an extremely vague and unsatisfying to read as an adult.  And even my kids felt like it was super unclear what was going on at the end.   The concept at the heart of the story was good – sand sized creatures from another planet that could combine with each other to form any shape – but the execution was choppy and felt really unfinished.  I give it a thumbs down as a story overall.  In retrospect, it was an awkward intro to SF, and I get now that I couldn’t recall the complete story because the story didn’t hold together very well.

The redeeming thing for me was holding and revisiting a memory and recalling the Silver Springs elementary school classroom in Northville where I headed into the SF story realm.  And, as I just re-listened to the Douglas Adams, Restaurant at the End of the Universe audiobook, I think the Trillian character had extra resonance because of this book.

House cat detaches barnacle, ends era.

When our cat wakes up in the middle of the night and starts meowing incessantly to tell us that she thinks it’s time she was fed, we’ve started putting her in our office/spare room.  She then proceeds to meow and scratch at the door, but we get better sleep this way.  However, on the inside of the door she’s scratching on were a bunch of posters, postcards, notes, clipped comics, etc. and those she has torn down to the floor in pieces, over the past week.  Amongst the postcards of last night’s scratchings was one for my brother Jon‘s Okum & Cooney Custom Interior Painting company; an old signal in the universe, held as a backward glimpse foreshadowing?  Now torn down, I’ll let this barnacle from a bygone era detach and float away.cat destroys barnacle