The Year 2008 in Photographs

“Lightning bolts appear above and around the Chaiten volcano as seen from Chana, some 30 kms (19 miles) north of the volcano, as it began its first eruption in thousands of years, in southern Chile May 2, 2008. Cases of electrical storms breaking out directly above erupting volcanoes are well documented, although scientists differ on what causes them. Picture taken May 2, 2008. (Carlos Gutierrez)”

from the Boston Globe’s The year 2008 in photographsRead the rest

The Seven Best Capers of 2008

Wired has The Seven Best Capers of 2008:

“The Plumas Lake Penny Pinch – If you’ve ever linked up your checking account to an online brokerage house or digital payment service, you may have noticed that the company automatically initiates one or two small deposits — typically less than a dollar each — for verification purposes. If you’re hard up for cash, or just really bored, you might have thought, “if only there was a way to make real money off this …” Twenty-two-year-old Michael Largent of Plumas Lake, California allegedly figured out a way: Volume! Prosecutors say Largent wrote a script that rapidly opened about 60,000 new accounts under aliases like Johnny Blaze and Hank Hill, then linked them all to a handful of … Read the rest

Jen Stark

Just like every pop musician wants to come up with the next infectious “earworm” hook, many artists are looking for the new “look” that will define them and differentiate them from all the others.

Jen Stark seems to have done that with her paperwork series. In the video on her site, she seems like such a normal, non-prepossessing person. Actually, most artists who are any good seem to have this quality.… Read the rest

Quit Your Day Job

“Karin of ValhallaBrooklyn started her business with the goal of large wholesale orders to shops throughout the United States and Europe. Once setting up shop on Etsy, she soon discovered she could make wholesale orders and retail orders together in order to support herself. With a new baby on the way, she made the decision to stay small and handmade rather than outsourcing her designs to larger companies. She now finds herself supporting her entire family through the endeavor and sure works the hours to prove it! Keep reading to find out what goes on in Karin’s 80+ hour work week!”… Read the rest

Conversations with My Mailman III

Conversations with My Mailman III

It was a warm afternoon; the rain was ending and the Sun was coming out.

My mailman was under an awning with one bare foot on the pavement and his shoe on the mailbag. He was wringing out his sock.

I slowed when I got near him. “Step in a puddle?” I asked.

“Yeah.” He said without looking up.

After a moment he noticed I was still there and he looked up, then smiled. “Oh, Hey. I thought you was someone else. Yeah, these puddles’ll get ya. I was talking with a buddy of mine over there across the street and I stepped in the gutter when I was talking. He’s a new dad and trying to figure out what to … Read the rest

Eccentric Genius: Antiques from a Parallel Universe

The P'gaackan Discombobulator

Kaden Harris makes steampunk sculptures, or at least steampunk-like sculptures. According to him, he makes “‘machina arcana’- arcane machines” – “antiques from a parallel universe, Da Vinci, Cleese and Neutron still spend every Tuesday night playing poker with Sherlock Holmes, and the Victorian era ‘gentleman inventor’ still toils diligently in his potting shed laboratory.”

Another definition he uses is “randomly selecting medieval, industrial age and art deco influences and gamely struggling to make them all coexist in a post-millennial world. Out of scrap metal. And hardwood.”

Anyway, it’s cool.… Read the rest

Light the Kinara

(latest revision: 2008/12/18)

A simple puzzle game. Drag and drop pieces of wick to connect the flame at the bottom of the kinara (candle-holder) to the tops of the seven candles. You cannot drop wicks on the nine kinte circles. You win when all seven candles are lit.

This puzzle appeared in an earlier game of mine. I intend to improve the recursion (when checking to see which wicks are “live”) and add additional levels at some point.… Read the rest

Recommended Game: World of Goo

There is a game called World of Goo that is getting a lot of attention.

World of Goo is a desktop (Win & Mac) puzzle game utilizing “jelly-physics” where players build sticky, wobbly structures.

It started as a “test” game as part of Carnegie Mellon’s Experimental Gameplay project, which you can still play, although the desktop version goes far beyond the Flash demo.

The developers, Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel, are both very talented and have a number of demo games on the Experimental Gameplay site. I really like the idea of doing “research” on game design – using rapid prototyping to test an idea to see what works. 9 times out of 10 you get crud, but that 10th time ends up being one of … Read the rest