Saturday, May 31, 2008

Warp mesh patch for Quartz Composer

Warp mesh patch for Quartz Composer

Intended primarily for fulldome projection using a spherical mirror
Also used as a navigable movie player
Modelled after the warpplayer application

Written by Christopher Wright @ Kineme
Design by Paul Bourke

This is perhaps the most common type of application for planetariums using the spherical mirror projection technique. The input image is a fisheye and the only sensible navigation is rotation about the center of the fisheye. Note the use of the intensity mapping to compensate for the variable density of pixels, and hence light level on parts of the dome.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Learning at Evergreen

Learning at Evergreen

Faculty at Evergreen have transformed traditional education into an unmatched learning experience.

Instead of taking four or five separate, unrelated classes each quarter, you'll take one program that unifies these classes around a central theme, taught by two or three faculty from different academic disciplines. Since you do all of your academic work in one program, your faculty team will know how much work is being assigned to you, so there's no possibility of two tests on the same day or having to choose between a field trip and a conflicting class. This approach, which we call "coordinated studies," sets learning at Evergreen apart from other colleges.

Many Evergreen programs continue for two or three consecutive quarters. This allows you to build specific skills to produce highly sophisticated work, even in introductory offerings. You'll work most often in small groups with your faculty, beginning your freshman year.

At Evergreen, you'll be encouraged to voice your opinion. Your background, ethnicity, social class and preferred lifestyle will add to the multicultural perspectives here. You will find that attention to diversity, in the broadest sense, runs throughout the curriculum.

Because your learning is too important to be reduced to an arbitrary number or letter grade, you'll receive narrative evaluations from your faculty. Faculty will detail your accomplishments, list subject areas you studied and assign the credits you earn toward your bachelor's degree. Narrative evaluations give graduate schools and employers a comprehensive picture of your undergraduate education.

Truth or Consequence (Keep the price of gas high!)

Truth or Consequence

Published: May 28, 2008

....No, our mythical candidate would say the long-term answer is to go exactly the other way: guarantee people a high price of gasoline — forever.

This candidate would note that $4-a-gallon gasoline is really starting to impact driving behavior and buying behavior in way that $3-a-gallon gas did not. The first time we got such a strong price signal, after the 1973 oil shock, we responded as a country by demanding and producing more fuel-efficient cars. But as soon as oil prices started falling in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we let Detroit get us readdicted to gas guzzlers, and the price steadily crept back up to where it is today.

We must not make that mistake again. Therefore, what our mythical candidate would be proposing, argues the energy economist Philip Verleger Jr., is a “price floor” for gasoline: $4 a gallon for regular unleaded, which is still half the going rate in Europe today. Washington would declare that it would never let the price fall below that level. If it does, it would increase the federal gasoline tax on a monthly basis to make up the difference between the pump price and the market price.
Barack Obama had the courage to tell voters that the McCain-Clinton summer gas-giveaway plan was a fraud. Wouldn’t it be amazing if he took the next step and put the right plan before the American people? Wouldn’t that just be amazing?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Curriculum Designed to Unite Art and Science

Curriculum Designed to Unite Art and Science

...There is a kind of basic illiteracy on both sides,” he added, “and I find it a thrilling idea that people might be made to take pleasure in crossing the border.”

Monday, May 26, 2008

Antioch's Environmental Advocacy and Organizing Program

Environmental Advocacy and Organizing Program

Real democracy is not a spectator sport. Do you want to build a well-organized social movement that can challenge the downsizing of democracy and promote the common good? If so, check out our master's program in Environmental Advocacy and Organizing--where we train students for activist careers as public interest advocates and grassroots organizers working for ecological sustainability, social justice, and the democratic control of corporations.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Power Spar

Sun Harvesting
How the Power-Spar®® works

Since the Power-Spar® concentrates the sun's rays onto a small absorbing area, the heat loss of the entire system is minimized. This is one of the reasons that allows the Power-Spar® system to yield extremely high winter heating efficiencies.

In addition to the glycol fluid, optional high efficiency multi-sun solar cells can be added on the Power-Spar® absorbers. By placing the PV cells in the concentrated light, their electric current is amplified significantly - a three watt solar cell can produce up to 10 watts. Effectively lowering solar cell costs by a factor of three.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New York: Playing the Building

Playing the Building

Creative Time Presents
Playing the Building: An Installation by David Byrne
The Battery Maritime Building
Battery Maritime Building: Front
10 South Street, New York, NY (Map)
31 May – 10 August 2008
Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Noon – 6PM (Free)
Opening Reception: 31 May, 6–8 PM
[Download press release]

Playing the building is a sound installation in which the infrastructure, the physical plant of the building, is converted into a giant musical instrument. Devices are attached to the building structure — to the metal beams and pillars, the heating pipes, the water pipes — and are used to make these things produce sound. The activations are of three types: wind, vibration, striking. The devices do not produce sound themselves, but they cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Google Health and the Body Politic

I trust Google.
I own their stock.
I think they're great.
I will even trust them with my medical information.

But unchecked power inevitably corrupts.
We need to get a grip.


With Google Health, you can:

image Build online health profiles
You can enter your health conditions, medications, allergies, and lab results into your Google Health profile and you can name the profile anything you want. You can even create multiple profiles for family members or others you care for.
Import medical records from hospitals and pharmacies
Choose from a list of Google Health partners to see if your hospital or pharmacy can send copies of your medical records or prescriptions to your Google Health profile. This way, you can save an accurate history of your medical conditions, medications, and test results all in one place.
image Learn about health issues and find helpful resources
Review trusted information on diseases and conditions and learn about possible medication interactions and other topics to talk your doctors about.
image Search for doctors and hospitals
You can search for a doctor's name or location, find a doctor's website, get directions to a doctor's office, and save a doctor's information to your medical contacts list.
image Connect to online health services
Browse the online health services directory to find services that are integrated with Google Health that can help you better manage your health needs.


The norms for software documentation are astounding...but don't get me started.

While evaluating ruby and the Sketchup Ruby API, I created* a slightly improved interface to Google's "SketchUp Ruby API Deveoper'sGuide " (sic).

The sidebar shows Class.method and links to the online documentation.
(A dynamically generated imagemap diagram is the obvious answer here. )

Of course, you still need to do detective work to figure out what objects belong to what classes, etc. (sheesh!). Here are a few things I figured out:

Sketchup.active_model.active_entities returns an "Entities" object that has all the goodies in it, and all the methods for adding goodies:

Sketchup.active_model.active_entities.selection #get an array of handles

The .add_... methods return Faces, Edges, Groups, etc. with their own methods (all are derived from the DrawingElement class.). Thus, Face.pushpull 10 turns a face into a volume (see the example below)

Each entity has methods that include .add_observer and .move!

.move and other transformations use the Transformation and Geom classes (still mysterious; help welcome)

Here's a little script:
#Put this in e.g.,
# /Library/Application Support/Google Sketchup 6/SketchUp/Plugins/RubyTests
# load it from the console:
# load 'RubyTests/myTut.rb'

model = Sketchup.active_model
$entities = model.active_entities
#the model has entities.

#let’s make a triangle
point1 = [0, 0, 0] #origin; NB: sketchup Arrays have geometric mojo
point2 = [20, 20, 20]
point3 = [10, 0, 0]
tri = $entities.add_edges point1, point2, point3, point1

#let’s fill it and make a face
$f=$entities.add_face point1, point2, point3, point1

#let’s extend it
$f.pushpull 10

* using python ;->

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Folding Chairs from Milan 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kim Sherman's Vendor List of Model Making Resources

Kim Sherman's Vendor List of Model Making Resources

Locate multiple addresses internationally - North America & Europe - calculate distances - make your own mashup map - instantly.

Take any kind of street address list, for example copied from Excel, and geocode the addresses to get latitude and longitude coordinates using the tool below. The data can then be mapped in your browser, downloaded into Google Earth, saved to a web page, or transferred back into your spreadsheet. You can also use this tool to calculate distances to multiple addresses from a single point, or get quick driving directions to multiple destinations. Mapping multiple locations with your own custom data takes seconds, just follow the 6 steps below to plot your own data on a fully interactive multi-point map. It's fast, easy, and - free to use!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Digital Ethnography Working Group @ kansas state university
home of the digital ethnography working group, a team of cultural anthropology undergraduates
led by Dr. Michael Wesch exploring the impact of digital technology on human interaction
and human interaction on digital technology

Dr. Michael Wesch
Project Coordinator
Assistant Professor of
Cultural Anthropology
and Digital Ethnography
Kansas State University

Dubbed "the explainer" by Wired magazine, Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the impact of new media on human interaction (and the impact of human interaction on new media). After two years studying the impact of writing on a remote indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, he has turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society. His videos on technology, education, and information have been viewed by millions, translated in over ten languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences. Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award and the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology. He is also a multiple award-winning teacher whose teaching projects are frequently featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education and other major media outlets worldwide. Wesch is currently serving on the Editorial Board of Advisors for Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Annals of Innovation

Annals of Innovation

In the Air

Who says big ideas are rare?

by Malcolm Gladwell May 12, 2008

The history of science is full of ideas that several people had at the same time.

The history of science is full of ideas that several people had at the same time.

Fractal Furniture

Fractal furniture


Friday, May 09, 2008

Roofing Structures,Tensile Structures,Roofing Structures Supplier,Tensile Structures Manufacturer

Roofing Structures,Tensile Structures,Roofing Structures Supplier,Tensile Structures Manufacturer

Tensile Membrane Structure
Tensile Membrane Structure

Item code : TM-008
We offer customized, permanent as well as temporary tensile membrane structures that are rugged, flexible and easy to maintain

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Bug Labs: Products

Bug Labs: Products


BUG is a collection of easy-to-use electronic modules that snap together to build any gadget you can imagine. Each BUGmodule represents a specific gadget function (ex: a camera, a keyboard, a video output, etc.). You decide which functions to include and BUG takes care of the rest, letting you try out different combinations quickly and easily. With BUG and the integrated programming environment/online community (BUGnet), anyone can build, program and share innovative devices and applications. We don't define the final products - you do.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Google SketchUp - Go Green

Google SketchUp - Go Green

Analysis Tools

Running simulations in the early stages of your design process provides feedback that can inform many of your decisions. These decisions can greatly affect the way your building performs: How will my building's performance change if I rotate it by 30 degrees on the site? What if I add another set of windows on the south elevation? Third-party energy analysis applications can help you answer these questions, and the ones listed below have developed plugins for Google SketchUp.

EnergyPlus Energy Design Plugin

EnergyPlus (which is available for Windows users) is a building energy simulation software created and maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy. It models heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation and other energy flows in buildings.

The EnergyPlus Energy Design Plugin, developed by the National Renewable Energy Lab, adds the building energy simulation capabilities of EnergyPlus to the SketchUp environment. It allows you to view and edit EnergyPlus input files within SketchUp, adding as much extra detail as you need to the zones and surfaces. It also allows users to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results from within SketchUp. Learn more about this plugin.

Greenspace Research's Demeter Plugin

Demeter (which is available for Windows and Mac users) is a plugin for SketchUp developed by Greenspace Research, a commercial division of Lews Castle College in Scotland. The plugin allows you to perform an energy analysis on a SketchUp design by adding attributes to the geometry and then connecting it to Green Building Studio's web service, or other analysis applications that import gbXML. With the plugin, SketchUp is able to both import and export gbXML files. Learn more about this plugin. | Rochester videonetwork | Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester videonetwork | Democrat and Chronicle:

Thursday, May 01, 2008

10 Interesting Things You Can Do with YouTube or Google Videos - Digital Inspiration

10 Interesting Things You Can Do with YouTube or Google Videos - Digital Inspiration

I download a large 30 minute video from Youtube but I am only interested in the last 10 minutes of the clip. How do I split a large FLV file into smaller playable video clips?

This is the most common question among video enthusiasts - they want to split a large FLV video file into smaller chunks for editing or resharing only the interesting tidbits on the internet. To break an FLV file, get the free FLV Parser - a tiny command-line tool to split FLVs into pieces. Its intended use is to convert a large FLV into a series of shorter FLVs based on a series of millisecond-based timecodes. Using the -s switch will split the audio and video of the outputted files; the audio track will be extracted as a series of MP3 files, and the short FLVs produced will have no audio track at all.