Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Michael Jantzen


Last Sunday, The Discovery Channel aired a program exploring the multi-purpose creations of artist and designer Michael Jantzen. In particular, I found his Wind Shaped Pavilion to be incredibly fascinating. Made of lightweight fabric, each of the six “Jenga” like layers of the structure move in accordance with the wind around a central support frame. As a result, the building’s shape constantly adjusts, while simultaneously generating electricity for illumination at night. Interestingly, “The shape of the structure starts out as a relatively symmetrical form. Then the wind begins to alter the shape randomly, with only a slim chance of ever returning to its original symmetry”, says Jantzen.

“If the structure’s scale and the materials were to change, it could become an apartment complex, and or some other commercial building,” Jantzen says of his own creation. “In this case, the occupants could take control and rotate the segments to adjust to changing desires or needs, such as weather conditions, best views, etc.”

In a time where experimentation, sustainability and innovation are synonymous with competitive advantage, perhaps government agencies or trendy organizations on the forefront of a “brave new world”, so to speak, will adopt architecture of this nature as a way of exuding creativity and confidence.

Jantzen’s also created the Internet Observatory, a support grid frame that represents the matrix of the Internet. In this conceptual design, “The curved space which is contained by the grid represents a place where the flow of Internet information is accessed by an individual. The person sits at the center of the curved space in a specifically designed interactive workstation that rotates up out of the glass floor in order to allow the occupant to face any direction.”

The movie Contact comes to mind, in which Jodie Foster’s character travels for hours through the depths of space via a worm hole. She finds out that on earth, only seconds have passed by. I wonder if surfing the net will one day provide a similar experience?

If that wasn’t enough, check out Jantzen’s Sky-Cloud Pavilion, a structure that can “interactively change its surface by weaving flexible materials, such as fabric, through its support frame.” The result: a beautiful configuration that is capable of changing from an open frame, to an orange enclosure, to a sky image, and back to an open frame again.

More of Jantzen’s work here.


Friday, June 20, 2008

When you jam your Athena's Blades into the Colossus' blue eyeball, you'll be launched into a body of water. Dash through the barrier and climb the ladder up ahead. There is a lever that you need to pull and the first save point in the game. Use your new grappling ability to get across the room and lift up the door to continue to the next room where a couple of enemies will be waiting for you. The Colossus will try to stomp you once you go up the small ladder, so press Circle repeatedly to throw him off of you. Stab your Blades into the wall to scale it. Get ready for round two with the boss.

Stay as far away from the Colossus as you can. This time around, the Colossus means business and you need to dodge as many of his attacks as you can by pressing Right and Left on the analog stick at the precise moment. When he lifts both of his fists up into the air, he is about to try to bash you, so be ready to jump out of the way. Use Kratos' combo attacks by pressing and holding R1 and then pressing Triangle, Square, or Circle. When the Colossus has taken enough damage, he will use the platform opposite of you for balance and a circle will appear over his hand. Grapple across to the other side and press circle to grab onto him with your Athena's Blades. You will have to repeat this process of weakening him, grabbing his fist, and entering a series of buttons twice. When the huge enemy takes his balance on the platform to the left, the buttons you must press are Circle, Circle, Square, Square. When he rests on the platform to the right, press Triangle, Triangle, X, X. After you have successfully entered both of these button chains, press L1 and R1 repeatedly to prevent the giant from squashing you.

After this sequence, keep pressing onward, block the arrows that some enemies fire at you, and save your game up ahead. After hacking up a few more enemies, there will be a bird statue up ahead. Move it over the circular button on the floor to open the gate. Press and hold R1 and then press and hold X to gain enough strength to push the statue hard with your foot. While standing on the button, roll underneath the gate quickly before it closes. Move the statue on top of the second button and go through the next gate. Open the chests you come across and pull the level to ride up the elevator. After you encounter the Colossus' peeping eye at the top of the elevator, the demo will end.

Found Here: http://www.gamerhelp.com/article_viewer.cfm?article_id=121000

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cosmic Mandalas


The Cosmic Mandala is encompassed by a flaming circle. At the Centre is a three-footed spiral symbolizing a first movement, surrounded by rotating wind which condenses into so-called basic elements, representing the states of aggregation: Wind or Air stands for the gaseous state; Fire is usually depicted as a red triangle and stands for transformation; Water for liquid, represented by a half-circle or circle; Earth for solid matter, symbolized by a yellow square or cube. The emerging forms of the elements are painted in the blue ring surrounding the Centre, in the lower sphere intimating the world-continents to be. The blue Ether represents the all pervading condition, the source of all elements filling the space of the Mandala. On it circles are drawn; looking like ellipses in their dynamic intersection, they portray the orbits of celestial bodies, painted in all the colours of the rainbow plus black and white and indicating the directions. These twelve astrological circles of the upper sphere demonstrate the movements of sun, moon and stars in the seasons.


Found Here: http://www.buddhanet.net/mandalas.htm

Monday, June 9, 2008

Buddha Machine Mod


I stumbled upon this nice little gadget over at FM3 Buddha Machine. Here’s a short review from the website:

The Buddha Machine is a little plastic box that plays music.

Specifically, FM3 constructed nine drones, varying from two seconds to 42 seconds, which repeat endlessly in the listener’s ear until the “track” is switched to the next drone (or the two AA batteries run out).

The machine has its own built-in speaker, in case one would like to fill a room with the drones, but there is also a headphone jack for more personal meditative experiences. There’s a switch on the side that allows for traversal of the tracks, and a DC jack (though an adapter is not included) for those who would like the Buddha Machine experience be truly endless.

In a way, it’s like the cheapest pre-loaded iPod you’ll ever be able to buy.

So basically, the Buddha Machine is similar to the chant box used in Buddhist temples throughout Asia. But instead of repeating loops of monks or nuns praying, the Buddha Machine serves up ambient music a la Brian Eno. Cool!

But like any self-respecting Buddhist, it is the emptiness that fascinates me. In this particular case, it is the empty space inside the gadget that grabs my interest.

Judging from the exploded view of the Buddha Machine above, there is enough space in there to squeeze in a few pieces of orgonite and a tiny double terminated quartz crystal. If you’ve seen the insides of a Don Croft Terminator Zapper, you’d know what I mean. When activated, the sound vibrations from the built-in speaker will stimulate the orgonite into releasing orgone. The quartz crystal can be programmed to direct the orgone toward the fulfillment of a specific task.

The Buddha Machine retails for $23 plus shipping stateside. With just a little modding, you can turn this baby into your very own personal psychotronic tool.

Found Here: http://www.pop-psychotronics.com/category/psychotronics/


Sunday, June 8, 2008


Model: Jeanne from the CHerry Ladies.
Mecha done and rendered in Maxon Cinema 4D.

Postprocess in PSCS3.

Strobist:

1xSB800 on DIY Boom, bouncing in white Umb, top camera Left.
1xSB800 for keylight right behind model with halogen Gel for orange tint.

i tryed to match the same lighting in 3D, but it kinda failed lol, it looks super-fake.

btw thanks for viewing, C&c welcomed. =)

found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/invad3r/2563251028/

2008 Barbury Castle Pattern is Pi to 3.14159265358

© 2008 by Linda Moulton Howe

“The fact that the Pi decimal point is included (in the 2008 Barbury Castle
barley pattern) and there is rounding up to 10 decimal places is to me a little mind boggling!”
– Michael Reed, Astronomical Physicist

Barbury Castle barley crop formation near Wroughton, Wiltshire, U. K.,
reported June 1, 2008, 300 feet in diameter. Aerial image © 2008 by Lucy Pringle.

Found Here: http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1434&category=Environment

reposted by:
Lowman on myspace bulletin

Marvel Nazis


The National Socialist German Workers Party, or "Nazi" Party, was founded as a small right-wing political party in 1919 by Anton Drexler. By 1933 the party was voted into power led by Chancellor Adolf Hitler. Hitler became dictator of Germany the following year, declaring the beginning of a new period in German history known as the "Third Reich" and began a rearmament campaign with the aim of conquering Europe, a goal which eventually precipitated the Second World War. Germany eventually lost World War II and Hitler was killed by the Human Torch. However, through several evil agents, the Nazi movement has continued on with terrorism throughout the world to this very day. Most notably are: the Red Skull, Warrior Woman, Baron Heinrich Zemo, Baron Strucker, Baron Blood and countless others. While officially disbanded after World War II, the Nazi Party, through both direct action and inspiration, continues to affect events wherever it may strike. The terrorist group Axis Mundi is probably the most prominent direct offshoot of the Nazi Party still operating.

Found Here: http://www.marvel.com/universe/Nazi_Party

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Interactions between saliva and wine
From the table above we see that wine only contains about 0.1% tannins (also known as polyphenols). The sources of tannins found in red wine are the seeds, skin and stem of the grapes. When we drink red wine, the tannins react with proteins in our saliva to form water insoluble protein-tannin complexes. A precipitate is formed and as a result, the lubricating properties of the saliva are lost and our tongue feels rough and dry. In other words, we experience the astringency of the red wine.

An elegant experiment to show this is as follows (I learnt this at the 2004 International workshop of molecular gastronomy in Erice):
  • Take a sip of a dry red wine, preferably rich in tannin.
  • Keep the wine in your mouth for 10-20 seconds without swallowing.
  • Spit it into a empty glass and watch how a precipitate forms (this might take a minute or two). Notice how the color changes from red to light red or even pink (see picture below).
  • Rinse your mouth by chewing a piece of bread and drink some water.
  • Take a small sip of the wine that you just spit out (if you dare!). Since the tannins of this wine have already reacted with your saliva, it is as if they were removed from the wine, leaving a fad and flat wine without much taste at all.
Top: red wine. Bottom: formation of precipitate in red wine mixed with saliva.

The saliva flow rate and the concentration of proteins varies from person to person (the latter with a factor of 20). Furthermore the flow rate and protein concentration also varies throughout the day and is also influenced by what you are eating/drinking and even by the smell of food. As a consequence, a person with a high saliva flow rate and/or a high concentration of proteins is more likely to approve of a red wine rich in tannins than someone with a low saliva flow and a lower protein concentration. Knowing this, you should not be surprised that wine preferences can be very individual.

Found Here: http://khymos.org/wine.php