Spirograph Art

May 29, 2010 at 7:50 pm (art, kids) (, , , )

Had James May’s toy progamme on in the background and he started talking about spirograph, complaining how noone can do it!   Wikipedia has a detailed mathematical description of how it all works …

Then they cut over to Leslie Halliwell, who has used spriograph to create very large works of art.  Her patience must be nearly infinite!  The large scale works are very, very impressive.

Of course, today for the rest of us, we can keep the biros in the drawer and just use a computer


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The best Google Logo yet?

May 21, 2010 at 8:24 pm (internet) (, )

The Google Doodles have been getting more and more elaborate recently, but I really think today’s logo is going to take some beating …

And whats more, if you click on ‘insert coin’ (where the ‘I feel lucky’ button is usually) you get to play it.  A fully playable pac-man logo.  Very neat indeed.


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Kids can wreck anything …

May 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm (kids) ()

This is a great site (and includes a Facebook group) – http://shitmykidsruined.com/.

Basically its for those tales of woe that try your patience, increase your blood pressure, or otherwise gives you cause to suspect each innocent look and makes each period of total silence suddenly become the sinking realisation that you might have turned your back for one minute too long …

My favourites include:


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Guitar Hero has a lot to answer for …

May 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm (computers, kids, music) (, , )

The amount of time and effort and angst spent on this game in this household is quite impressive.  Be it moaning at the screen (especially when someone walks in front of it), complaining about someone else in the band sessions, watching YouTube videos of experts enviously, or sitting bemused at some of the efforts some people go through to get through the songs.

Still I can forgive it quite a lot.  It has resulted in giving the kids a much, much wider appreciation of a range of music that they otherwise would never have been exposed to.  It also means they get to know the songs incredibly well and they do attempt to play them on real instruments too.

As an example, Guitar Hero is singularly responsible for the introduction of the likes of Joe Satriani and Dream Theatre into the house.  Still, the novelty wears off a little for them once I announce that I quite like them too …


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International Year of Biodiversity

May 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm (interesting, science) (, , , )

Apparently the United Nations has declared that 2010 is the international year of bio-diversity, celebrating the value of bio-diversity on our lives.  You can read all about it here – http://www.cbd.int/2010/.

There are a number of things going on in the UK, including BioBlitz surveys of local plant and wildlife.  Full details are available from the Natural History Museum’s ‘Biodiversity is Life’ website.  You can also join their Facebook Group.

Apparently I’ve already missed Earth Day, which apparently was on 22nd April.


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Such Tweet Sorrow

May 4, 2010 at 6:53 pm (art, internet) (, , , )

What do you get if you cross the bard with the bird?  A running, ‘live’ commentary of one of Shakespeare’s plays, in small 140 character chunks.  That is the purpose of Such Tweet Sorrow, sponsored by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

It is relaying the story of Romeo and Juliet with tweets from the main characters as the plot unfolds.  There are tweets from 6 actors, improvising within the storyline over a 5 week period, starting on April 10th.

A very interesting idea.  And if the Royal Opera House can do Second Life, why can’t the RSC tweet the major literary works.

Its great to see old media meeting new media.  It will be interesting to see what kind of reception it gets and if they’ll do another one.


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Augmented Identity

May 1, 2010 at 7:01 pm (computers, interesting, science) (, , , , , , , )

I first saw this demo quite a while ago, but could not remember where.  Well, whilst browsing through some videos from New Scientist, I found a clue and now have found the video again.

Its a marketing video from a Swedish company called The Astonishing Tribe.  And its certainly a very interesting view of a potential future.  There are lots of applications for Augmented Reality and mobile phones, but one ‘holy grail’ still eludes people – accurate face recognition.

The desire is to have a mobile application that you can use to hold up your phone, have it recognise the person its pointing at, and then have it give you information about that person.  If a social setting, maybe their Facebook profile. If a business setting, maybe a LinkedIn profile.  If they are giving a seminar, maybe a link to their slides on SlideShare.  Imaging sitting in somewhere like a busy station and being about to browse some basic information about the people nearby in the same was as one can currently do inside a virtual world.  Thats the kind of thing people are thinking about at the moment.

Well, this company has an application, Recgonizr, that uses face recognition technology from Polar Rose, called FaceLib, that would appear to be a step in that direction.  We may still be a long way away from recognising random strangers in a busy station, but this demo of theirs is still very impressive.  More details from the readwriteweb.


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