Archive for May, 2007

Advice from Tom Waits

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Somebody asked Jim Jarmusch about the best advice Tom Waits ever gave him. Without thinking about it for even half a second, Jim Jarmusch said: “Never answer a question directly.”

Priceless advice, even though he was not following much of it, when he gave that answer to the world. Thanks Jim!

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PictureXS Public Censorship Policy

Monday, May 21st, 2007

After a series of pictures of explicit pornographic nature have been added to the PictureXS collection by a bunch of anonymous naughty web wanderers, it became necessary to enforce control over the content submitted by them. It has been decided that the people will be responsible for censoring each other, and a set of tools for enabling them to do so will be deployed shortly. People will be able to block from view specific regions of any given picture, this way visually expressing what they dislike of it by censoring sections of it forever. There will be no undos.

A simple way to remove any controversial picture has been provided until the more sophisticated censorship tools are developed. The following image illustrates how it works:

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Sacred City of Kum

Friday, May 18th, 2007

The final project for the World Design class is due tomorrow. Frank asked us to create a world, make the corresponding world map, describe the cultures that inhabit our world, and choose a city to explore in more detail. I chose the sacred city of Kum from the world I created. It is located in a mysterious crater at sea level in the northwest of the island of Hurakan. A legend says that the crater was caused by the crash of a spacecraft that gave birth to the Cosmonaut civilization. It’s a long story, and here is the drawing. It is a nice Sumi ink drawing made in Arches hot press watercolor paper, 30x22in, 140gr, one of my favorite materials.

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And the map:
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PictureXS 1000

Monday, May 7th, 2007

Tonight, 3:02 AM US east coast time, PictureXS collected it’s picture number 1000. Of course about 40 percent of the pictures in Picture XS have been submitted by me, but that doesn’t matter. After all, I find it very useful to explore the potential of a self made picture classification tool. Five years ago I decided to take 1000000 pictures in the following 30 years (for now, some of them are here and here), and I will need a very good way to browse through them by the time I am done. 1000000 pictures are 1000 books with 1000 pages of pictures each. We are used to talk about millions and billions with ease, but just because we think of them as units of multitudes; most people will never need, or bother, to face the true meaning of 100 things at once. Most people’s vocabulary doesn’t use more than 300 different words plus proper names, even though dictionaries are thick as bricks. It took Picture XS two weeks to collect 1000 pictures. If it keeps it’s pace at a linear rate, it will need 500 months to make its first million pictures, more or less 40 years. One month goes away so fast and you will lucky if you reach 1000 months in a good shape; you might collect all the experience, achievements and property you want in your life, but you will never, ever, have 2000 months to live.

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Architectural Horny Robot

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

My friend Laura Nichols asked me to help her with material for the MIT humorous magazine Voodoo. I thought of making the Stata Center come to life as a Transformer that would go hump the Green Building. It is full spring now, and after all, the Stata Center does look like a broken Transformer. I don’t find it hard to imagine that some crazy genius in there could find a way to turn it into a horny robot by rewiring the ventilation, the plumbing or the heating system in a non trivial manner.

Here is a link to Brent’s note on the Transformers for the nostalgic.

Here is the Stata Center last friday:
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Here is the Green Building a few minutes earlier:
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And this is why I love Photoshop:
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