Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

This weekend I had a couple Halloween activities planned, so my costume was Zombie Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs has been one of my personal idols, so it's not really meant to be mean-spirited.
I just thought it was a little crazy & very easy to put together.

Friday night I was out with friends & entered the costume contest for the hell of it. The guys who were judging thought it was funny, so I ended up getting 2nd place... much to my bewilderment. I was up against girls wearing things like sexy police & FBI costumes, so I thought they clearly should've won instead.

Although the $100 prize for 1st place would've been cool, I happily took the runner-up prize- a large Eagles mirror. Although it's a cool prize, I have nowhere to hang it, so my brother's getting it for Xmas, since he said he wanted it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Words to Live By

I'm starting off the weekend with George Carlin aka Rufus from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Advice for the Ages:

"Be Excellent to each other. 
Party on, Dude."

This reminds me I've been meaning to compile a post w/ my unofficial history of the word "Dude."
The entire world owes my Dad, Big Paul, credit with resurgence of this totally excellent word.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mind Control

seen on The Chive

I was looking for this one about the crackling ears, but the rest are all good examples of our perpetually selective awareness:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Timeline of the Universe

On Reality Carnival I saw this mind-bending timeline that projects future cosmic events from the year 10,000 until the theoretical end of the Universe as we know it.

Of course, I don't really care what happens to the universe after I die since I won't experience it.

It's interesting to think about, though, how long into the future mankind will be able to extend our brief cosmic existence. To do so, we have to extend our presence outside the solar system so we're not at the mercy of what happens to this particular planet. At the rate we're going, it may take a looong time to begin traveling between the stars.

However, there's also the possibility that both the ancient gnostics & South Park were right- that Earth is a cosmic prison that human beings are trapped in... FOREVER.

There's also a section of the website that outlines the history of the known universe.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A State of Occupation

 This weekend, the growing Occupy Wall Street protests spread to cities around the world. It seems that a large number of people have finally had enough with the crooks & buffoons that have been acting as overlords.

In my opinion, this movement is our country's progressive answer to the misplaced priorities of the Tea Party- which was fueled by fear & anger toward the government, but with a blind eye to Free Market abuses & no realistic approach to generate solutions.

Speaking of the Tea Party, this is an insane video of possibly the most empty-headed teabagger out there, actress Victoria Jackson. She's mingling with people in the Occupy Wall St. crowd & boldly displays her insufferable ignorance. I don't know how anyone can talk to her seriously. Could it possibly be performance art on her part?!? I'd recommend forwarding to about 2 min in. Her voice is hard to take, despite the excellent answers by the people she interviews.

The Tea Party has attracted (rightfully) angry Americans looking for alternatives to the 2 party system. However, that movement has mostly been a pawn of big industry, namely Koch Industries, & big media, namely Fox News. That's why the Tea Party's main stated goals are cutting government programs, lowering taxes & reducing regulations. Their desired policies mostly benefit multinational corporations, not the average person.

However, the knee-jerk reactionaries raising hell in the Tea Party were actually ahead of the curve in openly expressing general frustration with a system gone mad. These Occupy Wall Street protests are the result of everyone else in America finally reacting en masse to the many dysfunctional elements of society that have metastasized into systemic failure.

The driving vision of this recent upwelling is not to just initiate reform, but to fundamentally change in the way society operates. Everything is so screwed up, maybe this kind of organized, widespread nonviolent protest this is the only way to start the wheels turning toward real progress.

After reading through the '99% Declaration' policy points, I think these are definitely the right issues to be focusing on. These groups of people are trying to effectively address the problems at their root cause. This is actually a rational & pragmatic platform... not the stoned ramblings of bongo-playing hippies:

Traditional apologists for the elitist tendencies of the status quo are having a hard time adopting the reality of this popular movement into their worldview. America's biggest knucklehead, Fox News' Sean Hannity, is the standard bearer for being wrong on every single issue.

These two U.S. Marines have the right advice for anyone like him, who is foolish enough to dismiss the growing unrest in this country:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meditating Monkeys

 Although I generally don't approve of scientific testing on animals- I can't resist a story about monkeys being trained to meditate.


Soon, there will be an army of Monkey Buddhas...

Neuro Report:

Remember You Will Die

Some people may see art highlighting the reality of death as macabre.

However, it is a supreme method of achieving awareness & appreciation of Life as a temporary gift, which we have to make the best of.

This idea i saw on this isn't happiness might be a little too much reminding for me, though...

We Are All Part of the Same Thing

This is a very cool poster made of string art that's an interesting study in typography, negative space, color, & materials.

It's a statement of the philosophical idea that the universe is a singular, unified phenomenon. The apparent separation of reality into different aspects is a mental illusion.

by Dominique Falla

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Future of Apple?

I'll end my personal tribute to the legendary co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, by looking forward.

As a college student, one of my senior design projects was to design a computer of the future. This was around 2000, & our labs had the original iMacs & G4 Powermacs.  Cell phones weren't common at all & the Internet was just becoming the eminent communication & information tool it is today.

My design for a futuristic computer used a portable handheld device w/ peripherals like a touchscreen monitor w/ embedded speakers & an immersive eyepiece that that was another interface option.

I'll post the renders I made of the concept when I get around to it. Anyway, that project inspired me a few years ago to imagine an Apple-branded computer of the future, called the Apple iThink. It's been featured on websites & magazines around the world.

My "iThink" concept pics & the imaginary specs are at the bottom of the post. I'm determined to update the graphics one of these days.

I've been talking to people this weekend about the impact of Steve Jobs and Apple & no one can really say for certain how the computer interface will be improved after the touchscreen. Perhaps 3D or holographic technology is the next step. However, interfaces that connect directly to the brain seem to be inevitable. Then, our thoughts may be augmented by digital systems. Maybe our memory & perceptions could even be enhanced.

Here's a list of links to stories that I think herald the coming of future devices with iThink Tech:





Design Mind:





Huffington Post:

Apple "iThink" Technical Specifications

• Size:
1.5 x 1.5 x .5 inches

• Symbiosis™ Neural Interface:
Direct brain-computer link means your mind and computer are one!

• Intel Fusion™ Quantum Processing:
Uses the power of the atom to instantly compute at the speed of thought.

• Holographic Data Storage:
The iThink’s tiny internal holochip has a staggering individual capacity of over 666 Yottabytes (1000^8), for seemingly infinite augmented memory

• Intra-neural Communication:
Mentally allow or block any kind of signal you want to send or recieve instantly over the wireless iThink global network

• Perceptual Immersion:
Images, sound, & other data are projected virtually into your sensory fields by directly connecting into your brain’s activity

• Integrated GPS and Google Earth:
Receive directions and location information anywhere on the planet, and the ability to be located in case of an emergency

Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Design Zen of Steve Jobs

Since Steve Jobs has been one of my greatest heroes & inspirations in my adult life, I'm keeping the memorial vigil going here for the weekend.

 I've seen good articles & videos about him, but I want to concentrate on what truly made him & Apple what they have become. In essence, it was his understanding of beautifully simple design- both cosmetic & functional.

Due to his interest in Eastern philosophy & sensibilities, his approach to product design has been called Zen-like, for good reason.


Zen is essentially a study of one's own self & the mind in a pure experiential context, unfiltered by our inherent preconceptions & cultural baggage.

I think this kind of deep understanding helped Jobs' focus on the practical relationship the user had to any of his Apple products. He had a unique vision that allowed him to know how people would think about features & use them, in a sense being empathetic to their needs.

Yahoo News:

Apple has been great at minimizing user frustration, while simultaneously maximizing productivity. Despite the inevitable imperfections in any given device, the technologies that he popularized seem almost miraculous when seen with fresh eyes. The fact that their capabilities are almost taken for granted is an even greater testament to the way the amazing tech was designed to be interwoven into one's everyday life.

It's truly a shame that we didn't have a few more decades of Steve Jobs' vision to enrich our culture, but hopefully his legacy will continue to guide Apple & the tech industry for year to come.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Steve Jobs, Legend of the Digital Age

 On the news tonight, I saw that Steve Jobs passed away.

Although it will be said millions of times, he was a true genius and a visionary who literally changed the world.

My own career and entire creative life has been influenced by the great functionality of Apple computers. I've 'converted' all my siblings to Mac & it's superiority to Windows is clear to me.

Although I don't have an iPhone or iPad yet, I've long recognized the revolutionary potential of portable digital devices. Apple has had a major part in making tech, and therefore the human network, more mobile.

What set Apple apart was the minimalist design approach & ease of use. Steve Jobs revolutionized the tech industry several times over and led Apple to becoming one of the most important companies in the world.

I hope that Apple continues to fulfill the vision implemented by its founder, in order to improve the lives of people around the world. I'm forever grateful to Steve Jobs for sparing me from Windows hell.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Bad Lip Reading

This is a hysterically stupid idea.

Lab Chimps Freed

Empathy is the ability to mentally & emotionally connect to another being.

The inability to experience empathy is a trait of a psychopath. I think that avoiding cruelty towards other living things is a primary moral rule. However, I'm also a realist. I know we live in an insane world, where unimaginable suffering exists all over the globe, at all times.

I think that keeping sentient wildlife encaged & tortured in experimentation is immoral, regardless of the scientific value. The whole issue of factory farming is another animal issue I'm not going to get into now, but generally we should be finding ways to reduce suffering, not increasing it.

Anyway, this story about lab chimps being outside for the first time is proof that these animals are consciously experiencing life basically the same as we are. They are feeling, seeing, hearing, and reacting to their situation. To inflict prolonged pain on such creatures is not justifiable & can't be good for the soul.

Daily Mail:

Monday, October 03, 2011

Designing the Cereal Box

I saw this humorous infographic about the product design process. Most creative professionals can probably relate to this.

for full size image: