The 2013 Erie Balloon Festival condensed via time lapse photography into three minutes and sprinkled with a dash of ethereal folk music from the band Cloud Cult. Though it was a modest launch this year, Erie is home to Colorado’s only balloon festival and well worth dragging my lazy butt out to in order to see these pilots inflate and ascend into the blue.
This past weekend I participated in a 48-hour crowd-sourced content project devised by Wired and Cisco. The project, dubbed The Connective, consisted of a 24-hour call for content upon a theme, followed by 24-hours during which Wired’s fact checkers, editors, and designers culled and edited the content into a stand-alone tablet zine.
The theme, Mass Transmit, is about the rise of ubiquitous computing or The Internet of Everything. It’s about the increasing connectivity of objects all around us – apparel, appliances, vehicles and more.
In the final hour of the project, I threw together this infographic designed to convey the velocity with which this phenomenon is occuring. I submitted it at the last minute, fairly pleased with the way it turned out. It was only later I realized that what my infographic illustrates best is how statistics can be used to deceive. The largest device in the graphic is intended to convey a size 6.58 times that of the person, and when you consider its height alone, it does. However, because of the device’s proportional width, it’s actually more like 40 times larger than the dude. Yes, it illustrates the point, but deceptively so in its magnitude.
My in-laws went to Cuba and brought back this camera made from a Coca-Cola can. No, it doesn’t actually take…
Yet another Viking-themed, modified postcard sent to a friend in my continued efforts to save the United States Postal Service. Sure it seems small, but these micro-efforts add up. If every one of us extended similarly hacked correspondance to a friend each week, why then we might not be discussing the discontinuation of Saturday postal delivery, and our postal carriers would be more fulfilled. Or at least we would be.
I’ve only just begun Ruth Ozeki’s novel, A Tale for the Time Being, in which the diary of a 16-year-old Japanese girl makes its way across the Pacific to find itself in the hands of novelist living on a small island off the coast of British Columbia. The novelist, a Japanese American named Ruth, is beguiled by the young girl’s story, and I find myself similarly captivated. In a passage early in the novel (page 12), Ozeki conjures an image of the Pacific Turtle Gyre that inspired this animation. Hope you enjoy it (*_*)
In the dream I’m walking down a corridor and observing a successive chain of aggression in which each of the people I pass suspect and accuse another person walking in the same direction of somehow disrespecting them. It ends with this middle-aged bald guy (but not me) who, frustrated, exits via a stairwell, muttering about how he was wronged, how things might have been different if only, etc.
I vaguely awaken at that point to recognize that this is indeed a dream, but fall back into another dream in which I am rolling the aforementioned dream around in my head, considering its meaning and also mentally saving it to write about.
I am in a hallway in a government office, and something on the radio show being piped over the intercom compels me to investigate, and I ask directions to the Public Health Department. In seeking out this office, I become like a kid, turning it into a game. There is some sort of large metal sculpture consisting of a series of beams which I climb and balance upon, one after the other, periodically glancing up at the security guard leaning against a nearby wall and nodding assent to my progress.
In the end, I seem to have climbed my way to a row of airline seats where I am engaging an older couple and a little girl who is fascinated with some shiny thing. “That’s nothing,” I say, and I raise my left hand to present the face of my watch to her face. Except that when you look at it, the watch is actually an intricate display of animated colors and shapes and the little girl goes into Wow mode. Finishing the climb I began at the base of the sculpture, I am standing on one of these airplane seats, but my weight is bending it low so that it impinges upon the guy sitting in the next row. I step down and wake up.
Ksenia Anske recently wrote a great post about observing patterns in reading. She wrote specifically about patterns in dialogue, as well as larger patterns she’s observed, such as the tendency for a novelist to embed a plot summary somewhere along the way – in dialogue or internal monologue perhaps – as a sort of recap:
About several chapters into a book, the author will find a way to inject a quick summary of the plot, as in, so and so did this, and then so and so did that, and then they bla-bla-bla. It is usually in the dialogue or in the main characters thoughts, when the character finds herself or himself in the throes of indecision. Sometimes it’s in a general description. This is clever, because often readers forget what they’ve read before and this little snippet roots them back into story, but also shows the humanity of the character, because in real life we tend to forget stuff and repeat to remember.
Ksenia’s observation was timely; I’d come across this very phenomenon in William Gibson’s Virtual Light only a day before in the thoughts of one of the main characters as he recollected the events leading up to his current predicament:
When you worked it around to sequential order, she was this girl from Oregon, didn’t have any family, who’d come down here and moved out on that bridge with this old man, crazy by the sound of it, had a bad hip and needed somebody around to help him. Then she’d gotten her a job riding a bicycle around San Francisco, delivering messages…
As someone who writes about books and who fancies himself (someday) writing a publishable novel, I’m very interested in these patterns and this sort of deconstructive analysis of literature. That said, I’m mostly way too absorbed in the story to step outside enough to see these things.