August 31, 2005
jest for pun (August'05)
Every calendar's days are numbered.
August 30, 2005
Botany Photo of the Day
Inspired by NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day, the gardeners and plant enthusiasts at the University of British Columbia's Botanical Centre have grown their very own photo blog. The first entry, on April 5, 2005, of a Chinese parasol storax, let it be known that these pictures would be painterly and lush. From a close-up of ferns, a Himalayan blue poppy, or this delicate fragrant granadilla, the diverse plants of Canada and the plentiful holdings of the UBC garden bloom forth. Categories include mosses, conifers, and the always-popular flowering plants. If you're the type who thinks fungus is don't-touch-that gross, dare to view these beauties. The garden syndicates its content through RSS, so plant a feed and see a new picture blossom each day.
August 29, 2005
60 second story
This literary contest asks writers to compose a short story, then record themselves reading it (in roughly 60 seconds) with a digital camera. The resulting low-bandwidth video clips are then posted online, and they are generally pretty strange. Most contestants place their cameras on top of their computer monitors and read aloud, lending themselves a strange blue-green pallor. Some of the more tech-savvy have constructed short films, with quick cuts and zooms. While the rules state that the stories must be "complete" and have a beginning, a middle, and an end, a lot of them lean towards the abstract. Our favorite story is "Charles," about a fire-breathing Japanese monster with a Godzilla complex. We also really dug the auteurism of "Pillow, Pillow" by Jason Nelson. Decide for yourself.
August 28, 2005
Laura is a security guard at a large, unnamed facility, and she has some time on her hands. She writes about palindromes, time travel, and her dog Helen. She offers pithy observations on the various people she sees every day, like "The Sexy Lady" and "The Inspector." She records herself walking on tile floors, drinking glasses of water, and reciting the alphabet in a breathy voice. With plenty of pictures and a controllable webcam, she seems to be exploring ideas of surveillance and identity. But just who is Laura? In her first entry, she says that she's waiting for something to happen in her life. Does it? We don't know the answer -- or even if her world is real -- but we're strangely drawn to the view through Laura's eyes.
August 27, 2005
Cellular Squirrel project
Do you suffer from mobile telephone calls at inopportune times? Could you use a cute PA to take calls for you while gaming, or asleep? A dissertation project from MIT by HCI specialist Stefan Marti may have your solution: Cellular Squirrel.
Of course you will always want to talk to people who are thinking the same things as you, so Cellular Squirrel waves and moves about rather than making a sound. His oddly bulbous figure makes use of "socially strong non-verbal cues like gaze, posture, and gestures, to alert and interact with the user" rather than intrusive alerts in order to minimise user stress and social disruption.
Bathsheba Grossman: a geometric sculptor
Check out an artist exploring the region between art and mathematics.