Thoughts, comments, images and reflections from the people who bring you BeansAboutIt [dot] com


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Friday, November 21, 2003
11:01 AM      

"Madonna was just another pop star until naked pictures broke. That was the turning point in her career. Maybe this will be mine."


Fun T-Shirts @

I love watching the numbers game that gets played every time there's a protest. Yesterday, Fox reported that the organizers of the big rally in England estimated 100,000 protestors, but Fox's own estimate was 30,000. At the same time, AP was reporting that the organization's estimate was 200,000 and their estimate was 70,000.


I've been doing some research on photo gallery scripts, and came across this message:

... i can no longer keep up the forums, write new versions, support older versions, keep on top of the emails, work a regular job and try to have a life at the same time.

i really had no idea that this application would become as popular as it has and i wasn't aware of the time it take to support users and maintain the code. so i am going to be gone writing the new version which is very late.

i am very sorry for any problems this may cause with anybody but i have to take care of my own mental health.

I currently can't afford to keep the site hosted. Dissruptions in site availability may occur. Your support is appreciated.

New version or not, this doesn't bode well. I won't be using that script.

[ link | e-me ]

Thursday, November 20, 2003
9:46 PM      

Surprise, surprise.

Your Last Index was Successful
The last index of your web site index completed 3 minutes ago. It took 1 minute to crawl 104 pages and index 104 pages containing 234471 words for a total of 3830651 bytes .27885 word endings ,0 synonyms ,20444 sound-alike words , and 0 excluded words were included in the index.

I've been using the Atomz search engine on the blog for a long time, and recently noticed that I wasn't getting hits for phrases I knew I was using. Since Atomz was supposed to re-index weekly, I assumed it was just because I had searched before the update.

After enough misses, I finally bothered to log in to Atomz, and discovered that my preference was set to “no automatic updates,” and that the last time the site had been indexed was 46 weeks ago - a month and a half shy of a year!

Well, the index is up to date. Now, I need to check the error log to find out where the 44 errors are coming from...

[ link | e-me ]

2:09 PM      

Is the anniversary of JFK's assassination. It's hard not to know, if you've been watching much television. They've turned it into an advertising bonanza with lots of specials.

I heard Arlen Specter, one of my least favorite people, on NBC this morning talking about his role in the investigation that followed. He says he's still asked frequently about the “single-bullet theory,” which he advanced to explain how one shot could have hit both Kennedy and Connolly. That's Specter's term for it. Others call it the “zig-zag bullet theory,” which describes the path that a single bullet would have had to follow in order to hit both men, given where each of them were sitting in the car.

I was young, but I remember JFK's killing. I remember the somber mood that the whole country seemed to slip into after that. I remember the images of the flag-draped coffin on the horse-drawn carriage, the eternal flame, and little “John-John” saluting. I remember how, a few years later, it seemed that assassination was the norm for outspoken visionaries.


This isn't done, yet, but it's a pretty good draft of an idea that's been rattling around my head for some time. I know this happened several years ago, but it's something you don't forget. Strangely, I think hearing about the raid at Neverland made me think about revisiting this image, which I sketched in one of my journals more than a year ago.

This version is all done in Photoshop, though I think I might have more flexibility working in Illustrator.


Blogging can get you fired's your site on your own server, you have the right to say anything you want. Unfortunately, Microsoft has the right to decide that because of what you said, you're no longer welcome on the Microsoft campus. ... [more]

If you use blogger, you might have read their article on how not to get fired. Among other things, it contains a link to a SeattlePi story about Microsoft firing Michael Hanscom because of this post on his blog.

Free speech has its consequences.

[ link | e-me ]

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
3:46 PM      

That's Fast
Britney Spears just got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That's something that some stars only received postumously. Nicole Kidman recently got an award for her body of work. (Hmmm... seems like there's a lot of fluff in there.)

I don't think these awards mean what they used to mean.


The Incredible Shrinking World
I was in Queens, sharing some of the images on Muse with a group of photographers last night. The first pic we looked at was the one of the tennis ball on the floor that I'd posted on November 14. I said that I'd taken it while I was strolling around art galleries. A woman in the group said, “That's in Chelsea – 526 W. 26 Street, on the 9th floor.” I was shocked. She was right.

The tennis ball is probably long-since destroyed now. The woman's boss owns a brown and white mixed breed named Bushwick, who usually chews through a tennis ball a day. Maybe the ball in the picture was trying to make a break for the elevator.


New Word?/Subway Self-Restraint
I saw a sign on the subway last night, detailing the many things you cannot do there, under penalty of arrest, fine, or rejection. Here are a few. You may not:

• [Draw] graffiti or scratchiti
• Lie down
• Carry bulky items likely to cause inconvenience or hazard for yourself and others

Isn't that nice? The MTA cares whether I inconvenience myself, and they'll kick me out for my own good if I do.

[ link | e-me ]

Monday, November 17, 2003
11:58 AM      

Happy Birthday, Warren!


Doing the Math
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to have a knack for creating good layouts time after time? The same goes for certain industrial designers and the more famous architects. One reason for this is that they all have a well-developed sense of proportion and geometry. There is a correlation between mathematics and what we think of as “beautiful.”

I spent part of the weekend devouring the book “Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition” by Kimberly Elam, who heads the Dept. of Graphic and Interactive Communication at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota FL. I'd already heard of the “Golden Section” and “Root 2” rectangle proportions, but the book revealed a more fundamental relationship between these proportions and those of human body, as well a number of other living forms in nature.

It turns out there are “Golden Section” triangles, spirals, and ellipses, too. There are other root rectangle proportions, such as Root 3, Root 4, and Root 5. All of these proportions lend themselves to dividing space into chunks that naturally appeal to the eye. Elam takes the time to show the derivation of these proportions, then applies them, first by describing what Le Corbusier refers to as regulating lines, and then by providing analyses of classic designs. You could say the book is interactive - Elam uses Vellum overlays in a number of places to allow you to look at the art with and without illustrative regulating lines. An important message in the book that's actually a bit too easy to skip past, is that the lines do not create the composition, but being aware of those lines can make the difference between a composition that's inspired and a composition that inspires.

The book is deceptively thin. Yet, there's a lot here to wrap your brain around, and I suspect some will come away confused. However, after taking the time to practically meditate on some of the illustrations, I find that I'm already thinking in terms of new geometries, especially circles, triangles, and surprisingly, pentagons. One of the more valuable insights was that a number of the designs in the book take their form from regulating shapes that extend beyond the edges of the actual composition. That's a very important mode of “thinking outside the box,” though Elam never bothers to intimidate the reader with that hackneyed and misunderstood phrase.

Explaining why she wrote the book, Elam says this: “Architecture has some of the strongest educational ties to geometric organization because of the necessity for order and efficiency in construction, and the desire to create aesthetically pleasing structures. The same is not true for art and design. In many schools of art and design the study of geometric organization begins and ends with a discussion of the golden section relationship to the Parthenon in an art history course. This is due in part to the separation of information that is a part of education. Biology, geometry, and art are taught as separate subjects. The content area of each that is congruent to the other is often neglected and the student is left to make the connections on their own. In addition, art and design are commonly viewed as intuitive endeavors and expressions of personal inspiration. Unfortunately, few educators will bring biology or geometry into the studio, or art and design into the science or math classroom...”


While on the subject
of visual literacy, I came across an interesting tidbit in “Visual Studies – a Skeptical Introduction” by James Elkins. He asserts that while music historians generally play instruments and sing well enough to at least aid their studies, most art historians and critics do not draw or make visual objects at all.


Heard on the Street
A hawker on the corner of Broadway and Houston was trying to draw buyers into an upstairs showroom. He shouted “I've got a big discount! ... Who wants to see my dis ... count?”

Sex may not actually sell, but it certainly gets attention.

[ link | e-me ]
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